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Old 06-29-2013, 11:51 AM   #1
JTXR1200 OP
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883 Sportster into mini-RoadKing

With a few dirt-cheap 883's (2007+) around my neighborhood, I've been getting an itch to pick one up and turn it into a 2-up mini-RoadKing with hard saddlebags, tour pak, windshield and seat. All the bikes I've seen have the 4.5 gallon tank

I haven't seen too much around on the net but wondering if anyone has any experience or has one decked out already.

The XR1200 is approaching 40k+ miles and the lady would like to be able to hop on the back. That and I'd like a better touring rig.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:52 PM   #2
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I've been seeing some retro styled hard bag sporties around the last couple of years.
I like the crap out of the idea.



But there are a lot of bags you can buy to make a mini road king, along with a fairing. It's a good idea, I think.
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Old 06-29-2013, 09:22 PM   #3
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You might check with Corbin...they have been making speciality bags for years. Might consider dropping a 1200 top end on the 883 and change the gearing if you are gonna tour.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:05 AM   #4
Dave.0
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I had an 883 and rode the crap out of that thing for a few years. San Francisco to chicago and back. One of those legs two up. But I was young, broke and my passenger weighed about 105 pounds. I liked the bike, but it sucked for two up. I put on a corbin touring seat (very nice) and new rear shocks (a must) but there is nothing you can do about that motor. Its adequate for one, but starts to get absolutely anemic for two. I still remember twisting the throttle and it would definitely get louder, but it wouldn't go any faster. Throw in some altitude and elevation and you might as well be in a volkswagen bus (which I also had at the same time). If that doesn't bother you, than it is a pretty solid and dependable ride.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:34 AM   #5
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Sounds like you're looking at for something like a Dyna SwitchBack, a sort of mini me Road King but with the same engine, 103" or 1690 cc.

Of course 3 times the cost of a used Sporty but I think Dave.O is spot on.

An 883 is great bike for solo commnting but add a pillion and the added weight and areodynamics of bags, windshield, tourpack and get out on the open road....not so much fun.

I know, I know, if money was no object.

Good luck in your searching/ideas.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:44 AM   #6
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why not use a 1200 instead. the power is good and the bike itself is the same size as the 883. i had a 1200 for several years and loved it. was able to put in several 600 mile days on it with no problem. it would have cool to dress it up some tho. Harley tends to follow what its riders are doing so perhaps a sporty dresser could be on its way.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluebone View Post
why not use a 1200 instead. the power is good and the bike itself is the same size as the 883. i had a 1200 for several years and loved it. was able to put in several 600 mile days on it with no problem. it would have cool to dress it up some tho. Harley tends to follow what its riders are doing so perhaps a sporty dresser could be on its way.
By the time you dressed up a 1200 wouldn't you about have Road King money into the damn thing? I'm a little confused
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:32 AM   #8
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This but with hard bags? It's not mine I stole it a couple pages over http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....0&postcount=44
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Old 06-30-2013, 08:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doogiepooch View Post
This but with hard bags? It's not mine I stole it a couple pages over http://advrider.com/forums/showpost....0&postcount=44
Hey, that's my bike! The bags actually are hard bags. They're the HD leather covered hard bags. I modded the mounting to make them quick detach.
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:13 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Gham View Post
By the time you dressed up a 1200 wouldn't you about have Road King money into the damn thing? I'm a little confused
not really, comparable 1200s are only a few hundred to a thousand more than an 883. i've seen many used 1200s with less than 10k miles on them for 3500-4000$. they're all over.

here's one:
http://wichita.craigslist.org/mcy/3873661915.html

here's another. i like this one:
http://wichita.craigslist.org/mcy/3855592173.html
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Old 06-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #11
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Thats exactly what I did with my 883.

5 gal fatbob tank, wl fenders, 18" rims, sprung solo seat, FL bars, bags, 2 into 1 exhaust, and a host of other small details. It worked great except being a 4 speed ridgid mount, it just didnt cut it for freeway running because of excessive vibration. I ended up getting a FLT, much better for freeway, but too much everywhere else.

As someone who has actually done it, I will say it is a sound, viable concept that with todays 5 speed rubber mount Sportster, but unfortunately its a major project, I ended up spending nearly as much to do it as the bike cost.

If HD were to do a Sportster based "Roadking" I would be all over it

They have done it before, they could do it again, and its a great idea.

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Old 06-30-2013, 09:54 AM   #12
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It sure would be cool if today's Sportster looked like that '65 model, instead of that Super Super Low thing with the tiny back wheel, 6" rear shocks, and a bump stop for a seat. H-D is supposed to be all about nostalgia. Yet there is nothing nostalgic about the looks of the newer Sportsters. They built this out of a Softail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=th0I_xBLkbQ Why couldn't they do something similar with the Sportster?
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:16 AM   #13
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Even if Harley did build it nobody would buy it. I just left a dealer and was b/s' ing with a salesman about trading my road king in on a dyna. We got to talking about luggage and how the dyna would handle camping gear for 2. He said the dyna is a great bike for around town but too small to travel on. The sad thing is harley guys actually believe that. I've had quite a few people see me on my sportster and comment on how good of a beginner bike it is. Heck 15 years later I still love sportsters, guess I'm a beginner or something.

As far as building a mini road king, go for it. Windshield, bags, luggage rack. Little stuff will slowly find its way on.

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Old 06-30-2013, 01:14 PM   #14
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Yeah, the '65 is a beautiful machine with a stunning period defining aesthetic.

It's a gem of a bike. Well worth replicating.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:16 PM   #15
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this thread is making me completely rethink what my next bike is going to be. and with the price of used sportsters being pretty reasonable, why not build a touring version. my '96 1200 was the most fun bike i've had. Corbin has some nice (altho pricy) accessories for the Sporty that could turn it into one heck of a tourer.
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