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Old 01-20-2013, 11:05 AM   #1
schwartzkm OP
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Fat front tire on 2013 xl1200c

What are the pros and cons of Harley going with a fatter front tire on their 2013 xl1200c model? Harley has a tendency to emphasize form over function so wonder if that is the case in this instance, too (think slammed sportsters!?!).

edit:
How does the fatter front tire impact handling on the new sportster?


Thanks!

schwartzkm screwed with this post 01-20-2013 at 12:42 PM
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:24 PM   #2
Randy
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Well I do agree that H-D goes for form over function in most cases. In that market segment it's what sells. Spend much time on the various H-D forums and its pretty evident with all the posts of guys saying that this and that mod doesn't work so well but it sure LOOKS cool!

With that said, I do have a 2013 48 and it does have the fat front tire. After riding all sorts of things since the 70's this is my first experience with a Harley. Keeping in mind that what this bike can and can't do, I'm finding that I'm really enjoying it. I don't expect it to handle like a sport bike, or even like my R1150GS for that matter. But, ridden within its limits I don't have any complaints and Im actually enjoying riding it a LOT.

I've never ridden a sportster with a skinny front tire so I can't really give a comparison, but I haven't found any real shortcomings in the handling of this bike. Yeah, it's a bit slow to turn in and maybe just a tad heavy in the steering dept. Then again, I don't know how much of that's due to the steering geometry and how much is the fat tire, but I don't have any complaints at all. It feels predictable and stable, doesn't really want to fall in or stand up out of a turn. It just goes pretty much like a motorcycle should, IMO.

Besides, it LOOKS COOL!



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Old 01-21-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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I've not ridden the Sportster but have ridden a Victory Judge multiple times which has the same 130\90 front tire. After a few moments onboard you forget it's there. Turn in is a little heavier at walking speeds but once moving beyond that, easy peasy. Consider a Judge unless you're singularly focused on the HD.

Stolen image from the Victory thread.

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Old 01-21-2013, 10:01 AM   #4
Barrett66
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Victory is building some Hot bikes in my opinion. I have ridden a friends CVO Fat Bob & I loved how it handled and thought it was extremely smooth with the big rubber up front.
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Old 01-21-2013, 11:00 PM   #5
waveydavey
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My 1983 Honda VFR 750 had a 130/90 X 16 front tire and everyone thought that it was a very quick turning motorcycle, at the time.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:18 AM   #6
schwartzkm OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmlmjmjm View Post
I've not ridden the Sportster but have ridden a Victory Judge multiple times which has the same 130\90 front tire. After a few moments onboard you forget it's there. Turn in is a little heavier at walking speeds but once moving beyond that, easy peasy. Consider a Judge unless you're singularly focused on the HD.

Stolen image from the Victory thread.

While I agree the judge looks really nice, it is also 5k above the sportster and being 5'5 I found the riding position put me in an odd position. A set of pull-backs might help, though.

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Old 01-23-2013, 03:24 PM   #7
DAKEZ
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The XL1200V (a.k.a. The 72) Is the same bike as the XL1200X (48) the difference is .1 Degee more rake and a 21" (tall Skinny) front wheel.

When ridden back to back the 72 feels much more agile. The 21" Wheel is better for going over pot-holes where the heavier feeling 16" fatty on the 48 glides over road seams. So there are different benefits to each.

Both are FUN to ride.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:01 AM   #8
Cedric92300
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I own a 2012 xl1200c With the fat front tire.
I also rode some older cust that had the skinner tire as well as rented a nightster in the past.

My experience is that the new front end really does help as far as stability on the road.
My commute is 110 miles round trip and I spend some good amount of time on highway at 75mph or plus.
The front is really really stable. A real noticeable difference with the skinnier frot tire sportster I rode before.
It's a def plus but wouldn't be a deal breaker I I really wanted a 72 or another harley that didn't have it.

The slow turnin around town is really nothing at all. I not a big guy and don't ever think my bike is hard to move around.

I'd like to add that the riding position is indeed more relaxed and more neutral than a judge. I can't speak for fitting a judge with different bars but the harley 1200c in standard form is really nicely suited for my 5 11 height.
Another thing to consider is that there are a bunch of harley part to make it even easier to reach (called reduced reach parts)

I hope you find the bike YOU really want. I picked my 2012 as a used bike that had over just 2000 miles and probably would be half the money a new judge would cost.

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