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Old 08-01-2013, 07:53 AM   #1
Tnbrit OP
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Changing Harley FXDF for Sportster/Bonneville/Vmax Gen1

Hi,thinking of changeing my FXDF for a cheaper/bit lighter 2up capable bike.
Thinking of Sportster 1200 Roadster,Bonneville SE/Gen 1 Vmax,as you might gather we like fairly old fashioned standard riding position bikes
Any owned or have experience with any/all of these
all comments welcome.
Graham.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:27 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnbrit View Post
Hi,thinking of changeing my FXDF for a cheaper/bit lighter 2up capable bike.
Thinking of Sportster 1200 Roadster,Bonneville SE/Gen 1 Vmax,as you might gather we like fairly old fashioned standard riding position bikes
Any owned or have experience with any/all of these
all comments welcome.
Graham.

Having had several Sportsters in my life--I vote no on a Sporty. Suspension sucks for solo riding, never mind two-up. Can't comment on your other two candidates.
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Old 08-01-2013, 08:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnbrit View Post
Hi,thinking of changeing my FXDF for a cheaper/bit lighter 2up capable bike.
Thinking of Sportster 1200 Roadster,Bonneville SE/Gen 1 Vmax,as you might gather we like fairly old fashioned standard riding position bikes
Any owned or have experience with any/all of these
all comments welcome.
Graham.
Test ride them all first but in all honestly I'd keep what you have as its a great bike.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Maineboarder88 View Post
Having had several Sportsters in my life--I vote no on a Sporty. Suspension sucks for solo riding, never mind two-up. Can't comment on your other two candidates.
While I can't disagree with that, and have no experience with the other two, I will say that my Sporty's suspension works just fine for solo riding. It's a 48 and the original suspension DID suck, as it came with the factory lowered suspension. I've since upgraded the shocks with factory shocks from the Roadster, and put Roadster damper rods in the forks to get the full length back. So, basically I now have the same suspension as the stock Roadster plus a set of Ricor Intiminators in the forks for improved damping.

I just did a little back road trip this past Sunday over the Cheaha Mountain (220+ miles round trip) and surprisingly had no complaints with the suspension at all. BUT, I am light weight and only ride solo.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I wouldn't let suspension keep me off a bike that I otherwise liked and wanted. Stock suspensions suck on a lot of bikes and is a pretty common upgrade. I've seen several nice, low mileage Roadsters listed around the 5K mark in the last few months. If you don't mind spending a little money, you can upgrade the stock Sporty's suspension to be better than that found on either of the other bikes mentioned.

I'd think that the Sporty trumps the Triumph in dealer network, and both other bikes in aftermarket support. Tons of seats, racks, backrests, luggage, etc, are available for the Sportsters, so you can set one up to suit your individual needs pretty easily. Parts are easy to find and readily available too, and the maintenance is simple as could be.

It really just depends on which bike floats your boat more. The main thing is to just enjoy whatever you pick.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:45 AM   #5
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The "Fat Bob" is an excellent bike for two up riding. Why the change?
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
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Not being a smart guy-you don't need a big network for Bonnies. The 865 is a bulletproof as they come. The Bonnie is quite easy to maintain by the owner.
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Old 08-01-2013, 09:57 AM   #7
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More Info

Guys,thanks for the replies,maybe after MarksBonneville comments(which I totaly agree with) i should give a bit more info.
Our FXDF is kept in the USA & we(wife & I)use it for Vacation riding,we've been doing this for over 12yrs. & have had 4 different bikes in that time.
We're now retired & getting older i'm 67 & the boss is not getting younger,hence the trips are less frequent(mainly due to funds)& are probably only going to be 1 trip a year of 3 weeks duration in the future(used to be 3 or 4 a year).
So a bike with less cash tied up looks better value,& i could put any cash I retain from a deal into financing more trips.plus a reduction in weight makes sense as we get older.
Any more comments on the bikes very much appreciated
Cheers
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KingOfFleece View Post
Not being a smart guy-you don't need a big network for Bonnies. The 865 is a bulletproof as they come. The Bonnie is quite easy to maintain by the owner.
Not to disagree with that, and while it isn't a big deal to me either since I do all my own work too, for a traveling bike, and for a lot of riders, having a dealership for their bike in every smallish to medium sized town can be pretty important. It just depends on the rider and the intended purpose for the bike. The nearest Triumph dealer to me is over an hour away, and I have to pass at least a couple of HD dealerships to get there, with the nearest just minutes from my home. If I had to leave my bike overnight, it'd be much more simple in the case of the HD for me. And that isn't even considering if I were to make a trip of any magnitude and had issues out on the road.


Not knocking the Bonnie at all, just mentioning what could be a consideration for some potential buyers, even if not a big deal for you and me.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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you dont need no vmax. 50-60 hp is all a bike needs, youll die on that thing i wish theyd ban them
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:30 AM   #10
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you dont need no vmax. 50-60 hp is all a bike needs, youll die on that thing i wish theyd ban them
Is that you JerryH?

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Old 08-01-2013, 10:51 AM   #11
Tnbrit OP
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Venture

A couple of reasons i'm attracted to the Vmax are i see quite a few maxes 2up in europe & they look comfortable + the First bike we had in the US was an 84'Venture which was a great bike on trips smooth & comfortable but was one of the top heaviest bike ever made so we traded for an Elecrtraglide & have been going down in size & weight since.
A vmax is about the same weight as the Roadster 1200 & about 120lbs less than the FXDF so in the ballpark,& you don't have to ride it fast,honest


QUOTE=mattness;22004715]you dont need no vmax. 50-60 hp is all a bike needs, youll die on that thing i wish theyd ban them[/QUOTE]
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Old 08-01-2013, 11:24 PM   #12
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I did a couple 500 mile days on my Vmax and once carried a nice lady to her job on the back, so I will comment on that option alone.

The seat is pretty bad. It's wide, but most of your weight is on the inside of your thighs, so while the ground is only thirty inches away, it's a bit of a reach. I never found the seat to be comfortable for more then 100 miles. Passenger seat with the somewhat rare backrest was comfortable for her, but her ride was an iron 883 sporty YMMV.

Engine guards with some grip tape works good for stretching out your legs. I swapped the handlebars to superbike bars and couldn't have been happier.

40 mpg cruising is doable, so filling up at 130-140 miles is a good idea. It's a heavy bike and top heavy too, so pushing sucks.

Low speed handling is surprisingly good, high speed not so much.

The motor never fails to impress, both in power and smoothness. The brakes are there.

I loved it and will own one again.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:12 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Randy View Post
Is that you JerryH?

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Old 08-02-2013, 03:23 AM   #14
Tnbrit OP
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Thanks

Thanks for the replies so far,I'd hoped I would have had more input from members with experience of the bikes in question,there must be guys who've owned at least of these bikes who want to comment & at least slag off the others
I should also add I expect to have to change the Suspension/Seat to get it 2up worthy I've had to do that to my last 3 Harleys
Cheers.
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Old 08-02-2013, 05:43 AM   #15
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I don't think you could go wrong with either the Bonneville or the Roadster. Both have a nice vintage feel with more or less modern performance; as Randy pointed out the advantage of the Roadster is there are Harley dealers everywhere, and for every dealer there are probably three more independent shops specializing in Harleys.

I have a carbed '04 Roadster and can go about 140 miles before hitting reserve on the 3.3 gallon tank. I added a small handlebar mounted windshield, a Sundowner seat and a set of saddlebags and can go just about anywhere on this bike, comfortably. Since I always ride solo the stock suspension is fine with me but from everything I've ever heard this is an easy thing to upgrade.

You won't find as many Roadsters for sale as Customs, maybe because HD didn't build them for long and most people seem to like the forward controls and lower seat of the Custom. But for me the Roadster is the only Harley I would want to own, except for an FXDT or an older FXR.
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