Fat front tire on 2013 xl1200c

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by schwartzkm, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. schwartzkm

    schwartzkm Adventurer

    Mar 2, 2008
    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!?!).

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

  2. Randy

    Randy Long timer

    Sep 14, 2002
    Newnan, GA USA
    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! :lol3

  3. jmlmjmjm

    jmlmjmjm Been here awhile

    Oct 24, 2007
    Scottsdale, AZ
    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.

  4. Barrett66

    Barrett66 n00b

    Dec 30, 2008
    Da garage
    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.
  5. waveydavey

    waveydavey happy times!!

    Sep 18, 2005
    Back on VanIsle. In Compton.
    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.
  6. schwartzkm

    schwartzkm Adventurer

    Mar 2, 2008
    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.

    Sent from my Transformer TF101 using Tapatalk 2
  7. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    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. :ricky
  8. Cedric92300

    Cedric92300 Adventurer

    May 23, 2013
    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.