Go Sportsters

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Bloodweiser, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. hhkiwi

    hhkiwi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    115
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    Los Angeles, CA
    The shock length is 15" center top bolt to center lower bolt measured on the bike. The setup works very well for me.

    My kick stand is stock - no issues - and the belt just touches the master cylinder bracket with no load on the bike (the belt is very slack too). As soon as you sit on the bike the belt tensions and everything is fine.

    The shocks were fitted by the original dealer and the bike's now done 6500 miles. Still the first belt, of course, with no signs of damage or deterioration.
  2. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Newnan, GA USA

    Yeah, with longer rear shocks you definitely need to check belt tension. With the lowered Harleys, like my 48 and unlike most bikes, due to the swingarm angle the belt tension is actually at its tightest with the suspension at full extension and loosens during suspension compression. On most bikes, and like the one pictured above (and my Buell below), the swingarm is on a downward angle. As it moves up during suspension compression, the axle actually moves father from the output shaft/front sprocket/pulley (tightening the chain/belt) as it reaches a straight line connecting the axle, swingarm pivot and output shaft, then loosening again as it moves up beyond that point. The quickest way to destroy the output shaft bearings is to run the belt too tight.

    In fact, it's generally known in the Buell world that the factory belt tension spec is too tight. Many people have had issues after letting the dealer set it to their spec and the recommended tension is to run it quite a bit more loose.

    Here's a pic of my S1 with a line drawn in to illustrate the point of max belt tension as the suspension moves through its arc of motion:

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    And a gratuitous shot of the bike: :D

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    But, from what I understand, there isn't an issue with belt interference until you get over 13.5" on the Sportsters. Still like to get that number confirmed as the upper limit though. I fully intend to get the longer jiffy stand from the Roadster once I lengthen the forks and shocks so it will have the proper lean angle when parked up on the stand, though.

    I'm not sure what would happen with a longer shock and lowering blocks though. It could allow for a longer stroke shock and work out fine... Then again, the leverage ratios would be different so it could screw up the spring and damping rates. I'd prefer to stick with the stock mounting points and just get the correct shock sprung and valved for my weight and riding style.


    :1drink
  3. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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  4. pvt joker

    pvt joker Latebird

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    May 11, 2011
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    216
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    Cucamonga
    A loop around and through Death Valley this weekend.

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  5. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    NO baffle in that Kerker? :eek1 That's gotta be loud!!
  6. pvt joker

    pvt joker Latebird

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    May 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
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    Cucamonga
    There's a baffle, just not an endcap. Its a bassani, and not too loud at all. Somewhere between stock and the SE II slip ons I had on it before.
  7. fastdadio

    fastdadio Still gettin faster

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    The life saver edition...
  8. blackSP

    blackSP 62 6c 61 63 6b 53 50

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    I finally have my 1200! Ordered early december and delivered, with all work on it done, last week! Paint job, tuning, some add-ons. For now I'm all set, except for the weather, which sucks big time for the coming weeks. No riding, just lurking in the garage :)

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  9. FR700

    FR700 Heckler ™©®

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    Your imagination.



    Man you post some cool photos from the day :thumb

    Thanks.



    .
  10. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

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    I had a Bub's 7 on a Dyna I once owned, they are a good pipe, run much better than the typical 2 into 2 setups. Nice sound too. That's a good looking bike..
  11. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

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  12. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, eh
    Hey folks,

    I'm looking at getting a Sporty this spring, I love the 883 Iron. Its an awesome looking bike. I was wondering if there are any, or much difference in the ride quality of that vs the 1200 custom, other than the power difference and the tank size. I'm 6ft and 180lbs. Thanks
  13. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    I don't know that it'll help since I haven't ridden a Custom, but I did ride an Iron, back to back with a 48. As you mentioned, there was a power difference. At urban speeds it didn't feel like as much of a difference as I would have thought though. I believe the Iron is geared lower so around town it was fine, but I got the impression that it would run out of oomph sooner than the larger 1200 and would probably be more noticeable at highway speeds.

    Ride quality wise, I didn't detect a difference but the seat on the Iron felt better. Then again, the Iron had mid controls and the 48 had forwards (that's why I rode them both actually) so that may have contributed to the difference I felt in the seat comfort. I felt more natural and comfortable and really enjoyed the ride on the Iron more. I have since changed out the controls on my 48 to mids and all is well.

    With that said, the ride quality on both absolutely SUCKS! As soon as I can afford it I'm planning to upgrade my suspension to Ohlins in the rear and Rico Intiminators and new springs in the forks.

    Not sure about the dealers in Canada, but here it's pretty easy to get a test ride. All I needed was my motorcycle endorsement on my license and proof of motorcycle insurance. If possible I'd recommend you just do as I did and take a spin on both, back to back and see which you like for yourself.


    :1drink
  14. zataomm

    zataomm Been here awhile

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    Loxley, AL
    "I didn't buy a Sportster because I wanted a Harley....I bought a Harley because I wanted a Sportster."

    My sentiments exactly.
  15. bringenufgun

    bringenufgun Been here awhile

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    Oct 9, 2010
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    apparently halfway to motorcycle hell
    looks like somebody transplanted a sporty mill into a suzuki gs chassis, cool.
  16. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    That's where I am at right now. My friends tell me to go bigger, but the Sporty is what I like, nothing against the bigger bikes, they just don't do anything for me. Coming off a Ninja 400R.......I am going bigger. :D
  17. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

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    Thanks Randy,

    I was back at then dealer this morning and sat on both the 1200 custom and the 883. Gotta say I like the Iron better. Coming off sport bikes, and this being my first Harley/cruiserish (I think I just made up a new word) bike, the mids fell better, and more natural to me. Throw some highway pegs on to stretch out on long trips and I'll be good.

    Ya, I have not heard one good thing about the Sporty suspension, or lack of. But I figure that's a pretty easy, fairly inexpensive fix.

    Thanks again.




  18. blackSP

    blackSP 62 6c 61 63 6b 53 50

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    Oddometer:
    490
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Finally the roads where dry and clear of salt today. The sun was shining so I took my 2013 Harley Davidson Sportster XL1200C Special for a short ride. The very first kilometers. 26 to be exact. What a joy!

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  19. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yep, same here. I've always been a sport bike type, or at least a standard bike guy. Before the 48 my GS was the least sporty street bike I've ever owned. In fact, until just recently I just didn't get the whole H-D/cruiser thing at all. :puke1

    The forwards just felt really weird to me. I decided I'd give a try and see if I could get used to em, so I left em on my bike for a bit. And yeah, I did get used to them, but that doesn't change the fact that they are an inferior set-up for really riding a bike. All of your weight is on your ass, my hips were rotated to a weird angle that just didn't feel right, the reach to the relatively low and forward bars on the 48 made me feel like I was folded up like a taco and didn't feel right to my back, shoulders or arms. Combine that with the poor suspension and the fact that your ass is planted with no way of standing to use your legs to absorb the bigger hits, and it was just a receipt for a bad experience. And then there is the whole control issue too. Of course I can say that because I'm fortunate to not have long legs or bad knees. Everyone's preoccupation with a low seat height really does limit the ergonomic options with the typical cruiser platform. And that's not even considering the typical cruiser rider's concern with "looking cool"... :rofl

    But for me at least, the mids really help all of that. In fact, the crappy stock seat on the 48 and 72, that everyone bitches about is actually pretty comfortable once I swapped to the mids. Sorta like a Corbin or Sargent actually. Firm and sculpted into the "tractor" shape that fits my narrow ass pretty well. I do plan to add some highway pegs at some point just so I can shift positions occasionally, but I'll be selling the forward set-up since I can't ever see going back to it.

    The suspension is a relative easy fix. Cost is relative to just how well you want it "fixed". There are some cheap options out there and some people are happy with them. Just depends on your expectations, and what you hope to achieve. I'm going with Ohlins and they aren't exactly "cheap". But for me they are worth the extra. I firmly believe that with suspension, like so many other things in life, you get what you pay for and I'm willing to spend more to get more.

    Good luck getting the bike that suits your needs and getting it set up to your satisfaction.
  20. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm not a "Harley rider". I am a motorcyclist that just happens to have a motorcycle made by Harley Davidson. Before seeing the 48 the first time I had no interest in anything H-D. Never did. It was actually just a fluke that I even went into the dealership in the first place. In fact, it was a customer's 48 sitting out front that originally peaked my curiosity. Then once I saw mine (or one like it at least), with the gold bass boat paint job.... :tb:raabia First H-D to even turn my head...

    I think some guys are hung up on the whole male ego thing too. Then again, size probably has a lot to do with it. I'm not a big guy. I'm about 5'7" and weigh a whopping 145ish pounds, so a Sportster fits me well. If I was 6'4" and topped 250, I'm sure I'd feel differently. Now, don't get me wrong... If they produced my bike with a big inch motor... :evil Or even if it came stock with a Buell top end and could be making close to 100hp, I'd be all over that! My Buell S1 does feel a good bit quicker. But I digress. They are different machines with different purposes in mind and I new that going in. I have faster bikes already. I really just wanted exactly what the Sportster offers. Or I will at least, once I get my NRHS filter on it, get the fueling right, and then get my suspension up to snuff.... Does it ever end?

    I sure hope not!! :lol3