Go Sportsters

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

  1. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Hopefully someone here knows, I haven't found anything on this. I have a 1999 883 custom. It has the shorter rear shocks from the factory. Do I have the standard length forks, or the short ones like on the 'hugger' model? I'm looking into putting road king shocks on it, but I can't find out if I need to change forks or anything.

    Thanks.

    All typos and misspellings blamed on my phone.
  2. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    I can't say for sure, but I believe that the Custom had the long forks and short shocks for that "raked out" look. I mknow that the later rubber mount Customs had the same longer forks as the Roadster, but I'm not up on the rigids. Measure the fork tubes from the top of the cap to the dust cover. I believe the longer forks should measure somewhere in the range of 15" when fully extended.
  3. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Awesome, thanks. Makes sense, that explains the heavy handling.

    Once I get the rk shocks on I'm pretty well happy with the bike I think. I don't want to mess with it too much, its reliable and everything works as intended. Just want to quicken up the handling and get a bit better ride. It blows through the travel pretty quick on bumps.

    All typos and misspellings blamed on my phone.
  4. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    female friend of mine wants a bike and a Harley is the only thing that she can really fit on. on some other sites ive seen where they installed buell front forks. lowers it even more and helps handling a lot.
    shes looking at a 2008 1200 r model now. putting 17 inch wheels on both ends would be awesome.
  5. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    You're not going to get much lower than the current crop of Sportsters. If you do, it'll ride worse than my 48 and that means like total crap! I'm not familiar with Buell front ends being used for lowering purposes. The only thing I've seen them used for was to gain higher quality forks and brakes for better handling and increased braking performance, but I suppose with certain modifications it might be possible to use them to lower a bike.

    If not interested in ride quality or cornering clearance, it would be relatively cheap to lower that Roadster. Bout all you need is a set of damper rods, a pair of shocks, and a sidestand from a 48. Then with a lower seat, she'd be looking at a seat height 2-3 inches lower.

    I'm going the opposite route with my 48 by adding parts to bring the suspension travel back up to that of the Roadster. More travel = better ride quality and cornering clearance.
  6. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    How short is she? My girlfriend is 5'4", and before I changed the seat on my 883C she stood flatfoot over the bike. I would think anyone over 5' would flat foot the current models.

    All typos and misspellings blamed on my phone.
  7. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    and randy
    yeah it lowers the front. then i could raise the rear and put 17 inch rims on it with a 180 rear tire.
    found this info on an xl forum.
    can i link the thread to this site?
    http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=33810&page=13

    also go to page 15 for a side by side pic
  8. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Hmmm... Learn somethin' new everyday! :D I guess the forks have a shorter overall length so you get the front lower without sacrificing travel? Then the 17's with low profile radials lowers it still a bit more, I guess. Still gives limited cornering clearance though. Of course for those severely vertically challenged... Then again I'm 5' 6-7" and ride a standard height R1150GS and a KTM 640 without troubles...

    Gotta admit though, that bike looks pretty cool! :thumb Looks like it has a similar ride height to my stock 48, just looking at the fender to tire, and frame to ground clearance.

    If you do go that route, I'd recommend picking up some nice shock, and not a used set of current H-D shorties, or even the Progressive shorties. Maybe some decent Ohlins, or Ricor's? And personally, while I could definitely dig the 17's I probably wouldn't go that wide on the rear tire. I'd probably stick with a 150-160 series tire since I think that unless a bike makes gobs of power (not a mild Sportster) that narrower tires generally feel more nimble, but to each their own.

    :1drink
  9. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    yeah true on a 160. looked a little at your build over there. there is another build over there with an older buell rear end grafted onto a sporty. lots of work and it didn't come out too well in my opinion.
    was never a Harley guy at all. now im liking them. lol
  10. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Same here. I'm still sorta shocked at myself actually. :lol3
  11. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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  12. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    Wow! I was just in there a couple of weeks ago!

    My dad was in Rapides Regional ICU for 11 days before passing away week before last. After several days going to the hospital, and dealing with all the stress, I had to get out and go do SOMETHING to get away. Naturally, I found a Harley shop.... My mind wasn't really in it though, so I don't even remember looking at much in particular. But, I probably saw that bike if they had it then.


    I don't really have my finger on the used Sporty market yet, so I don't know if that price is good, average, or bad, but it looks nice. :thumb
  13. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    in the video it smokes on start up pretty good. black smoke. im thinking it needs a tune. I know nothing about these bikes really. learning is fun. lol
  14. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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    IDK, didn't seem to want to settle into an idle very well either. '08 is fuel injected, and IMO shouldn't run like that on start-up. I know mine doesn't. Mine just fires right up and settles into an idle right away, hot or cold.

    Might be just stale gas, or whatever, but it would worry me just a tad since getting the fueling right on a FI H-D can be a spendy process. Not like the good ol'days where a few jets and little time could have it sorted in your garage. Now you need a laptop and a fairly pricey tuner to get 'em dialed in correctly They come very lean from H-D, so pipes and A/C can really screw up the powerband, and make them run very hot unless something is done to richen the mixture and get the fuel curves right.

    Used Sportys are fairly common on Craigslist though, and if you have cash and are ready to pounce you can find some really good deals. :thumb
  15. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    yeah I found one in ark, with 4k miles for $5500. a 2006. I belive its a carbed model. which is fine with me. one carb right out in the open, too easy. makes a moto guzzi seem like a space shuttle. lol
  16. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    I re-jetted my 99 and had to change a few dryrotted vaccum lines last fall, it was stupidity easy. Took longer to clear a spot in the garage, organize tools, and prepare beverages.

    The 06 is carb, should be basically the same design.

    All typos and misspellings blamed on my phone.
  17. theKite

    theKite Ulyssean

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  18. Randy

    Randy Long timer

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  19. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

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    they are so easy to change digging these little bikes
  20. Photog

    Photog Charismatic Megafauna Administrator

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    Wow. :thumb

    Yep. I'm with ya'.

    After seeing those pics/thread, my next bike may be...another sporty.