Reasons to Buy a Sportster.....

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by phillyrube, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. phillyrube

    phillyrube Long timer

    Apr 7, 2010
    Rescue, VA
  2. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ
    That article has been around for a while, and as far as I can tell from my own research, it give a pretty accurate description of the Twin Cam, one of Harley's biggest mistakes (until this new "Street" series)

    But as far as reasons to buy a Sportster, at least a used Sportster, there are plenty. You can get the unique Harley riding experience, the feel and the sound, for a very low price. And it is a good solid bike, lasts a long time, and can be modded and repaired. Unlike Japanese bikes, plenty of parts are available for it. They also hold their value pretty well. If you buy a $4500 used Sportster, and take good care of it, it probably won't depreciate much over the years.
  3. phillyrube

    phillyrube Long timer

    Apr 7, 2010
    Rescue, VA
  4. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ

    There are some inaccuracies in that, but not that many. I have always hated the term "powersports" dealer. The ones that use that term are the most likely to sell several brands, and are also the ones most likely to rip you off. But Harley and Victory dealers will rip you off as well. One of the biggest problems, especially with Japanese bike manufacturers is they constantly change things. They routinely drop models and come out with new ones. That is definitely not good for the customer. And along with that comes a lack of parts for models more than 10 years old.

    You can get parts for pretty much any Harley, but they don't come from H-D, they come from the aftermarket. H-D owners are lucky to have a HUGE aftermarket.

    As for Victory, they may be an American company, but they have adopted the Japanese way of doing things. Again, constant changes and lack of parts availability. I really like the original V92C, but would not buy one, because parts are no longer available for it.

    There are rare exceptions. I own a Japanese motorcycle that was made and sold from 1985 through 2006 with no changes but paint colors. Mine is an '02, but I can get parts for it through 2016, because the '06 models are the same and use the same parts.

    Whoever wrote that is obviously an American bike aficionado, but even Harley is starting to copy the Japanese methods of design and manufacturing. That's where the Twin Cam, V-Rod, and the new Street came from. So it seems the Sportster is still the only original style Harley left, and I am expecting them to downgrade that pretty much any time.
  5. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ
    Everything I have ever posted about Harley is common knowledge. There is tons of information out there about every brand of motorcycle that has ever existed. That is one neat thing about the internet. Knowledge is now available to everyone.
    Seventy One likes this.
  6. DAKEZ

    DAKEZ Long timer

    Mar 18, 2007
    Begin Op Zoom
    Outdated Victory Propaganda :topes Ranks right up there with EVERY BMW Final Drive after 2005 is going to catch fire and burn your bike down.
  7. wrecked'em

    wrecked'em satisfied enzyte user

    Jun 22, 2008
    n.o. la.
    victory propaganda? he says over and over again to buy a sportster. but im sure you will tell us what defects Harleys have.
  8. BadKarma

    BadKarma Long timer

    Dec 29, 2011
    Rocky Mountains, USA
    Duh, Twin Cams are better than the Evo single cam, therefore four cams are just that much better... All true Harley riders know this!:deal

    HD just needs to stretch the sporty frame, mount a wideglide with fairing on the front end and bags on the rear and then bore and stroke the old 4Cam to 100" or so.:deal Boom!:freaky
  9. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

    Oct 30, 2004
    Keaau, Hawaii
    I have not read that article, but to me, the Sportster is HD's best motorcycle. The pre-2004 XLs were rigid motor mounts and quite a bit lighter. The 2004 and later have rubber engine mounts, and are smoother, but much heavier. The earlier had a trap door transmission. The newer ones you must split the cases to access the trans. I have owned 2 Sportsters. A 1984 XLX 1000 and a 2006 XL883. Both were good bikes. I prefer a Sportster with longer shocks and fork tubes like my 2006 XL883. The XL883R and XL1200R were favorites due to better cornering clearance of the longer suspension, and a dual front brake disk set up. Also the XL1200S was a keeper.

    The Sportsters come with gear driven camshafts. Twin Cam owners pay a pot full of money to have the chain driven cams with 2 chains and 2 tensioners converted to gear drive.

    Sportsters are currently the lightest HDs, but are still heavy enough for good stability on a freeway in my opinion.

    Hydraulic valve lifters are a feature of all current HDs, meaning no valve adjustments needed.

    My 1984 averaged 66 miles per US gallon. My 2006 XL883 could return 65 mpg on longer rides if I too back highways and stayed off the freeways.

    My personal opinion is that a Sportster, with the peanut tank, is about as good looking as a motorcycle gets. But I also love the 2007 Royal Enfield Bullet, and the early Triumph Bonnevilles (the Meridan Triumph- not the "new" Triumph).

    I consider an 800 pound behemoth to be a land barge and not a motorcycle. Hence I am a Sportster fan and not a fan of HD big twins. I once dropped my 2006 XL883 in a parking mishap. It ended up laying with the top of the bike lower than the bottom due to an incline. At 58, I was able to pick it upright by myself with no help. Try that with an FL model.

    MY Sportsters were both able to corner nicely on twisty roads. No, they were not sportsbikes, but I had fun in the corners with both. I believe it was a mistake for HD to drop all the Sportsters with decent cornering clearance and go to ALL lowered models.

    These are my opinions, and as long as a person is happy with whatever they ride, then good for them. For me, an XL883 has enough power to keep a big grin on my ugly face, and I may well buy another used one soon.
    shirojiro likes this.
  10. ShardPhoenix

    ShardPhoenix Наглый ублюдок

    Sep 30, 2011
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    You've heard it here ladies and gentleman, with the power of the interwebs at your fingertips you can now become an expert on everything, despite having no real experience.

    I'm going to go read up on brain surgery and sign up for a medical practitioner's website to give advice on the removal of brain tumors.
  11. kag

    kag Wander Lust

    May 29, 2012
    Never been a huge fan of the 883.....only reason to own one is so you can trade it in this coming spring. Actually the wife learned to ride on her 883, put 4k on it and traded it for a triumph.

    The 1200 though is a different bike
  12. Reduxalicious

    Reduxalicious Been here awhile

    Jan 25, 2013
    Houston, Texas
    1. Bought used, below NADA Value, and the bike only had 9K on the Odo

    2. Bull-shit, I can pull up 6 different site's that offer all kinds of goodies for the Guzzi.

    3. One of the most well-known and respected Guzzi Dealers/Mechanics in the ENTIRE COUNTRY is in my city, once again I'm good, Though I did search before actually buying one to make sure there was a dealer near me--Good point, though there are equally the same amount of Japanese dealers as Harley.

    4. The Mechanic I take my bike to is excellent very down to Earth and a great guy, There's bad Mechanics for EVERY brand of EVERY vehicle out there.

    5. Once again I bought used so, who knows.

    6. Uh, I can still find engine parts for my 36 year old Kawasaki just as easily as I can find parts for my Harley and Guzzi, In fact the Engine on the KZ is getting rebuilt as I type, Not a very Valid point.

    7. see #6, to make it a point the 2008 1200 Sport was only offered for 1 year in the US, guess what? I can still find parts galore including engine parts

    8 9 & 10: Once again this is across all dealerships.

    11. $150 for Oil, Shaft Oil, Transmission Oil Change + Valve check and tightening is not really what I would call Highway robbery.

    12. I can find the performance parts and handlebars and seats quite easily.

    13. Uhh, what?

    14. Once again, I can't comment, 55 MPG at 65 MPH is good enough for me.

    15. Used bike, can't comment

    16. LOL WHAT?! Honda Mechanics, Harley Mechanics, Yamaha Mechanics and Kawasaki Mechanics, all could of gone to some school such as UTI and be just as inexperienced as each other.

    17."No more of this dishonesty and unprofessionalism. Go back to Harley-Davidson. They don't mistreat their customers!"" Harley Davidson Forum.. That is all.

    18. Yea uh--No, I haven't been mistreated yet.. In fact this Dealership taught me how to do my own Valve Adjustments and how to change the Oils on my bike. BUT DEAR GOD HE WANTS TO ROB ME OF MY MONEY! :rofl

    19. Bla, Bla Political bullshit

    20. Never looked into it. But odds are if my Engine detonated it would be easier and cheaper to just buy a new bike over a new engine.

    21. Okay, okay--Lots of horror stories about this so, I'll give him this, only if he admits that the Harley Dealership on my end of Houston also doesn't keep things in stock and also takes weeks to get said parts.

    22. Handlebars-He can get them, Extended brake lines and cables, YES SIR- they'll come off another model, Extended wires? You betcha--Even offered lower foot pegs and a lower seat! -gasps-

    23. I don't plan to sell this bike so uh, yea what ever.

    24. I touched on this above but, Valve adjustment on the Guzzi takes all of 30 minutes, in fact the "Money Grubbing Dealer" Showed me how to do it, as for the KZ.. that's a bit of a weekend challenge but fuck it, it's like a muscle car--Wrenching is love.

    25. Once again, my Dealer showed me all kinds of different tires I can use, even got me a Center-Stand off a Norge so I could change the Rear-Tire at home. But yea, Liar and thieves and what not

    26. Aprilia Mana-Bars + risers, that is all.

    27. For Harley, the suspension parts are foreign made, most of the electronics are foreign made, They're as American made as my mom's Nissan, being assembled in the US and all, My Guzzi is probably a mixture of Italian/Japanese parts as well, I don't know but I wouldn't be surprised nor would I care.

    28. No thank you

    That is all. :freaky

    For the topic at hand, 08 FXDB 35K miles and still going strong, not one thing wrong with the engine.
  13. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

    Jun 11, 2011
    syd oz
    To add
    I bought a new set of higher bars for my wife's 696
    From Ducati with all the extended cables and brake lines in the kit.
    Same with a seat from Ducati.
    Now he says shovel parts are easy to obtain.
    Plain bullshit.
    I have to hunt on eBay,Craig's list in the USA
    To find any.
    I like the sound of a hd
    But better than other bikes. No.
    My old bevel head at full song
    Around a canyon corner
  14. Oriondk

    Oriondk Been here awhile

    Nov 18, 2009
    I had a '94 1200 for 13 years, changed the shocks and fork springs, exhaust, and air cleaner, and other than the position of the foot pegs wouldn't change any other thing about the bike. Great bike. Saw as high as 55 mpg on some slower rides.
  15. kraven

    kraven Hegelian Scum

    Jul 7, 2005
    Asheville NC
    Holy grammar assassin, Batman.

    I couldn't make it through paragraph 3, but I get the overall tone and mindset.

    More power to them for having an opinion and expressing it. But I'm not getting dragged into a thing over this.

    Yeah, the Sportster is a good bike. It's not the only one. Different strokes, mang. :norton
  16. DesmoDog

    DesmoDog Desmo's my dog

    Jun 25, 2009
    Michigan, USA

    What a complete crock of shit.

    Reason number one from this list:

    1. You may or may not pay more when buying a new bike. You may or may not get a better warranty. The price of the bike may actually be good, but watch out for the dealer mark-up and added fees.

    So let me get this straight, I may or may not pay more? I may or may not get a better warranty? I need to watch out for fees?

    Do you mean if I'm buying a Harley, or buying a Ducati? Because the way this is written, it applies to any bike ever made. As in it argues against a Halrey just as much as for one. Strong work, list author!

    Hey! Mechanics for foreign brands are incompetent! Or might be. Uh huh, and never in the history of Harleydom has there been a bad Harley mechanic.

    Dealers for foreign brands just want to rip you off! Of course Harley dealers are there to be your advocate on getting the best bike possible for the absolute least amount of money.

    That list was written as a joke, right?
  17. cybrdyke

    cybrdyke In the Dark

    Dec 4, 2010
    way back up in the woods among the evergreens
    Geez, guys....
    This guy is trying to sell books. He wrote one article about all the supposed Harley "defects" and tells you to buy his books. Then he wrote another article about all the supposed Japanese, Italian, etc etc "defects" and tells you to buy his books.
    It's an advertisement for his books. Lets not get all riled up about any of it being accurate or's marketing.
  18. damasovi

    damasovi Long timer

    Nov 8, 2006
    Ensenada, Baja California
    to the writer of the articles,

    I saw the tone from the get go, black and white! no man! there are some very coool dealers with non usa brands and some idiots with it..

  19. Duck Dodgers

    Duck Dodgers Rock n’ Roll Refugee

    Sep 17, 2005
    The muddle of Kalifornia
    Ok, I owned one.

    I did some "wrenching". (ok, I changed my own oil.)

    I tried 3 different exhausts. (I went with performance over looks and sound.) (I did it myself and have the thread inserts to prove it)

    I installed the upgraded ignition module myself. (ok 3 screws, 2 bolts and a plug, say 20 minutes tops)

    I installed my own shocks. (30 minutes.)

    I had to have a mechanic install my fork springs.

    I had a dealer replace my belt, 2 weeks out of warranty, 1500 miles from home at my cost. (263$) This dealer treated me like crap. He got the part in late Saturday night and fixed it Sunday morning after his daughter's soccer game. And then the asshole came out to my campsite and picked me up. I wrote Harley. They said too bad. Enclosed is a credit voucher for $250.00 good at any dealer US or Canada - Damn Moco.

    Sportster, It's a bike better than some and then not so much. I look at a Sportster like a jeep (CJ/YJ). Plenty used ones out there. They have a price floor and no ceiling. Some were worked on by folks that know. Some were worked on by say... me. Some are great builds some are..WTF were you thinking? I do think finding a stock sporty used is easier than a stock Jeep.

    I sold the Sporty and bought a used Buell---the Sportster I was trying to build.

    So am I a mechanic - I like to think so.... prolly not

    Can I out ride all of you, Hell ya .... prolly not

    Will I own another Sporster-yes if the right one comes along. Hell I'd own another one of my last 9 out of 10 bikes if the right one came along.

    Want to see the list of bikes I've owned...prolly not

    Now had I only read that book.....
  20. JerryH

    JerryH Long timer

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ
    As for the mechanic part, being one myself, I have never known of a dealership mechanic, bike, car, tractor, or anything else, that did good work. Many of them are very competent, but working for someone else makes it impossible to do things right. Dealers have a time limit on everything, according to their book. It is not long enough to do a really good job, IMO. But the mechanics do not get all that time. Not enough profit for the dealer. You are expected to get the job done in less time that the book says, and you are under constant pressure to do it in less and less time. Even as a government mechanic, I get pushed to get things done faster, because we are understaffed, and don't have enough mechanics to do everything right. It's just "get it done and move on" You have this big stack of work orders to finish by the end of the day, and whoever brought the vehicle or equipment in is constantly calling wanting to know when it will be done. A public works supervisor gets put ahead of a parks maintenance worker. RHIP

    UTI is a complete rip off. My son in law went there. He wanted to be an auto mechanic. They advertise how much money you can make, plus it's his kind of thing (he didn't actually check the facts) He spent over $30K to go there (you could almost buy a Motus for that, if they existed) it was a student loan, borrowed money. He wound up with a minimum wage job at a local Ford dealer, with no prospects of doing any better in the foreseeable future. He also found out how mechanics get treated at dealers. He is now working as a truck driver, making a little more money. He has yet to pay back a single penny of the student loan, and probably never will.

    For many who would otherwise be good mechanics because they have a serious interest in it, working for a dealer destroys them. They resign themselves to doing crappy work, and eventually get to where they just don't care anymore.
    carockwell, Phipsd and skypeace like this.