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Go Sportsters

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

  1. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    If the charging and energy storage of E vehicles continues to improve and head in the direction that people like Mr Musk envision, we may wind up with more mobility rather than less. Imagine having gas pumps anywhere that there's an outlet?

    Either way, only time will tell how this all actually plays out. Until then, I have 2 Sportsters and 2 dual sports in the garage to keep me rollin'. :ricky
    Helibee, Webman, Richy and 2 others like this.
  2. trumpet

    trumpet Group W Bench

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    I desperately want to be wrong :) But yeah with a growing collection again, I'll be rolling as well.
    Helibee, Webman and Ginger Beard like this.
  3. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    Hopefully the counterbalancers mean a return to a proper solid mount frame without the rubber hinge in the middle.
    merc16, Webman, HapHazard and 2 others like this.
  4. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    And the weight loss that comes with it! :D
    johnwesley, Webman, HapHazard and 4 others like this.
  5. trumpet

    trumpet Group W Bench

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    I'll be pendantic: With modern material science, why can't they build ~450lb sportys and 600 Lb touring bikes?
    JRowland, Webman, HapHazard and 2 others like this.
  6. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @motopossum

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    They could but there are several factors to consider.

    1st is the cost.

    2nd is the need to do so vs similar market offerings/direct competitors .

    3rd is product longevity which I'll expand upon; I have a Sportster that is going on 20 years old. It has been ridden in the calcium chloride of the PNW/AK and sat outside for weeks next to the ocean in FL ,with the sun beating down on it. I converted it to a Scrambler at 32k miles and it now has almost 100k miles. It's in better shape than my 2 year old FZ07 was when I sold it and my Sportster will likely outlast me even though I have thoroughly abused it. Plastic and super lightweight materials tend to have a much shorter shelf life.

    That said, there have been a few guys over the years that have built some very nice Sportsters that weigh in the 450-470 lbs range.
  7. harley90

    harley90 Adventurer

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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    just north of atlanta
    After reading a bit of this super thread and having wanted a sporty over many years, more than ever motivated to get one. I'm a little old and long legged. Will one fit me without folding my legs up? Going on the hunt for one - looking for comfort and power as much as possible on a sporty for 200-400 mile days....just looing for a recommended platform to mod to make it what I want....1200 or 800 with kit? Any models or years or a link to get a low down would be great too. Thanks!
    Webman and AZbiker like this.
  8. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    Cost and repairability.

    If a Harley frame gets bent it can generally be fixed. Lots more people can weld steel rather than aluminum. In terms of adventure riding, if one breaks a steel subframe in a third world country, finding someone to repair it is fairly simple. Not the same with aluminum.

    I don't think a 600lb bike with what amounts to a big plastic sail bolted to the frame would be fun in an area with a lot of crosswinds either.
    Ginger Beard and Webman like this.
  9. trumpet

    trumpet Group W Bench

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    Ehhh, maybe rabbit maybe.
    Plenty of modern harleys have been totaled for minor (insignificant) damage to the frame. Having owned and put mileage on a 68 and 71 Shovel, never had a issue with a barn door or batwing [on 71]fairing in weather. Truly if it was that bad out, we should have been parked. Thinking sideways rain and bike at a 45* angle going straight kind of weather, or snow and ice.

    My 97 Sporty is comparable to my 71 shovel (without fairing), my 08 Ultra is a fucking pig at low speeds, once moving she feels nimble. But in winds, no better than my old shovel was, regardless of the extra weight.

    Now cruising down the road, Ultra all day long, super comfy. Wins hands down. Still 850lbs, that's a lot of weight, I would never PLAN to have it out in some of the weather like I rode the shovels thru, snow/ice no flipping way.

    Apples, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes.... HD would benefit from modernization in the weight category. Still MHO.

    edit: should add even my '01 Nighttrain was easy to ride all seasons, and I did.

    [Pedantic mode /off]
    Helibee, JRowland, vly and 3 others like this.
  10. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    The XLForum has a lot of great info.

    This is a short list, off the top of my head:

    Differences between 883 and 1200 solid mounts, not including cosmetics or differences between models:

    883 has ridiculously thick liners, compared to a 1200.

    883 has smaller front pulley.

    883 has different heads. If sticking with stock heads, the 883 has more squish and more meat for the porter to work with.

    The rubber mounts have a different primary gear ratio on the 883 and 1200 instead of a different final drive ratio.

    My advice: Nothing older than a 1991, 00-03 are the best. They come with the ceramic wheel bearings and 4 piston calipers. 4.2 gal tanks can be had in the aftermarket, and it's possible to fab brackets to mount split tanks.

    '04 and newer are rubber mounted. They are heavier and don't handle as well, BUT they are smoother and a 4.2gal tank is an OEM bolt on.

    I didn't cover differences between the base XLH, Custom, and special models like the 883R and 1200S.
    harley90, Helibee, Mykola and 3 others like this.
  11. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

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    That says more about insurance companies and costs than anything else.

    Anecdote - I remember a chick on the Sportster forum that bent the frame on her 1200C rubbermount and had the replacement one powdercoated white by the dealer before "installation".
    Ginger Beard and Webman like this.
  12. victor441

    victor441 Long timer

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    I'm also long legged and my Sportster felt too small stock...but a seat that moved me up 2" and also back 2" fixed that. (a Drag Specialties Predator extended reach, pictured below)
    [​IMG]
  13. Mykola

    Mykola Stoked

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    Well I sold my 883R like I've been telling the other half I would for the last couple years...
    I know that five or ten years down the road I'll be kicking myself for letting it go, but I had my fun with it and got to explore firsthand my fascination with Sportsters.
    However, since I already have an H-D (in the form of my Super Glide), and (now this may rankle some of you, but it's my truth) the FZ6 is a clearly superior motorcycle in nearly all aspects, I couldn't let the 883R occupy the third spot in my motor pool indefinitely. So long and thanks for all the miles!

    VVZH2598.JPG

    I do think I see a "What Bike Should I Buy" thread in Thumpers in my future...
    LedDuck, Philthy64 and FLYING EYEBALL like this.
  14. Kevm

    Kevm Eternal Optimist

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    There, I fixed it for you so you wouldn't look like just another moron. I know you tried to say that with the little my truth thing, but really you didn't mean it or you wouldn't have expressed it that way.

    No matter. No need to thank me.

    Enjoy your rides... Whatever they are.
  15. VicRattlehead

    VicRattlehead Been here awhile

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    Truth right there...
    An FZ6 has no appeal to me at all but my Sporty still brings out a smile, therefore, in what is important to me, the Sportster is the clearly superior motorcycle. :evil

    However, I would never berate someone for choosing the FZ as their preferred ride over a Sporty. Yamaha makes a darn fine motorcycle and the two bikes are so completely different in their execution of 'two wheels and a motor' it's obvious a rider who chooses the FZ has priorities that a Sportster doesn't meet and an FZ does. That doesn't make one bike better or worse than the other, it just means one is better suited for a certain rider than another.

    Many happy miles to you on the FZ6. With a Yamaha that shouldn't be a problem at all! :ricky
    AZbiker, merc16, Ginger Beard and 5 others like this.
  16. Monkeyshines

    Monkeyshines Long timer

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    Comfortable 200-400 mile days start with your search at rubbermount.
    harley90 likes this.
  17. BarKnee

    BarKnee Been here awhile

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    Feb 11, 2012
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    Portland, OR
    Decided to eliminate the skunk stripe potential of the Roadster's stumpy rear fender. Cheapo amazon plastic fender sliced and diced into a mud guard, pretty easy to attach to the existing fender support bracket, easy to remove if it doesn't work out.:brow
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Richy, alpina, TurkeyRun and 10 others like this.
  18. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    I can't say that I agree with you on that one, but I've never ridden a rubber mounted Sportster. My '98 1200 has run me through many, many days of over 300 comfortable miles. I've ridden near 600 twisty VA-West VA miles in a day.... without hitting any interstate. Admittedly THAT WAS a bit much :D.
  19. c1skout

    c1skout Long timer

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    DSCN3734.JPG

    The Wife and I went camping this weekend.
  20. VicRattlehead

    VicRattlehead Been here awhile

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    It really depends on the type of travel.
    I've owned both (rubber and solid mount) and for high-speed interstate use I'd say the nod goes to the rubber mount for the better subdued vibes. However, they both really kinda suck for that purpose anyway. The bolt-upright seating position and mids (or forwards) give you no leverage against the wind blast. A windshield or back rest can alleviate that if you don't mind running them (I don't like either so I'm going to switch to rearsets).

    For more '2-lane' kinda work though either can do an admirable job.
    I too have done decent days on my solid mount (200-300mi) and the biggest obstacle to comfort, for me, was the stock seat.
    Scoozi and Webman like this.