What is better about a big twin [Archive] - The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum (2022)

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Gone

6th February 2011, 23:48

Okay, as I've posted before...I am new to riding and really considering a sportster. I have friends (and a roommate) who is a longtime Harley rider. In asking him about the sportster he of course calls it a "girls bike" which I don't really care about, then says that whenever someone buys one they always want to upgrade within a month because they realize they can handle more, and that they want something better.

Okay, I tried getting a coherent answer out of him. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that it isn't so simplistic that "bigger is better" but the responses I got back left me wondering. I asked, "so you mean they wanted a heavier bike?" which drew a blank stare.

I admit I don't get it. Can big twin owners tell me what is better, if anything, or if it is just a bigger heavier bike for a different purpose?

Folkie

6th February 2011, 23:51

if it is just a bigger heavier bike for a different purpose?
That's about it.

jjw

7th February 2011, 00:11

That's about it.

^^^^This^^^^ Sportster=sports car BT=family truckster
There's a place for both, unfortunately I can't afford both,so.......
I chose the sporty. Just my opinion :rolleyes:

ChopperEd

7th February 2011, 00:21

I think most will buy a Sporty as a first bike, either new to riding or cost. BT are heavier, dont really handle like a lighter bike. However they do have more HP and torque when compared to a stock Sportster. I have both, and I like them equally as well. You will find some see a Sporty as a girls bike (not me/not true) and a BT as a mans bike. I have seen many women riding both, even tour glides.

Folkie

7th February 2011, 00:29

they do have more HP and torque when compared to a stock Sportster
More power, but more weight; what about power/weight, say HP per lb weight?

rottenralph

7th February 2011, 00:33

I have had both and as you stated they are different. I actually found my Heitage to be easier to ride. The center of gravity is much lower and it seemed to be easier to ride with or without passenger. I think in most cases people don't know what they want until it is too late. The reason they make different models is to meet both economical and purpose reasons. It is cheaper to figure out what you want before you buy. The more power comment depends on what you bought. The older 80 inchers were enemic on power. I beat all my friends on the dyno in 95 and I only made 70/70.

Desertfox

7th February 2011, 00:33

Having ridden both I have to say I prefer the Sportster. I don't do much touring .Most of my riding is around town or short day trips. For power ,handling and sheer fun the Sportster is hard to beat. The BT's are fine for touring but their heavy weight and long wheelbase makes them undesireable for my kind of riding. On the streets, parking lots and driveways they handle with all the ease and grace of a bag of marbles.

ChopperEd

7th February 2011, 00:40

More power, but more weight; what about power/weight, say HP per lb weight?

I would give the nod to the Sportster if it came down to power to weight ratio.
That would be for older models, the newer bikes are putting out lots of HP and torque, so it would be dependent on the models.

myndset

7th February 2011, 00:41

Having ridden both I have to say I prefer the Sportster. I don't do much touring .Most of my riding is around town or short day trips. For power ,handling and sheer fun the Sportster is hard to beat. The BT's are fine for touring but their heavy weight and long wheelbase makes them undesireable for my kind of riding. On the streets, parking lots and driveways they handle with all the ease and grace of a bag of marbles.
What he said.

myndset

7th February 2011, 00:44

Or might be a swinging dick contest. More money, bigger, must be better. Yada yada...

darwin-t

7th February 2011, 01:11

The 1200 Sportsters weigh about 560 lbs. The BTs I have looked up (Fat Boy, probably) weigh 800+ lbs.

BTs are for long haul cruising, IMHO. And if you want a stereo and a cup holder....

Baphomet

7th February 2011, 01:19

Sportsters are cheaper, that's a HUGE motivator for most people.

ahthisguyhere

7th February 2011, 01:25

haha this is to funny me and my big brother were talking about who's bike faster my 1200 sportster or his bt street bob. i just kept telling him he needs to do his research first.

ChopperEd

7th February 2011, 01:26

The biggest reason for me getting the Wide Glide was for riding 2 up. Im a big guy, 6 foot, 280 lbs. My wife is medium sized and the WG offers a little more in comfort and weight carrying. I still have my Ironhead for going to work and some solo rides around town.

Tin Man 2

7th February 2011, 01:29

The 1200 Sportsters weigh about 560 lbs. The BTs I have looked up (Fat Boy, probably) weigh 800+ lbs.

BTs are for long haul cruising, IMHO. And if you want a stereo and a cup holder....

In the 2011 Harley catalog the weight of a new Fat Boy is 694LBs., The Dyna Custom Super Glide is 645 Lbs, The 2011 Nightster is listed at 545 Lbs. The performance of a new B/T will surprise a few Sportster riders. The new B/Ts are pretty darn quick, A Ton of low end torque, quiet smooth operation coupled with a 6 Speed Tranny equals a very nice Bike. I own and like my Sportsters very much, But I like a small nimble bike. If I liked to Tour I would own another B/T in a Heartbeat.

midnitewolf

7th February 2011, 01:30

First off why does everyone think that a BT is slow & heavy
Dyna's are Big Twins and a Street Bob only weighs 85 Lbs ( 672 vs 582 )
more than a 1200 c ( soft tail is 144 lbs heavier ) the 96 ci produces 92 ft lbs torque at 3000 rpm vs 79 ft lbs torque at 4000 rpm
and a Dyna handles just as well as a Sportster and is not slow by any means
now a soft tail does not handle as well as a Dyna or Sportster but does give you a nice ride with out moving to a touring model
Now if your talking about a touring model vs Sportster well that would be stupid
(Different bikes for different reasons )

I think the Dyna is the best model for all around riding , it handles well in the curves and with the six speed and decent suspension makes it a bike that
you can put some miles on

midnitewolf

7th February 2011, 01:40

haha this is to funny me and my big brother were talking about who's bike faster my 1200 sportster or his bt street bob. i just kept telling him he needs to do his research first.

What research ,
If it's a stock 1200 Sportster against a stock 96 ci Street Bob
a light to light race would be close but any more distance
and the Street Bob will take it

myndset

7th February 2011, 02:05

First off why does everyone think that a BT is slow & heavy
Dyna's are Big Twins and a Street Bob only weighs 85 Lbs ( 672 vs 582 )
more than a 1200 c ( soft tail is 144 lbs heavier ) the 96 ci produces 92 ft lbs torque at 3000 rpm vs 79 ft lbs torque at 4000 rpm
and a Dyna handles just as well as a Sportster and is not slow by any means
now a soft tail does not handle as well as a Dyna or Sportster but does give you a nice ride with out moving to a touring model
Now if your talking about a touring model vs Sportster well that would be stupid
(Different bikes for different reasons )

I think the Dyna is the best model for all around riding , it handles well in the curves and with the six speed and decent suspension makes it a bike that
you can put some miles on Yep gotta say Dynas are right there man. No heartburn here. :smoke

Ireeman

7th February 2011, 02:06

Christ... you people are daft, It's a tool kit. You don't use a stapler for pounding nails now do you.

Pick your poison....and dodge the the lovely cagers.

darwin-t

7th February 2011, 02:11

In the 2011 Harley catalog the weight of a new Fat Boy is 694LBs., The Dyna Custom Super Glide is 645 Lbs, The 2011 Nightster is listed at 545 Lbs.

I stand corrected, thanks for the correction.

The Road King is 775 dry weight, 812 "Running order"

drd1135

7th February 2011, 02:32

You can make power to weight ratios similar depending on the BT model you get and how much "performancing" you want to do. Handling will usually go to the Sporty and ride to the BT, everything else being equal. This is, of course, a generalization but a fairly useful one.

A lot of this also depends on your ass and lower back. Mine preferred the RK, but I would have liked to have kept my Sportster for shorter rides. Other guys can ride the Sporty for ever.

Horse

7th February 2011, 02:38

I put a lot of miles on a bike in a year. I was able to set the sporty up for enough comfort for the trips, but I lost quite a bit in the handling department. My solution was to buy a street bob for the rides and keep the sporty for wailing on. What is better? overall, nothing, they are just for different riding styles. My dyna does seem to have the soul of a sportster most of the time though.

Loner

7th February 2011, 02:44

I was at the stealership today and one of the salesman got to talking with me, and he asked what I ride, Sportster, "Ready to move up to a big twin" no, and he started to spew the usual I told what do I need a big twin for, my sporty does everything I need it too and more, what about long trips ? I told him I used it for short trips like from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, Reno and home.
or to Tucson and back.
Besides my sporty has for me one thing no new big twin has, a pink slip.

myndset

7th February 2011, 02:47

i was at the stealership today and one of the salesman got to talking with me, and he asked what i ride, sportster, "ready to move up to a big twin" no, and he started to spew the usual i told what do i need a big twin for, my sporty does everything i need it too and more, what about long trips ? I told him i used it for short trips like from los angeles to san francisco to lake tahoe, reno and home.
Or to tucson and back.
Besides my sporty has for me one thing no new big twin has, a pink slip.

nice.....

mlan12

7th February 2011, 03:07

If you plan on long touring trips, a BT might be better choice for you. If you want a all around fun bike that is good for daily driver, handles weekend day trips no problem, then the Sportster might be the right choice.

risotteria

7th February 2011, 03:16

nothing, 2 differnt bikes for 2 uses. Sportys are agile, a blast to ride and a harder ride. BT"s are slower and heavier as mentioned already. With the exception of hot rodding ur motor, hot rod a striped sporty = less weight faster and better cornering. hot rod a big twin and strip it big fun but u cant carve as deep unless u raise the pipes. Running high n tights on either lets you go deeper yet the bt motor is wider.

Iman01

7th February 2011, 03:49

At 6ft5 I look like a monkey riding a football on my xlx. But when I ride it I am reminded why I fell in love with motorcycle riding. It just makes me happy.

I do have a Dyna that has seen a lot more miles over the years. If I had to get rid of a bike the Dyna would be the last to go.

wysper

7th February 2011, 06:45

For me it was a horses for courses thing. I am not a new rider, 20 years plus, but new to Harley (this is my first).

But I ride my bike every day, it is my work transport and my fun on the weekends. For nipping through traffic and ease of mobility the sporty was an easy choice... and as others have mentioned, the price is pretty compelling too.

If I was looking for a long range tourer only, then I doubt I would have picked the sporty.
But for what I want a bike for and how I ride, the sporty is awesome. (I am 6ft and it is pretty comfortable with mid controls.)

xtremraptor

7th February 2011, 09:28

a guy a knew (or know haven't sen him in a couple years) decided to go get a motorcycle cause he really wanted to get into the whole riding thing.
he let all his friends talk him into getting this big ass bike (big Vulcan dresser kinda thing) cause they told him "buy the bigger one cause you'll want too upgrade soon"
now he had never ridden up too this point in his life, but he got his licsence and took the class and off he went on his "mans bike"
about two months later he trashed the bike going over a set of raised train tracks.
said the bike got all squirrley on him and he couldn't control it cause it was so big and his lack of experience
he spent the couple months recovering from road rash and other bruises

as far as i know he has not been back on a bike since, kind of a shame

my suggestion, if you've got very limited or no riding experience get a bike you can handle
who cares if you have too upgrade in a year or two. better than scaring yourself away from the whole experience and never riding again

sorry but i feel my life is more important than size or what others think

nzsailor

7th February 2011, 09:47

ok
related question
why the big difference in price
i see the two bikes standin side by side and there aint much difference
i mean whats on a bt that aint on a sporty
why near a 3 to 1 price differential

Big-Ed

7th February 2011, 09:48

I have had both and as you stated they are different. I actually found my Heitage to be easier to ride. The center of gravity is much lower and it seemed to be easier to ride with or without passenger.

As rottenralph says, a BT can be easier to ride, Ive got a 2002 fatboy & the 1998 sportster sport & the difference is night & day between them... I find if you can handle the weight, the fatboy is very easy to ride, the sportster can be more of a handful..

I find for a lazy days cruising with distance, I take the fatboy...
If I want to carve up the twisties, I take the sportster...

My fatboy can handle the twisties quite well tho, the floorboards on it are wrecked with them grinding in long bends etc..

jharback

7th February 2011, 10:03

Sporty's win the fun factor over BT's. BT's are great on the highways and for real long rides but, they have a tendency to be a little boring.

skydiver7

7th February 2011, 10:36

Have ridden most of my life and purchased my son's 07 Sportster last year. I am 6'2" and 250 lbs. I put over 4,000 miles on the Sportster last summer. My wife is 125 lb and I really love to ride the Sporty in town one up. It is quick and agile in town, easy to turn around in parking lots. Wife and I did a 275 mile one day trip last summer and it did half way ok. If you are riding the side country county roads at 45 to 50 mph it is ok but forget it if you are riding 2 up on the interstate or you get up over 55 to 60 mph. No fun. The ride is NOT smoth. You feel like the road is beating you to death. I put Progressive 440's rear shocks and front springs ($800.00) on it to try to get a smother and softer ride. About the only difference that I can tell is that wife and I don't bottom out any more. You still feel every dent and bump in the pavement. Love it for sporting around town. Hate it when I leave town. Am wanting to get a big twin for 2 up riding and longer day trips. Still want to keep the Sporty though. Love the 16" apes and the sound of the drag pipes. Have a friend that had a Sporty and also got a Ultra Classic and said he never rode the Sporty after he got the BT so he sold the Sporty. Myself I like the clean lines of the Haritage Soft Tail Classic and the ride of the Road King. Don't like all the junk on the Ultra. I want to get the detachable side bags, trunk, luggage rack and detach windshield for 2 up long trips and take them off for sporting around town and the clean look.

jharback

7th February 2011, 10:39

Have ridden most of my life and purchased my son's 07 Sportster last year. I am 6'2" and 250 lbs. I put over 4,000 miles on the Sportster last summer. My wife is 125 lb and I really love to ride the Sporty in town one up. It is quick and agile in town, easy to turn around in parking lots. Wife and I did a 275 mile one day trip last summer and it did half way ok. If you are riding the side country county roads at 45 to 50 mph it is ok but forget it if you are riding 2 up on the interstate or you get up over 55 to 60 mph. No fun. The ride is NOT smoth. You feel like the road is beating you to death. I put Progressive 440's rear shocks and front springs ($800.00) on it to try to get a smother and softer ride. About the only difference that I can tell is that wife and I don't bottom out any more. You still feel every dent and bump in the pavement. Love it for sporting around town. Hate it when I leave town. Am wanting to get a big twin for 2 up riding and longer day trips. Still want to keep the Sporty though. Love the 16" apes and the sound of the drag pipes. Have a friend that had a Sporty and also got a Ultra Classic and said he never rode the Sporty after he got the BT so he sold the Sporty. Myself I like the clean lines of the Haritage Soft Tail Classic and the ride of the Road King. Don't like all the junk on the Ultra. I want to get the detachable side bags, trunk, luggage rack and detach windshield for 2 up long trips and take them off for sporting around town and the clean look.

Swap out the seat to a Mustang Wide and you'll notice a huge difference when touring.

skydiver7

7th February 2011, 10:47

I put a Drag Specialties seat on it that the rider's seat is just like a Mustang seat. The seat is very comfortable for me, but wife's rear portion is soft and cushiony but it is narrow ad doesn't have much width. I have pictures in the gallery of it but don't know how to post a picture here in the forum. It's not really the seat that beats us, it's the hard suspension of the lighter bike at higher speeds.

jharback

7th February 2011, 11:11

I put a Drag Specialties seat on it that the rider's seat is just like a Mustang seat. The seat is very comfortable for me, but wife's rear portion is soft and cushiony but it is narrow ad doesn't have much width. I have pictures in the gallery of it but don't know how to post a picture here in the forum. It's not really the seat that beats us, it's the hard suspension of the lighter bike at higher speeds.

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/655/medium/IMG_0403.jpg

Trust me that ain't no Mustang and it's no where near as comfortable as a Mustang. Get a Mustang Wide with Wide Pillon and your wife will thank you. You may think that it is just the suspension beating you but, a good Mustang seat will absorb the crap out of all that beating. I've been riding for 45 years and have never had a seat come close to the Mustang in comfort.

Tater

7th February 2011, 11:57

Well I'm still too young for a BT, but when I get old enough, and quit ridin the mountain twisties, and only want to ride the 4 lanes & interstates 2 up, I might get a BT... But I doubt it...lol...
What makes a BT better, nothing for me...
Have a good one...Tater...

billy bob

7th February 2011, 12:18

ok
related question
why the big difference in price
i see the two bikes standin side by side and there aint much difference
i mean whats on a bt that aint on a sporty
why near a 3 to 1 price differential

You don't see much difference between a BT and a Sporty when compared side by side ? Well.... For starters, they don't look the same. Wheel base, width, gas tanks, sheet metal, engine cases, front-ends. ??? Definately a difference. How about a 96 inch engine and a 6 spd. trans compared to 74 inches and a 5 spd for the Sporty? Re-sale value has to be in favor of the BigTwin.

I'm in no way saying the BT is a better bike, but there is a difference in the models.

Fackler Rebel

7th February 2011, 12:23

I'm 61 will be 62 in December, and my Sportster does everything I need and want. Saddle bags, a real nice seat, mini-floor boards for the wife, highway pegs and a windshield. I tour on it and run it like a bat out of hell and it does both great. I admit that with my arthritis it is not as easy as it used to be, but I still love it. Mine is a solid mount too.

Reb

jimmyess333

7th February 2011, 12:25

You don't see much difference between a BT and a Sporty when compared side by side ? Well.... For starters, they don't look the same. Wheel base, width, gas tanks, sheet metal, engine cases, front-ends. ??? Definately a difference. How about a 96 inch engine and a 6 spd. trans compared to 74 inches and a 5 spd for the Sporty? Re-sale value has to be in favor of the BigTwin.

I'm in no way saying the BT is a better bike, but there is a difference in the models.

I think he means the difference in parts to price ratio.
How much more does it cost to build a BT than a Sportster?
I doubt if it's 2-3 times as much.

I've often wondered why 1/4 more bike costs 3 times more.

ReddTigger

7th February 2011, 12:34

Working at a Dealership and Being a Big GUY riding a sportster has left me open for lots of comments.. What people don't understand is why someone would willingly want to ride a Sportster over a bigger bike. I've ridden them all. Long haul comfort, A Touring model can't be beat. The Dyna Package is a nice combination of Sportster fun and Touring comfort (But it's still a "street bike" vs a True Touring)

There is NO better, only different... (IMO)

O.R. John

7th February 2011, 13:49

"Ready to move up to a big twin"

I told him I used it for short trips like from Los Angeles to San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, Reno and home.
or to Tucson and back.

Besides my sporty has for me one thing no new big twin has, a pink slip.

I HATE that "upgrade" and "move up" :censor. Not only do I hear it at the dealer, but from other riders, too. I really like my Sportster, and I hope I never get rid of it. I may someday get a bigger bike to use for different rides, but I would miss the Sportster if I didn't have it.

Good for you, Loner!

xllent01

7th February 2011, 14:19

The BT world is like a swinging dick contest...

I just ride and let the simple minded people sort it out amoung themselves..:doh

aemsee45

7th February 2011, 15:05

Well, I was set on getting a Dyna as my first H-D. But couldn't pass up the deal I got on my 883C. Now I'm glad I got the sporty. Can't imagine having any more fun riding a bike that cost way more than what I paid. AND I have cash left to do whatever I want to the sporty, like a 1250 kit. There is definitly a BT in my future for touring, but will certainly keep the sporty for fun riding.

Bone

7th February 2011, 15:29

OK, some of these comments have been answered but I gotta add my $0.02.

More power, but more weight; what about power/weight, say HP per lb weight?

Depends on the model.

The XL1200 USED to be the fastest air-cooled Harley, but that changed with the TC96 (possibly with the TC88 in some cases), especially after the XL1200 gained weight with the rubbermounts.

Or might be a swinging dick contest. More money, bigger, must be better. Yada yada...

Honestly, THAT'S WHAT MOST PEOPLE mean when they talk about this shift. That's not to say there aren't ACTUAL differences and benefits (i.e. things that are better) about BTs (just like there are things that are actually better about the Sporty).

But short-sited and insecure people are only going to see if from one side (their side). And that happens on BOTH sides of the argument. Many Sporty guys act just as insecure in response to this crap.

The 1200 Sportsters weigh about 560 lbs. The BTs I have looked up (Fat Boy, probably) weigh 800+ lbs.

I know someone already pointed this out, but it's a common mispercetion so it deserves another mention.

You guys should use the Compare Bikes tool on the HD's website and look at the WET WEIGHTS

A few 2011 models for comparison

XL1200C - 582 lbs
FXD - 667 lbs (that's a mere 85 lbs more)
SuperGlide Custom - 676 (94 lbs more)
Blackline - 682.5 (100.5 more)

Fatboy - 725 lbs (that's 143 lbs, but an FL is a more touring oriented bike)
RK - 812 (OK, here's one that is finally more than 25% heavier at 230 lbs more)

And I'll tell you what, I had an EVO RK for a number of years and it was just fine around town. NO, it couldn't carve the twisties as well as a sporty, but then again a Sporty is slower through the twisties than about half of the other motorcycles on the market today, so who cares.

Yeah, the sporty is a lighter and better for most of us around town, but that doesn't mean an RK is a pig, it's just not as capable in the twisties like the Sporty is not as comfortable 2-up on the highway for hours.

haha this is to funny me and my big brother were talking about who's bike faster my 1200 sportster or his bt street bob. i just kept telling him he needs to do his research first.

He's right, sorry to say, you're the one that needs to do more research.

The XL1200 lost the crown with the TC96...at least in a drag race 1/4 mile or longer... especially longer.

I think the Dyna is the best model for all around riding , it handles well in the curves and with the six speed and decent suspension makes it a bike that you can put some miles on

Honestly, I agree with you in many ways.

Then again, that makes the Dyna a jack-of-all trades and master of none.

IT's GOOD around town and good in the twisties and good on the highway.

But not AS good (when push comes to shove) in the twisties as a Sporty, or AS good on the highway (especially 2-up) as a touring model.

ok related question why the big difference in price
i see the two bikes standin side by side and there aint much difference i mean whats on a bt that aint on a sporty why near a 3 to 1 price differential

FIRST off take a look at the difference in prices on an average car, not even between different platforms, but different models of the SAME car. The base model vs. the premium model of the same car can have a $10k price difference. The difference between the entry level car for a brand and the premium car for a brand can be more like $30-40k. Now think about your question again.

That said, SPORTSTERS cost $7-11k NEW

DYNAS cost $13-15k (that's not triple, hell, that's not double unless you compare an 883 IRON to a FatBob - VERY different bikes). But apples-to-apples comparison, base-model to base-model is a $6k difference, premium-to-premium is $4k.

SOFTAILS cost $15-20k, ok, you're finally at double - but that's comparing very different bikes. A counter-balanced TC96 motor, larger chassis, more bodywork, more components, better finishes etc.

TOURING models cost $17-22k - that's still not triple unless comparing an 883 to an Ultra. Again, there is MUCH more to this chassis not just size, but components, features, Brembo brakes, ABS systems if desired etc.

I don't see the pricing problem here. It's still barely the difference between a stripped car and the same car with a bigger motor, leather, and a farkles.

GregC_AZ

7th February 2011, 15:45

Besides my sporty has for me one thing no new big twin has, a pink slip.

Well said. :clap:clap

johnnysquire

7th February 2011, 16:03

A lot of "reasons" that depend on cherry-picking of facts in this thread.

In real life, the reason most folks buy a Sportster is because they're looking for the best deal that meets their wants and needs, and their list of wants & needs includes (1) having a Harley/American brand, and (2) more than just one riding purpose.

If you take "best deal" out of the equation, Dynas make a lot of sense. If foreign is OK, there are a lot of metrics that meet the formula. If you want a single purpose bike (1/4 mile fast, long haul, center-of-tire cruising, knee-dragging, etc.) then other bikes come out on top, although the XR1200 appears to be the only remaining American bike that leans.

Bottom line - if you don't mind being called cheap (in various forms), you'll love your Sportster. Otherwise, buy an older BT.

MADDOG187

7th February 2011, 16:57

Hi all , just thought id throw a bit in as well , it wasn't so long ago that the so called BT Harley's were around the 1200cc mark , during the late 70,s or there abouts the biggest they did was a 1240 cc , now there huge in comparison but there isn't that much difference in the power to weight ratio,s , no Harley is fast or great handling ,and a 1200cc still has a big twin engine (just not the biggest), it sounds great with a pair of pipes on or even just slip on cans as i have done to my Nightster and i think there is something in the sportster range for every taste and price , i could have had any bike i wanted , any make or size , i picked mine on the looks and the performance + id never had a Harley or a cruiser, it goes well enough (not fast though )stops well enough(i wasn't expecting much )and after a few thousand miles Ive gotten used to the handling limitations over the other bikes Ive had , and when the time comes for a change , usually about 3 years , i may consider a fat bob , but probably none of the other HD,s , or maybe another make and style all together , ill see whats about when the time comes , but honestly a 1200cc is more than big enough for most peoples needs , unless its a phallic symbol your after and not a bike

Bone

7th February 2011, 17:01

Hi all , just thought id through a bit in as well , it wasn't so long ago that the so called BT Harley's were around the 1200cc mark , during the late 70,s or there abouts the biggest they did was a 1240 cc , now there huge in comparison but there isn't that much difference in the power to weight ratio,s , no Harley is fast or great handling ,and a 1200cc still has a big twin engine (just not the biggest) ** <snip> ** but honestly a 1200 is more than big enough

ACTUALLY - I very much agree with this and have long made the same argument.

In a lot of ways, the XL1200L and now the XL1200C are, in my opinion, the modern heir to the legacy of the FX and FXR...

Loner

7th February 2011, 17:15

maybe it is a pack mentality thing
if my riding partners are on BT then I need a BT.
I even heard that some HOG chapters give sporty riders flack.

I'm on my third Sportster and I like it because it is an honest motorcycle.

xllent01

7th February 2011, 17:22

(Video) Easy Pull Clutch Harley Davidson Sportster

maybe it is a pack mentality thing
if my riding partners are on BT then I need a BT.
I even heard that some HOG chapters give sporty riders flack.

I'm on my third Sportster and I like it because it is an honest motorcycle.

I hear only dipshits travel in packs, that pretty much sums up the majority of BT riders

and another reason to avoid them..:laugh:laugh:laugh :doh

Folkie

7th February 2011, 17:30

I never wanted a BT. If not a Sportster, I would have had a Bonnie.

jharback

7th February 2011, 17:53

A lot of "reasons" that depend on cherry-picking of facts in this thread.

In real life, the reason most folks buy a Sportster is because they're looking for the best deal that meets their wants and needs, and their list of wants & needs includes (1) having a Harley/American brand, and (2) more than just one riding purpose.

If you take "best deal" out of the equation, Dynas make a lot of sense. If foreign is OK, there are a lot of metrics that meet the formula. If you want a single purpose bike (1/4 mile fast, long haul, center-of-tire cruising, knee-dragging, etc.) then other bikes come out on top, although the XR1200 appears to be the only remaining American bike that leans.

Bottom line - if you don't mind being called cheap (in various forms), you'll love your Sportster. Otherwise, buy an older BT.

Being cheap may be your reason for buying a sporty but, I doubt that is the reason that most buy a sporty. I know I can afford any bike on the market but, just prefer my sporty. Maybe it's nostalgia, maybe it's the fact that I like to crank it thru the twisties. But, It certainly isn't because I'm cheap. Hell I've probably got more money in my sporty than a new Fat Boy would cost me.

Bone

7th February 2011, 18:11

Being cheap may be your reason for buying a sporty but, I doubt that is the reason that most buy a sporty.

I vehemently disagree.

In my experience over the years the VAST MAJORITY of people who buy sportys do so for the price. It's their entry to a Harley without the expense of a BT.

That's one of the main reasons why so many "upgrade" to big twins in short order.

If they were truly buying the bike they wanted, they'd stay with a Sporty.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 18:20

yeah and if you're riding a 1993 sportster I doubt you can afford every model out there. Can you afford a $80k custom? no offense but this sounds like BS.

I would think the price and the fact that the frame is smaller has to do with it.

Osco

7th February 2011, 18:31

Its Like Guys bying Big Pick Up trucks and only haulin the groceries..

Its Like Guys Buyin Caddilacs or some Other expensive Large cager..

Its all to Impress the chicks man !!

Its Like a rooster droppin one wing, bobbon his head and circling a hen...

We all Just wanna get Laid XD

Big Harleys,,as In baggers,,,great for touring,,the best,,,BUT,,they
also make ya look wealthy and macho,,,
Plus more comfy for the chicks on the back.
I think they are great bikes,,,would Love to have a Fat Bob.

Sportsters,,well,,IMO,,They cannot be explained with words other than,
Raw, simple, affordable for the workin man,,and Damn FUN to ride.

But I fully understand why some don't stay with a sportster, they
are not for everyone.

Lets just say, "Wussies should stay on the porch"

An If yer a larger person or ya want comfort look elsewhere.

jharback

7th February 2011, 18:34

yeah and if you're riding a 1993 sportster I doubt you can afford every model out there. Can you afford a $80k custom? no offense but this sounds like BS.

I would think the price and the fact that the frame is smaller has to do with it.

Bullshit??

No it's not bullshit. I've got my sportster just about the way I want it. I'm going to keep until I'm dead and then I'm going to give it to my son. Maybe I'm cheap because I haven't bought a second bike but, I find it hard to justify two bikes. Could I afford a couple of new bikes. Sure but, like I said I find it difficult to justify. I really enjoy the bike I have and can't really see the need for more. Although, lately I've been toying with the idea of adding a new ducati. And yes, I could easily afford an $80,000 bike if I really wanted to. But, I really don't see an $80,000 bike that I would want. Hell I don't see an $80,000 car that I would really want. But, maybe that's why I can afford them if I really wanted 'em. I also wouldn't buy a "new" bike. Just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Too many used one's out there for better prices.

Old Goat Ninja

7th February 2011, 18:49

I'll throw in my 2 cents. Yes, I wanted a Dyna. Getting layed off threw that idea away and I got a Sportster 1200R instead. My original long term plan was to have a Dyna and a Street Glide in the garage. But now that I have my Sportster, and have put some real miles on it, I will keep it. I fell in love with it. My new long term plan is to keep my Sportster and add a Street Glide to my garage. a Dyna is no longer in the plans.

I bought a Sportster because I wanted a Harley. I am keeping the Sportster because I fell in love with it.

johnnysquire

7th February 2011, 18:53

Bullshit??

No it's not bullshit. I've got my sportster just about the way I want it. I'm going to keep until I'm dead and then I'm going to give it to my son. Maybe I'm cheap because I haven't bought a second bike but, I find it hard to justify two bikes. Could I afford a couple of new bikes. Sure but, like I said I find it difficult to justify. I really enjoy the bike I have and can't really see the need for more. Although, lately I've been toying with the idea of adding a new ducati. And yes, I could easily afford an $80,000 bike if I really wanted to. But, I really don't see an $80,000 bike that I would want. Hell I don't see an $80,000 car that I would really want. But, maybe that's why I can afford them if I really wanted 'em. I also wouldn't buy a "new" bike. Just doesn't seem to make sense to me. Too many used one's out there for better prices.

You're clearly not the guy that the OP's buddy said wants to "upgrade" shortly after buying a Sportster. I'm guessing "used" bikes don't ever occur to that type.

Guys who quickly decide to upgrade to a Dyna are the ones who can't stand being called cheap.

Guys who quickly decide to upgrade to a bagger are the ones who decide that long easy runs are way more fun than leaning around the backroads, or can afford other bikes for other purposes.

Guys who quickly decide to upgrade to Softtails are the one who decide, um..., uh..., that it's cool to look like a biker and talk about how much they spent, maybe? ;)

Fackler Rebel

7th February 2011, 18:57

I vehemently disagree.

In my experience over the years the VAST MAJORITY of people who buy sportys do so for the price. It's their entry to a Harley without the expense of a BT.

That's one of the main reasons why so many "upgrade" to big twins in short order.

If they were truly buying the bike they wanted, they'd stay with a Sporty.

I have always wanted a Sportster ever since watching Along Came Bronson. The last long trip that I took, 500 miles one way, I lost count of the "packs" of Big Twins I passed on the Interstate, like they were at a stand stop. My Sporty is my favorite Sportster.

Reb

jharback

7th February 2011, 19:19

I have always wanted a Sportster ever since watching Along Came Bronson. The last long trip that I took, 500 miles one way, I lost count of the "packs" of Big Twins I passed on the Interstate, like they were at a stand stop. My Sporty is my favorite Sportster.

Reb

You know what I have noticed over here in Italy? I seldom see the Big Twins and Baggers actually on the highway. Seems like they're always stopped at either a gas station or a restaurant.

Loner

7th February 2011, 19:45

JB
It has to do with geography and life style, which is more sporting than the USA
Also look at the Italian Manufacturers Ducati, Aprillia, Moto Guzzi all make Sport and Sport Touring even thier "Cruisers" are more sporting than any BT.

Even the Scooters look more sporting than a BT. (Yes, I like Scooters)

jharback

7th February 2011, 19:53

JB
It has to do with geography and life style, which is more sporting than the USA
Also look at the Italian Manufacturers Ducati, Aprillia, Moto Guzzi all make Sport and Sport Touring even thier "Cruisers" are more sporting than any BT.

Even the Scooters look more sporting than a BT. (Yes, I like Scooters)

With the exception of Moto Guzzi I agree. The Moto Guzzi EV is a true cruiser.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh90/jharback/MotoGuzziEV.jpg

They also have options for a full fairing and a Top Case for the back.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 19:56

I have always wanted a Sportster ever since watching Along Came Bronson. The last long trip that I took, 500 miles one way, I lost count of the "packs" of Big Twins I passed on the Interstate, like they were at a stand stop. My Sporty is my favorite Sportster.

Reb

bronson rode a moded Ironhead. Not much in common there with a stock evo .... just saying.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 20:03

Hi all , just thought id through a bit in as well , it wasn't so long ago that the so called BT Harley's were around the 1200cc mark , during the late 70,s or there abouts the biggest they did was a 1240 cc , now there huge in comparison but there isn't that much difference in the power to weight ratio,s , no Harley is fast or great handling ,and a 1200cc still has a big twin engine (just not the biggest), it sounds great with a pair of pipes on or even just slip on cans as i have done to my Nightster and i think there is something in the sportster range for every taste and price , i could have had any bike i wanted , any make or size , i picked mine on the looks and the performance + id never had a Harley or a cruiser, it goes well enough (not fast though )stops well enough(i wasn't expecting much )and after a few thousand miles Ive gotten used to the handling limitations over the other bikes Ive had , and when the time comes for a change , usually about 3 years , i may consider a fat bob , but probably none of the other HD,s , or maybe another make and style all together , ill see whats about when the time comes , but honestly a 1200cc is more than big enough for most peoples needs , unless its a phallic symbol your after and not a bike

yeah but then it wasn't too long before that the sportster was only a 900cc

which doesn't even account for the fact that they made it even smaller in later years :smoke

iwantmybeerbackplease

7th February 2011, 20:04

Okay, as I've posted before...I am new to riding and really considering a sportster. I have friends (and a roommate) who is a longtime Harley rider. In asking him about the sportster he of course calls it a "girls bike" which I don't really care about, then says that whenever someone buys one they always want to upgrade within a month because they realize they can handle more, and that they want something better.

Okay, I tried getting a coherent answer out of him. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that it isn't so simplistic that "bigger is better" but the responses I got back left me wondering. I asked, "so you mean they wanted a heavier bike?" which drew a blank stare.

I admit I don't get it. Can big twin owners tell me what is better, if anything, or if it is just a bigger heavier bike for a different purpose?

"Better" is very subjective. IMHO, neither bike is "better" than the other. Your riding style will probably determine which bike you think is better for you. What is better for me might not be better for you. Some people enjoy the feel or relative comfort of some of the different flavors of heavy big twins. Others may like the feel of a smaller and lighter bike. I prefer the feel of a Sporty rather than a BT. I also like the strong and torquey pull of my Sporty. IMO, a black 2008 Sportster with 83hp is better for me, but maybe it's not better for everyone else.

BT's are usually a different animal than the Sporty. Your own opinion of the different types of HD's is the only opinion that should matter to you. Your friend that claims "all people that buy a Sportster will want to upgrade within a month" is very misinformed and narrow minded. He obviously does not care for Sportsters. His opinion seems to be that since he doesn't like Sportsters, then no one else should like them either. He seems to value his own opinion so much that he thinks he can tell everyone else what their opinion should be. That kind of thinking is more than ridiculous. If someone said something like that to me, I'd give them the bird.

Do you really think that your friend's opinion should also be your opinion? I bet you know how to think for yourself. IMO, I think that there are about 40,000 plus members in this forum that may think your friend should stick it. I bet the vast majority of the forum members here probably love their Sporty. Also, contrary to your friend's apparent scientific survey of all Sportster owners, I bet most of the 40,000 members of this forum have owned their bike for more than a one month. I've had mine for three years and I plan on keeping it for a very long time.

So, what's your opinion? Is your friend a narrow minded misinformed person? Or is he so in touch with reality that he can determine the opinions of all Sportster owners?

-Beer

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 20:16

this sounds like sour grapes.

Am I missing something or is a Rocker C, Cross Bones, or Street Bob supposed to be a tourer????? :wtf They're bobbed motorcycles

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 20:20

You know what I have noticed over here in Italy? I seldom see the Big Twins and Baggers actually on the highway. Seems like they're always stopped at either a gas station or a restaurant.

you're not supposed to ride them in Italy. they're meant for riding on American highways where the posted speed limit is 55 and you can ride from coast to coast without a freakin visa and all kinds of BS; not through some one lane road.

jharback

7th February 2011, 20:27

you're not supposed to ride them in Italy. they're meant for riding on American highways where the posted speed limit is 55 and you can ride from coast to coast without a freakin visa and all kinds of BS; not through some one lane road.

You obviously haven't been to Europe lately. I can ride from Southern Italy to Northern Holland without ever having to show any ID or passing through Customs. It's called the European Union.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 20:38

. Hell I've probably got more money in my sporty than a new Fat Boy would cost me.

no you don't or you shouldn't. what is so special about your motorcycle?

iwantmybeerbackplease

7th February 2011, 20:39

this sounds like sour grapes.

Am I missing something or is a Rocker C, Cross Bones, or Street Bob supposed to be a tourer????? :wtf They're bobbed motorcycles

Quick question: Who is calling these bikes a tourer?

-Beer

Bone

7th February 2011, 20:45

Guys who quickly decide to upgrade to a Dyna are the ones who can't stand being called cheap.

Guys who quickly decide to upgrade to a bagger are the ones who decide that long easy runs are way more fun than leaning around the backroads, or can afford other bikes for other purposes.

What's "quickly"?

I bought a solidmount XL1200 new in 1993, but mid 1995 I had 35,000 miles on it and a wife who said "buy any big twin you want, as long as it's more comfortable than this" - she said that while we were loaded, 2-up, with tend and camping gear on our way to Americade.

From 1996-98 I put about 65,000 miles on that RK, MOST of which was leaning around backroads....

Just saying, the world's not black and white, it's a giant sliding scale.

I have always wanted a Sportster ever since watching Along Came Bronson.

And that's fine, but in the nearly 20 years I've been riding Harleys, that puts you in the minority. That's NOT a bad thing in my opinion...

With the exception of Moto Guzzi I agree. The Moto Guzzi EV is a true cruiser.

http://i254.photobucket.com/albums/hh90/jharback/MotoGuzziEV.jpg

They also have options for a full fairing and a Top Case for the back.

WAIT, exception, what exception? The Cali is definitely definitely sporty.

Guzzi owners hate it when you call the California a "cruiser".

Why? Because though it's STYLED like a cruiser, it's got the soul of one of their most successful sportbikes - the V7/Lemans. It's the same Tonti framed bike, just in cruiser clothing.

As such it's a good bit more sporty than most BTs.

A couple more thoughts at 61.4" the wheelbase is closer to that of a Sportster at 60" than it is a Dyna or FLH at 63-64".

But it's length at 92.7" is almost the same as the FXD's 92.8" instead of the Sportster's 90.1"

And of course, at 1100cc most BT guys would scoff.

As did that guy on the Softail a couple of years ago after I embarrassed him in front of his buds in a long light-to-light drag. Of course, he was smart enough to know it was Italian and laughed that if he was gonna get his ass kicked "at least it was by an Italian bike".

"Better" is very subjective.

YES and NO.

I mean, I totally understand what you mean.

But BETTER can also be OBJECTIVE, if you have measurable tasks for it to perform (carrying capacity, luggage capacity, cruising speed, top speed, cornering ability etc).

All this stuff can be measured and it will add up to the Sporty be better in some categories and certain BTs being better in others.

But yes, at the end of the day, we FEEL one is better than the other FOR US and that is usually more than the sum-total of those objective measurements...

jharback

7th February 2011, 20:48

no you don't or you shouldn't. what is so special about your motorcycle?

You sure seem to know a lot about me and my bike. Where are you getting all of this BS information. Why don't you try doing a little research on this forum before opening your mouth and sticking your foot in it.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 20:50

You obviously haven't been to Europe lately. I can ride from Southern Italy to Northern Holland without ever having to show any ID or passing through Customs. It's called the European Union.

good grief man. you have to pick knits now because I'm calling you on the carpet for you hatred of big twins for no good reason.

jharback

7th February 2011, 20:57

good grief man. you have to pick knits now because I'm calling you on the carpet for you hatred of big twins for no good reason.

My hatred of Big Twins? Since when do I hate Big Twins? Where do you get all this top notch information of yours? :frownthre

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 21:01

You sure seem to know a lot about me and my bike. Where are you getting all of this BS information. Why don't you try doing a little research on this forum before opening your mouth and sticking your foot in it.

No I don't know. That is why I'm asking.

I can accept a couple of ignorant comments but when I constantly read post after post of nonsense and sour grapes; it gets a little annoying.

A new Fat boy will run around $17,000 depending on options. How does a 1993 Evo that can be had for $3000 add up????

Unless you have custom paint from a recognized name; paug frame, an S & S; hard tailed, raked and a spring front end; your numbers make no sense.

And why would you want to put that much into itstead of just getting a 1200 Custom

dino

7th February 2011, 21:01

If your torn between a sportster and a BT do check out the dyna line. Many people here call them "sportsters on steroids" They still handle great in the twistys and give a better ride on the freeway then a sportster. A sportster is a fast, fun bike with that raw
old school harley feel that you will get with no other bike. It also does a good job with two up. (surprised the hell outta me)

My next bike will be a dyna fat bob, to me it's the best of both worlds and is just more comfortable on the freeway without going to a boat on two wheels.

Go to harley days and ride all of them. It's going to be your bike and only you will be able to decide what's right for you. If you don't want to wait for harley days they will let you take out any bike anytime. They sent me out on a CVO screaming eagle fat bob even though I made it clear I wasn't buying it.

Have fun on your search....

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 21:04

My hatred of Big Twins? Since when do I hate Big Twins? Where do you get all this top notch information of yours? :frownthre

you said they "are boring". You said you always find them parked and not ridden at gas stations and restaurants. what else. go look back

jharback

7th February 2011, 21:18

No I don't know. That is why I'm asking.

I can accept a couple of ignorant comments but when I constantly read post after post of nonsense and sour grapes; it gets a little annoying.

A new Fat boy will run around $17,000 depending on options. How does a 1993 Evo that can be had for $3000 add up????

Unless you have custom paint from a recognized name; paug frame, an S & S; hard tailed, raked and a spring front end; your numbers make no sense.

And why would you want to put that much into itstead of just getting a 1200 Custom

Well, first off why don't you at least take a look at my signature and see some of the mod's that I have done. If you look closely at the pic in my sig you'll also notice that those are far from all of the mods. It's amazing what you can find out if you bother to do a little looking.

you said they "are boring". You said you always find them parked and not ridden at gas stations and restaurants. what else. go look back

I never said Big Twins were boring. As far as the comment about the BT's parked at gas stations and restaurants, that says a lot more about the riders and literally nothing about the bikes. In fact, if you care to do a little research here on the forum you will find that I have stated more than once that one of my favorite stock bikes is the 1990 Fat Boy Grey Ghost.

Once again you should at least have a modicum of knowledge before making claims about someone and his bike.

iwantmybeerbackplease

7th February 2011, 21:21

"Better" is very subjective.

...YES and NO.

I mean, I totally understand what you mean.

But BETTER can also be OBJECTIVE, if you have measurable tasks for it to perform (carrying capacity, luggage capacity, cruising speed, top speed, cornering ability etc).

All this stuff can be measured and it will add up to the Sporty be better in some categories and certain BTs being better in others.

But yes, at the end of the day, we FEEL one is better than the other FOR US and that is usually more than the sum-total of those objective measurements...

You're correct. I should have expanded on the word "subjective". In my mind I was thinking that any measurable advantages or functionality that may be important to one person, may be of no consequence to the next person. Some perspective bike owners may want to use a different measuring stick. The things I want that I can measure are only of value to me. My needs are only objective to me only. I don't know what other people's needs are. I can't give anyone an objective view of what bike is better than all the rest. All I would be able to tell someone is, "You have to find out which bike is best for you, no one else can be positive which bike you're going to enjoy the most." I already know what's best for me.

"Better" probably has a different meaning to everyone. If you ask ten different people which bike is better than the next, or which one is the best… you may get ten different answers. That makes the word "better" very subjective relative to one rider to the next.

Just wanted to clarify what I intended to say.

-Beer

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 21:45

Well, first off why don't you at least take a look at my signature and see some of the mod's that I have done. If you look closely at the pic in my sig you'll also notice that those are far from all of the mods. It's amazing what you can find out if you bother to do a little looking.

I never said Big Twins were boring. As far as the comment about the BT's parked at gas stations and restaurants, that says a lot more about the riders and literally nothing about the bikes. In fact, if you care to do a little research here on the forum you will find that I have stated more than once that one of my favorite stock bikes is the 1990 Fat Boy Grey Ghost.

Once again you should at least have a modicum of knowledge before making claims about someone and his bike.

you said "a little boring ". In any case boring was in there.

If anyone is showing ignorance it is you

a springer front new is like 700 dollars
custom paint 3000 dollars
the rest of the things on the sig add up to 500 dollars

I don't see how those numbers add. I also have no time or care to research your cycle. You have 6000 dollar sporster that ain't no fat boy new

Further getting on topic. BT have more power which most people would find more appealing and objectively better. But Sportys have other things going for it like handling. Also BT has more panache. of course all bets are off when talking old ironheads ;)

Osco

7th February 2011, 21:57

"all people that buy a Sportster will want to upgrade within a month"

Yeah I've had something like that said to me before,,
also, "When ya gonna get a real Harley?"
and my favorite, "You tired of that starter bike yet?"
lol,,
IDC

shotgun46

7th February 2011, 21:59

I had a 2005 FLTHI and a 1997 1200 C loved them both ! each bike had it's pros & cons and each had brought a smile to my face ! which one did I like the best ? both of them equally and which one was faster ? they both ran out close to the same speed neither one was stock! so I could not say one was better then the other But I did beat Sportsters on Both Bikes

iwantmybeerbackplease

7th February 2011, 22:00

"all people that buy a Sportster will want to upgrade within a month"

Yeah I've had something like that said to me before,,
also, "When ya gonna get a real Harley?"
and my favorite, "You tired of that starter bike yet?"
lol,,
IDC

I always ask those people if they ever get sick & tired of being right all the time.

jharback

7th February 2011, 22:01

you said "a little boring ". In any case boring was in there.

If anyone is showing ignorance it is you

a springer front new is like 700 dollars
custom paint 3000 dollars
the rest of the things on the sig add up to 500 dollars

I don't see how those numbers add. I also have no time or care to research your cycle. You have 6000 dollar sporster that ain't no fat boy new

See, now your ignorance is showing. My forward controls alone were about $1,000.00. Good quality forward controls are not cheap especially when you add the cost of extending them four inches. The front and rear brake calipers are also well over $500.00. The wheels are about $1,000. I don't have a springer front end, I have a 58mm Marzochhi (Ducati uses them) Inverted Front End. Care to price one of those? Chrome pulley and disc's. Chromite II cables and oil lines. Chrome replacement engine covers. Stretched 3.9 gal fuel tank and bobbed rear fender with brake light. Bullet rear turn signals and badlanders control module. Front mirrors with built in LED turn signals. Should I go on? S&S Super E carb with Forcewinder Air Cleaner and dual filter breather kit. Wetdreamz Exhaust System, etc., etc., etc.

By the way I never said my Sportster was worth what a Fat Boy costs. I said for what I have spent so far I could have bought a Fat Boy. My sportster is worth about 7,000 Euro's ($9,000) here in Italy. I probably would be lucky to get $ 5,000 for it in the states. But, I really don't care because I'm not selling it. I have it just about the way I want it. It fits me perfectly and I like it just the way it is.

Bone

7th February 2011, 22:19

Stick - really, I've seen you do this on multiple threads - both here and over at CW.

You see a piece of the picture, you make HUGE ASSumptions, then you go off all half-cocked in someone's face about them.

How do you know he didn't buy the 93 new?

And even if not, do you have any idea how much more expensive Harleys are in Europe than they are here?

Do you realize how much more expensive parts can be in Europe than here?

There's a ton of reasons why he might have almost as much money in his Sportster as he might have spent buying a Fat Boy.

And BTW, I like BTs as well as Sportys and as well as a lot of other bikes, but I really wasn't reading his comments as if they were all hatin' on BTs.

JEeez, you want silly, you should see the spreadsheet for the amount of money I've spent on my Guzzi Jackal - gawd... ok, well, I bought so cheap in the first place that it's still less than we have into our Sporty, BUT - it's still AT LEAST DOUBLE what the damn thing is worth, maybe it's THREE TIMES :o

johnnysquire

7th February 2011, 22:28

What's "quickly"?

I bought a solidmount XL1200 new in 1993, but mid 1995 I had 35,000 miles on it and a wife who said "buy any big twin you want, as long as it's more comfortable than this" - she said that while we were loaded, 2-up, with tend and camping gear on our way to Americade.

From 1996-98 I put about 65,000 miles on that RK, MOST of which was leaning around backroads....

Just saying, the world's not black and white, it's a giant sliding scale.

The OP was asking about "whenever someone buys [a Sporty] they always want to upgrade within a month because they realize they can handle more, and that they want something better".

Not all BT riders who traded in an XL fit that description - probably not a huge proportion. The ones that do have a very particular kind of "better" in mind, and they're the guys I was trying to describe.

Crosshairs

7th February 2011, 22:41

I bought my Sporty new in Sept 09 knowing damn well that I might buy another bike for longer rides or more comfortable rides. ..I'm actually looking at picking up a Dyna this spring if I can work a good deal at the dealership.....I have no intentions of selling the sporty....its way to much fun to ride.

myndset

7th February 2011, 22:47

(Video) Harley Davidson Finding Neutral fix - Can't Find Neutral? Spoiler Alert... It's Not You!

Did an 1850 mi trip to Montana last summer and the bike was perfect. I'm 5'8" and the bike fit me just right. I had like a hundred plus pounds of gear on her as well. no need for one bigger at least in my opinion.

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 22:49

Stick - really, I've seen you do this on multiple threads - both here and over at CW.

You see a piece of the picture, you make HUGE ASSumptions, then you go off all half-cocked in someone's face about them.

How do you know he didn't buy the 93 new?

And even if not, do you have any idea how much more expensive Harleys are in Europe than they are here?

Do you realize how much more expensive parts can be in Europe than here?

There's a ton of reasons why he might have almost as much money in his Sportster as he might have spent buying a Fat Boy.

And BTW, I like BTs as well as Sportys and as well as a lot of other bikes, but I really wasn't reading his comments as if they were all hatin' on BTs.

JEeez, you want silly, you should see the spreadsheet for the amount of money I've spent on my Guzzi Jackal - gawd... ok, well, I bought so cheap in the first place that it's still less than we have into our Sporty, BUT - it's still AT LEAST DOUBLE what the damn thing is worth, maybe it's THREE TIMES :o

I should let this go but I went back re-read stuff and it just confirms that I was right all along. Not to mention this is a good 2 for one deal since I get to answer Beer's question too....

So let me reply to him first:

Quick question: Who is calling these bikes a tourer?

-Beer

Sounds like osco is....

Big Harleys,,as In baggers,,,great for touring,,the best,,,BUT,,they
also make ya look wealthy and macho,,,
Plus more comfy for the chicks on the back.
.

... and amsee too

There is definitly a BT in my future for touring, but will certainly keep the sporty for fun riding.

really, a crossbones comes stock with freakin solo seat. I know you can read it more than one way but it does seem lke they are just comparing baggers and sportsters w/o regard to other big twins that are more factory bobbers

maybe I was singling out jharback as many of the posters sound like sour grapes but I think this kind of hating big twins....

Sporty's win the fun factor over BT's. BT's are great on the highways and for real long rides but, they have a tendency to be a little boring.

You know what I have noticed over here in Italy? I seldom see the Big Twins and Baggers actually on the highway. Seems like they're always stopped at either a gas station or a restaurant.

Bone

7th February 2011, 22:53

Nope, doesn't sound like sour grapes to me at all. Sounds like a probable fair assessment of what he has noticed and what he prefers. He didn't say they suck or bag on em...

Stick_Man

7th February 2011, 23:29

Alright I stand corrected. my apologies to Jharback. Maybe it was me singling him out unfairly and some of the other posters cumulative effect sounded to me like many of the other posters too had an inferiority complex or something.

Me personally I have no interest in a bagger. I would not mind some of the big twin cycles i mentioned in this thread

dino

7th February 2011, 23:48

Hundreds of different opinions and hundreds of bikes to choose from. If everybody liked exactly the same thing then they would build only one bike. I say it doesn't really matter but do enough research so you can enjoy whatever you choose and actually ride it instead of it sitting in the garage, covered, with a battery tender hooked up to it.

It's all good as long as it stays rolling....

jharback

7th February 2011, 23:49

Alright I stand corrected. my apologies to Jharback. Maybe it was me singling him out unfairly and some of the other posters cumulative effect sounded to me like many of the other posters too had an inferiority complex or something.

Me personally I have no interest in a bagger. I would not mind some of the big twin cycles i mentioned in this thread

Apology accepted. I really don't have a problem with Big Twins. It's just that if I have only one bike I'd much prefer my Sportster.

shotgun46

7th February 2011, 23:55

how could any one not like to have either of these bikes
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh137/shotgun46/ASportGlide.jpg

dino

7th February 2011, 23:57

I personally don't like fiberglass on a bike but I'm glad you do

shotgun46

8th February 2011, 00:06

I personally don't like fiberglass on a bike but I'm glad you do

well I no longer have a Bike so I guess it does not matter

Folkie

8th February 2011, 00:20

how could any one not like to have either of these bikes
http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh137/shotgun46/ASportGlide.jpg
Not my thing, I'm afraid.

1200cblue

8th February 2011, 03:07

I might have to check out the Dyna line. Love my sportster, will not be sold. My only complaint is suspension. Don't want a touring bike, just to big and slower. Although the suspension is Cadillac like I just done like the slowness.

No one has pointed out the dynas have more power but at a lower rpm. So the power feels a little different. Big twin 3000rpm and sporty 5500rpm (i believe). One reason for the difference in pitch.

1200cblue

8th February 2011, 03:07

I might have to check out the Dyna line. Love my sportster, will not be sold. My only complaint is suspension. Don't want a touring bike, just to big and slower. Although the suspension is Cadillac like I just done like the slowness.

No one has pointed out the dynas have more power but at a lower rpm. So the power feels a little different. Big twin 3000rpm and sporty 5500rpm (i believe). One reason for the difference in pitch.

MADDOG187

8th February 2011, 03:40

yeah but then it wasn't too long before that the sportster was only a 900cc

which doesn't even account for the fact that they made it even smaller in later years :smoke

what has this got to do with anything ?, I'm just saying a 1200 is a big twin , its not small is it , & as fare as speed , power and torque go , its more than capable for most riding situations , anyone who says otherwise is missing the point of a bike , you buy what you like whatever size you want , thats cool , but a 1200cc twin is still a real bike , you don't get the big ducati riders slagging off a 748 , and you don't get R1 riders slagging off an R6 , so its only the type of ass holes that by the big Harley's who do it , I'm not saying all big Harley buyers are ass holes , just the ones that feel the need to put other riders down when they buy a bigger bike ,i personally think its small willy syndrome , but they are pretentious , narrow minder self conceited pricks , and a good slap would generally put them in there place if you cannot respond with a really cutting verbal put down . lol.... Ive had my rant , I'm off to bed

Stick_Man

8th February 2011, 13:58

what has this got to do with anything ?, I'm just saying a 1200 is a big twin , its not small is it , & as fare as speed , power and torque go , its more than capable for most riding situations , anyone who says otherwise is missing the point of a bike , you buy what you like whatever size you want , thats cool , but a 1200cc twin is still a real bike , you don't get the big ducati riders slagging off a 748 , and you don't get R1 riders slagging off an R6 , so its only the type of ass holes that by the big Harley's who do it , I'm not saying all big Harley buyers are ass holes , just the ones that feel the need to put other riders down ,when they buy a bigger bike ,i personally think its small willy syndrome , but they are pretentious , narrow minder self conceited pricks , and a good slap would generally put them in there place if you cannot respond with a really cutting verbal put down . lol.... Ive had my rant , I'm off to bed

A 1200 evo is not a big twin.

Why is everyone here getting their panties in a bunch about what big twin riders say or think. I went to the stealers to get some the timing done on my ironhead and they were saying the same shit to me. "You should get a newer motorcycle" and "I have an BT for sale used.... this way you can be riding a big twin" blah blah. I just said maybe -- and I meant it -- but I like my Ironhead. Although I guess it's a little different if you have an Ironhead; there is some respect there. But point being is I don't give a shit.

The point I was making was a big twin is relative. You can't compare a shovel to an Evo; even back then they were calling Ironheads girls bikes :wonderlan

It was a different time. And most of those guys hopped up their shovels. Even stock I think shovel has more horsepower than an evo and I'm even talking about the ones from over 35 years ago! On top of it they were not rubber mounted!

While the 1200 evo is plenty capable, I think it must now be compared with some of the big twin offerings in its era. And I don't think if you show up to a stealers someone expecting you to hop from an 883 -- which may be underpowered for many -- is all that crazy. After all they're trying to sell you a bike.

xllent01

8th February 2011, 14:47

Great!! Now we have swinging dick Sportster riders..:laugh:laugh:laugh :p

srrice40

8th February 2011, 15:00

it's not that the Bigger bikes are better than the sportster, I have both and love both of them for different reasons, I love the handling of the sportster I can take tighter turns and it's more fun on the twisties. for the springer it's longevity, being able to go for hours with out having to take a break because my butt is numb!

O.R. John

8th February 2011, 15:07

Can't we all just agree that we love to ride - whatever flavor HD it is?

AB,Frank

8th February 2011, 15:40

I've had many diff, models and makes over the the last 35 years of riding.This is my second sporty.I like my scoot for what it is.I rode a new street glide last summer(couple of days) and I liked it very much for what it is.
I am looking at getting something else in the near future,but I WILL NOT GET RID OF MY SPORTY...it makes me smile too much.

With that said,it wont be another HD.I love the sport tourer idea with 145HP off the show room floor...love the mix of comfort..speed and the nimble concept .
I test rode a beemer 1300 last summer and it took the curls out of my hair in less then 12 seconds(also got me a $147 speeding ticket)but ,,,lest forget about that :)

I say to each their own..as long has you keep riding,life is too short to be out of the wind!!

Bone

8th February 2011, 15:44

Guys a 1200 is a "big" as in large capacity twin, even if it's not a "Big Twin" in the Harley vernacular meaning non-unitized Harley motor (i.e. separate bolt on transmission).

That said, it's the same cubic inches as Big Twins once were, and though some might claim it's relegated to "mid-size" status in today's market, I think that today's market is just full of bloated pigs of motors.

xllent01

8th February 2011, 15:58

Guys a 1200 is a "big" as in large capacity twin, even if it's not a "Big Twin" in the Harley vernacular meaning non-unitized Harley motor (i.e. separate bolt on transmission).

That said, it's the same cubic inches as Big Twins once were, and though some might claim it's relegated to "mid-size" status in today's market, I think that today's market is just full of bloated pigs of motors.

That was 30 yrs ago..thats a medicore example to compare too..

problem is.. the USA has this "Bigger Is Better" mentality..look around, cars, boats, trucks, housing, motorcycles, everybodys paycheck..in a sense.. pretty much the american dream..:laugh :p

Bone

8th February 2011, 16:02

That was 30 yrs ago..thats a medicore example to compare too..

problem is.. the USA has this "Bigger Is Better" mentality..look around, cars, boats, trucks, housing, motorcycles, everybodys paycheck..in a sense.. pretty much the american dream..:laugh :p

I wouldn't call it medicore, hell, that was the life-blood of Harley. The FX and later the FXR with a slightly larger motor.

But yeah, the bigger is better mentality is the heart of this entire ridiculous discussion.

Personally I started downsizing toys about a decade ago and am very happy with the results.

Smaller truck, smaller boat - all cheaper to run, easier to clean etc.

All our bikes are "just right" sized - 1100-1200cc currently.

I'm thinking about adding yet another at somepoint and as much as I would like an RK, the motor is just too damn big - hell even the upcoming new Guzzi California is supposed to be 1400cc... jezus, enough is enough.

harleytech51

8th February 2011, 16:17

Ive had both, started off as most do with an 883 in early 90's then a 1200 Custom Sporty..decided id try a BT so bought anew 05 Dyna Wideglide, then a new 07 Softail Custom, then a 2008 Fatboy which i rated as the best handling bike of the lot, easy to manouver, quick, great cornering...then due to a chain of events that resulted in me netting a tidy profit over what i'd paid, i sold the Fatboy and hankered after an older BT..got a 1996 Heritage Evo from the USA and couldnt believe it handled better than my much newer Fatboy, goes to show theyre all different and have good and bad points...My lads 883 when ridden in anger could show my Dyna Wideglide a clean pair of heels round the twistys, id never refer to them as girls bikes, theyre just a different model...each has their own merits and Sportsters history goes way back, they have heritage so if thats what you want go get one and be proud to ride it...above all enjoy it.....Good luck mate, I personally wouldnt ask opinions as these are often biased when it comes to the great Sportster/BigTwin debate, best to go with what you prefer and what appeals within your budget....Go get the bike then start to transform it into your own...Good Luck and ride safe..

Stick_Man

8th February 2011, 16:18

well either that or bikes were too small at one time.

I don't get how you rode a 500cc motorcycle -- that were considered big -- along side cars that always went fast -- but only like to do 60 mph comfortably; like old 500cc Britsh motorcycles

Bone

8th February 2011, 16:35

Personally I think we all see the past through rose-colored glasses.

I don't think cars were as fast 20-30 years ago, cause they handled like absolute shit compared to the cars of today and I think traffic didn't regularly go 80 mph on the freeway.

I also remember owning a Honda VT-500 Ascot, not a fast bike by most stanards, but even in the 90s it was fast enough to keep up with traffic (mostly off highway that is). It was just too damned small a chassis for me though.

Stick_Man

8th February 2011, 16:49

Really, I had a 1986 Honda VF 500, 3 years ago, and it did 90 mph like it was nothing. It had 6 gears and you could cruise at 80 with me thinking I was still goin 60 (and in 5th gear.). so i don't think you can count japanese "middle weights" and/or compare with 70s brits. Although I probably agree that most weren't going 70 down the highway like now at one time. I still remember my dad getting a ticket for doing like 70 or something upstate which now if you drive there - its what everyone does.

Bone

8th February 2011, 17:06

Really, I had a 1986 Honda VF 500, 3 years ago, and it did 90 mph like it was nothing. It had 6 gears and you could cruise at 80 with me thinking I was still goin 60 (and in 5th gear.). so i don't think you can count japanese "middle weights" and/or compare with 70s brits.

You've fallen into the classic trap of assuming you can tell everything about a motor just from the CC range.

If I'm not mistaken the VF 500 was a short-stroke V4.

The VT 500 Ascott was a V-twin, so longer stroke for same displacement.

As such the Ascott's level of power and power delivery was much closer to that of other twins of the era than a V4.

Stick_Man

8th February 2011, 17:21

You've fallen into the classic trap of assuming you can tell everything about a motor just from the CC range.

If I'm not mistaken the VF 500 was a short-stroke V4.

The VT 500 Ascott was a V-twin, so longer stroke for same displacement.

As such the Ascott's level of power and power delivery was much closer to that of other twins of the era than a V4.

Am I understanding what you're saying. you're saying your old Ascot was good enough off the highway alongside modern cars. I take that to mean it didn't cut it on the highway. I would think anything Japanese mid weight, whether v twin or V four would be just fine anywhere, no? And also any harley is the same. My Ironhead can go faster than 80. It likes 70 though. But that aint 60 cruising and 80 redlining

Bone

8th February 2011, 17:49

Am I understanding what you're saying. you're saying your old Ascot was good enough off the highway alongside modern cars. I take that to mean it didn't cut it on the highway. I would think anything Japanese mid weight, whether v twin or V four would be just fine anywhere, no? And also any harley is the same. My Ironhead can go faster than 80. It likes 70 though. But that aint 60 cruising and 80 redlining

No (that anything Japanese mid-weight would be just fine anywhere).

I'm saying that the Ascot 500VT was at the lower limit of my comfort zone of acceleration for the flow of modern traffic off highway, so ok off highway but not by much.

That it would be "OK" on highway, but that was at the upper limit of it's capabilities and definitely not a bike for droning along at any distance at 70 or 80 mph.

And that it is likely more comparable to an old brit twin than a same year Jap V4 (i.e. slower than the V4 overall and less comfortable at high speeds).

Lastly that, as you agreed with earlier, 20-30 years ago traffic flow in general (on and off the highway) was probably a bit slower.

Tin Man 2

8th February 2011, 19:20

Got to go along with Bone on this one, Traffic is much faster now than 30Yrs ago. In the 70s I played with Yami 350 RDs and rode them everywhere, 2 Yrs ago I restored one and found it almost dangerous in modern traffic. Yes, at wide open throttle it was quick, but, it was an effort to keep up with modern traffic without "beating" on the bike, and that gets old in a hurry.

Headly

8th February 2011, 19:33

How is a BT better?,it hides fat azzes better :laugh

the sportster is not a good bike for chubby chasers or people who want the loudest bike possible

Fat doesn't look good on svelte sporty and it won't be as loud as a BT but it is as fast or faster and it handles as well or better than a BT :D

snake oil

8th February 2011, 20:55

Personally I think we all see the past through rose-colored glasses.

I don't think cars were as fast 20-30 years ago, cause they handled like absolute shit compared to the cars of today and I think traffic didn't regularly go 80 mph on the freeway.

If you go back 40 years It was 70 mph and above almost everywhere in the USA. The fuel crunch of the early 70s brought federally imposed 55 mph. While cars have improved there was an abundance of very fast cars available, SS Chevys, Cobra Musttangs, Hemi Cudas etc. At that time I was driving a Dodge Pickup with a slant 6 with a king pin straight axle front end with drum breaks and no seat belts, Drove 75 mph all the time, Now I have a Dodge Pickup with a Hemi 400 HP, 4 wheel anti lock disc breaks. Traction control, air bags etc. , and I have to drive 150 miles to drive above 55 mph legaly.

Stick_Man

8th February 2011, 21:31

Its Like Guys bying Big Pick Up trucks and only haulin the groceries..

Its Like Guys Buyin Caddilacs or some Other expensive Large cager..

Its all to Impress the chicks man !!

Its Like a rooster droppin one wing, bobbon his head and circling a hen...

We all Just wanna get Laid XD

Big Harleys,,as In baggers,,,great for touring,,the best,,,BUT,,they
also make ya look wealthy and macho,,,
Plus more comfy for the chicks on the back.
I think they are great bikes,,,would Love to have a Fat Bob.

Sportsters,,well,,IMO,,They cannot be explained with words other than,
Raw, simple, affordable for the workin man,,and Damn FUN to ride.

But I fully understand why some don't stay with a sportster, they
are not for everyone.

Lets just say, "Wussies should stay on the porch"

An If yer a larger person or ya want comfort look elsewhere.

yeah so what's wrong with wanting to get laid and who's XD?

also nothing wrong with a large cage is there?

maybe they want the horsepower and will give up the extra 10 mph you get from a sportster.

Robotech

8th February 2011, 21:59

To the O.P., there is a lot of good information here and really it's going to come down to what you like best both as far as how you like to ride and what you want out of your bike.

Here's my story. I have a 99 Sportster that I have done a ton of work to. I love the bike when I'm out in the twisty roads and wanting to get a little "crazy". If I'm in the mood to really beat on a bike the Sportster definatley gets the nod.

About five months ago I was commuting to work on it and got hit. The bike was written off as a total loss but I bought it back anyway. Most of the time I was riding the Sportster to work and back. No twisty road, just straight and fast highway driving...40 miles one way. I also took her on a couple long distance trips. Sometimes those, even with my air shocks in the rear, were not pleasant. A new solo seat would have probably made those trips more bearable.

Now while I wait to figure out what to do with my Sportster I bought a 2011 Dyna Wide Glide. I love this bike too, but for different reasons. At 6'1" and 220 this bike feels like I "Fit" it better. I was told I looked like an elephant riding a moped on the Sportster and always felt "too big" for it. For two up riding this was even more the case. Just felt I'd look better on a bigger bike...and I do. Second, on the highway this thing is terrific. Lots of power and with the 6 speed transmission my engine isn't screaming at 70 mph. Feels more stable than the Sportster does.

However, the bike isn't nimble at all. The extra rake and the lower stance plus the addition of freakishly long stock pipes means every time I take a right hand turn I'm rubbing the bottom of my lower slip on right through! Lean angles that I wouldn't even give a second thought to on the Sportster are not even possible on the Wide Glide. In a handling contest, my Sportster would run the tires off my Dyna.

If I had to give one up though, it would have to be the Sportster. While the Dyna isn't AS good in the turns as the Sportster, it is signifigantly better on the highway and for longer trips. I have ridden it in the twisty mountain roads I rode my Sportster in and while I can't push it as hard as the Sportster the minor irritation that is still is far less than the irritation to my butt over the longer distances. The Dyna is a better bike for ALL AROUND riding...like someone said, it is a Jack of all trades and master of none. Sure some may say that you can make a Sportster into a tourer...well you can a Dyna too...and probably for less. (Meaning the amount of stuff you'd have to buy to convert either bike into a touring bike...obviously the Dyna is going to be more expensive since it costs more off the bat.) You can also make a Dyna into a better twisty bike too...it just takes money.

So like I said, it is going to come down to you. How you ride is important. If I wasn't on the freeway so much EVERY day, the Sportster would be the better bike for me. If I only used the bike on weekends and went on longer rides, then the Dyna or another big twin would be a much better choice. Lucky for me, I get to have both.

towerhandjake

9th February 2011, 00:33

I didnt read everything here, so I am sorry if anyone said this already.

But isnt this whole conversation a "my Ford is better than your Chevy" argument?

I love my sporty, therefore I ride it. It does everything the other bikes do (some better; some not). But it is MINE.

nealhix

9th February 2011, 01:22

I may have bought my Sporty because its ecenomical, but I am proud as hell to own it. Its the most fun a 54 year old grandpa can have, with his clothes on !!!

wiso_67

9th February 2011, 07:32

Okay I didnt read this whole thread but my xl 1200l is a sweet ride, I threw on some 16 inch apes and a mustang seat with the removable back rest and forward controls and I can dam well fall asleep riding it very comfortable, i am 5 11 220 lbs and I have had people come up and ask what Harley is that? I tell them a sportster and they say it looks bigger. Granted I dont do alot of touring and if I ride with my wife its just around town and to dinner, but I believe I can go on long trips by myself and be fairly comfortable, especially since I got rid of the stock seat.

HellHammer132

9th February 2011, 08:08

I love my sportster for when I ride by myself but really want a Road King or a Heritage (in addition to) for when the wife wants to come with. Riding the Heritage I rented my dad last Father's Day was super comfy, the wife was comfortable for the 20 or so miles we put on together, but it just didn't have the same soul as my Sportster. The Sporty is much better suited to, uhh, spirited riding while the Heritage is great for cruising and taking it real easy, like riding a couch down the highway. Different bikes for different jobs.

jharback

9th February 2011, 11:14

I may have bought my Sporty because its ecenomical, but I am proud as hell to own it. Its the most fun a 54 year old grandpa can have, with his clothes on !!!

Hey, no need to brag. You can tell the truth here. After all we're all friends. You really meant to say with or without your clothes on. :laugh

johnnysquire

9th February 2011, 14:22

I bought a 2011 Dyna Wide Glide.

However, the bike isn't nimble at all. The extra rake and the lower stance plus the addition of freakishly long stock pipes means every time I take a right hand turn I'm rubbing the bottom of my lower slip on right through! Lean angles that I wouldn't even give a second thought to on the Sportster are not even possible on the Wide Glide. In a handling contest, my Sportster would run the tires off my Dyna.

To be fair though, the WG is the least nimble Dyna (by a big margin) and your 99 XL is/was probably set up way better for backroads than any stock 2011 XL. Somebody who went from an Iron883 to a 2009 Superglide standard would be equally surprised at how nimble "a Dyna" is, and how far it can lean compared to "a Sportster".

2011 WG has 34 degrees of rake (compared to 30 for an XL and 29 for a SuperGlide Custom), 4.2" of clearance (compared to 5" for a SG and 4.4" for an XL Custom - the current tallest XL) and a 68.3" wheelbase (compared to 64.2" for SG and 59.9" for an XL).

Bone

9th February 2011, 14:59

If you go back 40 years It was 70 mph and above almost everywhere in the USA. The fuel crunch of the early 70s brought federally imposed 55 mph. While cars have improved there was an abundance of very fast cars available, SS Chevys, Cobra Musttangs, Hemi Cudas etc. At that time I was driving a Dodge Pickup with a slant 6 with a king pin straight axle front end with drum breaks and no seat belts, Drove 75 mph all the time.

I still have my doubts. I spent a lot of time working on and restoring muscle cars growing up. Even after adding 4-wheel disc brakes and an all new suspension to my little bro's 1967 Firebird, it still handles like a FireTURD.

A lot of old muscle cars FELT like they were going fast, long before they actually were if you know what I mean. Perception of speed can be just as satisfying in a lot of ways.

Not to mention the speedo's probably weren't all that accurate.

Hop in an M3 or a WRX and push those cars a little and you get a whole new perception of speed.

To be fair though, the WG is the least nimble Dyna (by a big margin) and your 99 XL is/was probably set up way better for backroads than any stock 2011 XL. Somebody who went from an Iron883 to a 2009 Superglide standard would be equally surprised at how nimble "a Dyna" is, and how far it can lean compared to "a Sportster".

2011 WG has 34 degrees of rake (compared to 30 for an XL and 29 for a SuperGlide Custom), 4.2" of clearance (compared to 5" for a SG and 4.4" for an XL Custom - the current tallest XL) and a 68.3" wheelbase (compared to 64.2" for SG and 59.9" for an XL).

Excellent points, I was thinking that when reading his reply. That said, I think we both would agree that the heart of his reply is still pretty valid even if the difference between a rubbermount sporty and a late-model FXD or FXDC in isn't as great in the twisties.

johnnysquire

9th February 2011, 15:17

That said, I think we both would agree that the heart of his reply is still pretty valid even if the difference between a rubbermount sporty and a late-model FXD or FXDC in isn't as great in the twisties.

Agreed - heck, the bigger point in my mind is that we Sportster bigots spend too much time comparing XLs to BTs.

We know that we could get a much faster bike (by acceleration OR top speed), a much better handling bike or a more comfortable/fun tourer, generally for the same or fewer bucks, so when the discussion devolves to "Sporties are faster than BTs" or "XL outcorners a BT" or "any HD is a better tourer than a 600cc 4cyl" we're not only technically wrong, but way off the point.

Bone

9th February 2011, 15:23

Agreed - heck, the bigger point in my mind is that we Sportster bigots spend too much time comparing XLs to BTs.

ABSOLUTELY.

I ride a Sporty cause I LIKE IT.

That's all I need to know.

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 15:44

hmmm.... BigTwins can do a 100 mph all day from what I understand. Can an 883 evo do that?

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 15:48

Agreed - heck, the bigger point in my mind is that we Sportster bigots spend too much time comparing XLs to BTs.

We know that we could get a much faster bike (by acceleration OR top speed), a much better handling bike or a more comfortable/fun tourer, generally for the same or fewer bucks, so when the discussion devolves to "Sporties are faster than BTs" or "XL outcorners a BT" or "any HD is a better tourer than a 600cc 4cyl" we're not only technically wrong, but way off the point.

So what is the point? you can get a better motorcycle for the same money :wonderlan

sportymike02

9th February 2011, 15:49

hmmm.... BigTwins can do a 100 mph all day from what I understand. Can an 883 evo do that?

i dont know about an 883, but my 1200 evo can

Robotech

9th February 2011, 16:46

To be fair though, the WG is the least nimble Dyna (by a big margin) and your 99 XL is/was probably set up way better for backroads than any stock 2011 XL. Somebody who went from an Iron883 to a 2009 Superglide standard would be equally surprised at how nimble "a Dyna" is, and how far it can lean compared to "a Sportster".

2011 WG has 34 degrees of rake (compared to 30 for an XL and 29 for a SuperGlide Custom), 4.2" of clearance (compared to 5" for a SG and 4.4" for an XL Custom - the current tallest XL) and a 68.3" wheelbase (compared to 64.2" for SG and 59.9" for an XL).

Without using numbers I thought I covered that when mentioning the "longer rake, lowered stance, and freakishly long pipes..." I know I have the handling pig of the Dyna family. LOL BUT, that is MY experiance. Your milage may vary. :)

So what is the point? you can get a better motorcycle for the same money :wonderlan

If "better" means a faster bike, yes.
If "better" means a better handling bike, yes.
If "better" means a more comfortable stock bike, yes.

If "better" means a bike that handles well, is fairly quick, not harshly uncomfortable, has a certain "personality" to it, and is a V-twin style cruiser then no.

(Video) What is high mileage for a motorcycle? Tips for buying a used motorcycle.

Tyberius

9th February 2011, 17:09

hmmm.... BigTwins can do a 100 mph all day from what I understand. Can an 883 evo do that?

Yeah, but I can't. Where I'm at, I either have not enough road or have not enough balls.

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 17:18

I don't get what we're talking about any more.

If we're talking the 883 -- well you realize it is the entry level model.

Most find it underpowered and undersized ergonomically so that is why they are wondering when you are switching to the BT. What is the mystery or why does that get everyone's panty in a bunch???

MacAttack

9th February 2011, 17:31

More comfortable, helps your oil company stock go up, puts a bigger dent in any cars you hit.

Other than that - dunno... broken belt is a PITA.

Oh - a BT has one more hole to fill than a Sporty.

MADDOG187

9th February 2011, 17:47

hmmm.... Big Twins can do a 100 mph all day from what I understand. Can an 883 evo do that?

i don't think a fat boy will , my mate had one a bout 3 years back maybe 4 , it topped out at about a ton and wouldn't go any faster , he had a stage one tune , and i remember him getting upset when a sportster went past him going about 115 -120 mph , he couldn't believe it , i got my nightster last year and it will easily pass 100 mph , maybe 110 and its bog standard , its not comfortable at those speeds , the rev limiter comes in at about 5500 rpm i think, it doesn't have a rev counter , but it would bang along at a ton all day long , the only problem is , i wont , its not why i bought the bike , I'm happiest at 65 -70 mph and so is my licence (i have lost it in the past for speeding , 135 mph in a 70mph zone )but that was when i went fast everywhere , :doh

Robotech

9th February 2011, 18:03

I'm happiest at 65 -70 mph and so is my licence (i have lost it in the past for speeding , 135 mph in a 70mph zone )but that was when i went fast everywhere , :doh

That's where you need to have a passenger with you and explain to the officer, "We're carpooling so REALLY each of us were only doing 67.5 mph..."

Bone

9th February 2011, 18:03

First off, WHO GIVE A FLYINGMOTHERCUMFRUCKTHROUGHAROLLINGJELLYDONUT if a BT or a Sporty "can" do 100 mph?

I don't know about you guys but the opportunities (or desires) to go that kinda speed come up VERY infrequently in my life. And when they do it's not for any duration, cause I value my license.

That said:

I don't get what we're talking about any more.

I'm not sure you ever did... :p ;)

For Example:

If we're talking the 883 -- well you realize it is the entry level model.

Most find it underpowered and undersized ergonomically

You realize that statement would suggest that you believe the 1200 would be in some way differently "sized ergonomically" speaking.

:doh

Scott1953

9th February 2011, 18:03

I've had my 883 for a couple of year and am still happy with it, in fact since I went about 30 years witout a bike at all, I find it unbelievable that I actually own a Sportster!

goranothos

9th February 2011, 18:11

What is better about a BT? Well, I imagine they are more comfortable on long rides.....but since most that I have seen look like a two wheeled land barge, I have no desire to find out. :-/

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 18:35

First off, WHO GIVE A FLYINGMOTHERCUMFRUCKTHROUGHAROLLINGJELLYDONUT if a BT or a Sporty "can" do 100 mph?

I don't know about you guys but the opportunities (or desires) to go that kinda speed come up VERY infrequently in my life. And when they do it's not for any duration, cause I value my license.

That said:

I'm not sure you ever did... :p ;)

For Example:

You realize that statement would suggest that you believe the 1200 would be in some way differently "sized ergonomically" speaking.

:doh

Why are you breaking my balls.

the operative word there is AND. I guess you were sleeping in boolean expresssion day in class. but just to clarrify....

Sporty owners get their balls busted for:

883 underpowered AND small ergos
1200 small ergos

As far as going 100 mph. I feel that I don't have that much desire to do that and I'd have to go down by the beach and lok for cops to go fast. but I want to let it out once in awhile.

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 18:40

just to be fair Ironhead owners get their balls busted for being cheap.

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 18:50

I just looked and the Iron does a 100. It does seem a little flint in the HPs though but that Iron looks cool. It is a little small though ... but it looks nice.

So tell the BT guys they ride an old fart motorcycle. there your even

Bone

9th February 2011, 19:01

Why are you breaking my balls.

Because I've seen a half dozen threads where you seem to get something all up in your craw cause you come at things a bit sideways from everyone else... ;)

iwantmybeerbackplease

9th February 2011, 19:03

hmmm.... BigTwins can do a 100 mph all day from what I understand. Can an 883 evo do that?

i dont know about an 883, but my 1200 evo can

I still have stock 883 gearing on my 1212. I would have to say that my Sporty is not well suited for long distances at speeds of 90+. That's just my opinion. At 100 mph the tach stays in the neighborhood of 5500. I wish I could tell you exactly what RPM it runs at but I don't keep an eye on the tack very long if I reach 90+ mph. 5500 RPM is too high for me, I don't want to run the bike that hard. My comfortable limit is about 70 mph at about 3900 RPM. If I recall correctly, 75 mph puts me at about 4300 RPM.

On the other hand, the bike will keep pulling very comfortably for me all the way up to 105. My 883cc Evo would not do that. Don't know what the 1212 would feel like past 105 as I will never attempt to exceed speeds any higher than that. The 883cc felt underpowered to me at highway speeds. I didn't feel comfortable on the highway as the bike didn't have very much "get up and go" left IMO. I felt like a sitting duck if I was going to find myself in a dangerous situation. I'm sure other's won't agree with me, and that's fine. I'm just stating why I'd rather have "better" performance at a highway cruising speed. I'm very happy with the increased performance of the 1212. My $0.02.

That's just my opinion. I figured somebody out there may like to read the opinion of at least one person's experience with different Sporty mods. To me, my Sportster is "better" than it used to be.

-Beer

jbthebuckeye

9th February 2011, 19:06

Ok I just read this whole thread....so I have earned the right to post my opinion I suppose. :doh

My first HD...a 1998 883...still have it, and still love it. I wll never let it go if i can help it. Agree it is a bit underpowered.

I think "better" is just not the correct description.

I've riden many bikes.....my fathers 1200C, a few Dyna WGs, a Street glide, a Supeglide...they are all just different then mine. I also have a chopper with a 100" motor....not better ...just different.

Best advice....try and ride as many as you can so you have a good point of reference when making a decision on what will fit your needs...or wants for that matter.

I remember loving to ride back in the 80's on my father's Kawasaki 750LTD.

Stick_Man

9th February 2011, 19:06

:wtf going in sideways...huh?

So are the specs bullshit. How fast does the 883 go?

johnnysquire

9th February 2011, 19:19

So what is the point? you can get a better motorcycle for the same money :wonderlan

My point is that "upgrading to a BT" after having an XL for a month (the OP's question) only makes sense if:
1. You're commited to having an HD, AND
2. You don't care much about sporty handling,
AND either
3a. You want serious touring comfort, OR
3b. You want a very modest bump in power/top speed.

Plus you'd have to be a great negotiator or be willing to take a big financial hit.

Otherwise, you'd stick with an XL you bought for the right reasons, or you'd wind up with something besides a BT.

Summary - I'm taking the high road instead of saying the OP's buddy is full of :censor.

honkytnkmn

9th February 2011, 19:19

I still have stock 883 gearing on my 1212. I would have to say that my Sporty is not well suited for long distances at speeds of 90+. That's just my opinion. At 100 mph the tach stays in the neighborhood of 5500. I wish I could tell you exactly what RPM it runs at but I don't keep an eye on the tack very long if I reach 90+ mph. 5500 RPM is too high for me, I don't want to run the bike that hard. My comfortable limit is about 70 mph at about 3900 RPM. If I recall correctly, 75 mph puts me at about 4300 RPM.

On the other hand, the bike will keep pulling very comfortably for me all the way up to 105. Don't know what it would feel like past 105 as I will never attempt to exceed speeds any higher than that. My $0.02.

-Beer

Ahhhhh!!!!!!!!! Thank you for saying this! Its not whether the bike can get to 100mph or not, its the RPM's of the cruising speed. I'm right with you, I can cruise at 70 around 3900 rpms and 75 about the same as you, its fine but a little rough, I'd prefer to keep it around 3200 to 3600 at 75 -80.

The faster a bike is at top end, the more comfortable cruising at higher speeds is. Not to mention you have that much more power available to pull out of a bad situation.

I'm not knocking my sporty at all, I love it love it love it for twisties and back roads, just not a fan of long distance freeway riding.

Bone

9th February 2011, 19:22

:wtf going in sideways...huh?

So are the specs bullshit. How fast does the 883 go?

:laugh :laugh :laugh

THANKS FOR PROVING MY POINT!!!

I already said I don't give "A FLYINGMOTHERCUMFRUCKTHROUGHAROLLINGJELLYDONUT if a BT or a Sporty "can" do 100 mph?"

You do this a lot. You read part of a post and go off on a tangent about it. Or respond to an argument that isn't being made.

Actually in the post you said I was "busting your balls" over I was pointing out that they way you'd phrased your argument made it sound as if you were talking specifically about an 883 and NOT a 1200 (therefore there was no "boolean expresssion" made about a 1200).

Whether we're talking logic or grammar you said (and I'll quote again) only:

If we're talking the 883 -- well you realize it is the entry level model.

Most find it underpowered and undersized ergonomically so that is why they are wondering when you are switching to the BT. What is the mystery or why does that get everyone's panty in a bunch???

In that statement you are only directly talking about the 883, calling it both underpoweread and undersized.

The lack of a 1200 being specifically mentioned SUGGESTS you would not find the 1200 underpowered, and ironically (since we all know better) that you would ALSO not find it undersized (either that or the statement is just poorly structured).

So why am I busting your balls?

Because you're not making any sense. ;)

NAFORD302

9th February 2011, 19:28

When you are old and fat bt is the way to go BECAUSE I AM BOTH

sportymike02

9th February 2011, 19:37

What is better about a BT? Well, I imagine they are more comfortable on long rides.....but since most that I have seen look like a two wheeled land barge, I have no desire to find out. :-/

+1
nice avatar :clap

iwantmybeerbackplease

9th February 2011, 20:10

The way this thread is going, I think Bert should add a "Start an Augment" category in the "Off-Topic" area. :roflblack

-Beer

Bone

9th February 2011, 20:14

The way this thread is going, I think Bert should add a "Start an Augment" category in the "Off-Topic" area. :roflblack

-Beer

It would get too big once he stuffed all the "it's a girl's bike", "oil", "tires", "Apes" and "Nightster" threads in it.

But that does bring up a good point, and basically this has become just another "girl's bike" thread...

...which is a SHAME cause there ARE differences between a Sporty and a BT. And there are good points and bad points to both.

I like both, even if I only currently own a Sporty...

Robotech

9th February 2011, 20:22

In the hopes of making Bert's job easier...

"Well, I tell you I have another question. I had this guy come up to me outside of the piggly-wiggly and ask me how I could stand to ride a Sportster. 'First,' I dun did tol' 'im, 'it's not ah Sportster, it's ah Nightster. Secondly, why do ya say that?' An' he looked at me and said 'Cause it's a girls bike! Apes don't belong on no girls bike like you got thar and why you runnin' them car tires on the back, you dang fool!' Well I got so mad at him I went and poured the one of the quarts of oil I just purchased for my scoot all over 'im. Now my question is, do I need a special oil for dousing this filthy louse talking trash about my dear Nightster properly or will just regular oil work? Does synthetic have a better 'shut-your-mouth' viscosity over plain ol' dino-juice? Thanks for your opinions and ride safe!"

There...now no need for categories as this will cover all the ones you listed Bone.

MDT

10th February 2011, 00:45

Well I was drunk, the day my mom, got out of prison.......

MADDOG187

10th February 2011, 03:27

( from the thread starter dave4 )I admit I don't get it. Can big twin owners tell me what is better, if anything, or if it is just a bigger heavier bike for a different purpose?
this thread has gone to shit ,
the answer to his question is YES

wysper

10th February 2011, 07:12

Sportsters,,well,,IMO,,They cannot be explained with words other than,
Raw, simple, affordable for the workin man,,and Damn FUN to ride.

For me, this just about damn well nails it.

Of course price comes into it, I paid $9k NZD, from a dealer for my sporty, for me that is a lot of money to pay for a bike.

I couldn't care less if the bike can't do 100mph for hours on end. I couldn't ride like that any way. If I wanted speed I would probably look at a GSXR or something like that.

I don't do long tours two up.

But the sporty does exactly what I need and WANT in a bike. So it was a good choice for me. One day I might be on a BT, but for me, the way I ride and where I ride, I wouldn't be surprised if I stay on a sporty.

Sure I get some shit, but I don't care. It is my ride and I am loving it.
(well o.k., I care a bit but not enough to get a different bike)

Gone

10th February 2011, 08:41

I have nothing against the big twins, but they look huuuuggeeee...I like them in fact. I just don't want them. Does that mean I have a uterus?

MADDOG187

10th February 2011, 10:13

LOL.... A UTERUS ? who knows , but i also like some of them and a fat bob would probably suit my size a little better , I'm about 260lbs 5ft 11" and while I'm not quite an elephant on a push bike , i could do with loosing a bit , i also don't see the need for a larger engined bike , my mate had his 2007 street bob up for sale when i got my nightster , he wanted £7000 and it had less than 1000 miles on the clock , i just didn't like the thing that much , not really me , but i could make do with a fat bob , if i made it look just like a bigger nighster....

Horse

10th February 2011, 10:34

It's inevitable any time a thread like this comes around. I think people use them to vent any frustration at friendly and not so friendly ribbing about the sporties. Sometimes more percieved than real even.
In the end it boils down to personal choice, you ride what you are comfortablewith in most cases. Every once in a while people really do use sporties as an intermediate bike, which we know is a big mistake. It takes a lot more rider skill to push a sporty to it's edge than it does to push a BT there. I love sporties, I love my street bob, if you are going to lose me in the twisties, you're going to need to be very good in the saddle, all the bike in the world is useless without skill and experience.

My advice, try not to get your panties in a twist every time someone says big twin and people may not have so much fun yanking your chain. lol

061200c

10th February 2011, 12:17

After reading the original question, and this entire thread, I will give you my answer and opinion.
After a 25 year hiatus from riding,I bought a 061200c (new), bought it for 2 reasons #1 I wanted a harley,and not a jap bike .#2 its what I could afford, I actually wanted a 06 wideglide.but the 6k price differance was just too much at that time.
I paid the "Harley tax" 1 month after purchase, then followed by a set of n4s,daytona twin tech,big boyz heads, "gronk" inspired modified se slip ons etc... the bike runs really well,its been on a couple of 1k mile trips, the dragon more times than I can count, and knocks down about 50mpg. The sporty is light, nimble and does alot of things well, but anything more than about 500 miles and my back start to get a twinge, even with the mustang seat
This past June I found my dyna, Its a 98 fxdwg.. a wideglide that someone had spent a pile of money on paint and chrome and as near as I could tell, a stock engine, the bike has a lower center of gravity, making parking lots easier,and at speed its more predictable and not as "twitchy" nor do I feel cramped on it (Im 6 foot 4)
Its drawbacks are few,its a slug, it wont get out of its own way, the brakes are quite poor and while it "feels" lighter than the sporty, its not nearly as nimble, and the milage just plain stinks
Last month I took the dyna apart, found a woods cam, dyna s ignition module, and a few other goodies, allready installed...
I bought an andrews ev5, edelbrock heads,mikuni hsr42,daytona twin tech, and a few other goodies for it, and im currently waiting on my pistons to arrive... with all being said and done,I will have the same money tied up in both engine on the bikes, the only differance will be about 7 cubic inches and roughly 100 lbs.. why did I do this? because my wife currently rides my sporty, and im tired of getting left in the dirt

Gone

10th February 2011, 12:38

I'm actually seriously concerned that it may be true, and I mean by that, that my newfound interest in sportsters could mean I am sprouting a fledgling vagina. If true, I hope I grow tits. That will leave me something to play with when I'm not riding my sportster!:banana

O.R. John

10th February 2011, 13:55

I'm actually seriously concerned that it may be true, and I mean by that, that my newfound interest in sportsters could mean I am sprouting a fledgling vagina. If true, I hope I grow tits. That will leave me something to play with when I'm not riding my sportster!:banana
:laugh:clap:laugh:clap

Robotech

10th February 2011, 16:52

Every once in a while people really do use sporties as an intermediate bike, which we know is a big mistake. It takes a lot more rider skill to push a sporty to it's edge than it does to push a BT there.

My 99 883 was my first bike and I never really appreicated how true this statement was until I got my Dyna WideGlide. I had gotten so use to the way my Sportie manuvered that the first time I took the WG for a spin I scrapped the pipes on a right hand turn that, on the Sporty, wouldn't even be close to pushing it. Again, the WG I have is the LEAST nimble Dyna of the group but it made me realize just how capable my little "stater" bike was. Now that I've riden the Dyna for a few months I KNOW I'll never be able to live without a Sportster. Kind of funny how that worked out.

Good thing the Sportie is paid for...now just have to fix it.

iwantmybeerbackplease

10th February 2011, 17:02

I'm actually seriously concerned that it may be true, and I mean by that, that my newfound interest in sportsters could mean I am sprouting a fledgling vagina. If true, I hope I grow tits. That will leave me something to play with when I'm not riding my sportster!:banana

Could it be that the opposite is true? Maybe a big bike means the owner is overcompensating for a shortcoming? :shhhh

-Beer

wedge

10th February 2011, 17:18

My 99 883 was my first bike and I never really appreicated how true this statement was until I got my Dyna WideGlide. I had gotten so use to the way my Sportie manuvered that the first time I took the WG for a spin I scrapped the pipes on a right hand turn that, on the Sporty, wouldn't even be close to pushing it. Again, the WG I have is the LEAST nimble Dyna of the group but it made me realize just how capable my little "stater" bike was. Now that I've riden the Dyna for a few months I KNOW I'll never be able to live without a Sportster. Kind of funny how that worked out.

Good thing the Sportie is paid for...now just have to fix it.

Welcome Back! ;)

I rode a lot of other bikes in the last 45 years, but I could never afford a Harley. Heck, I still can't, but I did it anyway. After all those years I did manage to figure out that a sporty was the best of the Harley line up for my personal type of riding, unless I was to build a chop, because I view the big Harleys as couches on wheels... It's basically a tool for me. I ride all week to avoid traffic and get my work done on the days I don't have to use my truck, so I don't take pleasure trips like most people (some, but it's not my main reason for having a bike). I suppose it would be a better tool if I put bags on it and a rack, but that's not me. For splitting lanes and getting places fast, on a cool machine that is basically the old American Hot Rod, the sporty is top of the line.

In your case, I would probably still keep the Dyna for those trips with the ladies, but I am certain that I would be on the sporty most of the time. The good part is that now you have the time to build whatever you like out of the ashes because you have the Dyna in the meantime.

I kind of knew you would be back... If not now, at least after that cat dies. ;)

Headly

10th February 2011, 17:47

I thought about starting a different thread: have you ever ridden a BT and still chose a sporty or can you afford any bike but still choose a sporty ..

funny thing .. I was raised by parents who said no way to motorcycles.. I came to riding as an adult.

when I was 18 I worked with a Harley guy who had a cool old sporty and his buddies had old BT's - all 4 of the bikes were slow,but the BT's looked like cool bikes setting there, but big like land barges- when I started riding I had no interest in a harley at all - I had 4 bikes before someone won a new 04' sporty and sold it to me cheap to get quick cash- I broke the sucker in,put 700 miles on it,sold it and made ~$3k - (this was ~7 yrs ago )

.. but I missed it when it was gone - even though I have a 150+mph naked bike and a honda cb900f - I missed the raw nature of the 1200C rubber mount .. and when I rode the sporty at 85/90% of ability - I would be having more fun than using 50/60% of the fast bike

After buying into owning an HD I was excited to ride a full size HD BT - my 1st was a Heritage- I hated it. I wanted to whip it like a slow horse/mule from bugs bunny cartoons, ya mule! whap! ya! whap!!!! whapp!!!

I went to the dealer demo days and rode ever damn model in the line up and the V-Rod was nice,but it is a dog 0-20 mph,no torque down low- but wow what a power band when a do hit it =). and all the BT's were the same whether 88 or 88b- insufficient power and handling.

Glad I found the sporty and not the cult of HD where a guy buys a real harley to fit in - only to find no matter which BT ya buy,it isn't as real a harley as the guy next to ya who did XYZ to his bike yada yada yada :D

Robotech

10th February 2011, 17:59

Welcome Back! ;)

In your case, I would probably still keep the Dyna for those trips with the ladies, but I am certain that I would be on the sporty most of the time. The good part is that now you have the time to build whatever you like out of the ashes because you have the Dyna in the meantime.

I kind of knew you would be back... If not now, at least after that cat dies. ;)

Thanks! Oh yea, I couldn't stay down. We'll see what becomes of the Sporty but I'll tell you what, I commute on this Dyna and it does the freeway thing very well. Splitting lanes with it isn't any harder than with the Sportster. It's only when you get into more serious turns that it's limited lean angle becomes glarringly apparent. Like you I'd like to have the Sporty when I'm wanting to rip through some twisties. The Dyna would acctually be my prefered commuter bike of choice.

MisterPX

13th February 2011, 03:55

Upgrade to a bigger bike?

When It's time to upgrade my XRX, it'll be to a Ducati Diavel :)

Bob99

13th February 2011, 03:57

Upgrade to a bigger bike?

When It's time to upgrade my XRX, it'll be to a Ducati Diavel :)

I hear ya!!! The Diavel is such a great bike. The problem is it's big bucks.

hasselme0

13th February 2011, 04:14

probibly said, but you won't have someone say its a girls bike unless you are a girl. and the seat may be bigger so you can get fat I guess. Just speculating
:smoke

Horse

13th February 2011, 04:37

ok, little bit tired of being insulted every time someone runs into an ignorant idiot.

rivethog

13th February 2011, 05:36

Since the question was "What is better about a Big Twin?", I'll post a few things.
If you blow the tranny on a BT, all you replace is the tranny, on a Sporty, you get to replace the crankcases (which have your VIN on them) too.
Resale value is historically higher on a BT than it is on a Sportster.

The dealer doesn't ask if you're ready to "trade up". LOL!

Nothing wrong with Sporties, nothing wrong with BT's. Different bikes for different purposes. To each his own.

swampblues

13th February 2011, 05:43

i been riding all my life - starting with 80cc when i was 12 (48 now) - the first thing i always did was to remove all the unnecessary crap - and trying to improve handling and speed - my ultimate love affair was with cb750 bikes - anyhoo - two years ago i picked up a 1200 sporty (2001) on a whim and right away started taking stuff off, trimming fenders down, rear sets and clubman bars,... the same stuff i would have done to any other bike (im not afiliated with the land pirate scene as yall call it lol) - after taking off and chopping i right away found out how little a sporty actually is - that bulky rear fender was hiding a meager 130x16 rear wheel and so on...
however that 1200 motor is just awsome - takes off like a rocket (i also have a 94 cb1000 and a 08 cbr1000rr) my other bikes can not touch from a red light.
so i put a coker firestone tire on the back and with all the chopping i did it looks like a little race bike from the 50s - NO BT RIDERS ON ANY POKER RUNS GIVES ME ANY SHIT actually they all kinda gather around my bike scoping it out - they all conclude "its not for them" but neat for sure (to sporty/hunched over they call it seating position).

so here is (finally) my point - bt riders give sporty riders shit when the sporty rider is designing his bike to look like a BIG HARLEY - which it just isnt.

i wouldnt mind getting my hands on a BIG HARLEY and then give it MY treatment - it probably would look a lot like my sporty now (naked) lol.

anyways - this whole discussion dont affect me one way or the other really - i love all bikes, most all of the people riding them including big twins and gold wings - who am i to judge anybody.

i really want one of every bike ever made lol....

O.R. John

13th February 2011, 13:06

i really want one of every bike ever made lol....

:clap

(Video) MOTORCYCLE Oil Filter Comparison | K&N vs Hiflofiltro vs Wix vs Fram

I can relate to that. I usually say something like "I can find something to like about almost any bike!"

Stick_Man

14th February 2011, 16:29

i been riding all my life - starting with 80cc when i was 12 (48 now) - the first thing i always did was to remove all the unnecessary crap - and trying to improve handling and speed - my ultimate love affair was with cb750 bikes - anyhoo - two years ago i picked up a 1200 sporty (2001) on a whim and right away started taking stuff off, trimming fenders down, rear sets and clubman bars,... the same stuff i would have done to any other bike (im not afiliated with the land pirate scene as yall call it lol) - after taking off and chopping i right away found out how little a sporty actually is - that bulky rear fender was hiding a meager 130x16 rear wheel and so on...
however that 1200 motor is just awsome - takes off like a rocket (i also have a 94 cb1000 and a 08 cbr1000rr) my other bikes can not touch from a red light.
so i put a coker firestone tire on the back and with all the chopping i did it looks like a little race bike from the 50s - NO BT RIDERS ON ANY POKER RUNS GIVES ME ANY SHIT actually they all kinda gather around my bike scoping it out - they all conclude "its not for them" but neat for sure (to sporty/hunched over they call it seating position).

so here is (finally) my point - bt riders give sporty riders shit when the sporty rider is designing his bike to look like a BIG HARLEY - which it just isnt.

i wouldnt mind getting my hands on a BIG HARLEY and then give it MY treatment - it probably would look a lot like my sporty now (naked) lol.

anyways - this whole discussion dont affect me one way or the other really - i love all bikes, most all of the people riding them including big twins and gold wings - who am i to judge anybody.

i really want one of every bike ever made lol....

seems like these daya there's no need to rip stuff off of them they already come bobbed from the factory

ThunderfromDownunder

22nd February 2011, 01:53

I bought a Sportster because I wanted a Harley. I am keeping the Sportster because I fell in love with it.

Well Said - Agreed!! :banadanc

Horse

22nd February 2011, 02:43

I bought a sportster because I love sportsters, I bought a street bob because it called my name when I walked by it on the showroom floor when they first came out. I love both, both have their place, I take no insult from anyone ragging on me when I'm on the sporty, and I may or may not give my sporty riding friends crap about it, but they know I love sporties as much as they do, I just like to push buttons. Don't let people push your buttons, it's way too fun to resist.

xlhiron

22nd February 2011, 02:56

I know when I was younger, A friend had an ironhead sportster. I thought it was the coolest thing ever. I have many bikes over the years but none of them scratched that itch. I bought a '78 XLH 13 years ago and I will never sell it. The people using the term girls bike are being narrow minded. Mine is a mans bike.

myndset

22nd February 2011, 08:20

http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/655/medium/IMG_0403.jpg

Trust me that ain't no Mustang and it's no where near as comfortable as a Mustang. Get a Mustang Wide with Wide Pillon and your wife will thank you. You may think that it is just the suspension beating you but, a good Mustang seat will absorb the crap out of all that beating. I've been riding for 45 years and have never had a seat come close to the Mustang in comfort.

Amen to that brother. :smoke

Scrapper

22nd February 2011, 10:07

My father was purchasing a Wideglide way back and i first saw an 883 hugger in a harley model brochure he brought home when i was an early teen. Instantly the Sportster appealed to me, at that stage i had never heard they were girls bikes ect ect . i have stayed true to this love i had of the simple business like shape and build of the sportsters and have owned 2 since then.
Generally from the BT guys you might get the odd girls bike comment but as the conversation develops most of them have some respect for the sportsters.
Its not about money , penis size , toughness just go out and ride some bikes pick the one you like best and FTW.

snake oil

22nd February 2011, 18:50

A Big Twin has more surface area to spend money on.

drd1135

22nd February 2011, 19:53

A Big Twin has more surface area to spend money on.

Amen, brother. That's why HD likes 'em.

1BigWilly

22nd February 2011, 20:10

I have a sosfttail and a sporty...I think I ride the sporty more...It's a cool bar hopper...The softail is fun to raise hell on too...It steers a little heavier so around town it's more work.

NAFORD302

22nd February 2011, 20:39

Bt a lot more to clean and make shine

xllent01

22nd February 2011, 21:25

A BT is like an overpriced gas guzzling SUV..everyones got one to justify thier social status ability..;doh

sunchild2071

22nd February 2011, 22:03

I have more miles put in on a sporty than any other make and/or model, period. However, I'm kinda tall. I also like the traditional 70's chopper looks. My shovelhead is just short of 10' long (yes, some serious rake). It looks, however, proportioned the way I think it should (my aesthetics). The frame/drivetrain area is full, but only with the motor and tranny (open primary, no backplate, no battery). All the unnecessary stuff is peeled off, even if it is not street "legal" as to say. I find to acheive the same with a sporty, cleaning all the unwanted stuff out, and to get a fit to my size, leave a frame with unexplainable "open" areas which detract from a clean look, as much as do signal lights, guages, panels, etc. So to me, it's "fill". But I ride 'em all, and I'll still tell anyone that says a spoty is a girls bike to hop on my 1200 and see if they can hold onto it. It'll change their mind.

darwin-t

22nd February 2011, 22:42

I looked in the Harley catalog. BTs have 3 to 5 inches longer wheelbases. They are heavier. They have bigger engines. They have larger gas tanks, overall. They cost a lot more.

I like Sportsters

comingapart

28th February 2011, 01:24

The Fourty Eight and the Nightster were the only reasons I even looked at new Harley bikes. I was originally looking at some Triumphs, but the nearest dealer was a few hundred miles away.

I loved the Nightsters, but my frame is just too large to be any kinda comfortable on them. I ended up getting a base model Super Glide and I'm very happy with it. I'm still setting it up for my riding style.
I tend to ride pretty aggressively, compared to most big twin riders and with a few tweaks the Dyna frame and suspension does pretty well at it.

That said, the "a Sporty is a girl's bike" is just as annoying the "Sporty is the bestest bike of all time" sentiment that tends to come off as defensive posturing.

Ride what you want and quit worrying about what the other guy is riding.

IMO, one of the best things about Sportsters is the aftermarket/internet community support. I wish the Dynas had anywhere near the same.

sportyone

28th February 2011, 01:44

After reading most of this thread I think most would agree with me that:

In general BT are more comfortable on long trips.

In general BT are slower than Sportsters.

And in general BT are 30% to 50% more expensive.

When I sold Harley's back 30 years ago the dealer had to sell almost 3 Sportsters to make the profit on one BT sale. ($1000 verses $350)

comingapart

28th February 2011, 01:56

After reading most of this thread I think most would agree with me that:

In general BT are more comfortable on long trips.

In general BT are slower than Sportsters.

And in general BT are 1/3 to 1/2 times more expensive.

When I sold Harley's back 30 years ago the dealer had to sell almost 3 Sportsters to make the profit on one BT sale. ($1000 verses $350)

The Big Twins might have been slower years ago, but with the TC96 and TC103, that just hasn't been the case at all for the past few years.

ChopperEd

28th February 2011, 02:03

Like I said before, its just more comfortable for a guy my size. My Dyna fits me perfect, but I still have the Sporty Im trying to modify for a better fit.

sportyone

28th February 2011, 02:19

The Big Twins might have been slower years ago, but with the TC96 and TC103, that just hasn't been the case at all for the past few years.

I have read that too but when I have read a road test lately on a TC 103 RoadKing they say it can cruise all day at 85mph in 6th gear but can't pull much more than that on a hot day or up hills.
I think a XR1200 can top out near 120mph.
So I still maintain in general most Sportsters are still faster.
And if the road gets twisty ....well you know;)

Headly

3rd March 2011, 20:59

I have read that too but when I have read a road test lately on a TC 103 RoadKing they say it can cruise all day at 85mph in 6th gear but can't pull much more than that on a hot day or up hills.
I think a XR1200 can top out near 120mph.
So I still maintain in general most Sportsters are still faster.
And if the road gets twisty ....well you know;)

If what you say is true than I am even more confident in saying if I ever want a BT I will buy a yammy or kaw.

They make big bad bikes like the Raider/what the wide glide could be or Kaw like the Vulcan - what the RK could be ... IF harley would build big bikes

until then the sporty to me is the only Harley I will own :)

but I am a motorcyclist,not a harley rider - bikes are like wimmins'

I like blond's like I like bikes,but I don't care if she is Irish,Ukraine or German - I will ride her just the same :D ;)

harleytech51

3rd March 2011, 21:04

If what you say is true than I am even more confident in saying if I ever want a BT I will buy a yammy or kaw.

They make big bad bikes like the Raider/what the wide glide could be or Kaw like the Vulcan - what the RK could be ... IF harley would build big bikes

until then the sporty to me is the only Harley I will own :)

but I am a motorcyclist,not a harley rider - bikes are like wimmins'

I like blond's like I like bikes,but I don't care if she is Irish,Ukraine or German - I will ride her just the same :D ;)

TC103 RoadKing should do the 120 mate unless its got a severe problem.....To say it,ll do not much more than its cruising speed of around 85 is wrong...:tour

Robotech

3rd March 2011, 22:12

The Big Twins might have been slower years ago, but with the TC96 and TC103, that just hasn't been the case at all for the past few years.

A 1200 Sportster and a 96 Street Bob are a fairly close match power to weight with the edge in torque to weight going to the SB...BARELY. Numbers wise they are close.

You go with any of the other BTs, Softails or baggers, the advantage is with the Sportster. Throw in the 103 and the Softails are now on par. Go with the CVO 110s and some of the Baggers start to get competitive.

Of course, this is still against a stock 1200. Modified all bets are off and it becomes a question of how deep are your pockets. :)

IMO, one of the best things about Sportsters is the aftermarket/internet community support. I wish the Dynas had anywhere near the same.

Funny you mention this. I was on a more general Harley forum yesterday and the question was posted why did the MoCo use the 1200C Sportster for the "Build your own" program when Sportsters were the LEAST modified by their owners of all Harleys. I just about spit up my drink laughing about that one.

saltytonk

3rd March 2011, 22:27

I bought my Sporty because the price was right. I came from a back ground of dirt bikes and crotch rockets. It just fit. I started to look at some of the bigger bikes thinkin bout tradeing up. Then I went to a HOG rally and the demo truck was there . Over 2 days I rode a Crossbones, Fat boy Lo, Fat Bob, Wide Glide and a XR 1200. The Sportster was my Fave by a long ways. The 2 dynas were nice bikes and I can see myself owning one someday. But I will NEVER own a Softail. I could not stand them.But after rideing all those bikes , I determined the Sportster was for me . I will always own a Sportster , even if I get a Dyna someday. I will keep a Sporty in the stable.

Bone

3rd March 2011, 23:01

I have read that too but when I have read a road test lately on a TC 103 RoadKing they say it can cruise all day at 85mph in 6th gear but can't pull much more than that on a hot day or up hills.

My stock 1996 80" Evo RK could do the ton (granted flat out), so I'm VERY skeptical about that "test".

harleytech51

3rd March 2011, 23:11

Its all down to personal choice at the end of the day, ive had 883/1200C Sportsters, 1450 Dyna , 1584 Softail Custom and Fatboy, both 6 speeders and now a 1340 Evo Heritage, the best by far was the Fatboy, that bike virtually rode itself and i actually thought it the best of all but i have to say my Evo Heritage with Stage1 and Mikuni carb holds the twisty bits as if on rails, i cant believe how chuckable it is.And it tops the 100 mph no trouble..its all down to what you like and how you ride it..my sons a Harley Tech and rides all models including custom bikes and yet he wil never part with his 2004 883C..Although now again being extensively modified he wont part with that bike, hes hankering for a certain BT but says the Sportster will still stay......Just enjoy them guys...I must just add tho, if you want a Harley then you buy a Harley, If you want a big cruiser but your not a true Harley rider you may well buy a Honda clone or whatever but despite the fact it may go faster and will stop quicker it will only ever be a Jap copy it will never be what it isnt.......Only Harley make Harley.....Good luck and safe riding to you all...

jon4ford

4th March 2011, 00:01

Well when someone tells me my sportster is a girls bike...I just laugh and say "ok well go get your big twin and try to keep up with me." :) I have been on a BT touring nice bike, but I would rather have my sportster!

krowmagnum

4th March 2011, 00:40

BT's are bigger & twinnier.

ct_miller13

4th March 2011, 00:43

Ironhead owners get their balls busted for being cheap.

I want that printed on a t-shirt.

Best advice....try and ride as many as you can so you have a good point of reference when making a decision on what will fit your needs...or wants for that matter.

+1 on that.

milmat1

4th March 2011, 01:00

The BT's Have a lower center of gravity as well as longer bigger frame. The longer frame and the added weight does make it more comfy for some people.
I wouldn't say they were starved for power by any standard, They don't rev like the sporty engine does but they do make a lot of torque. But then what do you expect a tractor engine to do anyway...LOL
The Sporty has a bit higher COG and usually more ground clearance. Also the smaller frame shorter wheelbase makes it responsive and quiker handling. Don't fall for the BT's Are slow BS. A Stock Dyna super Glide with that 96" motor and only a slight additional weight will give any 1200 Sporty a good run.
With all that said (a million times) The BT's are the traditional HD ! And the Sporty has always been thought of as the Little Harley. But I think the Sportster is the best kept little secret in the HD world.

Bob99

4th March 2011, 01:01

BT's are bigger & twinnier.

:laugh:laugh:laugh

krowmagnum

4th March 2011, 03:19

The BT's Have a lower center of gravity as well as longer bigger frame. The longer frame and the added weight does make it more comfy for some people.

That's a good point. I'm 6'2" and I can't ride comfortably on a stock Sporty with mid-controls. I get muscle cramps in my hips from the riding position and it sucks because I really like Sportys. My XL is a rigid frame with a really low seat and way forward controls. Even that is still a little small for me but I do really like it and enjoy riding it.

If I had to choose a BT or a Sporty I would have to go with the BT. I have a Sporty chopper and a Shovelhead so I get to have both :)

NAFORD302

4th March 2011, 03:56

this is why i like bt http://i1011.photobucket.com/albums/af231/flamebike/Mobile%20Uploads/1299114734.jpg

wedge

4th March 2011, 16:57

NAFORD302

this is why i like bt

LOL, I think you may have made your point! My brother in law (deceased sadly), would have crushed my sporty. He stayed on my couch once and that killed the couch. Wouldn't mind having that crazy bastard back though, (but that never works out on those horror flicks).

Headly

6th March 2011, 06:28

:frownthre anyone see the 2012 BLACKLINE yet?

someone say they want an el cheapo softail ?

well ya got it - 24'' seat height,skinny rear tire,21'' laced front wheel and a mish mash of black and chrome,like an identity crisis or the strippiest 'tail the MoCo could mass produce :geek

I pity da fo' who buy a blackline stippy v. a pimped sporty :doh

Jörgen

6th March 2011, 06:44

Compensator sprocket/Cushion Drive Hub

xl883lo

6th March 2011, 14:27

The biggest reason for me getting the Wide Glide was for riding 2 up. Im a big guy, 6 foot, 280 lbs. My wife is medium sized and the WG offers a little more in comfort and weight carrying. I still have my Ironhead for going to work and some solo rides around town.

This is a very smart and experienced married man......

Robotech

6th March 2011, 21:48

:frownthre anyone see the 2012 BLACKLINE yet?

someone say they want an el cheapo softail ?

well ya got it - 24'' seat height,skinny rear tire,21'' laced front wheel and a mish mash of black and chrome,like an identity crisis or the strippiest 'tail the MoCo could mass produce :geek

I pity da fo' who buy a blackline stippy v. a pimped sporty :doh

It would have been a toss up between the Dyna Wide Glide or the Blackline had the Blackline been out when I got my Wide Glide. It's a sharp looking bike if you like the Softail look...which I kind of do since it's got that old school hardtail look. But the narrow rear tire and really narrow handlebars just don't do it for me. Love the 180 tire and wider drag bars on my Dyna.

I haven't rode a softail but I'm told they ride real smooth compared to the Dyna and the Sportie so really it comes back down to what you like. No matter what though, wouldn't be getting rid of my Sportie.

harleymaori

9th March 2011, 11:17

I have a xl1200c and its got exactly what I want. In regards to getting a bigger bike its about how big your dick is. Shows insecurity. Dont worry about it. When ever a guy says to me his FAT BOY is better than my sportster I reply "You must learn to respect your elders. That is why they build mean machines for Men and bikes for Boys.

krowmagnum

9th March 2011, 14:11

In regards to getting a bigger bike its about how big your dick is. Shows insecurity.

You got a lot to learn, and first should learn to respect other peoples choices.
And secondly, nobody cares about your dick.

Robotech

9th March 2011, 17:19

In regards to getting a bigger bike its about how big your dick is. Shows insecurity.

Uh, no. No it's not. My Dyna is better than my Sportster when it comes to stock configuration ride and freeway cruising. Not that I couldn't improve on either but each have their benefits and drawbacks.

salinas2421

10th March 2011, 07:08

I have a sportster cuz it fits me best at 5' 6". Also cuz its cheaper. 1200 is good enough for me.

jimmyess333

10th March 2011, 07:25

Compensator sprocket/Cushion Drive Hub

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
That's one of the things I LIKE about my sporty, NO rubber crap in the sprocket.
I hated the cush drive on my Japanese bikes that had them.

dewrew

10th March 2011, 08:38

I've had very limited time on BTs, but in my opinion, a Sportster is a coupe and a BT is a town car. I'm sure someone said that already but I didnt read all 22 pages ><

Jörgen

10th March 2011, 11:18

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
That's one of the things I LIKE about my sporty, NO rubber crap in the sprocket.
I hated the cush drive on my Japanese bikes that had them.

In my opinion, no damper in the drive train puts such a strain on the drivetrain, spokes, clutch hub and gears. And on top of that the bike cant be operated below the speeds when the undampened gear lash starts to rattle. On my 1640 i must run the bike over 2000 rpm, otherwise the drivetrain sounds like a crusher. This creates a lot of unnecessary down shifts and slipping of the clutch when drivng in slow speeds or between cars in a queue. That makes my left hand tired faster then necessary. Even though i use a hydraulic clutch mechanism with my bandit clutch.

I will have a cush drive rear hub fabricated by ISR and then test it out. I cant get why you like the non damped drivetrain on the sporsters? I cant remind me of any other road bike witout any kind of damper except the evo sportsters. I think it's just cheap design.
The Iron heads had at least a compensator sprocket, like the bigtwins.

Maybe undampened drivetrain works ok with belt in the secondary, I use 530 chain.

sportyone

14th March 2011, 07:46

Previously I wrote in post 196 that I read a new 103 C.I. RoadKing would cruise all day at 85mph but not much more in the heat up a hill...well I should have been ready for healthy skepticism like this:

TC103 RoadKing should do the 120 mate unless its got a severe problem.....To say it,ll do not much more than its cruising speed of around 85 is wrong...:tour

Well I finally found the test I read from the American Iron web sight on March 5th:

As for that PowerPak option, it includes the Twin Cam 103″ engine with ABS brakes and the H-D Smart security system. Let’s start with the engine, my favorite part! The King will cruise effortlessly at 80-85 mph in sixth all day long, which is exactly what I did for most of the 1,800 miles I rode it. However, in the heat of the desert, 80-85 mph uphill was all the King could do in sixth. Downshifting did get me a little more MPH. On level ground, the 103″ runs out of steam at 100 mph on 90-octane, 10-percent ethanol fuel. Truth is, the 103″ has nice power down low, but not much up top due to the EPA cams.

I did find during research on the speed of BT vs Sportsters that a $24,995, 2007 Screamin Eagle 110 C.I. Dyna did 12.31sec.,107.08 mph quarter mile according to Motorcyclist magazine.

That was the only verifiable time I could find a "stock" BT beating Cycle World magazines 12.63 sec., 105.50mph quarter mile time of a $11,799, 2011 XR1200 Sportster.

A 2010 96 C.I. Dyna WideGlide did the quarter in 13.31 sec. 97.96 mph and had a 3 mph lower top speed (116 vs 119) over the XR. (Cycle World)

Again I'm not saying a BT can't be faster than a Sportster, I'm just saying generallySportsters are faster. (At least the 1200's):wonderlan

dewrew

14th March 2011, 08:42

wow, nice and detailed post on speeds and such.

Bone

14th March 2011, 14:42

Sportyone - that's a little better.

Couple of thoughts though.

1. It's a little different to say it won't pull from 85 mph UPHILL, in the desert, in 6th (i.e. a roll-on in overdrive) but can still pull 100 mph on level ground. Plus the EPA comments makes it sound like the 103" RK was still "stock" - i.e. a stock EPA compliant 103" motor so I betcha AC, pipes and Tuning would have it pulling more than 85 mph, running uphill in 6th.

2. It's nice that you count the XR as a Sporty, and though I do technically, the vast majority of people around here are talking about XLs. And the XL1200 is tuned and geared differently. Comparing apples-to-apples - i.e. STOCK bikes to STOCK bikes, you typically see numbers about a second slower - i.e. like MCN's 13.21 second 1/4 @ 99.71 mph on an 07 1200N (with a top speed of only 107 mph) which is an RCH quicker than those Dyna numbers you posted, meaning variance in bike, tuning and rider may make all the difference in either direction.

jimmyess333

15th March 2011, 08:48

In my opinion, no damper in the drive train puts such a strain on the drivetrain, spokes, clutch hub and gears. And on top of that the bike cant be operated below the speeds when the undampened gear lash starts to rattle. On my 1640 i must run the bike over 2000 rpm, otherwise the drivetrain sounds like a crusher. This creates a lot of unnecessary down shifts and slipping of the clutch when drivng in slow speeds or between cars in a queue. That makes my left hand tired faster then necessary. Even though i use a hydraulic clutch mechanism with my bandit clutch.

I will have a cush drive rear hub fabricated by ISR and then test it out. I cant get why you like the non damped drivetrain on the sporsters? I cant remind me of any other road bike witout any kind of damper except the evo sportsters. I think it's just cheap design.
The Iron heads had at least a compensator sprocket, like the bigtwins.

Maybe undampened drivetrain works ok with belt in the secondary, I use 530 chain.

Maybe it's the way I shift or the fact I have belt drive but I like having less play in the driveline.
It seemed like the cush drive on my japanese bikes would get loose after a while and annoy me. I believe my Yamaha XS-650 had a non-cush with a chain. However, on my Yamaha XS-400's I would DREAM of a way to eliminate the sloppy cush drive or hope for an aftermarket polyeurethane piece.

Jörgen

15th March 2011, 12:09

Maybe it's the way I shift or the fact I have belt drive but I like having less play in the driveline.
It seemed like the cush drive on my japanese bikes would get loose after a while and annoy me. I believe my Yamaha XS-650 had a non-cush with a chain. However, on my Yamaha XS-400's I would DREAM of a way to eliminate the sloppy cush drive or hope for an aftermarket polyeurethane piece.

I understand.
The type of cush drive that I will try is oft the same type as Ducati use. With 5 to 6 round polyurethane dampers.
I agree that a loose cush drive is annoying

MADDOG187

26th March 2011, 11:33

hi guys ,
i just thought i would give you my 2 pence worth ,
Ive just picked up a new fat bob , Ive had a nightster for a year and while i wasn't really in the market for a change just yet , i fell in love with the FB, so as i said , Ive got one now , Ive only had it 2 days , so I'm still running it in , but i tested a fat bob and street bob for about an hour each a week ago , then got back on my nightster , and drove the 30 miles or so back home , Ive no doubt that a XL1200N is faster than the Dyna 1585cc , off the line and maybe up to 60 -70 , the midrange on the Dyna is much stronger than the sporty, pulling longer as well , it would be a close thing on stock bikes , but i think the 1200 would edge it over a standing 1/4 , saying that though , the midrange on the Dyna is very good and i think that given a little help , like a stage 1 or stage 2 the Dyna would pass an equally tuned sportster , the 1585 just feels like it would have so much more to give when unrestricted , back to the is a BT better than a sportster , the answer is YES , its a much nicer bike to ride , its smoother and has a great engine that sounds good from day one out of the box , the finish on my FB is pretty nice as well with a great looking headlight and nicely machined parts throughout the bike , its just a huge step up in class , but then at £4500 more than a nightster it should be, but the two bikes can not truly be compared to each other , there just so different , and in a different price range (as said a bigger heavier bike for a different purpose), its like comparing an Alfa romeo to a Mercedes , there both great cars but the merc is just a little bit better in every department , then you've got the bigger tourers again , with another price jump and again a better ride (for touring ), but thats like comparing an Alfa to a Bentley , but in the end its all relative , you get what you pay for , and you buy what suits your needs best or what you can afford, i thought i was going to use my nightster for weekends , popping about the country lanes and the odd 30 -50 mile trip to work, but i ended up using it more and more for 30 - 50 mile trips and found it wasn't really that good on the faster roads and motorways , the FB was a natural step up , and suits what I'm doing better , i don't need a tourer , just a bike that can do longer distances better than a nightster , the lazy engine and better handling at speed , make the miles fly by at 70 -80 mph , it holds its line well ,and when changing lanes or accelerating hard there is none of the front wheel wobble you get from the smaller bike, it may not be as fast as the XL1200 or as nimble in traffic , but it feels faster, smoother and is so much more comfortable when cruising along the faster roads, i wouldn't say the XL is crap , far from it ,there a great bike, but the FB is defiantly a step up if your doing more than 20 mile rides , speed isn't everything on a cruiser , :smoke cruising is .

Horse

26th March 2011, 14:27

I'm impressed, I expected this thread to turn ugly a long time ago, since it just won't die. I love most harley davidsons up until they changed the electra's to integrated bags and fairing. Something wrong about a bike that refuses to look pretty once it's stripped of the extras. I've loved harleys since the day I walked into the gas station when I was about 7 and there sat a motorcycle cop on an even older suicide shift bike. It was the coolest thing I'd seen and I can remember every line and detail to this day. This would have been in around 1966, which made the FL that the cop was riding and old gal already, probably still war surplus. Indians are also on my short list of favorite bikes, those bikes had a soul too.
It's pretty useless to try to pick a reason why a sporty or a bt are better, since the answer is always very personal to the rider. They've come a long way on an ancient design that still makes my heart race when I hear one pass sometimes. Sound wise however, nothing on gods green earth sounds better than the shovelhead series bikes, which includes everything from sportsters to the flh.

robertwdoerr

26th March 2011, 21:44

The big twin will be more comfortable for longer rides. The sportster is alot more enjoyable to ride...short trips, twisty roads etc. If you plan on taking long trips frequently go with the big twin, oterwise the sportster is a much purer motorcycle from a riders perspective. Only a opinion.

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FAQs

Why is the Harley Sportster so popular? ›

Sportster is a popular option for beginners because they've been around for so long there are used Sportsters in varying price ranges. If you only have a few thousand to spend on a bike, with a little patience you can probably find a used Sporty in good running order.

What is the difference between a Sportster and a Softail? ›

Softails have more motor, but Sportsters are lighter and more agile. There's a reason people race them. At Dallas Harley-Davidson, we specialize in creating custom motorcycles in both families.

Can you Ride 2 up on an iron 883? ›

Harley Davidson Iron 883 is offered with a single seat, however, you may have a pillion seat and rear foot-pegs installed additionally from the dealership itself. Moreover, we would suggest you to take a test ride before making the final decision.

Are Sportsters V-twin? ›

Sportster motorcycles are powered by a four-stroke, 45° V-twin engine in which both connecting rods, of the "fork and blade" or "knife & fork" design, share a common crank pin.

Which year Sportster is best? ›

The Top 10 Harley Davidson Sportster Models of All-Time
  1. 1957 Harley XL Sportster Ironhead. ...
  2. 1967 Harley Sportster XLH. ...
  3. 1969 Harley Sportster XLH. ...
  4. 1971 Harley Sportster. ...
  5. 1978 Harley Sportster. ...
  6. 1980-1981 Harley Sportster. ...
  7. 7. 1983 Harley Sportster XLX61. ...
  8. 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster.

How reliable are Harley Sportsters? ›

Based on 4 owners' reviews on motorcyclenews.com, the Sportster scored a 5/5 for reliability and build quality.

Which is better Dyna or Softail? ›

The Dyna is more balanced and is best at making corners and steering in traffic. It is also best suited for riding two people up while the Softail is best only for one rider or a lighter load. It also costs less than the Softail. Whichever model one opts to buy, both bikes are fast, efficient, and fun to ride.

What's the difference between a Dyna and a Sportster? ›

Harley Dyna vs Sportster! Is it a REAL HARLEY? - YouTube

Is a Sportster considered a cruiser? ›

Harley-Davidson Sportster And 8 Other Extremely Underrated Cruiser Bikes. The Harley-Davidson Sportster is one of the most beloved cruiser bikes in the world, yet it's very underrated... and it's not the only one! As the name suggests, cruiser motorcycles are designed and built with long, lazy rides in mind.

Can you fit 2 people on a Sportster? ›

Can You Ride Two Up On The Sportster? - YouTube

Is a Sportster good for 2 people? ›

Registered. A 1200 Sportster is more than enough for 2 up riding.

Can 2 people sit on sportster s? ›

Harley-Davidson® Parts & Accessories offers new ways to take your Sportster® S to a whole new level. Mid-control kit for comfort and style. Engine guard and quick release windshield deflect the elements. Pillion and backrest for two-up riding, and a sleek tailbag for essentials.

What is the most reliable motorcycle? ›

In a nutshell, Honda and Yamaha were the most-named most-reliable motorcycle brands. “Any Japanese” motorcycle was mentioned after that. That would include Honda and Yamaha, but also includes Suzuki and Kawasaki.

Is the Milwaukee 8 better than the Twin Cam? ›

The Milwaukee-Eight 107 accelerates 11 percent quicker 0-60 mph and 11 percent quicker 60-80 mph in top gear than the Twin Cam High Output 103. The Milwaukee-Eight 114 accelerates 8 percent quicker 0-60 and 12 percent quicker 60-80 than the Twin Cam 110.

What is considered high mileage for a Harley-Davidson? ›

For sports bikes, 25,000 miles can be a lot. Harley-Davidson® motorcycles are built to last much longer. If a bike has good maintenance records, no signs of damage and no oil leaks, even a bike with 40,000 to 50,000 miles can be expected to last a long time.

Is Harley ending the Sportster? ›

The Sportster models, for example, were left with 2021 end dates, with the exception of the Roadster which is only listed from 2016-2020. It's no secret that the Sportster line as we know it is on its final legs.

Why are Harleys so iconic? ›

Harleys are heavyweight bikes and have greater rake angles and longer wheelbases. What that means is that Harleys have great stability, and while they may not be as agile as some other makes and models, they're more reliable on long rides down the highway. Harley Davidsons are also highly customizable.

What's so special about Harley-Davidson? ›

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are made to last. With their durable assembly matched with their revolutionary engines, these bikes are incredibly durable. Plus, most of their parts are easily replaceable; meaning that you can purchase new parts when they become damaged or well-worn instead of buying an entirely new bike.

What style of motorcycle is a Sportster? ›

The Sportster® SuperLow is classic Harley-Davidson. The styling is effortlessly iconic, with plenty of steel and chrome accenting the premium paintjob for a look that is both sleek and strong.

Videos

1. First EVER 2 stroke powered Harley-Davidson(Engine Swap)
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2. DOC HARLEY: LET’S PUT AN END TO OIL IN YOUR AIR CLEANER
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3. Harley Davidson Primary Chain Adjustment : Pro Tip
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4. How to Test a Harley Davidson Coil : Weekend Wrenching
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5. DOC HARLEY: AFTER MARKET BATTERIES
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6. Need Buell Blast Information, Reviews and Prices?
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