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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Which Sportster

I have been watching Craigslist for months. I have bought Suzuki 650 single to get back on a bike because it is cheap, light, and belt driven. I do intend to step up to a Sportster. I see that 883 and 1200 models seem to be split about 50/50 on the used market. I am curious as to how they compare. I am sure there is a lot of Sportster riders here that have owned both. Thanks for your thoughts.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 08:26 AM
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If you just have to have a HD, and it has to be a Sportster, then go with the 1200... Even though I think a Dyna Glide is a smoother ride...
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 12:47 PM
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True.
There's so many of the sportsters out in the marketplace. Just a stepping stone I suppose, people trying to make them into something that they were not intended to be.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-23-2017, 01:02 PM
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I have several bike. My first road bike was a 2006 1200 Sportster. I still have it. Even though I ride my bigger Harley more, the Sportster is a lot of fun. Besides the Vrod, it was Harley's fastest bike. And while the nay-sayers talking about HDs being slow and antiquated, it's a fun, fast bike. I'll hold onto it and pass it on to my kid when he's the right age.

The nice thing about Sportsters is that they don't hold their resale value quite as good as the bigger HDs. So if you're buying used, they can be had for a good deal. If you have bike experience already, no doubt go for the 1200 if you just want to jump on and ride. Stock for stock they are much more powerful than the 883. Add a better set of shocks and a better seat and you have a bike good for all days rides. I rode mine a lot before getting the Ultra Classic. Even rode it two up a lot.

On the other hand, if you are a mechanical type, there are easy to install and reliable 1200cc big bore kits for the 883 that make it a beast of a bike to ride. It'll be faster than a stock 1200. An 883 can be bought much cheaper than a 1200 in most cases, and the bolt on big bore kits run about $600-$1000 (depending what options you want). So if you're good with a wrench, it can be the better deal.
http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2014/02/26/...moking-sporty/

Last edited by Lurch77; 04-23-2017 at 01:06 PM.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 09:11 AM
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Besides the difference in engine size, there are differences in ergos...lower seats, forward or mid controls, handlebar differences. I have an '08 1200R, which has a seat height of almost 30", mid controls, and comfy bars that are not too high or low. I've yet to find another model, sportster or big twin, that I like better than the one I've had for almost 10 years. So go sit on a bunch of them so you can decide which model is best for you.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-24-2017, 01:41 PM
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There is a good used market for the bikes at present. My youngest brother just bought his first one a couple months ago. His is the black one in the back, it's an 06 with about 20K on the clock. He gave $3K for it.

My other brother owns the red one in the front, its a 96 in very good shape, low miles. He bought it about two years ago for about $2800.
Mine is the middle one, its a 1995 I bought new.

They are all 883's, we all ride two up at one time or another. I just went back to the single seat and lowered rear end this year. But my wife and I have ridden hundreds of miles two up and I have ridden thousands of miles on it. I'm 6 one and not frail...

My baby brother is six four and he was riding his girlfriend the day this picture was taken. The picture is a couple hours from our homes.

Find the best deal you can on the newest bike with the lowest mileage, but I would not let 883 vs 1200 play too much into it. You might read up on rubber mount and EFI and when those changes where made. Some folks like the change and some don't.

Of course 1995 was the best year they made them and the last year for the peanut tank.
But don't ask my brothers, they seem to have different ideas...

(All three bikes have had some minor jet work and exhaust mods done.)


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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Back in the 60's the XLCH had the peanut tank and XLH had a bigger tank but not near a attractive. One of the attractions of the CH was the looks of the peanut tank and still is IMO..... One of the posters mentioned the seat height difference. I assume the 883 has the lower seat height which would be beneficial to me since I am only 5'9" and small framed but old age fat and 180#. When I was a kid the local HD shop was a hole in the wall outfit and the mechanic was just barely out of High School and he rode a sharp blue CH that I admired. It was a monster compared to most of the bikes in the area other than the few 74's. That was the day of the Honda Super Hawk 305's.

I really thought this question would draw a lot of opinions.

I know Eye rides Sportsters and was looking forward to a response from him too. I did find it interesting to hear that some don't seem to have much of a preference of one over the other. I expected to hear 1200 being the preference but I was actually sort of leaning towards the original 883 as I am somewhat of a traditional kinda fella.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 09:46 AM
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2004 was the year they switched to the rubber mount engine. The difference in ride quality is very significant. Much, much less vibrations felt by the rider. The downside, however, is the bikes gained significant weight, and look more bulky. They went from looking like a basic bare bones bike (which is cool) to a more modern machine. 2006, the model year I have, is the last carburetor models. Fuel injection arrived in 2007.

If you're looking for a cool bike to customize, I recommend a 2003 or older. If you plan to ride it a lot, especially long distance, you'll find the rubber mounts more comfy. And, of course, the fuel injected models are less finicky on a cool morning if you just hate playing with a choke and waiting for the engine to warm up.

No matter what year or model you buy, you'll have a bazillion repair and customizing parts available. The Sportster has one of the strongest aftermarket support streams on the planet. You can chop it, cafe racer it, bob it, touring it, go vintage, dirt track it, etc, etc, etc.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 11:17 AM
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2004 and up for the rubber mounts. Carbs ended when the 2007 Sporty came out. The Peanut tank is useless unless you enjoy filling up VERY often and being worried when you leave town---which you may not want to do anyway with the bikes stock 2.5 inches of rear shock travel and a small and hard stock seat. The single disk brake on front is useless. The Sporty is also small so if you have a passenger you'll become intimate soon. They only get about 40 mpg and that's because it's so much fun to always rap the obligatory stage 1, 2 or 3 screaming eagle exhaust all the time. They both have good torque but calling them fast is an exaggeration. They are very reliable and handle well in the turns.

I love Sportster's and my last was a beautiful 2005 883R, with the stage 1 kit, 4.5 gallon tank with matching seat, progressive HD and long travel rear shocks, engine guard and a leather handlebar pouch for my cell phone. The "R" models had dual front disks which helped the braking a lot.

If you buy the 883 and then have a 1200 or 1250 kit installed, your Insurance company will have no idea

Sam

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 01:03 PM
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ditz View Post

I know Eye rides Sportsters

I think you will find the Eye may ride a Sportster if he works on it, but owns a Springer and Road King. I think Mrs Eye is on a Road King as well.


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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 05:44 PM
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Lot's of ideas and opinions being thrown out. I currently ride an 04, which as others have said, is the first year for rubber mount. More comfortable than the older solid mount. My bike is a 1200, now a 1250 engine. Mods have been made to the engine but that's not important. Some may like the old school peanut tank for its looks, but I wouldn't consider owning one, it's just not practical for any kind of riding unless you're only going bar to bar, and they better be close.

You don't need an 03 or earlier Sportster just to look cool. As for weight, the early Sportsters tipped the scale at just a tad below 500 pounds. Not much lighter than my 04.

On the performance end of things, the stock 1200 is much better than the 883, just my opinion. Not sure what Porky was talking about but, my modified 1250 still gets 47/48 mpg without problem. And my single front disc brake works just great. Whether one is considered fast is up to the rider. I usually equate fast with top end and quick with acceleration. I never cared much for top end, I'd rather be a little quick.

As for the dual front disc brakes. Unless you are doing a lot of high speed riding, using your brakes all the time, I see no need for dual disc. For my money it just adds weight and initial cost, and it's only advantage is being able to absorb heat better than a single disc. Now the 900 pound land yachts may benefit from the dual disc's, I'll concede that point. I don't see the stopping power being increased as that is dependant on the traction of the front tire. But then I'm very anal about my braking system, both front and back. I've changed to floating rotors front and back and high end calipers that work great.

Buy what you like, matters little what I think..
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-25-2017, 07:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tobacco Road View Post
You don't need an 03 or earlier Sportster just to look cool. As for weight, the early Sportsters tipped the scale at just a tad below 500 pounds. Not much lighter than my 04.
It's just my opinion that the 2003 and earlier models look better for certain customizations. They are leaner looking. Because they are leaner. They clean up and strip down with less fuss. In 2003 the 1200 was 491lbs dry. The 2004 jumped to 562lbs. 71lbs is not significant for what these bikes are typically used for, but it's still a big chunk for a single year change. I'll still keep my bloated 2006, since I like riding and like to keep feeling in my hands and butt.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-26-2017, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Good point Lurch. Never cared for numb hands either. From all the info brought forth for this newbie looks like 06' or 07' should be my oldest target. I am not looking to customize or hot rod. Just a good rider. Thanks to all
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