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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I've recently joined the forums, and was hoping to seek out some advice. I will be newly licensed next month, and I am currently in the market for my first cruiser. The problem is that I am a 24 yr. old, 6'5", 350lb man that wears a size 15 6e shoe. Even my helmet, which was a 5XL, is large....These factors have made it difficult to find a cruiser that is comfortable underneath my large frame. With my lack of experience, I thought going with a 200-500cc (random range) cruiser would be best, but none of the rides felt comfortable. Mainly, I had issues with the locations of the shifter and rear brake. Either they put my legs into awkward angles, or my large boots (specifically size 15, 6e) did not work well with the shifter. Switching from boots to more flexible shoes is a possibility, but I rather wear my boots while riding for safety reasons. As of today, the most physically comfortable cruiser that I've found is a 2008 Harley Davidson XL1200C Sportster. The forward controls were amazing, and the ability to have my legs stretched out was great. The weight of the cruiser was easy enough to handle, I have strength from my college football days, but I was worried about the power behind that 1200cc's. It looked amazing and is my current dream starter cruiser, but my safety and that of others on the road is more important to me. I don't have experience riding, and want to make a good decision that keeps me riding for years. So...that brings me to my two main questions.

-Are there any similarly designed, but less powerful cruisers that would work well with my size, and that would be a good starting cruiser for a complete beginner?
or
-Should I stick with the used 2008 Harley Davidson XL1200C Sportster, and just take my time while learning to safely ride it?

I should mention that I live in Iowa, and there are plentiful options for finding a ride to call my own.
 

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Hello Bubba and welcome to a great forum and some helpful people:wink2:

I'm 6ft-5in tall and 350lbs of corn fed table muscle and I wear a size 13 shoe so I face the same issues as you. Comfort is my number 1 criteria now:crying:

You will probably get lots of opinions on Cruisers as LOTS of us either have them or have had them in the past.:smile:

I also feel comfortable on the Sportster 1200 Custom and it is a fine bike---sorta---kinda but you will more than likely have to do like I did on my last Sportster and replace the TERRIBLE short travel rear shocks!:surprise: Front forks are okay but can use some stiffer springs. Progressive makes shocks and springs for the Sporty:grin:

The 1200cc Sporty has plenty of power, as much as some of Harley's big twins and will out run all of them:smile_big:

There are other cruisers that let you stretch out but I suggest that you go to some dealers and sit on them and ride them if they will let you.

I just sold my last cruiser, a 2012 Yamaha V-Star 1300T, touring and it was very comfortable.

Lots of BIG BONED guys like you and I are going to 'Adventure bikes,' as they tend to have more room to stretch out.

Sam:grin:
 

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Bubba, I got an inch more height than you, but you have a 100lbs over me! Anyway, don't worry about that 1200 Sportster. You're such a big guy that it won't be a handful physically. It is a fairly powerful bike, but as long as you're not stupid with the throttle you'll be just fine. My first road bike was a 2006 XL1200C. Same bike you're looking at. I still have it, too. I never had a problem with it because I'm such a big guy. The bikes that many call "beginner" bikes are just too physically small for big guys.

If you do get the Sporty, the first thing you'll want to do is replace the shocks. I ended up putting air shocks from a Road King on mine. World of difference. Your weight will make the stock shocks useless and uncomfortable.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bubba, I got an inch more height than you, but you have a 100lbs over me! Anyway, don't worry about that 1200 Sportster. You're such a big guy that it won't be a handful physically. It is a fairly powerful bike, but as long as you're not stupid with the throttle you'll be just fine. My first road bike was a 2006 XL1200C. Same bike you're looking at. I still have it, too. I never had a problem with it because I'm such a big guy. The bikes that many call "beginner" bikes are just too physically small for big guys.

If you do get the Sporty, the first thing you'll want to do is replace the shocks. I ended up putting air shocks from a Road King on mine. World of difference. Your weight will make the stock shocks useless and uncomfortable.
Thank you for the advice! As far as part replacement goes...How easy is that to do on your own? I'm somewhat capable of doing work on my truck, and if I can transfer those skills to the cruiser that would be perfect.

& I definitely noticed that. Most of the bikes I tried were way too small. My first time on a motorcycle was on a lower-end sports bike in a parking lot when a family friend was teaching me. I ended up crashing due to my foot getting caught in an awkward position, which led to dislocating toes and tearing ligaments. I won't be trying anything that doesn't fit my body again.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hello Bubba and welcome to a great forum and some helpful people:wink2:

I also feel comfortable on the Sportster 1200 Custom and it is a fine bike---sorta---kinda but you will more than likely have to do like I did on my last Sportster and replace the TERRIBLE short travel rear shocks!:surprise: Front forks are okay but can use some stiffer springs. Progressive makes shocks and springs for the Sporty:grin:

Sam:grin:
Thank you for the advice! How much did it cost you to get that done? I'm pretty competent at working on my truck, and believe I can transfer some of those skills over.
 

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Bubba, I got an inch more height than you, but you have a 100lbs over me! Anyway, don't worry about that 1200 Sportster. You're such a big guy that it won't be a handful physically. It is a fairly powerful bike, but as long as you're not stupid with the throttle you'll be just fine. My first road bike was a 2006 XL1200C. Same bike you're looking at. I still have it, too. I never had a problem with it because I'm such a big guy. The bikes that many call "beginner" bikes are just too physically small for big guys.

If you do get the Sporty, the first thing you'll want to do is replace the shocks. I ended up putting air shocks from a Road King on mine. World of difference. Your weight will make the stock shocks useless and uncomfortable.
You got that right. I'm not near that big and even my lighter weight makes those shocks bottom out. Air is okay but I think they get rock hard before they get comfortable. I prefer coils over shocks. But the bike I have now has coil over air and it works quite well.
 

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If I'm getting the message right, basically I would want to change the shocks out as soon as I purchase the bike? I will probably check to see if they have already been changed out. It's a used bike with a lot of miles on it, so there's a possible some upgrades have already been done.
 

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Thank you for the advice! As far as part replacement goes...How easy is that to do on your own?
Switching out the rear shocks will take you about 30 minutes if you also stop for a cup of coffee. It's easiest if you have a jack or lift. or something to support the rear end of the bike. Stock Road King shocks should be fairly easy to find used.

Fork springs is a little more complicated but I'd see if you really need them before you invest in new ones.
 

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I definitely will. I don't plan on wasting any money. This bike is on the higher side of my price range, so I don't have a ton of money to go and have to upgrade parts. Thanks for the advice though. I'll look up some videos to check out the process.
 

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Yes, as mentioned, shocks on a Sporty are easy to change. They're fully accessable. The only catch you might have, is the large Torx bit needed, if it is the same as my 2006 model. It is size T-50. What kind of shock you want is up to you. Do research. The Progressive shocks are well rated. And you wouldn't need to mess around with air pressure. But I'm happy with my air shocks. The only thing I needed to do to make them fit was use a couple washers at the top bolt for clearance. Otherwise they were a direct bolt on fit.
 

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--

Well there's your problem. Those size 15 boots are too long. Switch over to size 11's and your pedal problems will disappear. It's not rocket science. :grin:

--
 

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Hi there, I'd say if you can get a Sporty1200
at a good price, go for it. I have forward controls
and the saddle is long enough for a passenger so
I really get to stretch out when riding. It does not
have the steel /rubber engine mounts but I have
gone on three hundred mile trips so it gives a good
ride. I put a little over twenty thousand since I bought
that Snortster November 22nd of 2012. I liked the
way she looks and very glad I did what was needed
to keep her going strong.
 
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