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View Full Version : Would you buy a Sportster S?


45Brit
7th August 2021, 09:02
So, after the general hoo-hah of the introduction, would you buy one of these Bikes? For me, the conclusion I've come to is.... it depends. I definitely wouldn't buy ANY bike with 120-plus horsepower, a single front disc and 2" of rear suspension travel. I wouldn't buy ANY bike with a seat that's uncomfortable after half an hour, after the experience of the "ironing board" on my Bonneville T100. I wouldn't buy ANY bike with forward footrests. On the whole, I think it's great that The MoCo have introduced a modern sporting engine but right now, I'd be looking at the PanAm - because its a complete bike. That's assuming Ducati or Kawasaki didn't get the money.

NLXL
7th August 2021, 13:06
No.

I wouldn't just buy a motorcycle that happens to have a Harley-Davidson sticker on it and which has been given the name of a successful model purely for marketing purposes. That's just buyer fraud. Maybe the youth or people who are less mechanically savvy and don't know the history of Sportster engine will fall for that.

IF I was looking for a bike like this I would rather opt for a European or Japanese motorcycle. Simply because I would then have a lot more choice and also spend a lot less money.

I think the Pan Am is a slightly different story. That is a new design that stands alone with its own name that will have to prove itself in a niche market where there is also more choice.

Perhaps they should have done the same with this bike. Then we could have just graciously mourned the Sportster's death. The biggest mistake they made was to call it a Sportster.

Tomcatt
7th August 2021, 14:29
...I definitely wouldn't buy ANY bike with 120-plus horsepower, a single front disc and 2" of rear suspension travel. I wouldn't buy ANY bike with a seat that's uncomfortable after half an hour, after the experience of the "ironing board" on my Bonneville T100. I wouldn't buy ANY bike with forward footrests...
120 hp is fine but not required. My Sportster makes 90ish RWHP, it's enough. My R9T makes 115+ RWHP but usually gets rode staying under 6,500 rpm (and with the db killer in the muffler) where it makes 85ish HP.

I knew my 1200C had crap suspension (and seat) when I bought it but was surprised how bad the suspension (rear shocks in particular) really was. It was also surprising how poorly the stock motor ran, it became pretty acceptable with an un-restricted air cleaner and PowerVision. Then much better as a 1275...

The deal breaker would be the 3.1 gal tank. Something I suspect there's no real "fix" for. If I couldn't have found a Sportster with the 4.5 gal tank I wouldn't have a Sportster. My R9T would be an only child...

Nibelungen
7th August 2021, 14:43
never say never
bikes is like with women.. irrational...
you choose what your heart (or your instinct) told you...
no matter if you would have advantages or not

my stock 2017 (rebuilded completely stock for choice) has 45 hp at the wheel... had previously bikes with more than 100 hp... I love them all...


p.s. in my early twenties I used to say never I have bought an HD... heavy old's men bikes... with poor power, poor braking capabilities, etc...

since early thirties I own a Sporty (23 years)... and it's my bike... the other bikes I ride (and enjoy) are not mine...

Tomcatt
7th August 2021, 15:13
...never say never...
I can say with certainty the Sportster S version we're seeing is a NEVER.

I'll be 70 in November, my 1200C and R9T will probably be the bikes I have 'til I can't ride any more, which is hopefully still quite a few years away...

Steve9
7th August 2021, 18:07
never say never
bikes is like with women.. irrational...
you choose what your heart (or your instinct) told you...
no matter if you would have advantages or not

my stock 2017 (rebuilded completely stock for choice) has 45 hp at the wheel... had previously bikes with more than 100 hp... I love them all...


p.s. in my early twenties I used to say never I have bought an HD... heavy old's men bikes... with poor power, poor braking capabilities, etc...

since early thirties I own a Sporty (23 years)... and it's my bike... the other bikes I ride (and enjoy) are not mine...

I said the same thing as you when in my 20's

65 now and I love my '81 ironhead four-speed. Probably 60 hp as it has a little work done on it.

Change is the one constant in life. Si.

Toejam503
7th August 2021, 19:49
I'm 65 now and don't plan on buying anymore bikes. The Sporty, I have now, fills all my needs. If it were to get stolen or wrecked beyond repair, the Sportster S would be at the top of my list as a replacement.

clif02
7th August 2021, 20:21
At this point now I would not. Too pricey. I’d save 3-4 k, put a tuner on an Indian Scout and come out ahead. But as it is I’m happy with and will keep my 1200R.

3sporty53
7th August 2021, 20:27
Maybe. I'd have to see it and ride it before making that decision. I'm keeping my '02 Sporty though.

rocketnorton
7th August 2021, 20:32
over $20k here otd
+ not my style
i'd like a late 90s s tho

t.c. Johnson
7th August 2021, 23:04
No. That new Sportster S is the ugliest bike I've ever seen. And I've owned some ugly ones.

ZCarFan
8th August 2021, 03:28
Nope... That's Super Duke GT money there. And the KTM comes with side cases and 30 more HP.

Not likely I'll be shopping for anything in that price range any time soon, but if I did, it would have to be a "one bike" solution. It would need to be slab friendly, easy handling on tight back roads and have enough clearance for unpaved county roads. The S doesn't do any of that but a number of Euro and Asian bikes do with similar performance.

Sporting Lad
8th August 2021, 10:54
Why can't HD just let the Sportster be what it is? Most of the big manufacturers are making 'retro' models now, so let's see MoCo retain the XL in their line-up as their 'retro', being reminiscent of the 1960s.
Sure, develop some fancy new model using all the latest modcons and go-fast technologies, but don't call it a 'Sportster'. Call it a 'Jetster', or a 'Landspeeder'.
I like my Sportster just the way it is, and I love it for what it is; it does not have to be made "better".
The first time I heard the exhaust note of the New and Improved 'Sportster', I did a spontaneous and genuine "laugh out loud". Do they really expect their new sound to replace that 'stuttering potato' we've come to love over the past 70 some years? That's music to my ears. What they're replacing it with is something that reminds me of a runaway party balloon. "P-p-p-p-p-p-p-p-pooh...." ("lol!").

Cmd11
8th August 2021, 11:32
I wouldn’t buy one don’t like the looks at all. They did the same thing with this model as the custom models. Where with custom they used a fatboy rear wheel hub. With this they used the fatbob pipes.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

xlerate
8th August 2021, 14:31
I agree with Sporting Lad and would argue that, while the "old" Sportster may not be the best bike on the road, it is the best bike in the world! It is easy to live with, easily modified and damn good looking in any guise. And goes and goes and goes according to the mileage some members are doing.

Having said that, I think the Sportster S looks good, but for that money ($28k new in NZ) I'd get the Street Bob 114 ($25k new) instead to continue my penchant for a 45* air-cooled (mostly) long-stroke push-rod V-twin engined motorcycle.

jimmyess333
16th August 2021, 22:05
NO.
I think it's ugly, overpriced, and overcomplicated.

perfesser
17th August 2021, 02:18
ah.....no.

84rzv500r
17th August 2021, 15:47
At 60 I'll stick with my 1999 Sportster S... With the XR1200X kit it handles and brakes and rides just the way I like it and it can use a bit more power... just one more thing to do and that's Hammer 1275 it.. 120 HP is not that alluring to me as the new styling Kinda Sucks... and power to weight is king... I have a 320 lb wet road racer that makes 110 RWHP and I had and sold a 450lb 50th anniversary R1 yamaha with the full on Graves Motorsports engine something over 160 RWHP... I ride my 99 Sportster S every day...

Akdawg
17th August 2021, 16:14
Having got a few thousand on the Pan America now.....It runs the roads just fine (freeways are a waste of a good motorcycle), gets me on back roads the belt drive had me cautious of. The 85 IH is still here, fun to ride chasing parts n to the bar and will probably be the last to leave if when that happens. Both of them capable of getting me tickets. But horsepower, experienced, is very addictive. One thing I do know...next set of tires on the 85IH gonna be the Michelin Scorchers, man do they grip! Far as I'm concerned.. the PA is the next Sportster

sportsterpaul
19th August 2021, 21:07
NO, that riding position would kill my lower back for one. Mids are a must,(probably an expensive upcharge for what should be standard. The tiny seat might get me 50 miles?Little tanks don’t work for me, pipes could be a hell of a heat scorch on the inner thigh,eh? Those tires just don’t look flickable, sorry.

riceburner
15th October 2021, 21:47
Only with a carburator, bought a 1998 1200S yesterday, some minor maintenance and adjustments done this am by Bob the local Harley Guru at BET Cycle shop(not a dealer),the seat fits my 71 year old skinny butt just fine, power is more than enough for me.Love it.Going for another ride.Bye:banana

iBloke
15th October 2021, 23:11
Only with a carburator, bought a 1998 1200S yesterday, some minor maintenance and adjustments done this am by Bob the local Harley Guru at BET Cycle shop(not a dealer),the seat fits my 71 year old skinny butt just fine, power is more than enough for me.Love it.Going for another ride.Bye:banana
Great bike, excellent choice… although I’m biased lol

Here’s my 98 1200S … and I would buy the new S if it were affordable here in Australia.

http://xlforum.net/forums/picture.php?albumid=123&pictureid=971

LLOYD883
16th October 2021, 20:06
Absolutely NOT ! I'm with Sporting Lad and sportsterpaul on this. Frankly I think it's an insult to the Sportster tradition, they should have called it V-rod II.

XL Dane
17th October 2021, 12:31
No. Looks is a matter of taste, and for me the only thing i like on the Sportster S is the tank. What I don’t like is the overly clumsy front wheel. The strange heavy looking exhaust system. The stubby back end and the headlamp. The seat looks even more uncomfortable than my std. 48 seat but I haven’t sat on it.
I do like the power, but it would only get me in trouble, fast.

Iron Mike
17th October 2021, 17:10
Funny, if this forum was around in ‘86, the same comments could have been heard.

MikeBel
18th October 2021, 00:26
Sure I would! In fact I already bought one!


https://i.ibb.co/ypsNt1J/IMG-1551-small.jpg (https://ibb.co/zFfmpYw)