View Full Version : Anyone actually raced a BT?

10th December 2004, 15:18
I know we all seem to think the sportster is faster than the BTs in the 1/4, granted the superglide sport is likely the cloest one to us at 13.25 ish. Has anyone actually raced a BT that they knew for a fact was racing, how close was the BT, just out of curiosity, always wondered the difference and none of the local BTs wanna race.

10th December 2004, 15:52
I've had 12.4's out of a couple of Twinkies that I've done mild performance work on.

10th December 2004, 18:07
I have been told that an '04 Stage 1 1200 can run in the neighborhood of 12.85.

10th December 2004, 18:16
I am trying to keep this thread away from speculation..looking for people like Steve who have gotten some good times or actually raced a BT, thanks though.

10th December 2004, 19:18
For a good honest real world comparison, I bought my 2005 XL1200C one day after my dad bought a 2005 Wide Glide. We both had about 750-800 miles on our bikes. From dead stop on a long straight road, I backed off at 115 mph and waited for him to catch up. He was far behind me. We both weight about the same. His bike has the EFI. In first gear, he said he hit the rev limit and had to shift way before he heard me shift to second. By that time, I was a full length in front. Second and third added 2-3 more lengths per gear. I know that 04/05 gearing is higher than previous years, so pre-04 should be faster. I've also gone up against a Big Dog 107". He caught and passed me at 80 mph. And a custom with a 113" S&S smoked me flat out.

10th December 2004, 21:06
Watched American Thunder on Speed Channel the other night. They were showing the stationary dyno drags in sturgis. The two finalists were a Sportster v.s. a V-rod. All these highly modified BT's and none made the finals. The Sporty looked pretty hopped up, but the V-rod took the finals. Made me proud.

10th December 2004, 21:17
I bet that pissed off the BT crowd!

10th December 2004, 21:21
Well, the girls kept flashing their boobs! But yah, I imagine it did, some of those BT's looked like they had a lot of $$$ in them. Hee hee!

10th December 2004, 21:53
and there was a guy who had what appeared to be an average looking heritage softail or fat boy. It had big flared fenders similar to an Indian Chief, but I couldn't tell for sure as I was quite a bit away. The announcer called the guy's bike "The Porkster" he's evidently a local fixture at the track.

Anyway, The only visible enhancement was a Thunderheader and a NOS bottle on the back side by his rear shock. He ran NOS on the first pass and pulled a 10.44 at 145+ mph. The rest of the night he ran the bike without NOS and consistently ran 11.40's for probably 6 passes that I saw. This guy knew how to launch that baby too. It was quite amazing to see him run so well and he smoked every sport bike he ran against. I'm sure they were pissed!

By the way ,this was just a "run what you brung" night it was not bracket racing or anything. There was a few turbo'd out sport bikes that ran in the 9's but the Harley was the show for the night as far as I was concerned.

There is no way my little 1200 conversion would have stayed up with this BT thats for sure. :)

Later, chieftd

89 Sporty with 1200 conversion

10th December 2004, 22:27
I bet that pissed off the BT crowd!
It is funny how the BT crowd doesn't want to notice when a Sportster embaresses them. It' sort of a mental block with those riders they can't justify their expensive purcahse based on performance and some how it screws up their minds. They can't admit to the women that their bikes don't measure up to the "Little Harley" so they ignore the issue. Teach one of these guys a lesson at a traffic light and they will respect you but they won't want to talk about it especially around anyone. I had a very few who came up to me days after heir encounter with my bike and told me they didn't think it could go like that but mostly they just stay away and no longer challenge or try to provoke me to embarress them.

BECAUSE I WILL :laugh :clap :laugh

11th December 2004, 00:34
My sporty started off at 13's with basicly just the taxes paid on a '98 1200S.

A program of development saw me slowly get down to high 11's in 13 months from purchase.

An FXDX with SE heads, 95", 44CV, SE ignition and about a 251 cam WILL run 11's with the right rider.

The only way to tell is on a drag strip with a time card......anything else is guess work and hearsay

11th December 2004, 00:37
time card shmime card , two bikes that are identical will show differant et's with differant riders hell the same bike run at differant attmosheric condition will run differant et's

hows that for messin' with your mind?

11th December 2004, 01:10
I've run a number of BT's on the street, but always from a roll-on (usually half way thru first). Most guys I know, myself included, don't like to beat on our bikes doing burn-outs...Anyway, The 80 ci bikes are pathetic. No contest. The Twin Cams almost give me a run for my money, but they can't wind out their motors as far as I can, so I get a bike length each gear.
My favorite street race is with a regular riding buddy who has an Ultra MC Ground Pounder with a 113 S&S Motor. Usually from a 1st gear roll on whoever whacked the throttle first got the lead and held it, the other bike sticking like glue till about 90 mph. I can tell you that it pissed off my friend to no end that if I had a one bike lead I could hold it to 90 mph. Neither of us expected me to beat his cubic inches and I couldn't. But I do believe he expected his 23k + tax Ultra to trounce my 883/1200 HUGGER at any time and at any speed.
I've met any number of naive BT owners that believe bigger is always faster.. to them all I say....."HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF HORSEPOWER TO WEIGHT RATIO NUMBNUTS !!"

11th December 2004, 01:19
Maddog, I know what you mean with the rolling starts... not as abusive- no shock-loading of the drivetrain.

However, if you and your bud raced from a standing start, you would probably dominate him because your lighter bike would pull a good lead coming out of the hole.

Mass is always hardest to put in motion; once in motion it's easier to move. You have less mass than his BT, and should be able to pull a nice hole shot on him... I think you are actually giving him an advantage with the rolling start (although I'm sure he doesn't want to hear that :D ).

11th December 2004, 05:16
I don't know about the rest of your but if I pull the throttle full at 3 grans I will either pull a wheelie about 18 inches off the ground or spin the rear metezeler. I would rather try it from a standstill. I used to ride with a buddy with a very modified fatboy, He never won but it got close a few times. I am still waiting to pull up next to a stroker and get my ass kicked but it has not happened yet. Even smoked a ducati monster bad.

11th December 2004, 06:24
The surgeon general didn't say anything about smoking big twins: :p

11th December 2004, 12:08
Redrider...You're right, the roll on did give the 113 an advantage, but it made my win even sweeter. I'm saving the hole shot for someone who REALLY pisses me off.
I rode with 20 man group once that had a RUB on a Goldwing. Said Harleys were torture machines and that HE had 118 HP. I was hoping to get next to him at some point in the day, but it never happened. He needed a lesson in "BUY AMERICAN".

11th December 2004, 16:16
Sooner or later we all meet our match. I know that for sure. I'm not out looking for a fight and most of the BT's I've messed with were done in the same way as most of you; It starts out as an innocent take off from the light and half way through 1st the BT tries to aggressively take the lead by punching his throttle. It is hards not to react to that. Most of the bikes I've encounterd were the 80 cu in and I agree they are so pathetic in stock configuration the a kid on a bicycle won't have to work too hard. The be fair those 80 cu in engines are brutally reliable and they never were designed to be performance engines. Becareful trying to teach some of the Japanese bikes a lesson or it will be your turn to be embarressed. We stack up to just about every v twin comming out of japan that I know of including at least one v-twin sport type bike a 1000 cc Suzuki but don't be challenging any full blown crotch rockets cause even the little 600 cc machines with the right rider and engine tuning will smoke you.

I Have a lot of respect for the new 88" TC's with the right performance enhancements the Superglide can be a formidable challenge and if one catches you off guard it will be you trying to catch up. I've encountered one that with my 30 tooth counter sprocket gives me a real run for my money. We've done a bit of running together. We have both run "Road Guard" when riding with a large group after blocking one intersection to let all the bikes ride through seemlessly we then have to race up the outside to get to the next intersection. This Superglide really moves out! If he gets the jump on me than I'm behind him all the way past 100 mph. It is a very slow catch up process and usually we get to the front of the line before I catch him. I never felt confident that I could pass him just catch up and close the gap. I know he bought the bike and spent money making it run becuase he used to own a sporty and wanted a BT with performance. He never has been open about exactly what he has done to the engine. It is the only actual Harley BT that has empressed me so far. I have not encountered any 116" engines yet thay I know of anyway.

11th December 2004, 16:44
My buddy went through 3 motors on his FXR chasin me around on my 89. The rebuild stock, a Sputhe motor that was supposed to be the real deal, and a revtec. Somewhere on the 2nd or 3rd motor we had a little romp and when we pulled over he finally gave in and admitted it just pissed him off that he couldn't get that bike to take the sporty. That's when I decided to let him in on my little secret. Each time I would hear him go for the next gear, (when he actually found it on that thing), I would just wackthe throttle and put a really big gap between us. I had no fear of pushin that 89 to the limit. These were just little drags we use to do, he had more top end than I did and if he wanted to roll at 120 I couldn't keep up.

Long story short, after the revtec bit the dust he replaced it under warrentee and sold that bike. He has a buell now.

11th December 2004, 19:43
Ya Waterboy I know what your talkin about. Around town even my bike with the 30 tooth counter sprocket is hard to match. I'm not running anything more than a carb kit and breather and pipes to make more flow through the engine. Like I said I don't go looking for a fight and most guys around here have been educated as to what a 1200 sporty will do so the situation around here is pretty calm. I haven't come up against any customs with the 100" revtech motors yet but I've been told by a few that they are still no match for a well tuned 1200 sporty. The gearing on an 883 is low enough that it seems to compensate for the lower horses but they definately aren't a threat on the highway. My encounter with the Superglide I mentioned has always pretty much been rolling on the power while cruising. With my 30 tooth counter sprocket my bike is set up for cruising and I usually have to take the time to drop a gear before hittng the throttle so that superglide gets the jump on me. Like I said I don't know what has been done to that motor. There have been a few guys I ride with that have put the 107? kit in their bikes. My bike along with a converted 883 which isn't running with us anymore have pretty much dominated whenever we ride together. It is a fact that if you would spend the kind of money that it takes to buy a new BT harley on a good used 883 and put the difference into the motor and chasis the little sporty will pretty much be untouchable by most any V-Twin. The sporty is definetley the most bang for the buck. I for one didn't buy mine for that reason. I bought the sportster because I like the bike. The performance from my 1200 is just a bonus and not the reason I bought it.

12th December 2004, 00:38
1st of all i been looking at this web site daily since i bought my 04 on oct 2 03. dont know much about computers but ive finnally registered.wish ive done it sooner because there were so many replies i wanted to make.better late than never.so hi all. ive learned alot from this site so thanks.so as far as racing a bt,no but let me tell you my experience.i bought my 1st 04 1200c as i said last oct.loved it but thought i wanted a big twin so i sold my sporty on ebay.i put 500 bucs down on a used 04 low rider but i couldnt test ride because i had shorts on. i went back next day to test ride and man was i dissapointed.it had stage 1 done like my sporty but there was a huge difference in speed going through the gears.also didnt care how it handled and didnt like the mid controls but i knew i could change that.money was no issue,i could of bought any harly on the floor.i ended up buying another 04 1200c.only a different color.i love this bike no matter what kind of riding i do which is mostly back mountain country roads.thanks again. :)

12th December 2004, 00:48
Yup...buy what you like and ride it! The '04 has a performance advantage over the earlier sportys right out of the showroom because of the goodies in the engine that pre '04s have to pay extra for.

12th December 2004, 16:16
I have a 2004 1200r taxes paid . I dont have any track times or any checkered flag photos but I do have a huge laugh my ass off chart when it comes to the look on my riding buddies faces when they point down the rode and race their throttle wanting to see what my little sporty can do against their bt,s . the look on there face when they pull up to where Im waiting for them is priceless , kinda like the dude who gets slapped in the face with a big fish. :laugh I have been accused of running in the stealth mode ,normal looking bike but road rocket performance . yep its fun to rub it in the guys face but they take it all in good humor considering the grief they gave me over the honda I use to ride. im sure there is somebody out there who can blow away my sporty with there stage whatever monster bt but who cares I just like riding my bike. as my dad always said there is never a horse that couldnt be rode and never a rider who couldnt be throwed. I think im gonna go ride my bike now and see if I can re-aquire that big ole ignorant bliss grin I get when my sporty is purrin down the road :tour

12th December 2004, 21:59
can my xlh 883 beat 80 inch harly bt? :rolleyes:

12th December 2004, 22:02
Off the line yes but on a roll-on at highwy speeds maybe not. It definately won't out run it at top speed. Around town stop light to stop light your 883 should dominate if you ride it right.

13th December 2004, 01:10
:smoke After 6K of recent saddle time on an 04 1200c w/stage I, and one week on a stock 05 Fatboy, I'm pretty sure of the differences between at least these two bikes of mine in particular. Off the line and through second gear the sporty puts some big distance between itself and the BT, but when the BT hits 3rd it begins to roll and the distance closes. Before hitting 5th the BT passes the sporty.


13th December 2004, 01:15
:smoke Another thing, not being a long time HD rider, and after getting the Fatboy, I'm mystified by the "girl's bike" thing with sportys. My sporty was raw and powerful, like white lightnin', the Fatboy is smooth and easy like Tennesse sipping whiskey. How did raw and powerful become a girl's thing?


13th December 2004, 01:40
You have to under stand the history of this. In the 60's that bikers of that era had two choices of harley. They could buy the dressed BT's early 60's it was the Panhead or they could buy the Sportster. There were no other choices. These bikers used to kid each other about their rides. The big thing to do with a BT in those days was to "BOB" it. These bikes were called "Bobbers". They were before the Chopper came on the scene in the late 60's. The Idea of bobing a bike was to strip it of all the un-neccassary dead weight. That is where we get the Jock shift from. It eliminated all the linkage to the tank shifter. These bikes were stripped with the idea that they would perform better (Power to weight ratio's). Of coures taking away the springer seat on a hard tail ment you were also proving how tough you were when you rode such a machine. The Sportster was a great little machine because of it's performance in relation to the BT"s as were also the British bikes. In the bike clubs there was always a little kidding back and forth about what each guy rode. The Sportster crowd would kid the BT riders about them ridng Old Man's bikes because of the slower performance. They would even call a BT a "Cage" if it still had all the touring stuff on it. The BT riders would respond to those that rode the smaller Sporty's by calling their bikes a "Ladies Bike". It wasn't true! everyone knew that the XLCH Sportster could run circles around a BT "Bobed" or not. The critism was all tongue and cheek. Unfortunately the non-biker community caught wind of this sarcasim and it stuck. Harley in the 70's introduced their so called factory custom bikes and now there were more choices when buying a BT so the "Old Man's Bike" was not a suitable nick name for all but the FLH's. The kidding died down but unfortunately the "Girls or Ladies Bike" nickname stuck with the Sportster. It is still being riden by many Hardcore Bikers but not as much as it was in the 60's becuase now there are so many more choices in BT's when buying a bike.

You will not here any derogatory remarks about a sporty from the old hard core riders. They know and respect the sporty and it's History of being a real man's machine. many remember the Knee busting kick starters that thes bikes had and none of them would have dreamed of thinging these were ladies bikes. Theyjust kidded about them.

The sporty is easier to ride but it isn't by any stretch the easiest harley to pilot but the Nick Nmae has stuck.

Tell Jay Springstien that he rode a ladies bike. Tell Evil Knievel he rode a ladies bike. Tell the old 1% bikers that thry rode a ladies bike (excuse men while I step out of the way when you do that). It just isn't true and it is the sign of a lame and uneducated mind.

Don't let it bother you.

13th December 2004, 02:35
well said man !!well said i like your post alot !! great history :clap :tour

13th December 2004, 03:28
I'll try to put some figures together here to show the reason the Sportsters can take the BT's. To simplify things, I'll use dry weights, no rider weights and pretent gearing is identical. Also, assume that the riders are equal in ability.

Let's take a 2000 883/1200 weighing in at 492 lbs. (dry) and making let's say 75 ponies. That is 1 hp for every 6.56 lbs. Put that up against a BT (a Fatboy, since it was spoken of several times) that weighs in at 666 lbs. The Fatboy would have to make at least 101.56 hp to hang with our Sportster.

Obvioulsy, much more goes into determining a bikes acceleration rate than just dry weight and horsepower, but that gives you a crude idea of what it is going to take for a Fatboy to outperform a Sporty.

Oh and I've raced a lot of BT's. Some from a dead start, many from a slow roll on and some at 5th gear 70+ mph roll ons. I'm not sure why I've been challenged so much, maybe it's because my bike looks like an 883 C with a Forcewinder and Thunderheader:) and the BT's are thinking they have found an easy target. I dunno, but I've yet to have to read a BT's licence plate. Most of the BT's were some form of 88 inchers, but a couple were 95 and 103 inchers. One of the 103 inchers had me a little nervous when I couldn't shake him as quickly as I was used to, but in the end, I held him off too.

Power to total weight + riders ability + proper gearing plus many other factors will determine just how quick your bike accelerates. But from above, you can see it takes a pretty stout BT to out accelerate a Sportster.

13th December 2004, 21:00
Hi Shu: What other additions do you have to your engine that isn't stock. Many would be curious to know I'm sure.

13th December 2004, 22:29
OK here's some other figures

My gsxr1000 puts out around 150HP at the rear wheel and with me on it ready to ride with a full tamk of fuel it weighs under 650 lbs

That's 4.3 lbs of bike AND rider per HP at the rear wheel... :)

13th December 2004, 23:40
Stevo- is that 650 lbs before or after Christmas dinner? :D

14th December 2004, 00:11
hey red rider stevo's an auzzy and they don't celabrate christmas ....(or is that thanksgiving?)

oh what the hell do I know ;)

14th December 2004, 00:15
I think they celebrate Christmas there, but they stuff the pointy part of the tree in the holder instead of the trunk since they're on the upside-down part of the globe... :D

14th December 2004, 00:21
I think they use the eucalyptus trees instead of pine or spruce.

14th December 2004, 10:36
that's 650lbs AFTER chrissy dinner..... I weigh over 200lbs.....:)

Seriously guy s ya gotta ride a new jap hypersports to understand what REAL Horsepower is......

ANd then I go stuntin on it ;) 8) I've got grip tape on the tank....

14th December 2004, 13:44
Agreed, my last 3500 dollar beater VMAX could go a faster trap speed in the 1/4 than my Harley topped out. Around high tens in the mid 120's.

14th December 2004, 17:03
Seriously guy s ya gotta ride a new jap hypersports to understand what REAL Horsepower is......

That is no joke! The Ninja 9 and up, GSXR 1000, and Hyabusa 1300 are some serious butt puckerers:)

14th December 2004, 23:53
hey red rider stevo's an auzzy and they don't celabrate christmas ....(or is that thanksgiving?)

oh what the hell do I know ;)
if there's a piss up involved we celebrate anything :D :chtwo

as for a sports bike look st what they have done the the hayabusa
210hp at the rear wheel :eek:


14th December 2004, 23:58
Stevo, didja see that post Bert made with the guy that crashed, and they had to pull his brains out of a chain link fence?.... That would be me if I owned something that fast..... I'd be havin' fun right up until impact though!! :D :D

15th December 2004, 01:03
At one time in my life I would have craved such a hyperbike. I remember all of the gyrations we went through in the 'original' cafe racer days. I probably am here today because I did NOT have such a bike! ;)


15th December 2004, 01:24
G'day Red

Yeah but just 'cos ya got it doesn't mean it has to be used flat out everywhere.

I've had fast bikes most of my adult life and now the fastest I go is down the drag strip.........although I LURV the twisties and this thing is AWESOME up the mountain, It just floats the front and slides the rear all the way up :) :clap

15th December 2004, 01:36
I know what you mean, Stevo...

I've always had this thing to tell me if what I'm ridin' or drivin' is fast enough...

If I lay into it and it doesn't give you that scared feeling in the pit of your stomach when your done, it's not fast enough...

Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who is inclined to test the limits more than I should... This is the part that would get me in trouble with a scoot like you have. :wonderlan

15th December 2004, 01:46
Yeah I know what ya mean.......and it's not just your mistakes either...if some clown comes around the corner on the wrong side ya don't have much time to react with the speed these things go.

I try to keep a reasonable safety margin on the street but even that is way faster than really sensible, then again if we were sensible we'd ride bog stock 883's or step thru's and my sporty is goin out to 88" 'cos 11 second 1/4's weren't fast enough.....

and I don't get scared anymore...I just ride at a speed I feel comfortable with on the day.........even when I over cook it and stuff I don't get scared just cranky with myself because I made a mistake....and that pushes me faster on the next corner, till a little voice in my head says "slow down dickhead, ya goin too fast"

I don't even get a buzz from drag racin anymore....I've learned to switch my emotions off and just concentrate on the bike and track only...I tried a heart rate monitor a while back and it was no different between ridin, testin or racin.

Guess that means I'm gettin old and jaded.. :rolleyes: :shhhh

15th December 2004, 04:40
I tried a heart rate monitor a while back and it was no different between ridin, testin or racin.

Guess that means I'm gettin old and jaded.. :rolleyes: :shhhh

Don't know about old and jaded, but maybe turn the heart monitor on next time :laugh

Experience kills the jitters, but pushing the envelope of your abilities brings them back and the adrenaline is a rush...just be careful because at some point you become less afraid than your machine has ability and when it fails, you do too:)