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hope that by posting what's on my mind occaisionally, I can get to know XLforum folks better, and share both motorcycle thoughts and non-moto thoughts and thereby communicate, making the world a better place (lol), blah blah blah....

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some equipment changes

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Posted 6th September 2009 at 23:26 by emzdogz

well I changed some of the bolt-on stuff on my 07 XL1200L over the summer. Just today went for a ride to really test out how I like it all.

Went from a Memphis Shades handlebar-mount shield to a National Cycles "Flyscreen".

Went from a Drag Specialities 2-up seat to a Mustang WIDE solo.

Went from sissy bar and some sort of bag attached, to NO sissy bar at all, and instead a pair of Willie and Max bags mounted up with Easy Brackets.

What I am most tickled with: I guess I'd have to say the bags. I don't feel them back there at all while underway, and they don't seem to cause any extra drag. (this is the first set of leave-on bags I've ever had on any bike of mine!) And what I LOVE is getting on or off, I don't have to swing my leg sky high up over the sissy bar, or left-legged hop backwards til I can extricate it from the front of the sissy bar. NOW I just step off the bike! Not much leg swingage or hopping required at all! yay!
The ONLY somewhat irritating thing with the bags is you have to do or undo 2 buckles in order to reach in to get something.

Second: the seat. It IS significantly more comfortable than the Drag Specialties seat, due to the width and it is head and shoulders above the quality of the ass-killer stock seat.
To be honest though, I'd like to have the Mustang re-worked just a TAD.
OK I'm gonna confess something here. I have fat thighs. There, I said it.
And the Mustang if I wear kinda tight jeans sort of interferes/f_cks with the very top back of my thigh. It feels like it grabs it. If I wear baggy pants its not an issue.
Also yes it does raise me way up....I feel a slight cutting away of the foam in the aforementioned area which corresponds with the very high back of my thighs, that when I put my feet DOWN that would allow my feet a much straighter path down to terra firma.
After about a 2 hour ride today, the ass pain was significantly less than with either of the other seats.

Third: the flyscreen.
sigh....its cute in the extreme and it keeps wind and water and debris off the back of my gauge, but truly it does basically nada as far as guiding wind away and over my head. Off my chest? yes, I think, a bit. With a fullface helmet, with visor closed there is no head buffeting at highway speeds. But if I try to get a breeze and open that visor up....its no good with this little screen. the wind catches my glasses and tries to pull them off my face, etc.
At low speed, of course its not an issue.
So I'm really not sure what to do about my shield situation. The good thing is I do have the Memphis Shades I can put back just bothers my sense of aesthetics more than anything.
So my windshield shopping is not done, I guess.

But as far as seat and luggage, I think I'm all set - unless I go on a long cross country trip or something, in which larger saddlebags will be called for. But for weekend or 3 day trips, these compact Willie and Max's are just fine!
Might get a little curvy chrome rack for the back fender so I would be able to set an additional bag, in the form of a duffel - across the bike sideways. The Easy Brackets also provide handy bungee/strap attachment points.

I just can't BELIEVE how nice this bike runs. It wails when I want it to wail and it putters around like a family pet Shetland pony when I want that.
I A D O R E this bike.
I remain, 2 years into it, thrilled to own it. Usually by the 2nd year's doldrums of Florida yucky summer, I am itching to sell or trade...get something different, etc.
Not now! If it continues to run this sweet, I look fwd to owning this bike for a long time.

You know its like I see Dynas that are pretty, I really like the Street Bob..... and I also like this new FatBoy Low alot....but really I prefer not to ride such a big horse. This Sporty is already a big bike for someone my height. I'm completely not in the mood for a bike that weighs a good 100 lbs more, lower CG or no lower CG. That's just how I feel about that.

So, I'm lovin' it!
thanks 4 readin'!
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  1. Old Comment
    sportytrace's Avatar
    sounds like it might be time to chop the mephis shade to some where between the two....
    And I hear you on the mustang! I'd prefer it lower and slimmer at the front. So not sure whether to modify the mustang or add more padding to the nightster base keeping the same shaping if possible, just add more cushioning.
    Posted 7th September 2009 at 09:46 by sportytrace sportytrace is offline
  2. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    hi Trace, as far as modding the Mustang seat...I was going to get that done right away, but was put off a bit after calling Sargent's, in Jacksonville, who are right at the top notch of the seat mod business. The person I sopke to said the seat would have to be recovered if I had the foam dished out some. Saying the current cover would no longer be large enough. Trying to wrap my brian around that concept - that a smaller, less voluminous seat, would require more square inches of material to cover. Thinking maybe I didn't explain what I wanted correctly. I can visualize how perhaps if just the middle of the seat were scooped out, that might be the case, but if the edges were shaved too, it seems to me it would utilize the same or even less material.

    Might take it to a local shop or two.

    One nice thing though about all that padding, its its quite confortable now to sit way up forward on the seat if I want to. Just as an alternative position.

    As far as the shield, yep, might cut down my Memphis Shades.... its not the kind I prefer though. I'd rather have that kind like what Dan used to cut down - a 3 point mount shield. Rather than this bar-mounted one I have. But yes, I think I will try that before buying another one. (for now)
    Posted 8th September 2009 at 20:29 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Great write up em. Good to hear the feedback about the fly screen......thanks. Glad you're lovin' your bike !!
    Posted 10th September 2009 at 05:35 by sportyblue sportyblue is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Rob Hall's Avatar
    I bought a National Cycles screen too. But mine is the "Deflector", and I love it. Much better than the original HD screen with a huge range of adjustments. In the rain, my shoulders get wet but not my chest. It takes the wind pressure off my chest though, with no helmet buffeting.

    Seat: I bought a standard HD dual seat and have had
    70 000km of total comfort on it. Why look any further?

    I have Willie and Max panniers too. OK, I suppose, but why can I never buy bags that DO NOT have rust-prone steeel rivets. A little flash of chrome is no good. Why not copper rivets?

    Posted 10th September 2009 at 11:03 by Rob Hall Rob Hall is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Rob Hall's Avatar
    [IMG]my documents/my pictures/clearinghouse sept 09/10.09.09[/IMG]
    My windscreen.
    Posted 10th September 2009 at 11:22 by Rob Hall Rob Hall is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Rob Hall's Avatar
    Sorry the picture of my screen did not attach. How do you do that?
    Posted 10th September 2009 at 11:25 by Rob Hall Rob Hall is offline
  7. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    hi Rob, I think your link is maybe missing some characters? as least maybe an
    "http" and/or "www"? anyway I tried adding those characters but still nothing.
    Would love to see them sometime.

    I hear you on the "steel rivets".
    Yes copper or brass studs would be really good looking. My bags have a really different sort of stud...they are almost more like a "bead"...I think they are metal but they are sort of colored. So mine are dark blue to match the bike's paint. At first I was afraid they would be a little gaudy, but in fact since the spots are dark blue, they're actually pretty subtle. We shall see how they hold up over time. But for the moment I am happy.
    Thanks for chiming in!
    Posted 10th September 2009 at 13:58 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  8. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    thanks Debbra!
    Posted 10th September 2009 at 13:59 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  9. Old Comment
    Rob Hall's Avatar
    Hi again Em

    Sooner or later I'll learn how attach my own pics to this site.
    Meantime it is so good to talk to you ladies and fellows, half the world away.

    One of my riding cobbers said to me when I fitted the (rather small) "Deflector" screen;

    "How can you justify fitting a windscreen to a Sporty?"

    I thought for a moment and replied "We flattrackers need a little dodger to avoid the dust and sand thrown up by the Yamahas and Triumphs, when we lap them....."

    (He owns both.....)

    And then came the day when I fitted panniers: Because I use the bike as my day to day transport as well as my "On any Sunday" funbike.

    Then after a club run (Sunshine Coast branch of the Ulysses Club), I realised that I was out of beer.

    So I visited the bottle shop and bought a slab of XXXX cans, and attached them to my carrier with an ocky strap.

    Holy s****! What happened to my handling? It felt worse that my BMW!

    Heavy weight, of course, high up. So I fitted the Willie and Max panniers.

    (Oh and Hi to the good folks at Appleton Harley and Buell in Wisconsin to whom I had to explain that "panniers" are the same as "saddlebags"; only in Old English.)

    Because the weight is so low, almost any load I carry makes no difference to the handling. Elsewhere on this site, you will find a thread on fitting a Dyna tank to your Sporty.

    Dont do it! You can easily carry a *free* 5 litre oil container of fuel in one of the panniers, which will give you the same range without the horribly high centre of gravity problems that the big tank provides.

    And what to say to the purists who insist that a Sportster should be as lean and mean as a dirtbike?

    Try "Pony Express". Smile and walk away. Do not say "google" over your shoulder. They are intelligent guys (girls would not bother) They'll work it out.

    But it is in fact Wikipedia of course that gives us the story. The Pony Express was America's high speed transit system before the railways went through, and the riders sat on a strap that ran between the "panniers" that held the precious mail. 19th century email, if you will. So I am cool with such a terse and trim transit system on my own bike.


    Everyone knows about the
    Posted 11th September 2009 at 14:30 by Rob Hall Rob Hall is offline
  10. Old Comment
    emzdogz's Avatar
    hi Rob - great posting! thanks, I enjoyed that.

    As far as justification, for me, the justification is that there have pretty much always been "highway" models of Sportster available, from the very beginning. Thinking of the "turtle tanked" models that also often had windshields and as you say "panniers" installed.

    If one is going the use the XL as a cafe type bike, sure I can see keeping it naked. Its prettiest that way, for sure.
    But eventually a person needs to haul beer or an extra jacket or as you mention, even a gas can. And the shield makes it alot easer to do really high mileage days. Especially in the rain.

    So I wouldn't be able to pay much attention to the "how can you justify" arguement.

    take care, and thanks again for chiming in.
    Posted 11th September 2009 at 14:54 by emzdogz emzdogz is offline
  11. Old Comment
    Dear emzdogz:

    My friend also have same problem with the bags. and he told me that he find out way. Will ask him and let you know as soon as possible.

    Thanks & regards:
    Posted 15th August 2012 at 22:21 by jckmthw

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