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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #561  
Old 19th June 2018
tigger's Avatar
tigger tigger is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: 100th Anniv. XLH Hugger
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never liked harley much. and i still don't all that much. NEVER thought i would own a harley, NEVER had a desire to. not much of a fan of companies that try to sell you a lifestyle along with their product, which is quite a lot of them actually, but i digress.



my brother died in 2006 and after settling his estate my dad and sister gave me his 03 sportster hugger. he hadn't even had it a year before he died as he bought it used. i had some ninjas at the time and he and i were supposed to go riding together for the first time on the weekend after he died. sadly he died the monday before that weekend came. so i never got to ride with him.



so my sportster has sentimental value and i think of him a lot when i ride.


but after riding it and putting lots of miles on it i have come to love it. and i think that sportsters are some of the best bikes out there. they can be made to fit any style of bike that you can think of. they are engineered well, handle wonderfully and are extremely stable.



at some point i'd like to get another so i can modify the frame and whatever else without feeling guilty. i have modified my brothers sportster to a more cafe racer/road race style or suspension geometry to fit what i like to do best. but all the mods are easy to revert the bike back to stock if i so choose and i have kept everything that i have taken off.



so for me that is why i like sportsters and particularly why i like mine so much.
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  #562  
Old 20th June 2018
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drifter02 drifter02 is offline
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A touching story. It never ceases to amaze me how motorcycles can become so a part of a person that they seem to take on that person's personality and life. Non-motorcycle people will say they are just machines, but we who a bikers (more than mere riders) know that a motorcycle is far more than the sum of its parts.
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  #563  
Old 20th June 2018
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geekonabike geekonabike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drifter02 View Post
A touching story. It never ceases to amaze me how motorcycles can become so a part of a person that they seem to take on that person's personality and life. Non-motorcycle people will say they are just machines, but we who a bikers (more than mere riders) know that a motorcycle is far more than the sum of its parts.
Yeah, hard to beat that one. So sorry about your brother, tigger. At least the bike will always remind you of him.

I came from a Harley-hating crowd myself, who thought I was nuts when I went Sportster (and just an 883!), but it just goes (mine's seen some gnarly roads, hail, downpours, whatever), has a lot of personality (talks to me and keeps me awake on long rides), and is so old-school different from those Ninjas and such, I fell in love with mine and that's that. Now and then I wish I had an Asian bike in the garage (thinking NC700X or CB500X or Versys), though as a compromise sometimes I think of a Street Rod (750) or Indian Scout. Dreaming, in fact, since I have other financial priorites.

I got a lot of new friends since riding the Harley, and my old friends still "hang" with me, so it's all good, with just a bit more razzing (both ways) thrown in.
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  #564  
Old 20th June 2018
Glamazon Glamazon is offline
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A Sportster is the Swiss Army knife of bikes. Chop it, bob it, cafe racer, flat tracker, scrambler, dress it up or strip it back. I got bags, Mustang seat & progressive suspension to make a great all round practical bike. I can ride feet up at walking speed in a city centre or at 70 on a motorway with my gear for a night away, over the fast A roads of East Lancashire & West Yorkshire or even (carefully!) a dirt track to Sunderland Point. I'm 6'1 & 1/2" & big built but fit my bike comfortably enough to manage 250 - 300 mile days. (Once did 370 miles in a day). I saw a 1200 Low being set up for a girl of 4'10" at the bike shop, that's just some of the great things about a sporty
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  #565  
Old 21st June 2018
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geekonabike geekonabike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glamazon View Post
A Sportster is the Swiss Army knife of bikes. Chop it, bob it, cafe racer, flat tracker, scrambler, dress it up or strip it back. I got bags, Mustang seat & progressive suspension to make a great all round practical bike. I can ride feet up at walking speed in a city centre or at 70 on a motorway with my gear for a night away, over the fast A roads of East Lancashire & West Yorkshire or even (carefully!) a dirt track to Sunderland Point. I'm 6'1 & 1/2" & big built but fit my bike comfortably enough to manage 250 - 300 mile days. (Once did 370 miles in a day). I saw a 1200 Low being set up for a girl of 4'10" at the bike shop, that's just some of the great things about a sporty
I've heard it called "the most customizable bike on the planet." I think a 2-up adventure touring bike is more "Swiss Army" off the lot, BUT having had a poor-man's BMW (650 V-Strom) I can say it's a lot more grin-inducing to do similar things on a Sportster. I think of it more like the baseball utility player who can passably play any position, even pitcher or clean-up hitter in an emergency, but there may be some better at the specialized positions. Of course you can "train it" for those too.
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  #566  
Old 21st June 2018
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Skuzeee Skuzeee is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: Xl1200c
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This will probably be a ramble, but it's 1:43AM and I can't sleep, so might as well get personal:
My first Harley's memory happened in Commy Poland in the 80s, there was a world events type tv show called 1715 which did (what was supposed to be) an anti-America story about biker gangs running a muck, with footage of 70s choppers. In a typical communist fail, it made me want a bike. That memory and the Czech motorcycle my dad bought to escape to Germany with my brother led me to get a Honda. When my brother saw me riding, he remembered the fun he had on that Czech bike, so he took a MSF course, rented a Harley (bagger) then spent a day taking pics of him on it, which he posted for months after. He died before I could talk him into getting a bike, that's when I decided I wanted a Harley. I took my time thinking about which Harley, got it down to a carb'd Evo, finally decided a sportster fit my stature (I'm 5'5") and my weird, outsider personality. They are low maintnance, easy to work on and cheaper to customize than big twins. Sportsters catch a lot of hate from other Harley riders, many non-Harley motorcycle riders, our neighbors, dogs etc, yet they are arguably the quintecential Harley and, as stated earlier, can be set-up in all kinds of ways. The first time I went to the local DC hipster motorcycle store there was a Sportster on display as you walked in, but as I was checking is out, the owner let me know he wasn't a fan of Harleys "but this one was done right, by a cool guy".

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  #567  
Old 21st June 2018
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Diogenes415 Diogenes415 is offline
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Awesome thoughts and stories here folks! Thanks for sharing.
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  #568  
Old 7th July 2018
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Diogenes415 Diogenes415 is offline
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Two days ago I loaded up my 883 and took her for a ~2,000 mile ride and just got back a couple of hours ago. About 200 miles into the trip at a fuel stop I noticed heavy oil drips coming from the intake cover so I pulled it and the air filter off and saw a significant amount of oil on the rear cylinder breather bolt and on the rear side of the air filter... damned crankcase vent valve no doubt. On the eve of the first day I pulled the rear rocker cover off to inspect the breather valve... it was still functioning as a one-way valve but it's retaining bolt wasn't cinched down. So I cleaned it, reinstalled it and made sure the bolt was torqued to the appropriate road-side with hand-tools spec. The last ~1400 miles were done with no oil spitting or air-filter staining... all was good.

This is one of the reasons I love my Sportsters. They bring me back to the good old days when you can wrench on your vehicle with just a fistful of tools and a little know-how.
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  #569  
Old 7th July 2018
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Desertfox Desertfox is offline
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I have had my Sporty for fifteen years now and ride it every day. I love the raw feel and sound of the bike. having said this I don't think my next bike (if I ever get one) will be a Sportster or even a Harley Davidson. The more Annabelle and I age together the more irritating the bike's idiosyncrasies become. Simple, little things that Harley would not have to reinvent the wheel to improve. Like the turn signals. Almost every other motorcycle has modern flexible mounts for turn signal lights. On a Harley, if you bump one, you break it and have to completely replace it. Simple things like clutch adjustment and cable changes become a major time consuming pain in the ass. requiring tools and facilities. The horn and turn signals are backwards. Oil changes are a huge mess. And just about every other bike in its class outperforms it (see Indian Scout). But I guess, just like an old married couple , we just tolerate each other.
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  #570  
Old 7th July 2018
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Dave L Dave L is offline
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Mine drew some looks recently at a dealership sponsored bike night. I guess it is just something about old looking bikes that now they are making the new ones look old. You see all kinds of Sportsters out there customized to the owners preference like a canvas to an artist. Cool nimble little bikes
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