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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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  #21  
Old 24th January 2011
Lone Rider's Avatar
Lone Rider Lone Rider is offline
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Don't know if this was listed and its a small thing but could save your life, twist the throttle wide open and make sure it snaps right back, nothing like discovering a sticky throttle during a test drive.
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  #22  
Old 24th January 2011
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Default New member intro and questions

I want to say "hi" to the forum members and a thanks to Bert for his work.

I'm new to H-D ownership. I've ridden a couple of them (a KHK and a '90 XL) but have mostly had two-strokes all my life and used to race an H-2 S/G drag bike.

I just bought an XL1200s 1997 model and it seems ready for the road with about 7k miles.

I would sure like to hear from any other owners of this model, and am wondering about which areas of the bike I should first turn my attention to in order to keep it running and running right. It's solid-mount and has a carb and a belt, and I believe the valves self-adjust. It starts up quick and sounds verrry good so far, and firstly I want to remove the lowering block things from the lower shock mounts. Anybody need 'em?

Other than that, I'm waiting for the shop manual to arrive and will register it today if I can get all the paper in order. It did cost me a bit more to insure than my smaller bikes(!), but I only paid $3600 for it so I think it's still looking like a good purchase.

Thanks in advance for any input!
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  #23  
Old 24th January 2011
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freeidaho freeidaho is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianRides View Post
Try to buy from accountants and engineers. No need to check the bike - they're too anal to not look after every detail, yet hardly ever ride them.
Actually not just funny but sorta true, expect the riding part.

I initially shop the owner. Is his garage organized or piled high? Are his other vehicles heaps or well maintained? Is his yard and house in order or need repairs? What does the back yard look like? What does his lawn mower look like? How are things stored? Are his tools and tool boxes in order. What about bench space, piled high or usable?

I always ask who has maintained the vehicle. If dealer, then are the records available. If the owner, does he actually have the tools to do the job? Start quizzing him on his knowledge.

Only if all that pans out, then I look at the vehicle.

kr
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  #24  
Old 24th January 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianRides View Post
Try to buy from accountants and engineers. No need to check the bike - they're too anal to not look after every detail, yet hardly ever ride them.
thats funny they take more short cuts then any one I know
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  #25  
Old 24th January 2011
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Robotech Robotech is offline
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This is more of a buying technique then what to look for...you guys have that stuff covered pretty well.

When you're going over the bike (or car...) and you see a little ding, worn wire, slightly rotted hose, chip in the paint, small tear in the seat, etc...run your finger over it and inspect it closely. Maybe squint your eyes, frown a bit, maybe shake your head. Say nothing about it but be sure the seller notices you paying close attention to the defect. Once you've examined it for a bit move on with your inspection.

Sellers tend to think the bike they are selling is worth high end market price and, with few exceptions, rarely are. This technique puts a bit of doubt in their head about what they're asking for the vehicle. When it comes time to negotiate, this doubt will help you get a lower price then what they're asking for. They'll know that you saw every little ding they know is there...and maybe a few they don't...and will be a bit more flexible on price.

Slimey? Oh yea. But also keep in mind where I got this from...car dealers. Ever notice how when you trade in your car the guy who is supposed to "inspect it" always asks you to come with them? Guess why. So IF you're ever trading in a vehicle, keep this practice in mind as well.
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  #26  
Old 27th November 2011
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A big no for me is rounded bolts it shows hasty work and a lack of concern on the next tear down. And the dreaded comment when asked if the bike has any existing problems and they reply Not that I am aware of. If its their bike they should be aware of it. Just my $0.02.
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  #27  
Old 12th January 2012
demetri demetri is offline
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on the topic of carfax etc; what would you suspect if you saw two different title numbers show up on the VIN report? aside from the obvious, lost it, new reissue, is there anyway to know for sure if it hasnt changed from a rebuilt title to a clear one? DMV?
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Old 17th April 2012
zombie1989 zombie1989 is offline
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Exclamation Need your help and advise

Hello my name is Julian, I'm looking to buy my first bike. Im really interested on a 91 sportster that I saw on craigslist. But the thing is that the owner says that the sprocket shaft needs to be replaced. I don't know if it's a good idea buying the bike or not. Is it too hard to fix it? is it common? would you buy it?
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  #29  
Old 16th September 2012
simeli simeli is offline
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It looks like many have cover most of the points on inspection, save one and for me it is the biggest of all, (and I love the magnet in the oil tank idea).

Among the tools you take with you along with that flashlight, a small automotive inspection mirror (you know the ones on the extendable pocket rod) this is a critical area to check "REAR MOTOR MOUNT TABS" the fronts are easy to check to see is there are any cracks in or broken off tabs the rears are a different story. This mirror is handy for looking for road damage under the bike as well without laying down on the ground.
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  #30  
Old 16th October 2012
crodriguez crodriguez is offline
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wish i had seen this when i was lookin' at ironheads.
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