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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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View Poll Results: (On a scale of 1-10) Should I get a Sportster??? Are they reliable??
9-10: Hell yes. I've had few/no mechanical problems, dealer's great (though I may have had to search around), fun, capable bike. It's the only one for me. 874 79.31%
7-8: Very good: I would recommend getting one, but I've had some nagging mechanical problems. Dealer's been okay to so so, like my Sporty, but one day I'll probably get another bike. 140 12.70%
5-6: Above average. Decent dealer support. Had some probs, but covered under warranty. Everybody's different. Figure out what suits you, and go from there. 66 5.99%
3-4: Below avg. I would look elsewhere before you buy. Let me tell you why. 23 2.09%
1-2: Poor. Harley's always made nothing but junk and always will make nothing but junk. Sportys are just another in a long line of poo. My dealer is crap. DO NOT BUY ONE!!! 19 1.72%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 1102. You may not vote on this poll

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  #21  
Old 25th July 2007
MrFish MrFish is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Sportster/Buell Model: 883 Custom
Sportster/Buell Year: 06
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I second ReddTiger, this bike will not save you money! I went in expecting to save money and not have to change much... Boy was I wrong! I just want to customize the hell out of it! Nothing NEEDS changing, but I want to if you know what I mean. People will call it a girls bike but they can't keep up on the twisties! (Unless it is a sportsbike) I have taken mine on trips over 300 miles away on the stock seat. Yeah it doesn't feel the best, I have to get off to get gas and then I am usually ready to go. I love it to death. Get one!
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  #22  
Old 25th July 2007
ReddTigger's Avatar
ReddTigger ReddTigger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cameron View Post
One should own a harley once in a lifetime.
Correction:

One should Own a Harley FOR a lifetime !!


JMHO
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1208cc 11.09:1 (Wiseco 10° Dome 10.5:1 .010 over) ,Screamin Eagle Dual Plug Heads (10° 61cc), Original SE A/C, Vance & Hines Straight Shots w/ Custom Baffles. SE 6800 ign, Dual BREMBO brakes/ Pirelli Night Dragon MU85-16 Rear - 100/90-19 Front. Progressive Springs & 412 HD 13½" Chrome Shocks, 5½" pullback riser w/ "reddtigger mount", Stebel Nautilus Compact Air horn, Mustang Vintage Super Wide Touring Seat, Alto Carbonite Clutch
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  #23  
Old 25th July 2007
DudleyDoRight's Avatar
DudleyDoRight DudleyDoRight is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Woodchuck Hollow, New York
Posts: 440
Sportster/Buell Model: 883/1250 XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 2006
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLS
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1983
Reputation: 282
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Cameron, you need to sell your Sportster and get another ricer.
ReddTigger, a Big Twin will prolly open alot of Long Island rich bitch legs, just not needed out here in the sticks.
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  #24  
Old 25th July 2007
opiewontaylor opiewontaylor is offline
Chief Harley Engineer
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 570
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH1200
Sportster/Buell Year: 2002
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaTYr View Post
The big conception is that Harleys used to have mechanical issues and has now resolved them. To the point where fit and finish exceed Japanese rivals. Is this true??
Again, reliability is a big issue. Are they reliable?
Fit and finish have exceeded Japanese rivals for some time. Styling is subjective, but I think Harley is way ahead in that area too. I would give a slight edge in reliability to the metrics, particularly the ones using shaft drive, but again, a slight edge. I got an '02, used, and in the 2 years I've had it, one 99 cent clip broke on the detent plate..and that's the sum total of repair work needed. It's been oil tight, and starts easier than my last Honda. As for dealers, I've never encountered a really good one, Harley or metric. They only get my cash if I've tried everything else, and they're the last resort. Anyway, welcome, but realize... this is like going to a Goldwing forum and asking if you should buy a Goldwing...
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  #25  
Old 25th July 2007
JTP's Avatar
JTP JTP is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Kent, UK
Posts: 39
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1200C
Sportster/Buell Year: 2000
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki Bandit 1200S
Other Motorcycle Year: 2005
Reputation: 74
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I've owned lots of different motorcycles, made by different manufacturers over the years and I have no problem recommending Harley Davidson Sportsters to any one looking for a cruiser ride. I'm currently on my fourth and none of them have let me down (apart from a fried battery once).

As long as you can ignore the inevitable "when you going to get a proper [Read: 'Big Twin HD'] bike then?" jibes, it's a great riding motorcycle. If you are of poor self esteem, look elsewhere though.

Jon
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  #26  
Old 25th July 2007
phantom's Avatar
phantom phantom is offline
Senior Chief Master Mechanic 1st Class
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New York State of Mind
Posts: 1,218
Sportster/Buell Model: xlh 1200
Sportster/Buell Year: 2001
Other Motorcycle Model: Dyna Super Glide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2009
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If you have to ask maybe a Sporty is not for you.Oh yeah! Welcome to the forum.
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  #27  
Old 25th July 2007
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rikrak rikrak is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: St.Louis Missouri
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Sportster/Buell Model: 883XL
Sportster/Buell Year: 2005
Other Motorcycle Model: "Scooter" CH250 Elite
Other Motorcycle Year: 1985
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Cool Harley or Hardly - I don't buy it!

Hey, I love my XL883, I am also a huge man at 5'5" and can get both feet down flat, never could on my BSA. That said, I've had many bikes mostly English and Italian. The Sportster is a very cool bike, fun, basic and one of the best deals around for about $7,000 I used to have a "Cafe" Ducati and it was a gas. If I had lots of money I would probably have a "few" more bikes, a crotch rocket and a touring bike would be nice. At the moment I have a couple of "Scooters" too and they are fun. I like riding bikes and although I replied to the survey that I've had NO problems or issues with my 2005 in over 8,000 miles and I'm just as happy as can be with my Sport for me it's just not the "only" bike. I'm often amused at my fellow Harley riders who give me the cool low hand wave when I'm on my Sportster then "snub" me when I'm on my scooter. Good natured ribbing is to be expected and if you're a Hells Angel tough guy that's another story but to be smirked at by "green" wanna be biker cause you got a shiny new Harley Again, I love my bike, added a Mustang seat, tach the "Stage One" things more and better lights and I'm pretty happy the way she sets Now if I need to carry anything she ain't a hauler, either my sling bag but if I'm running to the store for dinner for sure I'm taking the "Scooter" where I can get the whole BBQ and the charcoal under the seat
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  #28  
Old 25th July 2007
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ReddTigger ReddTigger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DudleyDoRight View Post
Cameron, you need to sell your Sportster and get another ricer.
ReddTigger, a Big Twin will prolly open alot of Long Island rich bitch legs, just not needed out here in the sticks.
NOPE... Consider this. within 15 minutes of my house, I have 3 major custom bike shops, including:

BORGUETS Bike WORKS
CYCLEDELICS (about to be on tv)

I have Ramp Motorcycles which carries BMC, PARAMOUNT and several Other "CUSTOM" brands

If you really want to "OPEN" them you'll need to spend upwards of $50,000.00 as a regular Twinkie isn't going to do it for ya..... UNLESS YOU have the SKILLS to do it alone anyway....
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  #29  
Old 25th July 2007
merc merc is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
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something else--I bought the 883C because I like the basic style and the price was awesome. It is what I see in my head when I think of a mnotorcycle.
I will do the 1200 or 1250 conversion on it within the next year or two.
At which point there should be no problem with power or highway riding or keeping up, etc. Not that there is now.
Remember that 1200cc is what Harley's BT use to be.
And 883 or 1200, either way will have no problem exceeding posted speed limits on any road in the U.S. Besides how fast do you really have to go to enjoy the scenery.
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  #30  
Old 25th July 2007
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ed_in_az ed_in_az is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaTYr View Post
I want a cruiser, but not a big bike.

That particular requirement seriously limits your options, and in my opinion puts the Sportster at the top of a very, very short list. All there are for medium sized cruisers are 2 Suzuki models (which are NOT sexy at all) and the MANY beautiful SPORTSTER models!


Neither of my Sportsters ever left me stranded and only one had a warranty issue with a dripping oil pressure switch.

I'd recommend buying the newest you can, preferrably an '07 or '08.

As others have said, for mere money you can customize to your hearts content for looks, comfort, handling and power.

If you don't need excess horsepower, or don't have excess money, get an 883. If you NEEEEEED too much horsepower , get a 1200. You can also upgrade an 883 later like I did.
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