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Jurabiker
10th October 2008, 13:17
Hi Everyone,

After enjoying your contributions, it's now my turn to share with you my humble experience…Sorry for my English level, I'm french...

Aged 35 years, I got my motorbike driving licence a year ago and bought a Dyna Street Bob. Unlike many, I didn't go through japanese roadster Japanese or other sportsbikes and my experience of the bike is limited.

After 10,000 km and stage 1, I am fully satisfied with my choice: I bought a HD for its engine, the look and the sensations.

Nevertheless, I must admit that this bike is limited when it comes out of use "cruising". The handlebar Apehanger, advanced commands (I’m 1.93m,100 kg), the limited brakes are factors that inhibit any desire to attack in the mountains near my home.

So I decided to invest in a second bike to use more sports, reserving the Street Bob for HOG ballads.

First, I decided to try models from other brands: FZ6 Fazer and Triumph Speed Triple. Despite a diabolical effectiveness, I soon realized that 3 and 4 cylinders were not made to me: I felt pleasure only at high speed. Driving at 150 km/hwas not an option for me because of the number of speed radars here. Too dangerous too: I have 2 young children: not the time to take too many risks.

Therefore, I concentrated only on twins and selected the following motorbikes: Yamaha MT-01, Buell XB12S and HD XR-1200.

After the test, the MT-01 is efficient, reliable and with a big engine ... I nevertheless found it lacked the soul of HD ... Hard to explain but when I start the Street Bob, I feel an engine that lives ... With the MT-01, I have not found the "HD atmosphere" that makes us forgive all its shortcomings.

I then tried the Buell XB12S. Here immediate and total pleasure :the impression of being seated on the engine, incredible torque and sound. The resaons why I didnd’t choose it? Fan noise, reliability still questionnable (I live 80 km from the first dealer), difficulties to find stage 1 (not really available for mapping models 2008 & 2009) and feel like a toad sitting on a box of matches (1m93 per 100 kg, it's not easy to accommodate).


I finally tried the XR1200: 40 minutes twice: once at my HD dealer, once during the european HOG rally at Lake Garda. Here are the positive and negative points that I have noted:

- Weakness:
o esthetic questionable: if some models are indisputably beautiful HD (Nighster, Bob Street, Road king, etc ...), the XR 1200 leaves me still sceptical, especially the plastic frames, the saddle and the mufflers. It's like with the V-ROD: I can not say that I find ugly but I am not convinced.
o seat hard as wood: after a few kms, the edges attack my butt. Difficult to imagine long trips....
o Exhausts to change: no noise at all due to Euro 3 pollution norms.

- Strenghts:
o !!!!ing engine: lot of fun. Excellent torque and feeling. it rises in the towers.
o Noise enjoyment of the air box
o Excellent road handling
o Good braking.
o Grand curved handlebars that allows to swing the bike in the turns.
o Good position: a little leaning on the handlebars, feet slightly back

In conclusion, a real toy that you can drive fast while keeping the HD atmosphere with its good vibrations.

This bike does not seem, for the moment,to be really appreciated in the different French forums. I think that is normal because HD changed completely of universe, even more than the V-rods. You leave the atmosphere custom / biker to join the world of roadsters. A lot of people give their opinions based on photos but haven’t tried it.

You’re looking for a sportster type bike with Buell qualities (engine, brakes, riding possibilities), just try the XR1200!!!
You will maybe feel as much fun as me.....and order it.

I pray for you guys…One day, it will available in the US!

If someone is interested, I have lot of pics

Moved On / My Own Choice
10th October 2008, 13:22
Merci Boucoup for the report!

RIDE SAFE!

tensejed
10th October 2008, 13:25
i just knew kev would be the first post. :)
but pics would be nice

tensejed
10th October 2008, 13:25
oh and welcome to the forum

ColinB
10th October 2008, 13:32
I've just come back from 10 days in France.....I wish my French was as good as your English. No matter how hard I try (and I do - I always speak French when I'm over there) I just can't get to grips with it properly. Merde!

Oh...bien venue!

Hondo Cat
10th October 2008, 13:53
Welcome to the forum. I appreciate your useful observations and thanks for your wishes on the XR 1200 coming Stateside!

FoxsterUK
10th October 2008, 14:25
I just got back from a test drive on an XR1200 that I booked a couple of days ago.

I feel almost the same as you about it. Compared to the other Sportsters it goes, handles and stops better. However I still don't like the plasticy look and feel of it; the exhausts are ugly and the seat fairly dire. But then all HDs need some love before you get them as you want.

Since riding it I've decided I could live with one but there's a lot I'd change on it before I'd be close to happy.

The biggest worry I have is that its edging towards Jap styling and, IMHO, a HD bike's biggest selling point is its unique style. Take that away and they are trying to compete in the Jap market where the XR1200 comes off rather unfavourably as shown by some poor reviews it has received.

So, yes, compared to other Sportsters its technically better. Compared to Jap bikes tho, which is where the styling seems to be aimed, it doesn't do so well.

Fox

Moved On / My Own Choice
10th October 2008, 14:29
I just got back from a test drive on an XR1200 I booked a couple of days ago.

I feel almost the same as you about it. Compared to the other Sportsters it goes, handles and stops better. However I still don't like the plasticy look and feel of it; the exhausts are ugly and the seat fairly dire. But then all HDs need some love before you get them as you want.

Since riding it I've decided I could live with one but there's a lot I'd change on it before I'd be close to happy.


Sounds like a pretty fair and unbiased report.



The biggest worry I have is that its edging towards Jap styling and, IMHO, a HD bike's biggest selling point is its unique style. Take that away and they are trying to compete in the Jap market where the XR1200 comes off rather unfavourably as shown by some poor reviews it has received.

So, yes, compared to other Sportsters its technically better. Compared to Jap bikes tho, which is where the styling seems to be aimed, it doesn't do so well.

Fox

This is the part that puzzles me.

Because I don't think it's aimed at Jap bikes.

I think it's aimed at Guzzis, Ducatis, BMWs etc...

Breva, Griso, Monster, F800 maybe R1200R etc.

FoxsterUK
10th October 2008, 14:42
Yes, the first part was based on my ride, the second was just an opinion.

I suppose what I simply mean is that it doesn't feel so much like a HD. Maybe that's a good thing.

I'm just concerned that if HD were to replace current Sportster models with the XR1200 they would no longer be in their niche but competing on other factors such as performance, handling, braking, quality, etc and I don't think the XR1200 compares that well with Jap (or German or Italian) bikes in these areas.

Probably with me its a personal thing. I've had loads of Jap bikes, a BMW and a couple of Italian bikes and I didn't buy a HD because it competes well in anything other than style and 'feel'. If HDs lose that I'll go back to a Jap or Italian bike.

Fox

Moved On / My Own Choice
10th October 2008, 15:05
Oh, don't get me wrong Fox I'm just disagreeing with the opinion - not devaluing it. ;)

I DO ACTUALLY AGREE!

I wouldn't want to see them replace the entire XL line with XRs.

Luckily, as far as I know, that's not their intention.

I wouldn't be upset with having the XR take over the SPORTing SIDE of the XL line.

I.E.

Sell the XL883, XL883C, XL1200L, XL1200C, XL1200N and the XR900 and XR1200

That would be fine with me.

Oh, and make the motor for the XR900 be the short-stroke crank from the XB9 Buell with the jugs from the XR1200...

Ralphthe3rd
10th October 2008, 15:12
I believe the Jugs already are identical between the XB9 and the XR1200...? But I know what you meant :p
BTW- if they used the stroke of the XB9 and the 3.0" bore of the 883, then the bike would HAVE an 750cc engine ! Can you say XR750S ?



Oh, and make the motor for the XR900 be the short-stroke crank from the XB9 Buell with the jugs from the XR1200...

FoxsterUK
10th October 2008, 15:20
I just went back and re-read a couple of reviews from the Valencia launch. The impression they give is that its the sportiest Sportster ever and the styling was liked but it didn't quite stack up to other street-fighter/naked-bike offerings like the Monster S2R 1000.

So I'll stick with my impressions: Its better technically than other Sportsters, its not technically better than other bikes in its class from other makers and the styling is just a matter of taste; I don't like it, others do.

Fox

Moved On / My Own Choice
10th October 2008, 15:28
I just went back and re-read a couple of reviews from the Valencia launch. The impression they give is that its the sportiest Sportster ever and the styling was liked but it didn't quite stack up to other street-fighter/naked-bike offerings like the Monster S2R 1000.

So I'll stick with my impressions: Its better technically than other Sportsters, its not technically better than other bikes in its class from other makers and the styling is just a matter of taste; I don't like it, others do.

Fox

That sounds like a fair assessment.

Luckily things like "technically better" aren't the ONLY reasons to buy a bike and the subject of what bikes are in it's "class" is open to interpretation as well.

FoxsterUK
10th October 2008, 15:39
That sounds like a fair assessment.

Luckily things like "technically better" aren't the ONLY reasons to buy a bike and the subject of what bikes are in it's "class" is open to interpretation as well.True. If I bought on a "technically better" basis I certainly wouldn't have a Sportster :shhhh The first time I took the covers off and saw the rockers I laughed out loud.

As for the class... It's a simplification but you might say that HD has a large slice of the cruiser market with the Sportster sitting in the 'fun' end of that class. The XR1200 though is more clearly aimed at the street-fighter class i.e. naked bikes that go like shit off a hot shovel.

Fox

Hondo Cat
10th October 2008, 16:45
As for the class... It's a simplification but you might say that HD has a large slice of the cruiser market with the Sportster sitting in the 'fun' end of that class. The XR1200 though is more clearly aimed at the street-fighter class i.e. naked bikes that go like shit off a hot shovel.Fox

Yup. In my view, "class" would be what's in the market currently; 1000cc to 1200cc, air-cooled, naked/standard twins. Although, I wouldn't necessarily call that group "streetfighters". A streetfighter for me would be the new Buell 1125CR, Triumph Speed Triple, Aprilia Tuono, Ducati S4R S, KTM 990 Super Duke, etc. All liquid cooled, higher reving, higher hp bikes.

Kev has it right. Ducati Monster, Guzzi 1200 (Breva) Sport & Griso, BMW R1200R. I think the XR1200 fits rather nicely in that group. The MSRP "should" be cheaper as well as Kev has explained when you compare it's MSRP Europe to other Sportsters and the approximate $500 increase, would translate to around $10.5K here, in the USA.

Probably the Ducati, Guzzi, and BMW have more versatility in terms of bags, sport-touring capabilities and commuting comfortability. I probably lean more to the Guzzi's but their MSRP's are about $3500 to $4000 higher than the XR 1200's probable MSRP. Plus the new Guzzi 1200 Sport 4V is not coming Stateside in 2009. Kev is all over Guzzi info.

Jurabiker
13th October 2008, 16:03
Regarding the jappy plastic style of the XR1200, I think we just need time to appreciate the look and differences of this new HD. When I first saw the Rocker, I found it ugly...Now that numerous members of my chapter have one, I like it.

Regarding the comparisons against other brands like Guzzi, Ducati and others, make no mistakes...Their bikes are better on major criterias BUT they don't have the very soul of HD: its engine.

It's the same thing with Buell...Why are people purchasing XB with old air-cooled engine? they could go faster and safer with BMW or Ducati...HD is not about efficiency on the road, it's about pleasure!

When you drive a too much perfect bike (see BMW R1200GS), you lost somehow the pleasure of motorbike...Just try a HD rigid and you will see!

Moved On / My Own Choice
13th October 2008, 16:11
Jura - some good points, but might I nit-pick a tiny bit...

Regarding the jappy plastic style of the XR1200, I think we just need time to appreciate the look and differences of this new HD. When I first saw the Rocker, I found it ugly...Now that numerous members of my chapter have one, I like it.


Last I checked it's not just the Japs that are using plastic on body work - see Buell, see BMW, see Guzzi, See Ducati etc.


Regarding the comparisons against other brands like Guzzi, Ducati and others, make no mistakes...Their bikes are better on major criterias BUT they don't have the very soul of HD: its engine.


I love the soul and feel of a Harley, but don't be mistaken, other brands have soul too.

Guzzi for instance - there's something about a 90 degree V, shared crankpin, pushrod motor that just sings.

Ducati's too -

BMWs, not so much, well, maybe some do, an airhead doesn't really sing, it does kind purr and tick along, but I've found most BMWs to be soul-less - or maybe they're just singing a song I can't hear...

CosmicHD
18th October 2008, 04:51
Jurabiker,

Merci de la revue. Votre anglais est bien mieux que mon Français.

CosmicHD
18th October 2008, 04:54
Kev has it right. Ducati Monster, Guzzi 1200 (Breva) Sport & Griso, BMW R1200R. I think the XR1200 fits rather nicely in that group.

This past summer I added a BMW 1150 GS Adv to my stable to go along with my HD XL1200R. The two provide a nice mix.

Since owning the boxer, I have to say I have been looking real hard at the R1200R. That bike is badass.

http://www.staintune.com.au/exhausts/bmw/images/BMW%20R1200R%20Full%20System.jpg

Benny K
19th October 2008, 00:37
This past summer I added a BMW 1150 GS Adv to my stable to go along with my HD XL1200R. The two provide a nice mix.

Since owning the boxer, I have to say I have been looking real hard at the R1200R. That bike is badass.

http://www.staintune.com.au/exhausts/bmw/images/BMW%20R1200R%20Full%20System.jpg


I want to tell you a short story about me and some cars....

Man I always used to have old american V8 cars because I liked the sound and looks...someday I thought: "geez I need a faster and technically more improved car"...soon I ended up with a 1997 Audi S6 Plus with 340HP...damn it was fun and I drove like 280km/h on the german autobahn...I started to look real hard at newer and even more powerful audis....

BUT...after about 1 year the Audi got very old and boring...you could go veryvery fast and you had a great handling....but it was boring....
I ended up selling the technically high improved car and got me a 91 Chevy Camaro with a pushrod V8...just to have fun when turning the key and listening to it's engine...I don't even have to drive it and it's fun....

maybe it was a bit off-topic but I hope you got what I mean...I think it's the same with a Harley...not supermodern and perfect...but loads of FUN!
:D

Moved On / My Own Choice
20th October 2008, 15:18
I've owned 3 BMW to date (2 airheads, 1 oilhead).

I'm always very excited when I buy them.

I enjoy riding them.

But eventually I just lose interest.

The oilhead was fast, and very capable, but just completely soul-less, a complete appliance. I rode it faster and faster, but was never really satisfied.

Not so with my Harleys and my Guzzis... they never left me wanting for fun.

Benny K
21st October 2008, 21:20
that's exactly what I meant kev!

Midas
22nd October 2008, 00:25
Just try a HD rigid and you will see!

You cant be seriouse!!!

I built a rigid chop years ago, never again!
It was cool for a short while then as i wanted to do more miles, the rigid arse end went right out the back door.

Jurabiker
22nd October 2008, 13:16
In fact, I've never tried a HD rigid...I was just guessing that sound and vibrations must be very present as compares to new HD. I owned once an old moto guzzi SP, not rigid though, with which I experienced this kind of sensations.

I dind't know rigids were so uncomfortable...In magazines, you see all these guys riding on rigids for long trips. I thought it was just a question of habit...

Moved On / My Own Choice
22nd October 2008, 15:55
I dind't know rigids were so uncomfortable...In magazines, you see all these guys riding on rigids for long trips. I thought it was just a question of habit...

Don't believe everything you "see" in a magazine. ;)

Jurabiker
22nd October 2008, 16:05
Damned! My dream to cross USA in my old days with Captain America is dead...Need to start getting interested in a Goldwing:geek

Benny K
22nd October 2008, 17:20
come on...there were people doing longer distances before the war too...
we're all just pussies!


btw the seat is no more problem on my XR...I got used to it :tour

Ralphthe3rd
22nd October 2008, 22:19
Benny, the factory hardtails of back in the day, were also fitted with sprung seats, and that makes a HUGE difference ! Also don't forget they travelled at much slower speeds than today, and stopped often. :tour
come on...there were people doing longer distances before the war too...
we're all just pussies!


btw the seat is no more problem on my XR...I got used to it :tour

Benny K
24th October 2008, 17:19
who said you can't put a sprung seat on a cool chopper? ;)

man I once rode to a harley meeting here in switzerland with my brother when I was a teenager.
He had a '52 Pan and some custom rear seat fitted to the rear fender...without springs..I sat on that thing the whole day...I'm still alive :)

Moved On / My Own Choice
24th October 2008, 17:28
a cool chopper


Sorry, you lost me with that oxyMORON.

Kev

Midas
24th October 2008, 18:41
who said you can't put a sprung seat on a cool chopper? ;)

man I once rode to a harley meeting here in switzerland with my brother when I was a teenager.
He had a '52 Pan and some custom rear seat fitted to the rear fender...without springs..I sat on that thing the whole day...I'm still alive :)
All you gotta do now is ride one every day for a year or so, then you'll see:D

CosmicHD
30th October 2008, 03:50
I've owned 3 BMW to date (2 airheads, 1 oilhead).

I'm always very excited when I buy them.

I enjoy riding them.

But eventually I just lose interest.

The oilhead was fast, and very capable, but just completely soul-less, a complete appliance. I rode it faster and faster, but was never really satisfied.

Not so with my Harleys and my Guzzis... they never left me wanting for fun.


My GS has all the character in the world and is fun as hell to ride. I don't think I will be tiring of it anytime soon. To each his own, eh?

Moved On / My Own Choice
30th October 2008, 14:26
My GS has all the character in the world and is fun as hell to ride. I don't think I will be tiring of it anytime soon. To each his own, eh?

Character - seriously?

I mean they are GREAT bikes.

But what is the character part of that?

Just curious.

To me the fit/feel of the controls and almost subtle buzz of the motor just feels too vanilla.

The telelever front end it neat, but the complete lack of fork dive is almost too much, something between a lack of feedback and a disconcerting effect of trying to slide you forward under hard braking.

I dunno - it's just too appliance like to me.

Ralphthe3rd
30th October 2008, 21:09
Kev, how do you define character > vibration, oil leaks, questionable reliability, or decades old deisign ?

Character - seriously?

I mean they are GREAT bikes.

But what is the character part of that?

Just curious.

To me the fit/feel of the controls and almost subtle buzz of the motor just feels too vanilla.

The telelever front end it neat, but the complete lack of fork dive is almost too much, something between a lack of feedback and a disconcerting effect of trying to slide you forward under hard braking.

I dunno - it's just too appliance like to me.

Moved On / My Own Choice
30th October 2008, 21:30
Kev, how do you define character > vibration, oil leaks, questionable reliability, or decades old deisign ?

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Now I hope you were just really bad at being funny with that comment but I'll answer it anyway

I PERSONALLY define character as unique and visceral.

As having qualities that are not common, plain, vanilla, appliance-like.

I believe Harleys have this.

They have a feel all their own from the levers to the throttle to the ride. The big bore, long stroke, syncopated timing, deep torque curve all translate into such a feeling.

I believe Guzzis have this too.

They too are big bore and longer stroke with a deep torque curve. Another shared crankpin motor the 90 degree V is more balanced, but not so much that the motor sounds or feels completely tamed, though it does allow for a bit higher reving. The motor still retains something of a growl. The controls are more generic, but I can forgive them and treat it as a trade-off for the brembo brakes.


ON a separate but related note I think ever word you just wrote in that wisecrack doesn't apply to either Harleys or Guzzis.

Well, perhaps decade old design, except that I don't see what's wrong with a proven design. I mean how many cars, trucks, bikes or boats AREN'T a decades old design when it comes right down to it??? They vast minority for sure.

Sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Ralphthe3rd
30th October 2008, 22:30
LOL :laugh

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Now I hope you were just really bad at being funny with that comment but I'll answer it anyway

I PERSONALLY define character as unique and visceral.

As having qualities that are not common, plain, vanilla, appliance-like.

I believe Harleys have this.

They have a feel all their own from the levers to the throttle to the ride. The big bore, long stroke, syncopated timing, deep torque curve all translate into such a feeling.

I believe Guzzis have this too.

They too are big bore and longer stroke with a deep torque curve. Another shared crankpin motor the 90 degree V is more balanced, but not so much that the motor sounds or feels completely tamed, though it does allow for a bit higher reving. The motor still retains something of a growl. The controls are more generic, but I can forgive them and treat it as a trade-off for the brembo brakes.


ON a separate but related note I think ever word you just wrote in that wisecrack doesn't apply to either Harleys or Guzzis.

Well, perhaps decade old design, except that I don't see what's wrong with a proven design. I mean how many cars, trucks, bikes or boats AREN'T a decades old design when it comes right down to it??? They vast minority for sure.

Sometimes there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

Midas
31st October 2008, 01:24
.........................:doh

Moved On / My Own Choice
31st October 2008, 12:57
Did you guys really not understand that?

Let me try a different approach.

There aren't too many cars or trucks that appeal to me these days.

The Mini Cooper S does - because it's such a great balance of practicality and fun. It handles like it is on rails, it doesn't look like anything else, and has enough get-up-n-go to put a smile on my face.

A Honda Civic or Accord comes across like a meal at McDonalds. Sure it's cheap and meets some base nutritional need, but damnit it's vanilla and boring.

To take a totally cheesy Cadillac commercial (and there isn't a cadillac in the world that I can think of that I dig) there's that red-head actress kinda milf looking chick.

She says in the Cadillac commercial "the real question is, when you turn your car on, does it return the favor"

Midas
31st October 2008, 13:38
..................:doh

Ralphthe3rd
31st October 2008, 14:02
:p I've been LOL'ing- because you just have this NEED to post/comment and push YOUR POV over and over...I believe you suffer from a compulsive disorder of some sort :D

Moved On / My Own Choice
31st October 2008, 14:02
..................:doh

If I have to explain? ;) :laugh

Moved On / My Own Choice
31st October 2008, 14:04
:p I've been LOL'ing- because you just have this NEED to post/comment and push YOUR POV over and over...I believe you suffer from a compulsive disorder of some sort :D

It's a need to answer a question and be understood.

You don't have to agree.

Of course, you'll be wrong then.

But you don't have to agree.

:p


and PS - F@#%# you ;)

Midas
31st October 2008, 14:14
If I have to explain? ;) :laugh

:D:D:laugh

steelworker
31st October 2008, 14:58
and PS - F@#%# you ;)

That's what I like about Kev - always brief and to the point, while at the same time clearly demonstrating a mastery of the English language. :laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh:laugh

Moved On / My Own Choice
31st October 2008, 15:00
That's what I like about Kev - always brief and to the point

You've never actually read an entire post of mine have you :doh :laugh ;)

steelworker
31st October 2008, 15:06
You've never actually read an entire post of mine have you :doh :laugh ;)

:lmaorof I've got tears in my eyes, now!