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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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  #1  
Old 11th June 2012
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Default what sportster should I buy ????

hi guys.
my name is steve, I live in london uk.
I am just about to buy my first sportsrer, my question is which one.
should I get the 883 and convert to 1200 or just buy a 1200.
also is a pre 04 bike realy that uncomfortable over distance, so should I be looking at a rubber mount model.
any advise as to which to buy will be greatly appreciated.
I have been customizing bikes for nearly forty years now so I am not afraid of getting my hands dirty, in fact I like building them as much as riding.
I am looking for a carb model as I like to tune them myself and not rely on a re, map.
I am thinking along the lines of an 06 1200.
there are quite a lot of them for sale here, most with way under 10,000 miles
for around ú5000.
your thoughts please.
thanks steve.
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  #2  
Old 11th June 2012
mlan12 mlan12 is offline
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I bought a 06 1200 Low brand new. I have about 20K on the bike now. I have been very happy with this bike.
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  #3  
Old 11th June 2012
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It might be better to start searching the classifieds in your area and let us know what you find for what price. If you can find say a 1200 for only $500 more than a comparable 883, then the 1200 is the one to buy but if the price difference is several thousand then the 883 would be the one to buy.
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  #4  
Old 11th June 2012
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I would get a 2003, or older for the lighter bike, and transmission removable through the trap door, but the newer bikes aren't bad at all.
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  #5  
Old 11th June 2012
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the one you like
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  #6  
Old 11th June 2012
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Welcome to the XLForum.

I've owned 12 Harleys over the last 38 years. My 1973 Sporty enjoyed being worked on as much as being ridden. Drum brakes will stop you. Carbs are easier/cheaper to work on. Chains work for a while. Generators work with maintenance, points are easier to work on than electronic ignitions (good think because they need maintained), Solid mounts won't kill you. The Pans and Shovelheads liked oil, breaking and wearing stuff out.

For the last 109 years Harley has put a lot of engineering into their products and MOST of it has been for the better.

My preference is rubber mounted Harleys, I've owned 4. I like belt drives, dual disc brakes, electric start, low maintenance, EFI, dependability, no oil usage, etc... The newer the scoot the newer all the parts are, a brand new bike has all brand new parts.

Buy the 1200, you'll never wish it was an 883.
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  #7  
Old 11th June 2012
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It really depends on what you want to get out of it. if you just want a nice stock harley to ride as is without many modifications then i would go for a brand new 1200. if you are thinking of doing a lot of motor upgrades i would suggest looking for a very low milage 883 and convert into 1250 with all the little improvements like head work and cams. That will get you a better engine around the same price or cheaper than the new 1200. that is if you can do the labor yourself. everyone has their own plan and are happy with different things. i would say go with what you feel is right and don't worry about what others think, because you will get many different opinions.
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  #8  
Old 11th June 2012
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Get any bike that you can truly afford...don't get in hawk because you want.

Other things are much more important. Be comfortable with your purchase.
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  #9  
Old 11th June 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve303sg View Post
also is a pre 04 bike realy that uncomfortable over distance, so should I be looking at a rubber mount model.
I am thinking along the lines of an 06 1200.
The pre 04 rigid mounted motors are not uncomfortable. The 1200 vibrates more than an 883 (bigger pistons), but a stock geared 1200 is good for sustained highway speeds up to about 75 MPH. At 80 MPH, my 2002 1200S exercised the forearms and the mirrors weren't so clear. I would not expect that to be an issue in the London area. Rubbsters are smoother cruising, but shake your eyeballs at idle, more than rigid mounted motors. Rubbsters also seem to whip the battery cables more. The 06 would be the last year of the carb and would avoid dealing with EFI.

For canyon or town riding, I would be pleased to still have my 2003 XLH883. Its limitations were passing on a long grade, 2 up, and strong head winds.
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  #10  
Old 11th June 2012
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I did more research that was sensible, discounted every Sportster of each era for one reason or another and purchased what I believe to be the best of all the available worlds. A 2004 rubber mount, carb fuelled, XL1200R. Why? EVO rubber mount is a good compromise, if I really wanted a true original Sportster (and I thought I did) I would have to go Iron Head not frame mount EVO, and if I am honest a kicker. EFI is just impossible to maintain at home without all the diagnosis tools, even the rubber mount carb EVO has more electronic gizmo's than I can honestly say I fully understand. That said it still behaves like a carb fuelled engine so there are sufficient clues for you to work out what is happening. Unit construction is good, starter (or overrun clutch) will need changing at 14000+, stock suspension is sh1t I went for Progressive 412's (great IMO) with Progressive front springs, CV Performance kit in the CV carb dealt with the erratic running, just need a fork brace and I am sorted. Hope you find one you like soon.
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