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EFI Sportster Motorcycle Talk (2007 and up) For 2007 and above Sportsters

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  #1  
Old 23rd March 2011
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Sportster/Buell Model: 48 - 2 weeks to delivery!
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Default The 48.. too much compromise for style?

Does the 48 compromise being a decent bike for style?

I've a deposit down on one, don't have the ability to ride one though (there are no demos available anywhere.. I was lucky enough to TOUCH one ).

In typical 'i have a deposit down and still have to wait 6 weeks so I'll read everything I can on the internet' style.. I've been seeing a few reports of head shake, tank slappers and general 'skippiness' from the front and rear ends over bumps and rough roads.. seems to be linked to low front and rear suspension and small amounts of suspension travel.

How are other 48 owners finding them? Has Harley compromised handling for looks? Even one of the dealers was trying to steer me away from one for these reasons.

Just curious, especially interested in opinions from guys who own or have spent time with 'regular' sporties..
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  #2  
Old 23rd March 2011
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The suspension isn't much different from the nightster, so I'll bite.

The suspension sucks. It's far too short to allow proper travel, and therefore spring rate, so there's no compromise between too stiff and bottoming out too easily. I personally have not experienced or heard about head shake, but more along the lines of failing to follow road irregularities in order to maintain traction while cornering. I found the stock suspension too stiff in the rear, so I fixed that with whittlebeast hybrids, and the n suddenly the front feels way too soft, so I'm fixing that with Works dual rate fork springs and air valves.

If you read XLXRs 7 pages of suspension threads you'll find many ways to improve the suspension from levels starting at Rideable all the way to great. "Rideable" can even be acheived on a modest budget (about $250 combined front and rear), or you can get close to $1000 with online rear shocks, works form springs and ricor intiminators for a very good setup.


Essentially though, it's a sportster thing, not just specific to the 48. Salesman probably wanted to get you on a more expensive big twin.
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  #3  
Old 23rd March 2011
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I think all of the things that suck on the 48 suck on most sportsters in general (except the range) Never rode one, just from what I've read.
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  #4  
Old 23rd March 2011
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Well.. heres another point to add..
Nightsters and Irons for the Australian market (where I am) get much taller suspension than the US models.. The 48 though gets the low suspension of the US.

For what its worth with the dealer, he was trying to steer me to a nightster.. longer waiting list on them!!
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Old 23rd March 2011
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Mr. Mow. The 48 is an aquired taste. i have a 48 and love it. it has taken some comfort away for the nastalgic look but thats all part of the scene. I would have to say that the suspension is a little rough rideing at times but its an awesome ride. ive never noticed any head shake or bottoming out. i tested the suspension pretty good on a 9 inch speed bump that came out of no where and it was stiff but never bottomed out. its tourqie as hell in high and low band. great throttle response in all gears and is an all around awesome city crusier. the 2.1ga peanut tank makes it a little hard to go long distances. all in all its just one of those bikes that you would have to ride to get your own opinion about it.
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Old 23rd March 2011
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I'm pretty satisfied with my '48 as a whole. I've changed around a few things that are mostly subtle styling cues in addition to a heavy Breather and Side Shots exhaust. The handling seems fine to me. I come from a heavy background of cycling though so I don't know if that has influenced my opinion in any way regarding the handling.

This is the first motorcycle I've ever owned so I have nothing to compare it to in terms of ownership.
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Old 23rd March 2011
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The ride on the 48 is harsh but, it's not made to tour. It's a "bar" bike. Short runs. If your looking for something that will handle longer rides and money is a little tight then look at a diffferent sportster and upgrade the suspension and seat.
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  #8  
Old 23rd March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jharback View Post
The ride on the 48 is harsh but, it's not made to tour. It's a "bar" bike. Short runs. If your looking for something that will handle longer rides and money is a little tight then look at a diffferent sportster and upgrade the suspension and seat.
Oh, dont get me wrong, not talking 'comfort' none of my rides are a comfort issue..

Being spat off the side or have the rear end wash out on a 1" bump due to badly designed suspension.. These are my concern!

I'm not after a fast bike or a sports bike, I want a big dumb fun bike for banging around town with the odd day long trip..

But a death trap more suited to posing outside a cafe being ridden 10 miles a monthin the name of fashion.. No way..

Example, I had a BMW r1150r a few years back, nice bike until you started to push it, those paralever front ends give bugger all feedback when braking or cornering.. Couple of close calls told me no freakin way!
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  #9  
Old 23rd March 2011
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G'day guys now i just clocked 1100ks on my 48.. And i have no probs whatsoever at slow or fast speed .. Yes potholes it gets bumpy but i guess every bike will and it still is in control.. No probs on corners ..either.. If u ride it like your baby n avoid potholes u be aight.. After all you only ride through potholes at fast speed if you don't know your way or you are the test pilot. I use it to n from work abt 40 ks everyday n i know my way so got no probs.. I guess it also depends on your riding style.. Don't get me wrong no offence to any of you .. But even if you put $1000 worth shocks on your ride and still don't know your way off bumpy roads then you still gonna be winging ...and yes its little low suspension but hey with that fat hot lookin front i will go through ne thing for my 48 love it all the way and yes it stand out ...finally its your shot.. When i bought it i never get to ride it i went to dealer to look for iron and when i looked at 48 and sit on it i knew its made for me .. So choose what you are after sometimes oy u have to compromise in life a little
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  #10  
Old 23rd March 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PUNJABIon48 View Post
G'day guys now i just clocked 1100ks on my 48.. And i have no probs whatsoever at slow or fast speed .. Yes potholes it gets bumpy but i guess every bike will and it still is in control.. No probs on corners ..either.. If u ride it like your baby n avoid potholes u be aight.. After all you only ride through potholes at fast speed if you don't know your way or you are the test pilot. I use it to n from work abt 40 ks everyday n i know my way so got no probs.. I guess it also depends on your riding style.. Don't get me wrong no offence to any of you .. But even if you put $1000 worth shocks on your ride and still don't know your way off bumpy roads then you still gonna be winging ...and yes its little low suspension but hey with that fat hot lookin front i will go through ne thing for my 48 love it all the way and yes it stand out ...finally its your shot.. When i bought it i never get to ride it i went to dealer to look for iron and when i looked at 48 and sit on it i knew its made for me .. So choose what you are after sometimes oy u have to compromise in life a little
Hey mr. Punjabi! See you around on the hd oz forum! It was actually one of the guys on there has got me rethinking it all after his tales of near crashes!
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