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Old 01-09-2008, 05:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Big Twin to Sportster -- ok downsizing?

I've had 2 big twins: 01 FXDWG and an 03 Fatboy. Carb and FI. Liked them, but owning your own business means sometimes the toys gotta go. Anyway, I've been thinking about a Sportster ("04 and up due to lack of interest in excess vibration) as I'm no longer heading for the horizon -- you can never reach it. So just to use as a fun bike. Shorter trips. You know.

Question #1: for two up riding, is a Sportster big enough?
Question #2: ditto -- powerful enough?
Question #3: Assuming no obvious crash damage, are they often trashed
by new/hotrod riders like some crotch rockets are?

Nice thing about a recession, bike prices have really dropped around here.
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Old 01-09-2008, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would go with a 1200 for sure, I like the Custom model, has forward controls and bigger tank.
As far as 2 up riding it depends on the size of the riders, a 1200 has more HP then a stock Big twin and is lighter.
Most used late model Sportster's have low miles and have been well taken care of.
Should be able to find a good deal on one, EFI came standard in 07.
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Old 01-09-2008, 08:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malaka View Post
Question #1: for two up riding, is a Sportster big enough?
Question #2: ditto -- powerful enough?
Question #3: Assuming no obvious crash damage, are they often trashed
by new/hotrod riders like some crotch rockets are?
1-That's your call (and the passenger). If the GVWR is obeyed, then yes it's big enough. I remember back in '77, riding my 1973 Honda CB350 in the rain at night from Seattle to Portland with my hot new girlfriend on the back. It was great fun!
2-Power? A 1200 sure enough is plenty. You're gonna be quicker up to 80 mph than most cages.
3-I don't see a lot of guys out wailing on their Sportys but it really doesn't matter how many were ridden hard, you just need one good one.

Do your shopping and get riding again on what you can ride. I don't care if all a guy can afford is a Honda Metropolitan, if you like to ride ya gotta ride. I saw two guys on a (one) Big Ruckus today. I didn't want to be them but I'd bet they were OK with it.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malaka View Post
I've had 2 big twins: 01 FXDWG and an 03 Fatboy. Carb and FI. Liked them, but owning your own business means sometimes the toys gotta go. Anyway, I've been thinking about a Sportster ("04 and up due to lack of interest in excess vibration) as I'm no longer heading for the horizon -- you can never reach it. So just to use as a fun bike. Shorter trips. You know.

Question #1: for two up riding, is a Sportster big enough?
Question #2: ditto -- powerful enough?
Question #3: Assuming no obvious crash damage, are they often trashed
by new/hotrod riders like some crotch rockets are?

Nice thing about a recession, bike prices have really dropped around here.
I'd suggest you find one you can test ride before you drop the coin. It will seem small at first since you've only ridden big twins. A rental would probably be best - that way you could spend at least a few hours on it.
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Old 01-13-2008, 01:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malaka View Post
I've had 2 big twins: 01 FXDWG and an 03 Fatboy. Carb and FI. Liked them, but owning your own business means sometimes the toys gotta go. Anyway, I've been thinking about a Sportster ("04 and up due to lack of interest in excess vibration) as I'm no longer heading for the horizon -- you can never reach it. So just to use as a fun bike. Shorter trips. You know.

Question #1: for two up riding, is a Sportster big enough?
Question #2: ditto -- powerful enough?
Question #3: Assuming no obvious crash damage, are they often trashed
by new/hotrod riders like some crotch rockets are?

Nice thing about a recession, bike prices have really dropped around here.
I would say the fastest way to know would be to test ride one.
I would suggest the 1200R, it has a bit more suspension travel, the custom and the low run out of it too fast.
I sundowner seat and a set of progressive shock go a long way is making it a far better bike to ride distance.
I would also say that with Harley offering 1.05% loans, sell your two bikes on e-bay and the 2008 1200r has a 4.5 tank and fuel injection.

As to two up, well I think that, I guess it depends on your total weight together, I know me and my lovely bride would not fit on one, but that is a touchie subject ain't it.
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Old 01-14-2008, 01:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

Had a FLHRCI and had to change to '05 Sportster 1200 Custom (medical reasoning..)
I absolutely love it, plenty of pep, V&H pipes~Kuryakyn Hyper. perf. Air filter~pull back bars~Kuryakyn stirrups~quick release HD windscreen(short) and tour Europe as well as I ever did on the King and the gas lasts alot longer
Still use my saddlebag liners from the Rd.king in the present bags and am missing nothing so touring has not suffered especially now with those forward controls.
You tend to actually have more fun up on the Sportster, extremely nimble and really can throw it in and out of those bends...

Enjoy!
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Old 01-14-2008, 02:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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i had an 03 sportster 1200 custom and absolutely loved it. it was snappier than my 06 night train. if you buy a touring seat, it'll work great. and yes, they are more nimble than the big twins. very fun bikes. the only thing i didn't like was the look of the crossover pipe, but i think they got rid of that in '04. either way, aftermarket pipes will sound and look better anyways, imo.
if money is an issue, i'd suggest looking on ebay. i got my bike off ebay for a steal. good luck.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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As far as the length of trip you take, the #3 finisher in the iron but rally was a sportster. I didn't see any big twins listed in the top finishers anywhere.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigBen View Post
As far as the length of trip you take, the #3 finisher in the iron but rally was a sportster. I didn't see any big twins listed in the top finishers anywhere.
What's your point?
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Old 01-15-2008, 06:32 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What's your point?
I think his point is, the Sporty can be a very capable long distance bike.
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:57 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blusideupp View Post
I think his point is, the Sporty can be a very capable long distance bike.
30 years ago 1200 CCs was as big as they get & 750s were considered as good sports tourers if set up with a Vetter Windjammer fairing. Back then the Sportster was a rough ride with too much vibration and not reliable enough for most people to use as a long distance ride.

Fast forward to now with digital ECM, Fuel injection, rubber mounted motors, yadda yadda yadda. The bike is an excellent platform for touring. You just need to set it up with the right goodies first & pay attention to the overall weight rating.

Get on your bikes and Ride! (FM)
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
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As far as the length of trip you take, the #3 finisher in the iron but rally was a sportster. I didn't see any big twins listed in the top finishers anywhere.
I'd buy that guy a beer or two.

Personally, I can't ride one of them things for more than an hour and I've got a 1400 mile iron butt myself.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:12 PM   #13 (permalink)
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There is certainly nothing wrong with a Sportster. I have owned 2 of them. I have also owned in the Harley line up a Heritage at at this present time I own a Ultra Classic. When it come to 2 up riding and touring you can't beat an Ultra Classic. As a person gets older and spreads out more there is just not enough room on a Sportster for 2 riders.
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Old 02-21-2008, 12:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I downsized from Electra Glide Standard to a 1200 Custom. I love the extra speed and agility and the extra $7000 in my pocket. Put a Sundowner on it with a backrest and it will do 2 up just fine. I also had a Superglide before and the Sportster is much more peppy. The only drawback to a Sportster is the suspension which can be corrected with progressives.
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Old 02-21-2008, 07:13 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The reality is that unless you are two very tiny people, 2up riding on the sportster sucks.
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