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Well guess what after riding a couch for a year the fxr is too small. Ride that 1200 for a couple years and you will buy something a little bigger. Everybody does.lol
perhaps many or even most, but not everybody. When I bought my FXR (second owner) my plan was to ride it a year or two as a gateway back into motorcycles, then “upgrade” to a Road King. Never happened because I like the FXR so much. I even traded bikes with another guy—on a Road King—for a day while on a 2300 mile trip, and it only convinced me even further that I’d rather be on the FXR, even on a long trip. The Road King definitely felt bigger, but not better. I’ve had my FXR for going on 18 years and it still completely pleases me.

it’s all what you want to ride. When people say “that’s too small for a long trip”, make that decision for yourself.
 

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perhaps many or even most, but not everybody. When I bought my FXR (second owner) my plan was to ride it a year or two as a gateway back into motorcycles, then “upgrade” to a Road King. Never happened because I like the FXR so much. I even traded bikes with another guy—on a Road King—for a day while on a 2300 mile trip, and it only convinced me even further that I’d rather be on the FXR, even on a long trip. The Road King definitely felt bigger, but not better. I’ve had my FXR for going on 18 years and it still completely pleases me.

it’s all what you want to ride. When people say “that’s too small for a long trip”, make that decision for yourself.
I went from NJ to the Cabot Trail on a 72 Suzuki 500 Titan, but I was just a pup back then. Do it while you can memories last forever.

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To look at the Sportster, we should put it in a historical context. In the postwar era, the British pound was devalued and British motorcycles became unnaturally cheap. Both Harley and Indian were in a desperate situation because they were nowhere near price competitive. Add to that the fact that the British iron was more quick and nimble on the road. It was a slaughter. Indian responded with the 440cc Scout in 1949, which was an OHV parallel twin and looked kind of like an Americanized Triumph. Everyone said it was too slow, so they upped it to 500cc and renamed it the Warrior in 1950. It still couldn’t compete and by 1953, Indian went belly up.
Meanwhile Harley came out with the side valve 750cc K model in 1952. In its day, it was revolutionary, especially compared with the WL that it replaced. It had swingarm rear suspension and unit construction. The Triumphs of the day were still rigid rear suspension. The only missing ingredient was OHV heads. Harley wanted to give it OHV, but they were in a desperate struggle to survive and they just didn’t have the time or money for development at that time. They stroked the K out to 900cc a few years later. But it wasn’t until the Sportster appeared in 1957 that everything fell into place. As the name suggests, the Sportster was intended to be a sport model and in the 60’s, the XLCH was the hardest, ass kickingest bike on the road.
If you look at 60’s photos, you can see a lot of Hell’s Angels on sportsters. Try telling one of those guys their bike is a “half-a-Harley”, they’d whack you in the head with a ball peen hammer.
In those days, there were just 3 basic kinds of Harleys, lightweights, Sportsters, and touring models.
My first bike was a 1967 Triumph Bonneville. My first Sportster was a 1988 1200XLH. The Sportster struck me as a machine frozen in time. Although times have changed and it’s no longer considered a sport bike, it still gives the feeling of being a 1960’s standard motorcycle. It was conceived to be a response to the British threat and they made it with a unique American flavor.
I’ve had the Triumph, a 1972 Ducati 750GT, and a 1980 Moto-Guzzi Lemans. I’ve also ridden a bunch of other bikes belonging to friends, like a Honda CBR900RR. But nothing is as much fun as the Sportster: It brings out the hell raiser in you. You ride around making noise, popping wheelies and provoking dirty looks from “respectable” people. It’s a blast!
^ Without a doubt in my mind one of the if not THE greatest random posts re: the HD Sportster I've ever read. Thank You.
 

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I have yet to see any woman (no offense to chicks btw) & less than 1/2 of men riding a Sportster the way it was intended to be ridden.
 

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It was intended to ride from one bar to another.

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IF that bar to bar riding includes dusting a few BTs and a helluva lotta lane splitting then your correct. Even once I'm able to afford a $18k vehicle it damn sure won't be a goddam two wheeled fair weather toy which is what 99% of ALL motorcycles are today. Back in 'the day' when a guy opted for a HD he rode that day in day rain or shine 90 degrees or 30 degrees.

I honestly hope one HD reaches the brink it'll wake up & settle on what it was in 1957...a humble moco producing just a few basic models and turning a decent profit. Milwaukee really does seem to think their GM jr or something.
 

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IF that bar to bar riding includes dusting a few BTs and a helluva lotta lane splitting then your correct. Even once I'm able to afford a $18k vehicle it damn sure won't be a goddam two wheeled fair weather toy which is what 99% of ALL motorcycles are today. Back in 'the day' when a guy opted for a HD he rode that day in day rain or shine 90 degrees or 30 degrees.

I honestly hope one HD reaches the brink it'll wake up & settle on what it was in 1957...a humble moco producing just a few basic models and turning a decent profit. Milwaukee really does seem to think their GM jr or something.
Harley is like GM jr when they got a taraff on imported vehicles. They couldn't compete price wise so the US bailed them out per se. This caused the price of a GW to rise from $5,000 in 83 to $10,000 in 84. Harley was in the high cotton for a few years while foreign manufacturers were building factories here in the states. Soon they were selling 5k bikes for 10k keeping the tariff tax in the bank.

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I Man'd Up and got my old bike out
267998
20210106_113343.jpg
 
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Ha ha ha....I freakin' love this pic (attached). Dig the van the background. I'd give anything to go back to that time and be that age in my dad's garage throwing together a kick start 74ci homemade chopper w/ a springer front end, rear brake, loud pipes & some chrome apes. Nowadays traffic are just sheeple on an assembly line. Just lab rats on a treadmill.

IMO I think HD (although they never will) should open a series of micro-dealerships w/ just 3-5 emplyees (no kiddies or 18yr old little girls handing around on the clock) and no more than 15-20 bikes (Sporsters & Baggers) on the floor at any time w/ no T shirts or coffee mugs. The glory days are gone. Now its just bare bones biking. As it was up until Harley became a status symbol.
7803304f99d2b46b1d89103f1417d01b.jpg
 

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Bolt for bolt Sportsters are the most reliable bullet proof bikes of all the harley models in my opinion.
A Sportster has gotta half at least 33% less parts than a BT. I read somewhere one guy said HD needs and is gradually reducing to just the Sportster and the Bagger. They iced (4) BTs from the 2021 lineup so far.
 

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A Sportster has gotta half at least 33% less parts than a BT. I read somewhere one guy said HD needs and is gradually reducing to just the Sportster and the Bagger. They iced (4) BTs from the 2021 lineup so far.
Tough economic times call for major scaling back to survive. Wont be the first time harley has been in this position. HD’s were wait listed when they implemented the MANS system. Then another time dropped Buell and MV Agusta.

they will survive. Going with Sportsters and baggers isnt a bad idea. I’m happily seeing more and more younger guys on Sportsters. And God knows you see ton ‘o baggers on the road.
 

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Ha ha ha....I freakin' love this pic (attached). Dig the van the background. I'd give anything to go back to that time and be that age in my dad's garage throwing together a kick start 74ci homemade chopper w/ a springer front end, rear brake, loud pipes & some chrome apes. Nowadays traffic are just sheeple on an assembly line. Just lab rats on a treadmill.

IMO I think HD (although they never will) should open a series of micro-dealerships w/ just 3-5 emplyees (no kiddies or 18yr old little girls handing around on the clock) and no more than 15-20 bikes (Sporsters & Baggers) on the floor at any time w/ no T shirts or coffee mugs. The glory days are gone. Now its just bare bones biking. As it was up until Harley became a status symbol. View attachment 267999
I was lucky to experience the old dust and oil wood floored harley shops like Quatros In Pawtucket,RI, Arnolds in Providence,RI. And Brunswick, ny Before they all went to chrome and fusha design.

Arnolds and quatros folded rather than convert. And quatros i think was 10th oldest dealer in the country at the time.

but i understand. You got to change to appeal to the masses to keep up. Combine that with the success of the EVO and softail, Harley exploded in popularity and sales.
 

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This is a bullseye on who actually buys some $25k mucho macho machine...and actually believes riding it 2,000 miles is proving something besides impotency and stupidity.

268008
 

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The only reason Sportsters are dumped on is because, as I've posted elsewhere, only 5% of the owners ride them remotely close to what they were originally designed for. I'd have to take half the sh#@ off my '96 XLC to make it close to as fast as they were in 1969.
 
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