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If we gotta wear helmets
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Discussion Starter #1
I've got an 07 XL with a sundowner seat and sport handlebars. I'm 5' 11" tall. I'm considering putting forward controls on it.

Its my first bike. I quite regularly ride it for an hour or two at a time but have only done a couple of four and five hour trips with it.

Anyone have any opinions on forward controls on a Sportster? Am I going to lose any ability to maneuver with forward controls? (I read somewhere that I would.)
 

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I haven't seen your bird.
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It probably depends a lot on your style of riding. My Sporty has forward controls, and I like them a lot. But it is a less aggressive riding posture than you have with mid-mount controls. Mid-mounts let you tuck your knees in closer to the tank, probably better for winding through tight turns, while with forward controls your feet are stretched out a bit. And on my bike that means the air cleaner on the right side and horn cover on the left side keep my legs from even touching the tank. But I usually just cruise down the highway and don't worry much about negotiating twisties so the forward controls just provide a more comfortable ride for the way I ride. Just my -2$en#e-.
 

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I had the forward foot pegs, w/o controls on my sporty. I still carved corners, and it would have been nice to have controls up there. If you are riding like it's a crotch-rocket, you might notice some performance loss, but I really doubt it.
For what it's worth, I can't corner anywhere close to that on my WG I have now. Also, I learned how to heel shift & brake the mid controls from the highway foot pegs after time...
 

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If we gotta wear helmets
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210 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
I've got a forward control kit. I'm thinking of putting just the pegs on to see how they feel to help me decide whether I want to go to forward controls.

Anyone have any experience putting forward controls on themselves?
 

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WTF?
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Forward controls

Just bought an 08 Nghtster. I was wondering the same about forward control installation. It looks easy enough with the link to the master cylinder being the most challenging part. I am 6' 0" and think I need forward controls for comfort...but it will also give an awesome look! I like the bike, but miss my Road King I lost in the divorce!
 

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I haven't seen your bird.
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Originally posted by gman62
Just bought an 08 Nghtster. I was wondering the same about forward control installation. It looks easy enough with the link to the master cylinder being the most challenging part. I am 6' 0" and think I need forward controls for comfort...but it will also give an awesome look!
I've always thought the Nightster should come with forward controls as standard equipment. Sorry about the Road King.
 

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WTF?
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Never thought I'd cry until I saw my RK get wheeled up on a trailer and driven away. Yeah, the Nightster should come with forward controls like the XL1200C. I think it shouldn't be too bad on the installatin. I'll bet the 95 was a bit more challenging. Didn't the right peg go into a cover on the transmission or something like that?
 

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If we gotta wear helmets
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Discussion Starter #9
Well I put the pegs for the Harley forward control kit on my Sportster this weekend and took it for a ride to see how the pegs felt. I liked it enough that the next day I finished the job. Rode it to work 50 miles today. I'm still getting used to the forward controls but my knees are happier and I sit in a more comfortable position in the seat.

I'm not mechanically inclined and I thought the forward control kit went on pretty easily. Both the gear shift and the brake are rod linkages so there are no cables involved.

I thought the worst part was I found I had to unbolt the front muffler and from the frame and loosen the exhaust pipe connection to the engine so I could swing the muffler out of the way just enough to get the old foot brake off and hook up the new brake linkage. I didn't take the exhaust pipe all the way off - just loosened it.

I started out trying to take just the muffler itself off. But that turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.
 

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WTF?
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Thanks for the response. How does the brake linkage actually hook up? Does it screw in? I haven't been able to tell from my cursory inspection.
 

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If we gotta wear helmets
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Discussion Starter #11
gman62 said:
Thanks for the response. How does the brake linkage actually hook up? Does it screw in? I haven't been able to tell from my cursory inspection.
On my XL the brake linkage was just a rod with a screw at each end. One screw went into the foot pedal and the other end went into a small lever attached to the frame which worked the brake.

The only difference was that those two screws were torques and everything else was hex heads.


I actually find the foot brake on the forward controls better to use since the pedal itself is up at an angle rather than level with the foot peg (which it was with the mid controls).
 
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