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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey guys (and gals)

Thanks for the input on my 'Harley tax' question. That info will not be wasted, but now I've got a new problem that I'm glad I have. After talking to the wife again, it seems I've got a little more wiggle room for spending on the bike. So now I'm looking at a 1200 instead of an 883. The Sport model is already souped up with the high compression heads and hotter cam. Also has double front brakes. Should I get that over the 1200 Custom? I was going to get the 883 in the Custom model.
This is a nice delema.
Does anyone know of any problems with the hotter sport model? It seems like a 'no brainer', but I'm always concerned when what I want is different than the majority. Is there a 'down side' to the Sport model?

All thoughts will be much appreciated.
 

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Wheelman

I went through this decision process about 2 months ago, when it came down to the final call, Chrome beat Performance. When I added up what it would cost to add the chrome and also the forward controls the 1200C won out over the 1200S. For me it was a good decision, I'm VERY impressed with the power of the standard 1200 motor, seems like more low end torque than my old Ninja had. I would like to have the dual front disc though.

Both are great bikes, so I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Gary
 

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For "customize" the XLC is the better bet. For a bit more performance, the Sport model is the easy choice.


Lisa (huckelberry1) went with the 1200 XLC because of what you got for the money. In her opinion, the XLC was a better value.

But I know riders who own the Sport model, and they've souped it up. They are very happy.

The choice is entirely yours. What a problem!
:)

Too bad we all don't have such problems.
 

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I think you'll like the 1200. I certainly do
and I drove both. If you're tall like me (6'2") you'll like the forward controls on
the Custom. Having them put on my bike
next month.

Good luck on your decision :cool:
 

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My .02 cents. I ordered the 1200S because I'm a performance junkie/hot rodder...always have been, always will be. Here are some pros and cons for each model that I gleaned from www.sportster.org If you get ANY sportster, subsribe to their XL List, there is more info there on the Sportster than anywhere else in the universe...

1200S pros:
1. Standard performance hardware is great, and the bike just begs for even more tweaking. The heads are better than the standard heads and with just mild work on them and some hotter cams the motor will put out some really good HP and torque numbers and still retain near stock rideabilty.
2. The suspension is probably the best on any Harley...it is great on factory settings but can be adjusted to your taste and riding style. Those on the XL list that take the time to play around with the settings just rave about when they finally get the right combination of adjustments for them...well you get the idea.
3. The stock brakes are GREAT. BIG DIFFERENCE in stopping distances compared to all the other Sportsters.

1200S cons:
1. Mid controls for a tall rider can give you a cramped riding position. (Not a problem for me, I am about 5'7"...what about you though???)
2. Fitment of some accesories can be a problem...mainly saddlebags (because of the rear suspension) and some aftermarket exaust systems will not fit. For example V&H says straight shots will not fit on a 1200S. However, some on the XL List say they can be made to work...So bottom line you may have to do a little research when you want to add stuff like that.
3. Sticky rear tires will require more frequent replacement.

1200C pros:
1. ALL THAT CHROME...pure eye candy. You'll be dollars ahead if you are a chrome junkie.
2. Forward controls a big plus if you are tall.
3. A bit lower riding position, important if you are short. (Irrelevant once the POS factory seat is upgraded, ditto for the 1200S.)
4. Some seem to think the 1200C tracks better on the highway due to the fact that the front wheel is stretched out a bit.

1200C cons:
1. Many do not like the vibration transmitted by the shorter drag bars. Combine that with the long stem mirrors that the short bars require and you can have a real issue with rearward visibilty, the factory mirrors are practically useless at most speeds.
2. A bit less maneuverable at lower speeds due to more rake...may not be an issue, and this is subjective...trade-off is better highway tracking.
3. Factory rear shocks are pretty horrible...figure on having to upgrade to a good set of progressives later.

Bottom line...each model has strength and weaknesses. All of the shortcomings can be improved upon on either model, however. But really, it boils down to this. What do you envision as your riding style? Laid back cruiser or more sport style rider? A mix between the two??? Just as important...style and looks of each bike... Look at 'em side by side, sit on 'em both and the answer will be there.

'03 XL1200S on the way...
 

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I knew you were leaning toward the 1200S because of your first post where you mentioned the cams and stuff...LOL. But like others said above, you can't go wrong either way. Good luck and let us know after you plunk down the cash...

'03 White Pearl 1200S on the way...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The story takes a new twist.
Went to the HD dealer today to get a couple questions answered. Ran into a another customer selling a '96 Sportster custom. Went to his house to look at it. It was georgeous. Mint condition. 2700 miles. Everything was chrome, even the oil filter. Had Python III pipes. Sounded wonderfull. Been rejetted and had a funky air cleaner that had some fluttery type valves (I guess) on the leading side. Had an alloy front wheel.
He's asking $12,000. I figured up what the Sport model would cost with the extras that I wanted and it came to nearly $12000. And that would be without all the chrome that this guy put on. He seemed meticulous. No oil spots on the garage floor. Every nut had a chrome cover on it.
I was not dressed to drive it today, but think I will definately call him to take a ride. Can't stop thinking about it. It looked just the way I would want my bike to look. I would not have to do a thing to it. Just ride it.

This will keep me awake tonight.

Later
 

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While I'm sure it's a great bike, Wheelman, you gotta keep in mind that no matter how nice it is, it's still seven model years old. I'd think that should have eaten up a lot of $$$$$ in depreciation. Just a thought...... Good luck whichever way you go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I know what you mean, but at least around here, the used bikes seem to hold their value. When you have people waiting for 6 months to a year for a bike, I guess people are willing to pay to get one now. I'm surprised at what the used bikes list for.
Thanks for the input.
 

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Hi,

My story like that, wanted a 1200S but was not 100% satisfied with the look. Anyway it had to be a second hand one and there was none at the dealer. What they had was a real good looking 1200C (year 2000), I felt in love in a second and bought it. After a short time I was thinking about a bit more power from 2000 to 4000 RPM and started to inquire for screamin eagle parts. Heads, ignition, clutch, cams ... much too expensive. Then I read an add about a 1200S (year 1999) and went just for curiosity. Thanks to a windshield the look was OK and the price was just 2 times what I should have spend for upgrading the 1200C. So I bought it too, thinking about switching the engines (and maybe the fork and the shocks). Damn, much too difficult (work, laws). So again I thought will ride both, really compare and keep the one I prefer. No way the two are differents but just wonderfull. The way of driving is different, I ride cooler (cruising?) with the C and speeding much more with the S. I would also say that the Custom is maybe better for riding with a passenger and the Sport to race alone. Racing, Cruising ... your style, your choice. Try to have a test on both, try them with your wife and decide together if you intend to ride with her.
 

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Wheelman, Just take another look at www.sportster.org. You will be VERY suprised at the information there and the advise as well. I purchased a used 97 1200H, then spent more than I should have to make it look like a 1200C. (everything except the Chrome engine side covers) I now wish I had got the 1200C nest to it and spent the money on engine and performance mods.

I have learned a lot from the Sportster.org list and i will admit, I should have got an 883, and done the 1200 conversion myself. As a mechanic (aviation) I allways do the work myself, and believe in riding what I work on. The cost difference is about 2500 to 3500 bucks lower for the 883 here in Dallas, and the parts for the conversion are ealily bought for under a grand. I could easily have used the extra for a vacation to Cancun or a trip to Daytona Beach.

Check out the info at Sportster.org. It alone will save you a lot of headaches in ownership, repair, warranty, and general upkeep of your new scooter.

Good Luck:
 

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Larry Burger said:
I bought the 1200C versus the sport just cause I like the feel of the forward controls, with the combination of the drag bars.

I just today put unobtrusive highway pegs on my '03 1200S. I rode it about thirty miles afterward on the interstate. Outstanding! Huge difference in leg comfort. :D
 

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I bought the 1200C and my brother in law bought the standard at the same time he likes the buckhorn bars I like the drag bars he likes the 19" front wheel I like the 21" He likes my chrome moter I like my chrome motor he saved about $1000 I did not. It is all in what you like so do the math and you will find out there are no wrong answers
 
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