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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am 18 years old and am looking to get a bike. I really like the XL 883R, and was wondering if that is a good choice for me to learn to ride on. I can't afford the more expensive Harleys, and honestly I wouldn't really want anything other than the 883 right now. Anyway, what are your opinions on this? By the way, I am a pretty small guy. I am 5' 10" and only weigh about 130 lbs.

Thanks everyone!

Kyle
 

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chili,

I am 5' 8" and have a 1200S and have no problems with the height of the bike. The 883R is roughly the same height. When stopping, both feet are flat on the ground. You shouldn't have any problems.

If this is your first bike ever, I would highly recommend you taking a MSF course before you purchase the bike and head out on the highway.

Peace
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info. What is an MSF course and where are they taken? Do they provide bikes, or should I purchase the Sportster before hand?
 

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Chili,

They supply the bikes and helmets. Check out their web page that Pleasure Pig provided.
 

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Do you have any riding experience?

If not, I'd recommend taking the MSF course before you purchase anything. The course will really give you an idea of your skill and comfort level on a motorcycle. Then you'll have a better idea of what type of bike is best for you to start learning on.

Unless you just really breeze through the MSF I probably wouldn't recommend starting with a Sportster or any Harley for that matter. In general, Harleys are a little too heavy for newbies to handle comfortably. In addition, they are expensive and you will most likely drop your first bike at least once during the early part of the learning process.

If you have your mind made up to get a Harley, I'd recommend renting one before you buy.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the help, everyone!

Pleasure Pig, the link didn't work to the site...Do you know of a different link or something? Thanks for posting it, though! I would definitely like to take a safety course before I go out and ride and end up killing myself.

I really would like a Harley, but I understand what you are saying about it being heavy for a newbie. Do you have any other suggestions as far as bikes go for a new rider? My dad has a V-Rod, and a new 2003 Black/Silver Ford Harley-Davidson F-150, so I thought it would be kinda cool to get a Harley. I really like the Sportster type bikes.
 

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just my 2 cents but if you learn on a harley (sporty or otherwise) that is what you'll be comfortable on. practice with what you ride and ride on what you practice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I just got done taking the MSF course this weekend, and I just breezed right through it! I had never even sat on a bike before this, and I got 100% on the written, and the only thing I messed up on during the riding test was after I had just completed coming out of the turn where you accelerate all the way through, I decelerated thinking I was past the finish line, but I wasn't. They marked off a point. Almost 100% on everything! Anyway, my dad has offered to pay half if I decide to get the Sportster, so I am pretty tempted. The bikes we learned on were really small, but I did really well, and I think if I start practicing on the Sportster 883r, I should do well.

Thanks for the advice to take the MSF course...I learned a ton over this weekend!
 

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Way to go chillipepper! Now let the fun begin! My first bike was a 883 Hugger. I'm now ready for the big boys. Fatboy is my next step...

...No, let me put it this way, are the big boys ready for me. :)
 

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Congrats on the course! If you feel really comfortable on the bike, the you can learn on a sportster ok, but there are easier bikes to learn on.
Sportster was my wife's first ride, and she was riding like a pro very quickly.... totally depends on the individual. good luck
 

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jockeyshift said:
chili,

I am 5' 8" and have a 1200S and have no problems with the height of the bike. The 883R is roughly the same height. When stopping, both feet are flat on the ground. You shouldn't have any problems.

If this is your first bike ever, I would highly recommend you taking a MSF course before you purchase the bike and head out on the highway.

Peace
I am about 5'7" or so and I am flat footed on my 1200S but not close to flat footed on an 883R. The 1200S has a good inch or so lower seat height. On the bikes I tried, the only Sportsters I was flat footed on were the 1200S, 1200C, 883C and Hugger.

Sportsters I could not flat foot were the 883R, XL883, and XL1200.

The highest seat height without question was the XL1200. But the 883R was only slightly lower. (Emphasis on the SLIGHTLY.) The 883R has a different seat than all the rest, and I believe it is what causes it to feel so high for me, just as the low cut seat on the 1200S keeps my feet flat.

If you are in the 5'7" to 5'8" range, it would be a good idea to sit on the various Sportsters to get a feel. Even a difference of 1/2 an inch of seat height can make a BIG difference in how your feet are positioned on the ground for stability when stopped. Another thing is it effects how effectively you can back the bike up with your feet. The lower and flatter your feet are, the more leverage your legs can apply when backing.
 

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Congrats! At least I now know that I'm not the youngest on the board! :D Besides that, The sportster is a fun bike to ride and is not all that heavy. Pretty easy to upgrade too! Glad to see that you made it through the MSF course! I know it did help me out with taking it and will be looking into the advanced course when my sporty is up and running again.

Just remember.. Rubber Side Down, Shiney Side Up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you guys so much for all you encouraging words and congratulations! I went and sat on the 883r today, and I could flat foot it, however I could tell it was taller than the others. It is funny, too, how it feels heavier than my dad's v-rod even though it is 100 pounds lighter. I guess it's just the height difference.

I feel that if I practice alot on the sportster, I should do fine. I am just not attracted to any other bikes like I am to the 883R.
 

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Then I would say go with it. You will get the most enjoyment out or riding a bike that you like not some bike that "will do" until you feel you are "good enough" to get a sporty.

Some will disagree with this but if it feels right go for it.
 

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Go for the 883R and maybe buy a lower seat for the learning phase (will make you feel more secured). You could also be a bit disapointed by the performance of the 883R as it is the less powerfull of the Sporties, but I would say that this is an adventage when learning. Anyway it is really easy to fix and that bike is gorgeous.
 
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