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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody! When I got my bike, I think I re-sparked my fathers interest in riding also ( :cool: ) and he really likes Harleys. I noticed that the MSRP on the Sportster is ~$8k...hmm... What does say a '95 or so model usually go for? Also, he has some back problems, so how comfy is this bike? What are the common problems?

Just doin' all the usual homework :)

It'd be really cool to be able to go on weekend rides with my dad :)
 

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bycom I think your Dad should try a couple of sporsters out if possible at least sit on them, the 883 is real small, real narrow seat, I think a sporty would be good for short weekend rides. My son is getting married this summer and he is talking about getting his mc lin so I hope in a year or two we can ride togther (i don't know what his future wife thinks of bikes!)
 

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BYOCOM, how often will your Dad be riding with you? Or will he be mostly riding by himself? Sports bikes and cruisers are very different machines. The Sportster is known for its hard/rigid ride. Back aches are often a side effect of riding Sportsters. Are they fun? Yes. Are they comfortable? Not IMHO. (Now, watch me get flamed by some Sportster owners!:( ) Would your Dad be happy with a Sportster? Maybe, depending on how much he'll be riding. Again, IMHO, short rides are fine on this fun machine; however, most riders find a 300 mile day on a Sportie to be, well, tough. And if your Dad is a big man, the 883 Sportster (which is the price range you suggested in your post) may not "fit" him well.

Take a look at www.kbb.com to get a feel for the price for "used" Sportsters. Price varies around the Country. Lower in California and the West and higher in the East and South. You may be able to get a deal on one through a private party.

As a thought, before you/Dad invest the money in a Harley, maybe you'd want to consider a metric cruiser for a year or two. While you'll get most of your money back when you sell the H/D, a metric would cost you a whole lot less up front. And then after riding a while Dad could decide how much money he wants to put into a bike.

Let's see what some of the Sportster owners have to say.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well honestly he probably wouldn't be riding all that much. He talks crazy talk sometimes about getting a 'street-legal kit' for this little Russian dirt bike that we have :eek:

Probably an older metric cruiser is what he'd get (if he were to get anything...I said his interests were sparked, not a raging fire mind you :D) but I know he'd be pleased as punch to own a Harley and I saw the price on the Sportster... Just gathering info.
 

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and for the more "vertically" challanged there is always the Sportster Hugger, which sits lower. I can't vouch for the comfort -my wife won't let me ride it long enuff. :D

But the prices on the sportsters are pretty reasonable.


-JJ
 

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Why not have him rent one from a dealer and see how he likes it?
 

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Ok here is my opinion. I own a 2002, 883 custom. I have only had it for about 6 weeks.

The longest I have ridden non-stop was 100 miles. I rode 50 miles in one direction and my back started getting tired. I turned around and headed back and for the last 25 miles my back and butt was in sheer agony. The stock seat sucks, so count on buying a new one. I am only 5' 8" so I don't know if the forward controls help me or make it worse.

The bike did a lot of sneezing out of the carb while downshifting. I was told I needed to pay the "Harley Tax" to stop this. Apparently the EPA requires the Harley to run so lean that the carb sneezing is normal. How the *** bikes get away with it I don't understand. Anyhow, I paid the "Harley Tax" which cost almost 400.00. The bike still sneezes out the carb! Not near as much but still does it. I have taken it to 2 different shops and have been told, "yeah well all Sportsters do that." Then I was told the only way to get rid of it was to convert to a 1200. Another dealer said even converting wouldn't stop it, all Harleys do it.

It gets more interesting. The three oil leaks around the primary are slight, but with only 650 miles on the bike I'd call any oil leaks excessive. Both dealers looked at me like I was the biggest idiot in the world to even mention an oil leak. They claim warranty wouldn't cover these slight leaks because they are NORMAL. :D

Before I finish bitchin I'll add one more negative to this thread. The oil that comes out of the breather and gets on the exhaust and my leg is a little annoying, but there is a fix for it! Only thing is Harley Davidson won't fix it because, well you guessed it, "It is normal."

Now do I like my Sportster? Hell Yes! I'm not joking either. Despite a couple of minor annoyances the feeling I get while riding it are even better than I had ever imagined. It's quick, fun, easy to maneuver, draws looks from everyone, has a beautiful sound, is nice looking, etc...

I have owned 2 Hondas, 1 Kawasaki, and 1 Yamaha previously. I liked them all alot. I love my Sportster and will probably keep it if I can afford it when I get my Dyna! :D
 

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In November of last year I bought my first motorcycle in 20 years. I got a 2002 Sportster and really liked it. It served the purpose for what I first thought I'd be using it for, short hauls and running around town. After several 100+ mile days and being in my early 50s, I discovered it was not what I needed. I loved the bike but is just vibrated my old bones too much to make the ride enjoyable. Last month I traded it for an Electra Glide Classic. What a world of difference. Is it not as sporty but it sure is alot smoother and more comfortable to ride. The Electra Glide opened up more options on when and where to take my bike. If I could afford it, I'd have them both. The pocket book speaks pretty loud when making these kind of decisions.
 

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I've got 16000 miles on my Sportster. Took a trip last year for 4400 miles averaging about 450 miles a day (some days were longer of course). No back trouble.

The key is putting a windshield on it and a comfortable seat with a BACKREST! :) Sportsters are the cheapest Harley and can be made into a comfortable ride relatively inexpensively (compared to buying a bigger bike) - with exception of course to the rubber mounted thing.

To tell you the truth, if comfort is a big issue, I'd have him sit on a few bigger bikes as well as the Sportster. Of course the trade-off with comfort is $$$.

As for the other little piddly problems... enh... all Harleys have problems... just a matter of finding the little fixes for them. I thought this was a hobby anyway? :)

Good luck!
Chris
 

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Absolutely love my Sportster. Longest ride yet was my trip to Laconia last week. The trip was 135 miles one way and I returned home the same day. Was I sore? You bet! But ridin' is ridin'. But, yesterday I took my buddies Roadking for a spin. What a difference? Felt like I was riding in a Cadillac. I think my Bride may have a slight bit of worry going on. I agree with HarleyJoel about renting to try it out. It's expensive, but he will have fun and if the bike is'nt the right fit, he'll only be out the rental fee and not stuck with the wrong bike.
 

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Smokey,
I would find some new shops to take your bike to. I have only had one oil leak due to bad gaskets on the rocker box covers. The shop I bought the bike from fixed it immediately under warranty. My bike also had some hiccups but they fixed it with a carb rejet again under warranty. The only normal oil leak is out of the air cleaner. If you keep your oil level a little under maximum it will help minimize this though.
 

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Sportster opiinion

I'm 49, and have a bad back, having had a spinal fusion when I was 17. My '93 has never made my back hurt, even on 350 mile trips. The most important things I did was get a really good seat and a windshield. I have some pics posted in the gallery if you want to take a look. Also, if you want some more info on the mods I've done for comfort, email me at [email protected]

Malfunction
'93 XL1200 "Miss Scarlet"
 
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