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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a new forum user, been riding 6 years, and am deciding on which of the 2003 models to purchase as my first Harley.

In brief, it's between the Heritage Classic, or Heritage Springer. My difficulty is that it's impossible to get a test ride on a Heritage Springer here in the UK - they're as rare as "hens teeth". I've tried the Classic and like it alot. Visually, I prefer the Springer, but my inability to try it makes me aprehensive about ordering one!

My reservations on the Springer are its handling, weight, cleaning (!), and weak front brake (so a dealer told me!). Any opinions on these concerns would be appreciated. Ideally, if there's anyone whos used / owned both models at some stage who can give a balanced view, I'd appreciate it.

Lastly, any unbalanced views would also be welcomed!

Many thanks for your help.
 

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Tom Skillen said:
I'm a new forum user, been riding 6 years, and am deciding on which of the 2003 models to purchase as my first Harley.

In brief, it's between the Heritage Classic, or Heritage Springer. My difficulty is that it's impossible to get a test ride on a Heritage Springer here in the UK - they're as rare as "hens teeth". I've tried the Classic and like it alot. Visually, I prefer the Springer, but my inability to try it makes me aprehensive about ordering one!

My reservations on the Springer are its handling, weight, cleaning (!), and weak front brake (so a dealer told me!). Any opinions on these concerns would be appreciated. Ideally, if there's anyone whos used / owned both models at some stage who can give a balanced view, I'd appreciate it.

Lastly, any unbalanced views would also be welcomed!

Many thanks for your help.
Hey Tom!

I think you're enumerated some good reasons for the Springer, rare as hens teeth will translate to cooler than sh!t very quickly.

The only thing I've read is that the Springer front end requires service (rebuild?)every 10K miles. Small point I guess.

Not evry decision has to be completely rational, if you like it
GO FOR IT :D :D :D

regards,

wyodude

PS - welcome!
 

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Tom Skillen said:


Lastly, any unbalanced views would also be welcomed!

You'll get plenty of unbalanced views with this crowd.

I had a '93 Heritage and loved the look - needed a tourer for my style of riding though - didn't care for the rigid mount. Agree the look of the Springer Heritage is sharp. If the choice is between those two, I'd go Springer based on looks only - never rode one...good luck.
 

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Tom,

If you are really that rational about why to buy a Classic or a Springer buy a Classic.
I have a Standard and the front brake, single disk double piston, is bordering on scary in many occasions. I cannot think of braking with that ridiculous single piston setup (looks like it's bolted righ on the fender!).
On the other end if I had the money I would jump on a Springer like it was the last one ever to be sold. That front end is soooooooooooooooo cool.

Welcome here!

Whereabout in the UK are you?
I'm in London.

Ciao
 

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i like the looks of both but i tell ya, the springers bags look huge but they are damn near useless. if you look behind the bags, they are actually concave and eat up a lot of inside space. i know a springer owner who showed me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the thoughts so far.

Wyodude - I'll check with a HD mechanic on the servicing for the front end.

Otterbob - when I (hopefully!) track down a Springer at a HD showroom, I'll check the bag capacity.

Ciao - you can see my dilema; Springer looks sooo good, but the thought of that front brake gives concern without being able to secure a test ride.
(I'm in Edinburgh, Scotland)

Muthuh echoes my thoughts - I'm tempted to go for the Springer on looks alone.

I guess my heart says Springer, and my head says Classic. I don't mind overuling my head and going with the Springer option, but it's still nice to know the pros / cons either way.

Please keep any other thoughts / opinions / advice coming.

Many thanks.
 

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No insight on Heritage vs Springer, but...

every time I go for my head, my heart regrets it and my head gets all screwed up,

but every time I go for my heart, my head forgives me....

Worth a thought....

Cheers

Mike (at the other end of the UK)
 

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I have a 95 Springer Bad boy. I have never had a problem with the springer front end, and braking has not been an issue. I ride hard, and it stops when I need it to.

I also keep up on the service cycle for the machine, which obviously helps in keeping things up to speed.


If comparisons were made between the old springers and today's springers, it's like apples to oranges. I have owned both.

A nice, soft bristled spoke brush works very well on keeping the springer front end clean.

Good luck in your decision making.
 

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i have a 90 springer that i absolutely love !! iv'e not owned a heritage but have owned many harleys with conventional forks, including 2 flhs's in recent years. simply put, when the time came to decide which bike to keep the springer won. mine rides, handles, & stops great--even has an anti-dive effect under hard braking--i say go for the springer--you won't be sorry!!
 

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I just bought a vivid black '03 Softail Springer, FXSTS not the heritage, about two months ago. I have 1800 miles on it now. I LOVE IT! the ride is sweet, the looks get lots of looks and comments, there's not another like it around here, yet. I do love the looks of the Heritage but I've been dreamin' of a black Softail Springer for years. Had it as the wallpaper on my computer. I walked into the dealership with a buddy, just to buy parts mind you. They had just put it out the night before. I rode it home that day..... bye bye Sporty. {;^>}

The soft bristled spoke brush is a damn good idea. I've been using a chamois to clean the springs. If you keep a good polish and sealer on them they're pretty easy to keep clean.

When I took it in for the 500 mi. maintenance all the front-end torques were right on the money. My buddy bought a Softail Standard a couple of weeks before I got the Springer. He's ridden mine and loves it. A little green I think. HeHeeee!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks to all for the thoughts and practical advice / considerations so far.

Are there any disatisfied owners with either the Classic or Springer models out there? If so let me know why / your views.

This site and forum is a great find - I've had more help from this over the last 24 hours than speaking to dealers etc over the last month!

Please keep posting thoughts / views to help with my purchase decision.

Cheers for now;
 

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I've got a red and silver '99 FLSTS, my buddy has a '97.........and yes I'm a bit biased. The chrome springer forks and the retro look sold me on it. And there certainly isn't a lot of 'em around. The first thing I learned is not to be in a hurry going anywhere on it. A lot of folks like to look at it and comment and it's held me up more than a few times talking about it (I'm not complaining here). I expected the front end to be a little vague handling too but for what it's worth the front end is quite stable in a turn. It takes bumps and road joints with ease. The seat looks cool enough but unfortunately I found it really uncomfortable and replaced it with a Corbin Dual Touring seat. Cleaning the front springs are no big deal. I hit 'em with a wash mit and the dirt comes right off.
The most unusual thing I've found with it is wind noise. Without a windshield and wearing a shorty helmet, over 20 mph you can't hear the bike at all. There's just a deafening tornado in your ears. I don't know whether it's the aero looking lower forks letting so much air past and it hits the tank and blasts it up to your head or what. The windshield takes care of 75% of it.
I like it regardless and have no intention of owning anything else. That's saying something.

Tom if you need any particulars on it just email me. I'll be more than happy to answer any questions you might have on it.

Jim H.
 

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Oh, and one other thing.

If you don't mount anything that obstructs it, there's nothing like the view into the back of the headlight on a Springer front-end.

May seem a bit weird but travelin' through the twisty turnies on a bright blue day you get the most amazing view flyin' by on top of the headlight. And, if yer brain is all twisted up, like mine, you can see the reflection of what looks like a steel horse head, the upper springs, in the very back of the headlight; with yer head stickin' up between the ears.

I am so completely full of S*#T! Heheeeeee!!!
 

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Scooter_Trash said:
Oh, and one other thing.

If you don't mount anything that obstructs it, there's nothing like the view into the back of the headlight on a Springer front-end.

May seem a bit weird but travelin' through the twisty turnies on a bright blue day you get the most amazing view flyin' by on top of the headlight. And, if yer brain is all twisted up, like mine, you can see the reflection of what looks like a steel horse head, the upper springs, in the very back of the headlight; with yer head stickin' up between the ears.

I am so completely full of S*#T! Heheeeeee!!!
Yeah, but yer havin' fun, so go with it:D
 

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And I''ll have to agree with Scooter_Trash too............looking out over the chrome headlight and passing lamps has to be one of the coolest views ever from the seat of a bike.

Oh and if I do see the head of a horse reflected in 'em...........well I just ain't tellin'.

Jim H.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oohhhh dear!

Niped into a dealers to-day during work hours, and a Sterling Silver / Black Heritage Springer was sitting in the middle of the showroom. As mentioned, these things are rare here (UK) - so it's the first I've seen in the flesh, and a 2003 model too! It was another customers order which had just arrived.

Well; the sales guy was onto me after I started slipping in my own saliva, and was picking up satellite reception from my dilating eyes.

He tried clinching the deal on the basis of a 10% discount on the stage 1 conversion, as long as I placed the order to-day! Told him I'd be deciding within the week, and that's the least I'd expect. (Is this the best deal I should expect to cut? - seems demand is so high it's a sellers market)

Thanks again for all the help / views given above. Those that have offered help via e-mail, cheers. I'll be in touch.

Rgds;
 

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Tom,

My experience here in the UK is that Harley stuff in general does not get discounted.
The "book" says 100 and 100 it is.
"You see, all our prices are set and we cannot move" cries the poor dealer chap whilst eyeing your wallet and prying on your obvious addiction to Harley Davidson bikes and parts.
I would say that whatever discount you can get you should take.
But keep in mind that if he offered 10% he can probably still make enough money with 15% off.

Also my dealer tells me that after 2004 the MoCo will cease production of the Springer and this is also a reason why they are difficult to find over here.

Enjoy the moment!
Ciao
 

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Hello Tom

I have a Heritage Springer '01,I love his unique baroque style.

The handling is very correct but with special characteristics: it's not so rigid as telescopic forks and as in original springer forks the main work it's done by the springs (the shock absorber is soft)->the damping capacity is quite low.(That's the reason for the weak front brake choose)

No problem with a quiet driving but obviously is not the best solution for urgence braking for example.

Some people has changed the shock absorber for a harder specific one (Progressive Suspension,Fournales...) and then put a stronger brake system (Performance Machine 4 pistons...) to improve the behaviour and with good results.

In my opinion doing that you change the working concept so I prefer to maintain the original configuration.

Anyway in urgence braking you can manage between front and rear brake quite good.

Best Regards and good choice!



Springer fork masterpiece
 
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