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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am working on getting an 883R this Spring and doing a Buell Headed 1200 conversion. I have been doing as much research as possible since this is to be my first HD. Question I have is.....In all the road test I have read on Sportsters is that the vibrate horribly over 70mph. I read on other threads that they will vibrate so bad that the mirrors break off. Is this true? I'm not looking for a touring bike, But I would like to think I could go on an ocassional 3-4 hour hwy trip without loosing any fillings. How fast can you cruise for extended periods of time?????
 

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We went from Alanta Ga to Jax Fl 80 to 90 MPH the hole way. Of course you cant ride more that 1& 1/2 hour at that speed, you run out of gas! My XLH -883 is also a 1200 useing Wiesco weight match reverse dome pistons. I feel the head work I did paid off big, as after the conversion I had alot less vibes.
 

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A 883 vibrates significantly less than a stock 1200. My first two Sporty's were 883s for that reason, but they are SLOW. My '02 1200 std. is noticeably quicker and ViBRaTeS a LOT more! I can hold her at 75, but 80+ gets uncomfy kinda fast. On freeways at 80+ (just keeping up with traffic) she is a handful: lotsa vibezz and suseptible to wind gusts from trucks, etc. She is much more enjoyable running on 2 lane backroads and varying the speeds. Overall tho, the big Sporty is one of the most enjoyable (though "technically" obsolescent) bikes I've ever owned, out of 60+ over the years. A Mustang saddle made a VAST improvement in comfort; best $$ I've ever spent on a aftermarket part. Have fun....DFO
 

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I have a 02 XLH1200 and I usually cruise on
the highway at between 65 and 70 if I'm
going any distance and it's pretty comfortable
as far as vibration goes. I have just over
3000 miles on it and the first 1000 miles it
was uncomfortable for vibes. My mirrors
do vibrate some, but I can still see those red
and yellow flashy thangs.
 

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I've never taken a long ride on the interstate but I often ride about 60 miles (one way) on it to visit my parents. My cruising speeds generally range from 70-85 mph. It's true that above 70 you really do start to feel the vibration alot more. But I haven't had any trouble with my mirrors breaking off or even loosening up. The thing that helped make my Sporty more comfortable to ride long distances was the new Corbin seat I bought. It helped to reduce the amount of vibration that goes through your rear end and lower back. It's also much firmer and way more comfortable than the stock solo seat.

If you're planning on riding alot of long distance interstate miles I wouldn't recommend the Sportster. However, for the occasional interstate trip you should be fine.
 

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My friend rode his 1100 sportster to sturgis in 2000 and we did 2000 miles in three days at average speeds of 70-75. If I had not seen it I would not have believed it(kind of a rat bike), used a little oil and the front motor mount bolts loosened up a couple of times, no major problems..
 

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I rode to Orlando a couple of weekends ago, 80 mph for the first 100 miles, and 90 mph for the second. Didn't really cause me no problems. I wore a full face helmet with no windshield. The only thing I've done for vibration is iso-pegs & grips. I didn't really have any problems, and passing the geezer on the Road King was classic.
 

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I ride a 02 1200 custom and love it , the mirror problem is with the 1200 custom and yes the left one will brake off (LONG STEM MIRROR)
I've broken two of them in 6 mo. the MOCO will replace them for 6 more mo. then I will try shorter stem mirrors. I did install a "BAR SNAKE" and ISO grips which helped my hands but not the mirrors, 50-60 mph is the worst in 5th but the vibes go to my feet at 70-75 mph (hope my left foot don't brake off) if you like the sporty like I do you just live with it...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies, Boy I may just have to rethink my choice of bikes here. It seems kinda weird to think about spending close to 10 grand on a bike and not be able to take a 12 hour trip over a two day ride without having to visit the Doctor afterwards. I really want to get an American made bike this time around. I rode 7 hours in the rain on a RZ350 and other than being cold it was an enjoyable ride. I know I could always get a big HD, But I am going to keep a 10,000 limit on the pricetag. I also probably would never take a trip that long but mabey one or twice. Mabey the thing to do would be to rent one (Sportster) for the weekend this Spring and see how it does on the highway?
 

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1350CFM,

That's a good idea about renting a Sportster to see how you like it. There's no better way to really know if you like a bike than to ride it.

I don't know if you have your heart set on a cruiser or not but you may want to consider a Buell Firebolt or Lightning. The price is $9,995 which fits your price range. They also have much more hp than the Sportster and virtually no vibration.
 

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50-60 in 5th....?

Anyway, the Buell is a good option as 02 Sporty said. I rode one at Biketoberfest, and the vibrations were the same at redline as they were at idle. Not bad at all.
 

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Option # 3.
Wait and see if Harley offers the "new Sproty" for 2004. The talk is about a rubber mount firebolt motor version.
Option #4 buy a used FXD for 10 large,gets you on a BT.
Option #5 do more mods to quill the Sporster vibes. A DFI dampner and a blueprinted and ballenced motor makes you have "one of a kind" Sporty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well the Buell is looking better now. I had looked at them while in the HD dealer. The Firebolt looks awsome and is super trick with the swing arm oil tank and inververted disc brake. It certainly has a lay down riding position. I'm afraid it may lean a little too far forward to me??? The other model the Lightning has more pull back bars and was very comfy, But that rear overhang(or lack of it) is really kinda ugly. Oh what to do.........
 

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The Firebolt is not as bad as other sportbikes as far as riding positon goes. Compaired to a GSXR-1000 or a ZX6RR ect its more mild.
For some folks it can be OK due to the abillity to kind of sit-up and let the air hit your chest, it takes some of the weight off your wrist. Ive never road a new Lightning yet so I cant say. Also the bikes has about the same amount of vibes as my Dyna.
 

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I actually rode the Lightning, and I thought it didn't lean you forward far enough. It was a kind of awkward position for me, too far & not far enough forward all at the same time.
The Firebolts that I've sat on seem to be more comfortable to me.

I actually prefer the looks of the Lightning, and if you got rid of that license plate bracket and mounted the plate under the tail, I think it'd look even better.
 
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