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Seems like the Vespa,of motorcycles, rudimentary, reliable, fast enough, easy to learn to work on, parts and repair info readily available.

Looking to get a 2016-2020 Roadster 1200, it's pretty much how I'd want to set up a Sportster, bars, seat, taller adjustable rear shocks 👍🏽

Also looking at mid 90s? to 1999 Sportster 1200s
pre-rubber mounted engine, pre fuel injection, pre-ABS
this model has dual front discs and adjustable front and rear suspension.

I like the look of the Iron 883s but am wanting a stock 1200cc

Going to wait for a good deal on a clean, stock, desirable model. Like Vespas motorcycle prices are a bit ambitious right now

Any other models, years to consider?
Tips, tricks and advice?
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I personally liked the look and the riding position of the 883 SuperLow. For a while it was also the lowest priced Sportster. I believe it came out in 2011 and was available for 6 or 8 years.
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I had one, for a while, a new '94. It didn't go very well, vibrated, didn't stop at all well and had a tiny fuel tank. The cheesy Korean shocks and forks were awful and it was a poor handler and loved to drag its bits on the road. Awful seat! Basically, if you spent a bunch of money to add a second brake, aftermarket shocks and put a (sadly) noisy performance muffler on it and an expensive seat on it, it was a better bike but Harleys out of the box are awful. And expensive. Anyway, my experience as a new owner and the year I tried to exist with it were an experience that put me off ever owning another of any size. Also, that surprised me writing that as that was almost 30 years ago! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!
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Hello everyone... Haven't posted in a while. I purchased a 1987 883 new in late '86 and still have it. The price was $3995 ($4200 OTD), and the dealer was kind enough to include a pillion seat, passenger pegs and tach kit. While it doesn't do anything particularly well, it's fun to cruise around the local area.
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I once owned a 2006 Sporster Custom 1200
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Xsbank wrote:
I had one, for a while, a new '94. It didn't go very well, vibrated, didn't stop at all well and had a tiny fuel tank. The cheesy Korean shocks and forks were awful and it was a poor handler and loved to drag its bits on the road. Awful seat! Basically, if you spent a bunch of money to add a second brake, aftermarket shocks and put a (sadly) noisy performance muffler on it and an expensive seat on it, it was a better bike but Harleys out of the box are awful. And expensive. Anyway, my experience as a new owner and the year I tried to exist with it were an experience that put me off ever owning another of any size. Also, that surprised me writing that as that was almost 30 years ago! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!
Thanks, like to hear the ugly too.

I think the modern Roadster 1200cc 2016-2020 (and late 90s Sportster S 1200 to some degree) have improved on the
front brakes, seat, clearance/scrapping of bits and front and rear suspension.

Also heard 2004-2006 Sportsters are best to be avoided due to reliability and even 2007 first year of fuel injection is a bit iffy?
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91 and after were 5 speed, new ignition module, 93 and on were all belt drive, 96 - larger gas tank (3.3 gal.), 98 changed ignition module again, 2004 rubber mounted engine, trap door is eliminated so the case has to be split if transmission problems occur, seat is lowered, first year crank position sensor, 2007 FI on all engines. That's off the top of my head. For me, anything from 93 to 03 works as after that they got heavier and more complicated. But they are good machines, way better than the pre 80 ones. I know several people that have put over 100K miles on them without too much trouble.
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having had 3 new sportsters since 1966......they shake, 1200 being worse. 883 is quite reliable in stock form....but slow, Suzuki 250 scooter outran my 883 on Japan toll road!
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Xsbank wrote:
I had one, for a while, a new '94. It didn't go very well, vibrated, didn't stop at all well and had a tiny fuel tank. The cheesy Korean shocks and forks were awful and it was a poor handler and loved to drag its bits on the road. Awful seat! Basically, if you spent a bunch of money to add a second brake, aftermarket shocks and put a (sadly) noisy performance muffler on it and an expensive seat on it, it was a better bike but Harleys out of the box are awful. And expensive. Anyway, my experience as a new owner and the year I tried to exist with it were an experience that put me off ever owning another of any size. Also, that surprised me writing that as that was almost 30 years ago! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!
Back in the 70s the saying went " Harley builds the bike, you do the final engineering" I had several Shovelheads and was a much bigger fan of the Panheads. But the Evo engine changed everything. Way tighter, way smoother.
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Iniezione wrote:
Hello everyone... Haven't posted in a while. I purchased a 1987 883 new in late '86 and still have it. The price was $3995 ($4200 OTD), and the dealer was kind enough to include a pillion seat, passenger pegs and tach kit. While it doesn't do anything particularly well, it's fun to cruise around the local area.
I bought mine about a year later for the same price but I had to pay for the three add-ons you have. Put 4,000 on it before I mounted a sidecar and then around 32,000 converted to a 1200. Then at around 100,000 took sidecar off as at that time I had a "new to me 1992" 883 that I also converted to 1200 for pulling a new sidecar. I'll leave out all the mechanical problems with either of them but will say it's been an adventure! Oh I still have both and an XS650 or two!
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For all the talk about the Sporty being slow, can't handle and shakes - all true, to a degree. They are - not sport bikes, not drag bikes and not 4 cylinder Honda smooth. They are what they are - Cruisers. If you want the Harley Sportster to be sportier - buy a Buell. That will surprise you.
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I've owned three; '07 & '08 1200C's converted to mid controls and the taller Roadster spec shocks and Progressive fork springs. Logged about 35,000 trouble free miles on those. Then picked up a used '16 CX Roadster with the dual disk front brakes. The rubber mount years are definitely heavier, but I was able to carve a little harder with the Roadster height suspension. You definitely had to keep your head in the game when riding a little frisky. They don't like to change direction as easy with all of that weight in motion! The bottomless pit of torque, low maintenance, good mpg, and tons of aftermarket. The Sportster is a blank canvas. Buy the one that is as close to what you want for style and function. Roadster all the way!
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I remember watching a documentary about how harley was bought back from amf. A quick google search did not turn up the exact episode I remember but there is a lot of stuff about what happened in 1981 online.

What I remember was that in the early 80's harley went to just in time manufacturing and redesigned the sportster frame and suspension totally changing the bike into something really nice with a lot of potential.

All of a sudden in 1981 it handled way better and was much more reliable and then in 1985 they introduced the evo motor to the sportster for the 1986 model year. In 2004 it became rubber mounted like the modern dyna's and it also got a litte bit heavier and more sophisticated.

I have a 2000 sportster sport which came with some factory suspension and engine upgrades that while better than stock at the time weren't really all that in the big scheme of things.

In my personal opinion the bikes that will stand the test of time and be valuable classics are the last of the ironheads from 1981 to 1985. There is a ton of potential in those ironhead motors to make incredible power and they can be rebuilt not to leak...mostly.

Next in line for me is the evo generation from 1986 to 2003 before the rubber mount and weight gain. Yes they shake but the handling is pretty good and can be modified to work really well. My bike features a Phill little racing internal headset that changes the fork angle to 27 degrees, that and longer shocks set it up for quick turning around town and the ability to slide it around in the dirt. Most of the hooligan class racers are running sportsters in the 86 to 03 generation and I expect these bikes to be classics as well.

The guys at Zippers tell me the hot setup for power is the 2004 and later top end mated to the 03 and under evo.

By all means absolutely nothing wrong with an 04 and later rubber mount for a fun cruiser but I also see nothing wrong with an 883. the top end parts are interchangeable with the 1200 and cheaper insurance and registration.

Harley got pretty smart with their business model doling out minor upgrades a little at a time so people would want the new model. They also as they progressed used lower quality parts in manufacture to cut costs and improve the bottom line. For example in the big twins the last year of timken bearings being OEM was 2002.

My advice is the lower entry costs of the early rubber mounts and upgrade with better quality aftermarket to suit your tastes.

If I had the spare change this would be gone already...https://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/mcy/d/napa-1982-harley-sportster-only-2k-miles/7613027585.html

It will need some attention but can be customized to taste and if carefully done should retain if not increase in value. They only made them for 5 years and 81 and 85 are to be avoided due to first year model and special parts in last year model.

https://phillittleracing.com/motorcycle/sportster-racing-quikturn-steering-kit

https://www.jsonline.com/story/life/green-sheet/2018/12/11/company-helped-nearly-wreck-harley-davidson-supposed-save-milwaukee-motorcycle-amf/2217285002/
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Xsbank wrote:
I had one, for a while, a new '94. It didn't go very well, vibrated, didn't stop at all well and had a tiny fuel tank. The cheesy Korean shocks and forks were awful and it was a poor handler and loved to drag its bits on the road. Awful seat! Basically, if you spent a bunch of money to add a second brake, aftermarket shocks and put a (sadly) noisy performance muffler on it and an expensive seat on it, it was a better bike but Harleys out of the box are awful. And expensive. Anyway, my experience as a new owner and the year I tried to exist with it were an experience that put me off ever owning another of any size. Also, that surprised me writing that as that was almost 30 years ago! Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!
While I cannot disagree with your assessment I did say in my post that generation has a lot of potential. It was harley's business plan to deliver the bikes like the one you got. That's how they made their money with the plethora of aftermarket parts so you could tailor the bikes to your specific tastes. Harley made more money with tee shirts anyway, they were selling an image. Branding before the internet!

I am not certain when the sportster sport model became available but it had longer and better working suspension and better brakes. Still not on par with aftermarket though. Nowadays you can get these bikes relatively cheap on occasion so at least the entry cost is a little less.

I have heard that buying an old harley is a lot like converting the garage to an apartment for the local homeless meth addict...the initial cost is the least of the investment.
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[quote="skids"
All of a sudden in 1981 it handled way better and was much more reliable.
In my personal opinion the bikes that will stand the test of time and be valuable classics are the last of the ironheads from 1981 to 1985. There is a ton of potential in those ironhead motors to make incredible power and they can be rebuilt not to leak...mostly.
They also as they progressed used lower quality parts in manufacture to cut costs and improve the bottom line. For example in the big twins the last year of timken bearings being OEM was 2002.

[/quote]

The frame was redesigned for the 1979 year - stretched to eliminate the battery and oil tank bulge on the side.
Ironheads are fine, but the Evos with CNC machinery, they really improved the product.
Lower quality is right - do not buy a Two cam motor unless you want to replace some of the PLASTIC inside the engine in the cam areas. While you are at it, avoid the twin shock Dyna - the swingarm set up sucks.
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Might add in North America Harley sure has a lot more dealers than Vespa. Nice if you have trouble on trip.
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Had a feeling there was a good amount of Harley knowledge and Sportster info around here.

Thanks for all the great info everyone
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CaliforniaCruising wrote:
Had a feeling there was a good amount of Harley knowledge and Sportster info around here.

Thanks for all the great info everyone
I've owned two Sportsters in the last ten years, a 2004 Roadster, and a 2015 XL-something, both 1200's.

I had little interest in any pre rubber-mount Sportsters, and found them to be rolling jackhammers at anything much above 60 mph, though I occasionally tried to like them.

To me, the 2004's were the first Sportsters that I could run down an interstate highway at 70-75 mph and actually enjoy the ride rather than clench my teeth and hope that when the ride would end that I could get some feeling back into my hands and feet.

I'm definitely not a big Harley fanboy, but I liked both of my Sportsters a lot.

Both of my Sportsters needed a few changes from how they were when I bought them to make them acceptable to me, and enjoyable to ride.

My first Sportster, which was the 2004 Roadster, had a set of 'Screaming Eagle' mufflers on it, and I found a pair of stock mufflers to replace the noise-makers it had on it. That's all I did to the 2004.

My 2015 however, required that I not only had to find another set of stock mufflers for it, but as this model only came with forward foot controls, I re-fitted it with a set of HD mid- foot controls, and because by this time, Harley had put ridiculously short travel rear shocks on these things to facilitate that fashionable ass-dragging 'look' that became so popular with later Sportsters, I bought a set of one inch longer Progressive shocks for it to help level-up the bike, and possibly get a bit less bone-jarring ride out of it.

In my opinion, there's a lot to like about the Sportster, it's just such a M-O-T-O-R-C-Y-C-L-E, has a long history, and is unquestionably an American classic machine.

To my ear, they sound great, and I mean that they sound great with their original stock exhaust.

They are a surprisingly easy, simple, and economical bike to maintain, and in spite of their rather 'agricultural' character, they are reliable bikes and have a well-deserved reputation for durability.

They are heavy bikes even though they appear to be rather small, or perhaps 'compact' would be a better word , I think my 2015 was 575-580 lbs 'wet', and that's a lump for a 1200 nowadays. The 883 isn't much lighter, if at all, either.

My 2004 Sportster Roadster 1200...a classic, and my 2015 Sportster 1200. They certainly aren't for everybody, but I enjoyed them both...
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Tierney wrote:
While you are at it, avoid the twin shock Dyna - the swingarm set up sucks.
Most uncomrfortable motorcycle I ever owned.

I had an 86 883, and while it was a fun bike while I lived in San Francisco, and very useful for getting around on the sidewalks during the 1989 earthquake, long trips were not fun. And at 27K miles, it developed a loud knock in the bottom end that made me decide to sell it cheap. On the other hand, I left it with a guy I knew when I went to live and work in Mexico, and he liked it so much that he bought one.
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Tierney wrote:
{

The frame was redesigned for the 1979 year - stretched to eliminate the battery and oil tank bulge on the side.
Ironheads are fine, but the Evos with CNC machinery, they really improved the product.
Lower quality is right - do not buy a Two cam motor unless you want to replace some of the PLASTIC inside the engine in the cam areas. While you are at it, avoid the twin shock Dyna - the swingarm set up sucks.
Thank you for the tune up on the model years. So you are saying the 1979 and up model year has the same frame as 81 thru 85? That does increase the last years of ironhead generation by a few years if that is correct.

I am sticking with what other posters have said here about the harleys being bikes that leave the final engineering to the consumer/owner and for me that means you know you are going to have to go through it and upgrade some stuff so may as well buy the cheap admission ticket t the dance.
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When I was talking about having to do the final engineering, I was referring to the pre- Evo engine days - specifically the big Shovelheads and Ironhead Sportsters. While more technically advanced than the Panhead, the were many wonky things about it that I fought while owning several. I won't go into details, too boring. As far as the rubber mounted engines - that was picked up/stolen from Eric Buell's bikes of the time. Having had both, I saw most of the difference at idle and cruising about 70 mph. But for the most part, no big deal.
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skids wrote:
I am sticking with what other posters have said here about the harleys being bikes that leave the final engineering to the consumer/owner and for me that means you know you are going to have to go through it and upgrade some stuff so may as well buy the cheap admission ticket t the dance.
The problem HD faces with their big air cooled twins is that you can either make them run well, or make them meet emissions standards and be legal to sell in the US. They have a fan base that's against everything other companies have done to create high power motorcycles that meet current standards.
It's almost as if the Chevy Corvair was the most popular America car ever made, and Chevy was still selling an air cooled six cylinder Corvair that looked a lot like the ones made in 1965, to a customer base that would rather walk than buy anything else.
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Any Sportster 2007+ will be fuel injected and won't sound as good as the carbureted ones at idle where the old ones idled around 800 rpm and the injected ones at around 1,100 rpm. If you go to the wikipedia page for Sportsters you should still be able to find a detailed breakdown of all model year changes to see what you are, or aren't, missing out on.
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http://xlforum.net/forums/ is another good source of all things Sportster.
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I found another good list of the history and the changes to the sportster over the years, some of them very subtle.

Specifically I was looking for information on frame changes. I had remembered frames being changed in 1981 and another poster corrected me on that. This list shows a frame redesign to accommodate relocation of oil tank in 1977 and the frame change I was referring to happened in 1982 not 1981 according to this list.

I was just going from memory in the earlier post and didn't look it up. According to this list the frame was made lighter and longer in 1982. For the oil tank relocation in 1977 no mention of geometry or dimension change other than making room in the frame for the tank.

Seems like more detailed list of the changes over the years for the sportster compared to the Wikipedia list.

http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/sportster_history:99xx-01
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Motovista wrote:
The problem HD faces with their big air cooled twins is that you can either make them run well, or make them meet emissions standards and be legal to sell in the US. They have a fan base that's against everything other companies have done to create high power motorcycles that meet current standards.
It's almost as if the Chevy Corvair was the most popular America car ever made, and Chevy was still selling an air cooled six cylinder Corvair that looked a lot like the ones made in 1965, to a customer base that would rather walk than buy anything else.
I think the fan base is more concerned with the iconic classic styling and sound that they are with flouting emissions standards but that's just my opinion. The "big twin" still utilizes 3 cases instead of having everything in a unitized case like more modern bikes including the sportster. To stay with the old three case design was a decision made way before anybody was concerned about emissions.

It is a visually appealing engine design from the 30's that became popular and still has quite the following. When the knucklehead was introduced in 1936 its styling is to my mind very much art deco similar to automobiles and architecture of the times, even the clothes in the 30's had a certain style to them that I don't know if you would call art deco but certainly was distinctive. I think a link to the style and sound of those times is what "big twin" fans are fervent about maintaining. I agree with the corvair analogy except for the corvair wasn't particularly stylish in my mind and I can see why some really don't appreciate the styling of the 36 knucklehead. Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder and all. I think a better example is this 1937 Crocker. This is a beautiful bike and epitomizes art deco styling design for motorcycles. Just gorgeous. This is why the big twin is still popular.

https://www.bikeexif.com/crocker-motorcycle
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bearcat wrote:
http://xlforum.net/forums/ is another good source of all things Sportster.
I am pretty sure that's where I ended up a few years ago searching for the changes to the bikes in the different model years. I think they used to have a pretty comprehensive list of the history of the sportster which was just a thread that has now become the sportsterpedia site I linked to above.

As an old dirt track racing fan I have also been a fan of the sportster for a long time. I know a lot of people don't like them and complain about all of the many issues and problems they have. I guess for a lot of folks that do like them they put up with the issues because of the looks. I have loved sportsters for 50 years. Not comfortable, leak oil, maybe it will start maybe it won't...all true but I still love em. I think they will always have that following.
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Motovista wrote:
It's almost as if the Chevy Corvair was the most popular America car ever made, and Chevy was still selling an air cooled six cylinder Corvair that looked a lot like the ones made in 1965, to a customer base that would rather walk than buy anything else.
Hey now! I owned a few Corvairs and would like to have one still if I could find one in good condition for a reasonable price around here!
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Motovista wrote:
The problem HD faces with their big air cooled twins is that you can either make them run well, or make them meet emissions standards and be legal to sell in the US. They have a fan base that's against everything other companies have done to create high power motorcycles that meet current standards.
It's almost as if the Chevy Corvair was the most popular America car ever made, and Chevy was still selling an air cooled six cylinder Corvair that looked a lot like the ones made in 1965, to a customer base that would rather walk than buy anything else.
It's the new old model, not unlike Royal Enfield
(Except Royal Enfield is a lot less pricey)
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@ JBacklund, your 2004 Roadster example is one of my all-time favorites, love the colors, nice bike!

IMHO the Roadster is a "proper" motorcycle. That visceral feeling it delivers when riding it. It has enough suspension & brakes, to actually corner a little hotter in the twisties compared to all of the other slammed models. The Roadster has that classic look, I use a WWII F4U Corsair fighter plane analogy to describe it. Performance-wise there are certainly better motorcycles out there. People wanting high performance will be disappointed and should look elsewhere. For those under about 5'10" and a shorter inseam the bike fits. Anyone north of that will be cramped. The bike shines on the country roads for those that like to short shift and smell the flowers.
UTC

Hooked
LX150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 204
Location: Belle City
 
Hooked
LX150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 204
Location: Belle City
UTC quote
Tierney wrote:
For all the talk about the Sporty being slow, can't handle and shakes - all true, to a degree. They are - not sport bikes, not drag bikes and not 4 cylinder Honda smooth. They are what they are - Cruisers. If you want the Harley Sportster to be sportier - buy a Buell. That will surprise you.
+1, and they're still cheap as chips.
@vintagescooterdude avatar
UTC

Hooked
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Hooked
@vintagescooterdude avatar
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
UTC quote
I have a 2006 Sportster 1200L. I bought it used with under 6000 miles on it for $4800 back in 2016, in near new condition. It was my first Harley. And sadly, it will be my last. 2006 was the last year for the carbureted Sportster. I love everything about it. The look, the sound, the feel. It's an actual machine. It has tons of character. I've put just over 9000 miles on it without a single issue.
Forum member supplied image with no explanatory text
@kshansen avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1919
Location: Central New York
 
Molto Verboso
@kshansen avatar
GTV300 (wife's)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1919
Location: Central New York
UTC quote
VintageScooterDude wrote:
I have a 2006 Sportster 1200L. I bought it used with under 6000 miles on it for $4800 back in 2016, in near new condition. It was my first Harley. And sadly, it will be my last. 2006 was the last year for the carbureted Sportster. I love everything about it. The look, the sound, the feel. It's an actual machine. It has tons of character. I've put just over 9000 miles on it without a single issue.
Why do you say "sadly" it will be your last?

I bought my first one new in the fall of 1987, and second one used in summer of 2009. Both are sitting out in the garage.
@vintagescooterdude avatar
UTC

Hooked
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Hooked
@vintagescooterdude avatar
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
UTC quote
"Why do you say "sadly" it will be your last?" I am 64, and have some fairly serious orthopedic issues. That's actually how I wound up getting into scooters, because of their step through frame. I recently had to sell my Yamaha XT225 dual sport bike because I could no longer get on it. The 32" seat was simply too high for me to get my leg over. Once on it, the suspension compressed enough that it was fine. The Sportster has a 26" seat that I can still get my leg over. But my issues are continuing to get worse, and the time will come when I can no longer get on it, long before it wears out.

I tried to buy a new Sportster 883 back in 1995. MSRP was around $5200. But they wanted almost twice that, and I would have to wait several months to get it. They insinuated that if I were willing to pay more, I could get it faster. I told them where to stick it, went across the street to the Kawasaki dealer, and bought a new Vulcan 750 for under MSRP OTD.

I am in no way a fan of H-D, or the culture or image. I do not own any H-D T shirts or anything else with the H-D name on it. I am only a fan of the bikes they used to make, and would like them just as much no matter who made them. H-D no longer makes anything I want, and they haven't in a long time.
OP
@californiacruising avatar
UTC

Addicted
2015 Sprint 150, 2018 GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 894
Location: SoCal
 
Addicted
@californiacruising avatar
2015 Sprint 150, 2018 GTS 300
Joined: UTC
Posts: 894
Location: SoCal
UTC quote
VintageScooterDude wrote:
I have a 2006 Sportster 1200L. I bought it used with under 6000 miles on it for $4800 back in 2016, in near new condition. It was my first Harley. And sadly, it will be my last. 2006 was the last year for the carbureted Sportster. I love everything about it. The look, the sound, the feel. It's an actual machine. It has tons of character. I've put just over 9000 miles on it without a single issue.
That is one good looking bike
UTC

Member
Sei Giorni (2022)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 30
Location: Northern California
 
Member
Sei Giorni (2022)
Joined: UTC
Posts: 30
Location: Northern California
UTC quote
I bought a Sportster 1100 new in 1986. because the Evolution engine had been developed. A year or two later, HD gave the Sportster a 5th gear, increased the fork tube diameter, and increased the displacement to 1200. Probably a modest improvement, but not a monumental one like the Evolution engine. Like any Harley owner, I modified the hell out of it over the years; to my mind the most necessary improvements 1) better shocks; 2) fork brace 3) replacement cam (Screamin' Eagle, Black Diamond, etc..but nothing too radical). The cam makes a huge difference in changing the engine's otherwise agricultural character into one that likes to rev but is never peaky. You may need to change jetting and/or exhaust, depending on the cam...there are a lot of race oriented cams out there that might be fine for that purpose but can make riding less than enjoyable in daily use because they require keeping the revs up (more noise, poorer mileage) 4) Exhaust. There are aftermarket kits that allow it to sound like a Harley without deafening the neighbor across the street and making everybody else think you are an asshole. Without changing the cams and jetting, any alleged performance improvement from an air filter/exhaust swap is negligible, and you run the risk of burning the exhaust valves from too lean a mixture (fairly easy to re-jet). 5) Seat, but this is a matter of bodily conformation and personal taste

After about 25,000 miles, I stopped using it as a daily rider, so it sat around a lot. Every time I I told myself I should sell it, I'd go for a ride and remember what a gas it is to ride the absurdly impractical machine. I never had a single mechanical problem other than a failure of the adhesive that holds the magnets in place on the alternator stator. I believe this defect was remedied in later models.
With the forks stiffened and improved shocks, the thing handles remarkably well. I never added a second front disc until years later, but a heavy person or someone who rides "really" hard will experience some brake fade if they have only one front disc. The rear disc is for use at stoplights. To my mind, ia Sportster's like a British classic that actually runs and does not require gaskets made out of mutton tendons and electrical parts sourced from WWII junkyards. It is not a touring bike by any means, although with the 5th gear (or in my case a larger front sprocket) it's tolerable. Like Levi's 501s, Sportsters aren't for everyone, but there are no other bikes that do what they do with as much character and style. They are totally impractical, but so is just about anything truly enjoyable.
@jbacklund avatar
UTC

Molto Verboso
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1452
Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
 
Molto Verboso
@jbacklund avatar
2020 GTS300 HPE/2022 Triumph Rocket 3R
Joined: UTC
Posts: 1452
Location: Black Hills South Dakota USA
UTC quote
kshansen wrote:
Hey now! I owned a few Corvairs and would like to have one still if I could find one in good condition for a reasonable price around here!
My dad had a Corvair pickup back in the late 1960's, and he let me use it for dates.

It was a bugger on an icy country road with that rear-end weight bias, I spun it into the ditch twice.
@vintagescooterdude avatar
UTC

Hooked
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
 
Hooked
@vintagescooterdude avatar
2006 GT200 2009 Genuine Stella
Joined: UTC
Posts: 279
Location: Chandler, AZ
UTC quote
It seems that everybody complains about the Sportsters shortcomings, and how you have to spend a fortune to fix them. Mine has an aftermarket exhaust, to make it sound like a Harley, and the carb has been rejetted to match the exhaust, and I have replaced the clutch to eliminate the failure prone "grenade plate", but everything else is 100% stock. The engine, suspension, brakes, seat, bars, lights, etc. are all completely stock, and they all work just fine. The reason I bought it, and the reason I have always liked Harleys, at least the older ones, is because of the way they shake and that beautiful sound they make (that H-D actually tried to trademark once) If not for those two things, I would have no desire to own or ride one. I don't care about power, speed, brakes (as long as they are adequate) or handling. I don't see riding as a "sport" that requires effort, to me it is a relaxing recreational activity. Hit the highway, kick back, relax, and cruise. Just you, the bike, and the road. Mile after mile.

I've never had a Corvair, but I have had three air cooled VW bugs. I absolutely love them. I wouldn't mind having another one. The problem with them in the Phoenix area is that they don't have A/C, and would overheat if you tried to run A/C on one. So for me they are pretty much a winter only vehicle. You have to run them super rich in the summer to keep them from melting down.
@bob_copeland avatar
UTC

Ossessionato
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3610
Location: Minneapolis USA
 
Ossessionato
@bob_copeland avatar
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2022 Kymco AK 550
Joined: UTC
Posts: 3610
Location: Minneapolis USA
UTC quote
CaliforniaCrusing,

Harley Davidson - Captured the imagination of America.
Who is more Macho? Generations of shaking and loud pipes.

I do admit, many Harely Guy's have shown interested in my
Vespa when parked near them.

Bob Copeland
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UTC

Addicted
2020 piaggio liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 839
Location: Reno Nevada
 
Addicted
2020 piaggio liberty 150
Joined: UTC
Posts: 839
Location: Reno Nevada
UTC quote
I am in no way a fan of H-D, or the culture or image. I do not own any H-D T shirts or anything else with the H-D name on it. I am only a fan of the bikes they used to make, and would like them just as much no matter who made them. H-D no longer makes anything I want, and they haven't in a long time.
[/quote]

I thought about getting n MV Agusta tattoo just to be a contrarian but never did. It always seemed to me that the ones with the tee shirts and tattoos were just posers...
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