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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay now, go easy on me for this simple question please.
I read and know there's several of you here who own more than one motorcycle. Some have both the Shadow and Harley Sportster or have owned both in the past.
Can you give me a few of the pros and cons comparing to two please....

Riding in the past couple weeks for the first time in 35 years I've put about 300 miles on my bike and I love my new to me 06 Spirit with the Cobra pipes but there's that Sportster thing that's still haunting me. Never been on a Harley in my life other than setting on a few at a used dealership.
Friend at work took my Honda for a ride this week and said " Damn, that's so much better than dads Sportster both in handling and ride."

Just for fun last night in the wee hours I visited a couple HD web sites just to read and it's much different than here. Looks like more riding and fun here while those boys seem to be doing a lot of trouble shooting and work over there...
More questions being asked about " what's wrong with my bike "
Not flaming anyone or bike hyping... Just trying to learn a few things after being gone 35 years.
Thanks !
 

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First off, while this forum is more of a community, maybe the HD forums are generally more geared toward troubleshooting than recounting riding experiences. If members don't post their experiences, you can't read about them.

Leonard Hofstadter: What I'm trying to say is that maybe you can't approach this as a purely intellectual exercise.
Sheldon Cooper: What do you mean?
Leonard Hofstadter: Well, uh, remember when you tried to learn how to swim using the internet?
Sheldon Cooper: I *did* learn how to swim.
Leonard Hofstadter: On the floor.
Sheldon Cooper: The skills are transferable. I just have no interest in going in the water.
Leonard Hofstadter: Then why learn how to swim?
Sheldon Cooper: The ice caps are melting, Leonard. In the future, swimming isn't going to be optional.
Second, the Sportster is typically going to be quite a bit faster and more nimble than your Shadow. No water cooling makes it lighter, larger engine makes it faster and more powerful.

Third, your Shadow is QUITE a bit less expensive than a Sportster. You're really in a different price category altogether. If you want to compare the Indian Scout to the Sportster, you will have more luck.

Fourth, does it matter? If you enjoy your Shadow, enjoy the crap out of it. If you don't, then.....don't?
 

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When I had 2 shadow 750's, a spirit and an Aero, I tried out a sportster, thinking maybe upgrade, too me it was just too uncomfortable. It could have been the ones I sat on and tried out, but too me, I didn't care at all for the feel, but it is just me.
 

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Okay now, go easy on me for this simple question please.
I read and know there's several of you here who own more than one motorcycle. Some have both the Shadow and Harley Sportster or have owned both in the past.
Can you give me a few of the pros and cons comparing to two please....

Riding in the past couple weeks for the first time in 35 years I've put about 300 miles on my bike and I love my new to me 06 Spirit with the Cobra pipes but there's that Sportster thing that's still haunting me. Never been on a Harley in my life other than setting on a few at a used dealership.
Friend at work took my Honda for a ride this week and said " Damn, that's so much better than dads Sportster both in handling and ride."

Just for fun last night in the wee hours I visited a couple HD web sites just to read and it's much different than here. Looks like more riding and fun here while those boys seem to be doing a lot of trouble shooting and work over there...
More questions being asked about " what's wrong with my bike "
Not flaming anyone or bike hyping... Just trying to learn a few things after being gone 35 years.
Thanks !
Sportys are a breed of their own, even the modern ones..Crazy People ride Sportys.. Big twin riders are jealous of the way they out handle those fat hogs and out rev and out muscle those over sized jugs of theirs .
Sporty riders are loveable but villainous ner'do wells that can coax a lass out of her lingerie with a mere smile.
Are you a Sporty rider? That is what you need to ask yourself? Should someone holler..GIRLS BIKE your way will you take offense or will you smile to yourself and say, yeah watch this girls bikes ass, because that's all you ever see.
 

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I got no problem with a sportster, had a couple along the way. The 1200 sportster is one of the best bikes harley has put out. Also I have had a couple of shadows, and to me there is no way to compare the two bikes, it would be similar to comparing tires to titties. Both are round and look good in their perspective environments, but thats about it for similarity. Just as the bikes have both have handlebars and headlights. They both perform differently, have different size engines, and are nowhere near equal in price. They ate just two different bikes built for different riding styles, and different riders. Go ride one and you will see, hear, and feel the differences for yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Go ride one and you will see, hear, and feel the differences for yourself.
Thanks guys, yep this is what I really need to do to get over this fever...
My riding is pretty limited working 6 days a week so all I really want is something nice to ride around local. I'm not one with time for taking bike trips and such I kind of like the bobber type bikes that are low slow and loud...:D
 

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Sportsters are notoriously top heavy and therefore not so nimble.

I never had trouble riding one aggressively which I did a lot more of back when I owned them. I think the notion they are top heavy has more to do with feel than reality. But then I only owned seven of them, the older ones might be the best argument for top heavy, but anything after 84 is pretty much a nice nimble little package for decent money.
 

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Most sporties I have ridden have not fitted me at all, one of my workers fathers had one that I sat on did fit but I didn't ride it.... but it was far from std in any way (engine worked, bars swapped, seat style changed, new suspension and pegs changed) I would liked to have ridden that but passed up the opportunity as I had been drinking....will get there one day

I didn't feel nimble on any of the std ones at all...... and they didn't feel lighter in any way to the 750 but I think the dry weight is 535 lb for the sporty and 536 wet for the 750 spirit so I would say its not lighter.

If you do go a sporty get a battery tender if you dont use it regularly as the alarm seams to drain the battery, had to jump start a mates bike on a few occasions, even after the new battery, would not have been an issue if he rode more :p
 

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If you do happen to join the 'Harley family' you must NEVER wave to any other rider unless he/she is part of the 'family'.

It's the LAW!

Unless you want Vito ( not our Vito, Vito Corleone ) payin' you a visit with a hacksaw.

Which hand do ( did ) you wave with? ;-) ;-)
 

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If you do happen to join the 'Harley family' you must NEVER wave to any other rider unless he/she is part of the 'family'.

It's the LAW!

;-) ;-)
Funny you said that. The wife and I went on a ride last Sunday which we had a strong breeze out of south as we were riding east. Low and behold a group of 30 or so "branded" riders riding side by side and you know none would wave but one metric rider which was the last rider in the group. Damn they broke my heart as I kept my handle bar wave to myself. I don't get much waves having a motor that hangs out into the other lane and me wearing a helmet and textile gear. :lol:
 

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Most sporties I have ridden have not fitted me at all, one of my workers fathers had one that I sat on did fit but I didn't ride it.... but it was far from std in any way (engine worked, bars swapped, seat style changed, new suspension and pegs changed) I would liked to have ridden that but passed up the opportunity as I had been drinking....will get there one day

I didn't feel nimble on any of the std ones at all...... and they didn't feel lighter in any way to the 750 but I think the dry weight is 535 lb for the sporty and 536 wet for the 750 spirit so I would say its not lighter.

If you do go a sporty get a battery tender if you dont use it regularly as the alarm seams to drain the battery, had to jump start a mates bike on a few occasions, even after the new battery, would not have been an issue if he rode more :p
Um the Spirit is 430 wet?
 

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Hi guys, Yogie, you did not say if it is a 750 spirit or an 1100. It would help to compare with HD cause you also have 2 sportsters, the 883 and the 1200.
So for me 883 HD should be compared with the 750 spirit. On that level, i go for Honda, it is smoother, more comfy and can go for longer rides than the HD. I felt like riding with a tree tronc under my bum with the HD. Evrery year i try new bikes at the dealers to see what is new and what would be an upgrade to my ride. Every year i try a few HD's. When my budget was for 750's size, the best bike for me was the Honda 750 ACE. When the budget was enough to upgrade to bigger bore, i went for the Kawasaki vulcan classic 1500 FI. I have my vulcan for 10 yrs now and the only bike i would trade it for would be the victory cross country. HD is not on the list, although they look the best, but what i get for my money, comfort, performance, reliability, does not worth it for me. I am better off with Honda, Kawasaki and Victory.
 

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Have you looked at the dyna line up?

in every way they're worlds better than the sportsters and the shadows. Dont get me wrong the shadows are good bikes, quite forgiving, ride is decent, and great starter bikes but for what I wanted the aero just couldn't satisfy me. I would have achy knees and back after riding the shadow for more than 45min, they're made for short people. I'm a bit more performance oriented and the 750 aero just didnt do much for me, its not any faster than a ninja 250 which is sad but it does at least have some torque to keep moving on the highway and haul a passenger if you need to. And on the highway shadows are not smooth at all at speeds above 70, lots of vibration. Going to my street bob, ive got more engine that keeps me happy and make pretty good power, it fits me (5'9"), rides better and is much smoother all around than the shadow except for sitting at idle. the 6spd is a heck of a lot nicer on the highway (sportsters and shadows only have 5spds). And you have the setup on a dyna to be comfortable going across country yet still nimble and light enough to run hard in the corners and easy to wheel around town.

But at the end of the day it boils down to what you want to spend, what you want to do with the bike, and what you want from it. I commute to work when ever possible as well as take longer rides, and ride very aggressive in the corners with some friends that have sport bikes and super moto bikes. I can hang with them in the corners and have fun just cruising on longer rides, get those guys on longer rides and they're ready to get off the bike when I want to go more. And I had to have a 6th gear for commuting to work as most of it is a few stretches of interstate that on the shadow I never looked forward to.
 

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Hi guys, Yogie, you did not say if it is a 750 spirit or an 1100. It would help to compare with HD cause you also have 2 sportsters, the 883 and the 1200.
So for me 883 HD should be compared with the 750 spirit. On that level, i go for Honda, it is smoother, more comfy and can go for longer rides than the HD. I felt like riding with a tree tronc under my bum with the HD. Evrery year i try new bikes at the dealers to see what is new and what would be an upgrade to my ride. Every year i try a few HD's. When my budget was for 750's size, the best bike for me was the Honda 750 ACE. When the budget was enough to upgrade to bigger bore, i went for the Kawasaki vulcan classic 1500 FI. I have my vulcan for 10 yrs now and the only bike i would trade it for would be the victory cross country. HD is not on the list, although they look the best, but what i get for my money, comfort, performance, reliability, does not worth it for me. I am better off with Honda, Kawasaki and Victory.
Actually there is one Sportster with two different engine sizes and the only difference is the bore of the cylinders and size of the pistons.
 

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Comparing a Harley and a Honda is no different than comparing a Honda or a Harley to every other Bike made. Every one has there differences, To really compare you would have to ride each and every one and then then pro and con them as you see fit. A project I would love to do but time and money is a pleasure I don,t have to that capacity.
 
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