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.