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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am hoping to be able to ride again in another month or so and I was wondering if the Sportster would be a good candidate. I have always liked the look of the Sportster Custom but I hear a lot of bad things about vibrations and harsh ride. I know some people say "it will just break down" but I know several people with high mileage Harley's so I'm not so concerned with that. My main concern is,is the Sportster a bike that I could enjoy on a daily basis.

I know I can get an idea from a test ride but I was hoping to hear from people who own or have owned one. I know a lot of diehard Harley people hate the Sportster but I am not trying to fit into the clique or anything so that's OK with me. Anyway,any advice would be appreciated.
 

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Answer - sure.

What did you not-like about your 2003 ACE?

Have you test-ridden an HD?

Have you test-ridden anything else?
 

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Honestly, make the jump to a dyna line up, lots to chose from Street bob, wide glide, fat bob, low rider, even the switch back. The low rider is just a more comfy and slightly larger sportster custom, along with the dyna style frame.

Honestly I love my street bob. Yes at idle it vibrates a good bit, but cruising its MUCH smoother than the aero 750. Ride of my street bob isnt as "cushy" as the aero is but it has better handling and has a smoother ride. A better feed back of the road, where as the aero has a very vauge feel of the road compared.

But sportsters are great bikes too, but IMO the suspension set up leaves some to be desired. Not very distance oriented. Not nearly as comfy as a dyna IMO. a dyna is also a little bit larger than a sportster and a shadow so its easy to get comfortable on, but still is nimble like a sporty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I loved my ACE but I would like something a little less buzzy on the highway .I did the 38T sprocket on it and that made a big difference but I still found myself looking for an extra gear sometimes. I haven't test ridden anything yet.
 

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Love my sporty custom. Doesn't do anything great but has the cool factor, fun to ride & has enough speed for me. I have an FJR1300 for long rides but ride the sporty most every day round town. They have pretty harsh suspension (I have aftermarket rear shocks) Here's a short vid of mine.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wzIiUx9BlM
 

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I personally don't and haven't owned one, but a few of my buddies do. They seem to ride fairly well, but the biggest complaint is only getting 80-100 miles a tank on the 48 72 and 88 models...
 

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None of the sportsers I have ridden fit me... not even close. The Fat Bob on the other hand fit me quite well, so did the wide glide but to many $$ for what rode no better than what I have really :)

You really need to test ride the actual bike you want to buy if you can as 3 of the sporties I have ridden were the "same model" but all were very different, one had wicked foot vibrations, one hands went numb the other was all good (well good enough to ride for longer distances)

Harley are more reliable now.... but still they are the most common to break down on big rides.......or not make it due to a flat battery (alarm?) there are more of them though.
 

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I loved my ACE but I would like something a little less buzzy on the highway .I did the 38T sprocket on it and that made a big difference but I still found myself looking for an extra gear sometimes. I haven't test ridden anything yet.
So now we know what you're looking for...

None of the sportsers I have ridden fit me... not even close. The Fat Bob on the other hand fit me quite well, so did the wide glide but to many $$ for what rode no better than what I have really :)

You really need to test ride the actual bike you want to buy if you can as 3 of the sporties I have ridden were the "same model" but all were very different, one had wicked foot vibrations, one hands went numb the other was all good (well good enough to ride for longer distances)

Harley are more reliable now....
Leathel, I'm going to cut you off there because everybody is more reliable NOW than they were in 1980. If we're talking *NEW* iron, we're talking roadside assist, full coverage insurance, warranties, etc, and your relationship with the dealership you're purchasing from. Up until that point, I agree 100% with what you have said.

I've ridden every bike in the HD lineup and none fit me until I got to a Road King. I've ridden every bike in the Honda lineup and none fit me. I've ridden Indians & they fit. Victory XC feels good, but not for the money they're looking for. My Valkyrie fills 90% of my requirements at 25% the cost of a new Chieftain. Without riding them, I never would have known.

RIDE.

Decide for yourself.

RIDE SOMETHING ELSE.

Compare.

RIDE SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Repeat until you find out for yourself. Don't worry about "Harley Riders mock Sportster owners" because they don't for long if you prove yourself. If you're worried about what others think, you're not going to be happy with your Honda, Sportster, Ducati, or anything else. Every camp has antagonists.

Answer the question What do YOU want?

EDIT #2: I'll add one more thing - If you ride a Sportster to Sturgis - without trailering it - nobody will be too hard on you. I don't even know where you're coming from, only assume it's not ACTUALLY Sturgis.
 

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My best advice - Ride ANYTHING you can. That is not a knock against the Shadow, but don't shut yourself off from something different simply because it's new.
 

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My best advice - Ride ANYTHING you can. That is not a knock against the Shadow, but don't shut yourself off from something different simply because it's new.
great advice!

Honestly... if you like more spirited riding, check out the Honda cbr 500r. My cousin got one recently, and I took it for a spin and i duely impressed! Its not a wicked sports bike, it has a more relaxed riding position than a normal sports bike. Not the crazy power of the 4cyl bikes, but very nice power and extremely fun. But I wouldnt want to tour on one.
 

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I have an '03 Sporty that I bought new. It has about 4500 miles on it. '03 was the final year of the frame mounted engine. I bought a low mileage '07 Shadow in Aug. '13. The Sporty has the better looks and sound but the Shadow is a much more civilized, comfortable , and enjoyable ride. The Shadow is lower, better riding, and so much less vibration......maybe this is why the Sportster has only left the garage once since the Shadow came along.
I like the Dyna's a lot also but they're more $$$ as others have said


Sent from Motorcycle.com Free App
 

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Go to a demo day at a local HD dealership if you can. Or do the rental thing.
You may be able to work out a 1/2 day sportster / 1/2 day dyna deal...OR you might be able to wrangle an extended test ride if you are really serious.
I like the idea of the dyna line up for you.....they are pretty much beefed up sportsters and the low rider is a nice little scoot.

Good luck with your search.
 

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I don't own one, but my 73 year old dad bought one last summer.

After I bought my ride, I made it a point to visit him at least once a week just so he could take it for a spin. He rode it often and he become comfortable enough that he started talking about buying his own. He finally stopped talking and jumped at the opportunity to buy something that he had always wanted but had never allowed himself to have.

Here it is...

My dad always offers to let me ride and I accept occasionally.
I LOVE IT. The Sportster has superior handling and is very nimble and easy to ride and clearly has greater power (his is the 883). For the kind of riding I like to do, it fit the bill perfectly. I liked it so much that I talked to the local HD dealer about a trade in last September. All I had to do was sign the papers, but I could tell my wife wasn't comfortable with the direction so I backed away.

Watching this thread with bated breath!

Like Lonnie Mac, the Seventy-Two was what caught my eye. I had picked a red one.
She felt SO good! What could have been.
 

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Ride lots of different bikes. Try bikes of a variety of styles, things you never considered. Think outside the box. There are a lot of terrific bikes out there.

You'll find the right bike!
 

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I loved my ACE but I would like something a little less buzzy on the highway .I did the 38T sprocket on it and that made a big difference but I still found myself looking for an extra gear sometimes. I haven't test ridden anything yet.
If you are looking at less buzz interstate riding you may want a 1200 or Dyna. My buddy has a 883 and loves and rides it around town all the time but the VTX1800 comes out of the garage for the super slab.
 

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My main concern is,is the Sportster a bike that I could enjoy on a daily basis.
Well, I guess that would depend on what your 'daily' commute is like? Lots of highway miles? Long distance? Short trip? Just around the corner?

I know a lot of diehard Harley people hate the Sportster but I am not trying to fit into the clique or anything so that's OK with me. Anyway,any advice would be appreciated.
Those who 'poo-poo' on the Sportster have NO idea or clue about it's history. The Sportster is the 'racing' Harley, and has always been the platform to 'test' new and innovative racing ideas on the general public. It may be 'smaller', which is the other reason many people bypass it, but it's still got plenty of power, and is less 'bulky' than the 'big twins', though maybe a slight bit more top heavy, though not by much. Given that, though, it's also a lot more nimble and agile in the twisties, due to it's racing heritage.

I had a friend who only bought HD, typically the 'big twins', but one time he was looking for a 'new' bike, and decided to 'test ride' the Sporty. Next thing we all knew, he had one in his garage, and LOVED it!

The way I see it, you just need to get the bike that suits your riding style and your budget, and remind those 'diehards' that dismiss the Sporty of it's racing heritage, which is how their 'big twins' got the improvements they have today in the first place.
 

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It is my opinion that everyone should own a Sporty at least once in their life
 
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