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 Post subject: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 1017
Location: South Australia
I've always liked sportsters. Kinda minimalist, and who couldn't love an XR750?
I'm told though that I would be rather disappointed in anything made before 2004, as they vibrated badly until the engines were rubber mounted that year. Seems like the rubber mounting transformed them into a long distance bike, rather than a short range bar hopper.

I've got a few ideas for making the sportster the right bike for me.
The later EFI (2007) complicates the after market tank situation somewhat, so this dictates that the right donor bike for me is a 2004-2006 model.

Not planning on dumping the DR, just feel like sorting myself out a decent two up road bike for day trips with me and the missus.
Out of the two 1200cc models that Australia got in 2004-06, I'd prefer the roadster model, rather than the custom.
The roadster had 19 inch front wheel, twin front disks, tacho and speedo, mid mount foot pegs, lower bars. The custom had 21 inch wheel, speedo only, bigger bars and forward controls.

I'm open to the idea of an 883. They arrived here as a base model and the custom model in those years.
An advantage with the 883 is they are seen as a "ladies bike", so the few advertised are a) cheap, b) low mileage c) very good condition and well maintained. Since I don't have any psychological issues with the size of any of my appendages, I'm not adverse to buying an 883 if it can do what I want.
I don't actually want a cruiser, more a roadster type bike. Thing is the roadster models are rare here on the Aussie market. Seems like everyone was a wannabe 1%er who wanted forward controls, ape hangers, etc.

So, I have some questions for the Harley riders amongst us:

1) Convertibility. How hard is it to take a custom and change it to a standard bike?
*Seems easy to get mid mount controls, but can they be bolted straight on, or must one fabricate mounting points on the frame?
*Are the forks the same length, so all you have to do is change the wheel from 21 inch to 19?
*I get the impression the rear shocks are shorter on the custom compared to the roadster. This doesn't seem insurmountable, a quick scan of Evilbay suggests one can buy aftermarket shocks of any length you like that will bolt straight on.

2) Horsepower - would I see an honest 50 hp from an 883 and maybe 70-75 from 1200?
Online calculators say an 883 will make 40hp at max torque rpm using published Harley numbers, but most bikes make max HP at higher rpm than the max torque rpm. So I'm thinking even an 883 should be able to cruise at the speed limit (68mph) with me and the missus on-board?

Decent seats that will be comfortable for the passnger seem non existent. I think I'll be fabricating my own.
Any advice welcome.

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2009 DR650SE. IMS tank, Renthal Fatbar, lowered pegs, Hindle pipe and 35F, saddlebag frames, BST Magic mods, open air box, heavier springs front and rear, windscreen, mini indicators


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:40 pm 
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Single Tracker
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Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:20 pm
Posts: 228
Location: Southern WV
I just sold the pictured Roadster about 4 months ago. 2006 XL1200R
Owned it for quite a few years.
For your questions..........
1... Frames are the same, so mid controls should bolt right up.
Don't know if forks are same length, but they are different, as the Roadster has a caliper mount on both legs.
Roadster does have longer shocks.
2...Don't know the 883 horsepower, but a well tuned 1200 will do 75-80 with slip-ons, good air filter setup, and a carb rejet.
883 factory gearing is slightly lower than a 1200. Final drive is the same, difference is in the primary gearing.

For all kind of performance goodies, check out this website.
http://www.nrhsperformance.com


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:17 pm 
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Adventure Rider
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2016 7:56 am
Posts: 535
Location: Minneapolis
both the 19 and 21 front wheel suck.. I had a Sportster but could not get happy with the big front wheel.. can you find a Guzzi California instead? sport bike frame in a cruiser looking pkg.

Image


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 11:22 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Brisbane
i'm a big twin harley guy.
Never owned a sportster but have ridden most of em.
There a good thing, especially the xr1200

Some basic info
http://silodrome.com/buying-guide-harle ... sportster/

If you go to that site have a look at the videos section motorcycle stuff
Not much on harleys but good bike stuff in general.

All the sporties are good base for customs in the year you're looking at.
Some prefer the older stuff as a base.
http://www.bikeexif.com/dual-sport-motorcycle

If you do modify one, pay no attention to HP,
Harleys are about torque.

And just another heads up for Oz dont buy cheap parts off ebay,
Most is chinese junk and there's a lot of it about.
Two up could be a little cramped if you want to carry luggage.

All the used big twins will see a drop in used prices as well soon with the new big twin engine being out.
The street bob with mid controls is good bang for buck if you want to go bigger.
If it was me i'd go to the local hd dealer with your missus and just take one for a ride.
HD dealers are pretty easy for a test ride, and generally have a bunch of used stuff.

And for the Guzzi's.
Someone near where i live has a slightly custom jackal.
It's a unique good looking thing.
Ridden them, and they ride well once you get used to the guzzi torque movement.


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 12:59 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:47 pm
Posts: 519
Location: Valemount B.C.
Location:
I bought an '02 Sportster Custom with the 21" front wheel and both controls on ebay for a song.Exellent bike to convert into a scrambler.I changed the rear wheel to an 18" with some longer Ohlins shocks and valves and springs in the forks.Got rid of the belt drive after breaking belts and converted to a chain and lower gearing.Split my gas tank in half length ways and welded in a section to widen the tank for more capacity.Made my own solo seat and rear rack with ammo boxes as well.With some Continental's on the rims that bike would go places.
That bike drew more attention no matter where I was than all the other bikes I've owned put together....There is a ton of stuff around for Sportsters and they are reliable...They are heavy but the weight is down low and an unreal amount of torque keeps you chuggin' in the soft sand with ease.Very easy to work on too.


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:10 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:47 pm
Posts: 519
Location: Valemount B.C.
Location:
'04 and up,rubber mounted engine,equals 60 lbs. more weight.I'm old school,no doubt about that,so I stayed away from the rubber mounts and stuck to the old engine mounts.'03 and earlier also has the trap door to easily remove the tranny not like the later bikes that the whole engine needs to be disassembled to get at it like the DR.The hard mounted engines have a very smooth ride.Just not at all RPMs.


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 Post subject: Re: Harley Sportsters
PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 2:18 am 
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Adventure Rider
Adventure Rider

Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:58 am
Posts: 1017
Location: South Australia
fotoguzzi wrote:
can you find a Guzzi California instead? sport bike frame in a cruiser looking pkg.

Absolutely not! Guzzi made some truly beautiful motorcycles, but that ain't one of them.
Besides cruiser isn't what I have in mind.
I want to build the bike Harley should/could have.
2004 Sportster:


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2009 DR650SE. IMS tank, Renthal Fatbar, lowered pegs, Hindle pipe and 35F, saddlebag frames, BST Magic mods, open air box, heavier springs front and rear, windscreen, mini indicators
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