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Sportster as first bike
I have decided to write a basic review. I am "hiding" it back in this area, I do not want to add this kind of conversation to the "general forum".
First, I have less than 500 miles on a street bike, some "very" basic experience 35 years ago on a hunk of junk that had no breaks. One crash at 50 mph on the "one bike" I rode back then that had breaks. So please take what ever I say with the total lack of experience in mind. You will find far better voices are on this board.
The reason I am doing this is that I feel those who lack 36" or 38" inseams lack a full understanding of the difficult place us tall guys land on a first bike. Even I toss out the obvious duel purpose option. I had zero desire to ride that bike. For me it was "even to tall". Just not my style. So what do I do?
Story aside, I landed on a Sportster the day I went, cash in hand to buy a 250. Jerk of a dealer later, and I am on this bike. So, thats it, bought what I did. How now, after 2 months do I feel about that choice, based on all I read, and my personal experience?
I have to be honest. I do not consider the 883c I bought a "bad" first bike. Not even close. In many ways it is a great first bike. It for a tall guy like me is a "small" bike to deal with. The power of that V Twin is very predictable, no unexpected "surges" of power. I have no worry that I will wheelie this bike by accident. The power is totally controllable. Better than that, at traffic lights it has great low end torque and never stalls at lights. Very, very forgiving in day to day stop and go riding with perfect power balance. Front and rear disk breaks are pleasing, but don't try to stand you on that front tire . . again to "me" that is a plus. I want control, and lack the experience to control state of the art, almost uncontrollable performance. Be that throttle or extreme breaking ability's.
I have no idea how fast this bike will go, but according to what I have read, stock, she in a 105, 110 mph bike. I find she is most happy between 65 and 70, or maybe that is not her, and it is just me. She would do 80 all day long for sure. She is not the best choice if that is 90% of your driving, but hopefully any new rider on any bike is not living at those speeds . . . . . .
As a new rider, my only issue has been "weight". She is almost 600 lbs. How heavy is that? Well as a new rider who is learning the most basic of the lessons of riding . .pretty heavy. Not insurmountable, but relevant for sure. It is the one and only negative I really give this bike. What I did in TWO days on a 250 in MSF has required many hours and nearly two months worth of free time to re learn on this bike. Slow, hard turns are a mater of skill. When you lack the skill, and the confidence, that turn is a place of fear and potential disaster. Miss a turn in city traffic, and you have just hit a car head on.
Can I say the weight is a reason to NOT buy this bike? No. However, I will stress with all I have to say, chose it with caution and discipline. If you are not the type to practice in controlled, safe environments until you have learned how to handle the "weight" of this bike, then start smaller. I see some bikes that are considered acceptable on this board that simply replace the weight of this bike with the unpredictable and certainly far superior power of other bikes. Any safer? Not really. If anything, the weight is the safest power curve to overcome. It will lay you down, not shoot you into a concrete wall . . . . or so I think. Even a Sportster at a 14 second 1/4 mile @ 90 mph is pretty fast. A corvette just does 12 seconds at 116mph. Do bikes go faster, hell yes, a lot. And that is kind of the point.
As a first bike goes, any throttle worries are gone in a week. In fact the absolute predictable and low end power in the throttle are very forgiving factors for new riders. Even the handling, AFTER you get used to the weight, and effort that REQUIRES some extra work, she handles well, light and nimble. But, do not begin to think she will behave as that 250 in class did. You have to catch up with this bike. WHEN you do, then she will do anything that 250 did. YOU are the week link!
In the end, if you are the type to understand that you indeed you are the week link? If so, this might be a good bike for you if you in response will dedicate some effort to master it.
All of what I say is based on the assumption you are sooooooo tall, other more reasonable, more fun, less stressful options are difficult to settle for.
I am adding pics of me sitting on my sporty to demonstrate how SMALL this bike is. I just wanted to also warn riders like me how big this bike will feel once you feet hit the peggs . . . . it is a "compromise", not a perfect solution.