Harley Sportster? anyone ..
April 18, 2008 at 12:40 am #1289
hi all- so I have enjoyed reading and see many good bikes for newbs like myself- I am 6 feet and 190 lbs- I gotta say I put alot of stock into what you all say- any ideas on the sportster as a first bike and also one that will stay with me for 4-5 years? love the American idea and the pure basics of HarleyApril 18, 2008 at 12:16 pm #5669MattParticipant
I’ve been told the sportster is a surprisingly good starter bike. The low center of gravity, and generally small size makes it easier to handle than most other mid-sized cruisers.
The big reason no one suggests one is cost. H-Ds aren’t cheap (not just to buy, but repairs if you drop it can be more expensive than some japanese bikes).
The other thing I hear about H-Ds is that the clutch and transmission are heavy adn clunky. To some people, that agricultural feel is part of the experience, to others, it is a big dissapointment (You pay for a lexus, but it drives more like an old F-150).
All that said, I’ve never rideden one myself, and H-D certainly has its own little niche of buyers (now there is an understatement).April 18, 2008 at 12:35 pm #5671
thank you for the words- I had also heard this, Im really starting to love the research, some nights I am amazed by the time I can spend looking at bikes-April 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm #5675BenParticipant
I haven’t actually heard too much about the sportster, although I am a fan of harleys. One of the main reasons I wouldn’t get one as a first bike is what matt said, just too expensive. Chances are you are going to drop you first bike a couple of times, and which would you rather drop, a cheap ninja 250 or a brand new Harley Davidson Sportster?
~Best Beginner Motorcycles AdminApril 19, 2008 at 2:23 am #5687
Thanks guys, and yes I agree with that- so I went today to the local HD shop- they were awesome, but certainly upsellers galore- dismissed the standard (and affordable sportster 883) for a 1200 which also adds to the price, had it to 11,000! wowsers! I had thought the 883 was plenty of power based on what I had read here and it should be around 7,000 (aggree its alot but thought Id check it out since alot of the other japanese bikes I liked were 5,000) anyway, still think if I did go HD Id insist on the 883- but I gotta say its nice that they are American built and obviously have character beyond most-April 19, 2008 at 4:59 am #5688wishpoolParticipant
Maybe consider something like a Suzuki S40 for your 1st season? It’s huge single has kind of a personality to it that I like.April 19, 2008 at 11:52 pm #5705
I will check it out- I appreciate it- anyone know much on TRIUMPH’s? by accident I went in and found a bonneville that felt amazing and looks to boot but i recall British cars being break down prone wonder if this is same? thanksApril 20, 2008 at 7:39 am #5714AnonymousGuest
The new (Hinkley) Triumph Bonneville (post Y2K) is an excellent motorcycle and is just about perfect in terms of versatility in a street bike. It’s narrow and maneuverable enough for lane-splitting and in-town riding, and, although I’m not suggesting that you do it, it can cruise on the freeway at 80 or 90 no problem at all (~110 mph top speed). I’ve owned one for the past 18 months and ride it 5 or 6 days a week, so I admit to being more than a little biased
You have the option of sitting bolt upright for comfort and visibility, or you can go into a sports crouch to minimize wind resistance and look like a cool cafe racer if you want The bike’s not super fast (0-60 in 5 seconds), and that’s a good thing. Power delivery is smooth and even (no unexpected power surges) and it’s very stable, predictable and easy to ride. The engine has counterbalancers so on the highway, it’s almost as smooth as a four cylinder.
I wouldn’t recommend it (or any 800+ c.c. bike) as a first bike though. It’s quite heavy (500+ lbs?) , but once you have some experience, that can actually be a plus when riding on the freeway in strong winds (my commute is 35 miles freeway each way); the weight helps to keep it planted.
You have nothing to fear on the reliability front; these thoroughly modern (but retro looking) bikes are *very* reliable. They come with a 2 year warranty and get admired everywhere they go…April 27, 2008 at 4:11 pm #5840shagglesParticipant
I love the look of the Bonneville and the Thruxton. Both are on my short list when I’m ready to move up to a bigger bike.April 27, 2008 at 7:47 pm #5853
thanks for the BONNIE review- they are amazing, and will be my second bike, I love the looks and the heritage- can the author email me at [email protected]- thanksApril 27, 2008 at 7:48 pm #5854
thanks for the BONNIE review- they are amazing, and will be my second bike, I love the looks and the heritage- can the author email me at [email protected]- thanksMay 8, 2008 at 7:45 pm #6136JoshGuest
Sportsters are awesome… I just bought my first one in Sept ’07 from a guy off Craigslist. It’s a 2005 Sporster 1200 Custom. He had only ridden it to and from work, had 1100 miles on it, and a bunch of accessories (sissy bar, luggage rack, windshield, air cleaner, exhaust) included. Got it from him for $7750.
Just look around and do your research, you’ll find good deals because they’re definitely out there.June 11, 2008 at 12:51 am #7193NorCalryderGuest
A new 1994 Sportster 883 was my first bike, and I loved it. It was the base model with track bars and was the first real road bike I’d ever ridden.
Other than locking the back wheel once (skidded, but stayed upright) and getting some air when I went through an intersection too fast, the bike was an uneventful intro to motorcycling for me. I had some friends with 1000cc sport bikes, and it hung with them on all but the open highway. They would drop me past 90mph as the wind and vibration (and last shred of common sense) kicked in.
Handlebar vibration is a common complaint on HDs and something that was annoying after riding for more than an hour. Changing the grips and wearing padded gloves helped. Otherwise, it added to the experience and sweet exhaust note.
Now the downside: After about 2 years, I sold the bike to a friend who wanted to get into motorcycling (I was moving and not planning to take the bike with me). Over the next several months, he dropped the bike 3 times at low speed. Didn’t lose anything but a little skin and a lot of bike value, but it obviously was WAY too much bike for him.
I think most newbies would be better off with a smaller bike — at least for the first year or two.October 17, 2008 at 12:42 am #13934Sporty FanGuest
First bike was a Nighthawk 250 back in May. Perfect to start on as I had never even sat on a bike before. I quickly wanted to get past that 67MPH mark that I just couldn’t break so I fell into an 883. What a great bike. So easy to ride. Just as nimble as the Nighthawk, and feels solid as a rock on the freeway. My advice would be to either start out on a mid-size like a 750-900 cc or make sure that you let the spouse know that the little starter 250 is just temporary. Otherwise, you may be accused of getting two toys back-to-back and have to reciprocate. Gets expensive.October 17, 2008 at 4:26 am #13944briderdtParticipant
…my wife was convinced she wanted a Sportster for her first bike. Until last night, when we stopped by a dealership that had a used one in stock. The salesman started it up, and she got on… Okay, she hasn’t taken the MSF course yet, so she wasn’t going to take it anywhere, but she sat on it and gave the throttle some twists. And I watched her expression go from trepidation, to exhilleration, to disappointment, to dread.
She’s had some arthritis problems in her hands and elbows, as well as a cervical spinal fusion earlier this year. She felt that the vibration coming through the handlebars would eventually cause problems.
So now she’s starting all over again.
She’s convinced that the Suzuki C50T is the bike for her now.
Sad part is that I was ready to buy the Sportster if she wanted it.
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