School me on the Harley Sporster XL1200C [Archive] - Glock Talk

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hotrodtba
06-07-2007, 16:44
Looking to sell my 1998 Yamaha YZF600R and pick up a Sportster 1200. I am really interested in the custom model (XL1200C). Need some input from those in the know. What to look for? Any major upgrade during a certain model year? Common problem areas? I have been looking at the early 2000's models. Thanks.

tpsh
06-07-2007, 17:27
Before you buy one try one out for a test ride. Before I bought my own bike I rode my sisters 1200 Sportster for about two years and found it to be cramped for me (I am 6'). It didn't have forward controls so maybe that would have fixed the problem.

One thing to think about is buying an 883 and getting a 1200 or 1250 conversion kit. Maybe drop in some racing cams. I read somewhere it gives you more bang for the buck.



883 Conversion (http://www.nrhsperformance.com/ekit8831200.shtml)

How to.. (http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/xl883_to_1200_page00.htm)

hotrodtba
06-07-2007, 19:24
Originally posted by tpsh
Before you buy one try one out for a test ride. Before I bought my own bike I rode my sisters 1200 Sportster for about two years and found it to be cramped for me (I am 6'). It didn't have forward controls so maybe that would have fixed the problem.

One thing to think about is buying an 883 and getting a 1200 or 1250 conversion kit. Maybe drop in some racing cams. I read somewhere it gives you more bang for the buck.



883 Conversion (http://www.nrhsperformance.com/ekit8831200.shtml)

How to.. (http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/xl883_to_1200_page00.htm)

Yea, I am 6'2" and forward controls are a definate requirement. Also I really like drag bars, and I think they would help me stretch out also. My aunt has a Sportster 1200, not sure of what model though. I might have to hit her up for a ride or two before I buy.

HollowHead
06-07-2007, 20:34
I have made a small side business of doing 883 - 1200, 1250 & 1320cc conversions. Just two observations. The conversions are always faster than the stock 1200's since they use the 883's slightly lighter flywheels. Secondly, you'll save bucks since the 1200 usually costs about $750 - $1,100 more than an 883 that you convert yourself. The only downside is the stock 883 starter is a little overtaxed turning the conversion's increased cranking pressure and will not have the longevity of the 1200's starter. Personally, I would never buy a new 1200. I'd buy a new 883 and convert it. And guess what?...the conversions are faster than even the stock 88 twin cam Dynas, the fastest of the TC-88's. HH

HollowHead
06-07-2007, 20:38
Edited to add: your basic 883 - 1200 conversion should run around $800. This includes Wiseco reverse-dome pistons in your choice of 9.5:1 or 10:1, original cylinder boring, carb re-jetting and labor. The '05-ups and EFI's cost considerably more to convert but still come out much less than the showroom 1200's. HH

mmsig229
06-09-2007, 16:13
The new 1200's should be OK. I had a 1988 1200. It had tons of power(S&S carb, and dyna Ignition) but had the peanut tank, chain, and 4 speed. I had to change the sprockets to make it less of a paint shaker on the freeway. The new ones seem alot more civilized.

maximusjc74
06-12-2007, 01:43
There is no need for you to worry about the foreward controls on the 1200c, that model comes straight from the factory with them already installed. I just purchased the 1200N, it was a hard choice between the 1200c and the 1200n. So if you end up getting the 1200c you dont have to worry about buying the foreward controls afterwards.-jamie

tpsh
06-12-2007, 05:41
Originally posted by maximusjc74
There is no need for you to worry about the foreward controls on the 1200c, that model comes straight from the factory with them already installed. I just purchased the 1200N, it was a hard choice between the 1200c and the 1200n. So if you end up getting the 1200c you dont have to worry about buying the foreward controls afterwards.-jamie

Um...ah...you bought the 1200N? WHERE ARE THE PIC'S??? :hearts:

hotrodtba
06-12-2007, 18:16
Found a 2002 XL1200C with 14,300 miles for $5000. Drag pipes, Harley windshield, new back tire, everything else is good and clean. Probably going to go pick it up tomorrow. Decent deal around these parts. Any opinions??

GSXRanger
06-12-2007, 18:28
It all depends on the type of riding you do. Me, I am a sport bike guy... been riding for 20 years now. I rode a 2006 Sporty 1200 (no idea what type, not a harley guy here) the other day. I went down a very familiar road, that I rail on with my GSXR. Anyway, here is my riding impressions of the Sportster that I had the chance to ride.

I drug the foot pegs, just turning through an intersection. This scared me, since I am used to leaning a bike with ground clearance.

The suspension was WAAAAAY too soft. I bottomed the rear shocks on every bump in the road. Granted, I am used to after market suspension on my GSXR, and it is set very stiffly. But, come on... I am not big by any means... 6'4 and 230 pounds.

The engine is sweet. Has a very sweet sound to it. Pulls like a raped ape from idle, to about 5500 rpm, then just runs out of breath. You can actually FEEL the engine stop pulling. Needless to say, I whacked the rev limiter many times, just because I am not used to this type of bike.

Shifting was precise, but "jerky"... nah, not jerky, more like SURGEY. It has a definite SURGE to it when you change gears under power. You won't win any races on this bike, that's for sure.

Engine braking was off the hook! This thing just pulls to a stop when you roll off the throttle. I liked the engine braking on this engine.

Now, let's talk about that front wheel. This bike, had the big front wheel on it... I am guessing a 21 incher? WTF? Going through a nice LONG sweeper, I had it up to about 90 mph, and the front end had zero feel to it. It felt like the front end was just wagging about out there in front of me. Every bump I hit whilst leaned over, bottomed out the suspension, and scraped hard parts.

This is not a bike to be ridden hard. I don't have a clue why they call it a "Sportster" when it ain't sporty in my opinion. Don't even get me started on the brakes. They felt like two wooden blocks squeezing on a wooden plate.

So, there you have it. From a sport bike / track day guy's perspective. If you want the looks, the sound, and the pose-a-bility of the Harley genre... it is a good bike, I guess.

For this bike to work for me, I would have to firm up the suspension... ALOT. I would put braided brake lines on it, and change to a sintered metal HH pad... if there is such an animal for a Harley.

I would also ditch that big front rim. It's useless.

Don't get me wrong, I am not knocking the Harley... hell, I rented an Ultra Classic and did a 3 day tour with the wife to Lake Tahoe. That thing was amazing...

But, for the Cruiser crowd... I rode my buddies 2006 Yamaha V-Star 1100 and had WAAAAYYYY more fun on it than I did on the Sportster.

Just my .02

Don't shoot the messenger! :thumbsup:

***Edit to add... Please don't take this as a Sportster bashing post, or an Anti-Harley post. I am a sportbike rider, and I ride aggressively on the track, and at a pretty swift pace sometimes on the street. My riding style reflects high horsepower, properly sprung, light weight machines, designed for one thing only... to ride aggressively.

I am not against the cruiser scene. The only negative thing I can say about this genre of riders, is that they generally (and I speak generally) ride without proper gear. I am not trying to hijack this thread, and am only commenting like this to keep it neutral. I actually, enjoyed riding the Harley, and the V-Star once I re-programmed my brain.

My comments were only from my viewpoint.

Cheers!

HollowHead
06-12-2007, 22:04
Originally posted by GSXRanger
I am not against the cruiser scene. The only negative thing I can say about this genre of riders, is that they generally (and I speak generally) ride without proper gear.

Not to hijack since as a Sportster owner I mostly agree, but track day gear and cruiser gear are hardly interchangeable. HH

m44u
06-12-2007, 22:31
I've got a 04 1200R. Bad bike. Rides good , handles good. Love the twistys. Very fast and plenty of torque. I changed my seat, stock seats suck very uncomfortable to me. Added sissy bar and rack for carrying stuff. Added highway pegs. Added a windshied for comfort. don't like white knuckling every where I go. Engine is still stock. Plenty of power for me. Added cycleshack slipon mufflers. Best bang for the buck. Didn't have to do anything to the carb. Haven't rode the newer ones . I know that they are fuel injected now so they should be good to go. Good luck on your new bike decision. I:hearts: my Sporty: BTW, I may get a geezerglide one day, there great for long trips and real comfort. But for just cruising around town and getting off the beaten path, Or if your just wanting to stretch her legs and roll on the sporty is the way to go. Not made for taking looong trips to me. You could if you wanted to but after awhile my lower back starts aching. the sporty is fun and made to to ride. I'm 5'9", 195 pounds and mines comfortable to me. The longest round trip I made was about 500 miles. Did alright just a little tired. Stopped and stretched every now and then. .:thumbsup:

GSXRanger
06-13-2007, 10:53
Originally posted by HollowHead
Not to hijack since as a Sportster owner I mostly agree, but track day gear and cruiser gear are hardly interchangeable. HH

My commuter gear, is a one piece Aerostitch suit, gloves, boots and a full faced lid.

Most "cruisers" I see, wear half faced helmets, or little skid lids, and maybe gloves. Some will wear a jacket, if it is cold.

I say this...

Take off running, as fast as you can... dive face first into the parking lot. That's MAYBE, what... 5 mph?

Now, 45 MPH or FASTER, is the same on a cruiser, as it is on a liter bike.

For the track, I wear a one piece Kangaroo suit... and I wear that on the weekends, riding in the hills. But, for commuting, I still wear FULL gear.

Crashing is not fun. I call the half helmets, FACE ERASERS...

How is it not the same? That was my point. Again, I don't wanna hijack the thread, but you gotta be smart about safety.

Now, as for a "Sporty Harley"... give me a Buell Firebolt. That is one of the best cornering bikes I have ever ridden. :thumbsup:

fnfalman
06-13-2007, 14:32
Originally posted by GSXRanger
My commuter gear, is a one piece Aerostitch suit, gloves, boots and a full faced lid.

Most "cruisers" I see, wear half faced helmets, or little skid lids, and maybe gloves. Some will wear a jacket, if it is cold.

I say this...

Take off running, as fast as you can... dive face first into the parking lot. That's MAYBE, what... 5 mph?

Now, 45 MPH or FASTER, is the same on a cruiser, as it is on a liter bike.

For the track, I wear a one piece Kangaroo suit... and I wear that on the weekends, riding in the hills. But, for commuting, I still wear FULL gear.

Crashing is not fun. I call the half helmets, FACE ERASERS...

How is it not the same? That was my point. Again, I don't wanna hijack the thread, but you gotta be smart about safety.

Now, as for a "Sporty Harley"... give me a Buell Firebolt. That is one of the best cornering bikes I have ever ridden. :thumbsup:

I think that you lecture to the wrong choir. We're all adults here. People know that there are protective gears available but as adults with freedom of choice they prefer not to utilize these protective gears. I'm all for freedom of choice. I am not the one whose face is going to be road pizza if they crash. Their decision to wear whatever affects me directly none at all.

Frankly I detest the helmet law. It deprives me of being able to own the best helmet available. I ride AGATT and I can't have the best helmet money can buy because the stupid helmet law dictates a DOT helmet. I would much prefer a EU-rated helmet. They are built to withstand much worse crashes than the DOT or even Snell helmets available in the US.

GSXRanger
06-13-2007, 17:32
Nope, you got me wrong. I am not preaching at all. In fact, I could care less what people wear when they ride. I was just responding to the statement that I do not know the difference between "cruiser gear and trackday gear".

To each their own. I just posted some observations of the masses, after 20 years of riding.

Cheers!

HollowHead
06-13-2007, 22:29
Originally posted by GSXRanger
Nope, you got me wrong. I am not preaching at all. In fact, I could care less what people wear when they ride. I was just responding to the statement that I do not know the difference between "cruiser gear and trackday gear".

To each their own. I just posted some observations of the masses, after 20 years of riding.

Cheers!

Mea culpa for not being more to the point. Way too many people confuse what happens on the track with what happens on the street. It is my understanding that most public roads motorcycle fatalities happen when a body hits an immovable object such as a tree, guardrail or Yukon Denali making a u-turn while a soccer mom is gabbing on the phone. These dangers simply do not occur in closed course racing. Simply put, track gear is wonderful for protecting the human body from long, high-speed tumbling slides but IMHO of little use when t-boning a left turning truck. HH

GSXRanger
06-13-2007, 23:09
Originally posted by HollowHead
Mea culpa for not being more to the point. Way too many people confuse what happens on the track with what happens on the street. It is my understanding that most public roads motorcycle fatalities happen when a body hits an immovable object such as a tree, guardrail or Yukon Denali making a u-turn while a soccer mom is gabbing on the phone. These dangers simply do not occur in closed course racing. Simply put, track gear is wonderful for protecting the human body from long, high-speed tumbling slides but IMHO of little use when t-boning a left turning truck. HH

I agree with you 100% and then some. I have had a high speed low side on the track... had my rear end sawed out from under me by a rookie rider, trying to take the inside line... anyway, I found myself sliding on my back, at about 80+ mph and came to rest in the gravel. I got up, picked my bike up, and finished the session.

What you said about hazards on the road, are VERY valid points. That is why, the more track time I do, the SLOWER I am on the street. Too many variables, to many things you can not control.

But, in those instances, NO gear can really protect you from sudden stops, or hitting an immovable object. But, what I am advocating gear for, is road rash. Road rash sucks... period. The more I can do to minimize the risk for it, the better.

I am a daily commuter. Sure, I have a truck, but, I ride my scooter every day... rain or shine. The wife takes my truck. So, I dress for the crash, not the ride.

Ok, back on topic... what about those Sportsters? :thumbsup:

fnfalman
06-14-2007, 09:38
Originally posted by GSXRanger
Ok, back on topic... what about those Sportsters? :thumbsup:

I know of two guys who T-boned vehicles at 60-MPH because people decide to take left turns on a highway without looking. Without their helmets they would have been dead. They both suffered broken bones, but without their full leathers they would have left a lot more on the road than just broken bones. So, yes, track gears do work for the street. You just can't expect miracles from them. And if people were to look at these incidents and say, "well, the leathers didn't save them bones from broken, so why should I bother." I'll simply say, "drive on, GI."

PS About them Sportsters...yes, nothing that a trip to Race Tech for revalve & respring jobs can't help. Storz conversion kit to get rid of some weight, some minor rodding to get a bit more oomph out and they'll be plenty entertaining in the twisties.

GSXRanger
06-14-2007, 18:17
Originally posted by fnfalman

PS About them Sportsters...yes, nothing that a trip to Race Tech for revalve & respring jobs can't help. Storz conversion kit to get rid of some weight, some minor rodding to get a bit more oomph out and they'll be plenty entertaining in the twisties. [/B]

I did like the torque on the 1200 engine. Now, running out of air, the engine felt anemic at about (I am guessing, it had no tach) 5500 rpm. The engine fell flat on it's face. Maybe some higher lift / longer duration camshafts, heavier valve springs... etc, to make the engine rev out more... but why?

You still have to contend with the ground clearance issue, and that big front tire... wow. Talk about zero feel on the front end. I have to admit, it was sort of fun to feel it flapping around out in front of me, but gave nothing in the form of confidence. Then again, I am so used to my bike, that these felt like they were from a different planet. The V-Star was simply better planted mid corner. The Harley would out accelerate the Yamaha, by my seat of the pants dyno... but, the Yamaha was just simply more fun to ride to ME.

Again, just my observation with a very limited amount of seat time. :thumbsup:

freakshow10mm
06-16-2007, 21:02
My father has a '95 1200C. Hasn't mentioned any problems with it. Changing the belt is a PITA. He got bored with it so he is giving it to me. He likes his '86 V45 Sabre better. He's never done anything to it except proper maintenance.

The Sporty is about being quick in town, not on open roads.

hotrodtba
06-17-2007, 14:34
Originally posted by hotrodtba
Found a 2002 XL1200C with 14,300 miles for $5000. Drag pipes, Harley windshield, new back tire, everything else is good and clean. Probably going to go pick it up tomorrow. Decent deal around these parts. Any opinions??

Well, I bought the above mentioned bike. Here are the required pics. I took the windshield off. Probably only use it if I go on a long ride.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/hotrodtba/2002%20Harley%20Davidson%20XL1200c/XL1200cRight.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/hotrodtba/2002%20Harley%20Davidson%20XL1200c/XL1200cLeft.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/hotrodtba/2002%20Harley%20Davidson%20XL1200c/XL1200cRightFront.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v734/hotrodtba/2002%20Harley%20Davidson%20XL1200c/XL1200cLeftRear.jpg