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Old 03-03-2012, 08:08 AM   #1441
DAKEZ
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Originally Posted by pmelby View Post
What bike would you want your wife, daughter/grand-daughter to begin riding on? One that has handling and safety features designed in or one that looks good?

In a perfect world they would have been riding since the age of 3.

The XL883N a.k.a. Iron 883 IS the bike I would want my Daughter/grand-daughter to start on.

What exactly (in your mind) are "safety features" ?

Also. Have you even ridden an Iron 883?
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:21 AM   #1442
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Originally Posted by IRideASlowBike View Post
Now, c'mon, man, seriously?

You know I agree with you on a lot of shit, but saying that the 21" front wheel is there to "roll over all the potholes" when the motorcycle itself has almost no suspension travel is preposterous.

And 2.1 gallon tank is "plenty large"? In that case so is a 1 gallon tank, right? Hey, if you need more, just carry a jerry can, right? 2.1 gallons at 50 mpg gives you a realistic range of about 90 miles tops, assuming you don't want to risk running on fumes and stalling out on the side of the road should you perhaps get worse gas mileage on that particular ride.
.
5" in front. Sure there is some style involved in design. EVERY make and model does the same. But the fact remains that a 21" wheel rolls over potholes better than a 16"

As to the 2.1 gal. Again It is plenty. This bike is NOT a touring bike. It is an Urban bike. As set up new it is NEVER meant to leave town. This is very easy and actually easy to change.

Go ride one. No... really... just go ride one then get back to us as to how bad they suck. I honestly believe after riding one you will better understand what the bike is about and you will appreciate it for what it is.

It is what it is and it ain't no is'r
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:28 AM   #1443
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
In a perfect world they would have been riding since the age of 3.

The XL883N a.k.a. Iron 883 IS the bike I would want my Daughter/grand-daughter to start on.

What exactly (in your mind) are "safety features" ?

Also. Have you even ridden an Iron 883?
I'm not a Harley hater, but I wouldn't start most women ( or men ) on ANY 550 lb motorcycle. My wife started on a Twinstar 200. It was a perfect bike to start on. Then she outgrew it so we got her a 550 Seca (450LBS)which she never got comfortable on. We decided she needed something between the twinstar and Seca sooooo.....she ended up on a Virago 700 (500+LBS). She kept that bike for around 10 years. There is something to be said for low seat height and low center of gravity.

BTW, the Virago had a great motor, handled well, had good brakes, and even decent cornering clearance. I enjoyed riding it although at 6-2 I didn't really fit on it that well.

As for women on Harleys, there are a lot of women out there riding Harleys and riding them well, but there are also plenty of women, and men, out there who can't handle the weight. I have lost track of the number of Harleys I have seen dropped in parking lots.

If you ride a Harley and enjoy it, that's great If you are a good rider on your Harley, that's even better. There is no hiding the fact however that Harleys are heavy bikes and not everyone can handle them.

And yes, I have ridden a number of Harleys and enjoyed riding every one of them.
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Old 03-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #1444
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Originally Posted by whittrated03 View Post
IMO, this is where HD has lost a chunck of their buyers. When money is short, owning 1 motorcycke that can handle whatever road is thrown at it is what is needed. Hence the popularity of the Suzuki V-Strom 650..
Not knocking the V-Strom but since it's inception in 05 I think HD has sold a few more Sportsters.

Getting back to female riders....a shameless cut a paste from Women Riders Now review of the V-Strom.......

The first thing I noticed, the first thing most women notice when they approach a motorcycle, is the seat height. Could I handle the high-ish 32.3-inch seat height (an inch lower than the 1000 version) of this smaller V-Strom. Seat height is mostly irrelevant if you're a seasoned rider--and that I am--but I still needed to take extra care when backing into and out of parking spots.




I spend a lot of time discussing seat height because for a woman it's so important she has confidence when riding a motorcycle and so much of that confidence is derived from control of the bike. Flat footedness and even bent knees provide maximum control of the machine.


My 5-foot 6.5-inch frame (plus 2-inch rubber heels) allowed me to reach only my toes to the ground. I few times on my test ride I had to ask someone push me into and out of parking spots, because when your legs were as stretched as mine, you have no bend in your knees to muscle the bike forward or backward. Short riders I know who ride taller bikes make a habit of dismounting the bike and then walking it into and out of parking spots.


Now she says she is 5' 6.5" and wears boots with 2" heels and yet can only touch with her toes and occasionally needed help getting out of parking spots and she IS a seasoned rider.

Not to mention the V-Strom weighs almost 500 lbs wet, not that much lighter than a Sporty.

For women riders, seat height trumps lean angle and much more so with new women riders.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:35 AM   #1445
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I agree with you on nearly every point Blk-Betty but this one I don't get.

"Also not having a lot of upper body strength she didn't want a bike that felt top heavy and that really ruled the Sportster out. Contrary to what is often stated, a Sportster is not a girls bike and takes more upper body strength to ride than a Big Twin."

The thing I like most about my Sportster is how light it feels after I get off the FXRS. The actual weight difference is only about a hundred pounds but the Sport feels much lighter, much less top heavy. My sportster has 15" rear shocks and the standard Sport front suspension and I suspect a lowered version would feel (to me at least) even lighter.

BTW, is Black Betty the name of your old FLH? There was a guy on HD Forums went by that handle..
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #1446
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Originally Posted by woodnbow View Post
I agree with you on nearly every point Blk-Betty but this one I don't get.

"Also not having a lot of upper body strength she didn't want a bike that felt top heavy and that really ruled the Sportster out. Contrary to what is often stated, a Sportster is not a girls bike and takes more upper body strength to ride than a Big Twin."

The thing I like most about my Sportster is how light it feels after I get off the FXRS. The actual weight difference is only about a hundred pounds but the Sport feels much lighter, much less top heavy. My sportster has 15" rear shocks and the standard Sport front suspension and I suspect a lowered version would feel (to me at least) even lighter.

BTW, is Black Betty the name of your old FLH? There was a guy on HD Forums went by that handle..
In my experience, sportsters although lighter carry more of their weight up just a little higher than the Big Twins and they "feel" more top heavy when sitting still and you get them into a little lean like while turning when backing out of a parking spot. Once rolling they are definatley lighter feeling and I assume most drops occur when not moving or at crawl speeds where top heavy weight plays a big role. Caveat being that my last experience with Sportys was on the pre-rubber engine mounted bikes so possbily the rubber mount frames and lowered setup of the newer bikes feel differently.

DAKEZ is the better judge as he sells them now and if he says the 883N is his choice I'm not going to argue and will defer to his expertise.

No the same guy, Black Betty was the name of my FXST.
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:59 AM   #1447
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Originally Posted by blk-betty View Post
In my experience, sportsters although lighter carry more of their weight up just a little higher than the Big Twins and they "feel" more top heavy when sitting still and you get them into a little lean like while turning when backing out of a parking spot. Once rolling they are definatley lighter feeling and I assume most drops occur when not moving or at crawl speeds where top heavy weight plays a big role. Caveat being that my last experience with Sportys was on the pre-rubber engine mounted bikes so possbily the rubber mount frames and lowered setup of the newer bikes feel differently.

DAKEZ is the better judge as he sells them now and if he says the 883N is his choice I'm not going to argue and will defer to his expertise.

No the same guy, Black Betty was the name of my FXST.
It's all about perception I guess, my Sportster is a '97 I haven't even sat on a rubber mounted bike except the XR1200... I liked that bike, the motor runs great but damn, can't they get the weight down under 500#?
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #1448
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Originally Posted by whittrated03 View Post
When money is short, owning 1 motorcycke that can handle whatever road is thrown at it is what is needed. Hence the popularity of the Suzuki V-Strom 650..
Just so you know, it's still possible to buy a new 2009 V-Strom 650, and there's plenty of leftover '11s too.

H-D very rarely has ANY leftovers and when they do, they are the models that people on this forum love--the V-Rod with mids, Roadsters, etc. I wouldn't be shocked if there were even a few leftover XR1200s.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:37 AM   #1449
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I like the 3.3 tank the best for the Sportys, the look of the peanut with a fairly significant increase in range. Also no gap between the seat and tank.
That's exactly what I did with my last Sportster.

First mod was adding the (then) 3.25 gallon tank.

An 883 will return fuel economy in the 50-55 range, so three gallons of gas will get you on down the road.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #1450
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Originally Posted by AZbiker View Post
Just so you know, it's still possible to buy a new 2009 V-Strom 650, and there's plenty of leftover '11s too.

H-D very rarely has ANY leftovers and when they do, they are the models that people on this forum love--the V-Rod with mids, Roadsters, etc. I wouldn't be shocked if there were even a few leftover XR1200s.


It's hard to get a deal on a Sportster around here. They either have a slim margin or every one they can get is sold because you get a ticket to the party for a fair price.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:41 AM   #1451
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My post was a comment on the statement that H-D is bringing more women into the sport. I opined that it was too bad that the H-D entry level bikes all seemed to promote form over function, which is true. I never stated that the bikes were non-functional, just that H-D's focus is on the bike's form.

What bike would you want your wife, daughter/grand-daughter to begin riding on? One that has handling and safety features designed in or one that looks good?
My first street bike was an 883, I will say it was the least favorite of the 20 + bikes I have owned, yet the fact is it actually made a reasonably good first bike.

No it's handling wasn't that good, but it was more than adequate for a new riders skill level, or a experienced rider who rides within the limits of the law for that matter. Cruisers may not handle well in relative terms, but are far from the constant disaster waiting to happen as some would lead you to believe.

Yes it is heavy for a bike it's size/power, but actually feels like a much lighter bike.

It delivers its power in a way that is very forgiving to errors in clutch, gear, and throttle input.

Chances are a noob low speed drop will result in minor damage than will be very inexpensive to fix, what good is a beginner bike that is totaled by the first minor low speed drop?

Thinking a few safety features will make a bike safe?
That just denial. All those "safety" features do is provide a minor increase in the margin of error, they do not make riding safe or make up for a lack of judgment or skill.

So yes, I agree, the Sportster does have too many compromises to form over function as offered these days, but it is far from being a "bad" bike.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:46 AM   #1452
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I also think that with so many submodels of varying form, it's hard to say "the sporster" in reference to form:function ratio.

Certainly an iron isn't as capable in the curves as an XR1200. Both have a different take on the ratio of form:function.

And there are a lot of customers that want something shiny because that's just what they want.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:23 AM   #1453
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
In a perfect world they would have been riding since the age of 3.

The XL883N a.k.a. Iron 883 IS the bike I would want my Daughter/grand-daughter to start on.

What exactly (in your mind) are "safety features" ?

Also. Have you even ridden an Iron 883?
I would think that a small/midsize sporting 'standard' would be the best to learn on:
1. Active riding position to promote actually riding the bike instead of sitting on it.
2. Enough suspension travel to feel the weight shift as the front brakes are applied. I would want the beginner to instinctively feel and know that the rear wheel unweights when the bike is stopped using the front.
3. Sufficient lean angle reserve to be able to lean the bike more than 'normal'. I would want the bike to have reserve capability in case the new rider gets into a decreasing radius corner or enters a corner too hot. It would be hard to teach a new rider to trust the bike if extra lean angle wasn't available.
4. ABS would be a good thing. ABS would help keep the bike upright in certain panic situations, also might be useful in learning how to modulate the rear brake.
5. Low cg and curb weight.
6. Tire press monitoring would be a good thing. A flat tire is a bit rare, but I would prefer the new rider to get some warning of a tire issue rather than have one go down while riding. I've had two rear flats while riding in 30+ years. Neither were much of an event but were somewhat disconcerting.

No, I haven't ridden any Sportsters other than the XR.

cheers,
melby
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:35 AM   #1454
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And there are a lot of customers that want something shiny because that's just what they want.
It seems a big part of why many folks ride a Harley has little to do with riding.
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Old 03-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #1455
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Originally Posted by DAKEZ View Post
5" in front. Sure there is some style involved in design. EVERY make and model does the same. But the fact remains that a 21" wheel rolls over potholes better than a 16"

As to the 2.1 gal. Again It is plenty. This bike is NOT a touring bike. It is an Urban bike. As set up new it is NEVER meant to leave town. This is very easy and actually easy to change.

Go ride one. No... really... just go ride one then get back to us as to how bad they suck. I honestly believe after riding one you will better understand what the bike is about and you will appreciate it for what it is.

It is what it is and it ain't no is'r

I've ridden several, as I've said before. My conclusion? A potentially great bike ruined by the lack of suspension and lean angle.
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