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Old 10-14-2012, 06:40 AM   #16
Cage Dodger
Joined: Oct 2012
Oddometer: 5
I went from a 1998 XLH883 to a 2005 FLHTPI (Police bike with batwing fairing) 3 1/2 years ago. I definitely noticed the increase in weight at first, but now I'm used to it and it just feels like a regular motorcycle. The few times I've ridden Sportsters since then they felt like mini-bikes.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the difference in low speed handling. The very first day I brought my cop bike home I tried to make a U-turn in my driveway like I've always done on my Sportster. The FL wants to fall in on tight low speed turns. I think it's due to the way the triple trees are backwards on the FL. (The steering neck is forward of the fork tubes.)

I ended up dropping it. Luckily, no damage was done. A dropped Harley tourer will not go completely over but rests on the floorboard mounts and/or engine and bag guards. I couldn't find any damage or scratches anywhere on the bike. I haven't dropped it since.

I ended up trading my old bike in on the deal. No regrets but I still miss my old Sporty sometimes.

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Old 10-14-2012, 06:50 AM   #17
Cooter on a scooter
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Joined: Dec 2011
Location: ♘ ④⓪②⓪⑤ ♘
Oddometer: 1,206
Not a Road King, but I moved up from a Sporty to a FXST.
Simply no comparison. The big HD is so much 'better' for my personal style of riding, I would never, ever consider a Sporty again. I remember thrashing down old Rt100 in Delaware with my friend Sam on his RK at dusk, and he was scraping his pipes on every corner. Throwing sparks about 8' behind him on every corner. To add the the hilarity, he would puff a ciggie in between scrapes. A sight I will never forget. The only people who say a Hog cant corner, are people who've never ridden one.
☮ ☭ ☯ PCX 125, Eton 50 Past-->AN400, Stella 150 ☯ ☭ ☮
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:05 AM   #18
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Joined: Jan 2011
Location: Richmond, Ohio
Oddometer: 4,063
Originally Posted by Bloodweiser View Post
Appreciate that long post Jules, no apologies.

Now isn't the time for me to try and sell, I know that.
Sportsters are hard to sell, know that too.
I've never tried to trade-in a bike before, but if it came to that
and idea what I'd be offered for my '06 1200R stage 1 with 19kmi?

What's considered high mileage for an RK?
High mileage I'm not sure, I've never seen one worn out. I'd probably try to buy under 50,000 or so. A friend of my dad has about 130,000 on his 2003 Road Glide, he's done a few repairs but the internals are original and he still tours on it. There are tons of low mileage ones out there, and it seems like anything over 30,000 ish really drives the price down.

Trade in, just hit a few dealers and act interested, see what kind of offers you get.
COBDR and UTBDR on my klx250:
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Old 10-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #19
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Oddometer: 76
High Mileage? I personally tend to think anything over 30K, but that's not because 30K means anything. It's just because there are so many out there that I didn't see any reason to buy one with more miles. My 99 had 13K when I bought it. I'm not sure which is more plentiful here... low-mileage used Harleys or deer on the shoulder at night.
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Old 12-03-2012, 03:41 PM   #20
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Joined: Jun 2011
Location: Leesburg, VA
Oddometer: 110
My 2007 RK

I own 2007 RK. I t only has 14K on OD but that is because I have 2 other bikes to ride on. Like others have noted, the 09's have a better frame that feels more solid, and newer ones have the 103 engine. My 07 has cruise control, HWY pegs, FI, 6 speeds, taller shield and rider backrest. All those things make for a great, long haul ride. My first HD was XR1200R that was traded for a 2010 Fat Bob. That was another great bike. If you want to just cruise around, pop off the shield on the RK and it is great for warm rides around town. Just something else to consider. It is a heavy bike but you can still perform u-turns on the road just like they taught you in MSF courses.
'12 Ducati MTS 1200
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:35 PM   #21
Studly Adventurer
Joined: Jan 2008
Location: Georgia, USA
Oddometer: 618
Well, I have an '04 RK. On my trip to Tennessee I took all of the backroads. It was amazing. I came from a sport bike to the RK. While it isn't a sportbike and it is a large heavy bike, but she will dance if you ask nicely. I was afraid that I would miss the GSXR, but I didn't. The torque is amazing. And, I was fascinated that it has a lot more ground clearance than I expected. I hope one day to be able to exploit its abilities better. I scraped boards all along my trip, but it didn't slow me down at all. Really am enjoying my RK.

All that said, why not add hard bags to your Sporty? With a bit of planning you can create a touring bike and keep the small and light (for a Harley), that you seem to enjoy. Hey, I put hard bags on my GSXR!

Ride a couple of RKs to get a feel. Good luck.
Because it is my bike and I like it that way!
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Old 12-03-2012, 05:44 PM   #22
Bloodweiser OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: way over yonder in the minor key
Oddometer: 2,618
You guys are a little late to the party.
Bought a switchback
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Old 12-03-2012, 06:49 PM   #23
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Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Sacramento
Oddometer: 578
Congrats! Nice compromise! The dyna is a good platform! Enjoy!
I've forgot more than you kids ever knew!
Retired and living off the interest on the money I owe.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:43 AM   #24
Gnarly Adventurer
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Joined: Aug 2012
Oddometer: 179
Originally Posted by Bloodweiser View Post
You guys are a little late to the party.
Bought a switchback
Pic or it didn't happen.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:01 AM   #25
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Jun 2007
Location: Mtn View, MO
Oddometer: 940
It's decided for the OP, but for the rest of the reading/riding world, I'll pitch in my 2 cents.

I have had 2 883's and loved them. Sold my 09 just last week.

This fall I picked up an 05 Road King (black with hard bags) Custom and quit riding the sportster. I had to make a point to get it out and ride it around town every couple of weeks. It was very enjoyable when I did take it out. The engine revved and revved! It really felt like a sportbike, following the RK. I'm not saying it was faster, but it felt like it weighed 500# less, revved so quickly, and made going 25 feel like 45. That last part translated to being on the highway = making 65 feel like 95. maybe 105.

The RK is a true pleasure on the highway. going 55-78 on the highway just puts a smile on my face. It's just so EASY! Two up, no problem. Luggage, no problem. I really thought the sportster did it all very well. The reality of it was the sportsters did it all. They could be wedged into a touring slot. It was possible to do 500 mile days back to back. They could speed around town for errands. They could hit the winding roads sportingly. The RK does all that, and does it happily. The only time it's beat by the sportster, imho, is pushing around the garage. but once you hit 3mph, it's all RK over the sportster.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:31 PM   #26
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Joined: Nov 2008
Location: West Blocton,Alabama
Oddometer: 321
Bloodweiser, how are the brakes on the Switchback ? Does it stop as good as your Sportster ?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:06 PM   #27
Bloodweiser OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: way over yonder in the minor key
Oddometer: 2,618
Originally Posted by scotty918 View Post
Pic or it didn't happen.

As far as the brakes:
Can't comment too much, and really probably shouldn't.
I've ridden the FLD for about 50 miles before I bought it,
and it's now waiting for me until spring.
I have a severe lack of garage problem.

But anyhow, since this is the internet:
My sportster had twin discs,
FLD does not.
Neither has ABS.

I was impressed with the braking of the FLD.
Front was weak compared to the sportie,
but coupled with the rear, it did a fine job.
On the other hand, my sportster's rear brake was fucking worthless.

I have no doubt the sportie would win the contest.
I mean, it weighs 200 lbs less and has 2 discs.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:12 PM   #28
Clint Taurus
Studly Adventurer
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Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Heart of Dixie
Oddometer: 797
two different tools
test ride both back to back and mix in a dyna and a soft tail for comparison
think of intended use
thats what I did and came away with RK
Don't be a panty-waste
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