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  1. #1
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    Opinions on the 1200 Sportster Custom?

    Hi everyone, my first post on this forum so please go easy.

    I am now just entering my 60's but have been a biker all my life since my teens. Been through everything you can imagine, including the 'Power Ranger' sportsbike phase which thankfully I survived. Last year I sold a Yamaha XJR1300 as it was simply too heavy for me to move manually in safety due to a growing lower back problem.

    I thought that was it for bikes but the bug is biting again and a mate suggested a Harley as the weight is low down. Yesterday I visited Linds HD in Norwich and had a look round. Sorry but didn't feel right on the small 883 Iron, and the Street Bob felt a bit too low. But they had a Sportster Custom in for service which I sat on. Felt great and I loved the retro styling with spokes etc.

    My question is, how is the steering with a larger front tyre? As long as you don't need to be superman to ride it then you could have a new Harley owner in the club very soon.

  2. #2
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    small Iron 883 compared to the custom? are they not the exact same size frame? you mean engine displacement? or you prefer the forward controls?
    I know that my Iron 883 is very easy to steer, I suspect all sportsters are, except the 48 with its fatter front tyre.

  3. #3
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    I'm 65 and I have had a 2007 1200 Custom,Bought it about 5 years ago.Cant realy fault it plus its a bit different having nice Chrome on it rather than looking like 90% of all sportsters.Which are all black with Apps,Tank lifts,Side number plate,etc... Nothing wrong with that.So yea go and look for a custom you will like it.

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    Greybeard (05-04-2018)

  5. #4
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    Thanks for the feedback

  6. #5
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    Hi Greybeard,
    I have the 2007 XL1200 custom and I found it a breeze but I do have the thinner tyre, and prefere this to the fatter ones.
    The issue at the moment is with all the pot holes and crevices in the roads with the thinner tyre.

    XL1200c 2007 American Import.

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    Greybeard (05-04-2018)

  8. #6
    Senior Member bluenose-1956's Avatar
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    All XL Sportster's do indeed use the same frame, the lower bars and mid controls can make the Iron 883 feel a bit cramped for taller riders. There a thousands of accessories for Sportster's to custom tailor your ride to your exact requirements. Mini-apes, forward controls and a different seat options can help taller riders to feel comfortable on a Sporty.

    The stock Iron 883 is like a blank canvas, you can customise it as much or as little as you like. The world is your oyster as they say.
    Last edited by bluenose-1956; 05-03-2018 at 02:24 PM.

  9. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melpen View Post
    Hi Greybeard,
    I have the 2007 XL1200 custom and I found it a breeze but I do have the thinner tyre, and prefere this to the fatter ones.
    The issue at the moment is with all the pot holes and crevices in the roads with the thinner tyre.
    Yes that is certainly a factor to consider. I assume the larger front tyre acts like another shock in a small way.

  10. #8
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    Evening Greybeard - nice to meet ya'. I too have "age related aches and pains" and was very worried about bike weight (and size, I suppose). I had to let my VX800 go last year because riding it was so painful. I didn't think I'd ever consider a Harley but, you know, age does stuff to you...

    I'm getting a 2016 1200 Custom shortly. I've test-ridden the Superlow and the 48, in addition to the Custom.

    Superlow: Very nice to ride but, as with all of these bikes, the suspension is just floopy. (I am 16 st. & 5' 11" - they would all ride better for the 'less well proportioned'.) The screen on the new Superlow is a huge blessing, so much so that I have bought one for the Custom. The bars are really comfortable because they're high & pulled back - I even found myself wanting a little less height on the motorway.

    48: Much more comfortable than I'd thought it would be with the thin saddle, I think because it's a great supportive shape (for my ample bum). The feet-forwards pegs are easily the most comfortable for bad knees. The low, forward bars make for a bit of a stretch though and after an hour or two, you really start to feel it.

    Custom: Saddle is uncomfortable because it has a strange 'ridge' running across it inside. Mid-position pegs (on the one I rode - some are forwards) are nice - not much further back than the forwards on the 48 actually. Like the 48, I didn't feel the fat front tyre was detrimental at all though it added nothing to the suspension. (I went for a Custom because it has a large tank & a better paint job and the 2016 has the fat front tyre, which I love.)

    When looking at bikes again, the weight got more and more important: I cannot push a heavy bike around anymore, especially not in and out of our garage because we have a 'hump-back drive' (so to speak). I figured 250kg/500lb was the absolute tops. However, Sportsters are so low the feel very managable & I can push a 274kg 1200 Superlow in/out our garage fine. I also noticed that the (to me) very low centre of gravity makes the Sportsters feel very 'planted', even in the wet. As a feeble, middle-aged man, this is very reassuring!

    You don't need to be Superman to lug a Sportster about, even in the car park. I would recommend a test ride - or a weekend hire, well worth the outlay. (Plus, it's great fun!)

    Just my tuppence worth Greybeard!

    Cheers,

    Chris
    Last edited by ChrisOfTheOT; 05-03-2018 at 07:12 PM.

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    Greybeard (05-04-2018)

  12. #9
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hog-Rider View Post
    I'm 65 and I have had a 2007 1200 Custom,Bought it about 5 years ago.Cant realy fault it plus its a bit different having nice Chrome on it rather than looking like 90% of all sportsters.Which are all black with Apps,Tank lifts,Side number plate,etc... Nothing wrong with that.So yea go and look for a custom you will like it.
    90% of sportsters looking a like. Could there be a debate coming on
    FTW )

  13. #10
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnythefox View Post
    small Iron 883 compared to the custom? are they not the exact same size frame? you mean engine displacement? or you prefer the forward controls?
    I know that my Iron 883 is very easy to steer, I suspect all sportsters are, except the 48 with its fatter front tyre.
    They are the same size. It'll be the mids that make it feel smaller. Haven't ridden a custom, but have a 48, which has the fatter tyrexq. Found the steering a bit vague compared to my Iron, but got used to it a bit more over the 4 days.
    FTW )

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    Greybeard (05-04-2018)

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