Harley Sportsters

Tom Kochtanek

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 11
#1
What are the pros and cons of owning and operating a HD Sportster? Last time I rode one it was a 1965 XLCH circa 1971:). After that I had a Norton 750 Commando (fun bike!). Now in retirement I am thinking I need something other than full bodied Impalas to have a little fun with. No long trips, just a quick rural jaunt to the river and back, then put her back in the barn kinda thing. Maybe not, as I swore 40 years ago I would never ride a street bike again (got hit by a little old school teacher on the Norton). I did ride off road into the 80s but have been dormant since then.

I get it that us big guys (I'm 6'5" and about 240) should like big HDs and that Sportsters have an "entry level" or maybe even "chick bike" aura. Don't care about that. It'd be just me and a quick local run once in a while...

What say you in terms of advise?

Thanks in advance, TomK
 

wristpin

Well Known Member
#2
Post 2004 so its rubber mounted. Forget what year 5 spd started. If you can get a 1200. Bars, pegs, etc can be changed out pretty easily and cheap to fit your size and ride stance. Give me a call if you want anytime 402-318-2917. I can look around in this area also
 

La Hot Rods

Well Seasoned Member
Supporting Member 7
#3
Guess you could go set on one and see how long it would feel good. Thinking a sportster would need an extended swingarm and a racked out fork to me.
 

Tom Kochtanek

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 11
#6
Good advise :).

Haven't hung my leg over one for some time, last time I rode a HD it was a DynaGlide. Sporty front end with lots of power.

So a 1200CC Sportster is like an L6 in a '62 Impala? I was thinking the light weight would be more nimble, but I will mostly be going in a straight line out in the Boonies by myself. Not planning on taking her out of the County.

Someone dangled this 2005 Sportster (1200) in front of me for $2K. I've seen Big HDs go for as little as $4K - $5K what's up with that? Is maintenance a big cost/issue?

To be on the up and up, I've actually been browsing for a Norton Commando but their prices seem to be way too elevated. Saw one fully restored that went for over $10K. Not looking for an "investment". Sold mine for $900 but that was the 70s :).

Thanks again! TomK
 

boxerdog

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#7
I don't think you can go wrong at that price, unless it has obvious issues. I've had a couple of those (well, one was a Buell) and they were completely maintenance-free compared to the Big Twins I have had.
 

wristpin

Well Known Member
#8
Check out used Norton from Baxter Cycle in Marne Iowa. Maybe a Triumph or BSA might excite you also. I think Noah at Great Plains Cycle in Lincoln had a few to sell. 402-467-4126. Tell him Brad sent ya. Bought a bike from him last month (dont tell Vicki)
 

boxerdog

Well Known Member
Supporting Member 5
#10
Tom, you certainly don't have to explain this "re-purchasing or re-capturing your youth" episode to this group! Most of us are knee-deep in it ourselves and you are just making us feel better about it.
 
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