Jockey Journal Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Evo Sportster: 883 or 1200? 4 speed or 5 speed?

I'm in the market for a Sportster...
Plenty to choose from around here, from bare bone 883's to heavily 'customized', chuby looking FX look alikes...

--- Here is what I DO KNOW:

1 - I have NO need for neck-breaking performance.

2 - I want a good looking, no frills bike.

3 - I am 5'8''. (But I type like I'm 6'2'' :rolleyes: )

4 - Reliability and safety is my #1 concern (I already have plenty of options as far as un-reliable and un-safe vehicules are concerned :))

5 - I have NO need to make a statement, either about 'Where I'm at in Life' OR the size of my penis, but I DO want a Harley-Davidson (is that a contradiction?).

6 - I dont mind people thinking I borrowed my wife's bike :D .

7 - NO long distance cruising, only basic commuting with the occasional highway stretches.

--- Here is what I DONT know:

A - Should I look for a 1200? Will it help on the highway or only in straight line acceleration?

B - Should I hold-off for a post '91 with 5 speed and belt drive? Or will a cheap, early Evo 883 fit the bill?

It's no Sinner's bike but I like this:



Any constructive input, (apart from some of you fucker's usual Biker 'Big Talk')?

...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
Okay...
The MAIN drawback to a fourspeed is the particular voodoo applicable to EACH year...i.e, '88s have different issues than '89s....etc.
You tend to have clutch problems...UNTIL the double row bearing Sputhe trapdoor is installed...figure that one out BEFORE you go crazy on your other components. ALSO find someone who KNOWS the voodoo BEFORE you score the bike, as you will be chasing your tail without at least ONE element of your troubleshooting nailed down.
That said...the final gear ratio is the same...but, the advantages of the 5-speed, other than the obvious (being able to place your bike in a more appropriate gear to maximize your powerband)...is that you can gear your bike UP for a final drive that will give you more top end without ruining your off the line performance...again, if you have a bro with a clue to help you with the little details, it helps.
Some do perfer the FOUR, as it's LESS shifts on the strip.
Buuut, if you don't mind the belt-drive, or feel comfortable converting it if you do...I'd suggest the OBVIOUS choice....
5-Speed 1200, on the cheap.
Pay 6K or less.
Really.
The ONE thing Harley has done right...rubbermounting the new XLs, basically creating a FXR that's superlight. Say what you want...they are pretty fucking cushy while hauling ass, and still looking like a "motorcycle".
My $.02
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies, fellas.

Those 06's are very nice lil' machines indeed...
A few days before Christmas, I spent half an hour in the Harley showroom sitting on a 'Lowrider' 1200. A dealer 'creation': shorter shocks, 'shaved' foam in the seat, drag bars, dog bone risers, forward controls and ducktail fender... They had to peel me off the seat...

Price is an issue, a 1200 can be had for 7000-7500$CDN around here.
Seems like a good deal to me...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
200 Posts
in 2002 i bought a base xl883. the 883 is SLOW, but still "fast enough" off the line. it falls on its face in two areas though:

1. don't even think about riding a passenger
2. it'll vibrate your hands numb at 70 mph

if you only plan to cruise back roads at 45 mph (which is what i did), you'll be happy.

before i bought the bike, i was convinced i needed the 1200. i did a little research and determined that the cheapest route is to buy an 883 and upgrade it to 1200. not only is it cheaper, but you can easily get 70-80 hp where the factory 1200 only makes 60 hp.


hope this helps,
ed

ps- tony, that bike is great looking! i picked up a set of hugger shocks off eBay for mine, cheapie drag pipes, and a corbin hollywood solo seat (best seat ever) with matching p-pad.

pps- forward controls are a must. buy the H-D set... I looked at some others and they were shitty in comparison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
779 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks Ed. Did you get to install a 1200 kit?

richard cranium said:
if you only plan to cruise back roads at 45 mph (which is what i did), you'll be happy.

before i bought the bike, i was convinced i needed the 1200. i did a little research and determined that the cheapest route is to buy an 883 and upgrade it to 1200. not only is it cheaper, but you can easily get 70-80 hp where the factory 1200 only makes 60 hp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
630 Posts
I had an 88 4spd 883...put a 1200 kit on, a set of andrews cams, and a dyna ignition...and it would flat out fly.
Rode that bike for years and years, long trips, dragstrips, whatever, finally sold it last year.
Cheaper to buy the 883 and make it a 1200 plus better performance.
Never had a problem with only 4 gears.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,888 Posts
If you're looking for a good running, trouble free bike I think I'd hold out for a 1200, 5 speed and not worry about hopping up an 883. A big bored 883 seems to run a little better than a stock 1200, but that's probably because they come with a lower geared front sprocket and have more compression-not necessarily good things for dependability and highway cruising. I've seen a couple of pretty new 1200's go for around $5000.00 lately, I don't think you can buy any Evo Sportster for a lot less.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
172 Posts
I have a '99 1200 XLC, there is only one thing I do not like about my Sportster Custom is the damned cylinder head vents into the air cleaner. In reality, it spits oil into the airbox and that in turn drips out onto my pipes and engine case, etc. Other than that, I love my Sporty.

PS - I'm with dickhead about the forward controls, a must have. I don't give a fuck what those editors at "The Horse" say about a Sporty with forward controls, they are worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
328 Posts
I have riden quite a few of them. I put 18000 on a 2000 883xlc back and forth to work. It was very reliable for 4 years (keep in mind my year is only worth 6 months the rest is spent underway). All I ever did was change the fluids, add gas etc. The new 04 and up sportsters are better. Although if I had a big twin and was looking for a hot-rod I'd get and 883 with mid-controls, cam, big-bore kit, mikuni, flanders bars and ride the dog shit out of it. If I had enough money I would have a XL in my garage again. My next purchase is a Road King. Tim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
601 Posts
Sportys rock.
Shocks, playing with the fork dampening, and a few basic things can really add-up, and don't cost shit.
I was over at a buddy's tonite, and he has a newer XL.
I just started ripping shit off his bike, peeling stickers, shitcanning reflecters, moving shit around....looked a ton better, and didn't cost a dime.
He's amped.
I've had my '89 for ten years...never gonna let it go.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
For buzzin' around town and back country enjoyment, a 4 speed bike is fine. My old 883 was fun but slow. A 1200 kit would make a good change. A few suspension changes will improve it too. Chains are not really a maintainance problem if quality goods are used. Plus, they look better.
My SR500 will probably be sold and replaced with a 4 speed 883/1200.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top