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Thread: Opinions on a new Harley

  1. #1
    Junior Member Biker
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    Opinions on a new Harley

    I'm planning to buy an Harley in September. I've ridden off and on since I was younger, but primarily small dual-purpose bikes.

    I'm looking at the 06' 883 custom, partly because I would almost consider myself a newbie, but also because I plan to pay cash and aren't yet ready to fork out more dough.

    I'm 5'11", 210 lbs, and I plan to use the bike to commute and for weekend trips. Do y'all think the 883 would be a good bike to start off with? I can probably squeak out the cash for a 1200, but it almost seems cheaper to punch the 883 out to 1200 when I'm ready.

    Also, I'm located in the Austin area. If anyone around here is reading this post, do you have any opinions on Central Texas HD and South Austin HD?

  2. #2
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    Hiya hyak, welcome to HCG!!!

    My advice is to rent an 883 and see if it gonna be something you will be comfortable on for a trip or commute. Yeah, you can turn it into a 1200 later, but make sure its something that you want to dump money into later on first before dropping any cash. Good luck!
    A drug person can learn to handle such things as seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to deal with this trip.

  3. #3
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    Tony's right. I rode an 883 from '90-'95. It was fine for anything less than 200 miles but still not quite what I wanted. I understand the cash flow issue. I would suggest that if you can make the additional payments, go for a bigger one. I'm 5'11", 190. Wife is 5'6", (in '95 was 125 ) and still it was cramped. I did add the highway pegs and that helped.

    I'm on a RoadKing now and by God I wish I had just bit the bullet and bought it in the first place. All that travel time without kids and I squandered it!!
    A heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter, you'll become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there wrapped up in a trap of your very own chain of sorrow.
    -John Prine

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hardcore Biker Jamorris's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    I bought an 04 XL 1200 C. My use is about like yours. From 04 on, the Sportsters are a new critter! Mine has the Harley charm (noise/sound) without the vibes (shakes). The last two years have been satisfying.

    I'd vote 1200, over 883, if you plan on upping the cc's. If it is economy(MPG), go 883. If/when I upgrade to a bigger bike, the 1200 is staying. It is too good to give up. I can't see anything being able to replace it for anything other than touring.

    BTW, I average around 50 MPG in town. On the hi-way it is closer to 60


    Jerry

  5. #5
    Senior Member Senior Member xxxflhrci's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    I'm 6'2", 210 lbs. I rode a '77 XLH as my everyday ride for 8 years, mostly solo except for around town. I put 42k on it before putting it in semi-retirement. I rode lots of 200 mile days and several 350 mile overnighters. I never really gave it much thought.

    I feel certain that I would have no problem getting one of the rubber mounted '04+ bikes, putting on a windshield and riding 500 mile days solo.

    Personally, I'd get the 883 and upgrade to a 1200. For the price difference, you can put together a 1200 that will run circles around a factory 1200.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Biker
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    Thanks for all the replies. I think I will go with the 883. I wouldn't mind taking some longer trips, but mostly I'll be riding it to work and through the Texas hill country on the weekends, might be a fun bike on the twisties with its size.

  7. #7
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    hyak, you won't regret it. As I said, I owned one for 4 years. HOOAH!!
    A heart stained in anger grows weak and grows bitter, you'll become your own prisoner as you watch yourself sit there wrapped up in a trap of your very own chain of sorrow.
    -John Prine

  8. #8
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    I bought an 04 883c and I'm happy with it. I wish it came with higher gearing for highway use though.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Senior Member Horse's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    Welcome hyak to HCG.

    The renting of the model your looking for is a great idea.

    I have not studied the Sporster but I understand that HD has made great improvements in this model over the last couple of years. Can't say what the major differences are between thr 05's and 06's but at this time of year you should be able to get a great deal on a 05 as opposed to the 06.

    Kagan, Wife is 5'6", (in '95 was 125) man you have a great way with words.
    HCG-Pacific Northwest Group
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  10. #10
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    Re: Opinions on a new Harley

    I went with the 883 and am 5'9" / 170lbs. I will say that you will eventually not be satisfied with the 883's power, but punching it out to a 12 is definitley cheaper than buying a 1200 stock.

    I bought my bike + the conversion for less than $9,000. I believe the 12's go for $10,000 and up.

    But, in the 883's defense. I was riding back from NYC to Mass with a fella on an 883 and I was having a hard time keeping up. So either he was lying to me or I don't ride as hard...

    Either way, the Sportster is a superb bike. My wife even "gave me permission" to buy a better bike......but I don't think such a machine is made. The Sportster it is!

    Best of luck and welcome to HCG!
    -hogwylde-

    The Mind is Like a Parachute. Works Best When Open.

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