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Which Harley would you choose??

Old 04-05-2012, 03:23 PM
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Default Which Harley would you choose??

As some of you know, I decided not long ago to get a harley. Problem is, although I have always wanted one, I have never driven one. I do have my motorcycle permit, but I'm a little uneasy about test driving one of these bikes, and thus am depending on some of my harley friends to help me decide. And...its about 50% either bike. So, i wanted to ask the fine THT folks their opinion. Please state if you have experience with both
First bike is a 1995 Softail. It has 36k miles, 2 owners, and looks imaculate. Bike does have a slow oil weep. 2nd bike is a 2009 Sportster 1200. It has 18k on the clock and also looks great. Both bikes are $6800
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:31 PM
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heheheheee, you'll get a LOT of responses and opinions about this choice!

My suggestion would be the Sportster because it's lighter and easier to learn how to ride. Big HDs are pigs and can cause problems that you never considered...such as how to turn around in a parking lot when you pulled into a parking space that slants downhill.

Turning around slowly might cause the bike to tip...and you'll have to make a friend real quick that will help you right it...they are heavy.

My experience is 20 something bikes from MX to a big HD. Favorite bikes were the sport--touring bikes like the Kaw ZX-11. Much easier to handle, fantastic power, comfortable (much more so than the Road King) and a lot less expensive to buy.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:32 PM
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How big are you? I might get flamed but if you are over 6 foot I'd pass on the Sporty. Where is the oil weep? If it's a gasket no big deal. If it's a cracked crankcase, run the other way. That 95 isn't prone to oil leaks like the old 80's AMF's. Plus, since AMF sold em back to HD 36K miles isn't a big deal either unless it's been run hard. If they are close to the same price I'd get a wrencher to check the Softail and go for it if it checks out OK. The Sporty is actually harder to ride than the soft tail.

vettnman, I see you are in the great metropolitan of Kenly. What's your budget? I'll keep an eye out around the western part of the state. There is a glut of used HD's around here right now.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by bamaboy473 View Post
such as how to turn around in a parking lot when you pulled into a parking space that slants downhill.
You're supposed to back into a parking space that slants downhill.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:38 PM
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Soft tail. But, I'm not a big fan of the front end. Dynaglide
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:38 PM
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Im 6'3" Big Guy. But the Sportster has forward controls and feels like it fits. Havent sat on the softail yet. Going to look at it tomorrow. The leak is from a gasket. Very small leak. Shag, my budget is $7k
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:40 PM
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Screw it, I would get that Can-am in the background of the second picture

It's funny, I was just looking at used Harley's this weekend, I am a little nervous that I will kill myself on one though with my maniac driving!!
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by vettnman View Post
Im 6'3" Big Guy. But the Sportster has forward controls and feels like it fits. Havent sat on the softail yet. Going to look at it tomorrow. The leak is from a gasket. Very small leak
Even with the forward controls I don't think you would be happy unless it's just a short commute. I'm going riding tomorrow (if this damned rain stops) and will be making a couple stops. I'll keep an eye out for what's available around here. Delivery would not be a problem. Besides, I am personal friends with the ex-mayor of Kenly and need to pay him a visit. Don't ask who cause I won't fess up.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:44 PM
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If you buy the sportster you will regret it in a few weeks.... You are a big guy and they are very small

get a Dyna or Softail if you like the looks...

I prefer baggers ....

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Old 04-05-2012, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Shag View Post
Even with the forward controls I don't think you would be happy unless it's just a short commute. I'm going riding tomorrow (if this damned rain stops) and will be making a couple stops. I'll keep an eye out for what's available around here. Delivery would not be a problem. Besides, I am personal friends with the ex-mayor of Kenly and need to pay him a visit. Don't ask who cause I won't fess up.

Friendly Kenly. Just ain't the same since Patricks burned down If u see a bike that looks like either of these Shag, let me know. I like the color of these.
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Old 04-05-2012, 03:53 PM
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This is an easy one. I have a softail heritage and my bro a sportster.

I'd do the softail, but I'd have to ride it first. I believe it has the evo engine right? Mine has the counterbalanced efi twin cam and it is solid as a rock.

The sportster rides like a small bike, vibrates the hell out of you. I can't even see out of the mirrors on the highway.

Just my 2 pennies.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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I came from years from racing dirt bikes.
I wanted a smaller Harley as a possible stepping stone to a bigger one down the road.
Something less expensive and simple to ride.
In 2007 I found a 2004 1200C with about 3,000 miles on it for $6500.
It had the Screaming Eagle slip on pipes, back rest, saddle bags, and engine guard crash bar.
I don't do long tours or use it as a daily driver. Just something fun to jump on and ride with friends. Ridden a bunch of fund raisers with large groups to help others.
The forward controls make it a very comfortable riding position for me. 5'-11", 195 lbs.

Most will say the Sportster is too small but I believe it is a good bike to start on.
If you like riding enough to move on to other bigger bikes it should be easy to sell.

Good luck, be safe.


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Old 04-05-2012, 04:06 PM
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never buy a Sportster............you might as well throw your money out the window..........
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Gator56 View Post
never buy a Sportster............you might as well throw your money out the window..........
Never say never. I sold this 09 last Fall with 94 miles on it but if I had been smaller and it fit me I would had ridden the hell out of it. Just sayin'.

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Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 PM
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Two different style bikes. Get the softtail you will be much happier. The softtail is a much better ride for those long trips.
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:12 PM
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94 miles on it someone didn't ride the hell out of it...........
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:20 PM
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Old 04-05-2012, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Gator56 View Post
94 miles on it someone didn't ride the hell out of it...........
My bride. Long story. But like I said, if I had fit, it was a damned fun bike. Torquey little fugger for an 883. I had to sit on the luggage rack (not pictured) to take it back and forth to get it inspected each year.
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:14 PM
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FAT BOY, done!
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Old 04-05-2012, 05:15 PM
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Get a better bike there are lots to choose from, Harley is stuck in the 60's. Even Sonny Barger saiid if he wasn't involved with the HA he would ride a BMW.
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