From Sportster to Street, or Street to Sportster - Harley Davidson Street Forum - Street 500 and 750
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-08-2017, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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From Sportster to Street, or Street to Sportster

Hey Everyone - My 2017 Street 750 is my first Harley, and I like it a lot, but not sure it was what I was looking for in a Harley (whatever that is). So I've been thinking about trading it for something in the Sportster lineup. Today I test rode XL883L (Superlow). It was heavy, and I felt like I really had to muscle it around. It was kind of loud (all stock), and the vibration while downshifting and starting out in 1st was unexpected.

Does anyone here also own a Sportster, or anyone come form a Sportster to the Street?

I appreciated my Street more after riding the Superlow. It felt light, nimble and shifted great.

I also sat on a Street Rod. Anyone here have a desire to trade in their Street for the Street Rod?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-09-2017, 01:31 AM
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I think your experience lines up with exactly what you should expect. Compared to the Street, the Sportster is indeed heavy, slow, and the vibrations are far more prevalent. That's really the appeal of the Street -- it's a Harley that's light, nimble, and agile. Generally, Harleys aren't known for their agility; the Street fills that niche by being lithe and tossable, making it suitable for urban commutes not just in America but in countries around the world like India, where the crowded streets are so much more crowded you'd hardly believe it.

As for the Street Rod -- I'd like to have its engine, but other than that I prefer the Street 750. The geometry, riding position, low handlebars, all that stuff may make the Street Rod a better "racer" when cafe racing, but I much prefer the riding position on the Street 750 -- it's un-cramped, relaxed, and unlike just about every other Harley, it doesn't require your feet to be splayed way in front of you. The Street Rod has had its riding position mentioned in a few reviews, usually not very complimentarily; I saw a Street 750 with drag bars and I thought it looked phenomenal, until I tried to sit on it and I knew that my middle-aged back would despise the riding position after only a few miles. To be honest, the riding position on the Street 750 is one of the things that got me back into motorcycling; I can't stand the "fetal position" you need to cram into for a modern supersport, and I always wanted a Harley but couldn't stand the feet-forward riding position. The Street 750 fits me just fine.

There's also height considerations; the Street Rod's seat is a lot higher than the Street 750's. Shorter folks may not fit on the Street Rod at all, but just about anyone can fit a Street.

Don't get me wrong, the Street 750's far from perfect; I've spent quite a bit changing it out and fixing it up with better mirrors, seat, grips, performance upgrades, etc. In stock form, I thought about trading it in after a couple thousand miles, but I'd take a loss one way or the other so I thought I'd spend that dough on upgrades and I'm really rather happy with it right now as it is.

And I'm sure there are just as many happy Street Rod owners who are thinking "no way would I trade a Street Rod for a Street 750." Which is why we should be happy that both models are on the market, so both customer bases can get what they want.

(and if you do decide to upgrade: as a suggestion, instead of a Sportster, consider looking at the Low Rider S; it's like a super-ultra-mega Street and has some of the best reviews I've ever seen any Harley get).
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-09-2017, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Don't get me wrong, the Street 750's far from perfect; I've spent quite a bit changing it out and fixing it up with better mirrors, seat, grips, performance upgrades, etc. In stock form, I thought about trading it in after a couple thousand miles, but I'd take a loss one way or the other so I thought I'd spend that dough on upgrades and I'm really rather happy with it right now as it is.

And I'm sure there are just as many happy Street Rod owners who are thinking "no way would I trade a Street Rod for a Street 750." Which is why we should be happy that both models are on the market, so both customer bases can get what they want.

(and if you do decide to upgrade: as a suggestion, instead of a Sportster, consider looking at the Low Rider S; it's like a super-ultra-mega Street and has some of the best reviews I've ever seen any Harley get).
@Gaijin, it's like you were reading my mind. After riding the Sportster, I started thinking about what upgrades I could do to my Street and focus on that instead of the expense of a new bike. I think I just need to give the Street a chance. So I'm ordering a couple things today, a rack for the rear and the Wisamic LED headlight. I'm thinking about a quick release windscreen too.

I agree with your thoughts about the Street Rod, but for some reason it's appealing to me. I think it's the look, and the attention to detail that is lacking on the Street (such as sloppy/exposed wires, bad looking welds, etc.).

About the Dyna Low Rider, that's a great looking bike. In the Sportster forums some members recommended I try that too. That's out of my price range right now, so maybe in a couple years. I really want to stick witht he Harley brand, but don't know if a "real" Harley as they say is cut out for me.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-09-2017, 05:14 PM
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There are certainly those who are "Harleyer than thou". Keep in mind that lots of "real Harley" folks don't consider the Sportster as a "real Harley" either. Or the V-Rod, for that matter.

Before I bought the Street, I was torn between it and the Iron 883. I didn't really love the look of the Street 750, with the flat seat and bikini fairing and all. But the Iron 883 looked pretty awesome. But, again, looks were all it had going for it (from my perspective), as a stock Street 750 will outrun that Sportster, and do so with the benefits of liquid cooling and a more reasonable riding position (again, personal preferences, others may vary). But I sure liked the looks of the Iron 883.

I've got the Street 750 looking more like how I want it now; the Mustang touring seat helped a lot, as did the swingarm bag and pulling off the bikini fairing. My XG750 is denim black, and the fairing is gloss black, so it never looked "right" with that on. When I removed it, I found that the headlight housing was a lovely hunk of denim black, so ... yep, tossed the fairing. I don't love the look of the front without the fairing, as the speedometer is so far above the headlight that it leaves an odd gap. I'm experimenting with a fork bag there, but not thrilled with it. So the front is a work in progress.

The things I did that took me from "meh, it's okay, but maybe I'll trade it in" to "I love this bike" are:
1) Fix the mirrors. Get the Krator mirror extensions (and I also got the long-stem Harley mirrors). That utterly transforms the mirror situation and solves it entirely.
2) Fix the sound. The Nightstick muffler was my choice; it makes it sound like a Harley without it waking up the neighborhood or setting off car alarms. The sound of a stock bike is just horrible.
3) Fix the seat. The stock seat is okay-ish, but I just didn't like the looks of the long flat seat bench through to the flat area under the rear fender, and I was squirming after about 40 minutes on it. The Mustang Touring seat was my choice; as far as a seat goes it's better, but as for looks I think it's a huge upgrade that gives the bike a more traditional Harley look and my wife absolutely loves the passenger seat on it.
4) Fix the grips. Too many vibrations resulted in tingling, numb fingers, and limiting rides to 40 minutes or less. A set of Kuryakyn ISO Grips, with bar-end weights and a Throttle Boss, have transformed it; I regularly ride for 2-3 hours at a time now.
5) Cosmetically: add some leather. The Mustang seat got me started, the swing-arm bag was a great addition. It added a very nice "Harley" touch to it.

I took it a bit further by adding the V&H O2 Naked air intake, which really boosted performance and created a fantastic sound when slamming the throttle wide open. It's positively grin-inducing. And I used the Fuelpak FP3 to tune the bike to optimize performance, as well as to gain a dashboard of instruments (tachometer, gear position indicator, mpg, etc). I put a detachable windscreen on and after extensive adjusting/tuning (that's a whole other saga) it helps reduce the wind blast at freeway speeds, which makes the bike more pleasant to ride. I much prefer the look of the bike with the windscreen off, but 75-80 mph can be punishing with no protection so, for around town it comes off, for long country backroad rides it goes back on.

As for the attention to detail: yes, that's a thing. The exposed wiring does look pretty chintzy. Someone on here posted some photos of them using shrink tubing on their wires and it really cleaned up the look; I haven't found that post recently though. But yes, that's a thing to do. Little things can really help. I absolutely love the look of the swing-arm bag. I also replaced the gigantic tumor-shaped air cleaner on the side of the engine with the V&H Naked, and put a Dark Custom badge over it, which makes the right side of the engine look 1,000 times better IMO.
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-04-2017, 01:44 PM
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Hi Guys,
I popped back here to have a look at things. I had a street 750 for 11 months and loved her. spent £1500 changing and adding things but even then I felt I needed more. On long runs the street is very competent but I always felt she was to high reving for those longer journey.

Subsequently after 2500 smile miles on the 750 I traded up for the XL1200CA Custom. For me, ticked all the boxes yep she vibrates, yep she is loud with V&H straight shots and VO2 duke air filter and yep the gear box feels agricultural when compared to the street and yes it is true that the big Vtwin Harley riders will still look down on you. That said the 1200 is just the best fun. Cruises nicely at 85mph while only pulling 3250 revs. Torque, Torque and more Torque she is awesome.
Not to mention that the sportster range has just celebrated 60 years of continuous manufacture so there is so much after market gear out they the only thing that stops you from creating your own bike is your imagination. Then there are clubs, I ride with Sportster Sickness UK a face book group with 4500 members we had a national rally where 503 sportsters turned out and not one was the same. At the end of the day I loved my street, would I swap back never in a million years but remember its what others think or whether you should or shouldn't go up the range its about what you want and desire from your ride. BTW love the new street rod I think this is what the street should have been on release but hey they had to start some where and HD did a good job with a very different ride to what they have previously built. Enjoy your rides guys they are great machines and they are Harley's it say so on the side so don't let anyone say otherwise. All the best and safe riding.
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-04-2017, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys,
I popped back here to have a look at things. I had a street 750 for 11 months and loved her. spent £1500 changing and adding things but even then I felt I needed more. On long runs the street is very competent but I always felt she was to high reving for those longer journey.

Subsequently after 2500 smile miles on the 750 I traded up for the XL1200CA Custom.
I'm glad you came back and updated. I still have my XG750, and approaching 2500 miles like you were. I've made some minor changes, but holding off on big ticket items like a new seat and the batwing fairing. Mostly because I'm still unsure if I'm keeping it or not.

I was in my Harley dealership yesterday buying some new gloves for Summer, and considering a new mesh jacket. And of course I look at the bikes, and I keep coming back to a beautiful XL1200T. Has the color matching bags and everything. I too don't like running at 4500+ RPM's while on a 2-3 hour ride. And even though I added the factory windshield, I just can't seem to get rid of the helmet buffeting no matter how I adjust it, although I'd probably have that issue on any bike.

In addition to the XL1200T, I like the Dyna Low Rider. It's a counter balanced engine so less vibration. It's a little over my budget though, and maybe too much bike for me still.

So my dilemma is do I keep the XG750 until next year or just get the Sportster now, because eventually that's the route I will go anyway.

About that vibration though... Do you get used to it? I test rode an XL883L Super Low, the only other Harley I've ridden other than my Street, and was really surprised with how much it vibrated when engine braking. And it was so loud, even with stock pipes. Once at cruising speeds though, it was nice and the engine barley working at 60 MPH.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 04:06 AM
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Hi There Fella,

In answer to your question regarding vibration you hardly notice it. When you fire her u she comes to life and vibrates as soon as you start rolling you wont know its there. Seriously I have had so much fun on the Sporty. In context Street 750 owned and loved for 11 Months 2500 miles there abouts. 1200CA owned 8 months already 3500 miles not bad considering the weather here in UK. Also on my street I rode mostly on my own with he sporty I joined Sporster Sickness UK (you have also in US) 4800 members and I rarely ride onmy own usually meet up with other Sporster riders and make a day of it.
of
Freeway riding I can sit @ 70MPH and be touching 3K revs purring along as you say motor not really stressed. If you do go for a sporty seriously go for stage 1 upgrade. Finally the noise if you are running stock pipes on your street I am sure the Sportster does sound loud. I was going to run stock on my sporty and when I heard the noise of other pipes I put V&H straight shots on mine she is loud but beautiful.

Hope that helps with your questions. Please be assured I don't want to offend anyone I am writing from my experience.
As stated before I did love the time I had on my Street. Ride Safe
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 10:05 AM
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I recently bought a forty eight and haven't ridden the 750 much since. I took the 750 out a bit and it's a very different machine. After getting used to the sportster I've decided to sell the 750. It doesn't do anything the sportster can't do for the most part. I can lean the 750 harder without touching down but the sporty handles just as well otherwise.

I'll miss the 750 a bit though. It's a great bike and super fun to ride
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post #9 of 12 Old 08-13-2017, 11:17 PM
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No hijack, I promise...

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Originally Posted by Gaijin View Post
I put a detachable windscreen on and after extensive adjusting/tuning (that's a whole other saga) it helps reduce the wind blast at freeway speeds, which makes the bike more pleasant to ride. I much prefer the look of the bike with the windscreen off, but 75-80 mph can be punishing with no protection so, for around town it comes off, for long country backroad rides it goes back on.
Since I'm currently going through a similar windscreen saga, it would be cool if you started another thread about your discoveries. It may help a lot of us and not hijack this thread. I hate ear plugs, but the wind noise is literally deafening...
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-15-2017, 03:07 PM
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SPORTSTER TO STREET!!
FWIW - I owned a brand new 2014 Iron 883n and never could get comfortable with the ride or handling. It was very top heavy, and felt like it had to be "manhandled" to drive. After 3 years of ownership, I only put 473 miles on it. I traded it in on a 2017 Street XG750 in April this year and am still in love with it. It is much lighter, more nimble and agile, very easy to drive and a perfect center of gravity. I don't care if the Street is considered a newbie bike or not a real Harley for most, for me, it is perfect. I guess if we put loud pipes on it, they would change their minds, but again, I prefer the quietness of the bike. My neighbors don't have anything to complain about and it's a great commuter. The bike is very, very similar to my very first bike (1978 Kawasaki KZ200) and I loved that one, too.

Last edited by Roorat60; 08-15-2017 at 03:10 PM. Reason: forgot stuff
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