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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. I went to a HD Dealer yesterday. Saw a Red 2017 1200 Custom. New. Also saw a 17, 1200T in Black. With just over 3k miles. Screaming Eagle intake, Python Mufflers, Tank bib. . 1200T comes with the windshield, Saddle bags and relocation kit for turn signals stock. 2 up seat with small floor boards for driver. I was told the new one is $11,800. The used one is $11,500.


Since the weather here in NJ has been Lousy lately. Didn't get a chance to ride them. Haven't run any numbers yet.
 

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When you get to ride the 1200 Custom I would look forward to your views. Towards mid-year I will be in the market again and the 1200 Custom is on top of my pile.
 

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After nearly a full season riding the xg750 I was chomping at the bit to move up to a bigger bike before reality set in. I'm going to be on the xg750 for at least one, if not two more seasons.


In late 2017 I was able to test ride a used 1200 Custom with added bags and a windshield and really liked it. The 1200 definitely had the feel of moving to a bigger bike that I just wasn't getting from the naked 883 or Forty-Eight that I sat on, even though the Forty-Eight is the same displacement and has a higher power to weight ratio.


The 1200 Custom was definitely going to be more comfortable than the xg750 when making the 200 mile trip out to the farm. The forward controls were not too far a reach with my 29" inseam. The ride was comfortable, although the vibration at low speeds took some getting used to. The bike seemed plenty easy to maneuver in light traffic on rural highways and in the small town streets. It wasn't as flickable as the xg, which is due as much to riding position as it is with weight. It's not anything I would have qualms about for most of my riding, but might be harder to get around in a parking lot.
 

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I don't know if you'll like the style, as it seems very polarizing, but the 2018 Fat Bob is the best-handling, best-performing, and (IMO) best-looking bike Harley has ever made. It's more expensive, but you'd be getting the 107ci Milwaukee 8 engine in it -- that's 1,750 cc full of torque. It's a much bigger bike (675 pounds) that doesn't really feel any bigger -- I swear it feels nearly as nimble and tossable as my Street 750 did.

Another in the Softail line that's really interesting is the Street Bob. It's the lowest-cost Softail, but it's really nice, if you like apehangers it might be the one.

The thing about the Softails is that they are all redesigned for 2018, they're extremely good performers, and they have really low seat heights. Most of 'em are 25.5"; the Fat Bob is the highest seat at 27.7" and even then I can flat-foot it almost as well as I could the Street.

But, they're (obviously) all more expensive than anything in the Sportster line. I just had a hard time considering a Sportster-anything when moving from the Street, as the Street outperforms just about anything in the Sportster lineup. I didn't want to go to a slower bike just to be able to say it was bigger. The Softails are a major upgrade in every way over the Street (with the exception of being air/oil cooled, whereas the Street has a genuine coolant-filled radiator).
 

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after riding 2 1/2 years and $1500 in engine and bolt-on upgrades I have tried to trade xg 750 back to HD. The most they would give me was $2300 trade-in allowance against $20,000+ HD. I've tried to sell it outright but best offer was $3100.
This was one of the fuel pump recall bikes and that sticks with the history of the bike. Should have taken the cash back then when I had a chance.

If you can get you investment back by trading I would go for it. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I tried a Fat Bob 114. Nice bike. But I have a short inseam. And its way out of my price range.


Haven't tried a Lowrider yet. That Might double my payments.


The 1200T has Mid Controls. Which put my knees up at the gas tank. Like the Street does. Didn't care much for the Mini Floorboards. 4.5G gas tank.


The 1200 Custom, Forward controls are within my reach. But its a Naked bike. No windshield or bags. And I need to get the Relocation kit. I do like the color!!


I am considering a Sportster. Reason being, They been selling for Decades. What I am saying is, They're Proven.
 

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I too am looking at 2018 models even though I don't plan on getting one for another year or two after my truck is paid off. I'm really looking and considering the 2018 Sport Glide or any year FXDLS Low Rider S.Even if when I get a new ride I still plan on keeping my XG750.
 

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The buzz is that Harley might be revamping the Sportster line this year. They overhauled the touring line for 2017, and completely revamped and merged the Softail and Dynas for 2018. The speculation is that the Sportsters are next. They've already trademarked three new names (Bronx, 48X, and Pan American).

So if you're not in a hurry, you might want to wait until August or so when the new models are announced. There could be something you really want. Or, if they're too new for your taste, you might be able to score a killer deal on a 2017. I know that Harley dealers offered some pretty good deals on last-years's bikes after the 2018's hit; one was offering a free Street 500 with each touring bike sold, and many are offering a free extended warranty with all 2017's. So if there's a big change in the 2019 Sportsters, there might be some good incentives to clear out the existing 2018's.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Biggest problem now is, The Weather. I can't try either model.


The Sportster has been around for awhile. So I would expect the "Kinks" have been taken care of. What surprises me is, The Engine hasn't really changed much. With all the new Emissions requirements. The 1200T felt like I was sitting on my 750. Seating position.


The Low Rider, Tried a Slim 107. Liked the engine and trans. Hated the floor boards and forward controls.


Today I spoke to the salesman who sold me the 750. He thinks I should wait and look into a Low Rider.
 

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The buzz is that Harley might be revamping the Sportster line this year..................................The speculation is that the Sportsters are next. They've already trademarked three new names (Bronx, 48X, and Pan American).

That's an interesting piece of info Gaijin, as Max says in the above post, how they've managed to get the Evo motor to pass the latest emissions laws, is a wonder.

My 2003 Sportster ran as weak as a kitten with a CV carb, I suppose with EFI they must just about scrape through, though I don't have as many mixture related issues with my 2017 48, as I did with my XL883R.

I hope you're right with the updating, it will be interesting to see which direction HD take the Sporty. Liquid cooling? Oil cooled top end? A modified Revolution X motor?

About time whatever they decide, so long as they don't ditch it!
 

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I hope you're right with the updating, it will be interesting to see which direction HD take the Sporty. Liquid cooling? Oil cooled top end? A modified Revolution X motor?
Now that would be quite interesting -- if the Sportsters were to use the Revolution X or a variant of it... heck, a Street will run away from an 883 Sportster and leave it for dead, and will give a 1200 Sportster a major fight in 0-60, so -- it's powerful enough. If they were to bore it out to 900 cc or so, that would be really something quite interesting indeed.

But that would be so much the opposite of everything that the Sportster has always been and what it's stood for, so would the faithful accept it? I doubt it...

About time whatever they decide, so long as they don't ditch it!
Well, a couple of things:

1) Harley says they're introducing 100 new models in 10 years. So a complete revamp of the Sportster lineup seems like it's got to happen, right? They've already totally revamped everything they offer other than the Sportsters, so -- seems inevitable.

2) As for ditching 'em -- there was crying and wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Dynas were dropped. But the new "Softails" are much more dynamic and better-performing than the Dynas ever were. So I would not put it past them (and I am NOT predicting this) but I wouldn't put it past them to fold the Sportsters and Streets into the same line, just like the old Softails and old Dynas were blended into a new "Softail" line. As to how they'd accomplish it, I don't know -- the Sportster name has 51+ years of heritage in it, so I certainly would be surprised if they dropped it. Harley cherishes its heritage and its image as the heritage company... And the Street represented the first all-new models in more than a decade, and they've obviously put a ton of effort into establishing the range, would they really pull the plug on it and fold the Street into the Sportster line? I don't know. Who knows? We'll see in a year.

Then again, they did just stone-cold drop the V-Rod, even though it had an engine co-designed with Porsche. Could the Street 750 become the 2019 Sportster 750? I guess that's possible. I don't know. The Street is such an atypical Harley; it was the first Harley I would actually spend my own money on, so I hope that they don't make it disappear.

Okay, how about this though -- instead of dropping the Street, or having the new Sportsters use the Revolution X engine... what if they gave the new Sportsters the Revolution engine? The V-Rod engine? How perfect a fit would that be? Sportsters were introduced to be "sporty", and they are woefully inadequate to that name, but with the V-Rod engine... they'd be modern, sporty as ****, easily meet modern emissions requirements, and the Revolution engine is 1250cc, not really any bigger than the current Sportster's 1200CC...

Meh. Who knows, we'll see. If they made a truly sporty "Sportster" using the V-Rod engine, I could easily see buying that...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, The 18 Custom 1200 had some changes. Mid Controls, Some Black out trim. Paint options I believe.


Maybe they will change the Rake Angle. And add an Oil Cooler?


The 17 Custom 1200 forward controls didn't feel bad. But I didn't ride it. The 1200T felt almost like the Street position. My Knees were along the gas tank. Didn't like the Mini floorboard.
 

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Some interesting thoughts there Gaijin. With the tightening of emission laws by Europe and the US, Harley are definitely going to have some tough decisions to make. I expect the 'Faithful' and let's face it, they're a dying demographic, will be expected to 'suck it up', to all intents and purposes, if Harley are to continue in motorcycle production.

One of the reasons manufacturers were initially so keen on adopting liquid cooling, was the water jacket dampened mechanical engine noise, allowing them to meet whatever Euro / US noise regulations in force at that time. This does make dropping the V Rod seem on the face of it, to be a strange decision unless sales were poor.

However, with that all said I don't believe for a moment that we have seen the last of the 'Revolution' motor, I think it will return, though perhaps in a different configuration.

With the 'Revolution X' Harley have an absolute peach of an engine, less some early hiccups. I think you may be onto something with a big bore version, but that will require some major redesign. There's an American company who's name escapes me at the mo, who do a 800cc conversion and that was the limit they could take it to due to the thickness of the crankcase mouths where the barrels mate.

It would seem that Harley's future, until electric motorcycles become mainstream, would lie with derivatives of both the above mentioned engines.

Okay, how about this though -- instead of dropping the Street, or having the new Sportsters use the Revolution X engine... what if they gave the new Sportsters the Revolution engine? The V-Rod engine?
I think the 'Faithful' may not so much refuse to accept this excellent idea, rather it would cause the 'Faithful' to suffer multiple cardiac arrests :D
 

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I rode a 883. And kept burning my thigh on the Oil Cap. Does the 1200 have the same problem?
Not since they redesigned the oil filler cap to sit flush with the top of the oil tank Max.

I have more trouble with the left side rear cylinder head on the Street Rod, even though it has that narrow heat shield round it. One of the joys of being 5' 7" I suppose :(
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The 883 I tried was a 17. And had the flush, Chrome cap. Being 5'4". With a 26" inseam. And about 140 Pounds, Trying to find something I can fit on is a bit of a challenge.
 

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With the 'Revolution X' Harley have an absolute peach of an engine, less some early hiccups. I think you may be onto something with a big bore version, but that will require some major redesign. There's an American company who's name escapes me at the mo, who do a 800cc conversion and that was the limit they could take it to due to the thickness of the crankcase mouths where the barrels mate.
Revolution Performance makes that big-bore kit. I was initially interested, but just couldn't see going through the expense to gain a lousy 50cc... then I find that with my 1868cc engine on my new bike, the "big bore" kit Harley offers brings it up to a whopping 1917cc... yes, even on this massive engine, the "big bore" kit is 50cc of displacement! Needless to say, I haven't spent that money either... :)

I think the 'Faithful' may not so much refuse to accept this excellent idea, rather it would cause the 'Faithful' to suffer multiple cardiac arrests :D
I googled around to see if people were discussing putting the Revolution engine in a Sportster chassis, and yeah, people had mentioned it as long ago as 2007 (maybe earlier). And the reception to the idea was absolute horror, yes. The universal reaction was "why would I want a modern, reliable, water-cooled, powerful bike? If I wanted that, I'd just go buy a Honda Fury or one of the million other Japanese cruiser imitators!"

Which, I guess I can see their point. Seriously, why should every bike have to be the same? But on the other hand, Harley does need to attract new customers... and not all new customers have to be young! I didn't buy my first Harley until I was in my 50's -- mainly because I didn't want to spend $12,000 on an ancient, oil-leaking, air-cooled underperformer that you can't drive 50 miles without pulling over and rebuilding the engine (as our dear troll Leo would insist). The Street was so revolutionary (and affordable) that I grabbed a new 2015, even though it had its issues.

So a modern, reliable, water-cooled, powerful, high-performance, moderate-cost, made-in-the-USA Harley Sportster with the Revolution engine? I'd buy that. And I bet there are a lot of us, who grew up on Hondas etc, who would too.

And it worked, by the way; the Street 750 was the "gateway drug" that got me to spend big on a Big Twin this year, and I've probably spent more on accessories and performance mods on this new bike than I spent to BUY the Street 750. So it seems to me like it's a pretty good strategy.

But, hey, it's all speculation. We'll see what happens probably around August.

And yes, the "faithful" weren't too impressed with the LiveWire. As for me, I'm all "shut up and take my money!" :D
 

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I googled around to see if people were discussing putting the Revolution engine in a Sportster chassis, and yeah, people had mentioned it as long ago as 2007 (maybe earlier). And the reception to the idea was absolute horror, yes. The universal reaction was "why would I want a modern, reliable, water-cooled, powerful bike? If I wanted that, I'd just go buy a Honda Fury or one of the million other Japanese cruiser imitators!"
There's just no answer to that is there! :D

.....I didn't buy my first Harley until I was in my 50's -- mainly because I didn't want to spend $12,000 on an ancient, oil-leaking, air-cooled underperformer that you can't drive 50 miles without pulling over and rebuilding the engine (as our dear troll Leo would insist).
Will HD ever shake off it's AMF legacy? Probably not for a good few years more I suspect. Pushing a big hunk of dead metal down the road tends to burn itself in your memory (**** you BSA A65!) More about image further on, gaijin.


The Street was so revolutionary (and affordable) that I grabbed a new 2015, even though it had its issues.
I suspect that Harley will possibly, for the first time, be focused globally rather than pretty much exclusively on the US domestic market, with more radical designs specifically for the rest of the world rather than;

'This is what we build for our American customers. Do you want one?'

The late lamented XR1200 and the Street Rod (XG) being two examples of (as I see it) overseas markets first. We'll gloss over the XLCR.

So a modern, reliable, water-cooled, powerful, high-performance, moderate-cost, made-in-the-USA Harley Sportster with the Revolution engine? I'd buy that. And I bet there are a lot of us, who grew up on Hondas etc, who would too.
High performance? Ah, possible problem there. That would require a sea change in attitude by riders here and possibly the rest of Europe to even consider mentioning HD and performance in the same sentence.

While a minority of British riders are vaguely aware of Harley's successes in the world of Flat Track, less so with V&H's take on the XG750 in that area, to be taken seriously here in the performance market, HD's offering would have to be the full package, which takes them into gixer thou / R1 territory. Given Japanese dominance in the sport bike world for Harley to even get a sniff of that market would mean spending millions of $ in research and tooling, not to mentioned overcoming the ingrained negative image you've already mentioned, which in all honesty would probably be the hardest thing for HD to attempt.

The VRod, Rocket 3 and VMax are regarded as faintly interesting oddities here, (Oh that's neat', 'Do you want one?' 'Oh, no thanks'.) by the majority of riders. Belting down a straight at ridiculous mph, followed by inching round a corner, followed by belting down.............. is not really regarded as 'proper' riding. 'Proper' riding for our young and not so young bucks consists of getting your knee down (sometimes followed by getting their elbow down, followed by getting their head down :D)

Would HD commit to finding the new Cal Raybon and push for the return of the Trans Atlantic races of the seventies? It would be one course of action that would let the words'Harley' and 'performance' be spoken in the same sentence and be taken seriously.

A's you say gaijin, it's all conjecture at the moment, but good fun anyway ;)
 
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