Just joined...

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by BrettG, Apr 21, 2010.

  1. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    Hello all!
    Last week, I bought a 2009 (leftover) xl1200L (red, mag wheels) because I love the looks of the bike.
    Been riding since I was 14, have had a lot of bikes over the years, mostly Triumphs. I have been riding a 1969 T100R (now on ebay) for the last 5 years, and love the bike, but its too small to bring the wife on the back.

    I do all my own work on cars, bikes, stuff around the house.
    Back in 1986, I traded my 1979 T140D (Bonneville special) in on an 883, I think they had a 4 speed, rigid mounted motor and chain drive, and liked that bike a lot except the gas tank was too small.
    In 1987, I traded it in on a low rider custom, which was very nice.
    I traded the low rider custom in on my house 20 some years ago...

    I have had a 1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville, the 1969 Daytona, and a 2005 Bonneville black. I dont like the new ones.

    I am quite happy with the new Sportster, except for a few things:
    The seat is just plain junk!
    The suspension is quite poor.

    The forks sag at least to half travel, and only move about 4 inches to start with, the rear shocks have very little travel and bottom out badly with the wife on the back (about 170 pounds, don't tell her I said so!).
    I figure some new bits are in order, the sundowner seat, longer better rear shocks, some sort of preload spacer for the forks.

    Since coming off Triumphs, I expect some ground clearance and handling, and need to get it.
    Wish they mase a sport version that looks like the 1200L model, but they dont.
    I did get a great deal on the bike though.

    Anyone got any idea how the sundowner seat is for long rides?

    Also, I could not hear the motor at 60 mph, so I bashed out the disks in the silencers, then it was a bit too loud, so I put some baffles in, and its ok.
    I would have stuck without the baffles, but heard that may be to much without paying a lot to get the mixture corrected.

    I got to get the shop manual and read up on the bike, the fuel injection is nice, it would have been nicer if it was like cars (wide range adjustments).

    I used to ride a LOT before marrage, did a solo 9000 mile trip around the country on the Triumph Bonneville special, with no issues except a flat front tire at the Grand Canyon, which I fixed.

    Anyway, the new bikes seem to be an odd mix of very high quality parts, with total junk shocks and seats!

    2009 XL1200L, 1969 Triumph Daytona...
  2. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Welcome BrettG...you'll learn to really enjoy the XL1200L - just have to dial-in the suspension & put on a new seat, or get Mean City to mod it. Triumph's are nice scoots too & I might have to pick one up someday (or a Norton). Welcome to HD Talking & ride safe!
  3. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Welcome Brett, sounds like it's near time for an upgrade already to a dyna and get full price back on the sporty from the participating dealers.

    Great first post...
    You wouldn't be related to RichardS would you? :lolrolling
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Welcome to the forum hope you enjoy it
  5. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member



    Welcome! Yes, there are several options for suspension bits to help. Can't comment on the seat but, others should chime in.

    I've got a bit of a soft spot for British steel myself. but don't tell anyone here! just kidding.
  6. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    Funny, when I picked the bike up, some guy said I would be back next week to get a bigger bike...

    I don't need a bigger motor, and would rather have a more nimble bike.

    Do you think they put nasty seats and lousy shocks on the sportsters so people upgrade fast?

    I am looking at the progressive suspension rear shocks, 11.5 inch is stock, it measures about 11.6 inches on the bike, would there be any problem going to 12.5 inches?
    I don't see why not, and I already pushed the forks all the way down in the triple trees, it came with them 1/2 inch up...

  7. BikeSAG

    BikeSAG Active Member

    Welcome! I started with a Sporty as well. Don't worry you'll upgrade to a softail eventually. Enjoy the ride!
  8. BrettG

    BrettG Member

    Oh, I ALWAYS enjoy riding, on almost any bike I can think of.
    My problem is I don't get enough riding in...

    I got a beef with people thinking even an 883 is a small bike.
    They are not really 'small', just low.
    I remember the days when a 750 was a BIG bike.
    My other bike is a 500cc Daytona, and its bigger and more comfortable then the 1200 sportster, but much lighter and lower powered.

    I am living in the past I guess, I like standard looking motorcycles, like the Triumphs were, or even the old Harleys.
    They were taller, had more ground clearance, thick padded seats you could move around on, and remember when the seats flipped up and you could stash things under them? They were ALL built to carry a passenger, and even had nice features (standard) such is tool boxes and helmet locks (under the seat).

    Modern bikes seem to made for midgets, and you have three choices, crazy looking crotch rockets, Harleys, and Harley copies.
    Its a sad state of affairs when an old honda cb350 is taller and more comfortable than the little 1200 sportster!


    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    Brett, your only feeling the same thing all Sportster riders feel, we are the red headed step children bearing the HD marque. 883cc is essentially close enough to being a 1000cc bike...plenty big enough for most riding. Sportsters were considered the big bore "stripped down hot rod" that came to life in 1957...and your are right, standard refers more to the seating position and engine configuration rather than old bikes origin, be they Brit twins, Jap twins or HD twins...affectionately speaking.
  10. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Nothing wrong with Sportsters, truth be known they would beat the big twins stop light to stoplight in the day, they are not half a Harley nor they are not girls bikes, and as NewHDFAN says you may be the red headed step child we all have a soft spot for H D longest running bike long live The Sportster