New sportster owner- a few questions...

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by RideTheLightning, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. RideTheLightning

    RideTheLightning Active Member

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    Hey guys, got an '02 Sportster 1200 recently. I am just making sure:

    1. Use 91 octane or higher gasoline, right?
    2. I am a little worried about the new purchase. I am having a little trouble getting going in first gear- almost feels like I am going to cut out. The bike makes a small knocking sound just before I get going. After I get into gear, everything is fine though. Am I possibly letting off the clutch too quickly/ not giving the right amount of throttle?
    3. The guy at the dealer said I should make sure everything stayed tight because the vibration of the bike can knock some nuts/ bolts/ screws outta whack. How often should I check this out?

    Thank you. I do not have an owner's manual, hence the questions. :)
     
  2. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Sounds like you have a wee bit of clutch drag there start by checking clutch adjustment if its good then you may have the wrong oil in the tranny may be worth changing it to harley davidson formula+
    yes they do vibrate so get the spanners out regularly and check all is tight
    you will get to know your own bike after a while and she will tell you when she need attention

    Brian
     
  3. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    RideTheLightning, welcome to the HDTalking forum and your fresh post. Yeah, I remember putting a leg over a Sporty the first time, and having the very same questions. Jayson has you covered, I may add that knowing what fluids to put in the bike especially when introduced to the HD family.

    Usually best to change the fluids right away if you do not know what previous service was done, and how many miles are on 'em. It also is a fine way to learn about routine maintenance, as well as the satisfaction of doing it yourself. Regarding the shifting and gear change, slightly dragging clutch is likely. Freeplay when cold, at the lever should be less than 1/8" to next to zero (check it lock to lock).

    If you choose not to DIY, then fif nothing else, get to know what the servicer should do and properly with a followup inspection by you everytime before you ride. Enjoy and keep the wind and smile wide...:D
     
  4. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member

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    The others got the clutch adjustment right enough.

    Also, I find my 2001 is a little fussy when cold so, I tend to keep the rpms up a little bit until the engine is fully warm.
     
  5. RideTheLightning

    RideTheLightning Active Member

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    Ok. On the first time I filled up, I used 87 octane. I have since started using 91. Will any bad come of the fact I used 87?

    I'll check the Haynes manual to figure out how to change it out. :)

    I will have to get out and check all this stuff. I just got a Haynes manual because the guy at the dealer said the maintenance can be expensive, and that I (being a young guy) should be able to figure it out.


    Thanks for such quick and elaborate responses guys! :) I really appreciate it. :worthy
     
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    Drain plug for the trans is at the bottom rear of the primary cover should need 32 fluid oz when bike is level oil level should be at the bottom of the clutch basket
    if there is too much oil in the primary/gearbox or the oil is too thick then that could cause the clutch to drag

    Brian
     
  7. 67hat34c

    67hat34c Active Member

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    Change the spark plugs and change engine oil and trans oil. Change the fork oil also. make sure drive belt is adjusted properly and the primary chan is adjusted.

    Get the Factory Sevice manual not the Haynes. If you have any mechanical ability there is no general maintenance you cant do by yourself.

    Do an engine compression check so you have a base line.

    Does you bike have any Mods or is it factory stock?
     
  8. oseita

    oseita Member

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    One thing that I can add is to ride ride ride ride and then ride some more. You will be surprised on how short a time it takes to " become one with your bike".
    Not to sound like a mental case but every time the sun is out and I am not riding I swear that I can hear my Sporty pouting........ Also I am not sure how much premium gas ( 91 octane) is on the other side of the pool but it is cheap enough here in the states so that I don't run anything but that in my bike.
     
  9. alford 56

    alford 56 Member

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    Welcome, I have only one thing to say .Get rid of the Haynes manual and get a clymer manual .Haynes manuals are the wrorst on the market.The are too incomplete.Not enough info.
     
  10. nakkers

    nakkers Active Member

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    +1 with the Harley Service manual. It's very easy to understand and follow. Even an office monkey such as myself can follow it. (My mechanical experience is flicking on a light switch and still don't know how to turn it off. At least this is according to my wife.)