Questions and advice, please

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by SilverFoXD, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. SilverFoXD

    SilverFoXD Active Member Contributor

    I just purchased a new 1200C Custom Sportster and have some questions and need advice on proceeding. I'm not new to riding or to Harley, having traded in my purchased new 07 Dyna. Both me and the SuperGlide are getting older and it was time for a lighter and smaller bike.


    1. For the transmission and primary, use Formula 1 or an after-market oil, and if so what brand and weight? Used Spectro in the Dyna and had no issues. A service rep said 75w-140 but I suspect he was thinking of a big twin. The engine oil will be Amsoil.

    2. Took a 275 mile break-in ride into the Arizona mountains and came home sore. Partly due to age, partly due to adjusting to a new bike, but on this longer ride the seat, shocks, and handlebar were telling me to change them out.

    a. So, are the HD upgrade shocks a viable option? Have used Progressive 412's on my last three bikes, roughly 175k miles, and would consider them here. Are the 440's worth the extra money? And which length? The bike has the medium length ones now, 10.7", and comfort overrides appearances.

    b. Ordered a Sundowner solo seat. Had one on my Dyna and liked it. Will probably have the stock seat refoamed and reformed at a later date if I decide to get a sissy bar setup. For now the Sporty is strictly a solo bike.

    c. Read somewhere that mini-apes are the handlebar of choice for upgrading. But, with the taller risers and that setup it seems they would be too high and awkward plus needing new cables and wiring upgrades. New risers are out, the speedo just barely clears the tank.

    The HD parts guy said the reach seat is the way to go as it does not need any upgrades while providing both increased rise and pullback. Opinion? I'd prefer a more upright riding position than stock.

    Thank you.

  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    While many here at Red Line have been riding before it was cool (Tim Kerrigan Jr. is an AHDRA Pro Fuel Champion), we were quick to get on the Buell® bandwagon, dating back to the late '90s. We like the Sportster® style engines and road racing style with an American flare. Technically, some of the engine and specifically transmission tips aren’t focused to this community so we will try to spread a bit of our knowledge here.

    Our pals at Hal's Speed Shop in New Berlin, Wisconsin ( enjoy these bikes, too. Hal's have a lot of experience modifying them for drag racing, road racing, and street bikes, too. They have been a huge technical resource for Red Line over the years and back up our fantastic success with Lightweight ShockProof® (which closely replicates the slightly-lighter 80W Motorcycle Gear Oil with ShockProof®).
    Have a look here, great product
  3. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    +1 on Redline Shockproof for the tranny. I'd go with the Shockproof heavy due to the AZ heat. JMHO.
    You may have enough cable, depending on the size of bars you go with.
  4. SilverFoXD

    SilverFoXD Active Member Contributor

    Thanks, Jack. Heard nothing but good things about Redline products.
  5. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Congrats on the new steed. You are going about it correctly talking out loud here. SO when you make the changes you get it done right the first time with no regrets......
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    As the sportster has the primary and gearbox using the same oil heavy weight oil may make for a sticky clutch ensure whatever oil you use has no friction modifiers in it or you will get a slippy clutch
    I like to use formula + or whatever I can get my hands on this side of the pond that is suitable for the sportster transmission
    I have 3 different seats for my sportster kept trying till I found a good one
    On my sporty I found that the stock suspension worked pretty well but I do use it for more spirited riding on the twisty roads


    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    Like Brian says above............

    You WON'T get away using Shockproof with a WET Clutch.... Tranny AND Clutch share the same compartment... I USE Formula+ in my 06 1200 Roadster Sport... Good Stuff... Change with the Oil n Filter change... Some go longer, but Formula+ is not expensive...

    You only have TWO compartment for Oil.... Tranny and Clutch is ONE and the other is the Motor oil in the side Engine Oil Tank...

    Also I suggest: Only start that sport at an Idle for two minutes max to warm when First Start of the day or? how ever long it sat.... Why you ask?
    The oil does drain into the engine On Most using that style side oil tank...

    Blipping the throttle Before about 1.5 to 2 minutes of warming; First thing after a night or day or week of sitting; WILL whip up a batch of Foam... Most and Mine especially does the Drain into the engine(sump) over night...Just the nature of SOME...
    I always suggest to check oil HOT or Warm after a ride to see the Correct level... No oil on the floor after ride, over night or two weeks, Means oil is either ALL GONE lol..... or oil is OK to start the next time... I do see some oil way Down in my tank if left sitting for a week or two... Seeing some and then watching it come Back Up in one to two minutes... Pheeeeeew...

    Look into your tank for an easy view of where the oil is.... Never add until motor is started and Oil is pumped Back into the Tank... IF low add SOME, never Fill up total full COLD...

    Good riding to you... Big :)


    added: I too need a better seat or a Younger Body to ride that Sport (Like I used to).... Lol...

    Also NO NO NO on the reach seat... IT Will change your Voice to a HIGH Pitch...
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  8. Jeff Klarich

    Jeff Klarich Well-Known Member Contributor

    My bad, I thought the tranny and primary were separate. Tells ya know much I know about sportsters.

    Having said that I run Formula + in my primary, good product.
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Here is what Redline suggests for Sporsters
  10. SilverFoXD

    SilverFoXD Active Member Contributor

    Thanks Jeff, Jack, Brian, and Bubbie.

    So far:

    - Done the 2 minute warmup on every first ride of the day. Picked that habit up years ago.
    - Bubbie caught my mistype. wrote Reach seat instead of Reach bars. My singing is bad enough as is.
    - Leaning towards Formula+. Comments appreciated.

    Will eventually need a way to carry luggage. Have a large sissybar bag now that worked on my Dnya when on the pillion and i could use it as a backrest,. May be too large for the Sportster's various racks, however, but would still get used. I'm considering either the HD solo rack, the Motherwell solo rack, or going with a sissybar, pad, and rack, Vaguely remember someones comments that the Motherwell rack looked the best but HD's was the most practical. Motherwell's cost is about half of the other options. Thoughts?

    Didn't HD have a bolt on solo rack at one time, not just the detachable the now show?