Questions asked; MY answers on the Sport

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by BUBBIE, Aug 10, 2013.


    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    This was a New-be's question and I posted here for More members to be able to read and add to IF they want..... (no owners book YET on his New Used Bike)

    Feel free to ADD any tips or other YOU fee will help out a first time owner.

    These Sportster Bikes are not a little toy......

    Yes, More power going from 883 to 1200 build...

    The piston size in an 883 is 3" in diameter. The 1200 is 3.5 inches... BIG difference.

    Lots More power.

    Shifting question I get asked a Lot.......

    That said; 1st and 2ond will usually take care of themselves Meaning; you will be going slow enough to not hurt anything and you will FEEL the need to shift to low...

    3rd: 30-----50
    4th: 40-----65
    5th: 50----- careful:D

    Don't LUG the engine on a sportster, they need to be turning the MINIMUM i have shown above. Running at normal speed, they turn about 2400 to 3000 on the road. A little higher RPM's than the bigger TC bikes is needed.

    Better to be a Gear Lower than a gear tooooo high.

    You'll probably get around 45-50 miles per gallon.

    I have a 1200 Roadster (factory HOT) 2006 model year and YOURS being an 883 built to 1200 IF the 883 heads were used, should be a Match of which one will get to 60 the fastest.:s

    Take time to Learn the fEEL of your bike and get yourself AT LEAST the owners manual. It will show the NEEDED things to get you by.

    CHECKING OIL.... After sitting like over night and/or usually longer.... Your oil WILL usually show LOW checked COLD.... A FULL Minute of idling at start-up (no blipping the throttle) will bring the engine oil Back INTO the oil tank from the sump of the engine, where it leaked down(not unusual)....

    Very important : oil Full after ride.... then parked for some time (over night or longer) LOW when you check it before you start cold.....

    DON'T add OIL IF it was full after last ride (checked Hot).... IF low after sitting over night or LONGER
    AS OIL Is there..... IF Oil can be seen in the tank (but low) and Oil light needs to go right OFF when started...

    You have enough oil to idle it back for a better check on the dipstick.
    Hot is when tho oil needs to be checked. On a sportster it will be a TAD lower than fully into the oil tank neck. (Finger depth away when full) Pheeeeew...

    Other IMPORTANT facts= GET the book :s

    USE,,,,,, if you don't know,,,,, BOTH FRONT and REAR breaks together and Know how to use them in conjunction with each other and WHEN... KNOWING HOW to STOP the bike is MORE Important than JUST how to make it GO...

    There are WAY tooooo many riders who do this WRONG... Using the REAR brake Only.. Usually the ones who hit the back of a rig in front of them.

    Yes, the 883 and the 1200 are the same frame and motor but just: size difference of pistons and heads + extras MAINLY make up the difference.

    The 883 Does have lower gearing and you Might be able to Knock the socks off a standard 1200 off the line. BUT I don't mean to race your bike. Take the time to learn proper riding SAFETY... Learn it and Stay Alive...

    The 883 and/or the 1200 is a powerful machine.

    Ride safe and have fun.

  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    #2 On what Bubbie said about Sporsters, having owned 1 and worked on them, They wind up fast especially went built out to 1200 with 883 heads, they breathe really good, This is why pound vs pound they can beat a big Twin stop light to stop light. Tho I do not recommend this for safety reasons. Get to know your bike, practice safe riding and get a factory manual
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  3. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    1st to 2nd: 15mph
    2nd to 3rd: 25mph
    3rd to 4th: 35mph
    4th to 5th: 45mph

    5th to 4th: 40mph
    4th to 3rd: 30mph
    3rd to 2nd: 20mph
    2nd to 1st: 10mph
    Here are the shift points from an 883 owners manual, I would stretch out each gear by 10 since you are at 1200 now
  4. jbird

    jbird Member

    I had a 99 1200c that ran very strong. Didn't have the top end that my 103 TC Street Glide has, but the 1200 (74 ci) would definitely beat the 103 through the first 3 gears. Wish I could have kept the 1200 when I bought the SG, but the wife thought otherwise... :)

    Attached Files:

  5. TomH65

    TomH65 Active Member

    Some great points mentioned here about Sportsters. I have rarely got out of 3rd gear on residential roads where the speed limit is 30mph. The acceleration in first and second is quite fast from standing, so the front wheel can easily leave the ground if over revved, so carefully does it...
    I have only used 5th gear at over 55mph.
    Talking of manuals, I bought my bike used and the manual (the one as thick as a telephone directory) doesn't cover my model, it only covers models up to 2004. Where can I get a more recent one that will cover my bike? Any ideas if I could download one from somewhere?
    Should be close to getting my bike back very soon (here's hoping).


    BUBBIE Well-Known Member



    Give this LINK a try..... The very First one answers YOUR question.....:D

    Hope this helps you out..

    Go LOOK:

    Search Result - Harley Davidson Community

    Maybe they will give YOU a copy if you ask.......

  7. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Bubbie's a wise man with good knowledge on these 2-wheel machines we own/love. I'd have to definitely agree on the braking deal and once you get used to using "both" it's money in the bank in tight situations. Also, carb sporty's are "cold-blooded" so need to ensure you've got a good 1-2 min warm-up before trying to crack the throttle. Miss my 05 XL1200, but still searching for my "perfect" 2nd Sporty & will have a buddy for my FLHX...someday!

    Post a pic of your first Harley - Harley Davidson Forums -
  8. mvlloyd

    mvlloyd New Member

    Thank you so much.
    I was thinking the same for shifting but wasn't sure. I will get a manual for the bike.
    I have taken the driver safety course so I'm confident on my bike. My first bike was a 2003 Honda shadow spirit 750. It's gone because I had to put it down when a school bus driver turned left in front of me. I avoided the bus but had to mount a curb to get away. the bike was trashed and I got a broken shoulder. the safety course paid for it self that day.
    The Harley is a good fit for me and easy to handle. I just want to know some of the finer points. It is very powerful and I do take care not to let it get away from me.
    Thanks again for your information.
  9. mvlloyd

    mvlloyd New Member

    HI Tom,
    I'm finding the same thing. not getting out of 3rd in residential. My first bike was a Honda so I could get into 4th at about 60 km which I think is about 35mph. I'm still getting use to the conversion.
  10. mvlloyd

    mvlloyd New Member

    Yes it's very fast from a stop. I usually ride behind my husband but find it hard not to over take him at a stop.