Harley-Davidson 883 Sportster: opinions?

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Subie Driver, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    I'm looking to upgrade from my 200cc scooter (Piaggio BV200) to a "real" bike sometime in the next year, and have been looking at m options. Right now, I'm thinking either a Honda Shadow 750 or the H-D 883 Sportster, leaning towards the H-D right now. Pretty similar in price, H-D has great aftermarket for customizing, and a bigger engine that can be made even bigger with new cylinders and pistons (up to 1450cc!). Now, I'm asking what peoples opinions on the H-D are, especially people who have owned one, or any other Evolution-powered H-D. And don't throw the "Sportsters are girl bikes" at me, I ride a freaking scooter right now, I obviously don't really care what people think about me when I'm riding, I'm doing it for me. Anyways, pros/cons, anything would be great. Gonna go look at them at the dealership this weekend, not to buy, but just to get a look at one and see how I like the looks. Saw the Shadow last weekend, really liked the way it looks, and they are pretty much Harley clones, so I'm sure the Sportster will strike my fancy.


    Cliffs: Looking at either a Shadow 750 or Sportster 883, leaning towards the 883. Opinions? Especially from curent/former Harley owners, greatly appreciated.
     
  2. TL1000RSquid

    TL1000RSquid ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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    Sportsters are girls bikes :greddy:


    Never ridden a sportster rode a friends shadow wasnt to bad, I'de probably pick the shadow since I know it will be reliable and the shadows got plenty of aftermarket stuff available too.. whats the price difference between the 883 and 1200? if its not huge i'de opt for that.
     
  3. jtl090179

    jtl090179 Oh I get it, yeah. He's the girl, then you're the OT Supporter

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    with harleys, youll buy a sportster and then be really disappointed when you ride a bigger one. they really really cut corners on that bike to make the price list. shadows are nice bikes too but seem to be lacking in some department too.

    for what you are looking to spend my recommendations are (ive test ridden all of these bikes only. havent put any real seat time on them)

    suzuki s83.
    a little wider than the sportster and 1400cc. real nice cruiser and 05 leftovers are going for less than 7G

    suzuki m50
    a muscle cruiser. agressive look and ballsy. 05 leftovers can be had for less than 6G

    yamaha v-twins
    dont know price or displacement but has a really good following and is supposed to be really reliable

    and theres a couple of other muscle cruisers out there in this price range. but if youre dead set on a harley go one step bigger, at least thats what i heard
     
  4. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Well, I actually am going one step bigger. Originally, I was looking at the Shadow 600, and decided to move up one step to the 750. Then a friend at work who has an older (about '84) ironhead Sportster mentioned the 883 to me. Remember, I'm currently riding a 200cc scooter, and only have about 1100 miles of riding under my belt, and I think a 1200 Sportster or 1100 Shadow will just be too big for me, power and size wise. I'm 6 ft tall and about 180 lbs, not a big guy. But I'll look into those Suzukis and Yamahas you listed there. I have also been thinking about a Suzuki V-Strom DL650, and those Suzuki v-twins seem like very nice motors.


    Once again, I ride a scooter, don't care if people think it's a "girls" bike, the bike is for me, not anyone else. And the difference between the 883 and 1200 Sportster is about $2-3k, around the $8.5-10k range, more than I want to spend, I'm looking for about $5-6k. And the 883 is already stretching that, with the base model being about $6.5k. But I'll be selling the scooter before buying anything else, hould be able to get about $4k for it, so I'll have some wiggle room.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2006
  5. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    OK, looked at the Suzukis, the s83 is way more motor than I'm looking for. The m50, on the other hand, looks like a really nice ride. Right engine size, and I like the looks. Plus, those are liquid-cooled, not air-cooled. Although the fact that the Japanes bikes share the oil between the engine and tranny is rough on the oil, while the H-D has seperated those two, so you can use the optimal oil in each. But a good sythetic and frequent oil changes should alleviate any issues, so that's not going to be a major concern in my final choice.

    Oh, and looked at the Yamahas, and they look nice, but nothing shouts at me. Not a lot of engine range, either. Seems like they just jump from ~600cc to ~1100cc, with no in-between, which is the engine sizes I'm looking at.
     
  6. XR250rdr

    XR250rdr OT Supporter

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    If you arent sticking to a brand new bike, take a look at a Honda Magna too. My friend's dad has probably close to 30k on his and it runs like new. With a 750cc V4 it will easily outrun most V twins.
     
  7. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    :stupid:


    Magnas are good bikes. Not overly powerful for your needs, but faster than a comparably sized V-twin. Plus, they are very utilitarian which appears to be something you're looking for.
     
  8. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    I hadn't thought about the Magna before, that's a nice looking bike, too. Honda makes good stuff, and, yeah, utility is something I'd like to keep. And speed isn't a huge thing here, I'm not looking for a sportbike, or anything, just more power. And even then, I know the Shadow 750 would blow the doors off my car at the strip, and my 200cc scooter can take most normal cars off the line, so I'm sure anything in the 700-800cc range will be fine for me. But thanks for the Magna idea, guys, now I have more research to do and think about!
     
  9. rider

    rider New Member

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    So? :coolugh:

    The 883 was my first bike. Easy to learn on, but really heavy to pick up! I liked it a lot, but everything vibrates and the screws and bolts get all loose and stuff so you have to tighten everything after every ride.
     
  10. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    That bad, huh? Any other problems you had with it?
     
  11. jtl090179

    jtl090179 Oh I get it, yeah. He's the girl, then you're the OT Supporter

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    i really liked the m50, might be my next bike. the s83 though it is bigger is still very manageable. but like you stated, its up to you and your tastes.
     
  12. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    I noticed the Boulevards are shaft-drive instead of chain or belt drive. I know shaft is quieter, but how is it for reliability and maintenance? And looking through the 50 series bikes, I'd probably look more at the S50, pretty much the same engine, but about 100 lbs lighter (445 lbs), and cheaper, being a base model. And I want to mod and customize whatever I get, so base model is the one to start with. Not to figure out which base model! H-D 883 Sportster, Honda Shadow 750, Suzuki S50? All pretty similar price-wise, but H-D is air cooled, S50 is shaft-drive, and Shadow has liquid cooling and a chain, but the smallest engine of the 3.
     
  13. machine81

    machine81 New Member

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    Shaft drive is UBER reliable and has virtually no maintenance. It's sealed off from the elements and is typically beefier than a chain. Really it's a better engineering choice, but a sprocket/chain set-up is much lighter which is why you seen them on most sportbikes.
     
  14. FairyTat

    FairyTat Anticipation, the taste of things to cum

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    I have a Honda 750 Aero and love it. Plenty of power for casual cruising and a nice wide stance for comfort. One of my friends has a 883 Sportster and my bike is wider and longer than hers. Her bike looks tall and skinny next to mine. The hondas are also uber reliable and the shaft drive relieves you of having to worry about that chain.

    Check out ebay. You can pick one up fairly cheap. I gave $6300 for mind brand new. Just my .02
     
  15. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Went and looked at the 883 this afternoon, very nice bike. You mentioned the 750 Aero being wider and longer, but how does that make it's maneuverability in smaller areas, like parking lots and such? I'm going to be doing lots of in-town riding, and it just seems that a shorter, narrower bike will be easier to move around.

    Oh, and the H-D website lists the drive on the 883 as chain, but it's actually a belt drive, maybe the chain is the drive between the engine and the tranny.
     
  16. jtl090179

    jtl090179 Oh I get it, yeah. He's the girl, then you're the OT Supporter

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    i saw a blue 883 today and it was dead sexy. i liked it better than in black and grey. you have a very good list of what youd like to purchase. remember though that you can walk into a bigger dealership and get a leftover 05 brand new for a couple thousand less than msrp on anything but a hd
     
  17. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Yeah, I noticed the price thing. They actually have the 06 883's marked down to make room for the 07's, but they are just "marked down" to just over $8k, so still more than MSRP. But H-D's hold thier value very well, so it's kind of a moot point in the long run. Costs more now, but will be worth more in the future. Man, looking at all these bikes is making it tough to wait till next spring/summer to buy, like I was planning!
     
  18. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    magnas are nice bikes.. When I learned to ride it was a buddy of mine teahing me on his Magna. To throw in my opinion, Im going to say that Harleys are overpriced and overrated. Again, this is just my opinion, but Im just not a harley fan... Truth be told I am a very big fan of Yamaha's. As was said earlier, they look nice and are very reliable... not to tough to work on yourself either.

    Since this is going to be your first real bike Id personally reccommend a Virago 700 or 750. They are nice to look at , comfortable, and have plenty of power to learn on. Once you get comfortable, if you want more then sure you an go up to the 1100 (as far as Viragos go) or you could move on to the larger cruisers they have to offer (not sure of your budget there). They also hold their value real well becauase they are so reliable, and they have classic lines. Shaft drive too as opposed to a belt, but id take a shaft drive over a belt anytime.. again, more of a personal preference then anything else.

    Barring that thgouh, a Magna is a good choice... it jsut wouldnt be my first :)
     
  19. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    I agree with the overpriced statement on the Harleys. The website lists the 883 MSRP at $6500-7300, but the dealership sells them for about $9k, but the 06's are "marked down" to just over $8k to make room for the 07's. But they also hold thier value well, as 03's are still going for $7k in the paper and online. You know what suprised me in my reseach? The 883 actually gets excellent gas milage, better even than the Shadow 750. Bigger motor, more power, and better fuel economy. But I have looked into Viragos, too, they are pretty nice. Seems I can't find much newer than mid 90's when I look for them, though, and I don't want something too old. And I if I do end up going H-D, probably just going to buy new, since used are just about as expensive, and new have the 2 year, unlimited milage warranty, with free pick-up and delivery for service. Nice little carrot out there! Probably going to test-ride one next weekend, but still need to talk to someone at the Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki dealership about thier bikes, too. Too bad nobody there has said a word to me the 3 times I've been in looking at bikes. Not good service.
     
  20. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    another thing that I forgot to mention is the ride height. I took a look at the sportsters one day when I wandered into my local harley shop. I jsut couldnt get comfy in the seat. This is going to sound a little strange, but Im 6'4" and the only bikes Ive found that are comfortable for me are ones that have you sitting fairly low in the saddle, with the seat lip just hitting my lower back.

    I wouldnt worry about the age of a Virago. as long as you pick up one thats been relatively well maintained, i doubt you would have problems. I just recently bought an 84 and its been great. Engine hums right along. theres stuff I want to do to it, but its all jsut cosmetic mostly. believe it or not eBay is actually a pretty good place to shop as long as you dont mind going to pick the bike up or paying for it to get shipped to you. Most Viragos that Ive seen on there go for between 2k - 3k for an 84 or later model. Thats where I picked mine up. I had to drive to Ohio to get it, but I grabbed a buddy, rented a trailer, and made a little day trip of it.
     
  21. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    I actually found the 883 Sportster to be pretty comfortable to sit on, although I have yet to actually ride one. And i know that a well-maintained older bike is going to be a good deal, it's just finding one that you know has been well maintained. But I do like the look of the Viragos, just haven't done much research on them yet. Probably not buying anything until next year, so I have time to figure out what I want, but your input is appreciated. And going and getting a car somewhere not too far doesn't sound too bad, no better way to get to know your new bike than to take a road trip with it.
     
  22. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    Anytime man... I love singing the Viragos praises :) if you were even remotely close id say come by and you could take mine out for a spin.. hehe... I actually trailered my bike... Ohio is about 9 hours from Virginia, and we did a round trip there and back in a day... Im not quite that hardcore.

    Seating comfort and ride height are both huge things, regardless of the bike you pick out. If your not comfy in the saddle, its not worth getting the bike unless you plan on getting a Corbin seat or something... but theres an extra 200-500 dollars for one of those. virago seats are VERY plush. :bigthumb:
     
  23. Arsenal4rs

    Arsenal4rs BEES!!! MUTHERFUCKIN BEES!!!

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    Heres a couple Virago-related links for you to peruse at your leisure.

    http://bykrmom.viragotech.com/VTFAQ/topfaq.htm
    -lots of good tech related stuff, and theres a link to the sites main forum. friendly people and LOTS of good knowledge.

    http://www.viragoownersclub.org/main.htm
    -URL says it all.. its a pretty decent Virago owners Motorcycle Club. Im not a member, but they seem to be pretty active from what Ive read on their boards. , and the main page is updated pretty frequently

    http://images.google.com/images?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=ITVA,ITVA:2006-11,ITVA:en&q=virago
    -pictures... pictures are always nice :big grin:
     
  24. Subie Driver

    Subie Driver Eye see what you did there.

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    Thanks for the links! Not that there's anything wrong with the Viragos, it's just that in the size I'm looking for, I'd have to get something 10 years or so old, and I don't want to end up with some elses problem or something that is getting to the point that it needs major work. I live in an apartment right now, so I don't really have anywhere to do serious work, so I'm looking for something fairly new, if not brand new.
     

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