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Sportster Models 883, 883 Custom, 1200 Custom, 883L, 1200L, 1200S, 1200 Roadster, XR1200, and the Nightster.
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  #1  
Old 03-14-2008, 03:41 PM
jgcable jgcable is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Default Touring on a Sportster

I just came back from Daytona Bikeweek 2008. I live in Connecticut. I went with 3 buddies. We trailered our bikes down to Merritt Island which is 60 miles from Daytona. We went to Daytona every day and we also drove our bikes to Key West which was approx 7 hours each way.
We put 1500 miles on our bikes in the 7 days of riding we had. We had nice weather days. We had 40mph wind days, and we got caught in a monsoon for 60 miles on the way to the Keys.

I have a 1988 Sporty with a 1200 conversion in it. It was dyno'd in Daytona at 74hp. It has the Johnson Engine Technology Stage 2.5 upgrade done to it, a Mikuni 42mm and V&H Straightshots. It is a 4 speed with a chain drive. It has new tires and kevlar brake pads.I have saddle bags on it, a sissy bar with a t-bag, and Dyna Wideglide handlebars. It has a fatbob tank and its painted extreme green which is my favorite color. Besides that... its just a run of the mill 1200 conversion.
My buddies drive the following...
2007 Screaming Eagle Springer Softail
2006 Fatboy
1998 Softail Custom that is highly modified and customized.

Here are my observations regarding touring in Floridawith a Sportster...

When you are traveling on highways with a 70mph speed limit everybody is doing at least 80. Most are doing 85. The big bikes with 6 speeds have no problem cruising for an hour at 85mph. My bike sounded like a combination of a bomb and 2 giant coffee cans full of rocks. The vibration was incredible. I just couldn't maintain those speeds or that long. I cruised at 72 and met them at the designated stops. It was pretty stressfull though because they always had to wait for me.
40mph crosswinds are not what you want to be in on a small bike. A nice Fatboy or touring bike would be a better choice.
The small tank on a Sportster.. (mine has a3.9 gallon Fatbob tank on it) still isn't enough for touring considering I only get 45mpg and my tank has a 1 gallon reserve. A nice 5-6 gallon tank with a fuel gauge is a better choice.

Because the roads are mainly flat in Florida coupled with the high winds and the high speed limit.. a Sportster has really no advantage and many disadvantages.
When I got home from the trip I instantly wanted to sell my "small bike" and buy something like a Heritage Softail or a Street Glide. Now that I have been home a few days I noticed all the twisties around Connecticut and the fact that most of my riding around here is approx 300 miles a week in the backroads.. I am all good with my Sportster.

Regarding Bikeweek.... it was crazy. I didn't notice very many Sportsters there. I would say that 95% of the bikes there were big twins, custom choppers and touring bikes. Most of the guys I talked to were stunned that I put 1500 miles on my Sportster in Floridaand drove it 7 hours to Key West. Oh yea.. one more thing... every biker in Florida referred to my bike as either a chick bike, a little lady or a peanut. Thats cool with me... my dyno paper shows my little lady is putting out 74hp at the rear wheel. I just love the darn thing and have already put 7000 miles on it since I got it the middle of last season!!!
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2008, 03:48 PM
valveguide valveguide is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Down North
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

So what if you are slower , it beats walking .

Myself, I am to old to be in a hurry anymore ...
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  #3  
Old 03-14-2008, 03:54 PM
Pilotguy1050 Pilotguy1050 is offline
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

Quote:
ORIGINAL: valveguide

So what if your are slower , it beats walking .

Myself, I am to old to be in a hurry anymore ...
What *he* ^ said.
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  #4  
Old 03-14-2008, 03:56 PM
jgcable jgcable is offline
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

Quote:
ORIGINAL: valveguide

So what if your are slower , it beats walking .

Myself, I am to old to be in a hurry anymore ...
I am not in a hurry either but most guys with 6 speeds with overdrive riding on a 70mph speed limit highway are just loafing around at 2500rpms doing 80+.I thought that riding in a group was the fun of it and we would usually be in a group for about 2 miles. They would even claim that we will take iteasy and ride together but you know how that goes!! Then... I would just let them go. No worries... just observations.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2008, 04:03 PM
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Yellotang Yellotang is online now
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

My wife rode her sporty 90 mph from Washington state to Sturgis last year. 883c.

1100 miles each way. No problem.

What was the point of the thread?
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2008, 04:07 PM
Doug45601 Doug45601 is offline
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

Hence the name "Sportster" best designed for sport riding, twisties and local runs.. better to handle and nimble in traffic............ "Touring" best for touring, operates like a car in traffic and at HW speeds.. all about comfort but get them off the hard pavement and you could be stuck... or at least you will need help getting them back on the pavement.

I have toured on a Sportster before.... well at least for a couple hundred of miles and unless you take it slow and ride with a group that wants to take the back roads then the pleasure of riding for the sake of riding becomes more like work with the feeling the bike is about to throw a rod right up your butt!!
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  #7  
Old 03-14-2008, 04:09 PM
chornbe chornbe is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chester County, PA
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster


Sorry, dude. That's not touring. That's trailering and home-basing.

It won't come apart. Learn to love the revs and the vibes. Or get the right tool for the job if you feel the Sportie isn't it.

I'm actually considering taking my Sportster on my cross-country trip in May rather than the Street Glide. I'll be riding with a bunch of guys on Sport Tourers and I can rail this sportster in the twisties better than the 'Glide will do ( you guys should really do the suspension and dual-disc brakes!! ). We have a ball in the twisties. We'll be doing ~6600 miles between Portland OR and south, then east across all the goodness that the southwest and canyon country have to offer, then across to the smokies and home.

Quote:
ORIGINAL: jgcable

I just came back from Daytona Bikeweek 2008. I live in Connecticut. I went with 3 buddies. We trailered our bikes down to Merritt Island which is 60 miles from Daytona. We went to Daytona every day and we also drove our bikes to Key West which was approx 7 hours each way.
We put 1500 miles on our bikes in the 7 days of riding we had. We had nice weather days. We had 40mph wind days, and we got caught in a monsoon for 60 miles on the way to the Keys.

I have a 1988 Sporty with a 1200 conversion in it. It was dyno'd in Daytona at 74hp. It has the Johnson Engine Technology Stage 2.5 upgrade done to it, a Mikuni 42mm and V&H Straightshots. It is a 4 speed with a chain drive. It has new tires and kevlar brake pads.I have saddle bags on it, a sissy bar with a t-bag, and Dyna Wideglide handlebars. It has a fatbob tank and its painted extreme green which is my favorite color. Besides that... its just a run of the mill 1200 conversion.
My buddies drive the following...
2007 Screaming Eagle Springer Softail
2006 Fatboy
1998 Softail Custom that is highly modified and customized.

Here are my observations regarding touring in Floridawith a Sportster...

When you are traveling on highways with a 70mph speed limit everybody is doing at least 80. Most are doing 85. The big bikes with 6 speeds have no problem cruising for an hour at 85mph. My bike sounded like a combination of a bomb and 2 giant coffee cans full of rocks. The vibration was incredible. I just couldn't maintain those speeds or that long. I cruised at 72 and met them at the designated stops. It was pretty stressfull though because they always had to wait for me.
40mph crosswinds are not what you want to be in on a small bike. A nice Fatboy or touring bike would be a better choice.
The small tank on a Sportster.. (mine has a3.9 gallon Fatbob tank on it) still isn't enough for touring considering I only get 45mpg and my tank has a 1 gallon reserve. A nice 5-6 gallon tank with a fuel gauge is a better choice.

Because the roads are mainly flat in Florida coupled with the high winds and the high speed limit.. a Sportster has really no advantage and many disadvantages.
When I got home from the trip I instantly wanted to sell my "small bike" and buy something like a Heritage Softail or a Street Glide. Now that I have been home a few days I noticed all the twisties around Connecticut and the fact that most of my riding around here is approx 300 miles a week in the backroads.. I am all good with my Sportster.

Regarding Bikeweek.... it was crazy. I didn't notice very many Sportsters there. I would say that 95% of the bikes there were big twins, custom choppers and touring bikes. Most of the guys I talked to were stunned that I put 1500 miles on my Sportster in Floridaand drove it 7 hours to Key West. Oh yea.. one more thing... every biker in Florida referred to my bike as either a chick bike, a little lady or a peanut. Thats cool with me... my dyno paper shows my little lady is putting out 74hp at the rear wheel. I just love the darn thing and have already put 7000 miles on it since I got it the middle of last season!!!
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2008, 04:12 PM
running back running back is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 202
Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

Move to wisconsin ,more 60 mile hr beautiful scenic routes . Or take some more back roads when you ride or suck it up and lag behind.
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2008, 06:19 PM
RATROD HOG RATROD HOG is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: eastern Pa
Posts: 1,768
Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

well your three buddies left you in the dust,thats WRONG man
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2008, 06:45 PM
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Yellotang Yellotang is online now
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Location: Pasco, Washington
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Default RE: Touring on a Sportster

Quote:
ORIGINAL: RATROD HOG

well your three buddies left you in the dust,thats WRONG man
Ya, I just caught that as well. Who the hell would leave their buddy behind because they go too slow. That is just wrong.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:45 PM
 
 
 
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bike, bikes, conversion, country, cross, gallon, good, miles, mysportster, riding, sportster, sportsters, tank, tourer, touring


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