Originally Posted by theMule
I'm not too proud to admit I wanna climb on this bandwagon. I think everyone will know what I mean when I say I want to put together a typical m/c style FXR. My current daily rider is an '03 1200xl, and I'm not so sure of how much difference there would be in the overall riding experience.
Obviously were talking BT vs sportster, rubber vs solid mount, but the FXRs claim to fame is it's handling and overall "fun-ness." would I really notice much of a difference between the two in this category? I've never felt like my sporty was unstable in a corner or unresponsive.
Anyone who's owned both *cough* Billdozer...
care to weigh in?
OK, I'll try to articulate this from my experience with both. I've owned a couple sporties, 883, 1200, stock, lowered, strutted and one with 16's front and rear. Currently I ride a 92 FXR which is as low as you can get and about as stiffly sprung as possible. I like the FXR better, but the sporties were great. The FXR has more pull according to my butt dyno. Now I know guys will tell you their sporties outrun big twins all the time and they probably do and might smoke mine too, but this bike feels faster than my two previous sportsters. It feels like it stretches longer in between gears, like the sporties had a more close ratio trans. The Sporty might be quicker, but the FXR feels faster. I don't know if that's actually true, some real HD mechanic on here could easily tell you that. The difference is not that great but is enough to make the big bike feel more "fun" to me. The huge difference that was instantly noticeable was the massive wheelbase on the FXR. The first few days on this bike after spending a year on a sporty felt like I was going to overshoot slow turns because the bike was just so damn long. I got used to it after a while and it felt normal. The extra size makes it less "flickable" if such a thing can be said about any Harley. It also feels more weight biased to the rear than the sporty, probably due to head angle. Again, I never actually looked up the degrees of rake, they may be the same but the sporty felt like a steeper head angle. That extra wheelbase makes the FXR feel more relaxed on the highway and during more high speed work. If super tight and twisty or light to light is your bag, just mod your sporty until it's faster and save yourself a lot of expense. If you want something a little more suited to highway riding the FXR might be your thing. Having mid controls on a big twin instead of the birthing-chair position a lot of BT riders chose probably makes them seem to handle way better too. I can't stand forwards, cause I can't stand on 'em.
I wrote this in another thread on FXR's a while back: Half of the lore (of the FXR) probably comes from guys who like to go fast buying the bikes so then everyone thinks the bikes are fast. The other half probably comes from the frame's rigidity and geometry, 'cause with an 80" evo, how could it be any faster than any other 80" evo really?
Also, I'm fat. Fat on an FXR is more comfortable than fat on a sporty. Also fits a passenger better. Read that other thread there is some decent insight on other late model bikes, like a Superglide. When I rode the 2011 Street Bob last year in Mexico it was way faster than my FXR but felt spongy, like a Buick with overboosted power steering. After nearly two weeks on that thing I got back on my FXR and was stoked to ride it. It's low, harsh and loud and I felt like I could tell what was going on with it, where the super modern bike just felt too cushy and comfortable and would be too easy to get surprised by it in a corner or something where you didn't mean to go so fast.