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  1. #1

    Default 6'1" - is a Sportster chop going to work?

    I'm at the beginning stages of shopping for a project and am super interested in a Sporty, something like Amil91's bike below. I'm interested in hearing how 6' tall folks are getting along on these smaller bikes. Photos would be great if you have them. If a swingarm is too cramped, what should I be looking for in a hardtail kit, in terms of stretch.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    6’2”, forward controls definitely needed, but I’ve put 1000’s of miles on sportster(s) without an issue. I wouldn’t ride from Chicago to California but that’s more based on ergonomics and comfort versus the bike or my ability.

  3. #3

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    Good feedback. I'll add that I currently ride a R1200RT for commuting and am used to having my legs tucked up under me a bit. I'm more concerned that I don't look like I'm riding a kids bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcdbraun View Post
    I'm at the beginning stages of shopping for a project and am super interested in a Sporty, something like Amil91's bike below. I'm interested in hearing how 6' tall folks are getting along on these smaller bikes. Photos would be great if you have them. If a swingarm is too cramped, what should I be looking for in a hardtail kit, in terms of stretch.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Amil91 Sporty.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	23.1 KB 
ID:	109373
    Im 6'2'' 240 ish and i still and will always rip around old ironheads, stock frame, rigid frame, mid controls. If your not going to build a frame, id look at spending the money on a GasBox rigid frame, the paughco and also Ben Jeff makes a awesome single downtube frame.

  5. #5

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    I gotta tell you, your size and the bike you want might not be a good match. I beleive in the saying: Get the most bike you can get with the budget you have. I am 6 feet. My first bike was a stock swingarm sporty back in 77 and not a week later, I determined I needed a bigger one. I bought a Jammer rigid frame for it, and still, it just didnt fit. Not everyone is gonna like this, but either around town or on the interstate, you might find yourself lacking because of your size and weight

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    I don't buy for how I look on a machine.

    Sporties win on agility and power to weight ratio isn't bad though more is of course better and the aftermarket provides.. The five speed Evo Sporty solid-mount may be HDs most refined engine.

    Ignore the four speed Evos unless it's absurdly cheap then remember you can relocate the sidestand (kits are cheap and you can make the welds with an installed engine to get the angle you want since the welds that matter can be done from below. (A bead across the top doesn't contribute much.)

    You can also upgrade the sidestand using either one harvested from a bagger or by welding a simple mount plate (Fab Kevin sells those cheaper than it's worth me to mill one from flat bar) for the best stand in motorcycling, the classic 1930s design that lasted through the Shovel era. That lets you get the best angle for your custom frame, extended forks etc.

    Long wheelbase bikes are more comfortable all other inputs being equal. The long bike guys figgered that out many moons ago. So did dirtbikers who lengthened swingarms for more wheel travel. Stock Sportster rear suspension geometry is for appearance not travel or comfort but they look fine with reasonably extended swingarms. A popular way to add the appearance of size is stretching the frame or buying one.

    If hunting donors first thing to look for is a clear title.You're the buyer so don't cut your own throat buying a pile of scrap money pit. I look for garage sitters since I know I can get them running and will replace the cosmetics anyway. Last score was a stroker 89" done right but rat shit, dirt and a fried starter got it for 1700. Deals are out there but to get them have money set aside then never go shopping hungry. Holidays are coming which drives sales.

    Study long and well. xlforum is the best online Evo Sporty resource and the Harley Manual PDF Trade and Share group on Fecesbook is a gold mine. Download everything applicable and more, especially parts catalogs for research.

    Best donor is a complete stock runner and 883 is fine if that lowers the price more than the cost of a 1200 kit. Best to ride the thing long enough to figure out what feels good. I'm 6'2" and hate forwards (local roads mean standing on mid pegs is better than pain) but use highway pegs to stretch out then downshift and brake with my heels in emergency.

    Take your time to make you motorbike comfortable so you will want to ride it!

  7. #7

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    I'm 6'1" 220 LBS and I bought my 2003 1200 Sporty from a weekend warrior about 5 or 6 years ago. It only had 3,500 miles on it!! I gave $3,200 for it back then. I rode it around stock for a while and racked up 80,000 miles before I cut it in half.

    Went with a Led Sled 4" stretch 2" drop hardtail and did it all myself. The bike has changed form a few times since I've had it.

    I'd estimate the mileage to be well over 100,000 miles by now, although I'm not certain cuz I ditched the speedo when I hardtailed it.

    The bike has forwards, which I don't mind at all. But, I have been thinking about fabricating some mid controls for it some day because IMO, a relatively neutral riding position is the best and I just love tinkering and experimenting.

    Even when the bike was bone stock, I never found the riding position to feel cramped or small? I'm not sure where that comes from other than the crowd that tries to justify their monthly payment for the huge bloated couch douchebagger that they ride. Sportsters are for girls!!! Get ya a real mans Harley BROTHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Honestly, between my 1937 UL 80" Flathead , my 1961 FLH 74" Panhead and my '03 1200cc Sporty, I find the Sportster the absolute most fun and comfortable to ride. It's also more reliable, and faster......................


    When it was stock:


    Last time it was stock:


    Stripped for hardtail:


    Hardtail fitting:


    I plated the bottom of the frame as well:


    Immediately after I chopped it:


    This is before the 8" over tubes, the K+Q seat, and the kickstart conversion:


    As it is now, but with T bars on it instead of rabbits:



    Taken a few months ago:
    https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgRUw...YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

    A rambling video of the bike I made. This is how it is now, except I ditched that seat and put a K+Q on it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzsCLJ2qojs


    Like I said, mine is 4" stretch. I don't know if anyone makes a hardtail longer than that without going to a full custom frame, but I personally wouldn't hesitate to go even longer if it was an option.


    Look for a 5 speed RIGID mount Sporty, like mentioned already. I would advise to avoid the rubber mounts, and avoid the 4 speeds.
    Last edited by CDeeZ; 10-26-2022 at 3:06 AM.

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    but I personally wouldn't hesitate to go even longer if it was an option.
    You could stretch an aftermarket hardtail and make it an option but the folks who fab them already have jigs and might make one for the asking. Wheelbase bringeth comfort. You could certainly stretch what ya got but being lazy I'd snag a titled cheap frame (four speed is fine if ya relocate the sidestand), mod that then either swap parts or add yet another bike to the heap.

    Holidays are coming up with the usual sales...

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    I'll add my 3-cents being 6'-4" myself... I gotta say... that if a bike has forwards it better be boards for me.
    Forwards make my knee bend half way between tucked (mids) and stretched (what forwards are intended to do).

    My current bike has forward pegs and it wares out my inner thigh which strains my ability to hold my knees in to the bike. The wind is constantly trying to pull my knees out to the side. I know... 'cry me a river' and all. But the reality is, as a tall guy, I'd MUCH rather have mid controls and be tucked in with bent knees, feet under the knees, and then have a highway peg or something out on the front downtubes so that I can stretch out every now and then if needed.

    That said, gotta consider the upper body too. If upper body is vertical or forward with tight drag bars or apes... to me... that's mids all day. Put me on a bike with a laid back style, taller sissy bar, leaning on a bag or passenger... that's forwards for sure.

    All personal preference. But I would definitely speak up against any hard-fast rules about a certain height demanding forwards.
    Case in point being one of the most favorite bikes I've ridden... 1971 ironhead chop with mids and drag bars. Was a blast and comfortable.

    To each their own I guess...

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Wonder what the OP decided to do........................

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by CDeeZ View Post
    I'm 6'1" 220 LBS and I bought my 2003 1200 Sporty from a weekend warrior about 5 or 6 years ago. It only had 3,500 miles on it!! I gave $3,200 for it back then. I rode it around stock for a while and racked up 80,000 miles before I cut it in half.

    Went with a Led Sled 4" stretch 2" drop hardtail and did it all myself. The bike has changed form a few times since I've had it.

    I'd estimate the mileage to be well over 100,000 miles by now, although I'm not certain cuz I ditched the speedo when I hardtailed it.

    The bike has forwards, which I don't mind at all. But, I have been thinking about fabricating some mid controls for it some day because IMO, a relatively neutral riding position is the best and I just love tinkering and experimenting.

    Even when the bike was bone stock, I never found the riding position to feel cramped or small? I'm not sure where that comes from other than the crowd that tries to justify their monthly payment for the huge bloated couch douchebagger that they ride. Sportsters are for girls!!! Get ya a real mans Harley BROTHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Honestly, between my 1937 UL 80" Flathead , my 1961 FLH 74" Panhead and my '03 1200cc Sporty, I find the Sportster the absolute most fun and comfortable to ride. It's also more reliable, and faster......................


    When it was stock:


    Last time it was stock:


    Stripped for hardtail:


    Hardtail fitting:


    I plated the bottom of the frame as well:


    Immediately after I chopped it:


    This is before the 8" over tubes, the K+Q seat, and the kickstart conversion:


    As it is now, but with T bars on it instead of rabbits:



    Taken a few months ago:
    https://www.instagram.com/reel/CgRUw...YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D

    A rambling video of the bike I made. This is how it is now, except I ditched that seat and put a K+Q on it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzsCLJ2qojs


    Like I said, mine is 4" stretch. I don't know if anyone makes a hardtail longer than that without going to a full custom frame, but I personally wouldn't hesitate to go even longer if it was an option.


    Look for a 5 speed RIGID mount Sporty, like mentioned already. I would advise to avoid the rubber mounts, and avoid the 4 speeds.
    That sporty paint job reminds me of Joe Namaths scoot in CC Rider (Or was it Born Losers?). Man, I woulda kept the seat from that bike in the movie after Ann Margret sat on it............................ "Pack of juicy fruit please"............

  12. #12

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    Oct 2019
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    Haha, I wanted to experiment and do something kinda wild. It all started when I put this 3 on the tree shift knob on the enrichener cable. I then thought, OK, there is the theme for this particular bike right there.




    The inspiration for tank paint job came from this bike:




    Are these movies you speak of??? I love some vintage motorcycle movies.

  13. #13

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    Awesome info and feedback from everyone, I really appreciate it, especially those that loaded photos. I ended up scoring a 2007 Fatboy with 8k miles for $4700 so I'm building a bobber with it. Here's my idea of a before and after.
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	109568Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    That sporty paint job reminds me of Joe Namaths scoot in CC Rider (Or was it Born Losers?). Man, I woulda kept the seat from that bike in the movie after Ann Margret sat on it............................ "Pack of juicy fruit please"............
    Ah, thanks! I thought that bike looked familiar.

    Quote Originally Posted by CDeeZ View Post
    Are these movies you speak of??? I love some vintage motorcycle movies.
    C.C. & Company w/Joe Namath and Ann-Margret. I know it's currently free on Amazon Prime.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by FMC1 View Post
    C.C. & Company w/Joe Namath and Ann-Margret. I know it's currently free on Amazon Prime.

    Oh yeah, I have seen that before. A total B or even C grade flick lol.

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