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I just picked up a 2006 XL 883 Custom, completely original and unmolested, almost showroom condition with only 9,400 miles on it. It's the last year of the carbureted Sportsters, has the solid 16" rear rim, 21" spoked front and the 4.5 gallon tank. This is going to be an excellent naked tourer. The only thing I'm not so fond of is the HD security system with key fob.
 

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From the late fall of 2012 till the end of spring in 2013 when I took the MSF course and got my license, I had a promo photo of the 'new' 2012 HD Iron Sportster on my tablet and Ipod, as the desktop photo. It was what I was planning on getting once I got my license.

Did not work out that way, mostly because the local HD dealer would not let me take an 883 sportster for a test ride, in spite of my new MC license and MSF card in my wallet, and 33 sweaty hundred dollar bills in my pocket for a down payment.
 

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Wow, $3300. That's a good deal. 883s in that shape here would be around $5000. 1200, $7000. Road King - $12000 - 14000. Of course, that's Canadian dollars so I guess it works out about the same...lol.
 

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this is getting weird, because that same $3300 I had in my pocket at the HD dealership is what I paid for my 2005 VS650, from the original owner.
 

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Wow, $3300. That's a good deal. 883s in that shape here would be around $5000. 1200, $7000. Road King - $12000 - 14000. Of course, that's Canadian dollars so I guess it works out about the same...lol.
Yeah, 883s tend to go for less because of their "chick's bike" or "baby Harley" status which works great for people like me.
 

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For 3,300 I would have bought the bike too. However, late last fall, I bought a 1999 V-Star 650 Classic with 12,000 miles and loaded with leather bags and windshield for only 1400 dollars Canadian. That's about 400 dollars U.S.....lol.
 

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Wow, great buy. Keep us posted after you get some saddle time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Wow, great buy. Keep us posted after you get some saddle time.
Will do. I took her out yesterday for about 60 miles to run a few errands and I can say that she handles pretty well under water although she doesn't carburet well when temps are in the high 30s until she's thoroughly heated up.

I'm a little restless knowing that she's now under her cover completely filthy from yesterday's ride and the rain hasn't stopped so I can't give her a good cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I took Gina out for a ride through twisty secondary roads this morning and she has serious potential. Her suspension is lacking and feels like she has a springer front and hard tail rear so I'll be putting some Progressive Suspension fork springs and shocks on her but otherwise her brakes and sufficient engine torque made for easy riding and maintaining corner speed through turns. A common complaint I hear/read about is that the brakes on a stock Sporty are pathetic but I like them. The front brake was easily a two-finger affair with good feedback and strong enough to make the front Dunlop D401 howl. Probably the best experiences of the morning were the second-takes I got from sport bike riders when a guy on a naked American 'cruiser' donning one-piece leathers and a day-glow yellow full-face helmet waved to them.
 

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I took Gina out for a ride....

you got some splainin to do. Did you think we would let this slide?!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I took Gina out for a ride....

you got some splainin to do. Did you think we would let this slide?!
Gina is a 2006 model and I presently live in Kentucky so I thought that 12 years old was OK. (OMG how wrong was that?!!! Yeah I'm taking a shower after that comment. Did I mention that someone hacked my starbikeforums account?)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Once again I'm underwhelmed by my HD purchase and decided to eventually sell Gina. Not that she's a bad bike by any means but unlike Prunella I don't get all worked up and excited over the thought of taking her out for a ride. After selling her I may consider a stripped down RoadStar as a backup bike but chances are I'll end up just getting another XVS650 Custom since I love the make/model so much. It pretty much has everything I want and expect of a motorcycle.
 

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have you ridden a Road Star ?

I like everything I read about them - 1600 cc same as a late '70s VW beetle, pushrods (no timing chain), air cooled, belt drive, single carb (before fuel injection was added), and its only about 60HP, so everything points to a low maintenance 100,000+ mile cruiser bike.

they look similar to the VS 650, just bigger.

BTW, the Sportster engine is very different from the Vstar engines - VS revs higher, HD is more torquy at lower RPMs - if you get use to your vstar the HD wont ride the same. Maybe is just that you are not use to its characteristics.
 

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I keep seeing good deals on low mileage VS 650s from time to time, like <10k miles for $1000 to $1400. I have been tempted to get one, but since I already have one it would just sit in my garage until my present 650 gets worn out, stolen or wrecked. I stop myself from grabbing one because: If my 650 is a reliable bike, then I don't need a spare.

But a different bike (bigger bike, sport touring bike) would have different riding characteristics - I can see myself on the interstate on a Road Star or FJR-1300 more than on my VS650 going 80mph for hours at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
...the Sportster engine is very different from the Vstar engines - VS revs higher, HD is more torquy at lower RPMs - if you get use to your vstar the HD wont ride the same. Maybe is just that you are not use to its characteristics.
I'm well aware of the different engine characteristics but what it boils down to is that as a complete package the Sportster just isn't all that exciting to me... I love the motor but the rest is meh. The RoadStar has a motor with similar characteristics (low down torque) however it's in a Yamaha rolling chassis and from my experience Yamaha has made some damned impressive and fun motorcycles to ride which is why I'm hoping that the RS can fill the spot where the Sportster failed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
BTW when it comes to low revving undersquare push rod v-twins I think Yamaha out did HD at their own game with the Road Star. I've never owned one or ridden one for any extended period but from what I remember the motorcycle is a great handler given it's weight that has good suspension, a low seat height, reliable unit construction motor/tranny and has that utilitarian farm-tractor type motor.
 

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Not to take away from the RS but have ya tried out the lil brother Vstar 1300 .. liquid cooled and out of the box more power than the RS.. and with a lil tweaking a lot more power.. Lighter than the roadstar and if you were thinking of going naked I'm sure you could get a deluxe/tourer and strip it down and make your money back fairly quickly selling the extras ie bags..windshield etc etc and than do your solo mods and such to personalize it to your own :) Just saying since i have seen guys on the US side selling under 40k bikes in the 4000- 5000 range . and hey.. 69hp out of the box isn't a bad starting point if your looking for more highway/interstate riding.
 

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Going with a Vstar 1300 (water cooled and fuel injected), a Royal Star (water cooled, V4 w carbs) or a Road Star or Road Liner (air cooled, push rods, carbs on the early bikes) is one of the tradeoffs to be dealt with.

On a long road trip I would rather have the simpler bike: air cooled, carbs, pushrods... and sacrifice a bit of performance than to be sitting on the side of a back road 1000 miles from home wondering which sensor has failed and now my bike is dead on the shoulder.

Clearly reliability of the components comes into consideration, and all Vstar bikes are highly reliable, but one less thing to fail (map sensor, timing sensor, coolant pump...) is one less thing to ruin your road trip. If a bike does not have them, they cannot fail.

Simplicity of design has its own elegant beauty.

At the same time if I find a great deal on a VS1300 or Royal Star, Im grabbing it. The $1000 I might save on a good deal over another bike will pay for a tow and repairs at a dealer if necessary.
 
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