Print Posted on 07/12/2017 in Opinion

Yes the Harley-Davidson Sportster is a "REAL" bike!

Yes the Harley-Davidson Sportster is a

I currently ride a Harley-Davidson Road King but I am considering trading it in for an Iron, I have in the past owned an 883 Sportster. Occasionally while riding the Sportster I would get comments like “When are you getting a real bike”, “You can’t go anywhere on that”, “It just can’t keep up”, “Isn’t that a starter bike” or the one that pissed me off the most “That’s not a man’s bike”.

I was on the West Kootenay Toy Run a couple of years back, the bike was only a couple of months old when an old acquaintance asked me what I was riding. I pointed over to the Sportster and told him that I had just recently bought the Sportster from Mountain View Harley-Davidson in Chilliwack. He walked over and took a look at my bike for a few minutes then proceeded to ask “Isn’t that a starter bike?” I knew I would get harassed by some who love to stereo-type people but I have to wonder how stupid he felt when I said “It’s an 883, your riding a 750 Honda Shadow”. Now nothing against the Honda Shadow 750, as I don’t consider them a starter bike either, but if your bike is smaller than mine you should probably not talk about my bike being a starter bike.

The sales person at Mountain View Harley-Davidson suggested to me one day, that people with comments about the Sportster not keeping up should go for a ride with the Sportster leading the way… through a road with lots of curves and tight corners. They might have a new opinion about the Sportster keeping up. I have to agree, I have rode on many of the same roads on my Road King as I did on Sportster, although the Road King will climb the hills with more ease, it also cannot corner as well the Sportster did. If the Heritage even considered taking those corners to keep up, those pegs would be wearing off pretty quickly.

Nothing gets me more frustrated than the bike being referred to as a “lady’s bike” or “not a man’s bike”. First anybody, man or woman, who puts there ass on motorcycle and does even 50 mph has got enough guts that it should get peoples respect. Secondly it shows your lack of respect to both the bike owner and lady riders and that really pisses me off. Two of the 3 people I ride with the most are lady riders, one does have a Sportster, the 1200, she has also road a VMax’s, and her husbands Road King. The other owned a Sportster but now rides a Road King, both have pretty much rode every type of bike Harley-Davidson makes during demo rides. They have no problems with any of them at all.

I have heard several people say “You can’t go on a long trip with that bike”, guess I missed that memo as well. While I had my Sportster I took several long trips on it, I live in a small town in BC just a couple hours north of Spokane, Washington and did several long trips on the Sportsters. We took them to Las Vegas, not once but twice, the second time we left Vegas and headed to California to take the California, and Oregon Coasts back home. We also went to Yorkton Saskatchewan, taking our daughter with us on her Virago 250 before she bought a Sportster.

I love having my Road King, it is now 6 years old and has been a great bike but I found myself this week thinking of trading it in and with the peanut tank the Iron is my favorite looking bike at the moment. I also have told many people over the years, the most fun I have ever had on a motorcycle was on my Sportster. The biggest downfall to owning a Sportster is the stereo-type that goes with it

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