What's worse: Too powerful or not feeling completely comfortable? - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
 194Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 09:53 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Reformed Cager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Western, NY
Posts: 292
Garage
What's worse: Too powerful or not feeling completely comfortable?

Looking for some sage advice here. As some of you know, I bought my first ever bike, an Iron 883 last October. Rode it home some ~20 miles from the dealership with no issues. Took it out the next evening and did some practice up and down some neighborhood side streets for about an hour, again no issues. Was two turns away from being home, and lowsided. Total rookie mistake that I take full responsibility for. Insurance totalled the bike. I ordered a new Iron 883, and it just got to the dealer late last week.

I know I'm new to riding, but I've never felt totally comfortable sitting or riding an Iron. One of the things that really got me thinking about when I ordered the new Iron, is the Harley Promise trade-in deal. I figured I could ride the Iron for a season, trade it in over the next winter, and order what bigger scoot I wanted.

I went out to the dealer last week to sit on and check out the new Iron I ordered, and when I sat on it, I got that feeling of not feeling totally comfortable again. I'm 5'11" and around 230. The mid controls feel like they're too close, and the high center of gravity isn't something I'm a big fan of. All of the Softails and Touring bikes I've sat on have been great. I feel like I'm "in" those, whereas I feel like I'm "on" the Sportster.

Top if off, I read the fine print on HD's website about the trade-in, and it's only for bikes that the dealer has in stock. Not a huge thing, per se, but if I'm dropping $15K-$20K+ on a bike, I want it to have all the options I want, in the color I want.

So, that brings me to my dilemma. Do I stay with the Iron, hope I get used to it, and hope they have something I really want to trade into before next August? Or do I bite the bullet and get something a little more comfortable, even though it'll be about twice as powerful as the Iron?

There's a compelling case to be made for either option. I just don't have enough experience to make an super informed decision. The last thing I want to do though is to get the Iron, be used to it within 3-4 months, and have nothing I can trade it in towards.

I appreciate any advice, wisdom, ribbing, etc. in advance.
slingshot383 and Convince Me like this.

2019 HD Iron 883 Rugged Gold Denim - "Luna"
2019 HD Iron 883 Wicked Red - "Scarlett" - RIP, totaled 10/20/18

US Army Veteran
Thank you to all that have, are, and will serve, both Military and Civil.
Reformed Cager is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:09 AM
Senior Member
 
Louisville Joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 9,900
If you can rent a couple of bikes for maybe half a day or so that will tell you more than we could tell you.... And it will be money well spent.
Louisville Joe is online now  
post #3 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:15 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Reformed Cager's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Western, NY
Posts: 292
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by Louisville Joe View Post
If you can rent a couple of bikes for maybe half a day or so that will tell you more than we could tell you.... And it will be money well spent.
That might be a good option.
slingshot383 and sardonicus87 like this.

2019 HD Iron 883 Rugged Gold Denim - "Luna"
2019 HD Iron 883 Wicked Red - "Scarlett" - RIP, totaled 10/20/18

US Army Veteran
Thank you to all that have, are, and will serve, both Military and Civil.
Reformed Cager is offline  
 
post #4 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:29 AM
Senior Member
 
candyman1340's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New England
Posts: 18,905
Garage
Once you find the bike that fits right, go look for a similar model that is used, just for learning purposes ,
kind of like a winter beater, just so you don't mess up your new ride while on the learning curve. Putt a year or two in the saddle on an older used bike to build your confidence , if you lay it down the scratches and dings won't hurt as much as laying down a showroom new bike.
candyman1340 is online now  
post #5 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:34 AM
Wayward Son
 
Thunder~Struck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Where dreams go to die.
Posts: 22,451
FWIW.
I have an above knee amputation of the left leg. When I started riding in 84, it was on a brand new 83 80" FXWG.
Remember. The power is in "your" right hand.
Pred8er, slingshot383, JLR and 4 others like this.

You`ve been
Thunder⚡️Struck
ATW TWF/FTW
R.E.D. :
♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️ ♦️

People are why I love Dogs and my Harley.
💔In Loving Memory💔
❣️Thor❣️
🐾No longer by my side. Forever in my heart.🐾
09-08-17
🖤Bear, Brute, Jessie, Billy, Aiyana🖤

ROLO
04-03-14 > 07-27-16
Ed
11-20-17
Bee

No such thing as just a Dog.
Thunder~Struck is online now  
post #6 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:39 AM
Senior Member
 
DLM Prez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 7,374
Instead of giving you answers, I will ask you a few questions:
1. What compelled you to want the Sportster? Styling? Smaller engine size? Advice from someone else?
2. What is causing you to think that the Sportster will lose it's allure?
3. What are the attractions of other models that you have sat on?
4. What are the negatives of other models that you have sat on?
Oftentimes, when you start using logic to analyze all the variables of a significant purchase, it can become overwhelming. Its human nature. It is, also, critical to undergo that sort of analysis for essential/vital investments like a house, car, machinery and equipment that will have an impact on your daily life for a long period of years. Yet, a motorcycle is a leisure vehicle. Its not essential for most people. A motorcycle is meant to be used as a release of your daily routine. It is meant to be enjoyed. As such, ditch 90% of the logic that we normally use to analyze its purchase and, instead, focus on the reasons one particular brand or model makes you feel inside when you see one.
The motorcycle that moves you is the one you should buy.

God made everyone right-handed, the truly gifted overcome it.

DLM Prez is online now  
post #7 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:49 AM
weird member
 
sardonicus87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dothan, AL (I "aint from 'round here" though)
Posts: 1,301
Garage
You could also try a demo day or see if they will let you test one you might be interested in.

I started with Harley's on a Sportster. An 883 to be exact. When I first started riding it, it took me a while to get comfortable on it. All my previous experience was mopeds, dirt bikes, enduro's, sport touring, etc, so it's not like I was a brand new rider or anything.

Eventually, I did get relatively comfortable on the 883, but never entirely. It was also mid-controlled. And I am not a big dude (5'9, 160 lbs). I always hated the high center of gravity despite my previous experience. I was never fully comfortable on that bike.

When I first transitioned to the big twin, it was scary because of the size and weight. That lasted all of an hour. It took no time for me to get comfortable with it. To me, the big twin softail feels so much more solid. But there's a lot of differences between mine and the Sportster I was on besides just the weight and lower center of gravity. Taller and wider handlebars for one (to me, wider bars feel more controlled when cornering), and forward controls for another.

I actually now feel less comfortable on a Sportster than I did before experiencing the big twins.

That's just my personal experience. There's plenty of people who prefer the feel of the Sportster.

As to the title of the thread, comfort matters way more, regardless of power or lack thereof. I would say to not let the weight and size of the big bikes sway you on that, unless the weight makes you feel that uncomfortable. You could always try a smaller one of the big twins, like the Low Rider or Street Bob. Same power increase over the Sportster (relatively, obviously power difference between 107 and 114), same lower center of gravity, but a lot less weight than an SG or RG.

Just, don't think about it too much and see what feels comfortable (comfort is probably the most important part; not luxury comfort, I mean not being afraid of it comfort; like with firearms, "respect, not fear"). Over-thinking it will make you more uncomfortable than anything the bike itself can do. Save the thinking for the price range and negotiations. You can get yourself worked up with anxieties that are totally unfounded by over-thinking.

Kyle
1997 Softail Custom (FXSTC) [the red one]
1997 Softail Custom (FXSTC) [RIP 6 Nov, 2018]


You've got to play the hand that you're dealt, and sometimes life deals you a losing hand, well then you're a loser, and you have to deal with it.
sardonicus87 is online now  
post #8 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 10:58 AM
Senior Member
 
FLYING TIGER's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Philly, Yo!
Posts: 1,915
Garage
Something I read that you wrote, sit in and sit on, is why I like FL Harley's.

Chaly
FLYING TIGER is offline  
post #9 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:07 AM
weird member
 
sardonicus87's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Dothan, AL (I "aint from 'round here" though)
Posts: 1,301
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYING TIGER View Post
Something I read that you wrote, sit in and sit on, is why I like FL Harley's.
See, I prefer the FX personally, and I feel just as "in rather than on" with those as the FLs. Then again, even changing the seat can make it feel a lot different. There's a world of difference feeling "in rather than on" just on this bike between the scooped Le Pera seat that was on it and the Mustang wide touring seat I replaced it with.

Just goes to show how tough these questions are. Everyone's personal experience is different and what they like.

None of us can really say what's going to be most comfortable for the OP. It's all kind of subjective.

I think that's why these threads always end up being the same: "try a few and see what feels right for you".

Kyle
1997 Softail Custom (FXSTC) [the red one]
1997 Softail Custom (FXSTC) [RIP 6 Nov, 2018]


You've got to play the hand that you're dealt, and sometimes life deals you a losing hand, well then you're a loser, and you have to deal with it.
sardonicus87 is online now  
post #10 of 68 (permalink) Old 03-19-2019, 11:14 AM
Retired citizen
 
SCHMIDTY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Port Wash.,WI
Posts: 21,212
Garage
The Iron is a cool looking Sporty but I think he'd be more comfy on a Sporty with forward controls. Something like the Sportster 1200 Forty-Eight Special. With the bigger engine the OP might not need a bigger bike right away. The Forty-Eight Special comes with forward controls.

Disclaimer : Don't believe anything I say unless you are absolutely sure that I know what I'm talking about .
SCHMIDTY is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
I am not going to go completely crazy, I promise. gtrman66 Touring General Discussions 67 11-05-2015 12:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome