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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 09 Heritage Softail after having my sportster for only 9 months. My husband has a Ultra and I felt like I was riding a side car when riding next to him. So if I wanta play with the big boys, I needed a big boy toy (lol). Anyway, does anyone have pointers, of what I should or shouldn't do, while I'm learning this new bike.
Thanks
Carol
 

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Out Riding
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Take it slow until you learn the bike and enjoy.


 

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I'm your huckleberry
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First stop riding next to him. (unless it's seperate lanes) CHiP's was a tv show. LOL Anyway seriously it doesn't give you room to make a manuver if your close to another rider. Past that find a big "empty" parking lot and have at it. Start, stop, turn to your hearts content. And of course always look where you want to go not at the object your trying to avoid. Know your OWN limits. If everyone (riding buddies or hubby) is taking the twisties faster than you like don't try and keep up. Wait til the road staightens out then catch up. Your the only one that knows what your feeling and when. So congrats on the upgrade and see ya on the road. ( I'm the idiot that waves at everyone)
 

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Slave to the grind
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Congrats! I want to get my wife a sportster to get her started. She wants a softail though.
 

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SNAFU organizer
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Only the Ride like a Pro videos or similar when it comes to handling heavier bikes.
 

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I break stuff.
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Most likely, you'll find that the Softail "feels" easier to handle than the Sporty, due to its lower center of gravity. It's only "heavier" when you try to dead-lift it, LOL!

Remember your fundamentals... take the time to get comfy with the clutch, throttle and brakes. There's no substitute for practice.

Congratulations and enjoy!!!
 

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I {Heart} Hookers.
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Anyway, does anyone have pointers, of what I should or shouldn't do?
The Heritage is heavier, in that it weighs more, but won;t feel like it at times. While riding, the weight makes the bike feel more solid and planted. The ride will be better then your Sporty. More plush.

Make sure to get your feet out in plenty of time, because if it starts to go over, it's gonna be tougher to stop.

You have less lean angle on the Heritage then the Sporty. Not sure how hard you cornered on the XL, but your clearence is less on the Heritage. Running boards and Primary will scrape first.

Give yourself a little more cornering room as well, in tight areas.

Give your self a little more room to stop then what the Sporty needed and most of all, enjoy it.

Congrats on your new bike, Carol. :thumb
 

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Just passing thru
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Like the others I fell that once underway it will be a piece of cake to ride. You just need to eat your Wheaties when lifting your bike off of the kickstand and when shuffling it around the driveway and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Todd, just a suggestion, if your wife wants a Heritage instead of a Sporty, by all means (if you can) get the Heritage. There is definitely a big price difference, but I wish I had purchased the Heritage from the beginning. I ride the Sporty really good, but if I had bought what my husband had wanted me to buy in the beginning, I would be riding the Heritage real damn good by now, but live and learn. On the Sporty you sit "ON" the bike, with the Heritage you sit in it, if you know what I mean. The weight has me a little shaky, but I think once I overcome that fear, I'll be okay.
The guys on here have given me some real pointers and I'm going to give it my all.

Carol
 

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On a ride
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Congrats ccairo. The Heritage is a sweet ride. That in-the-bike feel is something I've always liked about the Heritage. Can only note what the others have... parking lot speed is where a little extra attention could be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So other words, it's the slow speed that I need to work on. This is my biggest fear, that when I am slow moving, it's going to be difficult to keep up????
 

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I break stuff.
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If you can handle a bike well at parking-lot-slow speeds, you can handle anything.

Back in the years when I was dating a Shriner, I spent many Tuesday nights watching and practicing their drills. My favorite was working on steering-stop-tight circles at just over idle, without putting your feet down... and even running the obstacle course when I felt particularly feisty. This kind of exercise will teach you how to use your body weight in conjunction with mastering feel of clutch/throttle/back brake. More control = more skill = more confidence!
 

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Always recommend the STAR Program, low speed is something to work on, turning and cornering are and can be challenging. I have scraped the footboards once or twice it is unnerving. it will happen but expecting it and training for the pedals can help. practice stopping as well the softail being heavier slows down a little slower.

I just rebuilt my top end of my 99 heritage and I can not wait to break in my engine this weekend, happy riding stay safe and enjoy the best bike on the road and a piece of american History.....
 

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Sportster to Big Bike

Hi Carol, as a fellow female rider who also moved up from a Sportster (in my case to a Fat Boy) in addition to what everyone else on the forum suggested -- do some practice parking alone with your new bike esp. backing up. My bike was so much heavier I was embarrassed a couple of times in a crowd of bikers when I stopped someplace and couldn't make it budge trying to back into a spot! One of my fears when I made the move was whether it would be harder to deal with braking and stopping on a steep incline as the new bike created slightly more distance when putting my feet down and there are some uphill stops on my way home from work, so I practiced that a lot.... Also if you're into working out, I can't recommend strongly enough, weight workouts that target building the muscles in your arms and shoulders. For me that really paid off the first time I almost dropped my baby (on an unexpected sudden stop) but didn't -- a combination of panic-inspired adrenaline burst, stronger shoulders and determination saved it. Don't believe anyone who says women ain't strong enough to handle the big bikes! Congratulations on your move up in the wonderful world of Harleys, good luck and have a blast--the Heritage is an awesome bike!
 

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On the Sporty you sit "ON" the bike, with the Heritage you sit in it, if you know what I mean.

Carol
+1 I hear you on that one, so it will be a totally different feel, It may feel akwards for a while but it won't take long. the balance is great for slow ride games on the heritage. You will enjoy the LDR on the heritage.

Once I was practicing obsticles in a parking lot and a cop on a bike showed up and gave my some pointers. the most important one was go to the hardware store and get some pipe covers (the kind that go over your hot water heater pipes) put them on your bike, then you wont have to worry about scratching it when you drop it. He said that is how they practice. I told him the big difference between his bike and mine was I paid for mine, I dont plan on dropping it, but you never know.
 
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