Nice article. As the owner of my fourth Sportster-a 1200R, I must agree that overall it is a radical improvement from its '03 and earlier versions. It can still be easily smoked by most of the other "small" bikes in the test, but the grin factor when riding this bike thru curves is astounding.
The saddle continues to be an ergonomic pain-in-the-arse, the headlight equals a weak batteried flashlight and the stock Showa suspension combines nicely with the dummlopp "rim protecturrzz" to compromise handling. That said vast improvements are only(!!) hundreds of dollars away: Race Tech up front, good shocks in rear, Bridgestone BT45Vs, an aftermarket saddle...watch out curves! IMO, of the 65 or so bikes I've had the 1200R ranks up there with the best for being lotsa fun to ride. My BMW R1150GS will easily show her saddlebags to the 1200R, but the 1200R is the usual choice for riding. DFO
Overall, we didn't hate the FZ-6, but I think we were so vocal about our feelings, because we were shocked at how far behind it's overall potiential the bike is. It was the oposite story with the DL-650. -Sean
70 - 85mph on the freeway and a quick enough average pace to stretch the abilities of the riders near the tail end of our pack. Of course they could have just been holding-back in an attempt to stroke my ego. Perhaps next-time, we'll bring you along so you can show me what an acceptable pace is?
PS. My 01 SV-650S averaged 42-47Mpg, depending on the conditions. I think it is fairly normal for jet-kitted SVs to be in the 46Mpg range.
The 1200 and 883 weight almost exactly the same. However, power wise, the 1200 falls right into the middle of this group, while the 883 would have been at the bottom of the HP pile, while still being the heaviest bike in the test.
My "Purse" contains the video camera that takes all the cool clips. It also contains the still camera that takes the higher quality photos that you see (when I let Fonzie use it). I'll gladly wear that purse while riding, if it means I can capture full motion video, souns, and high-res photos. Besides, i tell myself it's really a shrunk-down "Messenger Bag".