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Middleweight Standards Comparo

223317 Views 227 Replies 86 Participants Last post by  fazerdude
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 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
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I bought a VStrom last month as a commuter bike (wind protection, good mileage, easy to mount a top box and tall, upright position for better vision.) I was amazed at how much I liked riding it everywhere. It handles curves beautifully, making it great for day trips in the mountains. At the same time it is very comfortable for long trips (anyone complaining about the seat should sit on the original SV seat for 20 minutes) with over 200 mile range (nice when you get east of the Cascades.) Maybe it's because it's new, but my other two bikes are getting neglected these days.
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