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Old 3rd May 2016, 10:31   #16
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Excellent review manson, rated 5 star.

This bike is one of my current favorites after the sad and untimely demise of the Superlow in Harley's Indian lineup. It just has the right amount of chrome for 'us' traditional Harley lovers and has just the right mix of weight, fatter tyres and stronger version of the evolution engine to make it an interesting buy.

The quirks you mentioned are common to almost the entire Harley stable. The engine smoothens out quite a bit after 6~7k on the odo and the brakes ashould also have increased in bite by the 2k mark. You can easily get 20~22 kmpl from the 1200cc evolution after a proper break-in. I recently got 20+kmpl from my 103ci twin cam 1690cc Softail on my recent ride to the hills. The Harley 'tax' needs to be paid for other small quirks like a lockable fuel cap, a bigger and better rider and pillion signature seat, a sissy guard (backrest), saddlebags for storage, leather tank trims and tank bags etc. I feel the rear view mirrors are stable and never troubled me either on my Sportster or my current Softail. The lack of kickstand warning is a boon in dusty Indian conditions as I have seen more than a few instances of them failing on the earlier cbu bikes.

Overall a great complete bike for entry into the Harley stable but not a daily driver by any stretch of the imagination, and no one should purchase it as such for that. We already have one thread lamenting the owner's remorse when he thought he was buying a Harley for buying eggs and groceries. Harleys will remain a weekend and a getaway bike in the current Indian conditions for a long time to come.

Cheers...
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Old 3rd May 2016, 10:56   #17
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Good review Manson. Booked the custom 1200 a week ago and with an 8-10 week wait period, it's going to be a long and painful wait. Will post my review once I get my delivery.
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Old 3rd May 2016, 23:34   #18
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Recently purchased the Iron and loving almost every bit of it except my posture. I went to the showroom again last week to get the special "denim paint cleaner" and while I waited, took a short test ride of the 1200 custom. I must say, what a comfortable beast this is to ride! the handlebars with the stock mounted risers are just so damn perfect coupled with the forward controls that I am now actually planning to get a similar set up on my iron for reduced reach. My experience of a 20 min. ride would be to give it 4/5, the drawback is the practicality of forward controls in Indian traffic conditions, had there been clean open roads, this minor blip would actually be a huge plus point. Great looking bike too with all that semi-dyna feel to it
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Old 4th May 2016, 18:30   #19
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Motorcycles are evocative, no two ways about it. You look at one, and you cant help but feel ...... something

Looking at this Harley, or any other actually - I have found that I feel just utterly confused and perplexed. I see myself asking these pictures - what is your purpose? Why have you been created?

These motorcycles are not really fast, weigh a ton, are not the smoothest. In fact, the whole design philosophy of these bikes is just lethargic. There is no challenge here. Legs far forward, back slightly arched back to accommodate a big belly maybe? Coz no way in hell do these ergos aid handling in any form or manner. What else does this design language say - Let yourself go and don't bother about the performance of this motorcycle either?

And this brings me to my question. Why do people buy a Harley? I can completely understand the purchase decision in some scenarios. Like for example some guy had all the Harley posters in the world adorning his room since childhood and has worked hard to make his dream a living reality. Dreams don't have to have logic and they certainly require no explanation. I thing threads like these are a testament to that - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...-1-5-lakh.html (Bengaluru: Dealer auctions old Yamaha RX135s for 1.5 lakh!)

But someone who has motorcycling on their mind .... I mean just riding; how can this be your choice? What does this offer you that a performance oriented machine does not .... again; in motorcycling terms only. Its fine if looks, the HOG "brotherhood" etc are your parameters; but is that all? Anything else that can be added to this equation that transcends social image / social interaction and is just purely about riding?

I thought at least 10 times before writing this post and I assure you; my idea is not to offend anyone here. I simply want to understand if people actually introspect enough before going ahead with a purchase as big as this one and if they indeed do; what is it all about?

I do request that the responses be kept civil and kindly refrain from one liners like "if it has to be explained, then you wont understand". Also, please feel free to report this post in case its found to be off topic or in bad taste
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Old 4th May 2016, 19:44   #20
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
what is your purpose? Why have you been created?

And this brings me to my question. Why do people buy a Harley?

But someone who has motorcycling on their mind .... I mean just riding; how can this be your choice?

I thought at least 10 times before writing this post and I assure you; my idea is not to offend anyone here. I simply want to understand if people actually introspect enough before going ahead with a purchase as big as this one and if they indeed do; what is it all about?
From anyone who has never ridden a Harley (I presume), your questions are VERY pertinent. Nobody should be offended by what you ask. But I believe you have made up some per-conceived notions.

I have ridden many sports bikes, classics, cruisers, 100cc's, 200cc's, 500cc's and above. Ducatis, 1200 cc Suzukis, 500cc Bullets etc. etc. No, not all Harley's are ridden by big belly guys. No, the forward set foot controls are not uncomfortable. In fact, once you get used to planting your foot on a big footboard up front, you will never be going back to straighter posture and I speak from experience. Yes, these machines involve you unlike the lighter bikes. And that's where the pleasure lies for me. The hunks of chrome and metal invoke a passion which is hard to explain in words unless you experience it first hand. I owned the first 500cc Bullet of North India in my college days. Eventually I got tired of the lack of it's refinement and opted for a 220cc Karizma, which 14 years down the line is still with me.

If you are just a rider, then why a heavier bike, is your question also, I presume? I have seen people cross Mana Pass on a Vespa Scooter. If only riding is on your mind, even that will suffice. I recently did a SOLO 700 kms trip on my 360kg Harley in the Himalayas and loved every moment of it. That you can ride with a Goliath is a endurance test you undertake every time you ride it. And that's where the pleasure as well as the challenge lies. And that's what keeps us going.

I reiterate, NO, these bikes are not meant for city traffic. These are meant for open roads and there are quite many, still, in India. And once you get used to the weight and handling, riding these mammoths is a charm.

So get onto a Harley for a few days, because a few hours is too less to get used to it, and I promise even your outlook towards them may change.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 4th May 2016 at 19:48.
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Old 4th May 2016, 20:23   #21
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
Motorcycles are evocative, no two ways about it. You look at one, and you cant help but feel ...... something

.
.
.
I do request that the responses be kept civil and kindly refrain from one liners like "if it has to be explained, then you wont understand". Also, please feel free to report this post in case its found to be off topic or in bad taste
I'll take a stab at this. I'm 22 and my family has a Ducati Diavel and a Harley Davidson Iron 883. Flat out, I prefer the 883. I've ridden a Ducati Monster, and a Triumph Street Triple. Sportster all day every day for me.

Since you asked about what's the challenge, how often does the average Superbike owner take his bike to a track? Rarely, if ever. Naked bikes. Not as comfortable as a Harley. Faster, sure, but we buy naked bikes for practicality. Harley's are more practical and comfortable, especially over longer distances. Adventure bikes. 99%, like SUV's that never go off road, will max see a broken stretch of road. Most buy and use them as glorified tourers. And if it's touring you want, Harley's are great at that in their own way.

This leaves standard bikes, like the Bonneville, or the Ninja 650. If you're not racing, or taking it off road, which you can't, that leaves commuting and touring. Some people don't like commuting on bikes that overheat. And again, that leaves touring where people prefer Harley's. Why not other cruisers you ask? Faster, lighter, more powerful bikes? Good question. Ride a Harley. If you've ridden one and didn't like it, no problem. You didn't feel what some of us do. It's a bike that speaks to me. Like no other. And isn't that what counts? Plus, I'm not really into plastic. Or bikes with less personality than stale water. Cookie cutter bikes that literally coined the term Universal Japanese Motorcycle aka UJM. Each one as bland and interchangeable with the last.

Now am I saying all of what I said is fact? No. It can't be. It's an opinion. So, since you asked, some people, in their subjective opinion, prefer Harley Davidson motorcycles. And when you hate on motorcycles that sell in such large numbers for so many years, you only expose your own ignorance. Everyone has their preferences, and there is a case to be made for objective superiority in many respects as well. Hope that answers your question sir.

Note from Support: Post edited. Quote only relevant portions of post please. Spacing changed for better reliability.

Last edited by aah78 : 4th May 2016 at 21:12. Reason: See note.
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Old 6th May 2016, 13:04   #22
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

An interesting article for Harley Davidson lovers

I think it's time that Harley wake up and smell the coffee.

Improve their bikes rather than focus on increasing prices of its bikes and accessories and solely depend on its "Freedom" "Image" "Lifestyle" and "Brotherhood" coinages to sell the bike

http://automotostar.com/2016/04/30/h...mpany-trouble/

Last edited by mobike008 : 6th May 2016 at 13:05.
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Old 6th May 2016, 13:43   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
I think it's time that Harley wake up and smell the coffee.
Lolz. These type of articles have been coming for ages. Hell, I was even receiving research and articles recently that BMW bikes are mostly ridden by gays, how ridiculous!

What really has made Harley, at least in India, smell the coffee, are it's sales. It has grown three fold in the last couple of years and there are more than 10000 Harleys on the road in India!! If that isn't the formula working for them then I don't know what is. That they are clearly improving on their quality and rider feedback is clearly evident from this current 1200 Custom and the upcoming 1200 Roadster, which will be a scorcher from all indications, keeping the basic Harley strengths of brawn and muscle alive and also adding more rider aids.

I wouldn't be taking such articles seriously any time soon.

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 6th May 2016 at 14:01.
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Old 6th May 2016, 15:15   #24
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

manson mate what a wonderful review of the Sportster 1200 from one of the most iconic and oldest motorcycle companies in the world Harley Davidson. Most of their motorcycles have all the flair and panache to keep the sales registers ringing and I am sure this one too will fit right in. As an auto enthusiast I am happy to see auto companies coming to India and giving us an option with their offerings.

Harley has been consistent in bringing new models to India and also to produce sub 1000cc capacity motorcycles which is suitable for India. Your review on this motorcycle will help prospective buyers to make a choice. I loved the way you described the torque characteristic. The reason I am saying this is because Harley's like Enfield's are all about Torque and I am a lover of Torque over Horsepower.

I dream of owning a Harley Davidson one day and cruising on Golden Quadrilateral. For me the choice has always been and will be the Harley Davidson Electra Glide Ultra Classic from the Harley Davidson stable.

I liked you review with typical TeamBHP quality and very balanced bringing out the strengths and weaknesses of the motorcycle. All my questions about the motorcycle are already answered in your review. Rated 5 stars.

Last edited by navin_v8 : 6th May 2016 at 15:20.
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Old 6th May 2016, 21:43   #25
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
From anyone who has never ridden a Harley (I presume), your questions are VERY pertinent
Thank you so much for a detailed response doctor saab! Just FYI, I have ridden an Iron 883 fairly extensively and have also spent some time with a Street 750 (I like the latter better by the way)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
No, not all Harley's are ridden by big belly guys
I never meant it that way, my apologies if it came across like that. A couple of Harley riders that I know are 10 times fitter than me

I simply wonder what a seemingly lazy posture is doing on a motorcycle. In my humble opinion, laziness has no place on 2 wheels

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
No, the forward set foot controls are not uncomfortable. In fact, once you get used to planting your foot on a big footboard up front, you will never be going back to straighter posture and I speak from experience. Yes, these machines involve you unlike the lighter bikes
Uncomfortable or not, they are rather strange. Just try this sitting on a chair - Stretch your legs far forward and then, pull them back so your heels are behind your knees. In which posture is your upper body more supported? Its basic physiology doc, no?

And I assure you, it would be a cold day in hell when I want my motorcycle to have those stretched forward controls. Funnily enough, just the other day I put up a query on the Enfield thread on how I could pull back the foot controls on my 2004 Thunderbird. I want this so that I can lock on to the bike better and its also better when I stand up and ride. I remember mentioning long back on the Street 750 thread that one of my gripes is the forward controls. I would have liked a more "standard" position like that on the Bonnie

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Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
If you are just a rider, then why a heavier bike, is your question also, I presume?
I did not get the "just a rider" comment. We are talking motorcycles here. What could be more important than the rider aspect of it? Weight is just one of the things doc. I am questioning the entire design philosophy here

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
I have seen people cross Mana Pass on a Vespa Scooter. If only riding is on your mind, even that will suffice. I recently did a SOLO 700 kms trip on my 360kg Harley in the Himalayas and loved every moment of it. That you can ride with a Goliath is a endurance test you undertake every time you ride it. And that's where the pleasure as well as the challenge lies. And that's what keeps us going.
Someone did a round the world trip on an R1. How does that matter? These are outliers, not the norms. And there is no way in hell I would ever compare a scooter with what a bike can or cannot do. That is wrong on so many levels

For me the challenge is the road ahead and how well am I able to traverse it. The bike needs to be my partner, flow with me, even carry me where I come short. The bike itself must not be the challenge

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
I reiterate, NO, these bikes are not meant for city traffic. These are meant for open roads and there are quite many, still, in India. And once you get used to the weight and handling, riding these mammoths is a charm.
I agree here. These bikes seem to be made with one thing in mind, arrow straight open roads with little to no traffic

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
So get onto a Harley for a few days, because a few hours is too less to get used to it, and I promise even your outlook towards them may change.
Thanks again for your POV. Much appreciated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
I'll take a stab at this. I'm 22 and my family has a Ducati Diavel and a Harley Davidson Iron 883
Both Cruisers FYI

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
Since you asked about what's the challenge, how often does the average Superbike owner take his bike to a track?
Not really relevant to the discussion. My question is about the bike itself, not what someone chooses to do / not do with it

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
Naked bikes. Not as comfortable as a Harley. Faster, sure, but we buy naked bikes for practicality. Harley's are more practical and comfortable, especially over longer distances. Adventure bikes. 99%, like SUV's that never go off road, will max see a broken stretch of road. Most buy and use them as glorified tourers. And if it's touring you want, Harley's are great at that in their own way.
Comfort is a subjective thing, but I do question how Harleys are more practical than Advs (Think Versys as an example) / nakeds (Think Duke / ER6N as an example) and make great tourers. Lets take the very bike in this thread as an example. Tell me what I am misrepresenting here:

- Hardly any place to tie luggage. Even if you did, you will be scratching that beautiful chrome and paint
- Touring implies a wide variety of landscapes. What do you do when faced with heavy traffic? Can you stand on your pegs and ride through a bumpy section of the road? Forget that, how about ground clearance? Would most speed breakers not make contact with the undercarriage?
- Cant really carry a pillion. I mean you could as long as you don't care what happens to that pillion. Want to make them feel comfy? Harley has you covered with a 20k + 20k option for a back rest and seat

Adv, nakeds and even some sportbikes are extremely versatile in their application BY DESIGN. Barring traversing a straight, well tarred road in great comfort, what does the Harley design help you with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
This leaves standard bikes, like the Bonneville, or the Ninja 650. If you're not racing, or taking it off road, which you can't, that leaves commuting and touring. Some people don't like commuting on bikes that overheat. And again, that leaves touring where people prefer Harley's.
Harleys heat up .... a LOT. By the way, there's a lot of "cant do this" and "cant do that" in your post. On this site alone, you will see multiple examples of people doing all that you say they cant on these very bikes

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
Why not other cruisers you ask?
I never asked that

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
Or bikes with less personality than stale water. Cookie cutter bikes that literally coined the term Universal Japanese Motorcycle aka UJM. Each one as bland and interchangeable with the last.
And we are down to pulling other bikes. I am talking design here ........ objective and to the point. Much can be said about Harleys and their "personality" but that's not the objective here. Appreciate your response but would also request that the conversation is relevant to the discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by KhalDrogo View Post
And when you hate on motorcycles that sell in such large numbers for so many years, you only expose your own ignorance.
Absolutely no reason to be rude. Name-calling, directly or otherwise is not appreciated. Please refrain. Thanks!

Last edited by Urban_Nomad : 6th May 2016 at 21:49.
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Old 7th May 2016, 02:00   #26
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Autocar's review of the 1200 -

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Old 7th May 2016, 06:46   #27
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
The bike itself must not be the challenge
You summed it quite well in this one sentence why a vast majority could or should not get into super-biking. In my opinion, riding any super bike above 800cc is a 'challenge'. And if you do not want/consider it so, maybe you shouldn't be thinking about getting yourself one. The challenge may lie either in the weight of the bike, its power and torque, its handling characteristics, it's outright speed or a combination of these and other factors. Indian roads are quite unforgiving for these superbikes and a rider who goes in with them with a 'challenge' in his mind is the one most likely to come out unscathed. There are some easy riders like the Bonnie, which I love btw. But then each category has it's own pros and cons. Hell, even a Z800 is challenge for it's raw initial surge of power. And you need to respect that, not get 'lazy' forgetting that.

The posture you call uncomfortable is not the one I am referring to. The posture in which I ride my Harley is middle of the way, stretched definitely but to the extent of making yourself extremely comfortable. It's not 'lazy' by any stretch of the imagination. And add a rider backrest, as I have done, which I feel is essential on these big brawny bikes, and you make the bike supremely comfortable for cruising all day. I have ridden the Bullets all day long and I can assure you that my Heritage's sofa seat beats them all in comfort and ergonomics.

And yes, we Harley guys 'hate' plastics... lolz. And I am not a doctor...

Cheers...

Last edited by dkaile : 7th May 2016 at 06:53.
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Old 7th May 2016, 19:53   #28
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Urbam_Nomad, All valid questions, but there is no justification why someone would choose a Harley over a sportsbike other than that he likes the Harley better. Or vice versa or choose an adventure bike. Or why choose a 650cc maxi scooter etc.

Some people feel a passion for Harleys while others feel a passion for superbikes.
I had a Bullet in my college days in the 1980s (why not a TVS50 or Luna as most students did?), now have a Fatboy- just love it. Am not part of HOG or the brotherhood or macho 1%biker crap or even any organised rides, I ride mostly alone when I get time (due to the work / family priorities faced by a middle aged professional ). When I get a couple of hours, i just go for a ride into the country roads, many times aimlessly.

Here, in Australia, riding a motorbike is considered a dangerous activity for insurance purposes (as there are so few two wheelers & the fatality rate is 40x that of car drivers) - so most people cannot even understand why one would ride a bike, any bike, let alone a massive Harley.

I remember, back in the 80s, reading a test ride of a full dress Harley tourer in a US magazine. What I still remember is one comment - even in the USA, seeing this behemoth, people asked him "Why don't you just drive a car?"!!

Obviously, Harley's philosophy seems to work very well as they sell a quarter of a million bikes every year.

Last edited by LTAutoMad : 7th May 2016 at 20:00.
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Old 2nd June 2016, 13:58   #29
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Is HD custom 1200 so much on demand that we don't get one for a test ride?

Last edited by infinitewheel : 2nd June 2016 at 14:00. Reason: Improper word used.
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Old 15th December 2017, 07:32   #30
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Default Re: Ridden: Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom

Is the 2017 model equipped with ABS? Has anyone seen the 2018 model color schemes? The new model gets midfoot controls and few chrome parts are replaced with black.
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