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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had the opportunity to ride a new Harley XR1200 today and thought I'd give a little review on what I thought of it.

As I was pulling out of my neighborhood today to go on a little ride, my neighbor who lives up the street from me who is also very much into bikes waved me down to tell me that he just bought a new Harley XR1200. Nice! Apparently though he is not happy with it and is considering selling it due to the under performing suspension. From what he states, it just does not handle well at all and describes that when you hit any type of bump in the road, it upsets the suspension like crazy and just absolutely tosses the bike around and gets it out of line very easily. Furthermore, he stated that it's very very easy to bottom out the forks such as when making a panic stop for example, more on that later. So, he said it's either put a couple grand into all new Ohlins fully adjustable suspension components or sell the bike.

Anyway, he offered to let me ride it so how I could refuse? I've always thought these bikes were cool and have imagined that they must be a lot of fun to ride so what a treat to be able to actually do it. I told him to hop on mine, so off we went on a little ride. Powerwise, it did not have nearly as much power as I had expected and felt pretty plugged up. It did not start to pull or make power until you hit 3k in which it did until it reached 5k, but soon after that you hit the rev limiter of course. It was however rev happy and was more than willing to go all the way up the top no problem, rather quickly even. Because this is a completely stock bike, I want to be totally fair and say after a Powercommander and exhaust to get the fueling and everything right, that it would probably help with bottom end and also not make it feel so plugged up. Also, after you let off the throttle then re-applied it again, there was a slight abrupt jurk as soon as you rolled on, common to a lot of fi bikes that again, something a PC could probably take care of.

Rideability. Riding this thing was fun a lot of fun! After you got going, it felt quite light and flickable and very much like riding a dirt bike because you sit up high and upright with the handlebar. It almost, dare I say, reminded me of riding my supermoto. For a Harley, it was remarkable veryt smooth and was impressed by that fact. Gotta love the rubber mounting. During our ride, I didn't happen to hit any real big bumps to upset the suspension bad, but the front forks were seriously soft which I could totally tell impedes some of the handling.

After we got back from our ride and he stepped off the Z he said 'wow, I love this thing!' and told me that he would seriously trade the XR for my Z. Haha, well that wouldn't be a fair trade in my mind (new Harley= worth more $$$), but he seemed to really love the Z1K.
 

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i also did a demo ride on a xr 1200 before. i had a new 2005 1200c sportster [ carb] i put a jet kit in it and installed cycle shack slip on mufflers. i thought my old 05 sporty was a nicer bike to ride. the xr 1200 looks and feels cheep. it was a let down to ride. i would go as far as to call it crude.
mu 05 1200 c was a lot of fun and i wish i still had it. all 72 RWHP of it.
 

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Agreed with Notabiker - I went to look at the XR1200 when Buell was closing out and couldn't believe how cheap it looked and felt. It really surprised me. I didn't ride it, so I can't comment there, but I have no idea how that bike got so much great press in the various magazines.

That is, aside from the obvious answer: they're sellouts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I didn't ride it, so I can't comment there, but I have no idea how that bike got so much great press in the various magazines.
That's exactly what I was telling my neighbor which was that the editors who tested it all gave it pretty much good reviews and he agreed.
 

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That's exactly what I was telling my neighbor and that was the editors who tested it all gave pretty much gave it good reviews and he agreed.
Not just good, exceptionally positive. Even won some "bike of the year" awards, if I recall correctly. After subscribing to a few mags for several years and comparing the reviews of new models to old models, it's pretty clear that something is out of whack.
 

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I would like to go racing with the ama xr1200 an see how the Z would do:)
 

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Not just good, exceptionally positive. Even won some "bike of the year" awards, if I recall correctly. After subscribing to a few mags for several years and comparing the reviews of new models to old models, it's pretty clear that something is out of whack.
1. Yes, the magazines are sellouts.
2. They're using the Harley yardstick to measure how wonderful it is.

Unfortunately, Best Riding Harley Ever! doesn't mean very much. It's sort of like winning the Special Olympics.

I rode a friends $20K+ Screaming eagle. He was telling how much power it had etc. The motor on it felt similar to what Z1000 described. It had decent torque and seemed like it wanted to run some RPM. So you spin it up and wait for that bit HP hit... That never comes.
 

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Unfortunately, Best Riding Harley Ever! doesn't mean very much. It's sort of like winning the Special Olympics.
:lol::lol::lol:You're killin me, thats hilarious!!!! :eek:ccasion:
 

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I liked the way it looked in pictures when magazines were doing articles on the XR1200. I knew it would only be a so/so performing machine:
1. because it is a Harley, and it is a glorified sportster
2. 80hp x 80 ft-lbs are NOT impressive numbers
Not holding this against it, b/c its what I expected.... I did not care for it in person when I saw it at the International Motorcycle Show in Chicago. As stated previously, it looked very cheap.
 

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i road one

i went to hd open house last year and road a demo. even though i an a hd fan i wasn't impressed. the power was not what i expected. i said to myself i would never buy one. a few days later i saw a guy riding one. saw he had put a exhaust system on it. i asked him about the power of the bike. he said it was like night and day. the mods really woke the bike up. i always loved the orange and black xr. but if you wan't true arm pulling power you need a Z.
 

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Not to steel the thread but picked up an oil filter my Harley today and they had the new V-Rod there, I really liked it :cool: Not a big fan on the new rear fender but they are pretty sharp.

I took a 2011 for a spin not too long ago and had OK power but not sure the power is worth the price. It is more jsut buying the fast type of HD you can get :dontknow:

I have heard the 1200 are dogs but from what I see is HD need mods
 

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Just watched the Moto gp xr1200 race, the best a american bike can do is 1.58's. What a joke.:lol: They was cool to watch though :eek:
 

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Work had me over in Scotland about a month and a half ago. I was also graced with a day off haha. So me and a few other coworkers decided to rent bikes and ride all through the highlands from the east coast to the west and back. Last minute as it was, all we were able to track down were harleys. I chose the XR1200 as it looked like it had the better braking and promising suspension. We won't even talk about power, I mean cmon...I ride a Z1k haha. The braking was surprisingly great! I was kind of fearing that it would have been just a mush-fest. But ya, the suspension...jesus christ. You'd hit some rough payment and it kicked my feet off the pegs a few times and wanted to toss me off it. I imagine with some adjustment it could be dialed in a bit better as it looked like it was all fairly adjustable. As retarded as it sounds...I hated having no bar ends. I always have the outside of my palm on the bar end to act as a stabilizer for my throttle control. Threw me off not having that. Also, I'll never complain about blurry side mirrors (from vibration) after riding that for 12 hours. The bike's headlight behind me looked like a giant O in each of the mirrors from the vibration haha.
 

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The looks are OK, but the whole bikes fit and finish looks cheap.
 

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I have pretty strong opinions about the XR1200 and H-Ds in general seeing as I've spent around 20,000 miles on H-D motors. I'll try to keep this short winded. (Not gonna happen...)

I spent around 2,000 miles in the saddle of an 883R and around 7,000 miles on a 1200 Roadster. If you're familiar with Sportsters, the 883R and 1200 Roadster models were the most race-oriented Sportster models. They had mid-mounted pegs instead of forward, and they weren't lowered in the rear like most Sportster "Custom" models are. They also had the 3.3 gallon gas tank instead of 4 and a 19-inch front wheel instead of 21 inch.

Let's not talk much about the 883. Compared to the 1200, it was weak. Now, the 1200 I rode had aftermarket front springs, rear suspension, $400 exhaust with fuel-injection mods, and a high-flow air filter. I spent plenty of time on it before these mods, and I can assure you the bike was much better after the mods.

Now, that being said, the XR1200 is a complete hunk of junk. Why? Because I've also spent around 10,000 miles riding Buells. The XR1200, as far as I'm concerned, is a terribly done ripoff of a Buell Lightning. Yes, H-D claims they were going for a "flat track" bike, but the Buell models already filled the "sporty-handling H-D" market gap.

The 1200 Lightning made 103 hp and 83 lb-ft at the crank. Already it's ahead with just its engine. Then look at the bike itself: the Buell is a MUCH sportier bike than any XR1200 can ever dream of being. Also, the Lightning's dry weight is literally about 150 pounds less!! Oh, and the price? The Lightning was $9,999 MSRP! H-D killed off Buell, and I will never forgive them for that.

Back to the point I'm trying to make: the 1200 Roadster I rode with over $1,000 worth of mods was an absolute pile of trash compared to the entirely stock Lightning I had after it.

One other thing that sickens me about the XR1200 is that the exhaust looks like it would scrape the ground if ridden aggressively. Any bike where you can scrape exhaust is dumb to begin with.

Lastly, anyone ever heard of the Storz modification for a Sportster? Here, take a look:



Tell me why H-D couldn't make the XR1200 look THIS awesome! Seriously, H-D, you failed big time with the XR1200. You should have just kept Buells going.
 

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I test drove the XR1200 before buying the Z. I didn't get to do much with it b/c I had to follow the dealer guy on his something-something Harley with huge bags. Anyway, my impression was way under powered, soft suspension, and in typical HD fashion more about the sound and the brand than anything else. So glad I've got the Z!
 
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