1st bike

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by west yorks uk, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. west yorks uk

    west yorks uk Member

    good evening forum members, im new to the forum, new to harley davidson & new to motorbikes in general. im posting this in hope of a bit of advice, im currently doing a block course to pass my motorbike test which i hope to have compleated in the not too distant future & when i pass my test im seriously considering buying a new 883 iron. i would like some opinions & advice on weather or not this is a good choice for a first bike or would i be better buying something a bit cheaper & bit older at first or even something thats not a HD with a smaller engine as im so inexperienced. i wouldnt use the bike every day it would be mainly used for weekend pleasure, any help would be greatly recieved.

    thanks for your help in advance.
  2. HarleyHarry

    HarleyHarry Banned

    Welcome to the forum West.
    I would if I was you look at a used 883. There's a lot of them around as many new HD riders start there. Some will stay with the 883 or 1200 but many see their Sporty as the first step to bigger. You might be one of these people too and find that you loose a lot of money trading up.
    But whatever you choose with a HD it's hard to go wrong.
  3. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    I would recommend getting a used metric bike in good shape, inexpensive and small to medium displacement. Ride it for a couple months at least and practice all your skills from low speed parking lot stuff to higher speeds. You won't be so inclined to have a heart attack if you drop the bike or ding it in any way. Mess around with a clutch adjustment or an oil change to try your hand at working on the bike.

    By then you should have a much better feel for what you're looking for in your next bike, your likes and dislikes, your riding style, etc. Then you can make an educated decision on your first HD.

    Good luck!
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    if its your first bike perhaps best to try to find something second hand
    if its an hd that you fancy it is possible to find a low mileage bike as often in the UK people buy them and then only run them a couple of nice Sundays a year
    i bought a 94 Sportster couple of years ago with 3709 miles on the clock
    with the ongoing credit crunch you may be able to find a good deal if you look around
    then run it for a couple of years during that time you'll get to know whats going to be the right way to go for you

  5. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    Welcome to the forum West Yorks.
    I bought my first bike in many years earlier this year and went for an 883 Sportster. I wouldn't worry too much about the engine size being too big for you because it is not an overpowered bike by any means. I was only riding it for about 5 weeks before I did a Stage 1 upgrade on it which has made it a bit more pokey.
    I bought mine brand new because I'd got a really good price on it but the guys advising to buy second hand are certainly talking sense as well.
    If you like the 883 Iron - go for it. Make sure you test ride first though. Presumably if you're going for the direct access course and test you'll have been learning on metrics and boy is it a different ride. :D
    Good luck and enjoy.
  6. west yorks uk

    west yorks uk Member

    thanks for the quick replies & good advice.

    cedarbrook63 it is a DAS test im doing & im doing it on a kawasaki 500cc, would this a metric? (whats a metric?) & whats the big difference in ride you mentioned?
  7. martin14

    martin14 Active Member


    is any Japanese brand of motorcycle:


    so yes, ur 'cow' ( kawasaki ) is a metric :)

    as far as the difference, well, jump on a HD after your test, and you'll find out :)
  8. cedarbrook63

    cedarbrook63 Junior Member

    Metric measurements such as millimeters, ccs, litres, Nm etc. are the norm for most motorbikes, such as the Japanese you're learning on, rather than the inches, feet, lbs etc. which are still favoured by our American cousins and which you will see all the time in relation to Harleys. That's how I understand it.

    I had ridden about 20 years ago and then wandered through the bike-less desert until doing the DAS course. Like you I did it on Suzuki and Kawasaki 500s and yes these are metric bikes. If you look on the side of the Harley you may see engine size in inches eg 96 cubic inches on the stock big v twins.
    The Sportster is a bigger and heavier bike to handle than your 500cc Japanese and the 883 stock (funilly enough the 883 is a metric cc measurement) but in terms of speed and responsiveness - it's similary to the 500cc engine bike you're used to. It's just a different sitting postion, a different weight and a way better sound and look. You'll get used to it and then love it very quickly.
    I'm really glad I bought my Sporty, it's a great bike with WAY more character than the Japanese bikes I rode - I love to ride it every chance I get, I'm loving learning to work on it and even when I get a bigger Harley, as I plan to, I think I will still keep it.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2009
  9. BAR1

    BAR1 Member

    If you haven't already, I'd say go for the Iron 883. I was the same as you, I had no riding experience, but the minute I got that bike, it just felt right. I learned in a matter of 2 days how to ride. Started on short trips around town just to become more comfortable with the bike, but now, I'm going for trips that aren't anywhere near town! I hear a lot of the time that you should buy a used bike for your first, but if I'm putting my money towards something like this, I want it to be new, untouched, and ready for me to break it in. There's no better feeling that knowing the bike you bought, is "your" bike, no one else's....but that's just my opinion. Either way, hope you did good on your test and you get the bike you want!
  10. HarleyHarry

    HarleyHarry Banned

    I second that completely:newsmile045: