Question regarding the 833 vs the 1200

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by bikerdude, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. bikerdude

    bikerdude Member

    I am new to all of this & would really value a peice of advice from those that know ...

    I am looking to buy my first Harley , & really my first "proper" big bike.

    My question is 3 things

    1, Do you think the 833 is a reasonable starter bike or is it too much for a learner / newbie

    2. If it is ok to start with , do you think that I will regret not going straight for the 1200 size, & have to quickly upgrade

    3. If the answer to 1 & 2 is YES , the obviois question is , Do you think the 1200 is a reasonable starter bike or is it too much for a learner / newbie

    Am going to base my purchase on the considered opinion of you guys , so really appreciate your input

    Thanks in advance

  2. Hooligan

    Hooligan Member

    in my opinion the sportster in general is not a good starter bike for anyone, people often call them a "girls bike" or "beginner bike" because they are the smallest of the harleys, but in reality their power to weight ratio makes them faster than a lot of big twins, which is why harley uses them for their race bikes, i have never owned a sportser but i do ride a lot of them, the thing i dont like about them is the size of the overal bike (im 6'6) but thats what makes them fast, and they tend to have very stiff suspension in my opinion (and i ride a rigid) my first pic for any rider beginner or veteran is the dyna street bob, my fave factory harley hands down. it doesnt have bags or anything but if your lookin into a sportster i would imagine that doesnt matter to you. a sporty is a great bike if it fits you, i would just recommend going to the dealer and test ride everything they have, even if your not gonna buy the bike from them, thats what their demo bikes are for. just ride every bike you can and pic the one that fits you best.
  3. nakkers

    nakkers Junior Member

    I'd go straight for the 1200. There are plenty of mods you can do to either 883 or 1200 to get some more performance out of either as your confidence and experience grows. Depending on your skill level either bike can kill you or bore you just as efficently.

    Something to consider. Check with your insurance company. Even though the 1200 isn't a super performance machine when compared to other machines in the same size catagory, the insurance companies have a different perspective and once you break the 1000 cc, the cost jumps considerably. You can get an 883 and modify to a 1200 and still keep it registered as a 883.

    I considered the 883 but, I'm glad I managed to find a nice 1200 with some stage 1 mods and find it's plenty of machine for me.
  4. Mundo

    Mundo New Member

    Re question 1: Definitely a great bike, starter or otherwise, excellent value. My dealer offered an upgrade from 883 to 1200 for reasonable $, if you do decide for more cu in. However, when the money hit the table, Softail FatBoy won the day. Try them ALL.
  5. roadkingjohnny

    roadkingjohnny Member

    a 883 is a good starter bike...a1200 is great starter 883 lasted me 1 year and then i went to a roadking.rkj
  6. miketini24

    miketini24 Member

    I bought my first bike in June, an 883 sporty. Traded it in 5 months later for a Dyna Fat Bob. Night and day difference. Now looking forward to the snow to melt.
  7. ron1978

    ron1978 Active Member

    my first bike is the current one i have 200 883, i love it ,been the best and to me so far,
    i'm 6'2" AT 245LBS. IT'LL FLY!!!!, i'm glad i went with the 883 instead of a 1200, it seems to be a well balanced bike, handles, brakes good, takes curves nice, easy to do full lock turn on, and it'll get up and go even with my big tail on it. i'm getting about 40 mpg right now, if i ride it hard more like 33 mpg. get what you want but got with what feels right.
    i just changed alot of things on mine to suit me.
  8. airforceacop

    airforceacop Active Member

    I first started riding on a 1984 yamaha maxim 750 but always wanted a the time Last Feb I found a really good deal on a 07 sporty 883. I rode it for a couple of months and bought a 09 Road King with hope that my Mrs was gonna ride with me. It turns out after doing the riders course she liked being a passenger than a rider. Which leaves me with a problem....2 bikes to ride. Now I that I have the RK I love the comfort and ride. But riding the sporty is still fun, like others have posted it's quick and nimble, fun in the twistys...Ride what you like and can afford. Don't worry about what others think...or say being a girls bike. I got a lot of ribbing from my buddies but they don't even ride bikes.....then I got some ribbin from the big bore guys I ride with but at the end of the day...I had a Harley that I liked and that I could afford. Now I just tell them I got one for rainy days and one for sunny days...or say when your's is the shop you can borrow my sporty....and ya know what....once they ride it....they say they like and it was fun! So I've rammbled on long enough but I'm not really sure you can compare sportys vs Road kings or dyna's tottal different bikes and tottally different riding styles and feel. ya gotta try em all to decide!
  9. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Bikerdude; to better answer your question, I need to know more about your riding experience (#years & bikes) and style (street runner, long cruising, etc.)? You don't want to make such a huge investment w/later regrets...:newsmile093:

    Sportsters are pretty universal as starter & long-term, but can be quite a jump if you've never driven anything above 500cc's. IMO, visit a reputable HD dealer & discuss your situation w/their sales mgr. Also, sit/test some of their recommended bikes (to include the Buell line) & see what works best. Might be good to take a rider course to gain exp. level & match your skill to bike. I had a friend who "wanted" a RG, but ended up with the Sportster 1200L & took beginner rider before picking up her bike. It's best to separate the "wants" from "needs" and that's what HD sales gets paid to do.:s
  10. bikerdude

    bikerdude Member

    Thanks for that guys , really helps crystalise my thoughts.

    If I read the general thrust correctly it might be ... try out all of em before you decide which one fits / suits best . use the HG dealerships to the max .

    I had thought the 833 , only because it was the smallest , but it would appear that size isn't everything :laugh

    I definitely want the Harley , but have less than a yrs experience & nothing above a 500cc. I might be advised to wait a bit & gain some mid engine size experience ??

    Thanks again -- appreciated