Honda VTX Forum banner
21 - 40 of 55 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
You're entitled to not like the bike, but arguing the Sportster should have been cut out of the lineup because a few ignorant riders liked to tease others about it not being macho enough is ludicrous. The Sportster had the longest run of ANY production motorcycle (introduced in '57) was an excellent seller for Harley for both male and female riders. The Sportster XR750 dominated flat-track racing for years, easily becoming the winningest motorcycle in AMA professional racing history. The point being, it If the Sportster was a bad choice, it begs the question of why Harley kept building them for over SIXTY years, and why they were/are copied so much by the metric bike makers (e.g. Honda Shadow, Yamaha Bolt) ?

Like the Sportster or not, its earned the respect of thousands of motorcyclists for decades, so saying it should have been cut "a long time ago" isn't justified by any reasoning.
HOP from my post it is clear this is anecdotal proof at best. it is from having known owners personally and in general discussions with strangers, how a lot of riders view the sportster. i just looked at their 2021 sales numbers and it is pretty clear that as an income class they are looking for that new entry, the pan america, to pick up the slack. to the poster below. lol. if it isn't seen as a woman's bike then why are you quoting from an article in Woman Riders Now. also, always view those puff pieces with suspicion, you don't know who is behind them. touring and cruisers are where harley makes their money (unfortunately it is pretty much in the US these days) the new entry, the pan america, is sales and marketing hoping to snare a piece of that market. they better put out a good bike because competition in that area is going to be tough. 17k entry puts a lot of other bikes of the same breed within range. have you every watched a Vlog on youtube by a woman who goes by Itchy Boots? she is dutch, Noraly is her real name. started following her in peru, currently she's in BC. she's on a 300cc honda trail bike. tons of gear, almost all the riding off road. not making a comparison but if you watched the videos you'd see what performance under stress is. sorry to offend, i have no dog in this fight, hope this is readable i punched it out pretty quick. good luck.
PS. that piece is from may/2015. dated.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,574 Posts
I find it kinda funny how, from personal experience, guys riding a Bolt, or Vulcan S, call a Sportster a "girls" bike. No matter, whatever. I see younger guys riding Sportys all of the time and seem to be pretty happy. As long as they ride with a smile.
 

·
Registered
2002 VTX1800R Lowered 2" Rhinehardt Flush Cut, Brown County X with Flames Air Box Cover
Joined
·
1,286 Posts
I find it kinda funny how, from personal experience, guts riding a Bolt, or Vulcan S, call a Sportster a "girls" bike. No matter, whatever. I see younger guys riding Sportys all of the time and seem to be pretty happy. As long as they ride with a smile.
When my WYFY wanted to learn to ride, we purchased her a Yamaha Enduro 175 2 stroke. She loved the bike.
I took it for a spin. I felt like a fool, even waved at a group of riders (mixed big bikes), smiled like a fool. Felt like a dweeb, but I knew, I had my X at home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
I find it kinda funny how, from personal experience, guts riding a Bolt, or Vulcan S, call a Sportster a "girls" bike. No matter, whatever. I see younger guys riding Sportys all of the time and seem to be pretty happy. As long as they ride with a smile.
they don't though. this is something peculiar to harley riders. jap bike riders wouldn't have an opinion. they judge harley davidson as a class of bikes, not singularly. jap bike owners aren't, as a rule, judgmental of other types of bikes.
 

·
Registered
2009 Honda VTX1300C
Joined
·
5,519 Posts
I've owned a couple of Sportsters over the years and still very fond of them. Completed an Iron Butt ride on this one (after inserting the backrest into that Mustang seat).



Fuel tank Tire Automotive fuel system Vehicle Wheel



Having owned Gold Wings and Road Kings and just about everything in-between..... I still like the Sportsters.


;)
And, the correct term is "Skirtster"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,716 Posts
HOP from my post it is clear this is anecdotal proof at best. it is from having known owners personally and in general discussions with strangers, how a lot of riders view the sportster.
No offense was taken.

Your personal experience even over a lifetime wouldn't support the general world view of the Sportster as a woman's bike or not. Since women riders only comprise about 12% of the general rider population, (less the further back in time you go) it should figure that most of the Sportsters sold in 60 plus years of production have been to male riders. My point being, the stats would indicate the Sportster is liked/ridden by much more men than women.

if it isn't seen as a woman's bike then why are you quoting from an article in Woman Riders Now. also, always view those puff pieces with suspicion, you don't know who is behind them.
PS. that piece is from may/2015. dated.
I wasn't arguing that women were not attracted to the Sportster— in fact the opposite. Women are generally attracted to motorcycles that are low profile, (their feet can touch the ground securely) and are comparatively light and good beginner bikes. It's pure ignorance to label any bike a 'womans' bike simply because women might like it, especially since the Sportster has evolved dozens of times and grown in size from it origins 883 to the 1200. Point being...a sweeping generalization is pure ignorance, especially in light of the HUGE male rider popularity of the bike.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DrDolittle

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,716 Posts
All this time Bronson was riding a 'girls bike' :rolleyes:

Wheel Tire Vehicle Motorcycle Automotive tire



Some of us are old enough to get it.

(y)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,574 Posts
they don't though. this is something peculiar to harley riders. jap bike riders wouldn't have an opinion. they judge harley davidson as a class of bikes, not singularly. jap bike owners aren't, as a rule, judgmental of other types of bikes.
I did say, it was personally experienced. It did make me laugh, but I didn't say anything to them. I certainly had no intent to generalize, but yes, there are metric riders, just like Harley or Indian riders that throw shade in whatever direction. It has nothing to do with what they ride, or what they want to ride. Some people are just jerks that love to be jerks. It's universal in that it's everywhere, to some degree. Some sport bike riders are intensely competitive regarding power and speed. Show up on a CBR300R and guess what? Yup, you're riding a girls bike. Now if a girl shows up on it, it's expected, but if a guy shows up on it, he'll take some shade. It's just the way it is. A full sized guy on a Shadow 750, or worse a Shadow 500, got a certain look from bigger twin riders. So, while I fully admit that there are many Harley riders that are very judgemental, the judgement exists regardless of brand or style.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
No offense was taken.

Your personal experience even over a lifetime wouldn't support the general world view of the Sportster as a woman's bike or not. Since women riders only comprise about 12% of the general rider population, (less the further back in time you go) it should figure that most of the Sportsters sold in 60 plus years of production have been to male riders. My point being, the stats would indicate the Sportster is liked/ridden by much more men than women.



I wasn't arguing that women were not attracted to the Sportster— in fact the opposite. Women are generally attracted to motorcycles that are low profile, (their feet can touch the ground securely) and are comparatively light and good beginner bikes. It's pure ignorance to label any bike a 'womans' bike simply because women might like it, especially since the Sportster has evolved dozens of times and grown in size from it origins 883 to the 1200. Point being...a sweeping generalization is pure ignorance, especially in light of the HUGE male rider popularity of the bike.
HOP. that comment 'girls bike', is a backhanded insult i have heard several times by guys that drove one of the big bikes. the same way someone might say something about a scooter. harley culture is a bit strange, there's a lot of bigger is badder thinking. that's about all i can say. except that i have scanned the sales figures for 2021, they were anemic and though i haven't looked at q1 and q2 for 2022 i probably don't have to since they killed it and no one nowhere ever killed a winner. that's all i have to say. good luck. you can go to harley IR and pull up last quarters conference call. probably 90 pct of the owners have never been there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,716 Posts
no one no where ever killed a winner. that's all i have to say. good luck.
Well, they Killed the VTX 1300 and 1800, so what are you saying?
 

·
Premium Member
2002 VTX 1800R
Joined
·
2 Posts
Ya know, I've never been a huge fan of the Harleys (surprise surprise) But I did take a sportster on trade once and I found the 1200 motor to be pleasant sounding and plenty torquey for cruising. Nothing like the 1800 but it was an enjoyable ride. I guess I'd put this in the same category as losing plymouth or oldsmobile. Lots of history there and it probably deserved a better ending than it got, regardless of any perceived shortcomings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,716 Posts
It's just the way it is. A full sized guy on a Shadow 750, or worse a Shadow 500, got a certain look from bigger twin riders. So, while I fully admit that there are many Harley riders that are very judgemental, the judgement exists regardless of brand or style.
So, sounds like you're saying with some guys, SIZE really matters. :eek: ((YIKES)))

:whistle:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Harkon

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,362 Posts
Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I agree, it should have been cut earlier. The 'girls bike' thing was all a load of crap. It was '57, they were competing with the Brits, not with their own product line, or any other 'heavy tourer'.
Back in the day the Sportster was a well respected bike in the Harley line. It go me curious how and when did the Sportster start to get called a "girls bike"? I did some research and found it happened in the late 80's when upper class guys started buying expensive Harleys. These guys thought $$$ how much a bike cost made them a better biker. They called the Sportster a girl's bike to make themselves feel good "male ego".
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,574 Posts
So, sounds like you're saying with some guys, SIZE really matters. :eek: ((YIKES)))

:whistle:
I think it does with some. It's odd. For a while I rode a KLR650 when I didn't ride my 1800C. It's funny the comments one gets. In the ADV bunch, I didn't belong. It was neither a KTM, nor a BMW. Yet it served me well. Every bunch has judgemental people as members ... is my experience, anyway.

Don't make me no nevermind, and I don't care what the next guy rides. Ride safe, and with a smile.
 

·
Registered
2006 1800S VTX
Joined
·
1,290 Posts
I owned a Sportster for twenty-five years and eventually gave it to my son, who is still riding it. It's a 1972...1,000 cc with a right hand shift, no directional signals, no mufflers. I am 6'-4" and was much too big for the bike, but it was the only Harley that I could afford. I spent more time wrenching it than riding it. But eventually I had almost all of the kinks worked out except for the oil leaks. Ha

Oh yeah, I also owned a Honda Dream. Bought it new in 1965. I got more smiles per mile on that bike than any bike since.
r
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23 Posts
Harley killed the Sportster because of the EPA. That's the bottom line. HD and the EPA have a long and not so friendly relationship. Just last month HD shut down all production because of a "Non Compliant" vendor supplied engine part.

The Sportster has a 60 year history and a "Cult" following just like the VTX. Harleys way forward, thanks to the EPA is with the new liquid cooled Revolution engines, the 1200 in the Pan America, which BTW, is the top selling bike in it's class since it's release in 2022 and the 975. The new Sportster 'S' has the 1200 Revolution engine detuned from 150 BHP down to 120 BHP, it's designed to appeal to a younger generation of rider and meet EPA combustion chamber NoX emissions.

I've owned two 1200 Sportsters, both sweet little rides that were fast and agile. I guarantee you a well modified 1200 Sporty will give plenty of other bikes a real run for their money, whether riden by a man or woman.

The EPA emission requirements are what drove Harley to build first the "Twin Cooled" touring bikes in 2014 which are water cooled cylinder heads only and then the new M8 engines which are also cylinder head cooled. And now in 2022 the fully water cooled Revolution. A completely new design from Harley, full water cooling, overhead cams, with variable cam timing, state of the art instrumentation and suspension systems and 150 BHP, 94 Ft.Lbs of Torque. Long live the Sportster!
 
21 - 40 of 55 Posts
Top