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Discussion Starter #1
Whenever you read a bike road test they list the 'dry weight' and 'wet weights' (with fluids) and sometimes there can be a big difference.

After removing or replacing various bits and pieces from my Thruxton, (especially the heavy stock mufflers with new SS EPCO's) I was curious what the bike actually weighs now with oil, fuel, battery water, fork oil...you know, 'ready to roll'.

I rolled each wheel onto my digital scale, (with the bike held level and vertical) and here's the result:

Measured Thruxton wet weight Nov. 5 2008

Front: 218 lbs
Rear: 251 lbs

Total: 469 lbs

Not too bad, eh? I have just read the official specs on the new HD XR-1200 Sportster (now in the USA) and it weighs a whopping 580 lbs wet (running order)

That's like my Thruxton having a 111 lb. passenger on the back all of the time...or two 50 lb. sacks of concrete plus two 5 lb hams. Hmmm, road-hugging weight I guess. It does have some nice big tires and rims though...

I guess you could put on some lighter (and better looking) exhaust pipes on the XR, but you won't remove that much pork. MSRP is listed at $10,799 USD

I guess that's one reason our little bikes are so nimble and handle so well in the twisty bits! BTW, I'm not slamming the HD...it's pretty cool, and you never know, I might just own one someday. Just reporting the facts here.

Cheers!
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Thrux vs XR

Blight, it's always fun to compare a Triumph to a H-D. Since 1957, when the Sportster was introduced to compete with the Thunderbird, the two have been joined at the hip, historically speaking. I rode a Sportster for 14 years before I got my Bonneville. I enjoyed every one of the 80,000 miles I put on it. I had an 89 model, the next to last year for the 4 speed transmission. V-twin engines have a feel all their own. It was a great straight line bike. I cannot speak for how the new XR handles, but I can for the standard Sportsters. They are very stiff. They track well, but forget about the flick factor. They don't compare at all to the Triumph when it comes to the twisties. But lets be honest here, the Thruxton/Bonneville doesn't handle well compared to the 675 and other sport bikes. They are what they are, and should well be appreciated for that. Our bikes are a link to the past, or at least that's how I see them. I've had mine for four years and 50,000 miles. All things considered, I prefer the Triumph. Being a huge dirt track fan, I really dig street trackers. This new XR, in my view, is the best looking H-D ever produced. I could see owning one, but not at the expense of getting rid of my Bonneville.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Absolutely right...the 1200 Sportsters I've ridden were fun in their own unique way, great gobs of torque and fairly stable in a straight line...just reluctant to turn-in and hard to change line mid-turn. Not much cornering clearance either. I was dragging stuff a fairly slow pace. I like the Buell concept, but not the execution...the styling is just not my 'cup of tea'. I hear in the reviews the new XR1200 is the best handling production HD ever built. Arguably one of the better looking ones too IMHO. I'd like to ride one, but my wife would murder me if I came home with another bike!

Good points too about the Triumph twins handling. For the most part, no matter how well we ride, we aren't going to embarrass a good rider on a current sportbike on a race track. On the street? Well it just depends how much of a scofflaw you want to be...even pushing the envelope on the Triumph twins can get you thrown in jail and your license revoked!

However, there are a lot of wannabe 'ricky-racers' out there in full leather suits on new liter sportbikes with huge chicken strips on their tires. They go reeeeally fast in a straight line, but then reeeeally haul it down for the corners. I say this because I have to go around them occasionally on my Thruxxie on some of my favorite backroads. I just safely pass 'em under braking. I can even do this on my old CB750K four piper! There is something to be said for experience (and knowing the road) I guess...I've been riding on the street since 1969 and in the dirt long before that! Yeah, I'm old.

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:
 

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Blight,

Let's don't cut short the obesity of the matter. The Harley XR1200 is a whopping 586 with 75 rwhp. It's not a good representation of it's kindred the XR750 which weighs in at 360 dry. Admittedly the bike has appeal but is far beyond what it should weigh verses it's paltry horsepower output. There own Buell 1125R is much better suited as a performance oriented motorcycle. They should have utilized the Rotax motor or the Porsche designed V Rod motor to compliment its performance appeal. They would also have shed several pounds in the process.

Cheers

Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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Well stock for stock our bikes are to heavy and way down on hp to.About the only thing our bikes will out run stock is a 883 HD in a drag race.A 1200 will eat your lunch.Our bikes handle better .But even there most smaller jap bikes will eat your lunch.Thruxton are so slow they had to make a class to run them in .
But no jap bike looks or feels as fun as our bikes or HD for that mater.Its alot more fun to make a slow bike fast to.
 

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Triumph vs H-D

Mike, the last two match-ups provided by Cycle World pitted the 1200 against the 790 Triumph. The classic comparison would have been against the 883, as that is the size of the original Sportster. But as noted, the 883 is slower. The 1200 did come out on top, but barely. It certainly didn't eat Triumphs lunch. I wrote Cycle World and respectfully asked why they continued to match the 1200 up against the Triumph instead of the 883. I suggested that the reason was because they wanted as close a match as possible and the the H-D needed the extra 400 cc to do the job, which in my view was unfair and that they should have used the 883 and let the chip fall where they may. They printed my letter, along with others making the same complaint. The Thruxton Cup series wasn't designed because the bike is so slow. It was more of a marketing ploy than anything else. With very limited mods allowed, if afforded riders the chance to race an actual series at a very affordable cost. Triumph even offered incentives. If you recall, a similar series was created for the sportster in dirt track called The Sportster Performance Series. AHRMA also has a class for 1200cc push rod engines. I absolutely agree that it is fun to improve the performance of a slow bike. I did stage one mods to both my Sportster and my Bonneville. I had a 1976 Yamaha XS 650C that I bought new and thought I would never get rid of. What a great bike. I remember thinking it was "like a Triumph, only better". Little did I know, that 28 years later I would get another verticle twin that would make me think "this is like my Yamaha, only better". I may be getting a Sprint next year, but I won't be getting rid of my Bonneville. This is one bike I will never let go.
 

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Triumph, Harley and the dirt

As the chaplain (from 1998-to the first Springfield race in 2008), and (in the '07 season) Assistant Starter for the AMA Grand National Dirt Track racing series, I got pretty familiar with the XR750's.
As a Triumph owner for that time (a '98 T-bird), I was encouraged when the Triumph guys started making a serious effort on the dirt.
Daniel Gideon rode the bikemost of the time, with Dan Stanley in the saddle a time or two.
My wife had a '94 model 883 Deluxe sporty which we modded for her shorter legs. She loved it, and I LOATHED it!
For those who haven't "been there/done that", you can buy an 883 and have it punched out to 1200 for a small fee.
What you gain (from my observation) is more VIBRATION!
It was a good move for Harley to finally rubber mount the motor in the 1200 series.
As dirt track bikes, the 883's were a handful, but MUCH more affordable than the XR750's, which average about $35K per bike.
Triumph's efforts to date on the dirt seem to be at about the same level as Aprilia's. Making the main event at a GN race guarantees the rider a National number for the next season, and more than pays your gas money for most folks.
I'll miss driving 35K miles a year to make most of the races, living in my Honda Element and subsisting on sandwiches, but all things have their season.
To be fair, about all the actual Harley content an XR750 race bike has is the basic engine and transmission. To be competitive, the engine internals are HIGHLY reworked or replaced, and you use an aftermarket frame from one of the "alphabet soup" suppliers, along with $$$ suspension and wheels.
Though many of the dirt track heroes have moved on to other things, (or, sadly, are no longer with us!), there are "young guns" like Coolbeth, Mees, and Johnson who show signs of coming greatness.
And, of course, there is the "Prince of Peoria", one-time (and possibly future" "World's fastest Motorcyclist", and all-around GREAT person, Chris Carr still spanking them on the mile for us "gray beards"!
Gotta run. There is this girl racer from "Kalifornia" that needs me to bump-start her Singles ride so I can fall flat on my face again when she gasses it! :)
Bob

Mike, the last two match-ups provided by Cycle World pitted the 1200 against the 790 Triumph. The classic comparison would have been against the 883, as that is the size of the original Sportster. But as noted, the 883 is slower. The 1200 did come out on top, but barely. It certainly didn't eat Triumphs lunch. I wrote Cycle World and respectfully asked why they continued to match the 1200 up against the Triumph instead of the 883. I suggested that the reason was because they wanted as close a match as possible and the the H-D needed the extra 400 cc to do the job, which in my view was unfair and that they should have used the 883 and let the chip fall where they may. They printed my letter, along with others making the same complaint. The Thruxton Cup series wasn't designed because the bike is so slow. It was more of a marketing ploy than anything else. With very limited mods allowed, if afforded riders the chance to race an actual series at a very affordable cost. Triumph even offered incentives. If you recall, a similar series was created for the sportster in dirt track called The Sportster Performance Series. AHRMA also has a class for 1200cc push rod engines. I absolutely agree that it is fun to improve the performance of a slow bike. I did stage one mods to both my Sportster and my Bonneville. I had a 1976 Yamaha XS 650C that I bought new and thought I would never get rid of. What a great bike. I remember thinking it was "like a Triumph, only better". Little did I know, that 28 years later I would get another verticle twin that would make me think "this is like my Yamaha, only better". I may be getting a Sprint next year, but I won't be getting rid of my Bonneville. This is one bike I will never let go.
 

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Thanks BMW and Bonnie.

I was getting there but you beat me to it. The current frame in the 883 and 1200 are just like a flexing hinge. The flex under the gyroscopic forces applied while on the track are quite substantial and very similar to the KZ900 twist-a-frame. If you've never experienced it, it's definitely not fun at speed. It starts out with a slow frame oscillation and the more force applied with the throttle exacerbates the problem. Even to the point of causing tank slappers. Put really sticky rubber on board and it's even worse. I heard nothing but complaints from riders about the problems, that's one of the reasons they aren't competitive on the track. The other has already been mentioned and is vibration. It's a killer to parts at constant speed. With the addition of rubber mounts to isolate vibration, it only compounds the handling problems. Motor movement in the frame does funny things to handling on the track. When they go back to solid mounts the vibration is so bad that the riders hands go numb halfway thru an event. The vibrations put added strain on engine parts and virtually cut the life span of internals in half.

Bottom line, if you can't make it handle around a turn you've lost the race. It makes any horsepower advantage a moot point.

Cheers

Jeff:motorbike2:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Ooops, try again with correct pic!

Just ran across this spy pic of the upcoming XVR-1250 for 2012...


Fitted with the smooth and powerful 1250cc V-Rod motor in the 2009 XR chassis, it promises to be an exciting package. 1/4 mile times in the high 10's are expected with a top speed of over 150mph. Release date is slated for April 1, 2012

That's it! I'm fitting a supercharger to my Thruxxie.

Cheers,
BLIGHT:motorbike:

(I know it's not April 1, but it's fun to fool with ya'll..hehehe)
 

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...and why is it so freaking high off the ground???

I like it, because I used to compete against XR750's with my 500cc Trumpet at Ascot many years ago.

Dick
 

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The XR1200 really appeals to me. It is definitely heavy but I recall reading a magazine comparison of a Sportster (not the XR model) and Bonny and the article made the point that if you judged by specs alone the Bonny would win but when they actually rode both bikes the Harley had a better feel in the turns. "More planted" was the phrase I remember.

I've owned 4 Sportsters - a 1973 (bought new, so that tells you how old I am), a 1988 (terrible 883), a mid 90's 1200 (awful) and a genuine 1983 XR1000 (good motor, bad chassis). I'm really thinking about the XR1200 as a replacement for my Scrambler but I hate to buy based on pictures, which looks like how Harley is selling the bikes - pre-orders only. If I could actually see the bike in the flesh I might pull the trigger.
 

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I'm going to the Long Beach CA bike show today where the new XR is supposed to be on display. I'll report back this evening on what it's really like.

Dick
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm going to the Long Beach CA bike show today where the new XR is supposed to be on display. I'll report back this evening on what it's really like.

Dick
Hey Dick...if you haven't left for the show yet, take a digital camera and post some pics of anything interesting please!

Cheers,
BLIGHT
 
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