Thinking about trading or selling my Sporty ~ Any Suggestions?

by Candy
(Wisconsin )

I took the basic riders course last summer. Received my license in May, 2010. My husband surprised me with the bike before I took the class. He bought me what I have always wanted. A 2010 Iron 883 Sportster. My bike is beautiful. But my bike is so top heavy. I practiced on my bike in a empty parking lot and then around the neighborhood. I have put about 1,200 miles on my bike since I have gotten it. I have women that are willing to take me out and pratice.Which I have gone out a couple times with them. The last ride I went out with my husband I was ready to sell it right then. My husband likes to go fast. I don't. I am a flower sniffer. That is my riding style. I like to see my surroundings. Well I tried keeping up with him and it was not pretty. I dropped my bike for the first time. Ok, I joined I dropped my bike club. I learned my lesson that day. Ride your own ride! My problem is that I love riding but I am making up excuses not to go out. I am not sure if I should try out some other bikes before giving up? I know I need to make my own decision. But I would like feedback from anyone that has gone through the same thing and if you did trade your sporty in what did you trade it in for? Any suggestions?

Comments for Thinking about trading or selling my Sporty ~ Any Suggestions?

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Jan 31, 2012
Selling the sporty
by: Anonymous

I started riding 6 years ago on a Suzuki GS 500 sports bike. My hubby traded it in on a harley for him. Well, i wanted to keep riding so we went down to Harley to look around.

Here's what I though my problem was... I'm only 5'2". Everyone told me get the sporty, I'm too short for anything else.

I bought the 1200 Custom...and loved every inch of it. However what I didn't know was....

I bought the wrong bike for me. It is top heavy. I felt like I was constantly fighting with the bike vs. riding it. I put about 1500 miles on it and one day, while down at harley decided...I wanted to know more.

After sitting on literally every bike there, I ended up with a 2010 wide glide. Wow.

Most people will tell you it's for taller riders. A reduced reach seat got me started. The first time I rode it I realized, this was RIDING. The bike felt so much lower and felt like it handled so much better especially in corners. I didn't feel like I was going to just fall over. I felt like I was "in" the bike vs. on it.

My only suggestion might be... if I could do it all again, would be buying a bike with a fatter front tire. While I love the looks, handling in any dirt with the 21" thin tire is a bear. Plus turning radius isn't as nice. However, I'm still sold on the upgrade.

Perhaps, a softail next time. less vibration, but hey, whats a Harley supposed to do ;-)

My .02 but I'd never recommend a sporty to a newbie. Maybe a metric bike to start but if you are going Harley... I'd move to a different model.

Happy Riding!

Aug 22, 2011
Riding with your husband
by: Robin

I had the same issue riding with my husband. I was a brand new rider last year and he likes to go FAST! I found myself getting frustrated and really really annoyed with him every time we went out. It reached the point where I didn't want to ride with him at all. We solved it by letting me take the lead position, and ride at MY pace, and he could follow me. I told him it would be boring for a while, but he had to let me ride at my pace and learn in order to ride with me. Now in my 2nd year, I have the confidence to follow him thru those twisties, or open up my bike on the highway, and I find I can keep up with him without a problem. The funny thing is, he now enjoys a slower pace because he learned to appreciate it while following my lead :)

As to the right bike for you, that is something only you can determine. I have never ridden a Sportster, but have sat one in a dealership and knew right off it wasn't for me, I didn't care for the top heavy feel of it. If it is truly what you want to ride I would give it some more time, and some parking lot work. The more slow steady work you do the more comfortable you will be on the street. Good luck to you!

Aug 22, 2011
Thank you
by: Candy

Thank you all for the comments. I really appreciate it.

Aug 21, 2011
Do it your way
by: Diavel girl

Ride your own ride. There is no point in having an accident just to keep up with your husband. I let him lead and if he has to wait for me to catch up then so be it. I'm not going to kill myself just to prove I can keep up.

Aug 21, 2011
Riding your own ride
by: Dottie

I just wanted to make a couple comments. You story could be my story and I want to comment from that perspective. First off, I have a Heritage Softtail Classic, I am a beginner, have only ridden about 6 weeks now. My MSF class instructor told me I was dumb for getting a Harley with no riding experience and there was no way I was going to learn to ride on it, it was simply to big. Big hit to my confidence, I can tell you, that one comment intimidated me and zapped my self confidence big time. I have ridden two-by for a couple of years with hubby and he rides the same thing, so I knew what I wanted cause I love his bike. Well after having a less than perfect experience with hubby as my teacher, he thinks I ride to slow also............I took it upon myself to set some boundaries, learn to ride the bike I had, and do it starting the next day. I decided that hubby, as much as I love him was probably not the best person to teach me and I know that sentiment is a very common one, so I found some riding partners from our HOG club, from MSF class and set about getting used to my new bike. You have to decide that it is your right to ride your own ride, much as we love our significant others, we cannot ride their ride, nor they ours. We have to ride our own ride. I seriously thought that my bike was to big also but I don't think so anymore, the more I ride, the more comfortable I get on her. Sure it is a big bike but it is all about balance and control, not how heavy the thing is. One of my best friends is tiny and she rides a Sporty. Only you can decide which bike is for you, which bike fits you and to start riding your own ride, I know that phrase is tossed about a lot, but a truer statement has never been made. it is so important to heed that advice. I told hubby just this morning in fact.......after he told me I was having trouble keeping up...........that I was a beginner, I was not as experienced as him, some things make me uncomfortable and I have to ride at a pace that makes me comfortable. I would rather arrive a few minutes later than what he sees as necessary than to not arrive at all. So go forth, lol and ride your own ride on the bike of your choice. You are the best judge of both those things.

Aug 19, 2011
2009 Sportster
by: Peggy

I have a black denim 2009 Sportster my first year I dumped it several times and thought I would never get the hang of it, but persistence have paid off and I now feel comfortable and like my bike I commute each day to and from work round trip about 80 miles, and as far as power it has plenty.

Aug 18, 2011
test rides
by: Lois

I know Triumph offers test ride on their bikes they have both street and cruiser styles see if you have a dealer near you.

Aug 18, 2011
Proper ride and riding
by: Anonymous

I have a ride book that has many rides to take in the state I live in.
In the back of the book it says ride your own ride. Go at your own pace and not some one elses until you are ready. If the ride is too long , too steep or you just feel uncomfortable then it is time to turn back . I have a friend who started riding and he husband would not let her get an 883 . The center of gravity in not good for long rides and it is uncomfortable . I think it is so important to purchase your own ride. I know the intentions of husbands and boyfriends are good ones . However, you need to test your own ride and do research on a bike that fits you and not an imagine that is given to us by the motorcycle industry.
Good luck and it sounds like you are on your way to getting maybe a different bike.

Aug 18, 2011
It's so hard to advise...
by: Sandra

My Suzuki Boulevard C50C is the PERFECT bike for me, as far as I know. It's the only bike I've ever driven, except for my trainer in MSF (also a Suzuki). When my girlfriend was shopping - our husbands have twin HD Heritage Softails and we wanted our own rides - I practically FORCED her to get on my Suzuki...and she HATED it! How could she? It's so PERFECT!! It's every bit the size of my hubby's HD without all the weight (a trim 650 pounds to his 900 pound monster). Beautiful cruiser style...I could not understand. She finally found her V-Star 600 - a bit smaller than mine yet, but then she's quite a bit smaller than me, kinda white like mine, and still a cruiser style. She's pretty happy with it. It "fits" her.

If you've put on 1200 miles and still feel like not riding versus trying to master your Sporty, maybe it IS your bike...??? Go to a dealer and just start sitting on every bike in there. Throw a leg over and stand it up under you. Many you won't be able to get off of fast enough. Some will feel kinda nice. If you are lucky, one or two will make you want to fire it up and dance! Make note of those special ones...talk to the salesman and see if you CAN ride one of those, or if there's another around back in that style that can be test driven. If not, start networking to see if you can find an owner of one who is willing to let you spin around the block.

Such a test should help you to make the decision of whether it is the Sporty that has you intimidated with its "spirited" handling, or if you are just hesitant about riding no matter what you are riding. I think that's what I would do if I hadn't gotten so lucky on my first try - bought the first bike I looked at in person, before I could test drive her; first drive (without ANY instruction) was a disaster, but not because of the bike not fitting me...because I did not know what the heck I was doing! LOL Glad those days are behind me...

Aug 18, 2011
Test drives
by: Dawn

Some places will let you test ride a motorcycle if you have a full endorsement, (not a permit). If you think you may want to try something different, try to test something else. Everyone has different tastes. What works for you may not be comfy for others.

I have a relative that rides a smaller sport bike, they let me take for a spin. I hated it. Just not my style. I couldn't bend my bad knee back far enough, and my hands went numb after one block. Although my Shadow was really heavy at first, it felt more like me. They on the other hand, traded a Sporty for the sport bike. Better fit for them.

Sit on a bunch of different bikes, and if you can get one out on the road take a test ride on something different. You may decide to trade the Sporty, or you may realize it's a better fit and you just need to adjust.

Good luck.

Aug 18, 2011
Do you
by: Stephanie

Everyone has their own opinions and what you should and shouldn't do. You have to do what is best for you and where you feel comfortable. They key is to not give up and if you fall, get back on and Ryde again. My bike brothers all wanted me to get a 600. But as tall as I am it made me feel like I was on a toy bike and I was not happy so I went with a zuk 1000. The boys, said I shouldn't do it but it was the best thing for me and I love it! Learning something new is never easy. You just need to find your what works for you even if that means you trade it in!

Aug 17, 2011
start small!
by: Robin

I'm sorry you've had such a rough go of it. My first bike was a Honda CB250 Nighthawk. Yep, it's small - but I could handle it, no intimidation, no drops. I'm glad I started small - my confidence grew fast. Those right turns aren't so bad on a little bike!

Aug 17, 2011
by: Anonymous

I ride a 2010 Iron 883. It was also a surprise gift from my husband. I also dropped it, ran off the road and did a couple of other beginner things with it. I have put about 6,000 miles on it this year and now I LOVE my bike. I love that it does not look like a girls bike. Mine is loud all blacked out. I have heard over and over about how I need a more comfortable bike, one that has a lower center of gravity, etc etc etc. But I did not listen, and I am glad. I am not uncomfortable on long trips, because it is all I know. I too am a "flower sniffer", don't like to break 60 on the highway, but make myself do at least the speed limit. I just go my own pace. Everyone elses opinion about your bike cannot make a decision like wether or not to keep it for you. You are the only one who knows if your bike feels right for you. I say give her a chance, I gave mine a chance and now I can't stay off of her.

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