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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
What do people think?
  • Ride to work 10 miles and back nice roads
  • Ride on weekends 200 miles maximum
  • once or twice a year 500 mile holiday
Previous bike CBR1000(hated0, Vulcan 1600 (Hated slug), GTR1000 (good bike but huge), EN450 loved it (Not enough power), CB250 (dangerous not enough power), 1998 Virago XV1100 (loved it good torque/power just got old)

Favourite bike so far was the old virago 1100.

Time for something newer.
 

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If you thought all those other bikes you've had were underpowered, I feel you will be pretty disappointed in the CTX as well. It is not built for speed by any means. Just a nice cruiser. I don't have any input on Harleys as I've never ridden one. Not really my style. Maybe someone with more experience with both rides can chime in.
 

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Whatever floats your boat! You have to decide what's more important to you. Fuel mileage, less initial cost, maintenance or styling, sound and becoming a part of the "club".
I like both companies machines and have owned and ridden each. There are some HD's I would not own but others are fine for me. Same with Hondas.
Let us know which one you end up with.
 

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I saw a British review of a new 883-powered machine when I was shopping and considering trading my scooter for a bike. I think the advantage to reading a review from across the pond is that one doesn't get the Harley bias one gets over here to the same degree. In that review (can't find the link now), the test riders did not like the vibration of that power train, and they also commented about how it was even worse on one of the 1200s that they had previously tested. It was to the point, they said, that one couldn't see anything discernible out of the mirrors once underway. They were also not impressed with the power out of the curves, power in general, and the handling overall. The strong points were the attention to detail and quality with respect to fit and finish, the paint quality, the classic Harley sound and raw nature, the ergonomics of the controls and ease of riding, competitive price, resale value, and the comfortable ride as compared to the same range from some of the competitors.

I couldn't find anything about any of the 1200 models on these other aspects from an unbiased viewpoint, and I would never consider anything bigger where I assume Harley would do better versus the competition. So I guess what I'm stating is, that at least from the point of view of some unbiased reviewers, the 883 would not have the power you would want or expect either, but I'm not sure how much faster and quicker the 1200 is compared to some Asian and European comparables. One of the problems with reviews is gauging these reviews. Are they comparing acceleration to a sport bike? Or other cruisers in the same displacement /weight range? Not sure. The 883 bikes are listed @ 54 peak foot lbs of torque @ 3,750 RPM, and the 1200s are listed @ 71 peak foot lbs of torque @ 3500 RPM. I'm not sure how that much torque at that low of an RPM range with bikes that tip the scales @ around 560 lbs. could translate into really poor performance unless they have just a really inefficient means of transferring that toque to the wheel via the belt, or the reviewers are using sport-bike performance as a measurement standard and are more concerned with off-the-line performance.

I'm not really crazy about any of the Harley's seating configurations, nor their mpg (although not that much different than most other brands in that range, save Honda), nor am I into some of their old technologies that they use as a matter of consumer preference. I too though respect and like the fit and finish and general appearance of many of their bikes, the huge community of support available, especially with respect to their bigger, higher-price bikes, even though the bigger bikes are not for me.

I didn't test ride any, because I really didn't get too serious about considering any of them, and the local dealer didn't have any of the smaller-displacement Harleys in their show room where I could take a closer look.
 

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One thing to consider, if you don't already know this, is that the 670 power train has a rev limit @ only around 6500 RPM with torque being relatively flat between 3,000-5,600. The HP and torque peak is much flatter and the RPM limit much lower than most bikes, which will give a different kind of riding experience than what enthusiasts may have become used to, especially sport-bike enthusiasts. The best shifting pattern with this bike and its cousins, the NC700S and X, are a bit quicker, and there is more meat in the middle of the RPM range than most bikes; at least from the Honda brand.

As for the Harley 1200 power train, I don't know...maybe they are the same way or even more so, since the torque peak is so far down low, but I can't confirm or deny, because I've never ridden one or read about them. All I know is that I am completely satisfied with the performance of the CTX700. It out accelerates my diesel car off the line by a long shot but requires more downshifts than the car and is at least equal to the scooter I had for quick accelerations, and the scooter was no slouch in that regard.

If you search the forum, you'll see complaints about performance over 75 mph, maintaining high speed on hills in the top gear, and hill performance two up, but those are situations I never encounter, and I have very little experience with other machines, so there are those that can help you relate better than me. But without a doubt, there can be no complaint about fuel economy when the CTX is ridden conservatively. I've yet to go under 75 mpg on a tank of fuel, with the standard fairing model, running pure gas, in a mostly-highway commute; 80% of which is 55-65 mph.
 

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CTX700D vs. Harley Sportster 1200

I owned a Harley Sportster 1200 custom, a 2007, for a few years, but sold it for several reasons. First, my commute involves some city riding, and the constant gear shifting in traffic made me prefer the CTX700D. Traffic is much easier these days. Second, my wife enjoys riding as a passenger again with the CTX700D. The Harley left her complaining of "Harley butt" on even the shortest rides. Between the vibration and the firm pillion of the Sportster, she didn't enjoy the ride. And third...gas mileage. I regularly recorded, on a good day, about 40 mpg with the Sportster. Once, I logged a whopping 44 mpg on a day of highway riding! The CTX700D is getting 62 - 67 mpg with a mix of city and highway.
Granted, the Sportster had a lot of power, and I mean a lot. I could whisk from 0 to 60 effortlessly in just a (seemingly) few seconds. It didn't seem to have a top speed (though it probably did), but I don't feel a need to put my life or my driving record at risk, nor do I feel that I have anything to prove...to anyone. The CTX700D is a good sensible bike that gets good mileage, has plenty of power for my needs, and is "fanny friendly" to my wife/passenger.
For me, the decision to buy the CTX700D was an easy one. For others, it might be a harder choice, but try riding each one and go with your preference.

-- Patefermente
 

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Although I've never owned a Sportster, 883 or 1200, I've test riden both.
Not impressed. As far as a comparison to a CTX the Honda weighs about 100 pounds less and although less HP if I recall the test reviews in the various motorcycle mags the Honda would beat the Harley in a 0-60 drag.
As mentioned by someone else there is no comparison in the ride. A Sportster rides like a piece of plywood on a skateboard. So far I have only test driven a CTX (won't have mine for about a week) but found it to be smooth riding and quick compared to a lot of bikes I've ridden. My wife's Vulcan 900 weighs about 100 lbs. more and has about the same HP as a CTX. The Honda is superior to it in performance, acceleration and turning.
The small tank and low gas mileage on the Sportster makes it hard to go much over 100 miles without gassing up. The CTX will go close to 200 (unless you're old and get a sore butt sooner.
If you get the Harley then you have to ride in the biker costume also. That may be a deterrent. Can't wear a helmet either.
 
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Sportster...

Yea... I used to get the funniest looks when I wore a helmet while riding the Sportster. :confused:

-- Patefermente
 

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Yea... I used to get the funniest looks when I wore a helmet while riding the Sportster. :confused:

-- Patefermente

If I ever own or ride a Harley, I'll wear want I want, including a mesh jacket. To **** with their click!

Besides, many states require helmets but for those who leave in "no helmet law states", you ought to see the crazy, worthless covers some of these guys will put on their heads and get away with it. I've seen everything from galv. buckets with the handle as a chin strap, to a cut watermelon. Traffic enforcement usually won't mess with them as long as they see something on their heads.
 

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What do people think?
  • Ride to work 10 miles and back nice roads
  • Ride on weekends 200 miles maximum
  • once or twice a year 500 mile holiday
Previous bike CBR1000(hated0, Vulcan 1600 (Hated slug), GTR1000 (good bike but huge), EN450 loved it (Not enough power), CB250 (dangerous not enough power), 1998 Virago XV1100 (loved it good torque/power just got old)

Favourite bike so far was the old virago 1100.

Time for something newer.
I owned a 2004 883R and upgraded to a 2007 1200custom. Little difference in weight so the 1200 makes more since of the two. Fuel injection started with the sportsters in 2007. Lots of used ones around with low miles for about what a CTX new sells for. Low seat height, forward controls, or mid controls, small or larger gas tank on some and the largest aftermarket catalog of accessories than any bike on the planet that offers better seats, windshields, bags, footpets, and so on. It has many options and prices are not much different than Honda prices.

Harleys have lower maintenance belt drive and no valve adjustments than the CTX in my mind. I never jointed the cliché group or riders but wore what I wanted and rode where I wanted. With any style of bike there can be a stigma. Bobber, Café, cruiser and so on. Yes they shake some, but the newer rubber mounted engines are better.

so why am I riding a CTX. I sold the 1200C and got a 1988 Hawk GT. More fun in the twisties and lighter. Tried a VFR800 traded it in on the CTX. I have a 2014 Yamaha FZ-09 on order. I will have convienent work bike and all around town or nearby town high gas mileage bike and I will have one for the twisties or fast lane freeway where everyone is going 80. Sometimes you need two.

Go ride some, read some and decide if one bike can do it all because you have tried a pretty good variety so far and not found one.

good luck
 
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Harleys have lower maintenance belt drive and no valve adjustments than the CTX in my mind.
My last HD was an 81 Ironhead 1000cc. Required some maintenace on that bike for sure.I didn't know HD added hydraulic adjustment to Harleys. Now water cooled too! LOL, I can almost hear Mr. Honda saying "You will be assimilated"!
 

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My last HD was an 81 Ironhead 1000cc. Required some maintenace on that bike for sure.I didn't know HD added hydraulic adjustment to Harleys. Now water cooled too! LOL, I can almost hear Mr. Honda saying "You will be assimilated"!
all Brands have changed a lot since 1981 your last HD. Back in 63 I rode a 1941 knucklehead.

Most recent a 2007 1200C Sportster with belt drive, hydraulic lifters and oil cooler added so water cooling wasn't needed.

I don't agree with your assimilated statement in that I think Honda assimilated Harley for many years and there was even an embargo that forced Japan made bikes to have tariffs on them if a certain CC engine size which was lifted in 1987 and Honda went back to making the 750cc class bikes again instead of 696cc bikes.

I think it is true, each maker has assimilated/copied various aspects of their competitors bikes in many cases by doing something just a little different which in some cases turned out to be an improvement. Many bikes have belt drive now (I don't know who started it and don't care). They have also reversed improvements for more simple designs and cost points (going back to chain drive).

If you put a Yamaha, Honda and Harley V twin side by side, some people could not tell them apart. We the riders might like something about each bike but when it came down to buying, one of the three would get our money because of the differences that sets it apart in OUR MIND and not the same features.

We just get better bikes now and we are very lucky.
 

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I think it is true, each maker has assimilated/copied various aspects of their competitors bikes in many cases by doing something just a little different which in some cases turned out to be an improvement. Many bikes have belt drive now (I don't know who started it and don't care). They have also reversed improvements for more simple designs and cost points (going back to chain drive).

If you put a Yamaha, Honda and Harley V twin side by side, some people could not tell them apart. We the riders might like something about each bike but when it came down to buying, one of the three would get our money because of the differences that sets it apart in OUR MIND and not the same features.

We just get better bikes now and we are very lucky.
Even though I've never followed the industry until now, everything Bill states makes sense. If any major manufacturer wasn't watching what other manufacturers were doing, was not willing to copy others who had made popular feature and/or engineering choices, was not able or willing to keep up with the latest and greatest from an engineering standpoint, and did not have a full understanding of what consumers of each market want and expect and provide products that meet those expectations; those manufacturers would have been out of business a long time ago.

Therefore, even though I don't know this as a matter of fact, I would venture to guess that there are no bad brands of motorcycles with respect to quality or relevance, at least what we would consider major brands, but that they each have something that separates them from the others that draws a niche market to their brand, even if it is just perception and not actual product differences. An occasional, bad product--yes--but continued production of inferior products, or features that nobody wants, or the inability to engineer and reverse engineer at a high level, or the inability or unwillingness to respond to consumer preferences; I don't think any of this would be possible in today's global market place with lots of industry journalists keeping check on everything entering the market place and communicating all of this to us. Just like in the auto industry, they have to be on their game at all times so as not to miss out on anything and get behind on any engineering aspect relating to their business; and yes they can error now and then with a product entry, but it can't become a trend, because if it does, they will become irrelevant as a major player. Once that happens, bankruptcy is not far away.
 

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If i were looking at the HD Sportster,

I would be looking at the Yamaha/Star "BOLT" in the reviews, for the "Bolt" it rates much higher, and better liked than the HD Sportster, in every category.
 

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I don't know why anyone would be looking at an 883 today when Harley's new Street 750 is so close to market. It's going to be faster; cheaper; lighter; less expensive; more narrow; and much smoother than the 883 Iron or Sportster. Of course there will be many who actually want that crude, loud, vibrating machine and that's what attracts them to HDs, but if someone is choosing between a Honda CTX700N and a Harley, it wouldn't make sense for he or she to be looking at any Harley other than the upcoming Street 750; unless he or she were considering used bikes, or was choosing between two totally different bikes.

But with respect to the Street 750; it and the CTX will be direct competitors for the same target market.
 

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If you liked the Virago then you will probably like anything. I had a 1995 750 Virago & just like my Yamaha Majesty they went out of their way to make EVERYTHING hard to work on. IT's a Yamaha thing & I will NEVER own another Yamaha.
Take off the seat, then the gas tank just to start getting to the air filter. I had to lay on the ground & then had a hard time checking the oil level. Getting to the oil filter was really stupid.
The Majesty is even worse with the air filters, the hard to get to dip stick & too short oil tube. It's even a MAJOR problem checking the tire pressure on the rear tire & that's just some of the problems.
 

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I don't know why anyone would be looking at an 883 today when Harley's new Street 750 is so close to market. It's going to be faster; cheaper; lighter; less expensive; more narrow; and much smoother than the 883 Iron or Sportster. Of course there will be many who actually want that crude, loud, vibrating machine and that's what attracts them to HDs, but if someone is choosing between a Honda CTX700N and a Harley, it wouldn't make sense for he or she to be looking at any Harley other than the upcoming Street 750; unless he or she were considering used bikes, or was choosing between two totally different bikes.

But with respect to the Street 750; it and the CTX will be direct competitors for the same target market.
I didn't know about it until I saw it at the River Run in Laughlin last month.
I sat on the 500 model & it seems to be a very good choice. I was ready to buy a CTX 700 as soon as I could find a dealer who REALLY wanted to sell one. Now I may very well change my mind. I like the belt drive & it comes with a TWO year warranty.
 

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I had an 883 in the late 80's and liked it but the frame was way to small for me. I just saw pics of a rider on the 750 and he looks pretty cramped. I am 6' and would need a larger Harley. I have to say that I liked the 883 a lot but I also didn't do too much interstate riding. I think I had the last year with the chain and 4 speed though.

But if I compare my CTX to the 883 I would much rather have my CTX. I love the pegs being forward on this bike.
 
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