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Well, I was ready to spool up a short rant. But, after some research I discovered that a modern Sporty is not significantly more powerful than an '01, and a modern sporty is fairly close to the Bolt in power output. So, moving on lol...

I think the 9 would bring a fine showing but you'd have power-to-weight working against you. The 9 is long and heavy for a bike in its class, which makes it a great, comfortable, roomy ride...but can make it feel a a little anemic. It makes significant torque, however, so I feel that the winner in these contests would be determined by rider skill more than by equipment superiority.

I do feel it necessary to say that a 13-year-old carbureted bike with 1000 miles on it is probably not the best choice for judging a model's performance however...who knows what shape that carb was in on that garage queen.
 

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I agree that modern tech can close the gap, but the gap seemed rather large to start with. These were also short runs, showing bottom end advantage. Makes me wonder what a top end run would be like. The Yamaha also has about 60cc plus advantage.


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I got to handle both bikes last summer, the bolt felt very small to me, more like the honda r/s i use to own, the sporster was faster to me, but it shaked, rattled and rolled, not to my liking, they may compare closer to the 900 custom, but a world of difference to my 900 classic; apples to oranges....ride on....
 

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Yeah, no joke, that Yammy was roasting the Sporty. But looking at the specs, the '01 Sporty made 53 HP and 49 ft/lbs, a little backwards for a Harley twin...might could be the Sporty would shine on a slightly longer run?
 
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I wouldn't compare an 883 Sportster to anything other than a boat anchor. Before I bought my 2006 V2K, I was planning to find a 2004-2005 XL1200R Sportster Roadster because I've always kind of wanted a more or less classic Sportster and that particular model was the closest to my cosmetic ideal than any other model HD made. The 1200, in very specific model configurations, interests me, not so any of the 883's.

Then I stumbled across my V2K and bought it for about the same amount the old Sportster would have cost. In fact, I often refer to my stripped-down V2K as 'my Sportster'.

I rode a Bolt earlier in the year, and although I liked the concept, I found the bike itself pretty underwhelming.

Regardless, they certainly should have used a post-2004 Sportster in their comparison, that's the year HD finally rubber-mounted that paint-shaker engine, and IMO, it made a significant improvement in that bike. Personally, I have no time for any Sportster made before 2004.
 
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