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Hey everyone, can you tell me why you would buy a 900 Kawi over the Harley. Be honest, because I am a solo rider, that is 6 foot and 250lbs. I am hoping to buy a new bike this year:) Any feed back on the power etc would be great.

thanks
 

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Less money for a better motor & ride.The fuel injection on these bikes are smooth & responsive with the liquid cooled to keep it running great in all temps.The 1200 I believe is faster but them old school push rods & cam is way out dated.To me the 883 is a girls bike.To compare you would have to get into the Dyna Harley's they have rubber motor mounts at least.
 

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you aint gonna fit on that sportster. am 5-7 and its too small for me. if you are bent on a hardley consider the dyna series superglide. sometimes you can get lucky n pick one up reasonable.

my nephew had a 900 kaw and he is right at 6ft. he rode that bike on several week long trips. 06, indy to colorado and back was too much. I think he was trying to keep up with a hardley lectraglide. it was ruff on him an the bike. Now he has a victory vegas. big bike.

900's are fun. I find em on the small side. am sure others will chime in w/diff story. ponch, out
 

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Take a look at this article to read about the 2010 Vulcan: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/162/6064/Motorcycle-Article/2010-Kawasaki-Vulcan-900-Custom-Comparison.aspx

The same site also reviewed the Sportster for 2010 in this article: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/112/6062/Motorcycle-Article/2010-Harley-Davidson-Sportster-883L-Comparison.aspx

There is also a video they did: http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/754/Motorcycle-Video/2010-Middleweight-Cruiser-Shootout.aspx

These articles should still be pretty accurate since they are only a year old.

Out of all the "middle weight crusers" they reviewed it seemed that they liked the Vulcan Custom the best and the Sportster the least. These articles and the video where the biggest reason I ended up buying the 900 and not another bike in the same class. That and my SE looked the best all blacked out :)

If you can I would take both for a test ride and see what you think. Good luck in finding the right bike for you.
 

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Rich,

Just go to the harley shop and sit on a sporty, then sit on a VN900 , and you will see the size difference. Im 6 2 220 and rode my buddys sporty, way to small.
 

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I've had a Sportster in the past. To me it "felt" like a much smaller bike than my 900 custom. The leg and arm reach can be remedied by aftermarket forward controls, handlebars, and risers, but (IMO) the frame/wheelbase just feels like a much smaller bike.

I prefer my 900 over a Sportster; even with a 1200 engine. I've taken it (the 900) cross country loaded down with camping equip. and a windshield with no problems whatsoever. As a side note to this; i also own a 2010 Wide Glide and the 900 is still my "everyday" bike... when i get to ride, anyway. :rolleyes:

I will say that i do NOT consider the Sportster to be a "girls" bike any more than i would any other motorcycle. They're just the entry models of the Harley line and being their least expensive, smallest, and lightest models, they suit novices and folks with smaller frames better than the larger and heavier models. I think the newer ones are darn nice bikes.
 

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Hey everyone, can you tell me why you would buy a 900 Kawi over the Harley. Be honest, because I am a solo rider, that is 6 foot and 250lbs. I am hoping to buy a new bike this year:) Any feed back on the power etc would be great.

thanks
Take the time to sit on all three bikes. I was in the same position you were last year. I was looking at the 900 and the 883 as my first bike. I honestly really wanted to like the 883 but I got on one and it felt really cramped.

I ended up with a 900 custom, don't let anyone tell you that the 900 is too small of a bike for you. I am 5-11 and 270 :pig: and my 9 moves me pretty good.
 

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Ditto on Heleks post..

Also, the Sporter was originally designed as Harley's race bike. Call it the original crotch rocket or cafe racer. They can be real fun around town or on short trips. But the Vulcan has always been a cruiser. The angle of the seat, floorboards and handlebars all work together for the comfort of the rider on those longer trips. It still has plenty of get-up-and-go, and it is really nice in the twistys. But when you're on a 3 hour long strech of interstate, it will be much more comfortable than that Sportster.

Of course, none of us on this forum are prejudice or anything! ;)
 

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The Sportster will definitely be to cramped for you.

The 1200 is faster than the 900, but your not racing, your cruising.

As mentioned above, you will really appreciate the water cooled motor on a metric on a hot, humid summer day. Harley's really cook and can get pretty uncomfortable in traffic on hot days.

If you just plane want a Harley, I would look into a bigger model than the Sportster.

One other thing, Harley's tend to have quite a shake to them. Some guys don't mind, some do. This isn't a put down, they are just different.

My two cents
 

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When I bought my 900 I was also considering the Sportster. Read Tang's review links.

I have read several, and every time the 900 outperforms the competition. If you are 6 ft' the sportster will most likely leave you cramped if you are on it for a length ot time. I am 5'9" and it feels too small to me. The Vulcan has room, good looks, and performs well. Why else would we all be Vulcan riders?
 

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I'm 6'3" and 250 lbs, and when I sat on the Sportster 883, I felt like a Shriner on a mini-bike. I tooled around a parking lot on a Sportster 1200, and it didn't feel much different, size wise, than the 883. It's just a smaller framed bike, no way around that, whether you do what a previous poster said and "remember you're on a Vulcan forum" or not. For a guy your size, it's just gonna feel cramped. At least, that's my guess... Even the Harley Dealer laughed at me when I walked up to sit on the Sportster. "That bike's gonna feel like a wedgie, man" is what he said, if I remember correctly. And the 1200 owner that let my test ride his machine took mine for a ride as well, and said something similar to "She's only a 900? She sits a lot bigger than mine." For the record, yes, he still loves his Sportster 1200 and I still love my Vulcan 900. ;)

As for performance/handling comparisons, there are quite a few reviews out there that compare the 2 side by side and offer great insights into the pros and cons of each bike (a couple were even linked above), but a HUGE difference (in my not-so-humble opinion) is the size of the gas tank. 3.3 gallons on the sportster (based on my research in 2009, I think some versions come with 4.3), as compared to 5.3 gallons on the vulcan 900. Not only is the tank larger, but it's a bit wider a well, changing the feel of the bike a bit, and offers nearly a hundred mile difference between fill ups.

The Vulcan is also a bit more comfortable for someone riding 2-up than the sportster (based on my wife's opinion, who sat on the back of both when I was looking for a bike). Of course, I went with the 900 Custom as the skinny front wheel and forward controls appealed to my wants in a bike as well, so I can't compare foot position to a Vulcan 900 classic/LT.

Don't take our word for it, though. Go sit on a couple, test ride if ya can, and choose the one ya like the best! 2 wheels... (or 3 for some) :D
 

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I went through exactly the same process, sat on numerous 883's and 1200's, but kept going back to the VN 900. Here in Australia, Harleys fetch a premium price, all 1200's I looked were double that of VN 900 and up to 6 years older (carbs v's EFI).

All the other posts on this so far mirror my feelings on size and comfort. They have the "Harley Sound", but with a good set of pipes, the VN 900 is very similar.

All of this is why I now ride a 900 - stick with it, you won't be dissapointed!!
 

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Less money for a better motor & ride.The fuel injection on these bikes are smooth & responsive with the liquid cooled to keep it running great in all temps.The 1200 I believe is faster but them old school push rods & cam is way out dated.To me the 883 is a girls bike.To compare you would have to get into the Dyna Harley's they have rubber motor mounts at least.
All of the Sportsters since 2004 have rubber engine mounts. I had a 1999 1200S which was the basically the Buell 1200 Motor,Hotter cams,dual plug heads, higher compression, and air/over shock suspension. Added fortwards to make it feel like I was sitting down into it instead of on top of it and I'm only 5'8". It was like driving a tractor with a 327 Chevy engine. It was quick but didn't handle worth a damn. I now have an 09 Custom with a Musting seat, dropped 2 ",Scootworks risers to bring the bars up and back sligjhtly and it's the most comfortable bike in the cruiser class I have ever owned. Harley maintenace is much more intensive too. Due to the Air only cooling you beat hell out the oil in about 2000 miles. Others may have different opinions but this has been my experience. RIDE SAFE
 

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The one comparison I have not seen posted yet... 900 has forward foot controls and the Sportster has traditionally positioned controls.
 

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Apples & oranges. To me, they're 2 different bikes and the only thing they have in common is the displacement and the price (sorta).

I hate it when HD guys see what I ride and say "you coulda got a Sporty for the same price". I tell them "I didn't want a Sportster, I wanted a cruiser".

Nothing against the Sportster, it's a cool little bike for what it is-a descendant of the old oval track racers. Cool bike for jumping around town, but not much for extended rides.

Read all the reviews and spec comparos and do your research. Then test ride them and get the bike YOU like the most.
 

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I ride the 900 classic and love it. I'm 5' 11" and 200 lbs. While on a ride with my son and his friend last summer( 3 bikes) we stopped for a short break, I got off my 900 and sat on his friends Harley 1200 sportser. It felt really small to me, especially after just walking a few steps from one bike to another. I think you have to buy what you find comfortable and fits the style you like, I did.
 

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Pretty much everything has been addressed already in this thread.

Independant reviews, people that compared and purchased.

The basic point is what do you want. What considerations are important to you. There is an exclusivity to Harleys. If that is an issue that's important to you, then it is what it is.

This is a purchase for pleasure. Be sure to get some !!!
 

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There is indeed an "exclusivity" associated with the Harley crowd... however the Harley crowd persecutes Sportster (or "Skirtster" as they call them) owners just as much as they persecute metric owners! You just can't win with a Sportster!
 

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I am so proud of my Vulcan Brothers on this subject. Most of you have been very helpful and haven't completely trashed the Harleys (at least not without giving good reasons). It would be really easy to just blast them without a second thought. I can imagine what kind of responses this question might get if it were posted on a Harley forum.
 
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