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Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom reviews

4.8
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Reliability
4.8
Overall quality
4.8
Performance
4.8
Comfort
4.1

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91 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Brandon Quinn

New York

Reviewed on 2021-09-23

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
Awesome experience all around. Really fair prices, quality people to talk you through the process and some really great bikes. Cannot wait to pick her up and meet the guys. 10/10 recommend GRR Cycles.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Joe Promedio

Mission Viejo, California

Reviewed on 2011-10-29

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
I bought my first Sportster in 1971, it was a '70 XLH. It was balanced, blue printed and other engine mods and could eat up Honda 750's all day long. This '05 is a blast. The 1200 motor delivers great power. The smaller bike makes it easier to handle also. But it will take a few changes if I want it to be a road bike. (the seat especially) I have had it a month and am getting a great ride every time. I love it!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Pete Petersen

Tarpon Sprngs, Florida

Reviewed on 2011-05-16

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
Being a new rider, some friends said I should buy a smaller bike first before buying a Road King. I bought this bike off E-Bay back in February, 2011 with only 5,600 miles on it. I have put over 1,800 miles on it in three months. It has run great, no issues here at all. The bike had custom Pearl Blue paint. The previous owner added a lot of accessories. I got this bike for a steal at $5,000! The bike looks brand new and was garage kept. It runs great, has plenty of torgue. I love this bike and hopefully later this year I will buy a Road King if Harley comes out with some decent colors for 2012. P.S. I will keep this bike besides getting a Road King.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Tzarofsmurfs

KC, Kansas

Reviewed on 2010-09-11

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
This is the best all-around standard bike available! At under 600 lbs., it is easy to maneuver around town but heavy enough to be comfortable on the highway. It's plenty quick and easy to handle. The paint job and chrome work are first class. You can customize it to your personal taste with tons of aftermarket/Harley parts. Make no mistake, this is no "starter bike". I had a metric bike prior to this and while I enjoyed it, I like my Harley better. It has character, class, and a mechanical feel to it that to me is what a motorcycle should be.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Dan

Boise, Idaho

Reviewed on 2007-08-29

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
Great bike that handles well. As soon as I got it, I had a stage one done on it, pipes, air intake, re-jet the carb, and ignition module. The stock seat is crap, get rid of it as soon as possible. Overall I have been very happy.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

john

katy, Texas

Reviewed on 2007-02-18

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
First off, let me say a few things. 1. I am not a die hard Harley fan. I don't like lots of chrome or super loud pipes or Harley bikes for the sake of being Harleys. 2. Sportsters aren't 'rice rockets' and won't perform like them but are very potent with a rider who knows how to ride one 3. Although good 'beginner' bikes, test ride a few of the 2 wheeled sofas before you 'upgrade'. A lot of you will thank me then stick with your sporty. These bikes do have a special place with me because its history as the original superbike, its performance capability and growing up around them. But I will say this, they are straight out fun to ride. I love the torque and it delivers throughout the power range, but 6000 rpm was too soon of a cut off for me, just when it was starting to get fun. As far as reliability, I have had head gasket leaks after some work (cams), rocker box leaks (fixed myself), and neck bolt came loose (dealership couldnt figure it out). I am always worried that it's gonna break down, but it hasn't.....then again I tend to beat the hell out of it....more then the average rider it seems. Stock - it feels very torquey and seems to beg for more up until the top end, then it flattens out. But just some basic motor (exhaust intake etc) make a world of improvement. This motor has a ridiculous amount of potential for what it is (115 rwhp is possible wihtout NOS or turbos using aftermarket stuff). Stock handling is pretty decent but again can be improved a lot, same with comfort. It is a great all around bike but not great in any one area. Be sure it is what you are looking for. If you are willing to spend some more money and like tinkering, you can make a Sporty a very capable bike in any manner. With my slightly more then basic mods, I still frustrate a lot of rice rocket riders off the line, and they really don't like it when you are doing about a 100mph staying with them and using your highway pegs or when you blow by them in curvy mountain pass. I have also embarrased several Harley big bike riders. I personally love the bike for these reasons. Depending on the look you are going for it is a nice looking bike, I get a lot of compliments. Harley support depending where you are at can be little more then a bad joke at times. If you are looking for respect from the Harley crowd or other bikers...don't really expect much, you are on a 'girls' bike to the Harley guys (not the ones that know the Sporty) and the rice rocket guys will think - Harley junk. I plan to do more in depth aftermarket motor mods and plan on putting an aftermarket seat and rear shocks. At that point, I can't really complain anymore. Despite everything negative I have said, I won't ever get rid of this bike if I can help it. I love the thing and am making it what I want. Just make sure it is what you want, you understand the quirks and what you can do with it.... those who do usually become part of the small die hard Sporty club.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Lee

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Reviewed on 2006-06-09

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
I took delivery in July '04' when H.D. decided too released the '05's early. Since then not much has changed. After adding around $2,500.00 of tinsel, and with just over 7,100 miles on the clock, every time I take a ride I'm every bit as enthusiastic as the day I got it. The weather channel has become must see T.V. and weekends can't come fast enough. I still find myself in the barn at strange hours staring at it. This is the best bang for the buck, smiles per mile investment I ever made! RIDE LONG, RIDE SAFE.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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emo1372

nyc, New York

Reviewed on 2005-09-11

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
This is my first Harley Davidson and I have not one ounce of regret. The bike standing still has presence and that is saying a lot since it's stock except for screaming eagle pipes, air cleaner and rejetting of the carb. My only complaints are the shocks and the seat , not to accommodating over ruff roads. Which is why they have an after-market and please note its not cheap. I work a lot and have limited time to ride but I look foward to it and enjoy every second I get. I highly recommend this bike. The bang for the buck is out of this world. And it's an American Icon, that in itself, is Priceless.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Paulie420

Sacramento, California

Reviewed on 2005-08-27

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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4.0
I picked up this bike on 8/23/5... my b-day is on the 29th, so I decided to act on a longtime fantasy. I've only ridden DIRT BIKES and a small BMW motorcycle. (Once on the motorcycle!) I had it delivered since I thought I'd need a lot of neighborhood tests. I was almost completely wrong. Now, of course I spent a day getting used to all to how the bike handled, but before I knew it I was cruising to work on the highway, and feeling safe doing it. This is my first bike, but for me it feels more than powerful enough. I am skinny, and tall... and I feel like I fit the bike. If anything, I may look a bit big on it... but it handles me! I have felt like the suspension is just a bit rough. Sometimes going over bumps @ 50 miles jolts you a bit. I'd think on a big bike it would be less. However, it feels like the worst happening is a stiff feeling... the bike doesn't feel unsafe on these bumps... Like some other reviewers, I also notice a hiccup every now and again when starting to rev the engine. But, this kind of plays into the Harley sound I think... as long as the bike is not hurt by these hiccups they don't bother me. I like to accelerate slow and solid... if you want power you learn when to twist hard... also, I noticed if you shift slow and solid like, depress and shift and let go and rev all at the right time you get a real smooth shift experience. I am an extremely novice rider - and the 1200C has been exactly what I wanted so far! It's a fairly solid powerful bike that is easy to learn and use quickly. I feel like this is the perfect learner bike, and will suit me for some time to come... I believe years down the road having had a Sporty will get me ready for a biger HOG!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

CHRISTIAN HARDY

HOUSTON , Texas

Reviewed on 2005-08-25

Motorcycle reviewed2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 1200 Custom

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5.0
I PURCHASED MY '05 SPORTSTER 1200C ALMOST ONE YEAR AGO. I NAMED HER PIGLET. MY BROTHER HAS A MAGNA AND IT RUNS LIKE A SEWING MACHINE COMPARED TO MY H-D. WHEN I FIRST GOT HER SHE HAD A BAD COUGH. NOW THAT SHE IS BROKEN IN THE COUGH HAS ALL BUT DISSAPEARED. FROM A CROTCH ROCKET TO A HARLEY AND I COULD NOT BE HAPPIER. SMALL, LIGHT, FAST AND WITH GAS AT $3.00 A GALLON ALL I CAN SAY IS YEEEEAAAAH! I AM DEBATING ON WETHER OR NOT TO GET A OIL COOLER AND A TACH IS IN MY NEAR FUTURE.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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