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Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200 reviews

4.2
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Reliability
4.1
Overall quality
4.2
Performance
4.2
Comfort
4.0

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15 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Don

Vacaville, California

Reviewed on 2004-11-20

Motorcycle reviewed2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
My first Harley and I love it. Great bike, comfortable, fast, agile and just plain fun to ride. I still have the smile on my face from when I brought it home.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Mike David

Omaha, Nebraska

Reviewed on 2004-06-05

Motorcycle reviewed2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
My wife surprised me at Christmas, 2003 with a brand new Harley Sportster 1200 XLH, Black. After I fainted, I began reading everything I could about my new bike. I read that the 2004's were going to have rubber mounted engines to get rid of the vibration along with many other upgrades. After much thinking, I decided to keep my '03. After all, it's an anniversary bike and my wife gave it to me, for crying out loud. Bottom line, 2000 miles and 6 mos later, I am glad I kept the 2003. I have ridden the '04 sportsters, several Dynas, a Fat Boy, A Road King and an Ultra Classic Electraglide. My 2003 Xlh is the quickest, best handling smoothest running bike of any that I have ridden. As for the dreaded vibration, first of all, mine is smooth as glass until I hit 78 mph.Then it starts to vibrate a little. that's good because I don't need to go that fast anyway. Secondly, it's a Harley for crying out loud, I want it to vibrate a little bit. If I wanted smooth I would have saved up for a Goldwing. I love the buckhorns, love the tach, love the 100th Anny Logo and love the mid controls. I paid the tax, added some chrome, a windshield and am about to add a new seat/sissy bar/backrest. All I need now is highway pegs and I'm done.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
4.0
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JIM

New York, New York

Reviewed on 2004-05-27

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
Starting up and pulling away on my sportie never fails to but a big grin a my face. My 1st bike ever was a 2002 Honda Shadow 600 VLX. A great beginner bike, but I got tired of watching other bikes blow me away when the light turned green. That all changed when a year later, I bought a 2002 sportster with 1500 miles on it. I love it when the light turns green now! The look, sound and feel of a sportie is simply classic. Paid the "Harley Tax" and replaced the aweful buckhorn handlebars with the Roadster style handle bars. Also got a Mustang 2-up touring seat and a few other goodies. The sportie is not for everybody. It's a physically demanding bike to ride, especially without a windscreen, which I removed. You have to muscle the bike into turns, but with practice you can really lean it into curves at speeds I wouldn't dream of attempting with the Honda Shadow. You'll end up with six pack abs from the wind buffeting and popeye forearms from pulling in the clutch and front break levers. The front break is powerful, but you really have to crush the lever in to get the right stopping power. I really love the power and feel of the sportie, it's like a 60's muscle car. Not the most comfortable, but it's a blast rolling that throttle on curving country roads. I've done 300+ miles of back road riding in a day and I must say I'm pretty beat up at the end of it. But I'll do another 300+ the following day because..........you'll just have to get one to understand! Sporties rule!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

phil

plant city, Florida

Reviewed on 2003-08-23

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
For the money you can't go wrong. The only problem with riding the bike is other harley riders (big bikes). I'm sick and tired of hearing how uncomfortable they are and they are a girls bike. Well I'm willing to bet if you ride a bike, most of your riding is around town anyways and road trips are a rarity.If it wasn't for the K-Model (aka Sportster) there would not be a Harley Davidson. Other riders are quick to make fun of Sportsters until you ask them if they want to run it, then they shut up. The only other Harleys that are going to keep up with a 1200 Sportster are a Deuce and a V Rod. Check the stats! For the money a super buy.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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K. Watts

Mansfield, Pennsylvania

Reviewed on 2003-01-03

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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3.0
I have the 2001-1200XL. Overall its a good bike. Replaced seat for comfort, softer grips, pipes, carb & added a lot of chrome. It's a very torquey bike with the carb & pipe upgrades. Only problems in 10,000 miles is: front & rear rocker gaskets replaced once in front & twice in rear, rocker stud bolt chewed????? & tachometer guage quit. All was fixed under warranty & happened witin first 5,000 miles. No problems or complaints since.
Reliability
3.0
Quality
3.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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designeraccd

Elkhart, Indiana

Reviewed on 2002-10-19

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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4.0
My '02 1200 std is my third Sporty. Traded in a 2K Kaw ZX12R to get her. Talk about extreme opposites! The stone age Sporty isn't fast, doesn't handle particularly well, has mediocore brakes, shakes like a paint mixer....but of the 60 or so bikes I've had: she is one of my favorites! The "obsolete" Sportster is just plain fun to ride...at least for about 150 miles. After that the vibes do become a bit much, at least for me, even with a Mustang saddle. However, for 2 lane backroad fun the bike is very enjoyable; on freeways at 80 or so....the bike strains to hard to maintain that pace. 65-75 she is fine and fun.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Badboy

Mobile, Alabama

Reviewed on 2002-08-02

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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3.0
What it is: A Harley, a beast, the sweetest sound around,a power ride. What it isn't: A smooth ride, a good two-up bike, a good hiway rider, a tourer, a "first bike". I bought a used 2001 in May 2002. What a fun ride, what a pain in the behind. I have taken back for warranty on blown rocker gaskets 4 times. Love it when I crank up & ride, hate it when I have to replace the mirror that fell off or wipe oil off the cross-over. It is truly an experience to own.
Reliability
3.0
Quality
3.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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B. Brock

Killeen, Texas

Reviewed on 2002-06-02

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
2002 with little over 350 miles on it. Luxury Blue draws more comments than you'd think. HD's pearl paint is awesome. The bike has the HD feel, but is needing the "harley tax" to really make it right; the emissions drag it down a little and it doesn't sound right from the factory. Other than that it's perfect for me.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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MICHAEL T

LEWIS CENTER, Ohio

Reviewed on 2002-05-31

Motorcycle reviewed2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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4.0
Picked mine up a couple of days after memorial day.I love the power of the machine,just got to get past the vibration.Plenty of chrome and polished aluminum.Its a head turner,Took my back seat off to look more like the sportsters of old.With the new seat designs, my rears in heaven
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Paul

Johnstown, New York

Reviewed on 2002-04-28

Motorcycle reviewed2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 1200

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5.0
I own a 1995 Harley 1200 XLH. It's basic black. I've added a K & N airfilter, aftermarket pipes, rejetted, added highway pegs, Synthetic leather bags, a Mustang wide touring seat, and some various and sundry chrome parts. I have 23,900 miles on it. Early on, the bike would shake loose the batter cables (just make sure everything stays TIGHT) and my digital speedometer would go on and off. It kept track of the miles even when I couldn't see it and has now miraculously "healed". I love this machine. It is extremly powerful (over 70 lbs.ft.torque) and has a very flat powerband. You can blast off hard at any sane speed (under about 90). The longer I own it the smoother the engine becomes. There's a strong vibration from about 70-78 mph but then it starts to die down again until about 95-100 mph). Above that, well, I have two young children. BE SURE to buy an aftermarket seat the day you get it off the showroom floor. I'm positive many riders went to Big Twins just due to the seat. I even thought about it until I got the Mustang seat. Now, I never even think about my butt no matter how long I ride. It's incredible. The entire ride quality was enhance. I even stopped wearing a back brace while riding! Buy one before you die.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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