Opinions on Bonneville / Sportster

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Opinions on Bonneville / Sportster

Unread post by sx66gns » Mon Jul 02, 2007 10:46 am

(I did search , could not find definitive Opinions on the Bonneville America)

Hello , I'm looking to buy a small cruiser and need some advice , the two bikes I'm digging are 07 Sportster 883L & Triumph Bonneville America , anyone have any opinions on how these two bikes compare to each other or alternatives that I may be overlooking?

Thanks , 6

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Unread post by Sev » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:32 pm

I don't know much of anything first hand about the sportster. But I've worked with the Triumphs for a while now.

The Bonni's are pretty cool bikes. Inline twin 900cc's I've seen them hit a top speed of 190km/h. Not that we'd ever go that fast. They're fairly comfortable to sit on, but I find the steering to be somewhat... floppy? The front wheel tips a lot at slow speeds, it requires that you be somewhat careful at parking lot speeds. On the highway she's nice and smooth, pulls strong to well above the legal limits.

The gastank is kind of small, it doesn't have the hugest range, but it does well regardless. Even at redline she'll pull for a long ways.

The carbs are almost invariably dirty out of the box :P The mechanic has to clean them before the bike can be ridden.

Next year they will all be switched to EFI (08) so it may be worthwhile to wait for an 08 model.

Other then that, they're a solid bike, they don't come back for anything except for standard maintenance work, and I've not seen one break down unless the owner was doing something that he shouldn't have.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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Unread post by sx66gns » Mon Jul 02, 2007 1:27 pm

Sev wrote:I don't know much of anything first hand about the sportster. But I've worked with the Triumphs for a while now.

The Bonni's are pretty cool bikes. Inline twin 900cc's I've seen them hit a top speed of 190km/h. Not that we'd ever go that fast. They're fairly comfortable to sit on, but I find the steering to be somewhat... floppy? The front wheel tips a lot at slow speeds, it requires that you be somewhat careful at parking lot speeds. On the highway she's nice and smooth, pulls strong to well above the legal limits.

The gastank is kind of small, it doesn't have the hugest range, but it does well regardless. Even at redline she'll pull for a long ways.

The carbs are almost invariably dirty out of the box :P The mechanic has to clean them before the bike can be ridden.

Next year they will all be switched to EFI (08) so it may be worthwhile to wait for an 08 model.

Other then that, they're a solid bike, they don't come back for anything except for standard maintenance work, and I've not seen one break down unless the owner was doing something that he shouldn't have.
Thanks for the input , it's greatly appreciated.

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Re: Opinions on Bonneville / Sportster

Unread post by Gatineau_Guy » Tue Jul 03, 2007 9:31 am

sx66gns wrote:(I did search , could not find definitive Opinions on the Bonneville America)

Hello , I'm looking to buy a small cruiser and need some advice , the two bikes I'm digging are 07 Sportster 883L & Triumph Bonneville America , anyone have any opinions on how these two bikes compare to each other or alternatives that I may be overlooking?

Thanks , 6
I can't comment on the Triumph but my wife bought an 07 Sportster 883 Custom this spring. I also think it is a cool bike. It handles well in town and out on the highway. The power is not bad, although I doubt it would do 190 like the Triumph. Its got lots of grunt down low but anything above 120-130 km/h the oomph begins to disappear. It will cruise easily at 110-120 km/h.

The ride is quite smooth, with a little bit of vibration/shake when the bike is idling. This disappears completely once forward motion begins. She added a windshield to the bike because highway speeds for any length was a little tiring due to wind.

The fuel consumption is not bad at all. She can go 200 km on 10 litres of fuel or around 5 litres per 100 km. My one complaint though concerns the low fuel light. The tank is a 17 litre tank. Therefore it has an estimated range of just over 300 km. The low fuel light comes on with 7 litres of fuel left. And by complaint, it doesn't bother me enough to get them to adjust the low fuel light.

And I love the sound of the bike. :D

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Unread post by feliz » Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:47 pm

Hi 6, you're not getting too many responses so I'll chirp up. I don't own the America but have an 03 Bonnevlle which has been the most trouble free and pleasurable bike to ride of any bike I've owned. I've had absolutely no problems in three years, including no rust of any kind.

If I were going to buy a Harley it would definately be the Sportster though.

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Unread post by Gummiente » Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:58 am

Hey, Feliz - nice stable of bikes you have there. I have an '05 Ural Tourist and run a club for Ural and Dnepr riders, you're welcome to check it out (and join up!) at: http://www.curd-riders.ca
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Unread post by DustyJacket » Mon Jul 23, 2007 2:08 am

I had a different Sportster - a 1200C - and it was a great bike. With the addition of a Sundowner seat I took it cross country and used it for commuting to work. I can heartily recommend it.

The only reason I am not still riding it, is I wanted more protection with a fairing and windshield so I would ride it more in rainy/cold weather, and I wanted the better handling a sport tourer gives over a cruiser.
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Unread post by Sev » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:31 am

feliz wrote:Hi 6, you're not getting too many responses so I'll chirp up. I don't own the America but have an 03 Bonnevlle which has been the most trouble free and pleasurable bike to ride of any bike I've owned. I've had absolutely no problems in three years, including no rust of any kind.
The America, Bonneville, T100, Thruxton, and Speedmaster are all basically the same bike. Just different handlebars, engine covers, or footpeg positions. It's a good idea on Triumphs part (in my opinion) because parts are fairly interchangable, and they don't need to worry too much about figuring out a new set of electrical problems or routing issues when they design a newer bike.

I'm only mentioning this because your experience with the Bonni speaks very well of the America in this case.
Of course I'm generalizing from a single example here, but everyone does that. At least I do.

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Unread post by Gummiente » Mon Jul 23, 2007 8:59 am

Sev wrote:The America, Bonneville, T100, Thruxton, and Speedmaster are all basically the same bike. Just different handlebars, engine covers, or footpeg positions.
Not to mention different frames, rake/trail setups, wheel sizes and engines. :roll:

The America and Speedmaster use a 270 degree 865cc parallel twin, while the rest of the Bonneville lineup uses the 360 degree 865cc motor.

Dammit, Sev, DO YOUR RESEARCH!
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Unread post by slimcolo » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:44 am

Last 900 (883) Sporty I had was a 66. Stock XLCH. It topped at just under 115mph, when the valves started floating. Vibrating excessively above 90. Newer bikes should run better/faster/smoother. (but leave it to the Motor company to see that they don't) Newer 883s are more reliable and smoother but a lot slower than a 40yr old Sporty.
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Unread post by Nalian » Sun Jul 29, 2007 1:20 pm

My 06 883c was taken up to 110 (not by me) and stayed here fine..dunno if it had more in it or not but there ya have it.

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Unread post by Randy » Thu Aug 09, 2007 1:45 pm

the bad thing about Triumphs is that the drive chain is on the wrong side!! =P
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Unread post by jstark47 » Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:39 am

Randy wrote:the bad thing about Triumphs is that the drive chain is on the wrong side!! =P
...and that has exactly what to do with anything?
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Unread post by sx66gns » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:00 pm

thanks folks , I'm really doing the research and leaning toward the triumph , it seems to have allot more of what I'm personally looking for , although my family and buddies all ride harleys , the sportster seems like it needs allot of customization right "out of the box".

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Unread post by sx66gns » Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:01 pm

by the way Feliz , that's amazingly beautiful bike in the pic you posted.

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Unread post by jstark47 » Sun Aug 12, 2007 8:45 pm

sx66gns wrote:thanks folks , I'm really doing the research and leaning toward the triumph , it seems to have allot more of what I'm personally looking for , although my family and buddies all ride harleys , the sportster seems like it needs allot of customization right "out of the box".
The Bonneville has great character, and is easy to ride. However, to be fair to the Sportster, as a Bonneville owner I have to point out the Bonne needs mods too. Triumph strangled the poor engine to get it through emissions regulations. To get it to sound right and tap into the performance potential, at a minimum you'll have to replace the stock pipes, re-jet, and install a high-flow air filter. Eventually you'll probably want to do something about those cheap price-point suspension components, and unless your butt is made of steel, you'll need a better seat.

That's just the beginning, people go nuts modifying these bikes. :D Check the http://www.bellacorse.com/ and http://www.newbonneville.com/index.html sites and you'll see what I mean!
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Unread post by Nalian » Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:46 pm

sx66gns wrote:thanks folks , I'm really doing the research and leaning toward the triumph , it seems to have allot more of what I'm personally looking for , although my family and buddies all ride harleys , the sportster seems like it needs allot of customization right "out of the box".
I disagree with that statement - I really think it's pretty rideable from the get go. But, everyone wants something different in a bike, so there you have it. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with either bike, though, if how you want to ride fits either of the two bikes.

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Unread post by sx66gns » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:19 am

Nalian wrote:
sx66gns wrote:thanks folks , I'm really doing the research and leaning toward the triumph , it seems to have allot more of what I'm personally looking for , although my family and buddies all ride harleys , the sportster seems like it needs allot of customization right "out of the box".
I disagree with that statement - I really think it's pretty rideable from the get go. But, everyone wants something different in a bike, so there you have it. Either way, I don't think you can go wrong with either bike, though, if how you want to ride fits either of the two bikes.
I meant pipes that sound good , forward controls , I hear complaint after complaint about the seat and the need to add a rear seat.

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Unread post by sx66gns » Mon Aug 13, 2007 8:23 am

jstark47 wrote:
sx66gns wrote:thanks folks , I'm really doing the research and leaning toward the triumph , it seems to have allot more of what I'm personally looking for , although my family and buddies all ride harleys , the sportster seems like it needs allot of customization right "out of the box".
The Bonneville has great character, and is easy to ride. However, to be fair to the Sportster, as a Bonneville owner I have to point out the Bonne needs mods too. Triumph strangled the poor engine to get it through emissions regulations. To get it to sound right and tap into the performance potential, at a minimum you'll have to replace the stock pipes, re-jet, and install a high-flow air filter. Eventually you'll probably want to do something about those cheap price-point suspension components, and unless your butt is made of steel, you'll need a better seat.

That's just the beginning, people go nuts modifying these bikes. :D Check the http://www.bellacorse.com/ and http://www.newbonneville.com/index.html sites and you'll see what I mean!
thanks for the links , and you've just said about the Bonneville what I normally heard about the sportster..

So let's say you have 8,000 allocated for a bike , should I just go ahead and plan for another 2,000 for either choice in accessories?

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Unread post by celt » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:00 am

sx66gns wrote:
I meant pipes that sound good , forward controls , I hear complaint after complaint about the seat and the need to add a rear seat.
there's no way i'd ever put forwards on a Bonnie.

in fact, i really don't like the sporty customs with the forwards or the bonny America either.

but that is solely my opinion and most Americans disagree.

to me the sporty and bonny should be mid or rear mounts...nimble and quick handling in the corners...that's the beauty of them...

if i were you i'd ride them both with midmounts before making any rash decision about forward controls... :?


edit: unless you're really tall, that is...

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