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steven_1 08-27-2002 08:33 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
No No Motoguzzi makes the Stone. Which is way better then the above two. (Its father was a Le Mans)

longride 08-27-2002 08:52 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
Actually, you didn't remember correctly. Harley upgraded their bike in the mid-eighties to kick the proverbial Honda ass, and Honda quit. The rules never changed. They have since changed the rules to allow 1000 v-twins, and those are still slower that the 750 Harleys. It's the one venue that outspending your competition dosesn't assure victory, so of course the Japanese packed their bags and went home long ago. The cc rules were also changed in shorttrack from 750 to 600 and this year to 505. This makes the 450 Honda motocrosser competitive, and was used by Nicky Hayden to win Peoria with no factory backing. Harley dominated the dirttrack scene, so actually the rules were changed to make OTHERS competitive. The Japanese and other factories are free to field their 1000cc v-twins anytime they like. Like I said, they won't because money doesn't win here.

itchface 08-27-2002 08:54 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
First off, I want to thank MO for writing this article knowing that the 'purists' will lambast them for wasting their precious time.

Now, can we all just stop all of this motorcycle-correctness vis-a-vis cruisers for a minute? Just about every cruiser I've ever ridden has given me the same slouch-induced pain in the lower back that MO reported. The riding positions are an ergonomic nightmare, for a million different reasons! And then, as if the factories are not content to torture just one person per bike, most cruiser's passenger accommodations are so cruel and unusual they should be declared unconstitutional.

So, in my enlightened state, I can just avoid purchasing one of these abominable contraptions and no harm done, right?

I don't see it that way. I've observed that a vast majority of mid-sized cruisers are sold to new or "re-entry" buyers. These folks are under the impression that cruisers offer them the highest comfort levels in all of motorcycledom short of a Gold Wing, and most motorcycle salepeople don't want to invest the time and energy to convince them otherwise. With a gleam in their eye, many of these newbies convince their spouses/girlfriends/life-partners to OK their purchase with wistful stories about long, pleasurable rides together through scenic backroads, et al. The wonderful experiences they'll share will be etched in their memories forever, and their relationship will be ameliorated evermore, or so they postulate.

Fifteen minutes into their first ride, the reality hits them. The significant other will refuse to mount that torture-rack ever again, the rider will lament the sore back, butt, neck, and arms he/she never anticipated. The bike appears in Cycle Trader post haste, the sale proceeds thereof to be reinvested in a new boat. And they'll tell their friends about their dashed dreams in an effort to prevent them from suffering a similar fate.

Thus, the motorcycle world continues to be a tiny island of 'enlightened' riders, who tolerate poorly engineered cruisers from their favorite manufacturers (who, against their own long-term self-interest, are going for the quick, easy yen) as long as they also produce the "good" bikes.

If we collectively try to get the word out that cruisers, especially mid-sized ones, are engineered so stupidly that their designers should be shot in the eyes with corroded darts as retribution, perhaps these abominations will cease to exist.

In their place will come new, functionally superior machines which will not only draw in new riders, but will have them hooked for life. Our community thus grows, we have more clout to battle anti-motorcycle legislation, traffic and pollution woes are lessened, and a bunch of other rosy things happen.

So, let's not sit idly by smug in the knowledge that we're too smart to ever buy one of those silly things, so we need not fret. If the manufacturers are too dumb to see the long-term implications of selling a badly engineered product to folks just starting to dabble in our pastime, then we must become activists in order to save our way of life.

Let the struggle begin!

BTW, that 883R sure is a comely brute. Shame about the lack of oomphage though.

dwindhorst 08-27-2002 09:19 AM

Re: more free advice for Willy G.
"I gotta admit, though, that 883R looks the berries, even though we all know it's a stone ;-)"

You got that right. Which emphasizes the point that, just because dust rarely has time to settle beneath the new stock in H-D dealerships, it doesn't mean Milwaukee still couldn't do a whole lot better.

The 883R could have been the Harley I finally broke down and bought. It's got Springsteen-inspired lines (Jay, not Bruce) that get me hyperventilating, even moreso than those of the old 80s XR1000 tracker knockoff.* But having previously ridden another small Sporty, I can't get the least bit excited about such pedestrian performance. Yeah, I know, it's not supposed to be that difficult to graft on 1200 slugs & barrels, stock Harleys are only supposed to be a starting point for the true believer's expression, if nothing else there are streetified XR750s around, etc., but dammit, before I invest the cash in a new bike, it's got to be at least close to what I want.

How much trouble could it have been to make the 883R a 1200R, with a few Screaming Eagle mods sprinkled on?

*[i]"On Any Sunday" was on TCM Sunday past, dredging up dusty adolescent memories of sliding a CL125 Honda counterclockwise around the short-track on my uncle's southern Illinois farm until the treads wore out on the left, so I learned to slide to the right because it was easier than remounting the tires. Man, that stuff sure was fun.[i]

markszrz 08-27-2002 09:41 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
I work with a guy who spent $18,000. 00 a couple of years ago on his Harley and just sold it (mint condition) for $11,000.00 - ouch! Granted I don't know what the MSRP on his bike was but maybe he paid the Harley tax as well. I can tell you that I bought a 97 Honda Nighthawk (had 1800 miles on it) mint condition for $4800.00. I sold it last year (with 15K on the ODO) for $4200.00 I keep hearing about Harley resale values but at least in the Southern California Cycle Trader, I really don't see this "huge" difference.

Auphliam 08-27-2002 09:58 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
You may be right. I never followed the series to that depth. I do, however, recal watching races when they could be found on TV. And in those races, from the late '80s to the early/mid '90s, I seem to remember 1 or 2 Hondas pacing an entire field of Harleys. And this was on more than just a few freak occasions. Seemed to be a pretty regular thumping as I remember it because I was a huge Harley supporter until a few years ago and it used to really ***** me off.

TheFox 08-27-2002 10:54 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
Crete H-D in Crete, IL (south of Chicago about 40 miles) sells at MSRP, but is marking up the 100th anniversary models 1000 for big twins and 500 for Sportsters.

I sat on the 883R at Crete H-D and it was nice, but no one ever said hi to me. Fun to sit on...had a sporty-for-a-cruiser feel to it, and made you feel like a bad ass. Of course, with only 45HP, you're not a really BIG badass...


SlowBear 08-27-2002 10:56 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback

If you want to know what changed you might check the AMA rule book. Specifically, take a look at the item found at this location: Chapter 5, C, 1, f. This restricts both Honda RS 750 and HD XR750 to 33 MM restrictor plates, 37.5 MM carburetors and restricts intake manifolds to 35.5 MM on the mile, where horsepower in king.

This pretty much killed the RS 750's advantages in both horsepower and breadth of power band. A water cooled, four valve, modern head will not do you much good with a tiny restrictor up stream.

The rule book is on-line, if you would like to see more.


jmp66 08-27-2002 10:57 AM

Re: Shadow 750 vs 883R Reader Feedback
I agree - an EX500 or GS500E or ZR7 or F650, or especially the SV650 are one hundred times more functional, reliable, handle better, reasonably comfortable for a passenger, better tires, etc,

why anyone would buy a poor handling, uncomfortable,

contraption like a cruiser is beyond me.

TheFox 08-27-2002 10:59 AM

Re: apples and oranges
A Sportster 1200 to a TL1000? The only other person who thinks that test would be fair to the Harley is Saddam Hussein. "See, the American infidel bike is inferior!!!"


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