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Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Sport endurance test

Sharpening iron

Almost three years of the Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Sport – an unusually long era of endurance testing came to an end on June 24, 1998. How did the heavy athlete survive the marathon?

Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Sport – a name, almost a title, as if created for the stopwatches of this world.

Tea athletic duplication can be explained more in comparison to the rest of the Harley family than in terms of Olympic talents. During the first test of the Sportster Sport in issue 23/95, for example, colleague Schmitz praised the Yankee steelworks’ surprising joy in cornering, but also made it clear that the Harley is closely related to the cruiser faction. Nevertheless, the completely different Harley: a comparatively simple, albeit massive, all-rounder, not a chrome sculpture with fringes, lacquer and leather, which is more suitable for the show on the promenade of the world than for the driving experience.
Qualities that weighed heavily on the scales at the end of summer 1995 when it came to long-term testing. In addition, the narrow-angled 1200 V-Twin with its four camshafts underneath had not yet passed an endurance test. The decision was easy, on September 29, 1995 the Sportster 1200 Sport with the registration number S-CC 1 climbed into the test ring to the editorial office. To get it straight: The maliciously prophesied K.O. Not only did it fail, the Sporty got out of the heavyweight fight after completing 50,000 laps. But one after the other.
The Harley collected most of its kilometers on day trips and short-haul operations. She did not travel to too many countries during her three-year business trip. The most persistent pilot covered around 2500 Italy kilometers in a week. It is significant that on this tour by far the longest day’s stage was covered – the Sporty is more of a pleasure bike than a kilometer eater. With sporadic exceptions, the Harley was spared from further vacation trips, which is an atypical phenomenon in the long-term test fleet. Almost all pilots drove alone, the mercilessly uncomfortable pillion seat cushion was rarely used and only for short trips, but it was scolded all the more. The logbook documents a single, almost without consequences and therefore harmless accident.
On the other hand, the Sportster’s ability to separate men from idiots runs like a common thread through the entries of the test drivers. While the former praised the atypical agility and even sang praise – former editors-in-chief are even said to have written down hypothetical purchase intentions – the latter complained in large numbers about the impossible seating position and the rock-hard chassis. There is talk of "zero suspension", of compression damping at locking level and of a completely unrealistic tuning range for the fully adjustable spring elements. Furthermore, ergonomic pain in the lower back and wrists is lamented, not to mention cramped forearms because of the salami-thick rubber grips. Interesting that the loudest screechers in the course of the test, despite all the scolding, repeatedly grabbed the Harley to complain about the clumsy and fiddly ignition lock.
Not all of the drivers let themselves be deterred from driving according to their name by their size and character. For example, our technical – or in this case perhaps better sporty – manager still likes to talk about the tails of sparks with which the footrests and the lower silencer of the Sportster "swing over the Alb" demonstrate the not so early end of the lean angle with a happy grin. In such operations, nobody complained about the tight chassis.
However, sporty activities repeatedly revealed a non-sporty shortcoming: the brakes, which are doubled in the front of the Sportster Sport as a precaution, decelerate sufficiently even after a firm grip and kick, but rather hesitantly. On the other hand, it is gratifying that the brake discs survived the cross-country skiing well.
The engine had to put up with some criticism. Equipped with a low heart rate for athletes – red area at 5800 rpm – the heavy metal knew how to displease due to an extremely narrow usable speed range: at most a pinch of the much-vaunted elasticity at the bottom, between 2000 rpm and 3500 rpm then usable power, then still smoke, but strongest vibrations. Well, at 3500 rpm there are at least 120 kilometers per hour in top gear, fast enough for most of them.
The vibrations that take place above this 3500 rpm can hardly be counted as "good vibrations". The inertial forces split up by means of terrible vibration amplitudes masses of lightbulbs on all light or signal-emitting add-on parts, the trifle of three license plate holders and license plates, the instrument panel, several mirrors and finally even a cast nose on the front cylinder head, which was incomprehensibly rigidly screwed to the frame. It’s nice that Harley-Davidson has shown itself to be accommodating and helpful in general and also in this serious case, which, by the way, is confirmed by the readers’ letters.
The actually disappointing weak breasts of the air-cooled drift, MOTORRAD tried to put an end to it after 28,000 kilometers with a Dynojet kit, now TÜV-approved, which literally kissed the Harley awake. What a temperament, what an increased joy of turning. The test bench and driving performance measurement emphatically confirmed the good impression. Unfortunately, our endurance test regulations prohibit long-term changes, and so the Sporty had to keep vibrating in its original configuration.
You can accuse the engine of shaking, but not of mechanical breakdowns during the endurance test distance. Only a slipped lock washer shut down the Harley in the form of a blocked gearshift. The almost sensationally good wear pattern of all assemblies shows that the Milwaukee Langhuber, which is screwed in inches and extremely traditional in terms of construction, is state-of-the-art and fully competitive. Our thanks go to the facelift.
Where the planing is not so vigorous, of course, there are not as many shavings, and accordingly the heavy metal held back with the consumption of operating materials and wear parts. An average of 5.7 liters of super unleaded per 100 test kilometers is not too much, and the two liters of oil that were used over 50,000 kilometers are sensationally little. Around the middle of the test, the S-CC 1 asked for a set of front brake pads. We would replace the timing belt set after 50,000 kilometers because of obvious caries, but it had not yet become noticeable. A large number of rear-wheel tires fell victim to the torque of the long-stroke V-Twin. On average, the life expectancy of the conservatively narrow 16-inch model was just over 8,000 kilometers, while the original equipment manufacturer Dunlops only lasted just under 4,000 kilometers. In return, the Metzeler ME 88 Marathon lived up to its name, and the Dunlop D 401 also knew how to please with its handling and endurance.
Who would have thought? Tea HThe arley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Sport has impressively demonstrated its sporting talents – not as a sprinter, but as a long-distance runner.

Condition – Harley-Davidson XL 1200 Sportster Sport

Valve train: No signs of wear on inlet and outlet cams, uniform, flawless contact pattern on the camshaft bearings, hydraulic valve lifters, bumpers and rocker arms without signs of wear, clear carbon deposits on the combustion chamber, exhaust port and inlet valve of the rear cylinder head (front head has been renewed), all valves close tight, valve stems and guides in good condition. Piston and crank mechanism: the coating of the pistons is clearly worn, carbon deposits on both piston crowns and top lands, piston rings and ring grooves true to size. Piston pin and connecting rod eye with good running pattern, connecting rod bearings and crankshaft main bearing in very good condition. Clutch: clutch friction and steel disks in very good condition, considering the mileage only minimal chatter marks on the clutch basket and hub. Gearbox: Gears and shift forks are in very good condition with normal running pattern good condition. Transmission output bearing and bearing seat inconspicuous. Exhaust: good condition, flawless chrome layer. Chassis: frames without visible damage with very well preserved paintwork, steering head bearings regularly renewed after a 48000 inspection, wheel bearings very good, telescopic fork and struts without signs of wear. Brakes: Brake discs flat and in good condition.

Harley-Davidson takes a stand – Harley-Davidson XL 1200 Sportster Sport

…We do not recommend using a heavy bunch of keys on the ignition lock. It should be checked whether you have used a bunch of keys here from time to time … to the leaky fuel tap Here Harley-Davidson has carried out a safety recall (recall 088). After the implementation, the problem should no longer occur … to the weak front wheel brake The brake system compline with approval ECE 78.02. The required deceleration values ​​are exceeded by the Sportster Sport … to the breakage of the front cylinder head bracket on the frame We attribute the breakage of the front cylinder head bracket to the frame to a minimally distorted installation of the engine to the frame. As a result, the engine vibrations are transmitted more strongly to the chassis and its components … to wear on the toothed belt and pulleys the service life of the toothed belt and pulleys depends on correct tension and care. It is very important that the toothed belt is cleaned of any dust or dirt that has accumulated. Soiling can lead to excessive wear of the belt and the belt wheels … to the worn-in sanding pad of the primary drive chain The condition of the sanding pad of the primary drive chain must be checked during the regular service intervals and, if necessary, the pad replaced

Reading experiences

In September 1995 I bought an XLH Sportster Standard. For touring I added: large windshield, touring handlebars, panniers and luggage rack. First impression: still bearable uncomfortable chassis, the brakes an impertinence, the engine (power only between 2500 and 3500 rpm), to say the least, a cheek. With a second brake disc, it brakes a lot better. Other camshafts and replacement air filters brought a lot of power from 1800 rpm. From 3500 rpm onwards, there were no end to vibrations. After 49,000 kilometers, only the license plate and holder have been the victims of the shaking, and the carburettor also vibrated. At 3775 kilometers the speedometer failed, at 28000 kilometers the regulator and battery failed. The Sporty is just as fun in daily use as it is on vacation trips. Monika Weiershausen-Weyhe I bought my Sporty 1200 S in April 1996. I can live with the vibrations, anyway: Rearview mirror almost superfluous, license plate torn, speedometer needle vibrated, fastening screw for front cylinder head vibrated loose, Locktite consumption higher than oil consumption. The long warm-up phase is unavoidable on an air-cooled motorcycle. The Dunlop SP tires are unreservedly recommended. 10,000 kilometers at the back, twice the mileage at the front. The Sporty has also proven itself on long tours. The seat is very good, the pillion seat is just an emergency seat. Overall I am very satisfied Peter Hansen In April 96 I (44) got back on board with a new Sportster 1200 Sport. My impression after 36,000 kilometers: good straight-line stability, needs some pressure in corners, but is relatively stable. When driving brutally, it wobbles good-naturedly. The dynojet kit, high-flow air filter from Screaming Eagle and 2-1 Supertrapp exhaust system helped to prevent the limp engine. The result: pressure from 2500 rpm, revving without a hole in fifth gear up to 5800 rpm. The fuel consumption is between 4.5 and 6.3 liters. Longer motorway sections are grueling because of the harsh vibrations. Problems so far: lamp holder including speedometer and tachometer as well as the drive wheel of the toothed belt vibrated loose, three taillights and two turn signal lamps shaken, license plate and rear fender torn.Karl-Heinz Schäfer A Milwaukee heavy metal runs powerfully and reliably even with three wheels. After numerous modifications, the team is a loyal companion for my family. Positive result: No bike is perfect – you just have to adapt it to your needsStefan GaßnerAfter a year of the Sporty 883 with constantly sooty spark plugs and a rubber suction nozzle that broke every 3000 kilometers, the conversion to 1200 cc followed after 25000 kilometers, plus Sreaming Eagle camshafts, valve springs and Ignition module: according to Dynojet test 72 HP on the rear wheel. Damage: three defective clutch release bearings and one gearbox damage after 45,000 kilometers. At 64,000 kilometers a drive wheel of the oil pump ate at 160 km / h, oil was distributed between man and machine. After an unsuccessful engine search, I sold the Sporty in parts. I will never forget your sound.Florian Steffens In September 1991 I ordered my XL 883 with a large tank. Unfortunately I had a seizure on both cylinders on the 7200. I had 1200 cm³ installed. With the exception of the revision of the cylinder heads and the entries, Harley took over the costs on goodwill. After a further 7600 kilometers, a cylinder head gasket burned out. (also paid for by Harley). At 29,800 kilometers, crank pin breaks and another piston seizure. Although the motorcycle was more than five years old, Harley contributed 1,000 marks to the repair costs, a generosity that is probably not the rule. I’m not going to sell my Harley – the original is more forgiven! Werner Opitz In September 1993 I bought my Sportster 1200, which I have since upgraded to 64 hp on the rear wheel. For the first three years, the foot gasket was regularly cracking. The thick silicone seal from Harley helps against this. Cracks in the fender can be stopped with a three-millimeter hole at the end. I am very satisfied with the motorcycle after 35,000 kilometers. After the modifications, the engine is a hammer and absolutely full-throttle-proofPhillip Hoxter

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