Bought on Bike-urious – 2009 Harley-Davidson XR1200

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Editor’s Note: 10 days ago, I featured ago a Harley-Davidson XR1200 that had been well upgraded. Turns out Bike-urious contributor Ted Clough snapped it up for himself! Here’s the tale of how it became to be his:


Let me start by saying, I’m not a Harley guy. Well, not until now. I have always leaned towards sporty Italian bikes or classic Britbikes. I respected Harleys for what they were, but just never lusted after one. When the XR1200 came out, I, along with quite a few like-minded others said, “now, that’s a Harley I might actually like to own and ride.” I even took a test ride on one back when they were new, but wasn’t impressed enough to fork out the cash for one at the time. Plus, I was recently divorced at the time, and wasn’t exactly flush with aforementioned cash. And – confession time – I actually got sucked into the test ride for the promise of a free $50 gas card, which I duly received a month later in the mail!

Fast forward about 8 years: Now I’m 65 and the riding position on an MV Agusta F4 is punishing, and I find that I really don’t need to go 150 mph all the time….

This 2009 Harley Davidson XR1200 had been languishing on Craigslist here in Atlanta for at least a month. I had actually talked to the seller, gone over and ridden the bike, and was mulling over whether I really needed another one. This bike had some notable upgrades over original: Ohlins cartridges in the front, and twin Ohlins at the rear. Vance and Hines 2-1-2 exhaust, with a Patriot EFI controller (sort of a Power Commander for Harleys).

I had researched the bike a bit, talked to some owners, who pretty much universally like it, and trolled the forums, so I knew there was a bit of a cult following. I really felt the bike did have potential as a future classic, similar to the way the XLCR matured over time. Listings around the country were asking for similar or higher prices. A local friend and fellow contributor to this site stumbled upon the listing a forwarded it to Abhi, and it popped up here a few days after I rode it.

Crap, I thought, this is going to get a lot of exposure and someone who just HAS to have it is going to jump on it. Luckily it is not exactly prime time for bike-buying, so when I texted the seller a few days later to see if he still had it, I was surprised when he said yes. I figured, what the hell, not getting any younger – go for it. The seller had indicated he was willing to come down to $6000, and that’s what we agreed upon. Thanks, Bike-urious!

Now, I can’t give grief to my Harley friends anymore.

A short review:

Got it home, stripped all the offending stickers and the pipe wrap. Polished the beginning-to-rust headers, inverted the mirrors so I could actually see something besides my elbows. Adjusted the levers to my liking, and gave it a quick once-over.

The riding experience, once you gets past the Harley “bounce” at idle, is actually not unlike a first generation Ducati Monster. It smooths out above 2000 rpm. With that Patriot controller, it now pulls cleanly from 1,500 to the 7k redline without any hiccups. Throbbing V-twin torque, just not as high a top end as a Ducati, with a comfortable riding position. The shocks raise the rear which tightens up the steering a bit and also adds a little clearance. On the current tires, Pirelli Angel GT’s, it turns in quickly and is perfectly stable in the turn. I probably won’t be touring on it, but for my typical 200 mile jaunts up to the N Georgia mountains, it will be pretty much perfect.

Unfortunately, now I need a whole new wardrobe…

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