2000 Harley-Davidson XLH 1200S




Some issues at time of purchase.

Pushrod seal leaks (my fault).

Base gasket leak (my fault).

Valve cover gasket leak (my fault).

General Comments:

Perfect all rounder. Not the best at any one thing, but good at everything. The motor's been breathed on, so she's fast for a pushrod Harley. The handling and braking are good enough to get the heart pumping in the hills, and comfortable enough to ride all day.

I bought this bike new in November of 1999. From the start, she had a serious knock. It turned out to be bad crankpin bearings, and Harley replaced the motor at no charge.

Despite not getting off to a good start, she never gave me any problems for a long time. The first three years, I put almost 40,000 miles on her, and never had a single leak or problem.

Then I got married and busy, then added a member to our family, and my beloved Sportster became a garage queen. I must have let her sit too long, because when I found time to ride again, the leaks showed up, so it's my fault. Replaced a few gaskets, and she's right as rain again!

In my opinion, the best Sportster model ever made, just not shiny enough for the US market. Of course black outs are in vogue now...

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2012

2003 Harley-Davidson XLH 1200S


I think that for someone who never rides it would be fine


Where to start?

OK, first problem was electrical, there were many problems with light braking off or plan not working.

Even though there were recalls on some of the system, I still have had issues.

Then there is the fuel system; I have had leaks, carb problems and even air intake problems.

My biggest concern would be the life of the belt, I have a real problem getting more than 6000 miles on one. Yes more than 5 belts in 33000 miles!

I will not mention dealer names, but I have taken it to many and had no luck with having an issue found. It is always in perfect order.

I know am going to drive 10 hours to go to a new dealer to find out what is wrong?

General Comments:

When it runs right, wow it will almost rip you off the seat. I have no problems keeping my own against the R6 when need be. With all things said, I try not to stress it all that much. I wish not to be stranded somewhere again.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th June, 2009

13th Jul 2009, 00:38

"When it runs right, wow it will almost rip you off the seat. I have no problems keeping my own against the R6 when need be."

You've either obviously never ridden an R6 or were up against someone that wasn't racing.

I hate to break it to you, but an R6 would stomp and bury your 1200s. They aren't even in the same universe in terms of performance. It's like saying my bicycle can keep up with a Honda Rebel.

16th Apr 2011, 14:53

Sorry to hear you had a bad experience. I've had my 2000 XL1200S from new and never had a problem, not even a drop of oil. My belt is still going after 45000 miles.

19th Feb 2012, 08:49

Sorry to hear that you've had a bad experience with it. Mine has been a good ride at over 50,000 miles on the clock.

Had one belt go at around 30,000 miles, which is longer than any chain ever lasted me. It could be that the tension is not being set right on your belts, and it must be done right. You may also want to apply some belt dressing.

Thousands of Harleys and Buells have used the belt drive with great success, so your case is strange. Maybe you are just not cut out for Harley ownership. You may want to consider another brand.