17th May 2013, 23:13
We have a 1988 HD FXRS SP. We love it. No more problems than with any motorcycle a person would buy. Maybe we are lucky. I think we've had less problems. I give it 5 stars.
13th May 2014, 12:15
I bought a brand new 87 FXRS-SP. I took it on numerous trips... Co and Sturgis a few times... I put over 20,000 miles on it and sold it in 1994. I miss the handling and ease of riding. I did it without a leak or problems... I now ride an Electra-Glide, and I miss the bare bones bike with great handling!
8th May 2016, 14:22
My experience has been the exact opposite. Have owned a BMW, several Japanese bikes and a couple of British bikes, and now a Harley Davidson. By far the Harley has been the most pleasing to ride, even now with it being 26 years old and having 115,956 miles on it. I have done all the servicing of the Harley and it has yet to need a serious or expensive repair of any type. The BMW lasted 69,xxx miles and the Japanese bikes all ran when I was done, but most were oil leaking, smoke belching, tired old dogs long before 80,000 miles.
1st Apr 2017, 20:02
Yeah, well, there's a whole lot of difference between a Harley and any rice burner. It's not supposed to ride like a Kawa or a Honda, and if you like that kind of bike you won't like most any Harley. And if you like Harleys you won't like any Japanese bike. It's an entirely different experience, and about the only thing they have in common is that they run on two wheels.
Unfortunately, though, as time passes Harleys are becoming more like Japanese bikes, with computer controlled everything, sockets where you plug in your heated clothing, GPS systems, etc. You used to be able to rebuild an engine on the kitchen table. Now you have to go to a dealer to get the engine remapped if you change even the exhaust. They perfected the Harley with the Evo engine; it was still a Harley, but didn't need maybe 6 hours of wrenching for every couple thousand miles of riding. Then they switched to the Twin Cam and computers, and it's been downhill ever since.
3rd Dec 2017, 19:28
I too have owned all the big named Japanese and German bikes, as well as a Harley Davidson FXRS-SP, and in my honest opinion there is literally no comparison to be made.
The BMW was over engineered, not reliable and quite expensive compared to all others for regular maintenance and repairs.
Japanese bikes, while normally reliable and economical to maintain, can be over complicated in certain areas as well. And often times parts aren't as durable as they could be and create serious issue when a bit thicker casting or a hardening of the part could have been all that was needed.
Harley Davidsons aren't perfect, as nothing is. But my FXR is easy to maintain. Has the complexity of a bowling ball considering its basic design is a twin cylinder engine with gearing timed single cam, with lobes that operate a couple pushrods per cylinder that open spring tensioned overhead intake and exhaust valves. Basic 100 year old tech that's built very well, and while not the fastest or most sophisticated motorcycle I've ever owned, it's the first that will actually accelerate up most hills in 5th gear with 450 lbs of rider, passenger and weekend necessities, without having to downshift from higher gears like other bikes to keep the RPMs high, due to having a engine design philosophy that has overhead cams and a short stroke, small bore sizes and multiple cylinders that have no low RPM performance and the torque curve of a Harley Davidson. It's not the most comfortable bike, nor the least comfortable bike I've ever owned. It is however the best looking, easiest to maintain, super durable as well as extremely reliable, and let's be honest... Sounds the best by far!
4th Dec 2017, 08:40
I was really lucky when the USA $ took a dive back in 2009. Picked up a 1987 FXRS SP with 6000 miles on it from Wisconsin. Brought it out to Australia, my home.
In short, it is going up in value over here. I have put 14,000 miles on it.
We have club registration over here for bikes over 25 years of age. $140 for 90 days riding per year. Perfect for me. I love working on it and can still get parts. In fact that is part of the pleasure of owning a hand made 30 year old scoot.
I've put heated grips on it and some genuine HD saddlebags. It had a Super E carb, different coil and Hollywood saddle when I got it. At 6'2" the forward controls fit me like a glove. It also had Screamin Eagle mufflers. I even got a genuine chrome rack to match its existing HD sissy bar.
From the moment I have ridden it, joy has come into my life. At 60, I've ridden everything. At 60, my bike turns heads because of its great basic looks, chrome and charisma, so at my age yeah I dig that.
I'm easy rider every time I cruise down our empty highways, no windscreen for me. This bike handles really well and yeah, keep the rubber new and stick with the Dunlops. Keep the brakes and fluid new, and as for oil leaks... keep a rag handy. If it's leaking there is still oil in it.
At 30 years of age my FXRS SP is a snapshot of a time when a motorcycle was about 'the ride, the experience and the freedom'. And that my friends is what I am doing now.
Peter Hughes, Robinvale, Australia.