Home | 2007 Turbo Sportster | All Rides

2007 Turbo Sportster

122 HP
113 FPT

A Sportster with
an attitude!



2007 Can Am Spyder
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View from the drivers seat.
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I installed an oil cooler for those hot summer rides.

Motorcycle Test

2007 Harley-Davidson Turbo Sportster XL1200R
 A Sportster with an attitude!

by Kirk Johnson
Aug 2008

Bike Model

2007 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200R

Motor

73.2 ci or 1200 cc Evolution with Turbo*

Engine HP

122.4 @ 6,500 RPM*

Engine Torque

113.5 @ 4,300 RPM*

Transmission

5-speed

Fuel System

Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection

Primary Drive

Chain

Final Drive

The New Carbon Fiber Belt

Brakes

Front - 2 dual-piston
Back - single piston

Tire Size Front

100/90-19 57H

Tire Size Rear

150/80B16 71H

Rake

26 degrees

Dry Weight

565 lbs.

Seat Height

28.1 in

*Turbo installed and tuned by Nick from Trask Performance
Click here for Dyno Chart

More info on the
Sportster Turbo Kit

The 2007 Turbo Sportster, my choice of rides. 

Oct 2008 I installed a Super Brace. It works great, I highly recomend it
for all motorcycles, especially Harley's.
Here is the link to Superbrace.com

Super Brace

I have rode and written about a fairly large variety of different motorcycles and I have selected the Sportster with a turbo as my preferred ride. I have been lucky, in that I had the opportunity to ride a lot of different motorcycles to base my decision on. There are a lot of different motorcycles, features and riding styles that you have to address before you make an informed decision.

Obviously, riding style has as much to do with the decision process as anything. And of course, these are my observations and conclusions, not necessarily the answers or conclusions that someone else would make.

First of all, I love to tour and make as many road trips around the great Southwest as time allows. Touring, you say, and on a Sportster? Yes, remember, riding style. I love to carve out canyons and mountain top roads. Being, 5’ 8” and only weighing 150 pounds, makes the Sportster a great fit for me. For someone that is 6’ 2” and 225, than obviously, the Sportster would not be the preferred choice.

There is no other selection in the Harley line of motorcycles that can compete with the ride and sporty feel of a Sportster. The V-rod is as close as you can get. But its low center of gravity and extended wheel base and forward pegs, renders it more of a sport touring bike then a true sports bike. Now, I will have to admit, the Harley-Davidson Street Rod meets everything that I wanted in a great ride. It even had center pegs. The problem was the seat height, 31”. I found myself using my toes to move the bike around every time I stopped. That was unacceptable.

The touring lines of motorcycles from Harley are great for cross country while on the interstate. But most of my riding is on back roads, like 89 and 89a or mountain roads with a lot of curves and elevation changes. The touring line of motorcycles is way too big and I find that dragging the floor boards on corners and making sparks distracting and dangerous.

Besides, these motorcycles are not meant for carving out canyons, that’s why they have radios. Performance, for the touring bikes, is a big problem and when in the passing lane your exposure to the oncoming traffic is way too time consuming.

I don’t like the true Sport bikes at all. The Kawasaki’s, Yamaha’s, Suzuki’s or even the Buell’s, all offer a lot more for sport riding and carving out the canyons, but the seating configuration is unacceptable. I can’t sit like that for a very long time, although they are a fun ride for a short time. And on most, they don’t offer much in the way of carrying your tooth brush and change of clothes or providing acceptable seating for a passenger.

Why the Sportster?

The Sportster has undergone a lot of changes since its introduction in 1957 and it is still going strong today. That makes it the longest continuously produced motorcycle model in history. Major changes were made in 2004 when they finally rubber mounted the engine and changed the rear tire from the 130 mm tire to the bigger 150 mm tire. Then in 2007, they introduced Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), and a carbon fiber final drive belt. These are some really great changes.

The Sportster has everything that I want with one exception; it needs more HP and torque. There are a lot of options for upgrading. This includes exhaust upgrades, boring for more cc and changing heads and on and on. Significant performance improvements would require opening up the engine that has a great history of being very reliable and trouble free. I hate opening up a perfectly good engine to make changes. But there is one great and easy alternative though, just bolt on a turbo.

The Turbo Alternative


Nick from Trask Performance, has done a great job at adapting the Garrett Turbo to fit just about any motorcycle, carbureted or fuel injected, in the Harley line. Bolting on a turbo to your stock bike will provide somewhere around an additional 50 horsepower. How cool is that! They will make a pre installation dyno test, install the turbo and re-map it for peak performance and dyno it again. Then they will provide you with the printout. If you want, you can also purchase the kit with all of the hardware that you need, including a CD and do the installation yourself. It all sounds great on paper, but how is it in real life?

After putting 15,000 miles on this Sportster with the turbo, I would not want to be without it. The turbo just sites there quietly awaiting your request. Without the hammer down, you would never know that you have the extra horsepower. Starting, running around town or idling in the parking lot, you would never know that there was a tiger patiently awaiting your request. On the highway, I still get around 50 mpg. Even if I am pushing it on the back roads, the mileage still stays around 50 mpg. I am so green.

There is one drawback to having a turbo on a hot day. It does run a little hotter than the stock bike. To address this, I added an oil cooler to help keep the engine oil temperature from going over 220 degrees. But that only happens when the outside temperature starts heading north of 105 degrees. I don’t like riding when it is that hot anyway.

In 2008, Nick created an inline air cooler, for the turbo systems. That alone drops the intake air temperature 30 degrees. Because the intake air is cooler, you can re-map it to get more power. In my case they were able to advance the spark and up the boost for more horsepower. I had an increase of 9 HP, from 113 to 122, and the torque was increased from 102 to 113 FPT. WOW! Plus, the engine even runs a little cooler.

I can’t tell you how much I love this little trouble free turbo. On any on-ramp, back country roads or especially in the mountains, when you crack the throttle, this motorcycle just launches. If you are an adrenalin junkie, a turbo is a must. In everyday application, it has a very big benefit when you find yourself in the passing lane. You do not have to grab a bunch of gears to get around a slow moving vehicle. In the mountains, even at 12,000 feet, the bike performs like it was at sea level. Although, I did notice that the boost takes a little longer to build up.

If you are carving out a canyon and you twist the grip on the exit of a corner, the bike responds with the precise amount you request and is solid and predicable. No learning curve to deal with. Just think of having over 100 foot pounds of torque at 3,000 rpm. The deep pockets of torque are always right there in the normal operating rpm range. Unlike most of the true sport bikes, you do not have to deal with a small peak horsepower band somewhere around 12,000 rpm.

Because it is a Sportster, it does not have the cornering ability of the true sport bikes. But with my skill level, it still corners with serious dedication. I have found that when you start feeling the pegs scrape the pavement, it is time to back off a little. When on the straight away, the bike will run solid right up to the rev limiter that is set at 6,500 RPM in 5th gear. Yes, this bike runs strong and now you can see why I love it.

The vast majority of turbos are on the V-rods and baggers. Obviously, the V-rod screams without the addition, making it a true adrenalin junkies dream with the turbo. Now the bagger is a sitting in wait candidate for the upgrade. Every Bagger on the road should have one in my opinion. Yes, in real life, the turbo is truly a great addition for the motorcycle.

Ride safe,

Kirk
Phoenixbikers.com
Phoenixbikers.mobi
Motorcycletestdrive.com
Trask Performance

© 2005 phoenixbikers.com; This material may not be published, reproduced or linked to in part or whole
without the permission of Kirk at phoenixbikers.com.