You're probably right, but I was hoping to understand the basic principles and guidelines first, and then have the ability to apply them to specific situations. Having said that, I have a 2005 EVO sportster that has a 16" rear wheel and a 21" front. The 883 of the same year comes with a 19" front. I took a look at the XR1200 and it has a 17" rear and 18" front. I'd like to systematically improve the bike's handling (rear shocks, fork springs, tires and wheels).A more specific question might get a more useful answer.
All of the above.Are you talking differences between front and back? Or differences as a whole? Differences in width or in height?
See my response above.There is so much to talk about here. Whats the example you need help remedying?
It's good you mentioned the bike that put you in mind for this question. I'll give you some notes on this specifically. Surprisingly, or maybe not all that surprisingly, 16" wheels are a "historical" size for HD's. Harley started using 16" wheels (front and rear) in the late 1930's I suspect because the large sidewall helped with the ride quality their larger touring bikes, the innertubes were still relatively common, and this allowed use of an older style rounded car tire in a pinch. If you look at HD's with 16" rims and tires from that era the tires are these big ballon looking bias plys - wider than anything else from that era. As the bikes got heavier tire technology really didn't keep up so to have these massive 500lb-700lb touring bikes on terrible 1930-1950s roads you needed a thick, wide, beefy tire. Even now, the bigger HD crusiers and tourers use 16" rims with large sidewall tires.I have a 2005 EVO sportster that has a 16" rear wheel and a 21" front. The 883 of the same year comes with a 19" front. I took a look at the XR1200 and it has a 17" rear and 18" front. I'd like to systematically improve the bike's handling (rear shocks, fork springs, tires and wheels).
Thanks for the response. I agree with your cost benefit analysis, so I'll probably just make a few inexpensive changes, such as going to a 19" front tire, hagon rear shocks, progressive springs up front, and call it a day. I live in Dallas and the XR1200 here run around $8K. The Buell's cost even less.By the time you are finished upgrading your sporty to XR1200 wheels, suspension and brakes, you could have bought an XR1200 and rebodied it. just a thought. Actually you could probably pick up a same year buell for less money than your sporty is worth right now and you get all the benefits of Erik Buell's engineering madness.