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Best but least expensive for daily 44 mile one-way commute

I really want a Sportster Iron 883 or some other sportster but I don't know if that could handle working that hard that often (Bradenton to Tampa and back every day). Also, one of the first things I want to do with my new bike is go on a road trip up the East Coast. Is a sportster too small for that?

I've been looking at used bikes but I'm worried about an unknown bike breaking down on me 500 miles from home.

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a sportster will do just fine for commuting and long distance trips. i wouldn't use the iron, the peanut tank will get agrivating because of lack of fuel range ( mine has a peanut tank ). i would go for the normal sportster with the bigger tank and paint it flat black, if thats the look your going for. also a regular sporty can be outfited with stuff for long distance rides - saddle bags,windshields,backrests,etc. without looking out of place than if you were to try touring with an iron model.
Jay,
I've read your question about sportsters and I would say in my opinion that a sportster can go anywhere if properly maintained.I rode one for many years and found it was great for short trips but on a comfort level it was border line for trips longer than 400 mi. In any case a bike is only as reliable as the person maintaining it. Of course I would not attempt to go on a ride cross country on an ironhead with 90,000 miles on it and old tires. Your best bet is to have a bike with mechanically sound engine , good tires and insurance for towing, etc...Hog memberships have those packages and you could ride a 40 year old bike to california from florida if you have time and money. the only drawback is the milage you would get from the smaller gas tank and as mentioned before the comfort level. Choose carefully and plan your trip to the last pit stop and you'll have a blast.
Happy riding.\Boomer...................
I've been riding a Sportster 1200 for about 4 yr- mostly recreational. I have had "no car" periods of up to 2 weeks due to repairs, etc., but no concerns about the Sportster as a daily driver during those times. I agree with earlier posts regarding the peanut tank. Bradenton to Tampa and back will have you gassing up about every other day. Other than that, you should have a comfortable ride commuting on a Sportster.

It's been a while, but I'm finally buying that Sportster. Put a deposit down today toward the down payment that I'll pay on August 23. I no longer live in Bradenton--I've lived about 5-6 miles from work the last 3-4 years. Now I'm staying with friends who live about 30-40 minutes away from work but, hopefully, I'll find a place closer to work again soon.

Thanks for answering, guys!

There doesn't seem to be a "normal" Sportster anymore unless I don't understand what you mean.

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