This is based entirely on a comment Big D made on Joker's post, “More on the New Iron 883”.
First, is a 1200 Sportster a “Big Twin”?
Second, who you calling a “old timer” Big D?
The 1200 Sportster vs. Big Twin is a valid point, and one that has always bugged the hell out of me. When Harley made the change in 1986 from the Ironhead Sporty to the 1200 Evo. Sporty, it bothered me. Mainly for one reason. Having owned several 1200 Big Twins, and still having a “74in. 1200 Big Twin”, the almost overnight perception that a bike with a 1200 cc engine (the Evo. Sportster) was a small, entry-level bike irritated me. Perhaps a different advertising campaign at that time, introducing the all-new “Big Twin Super Sport Sportster”. Or something along those lines. But to keep the 1200 Evolution Sportster in the same classification as the 1000 Ironhead Sportster, I think was a mistake.
Make no mistake about it. A 1200 Sportster will almost always, in my opinion, out-run a 1200 Shovelhead. A 883 with a 1200 kit, will probably always out-run a 1200 Shovel. I also would not be a bit surprised if a 883/1200 conversion, opened up a can of speed demon whoop-ass on a few of the new 96 inchers. I’m in complete agreement with Big D on this one. A 1200 “is” a Big Twin, no matter what frame it’s mounted in. As for the 883 itself, I don’t think it should have been made part of the Sportster family. It should have had it’s own product designation, or just left on the design room floor.