I have had 5 Harleys, 4 were sportsters. I have owned 1 old rigid and 3 newer Sportys... out of the 3 newer rubber mounted FI sportys I had... 2 were 883s and 1 was a 1200... I feel they would all win in a drag race over my Rebel 500 but not in a canyon or anywhere else you had to turn. Sportys carry their weight high, they feel top heavy and the 5 speed transmission wasn't fun at 75+mph either.
As for the buy in price, insurance, cheap mods, fuel, etc the Rebel wins for me.
As for the torque conversation, I had an FZ09 for a couple years, great torque on that motor! For an all around bike and great cruiser I love my Rebel 500.
Ride safe y'all!
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2017 Honda Rebel 500
2017 Polaris Slingshot SLR
2017 Honda Grom SF
2015 Honda Grom OG