Archive for January 26th, 2009

Long gone Sportster

January 26, 2009

that rarely ran and often just sat there. This is one of the only surviving pics of my old AMF Sportster that I mentioned in the early post about the Iron 883. I had the top end rebuilt, did the carb and rewired it but I could never iron out all the wrinkles. Ended up trading it for a 1979 Camaro (that ran on seven cylinders) and $500.

Loved that tank badge, but apparently hated MTV at one time.

Loved that tank badge, but apparently hated MTV at one time.

Harley’s Iron 883 – Nightster’s Younger Bro

January 26, 2009

In its oh-so clever way, Harley-Davidson today sprung its newest variation on the Sportster theme — the Iron 883. Not one to follow the typical OEM format for releasing new models, H-D likes to quickly (and sometimes quietly) introduce its latest bikes. Take the soft launch of the XR1200 back in December (here, here and here).

So today in my inbox I find the announcement about the Iron 883. This is the latest edition to H-D’s Dark Custom lineup. It is basically a Nightster with Harley’s 883 Sporty motor in it and a price tag (MSRP $7,899) that reflects the smaller power plant (the Nightster carries a $9,899 sticker). It’s got most of the same all-black bits and the fork gaiters. An it uses the same trick turn-signal/brake light/tail light combo used on the Nightster as well as the same side-mounted license plate that folds back. (I’ve often wondered about the purpose of the folding plate and how it might work in going up against a red light camera. Not that I’d ever endorse doing something like that. I’m just saying.) Enough bloviating. Here’s some pics.

Personally, I’m a big fan of H-D’s Dark Customs. Not so much of the marketing campaign behind them, but the bikes themselves are pretty neat. Back when the Nightster was first launched I got a loaner for a few weeks and spent a lot of time blowing around town on that thing. It was a far cry from my AMF-era Ironhead Sporty, which sat more often than it ran, but looked really good sitting.

I really became fond of tearing around on that little hot rod Nightster. It handled and moved and scraped hard parts through just about any turn right or left. And, not that I cared much given it was a press bike, it got thumbs up and attaboys at every stop. Most people really dug the look of it, as did I. Maybe I’m forgetting, but I don’t recall having any real issues with it other than the anemic stock pipes it comes with, but that’s just an aftermarket call away from being fixed. Overall, it is a great bike for zipping around on. With that said, I’m going to see about getting an Iron 883 for review and I’ll let you know what effect (if any) the drop in power has on such a little runabout. And now for some more specs/info.

  • Rubber-mounted Evolution 883 cc V-Twin black powder-coated engine
  • Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Black fuel tank with unique graphics
  • Black front forks with gaiters
  • Black belt guard and front fender supports
  • Black, 13-spoke cast aluminum wheels, 19-inch front / 16-inch rear
  • Black low rise drag style handlebar
  • Black mid-mount foot controls
  • Black low profile front fender
  • Black chopped rear fender with combination rear stop/tail/turn lights
  • Chrome staggered shorty exhaust with dual mufflers
  • Side-mounted license plate holder
  • One-piece, solo Sportster classic seat
  • 25.3-inch seat height
  • Optional Harley-Davidson Smart Security System
  • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank
  • 565 lbs. (wet)
  • 55 ft. lbs. @3,500 rpm
  • lean angle: right 29 degrees, left 30 degrees
  • 5 speed