Skip to content

Sportster Iron 883 Review After 1 Year of Ownership

Are you planning to buy a Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883? Well watch this 1 year 5000+ miles Sportster owner review before you pull the trigger because I explain the pros and cons of my 2020 Sportster Iron 883 that you should know! This 2020 Sportster Iron Review is actually a part 2 review of the Harley Iron 883 or the XL883N because I already did an initial review of the motorcycle after owning it for about 3 months. But that motorcycle review included mostly the reasons why I chose and purchased the Iron 883 and few initial ownership reviews of the sportster. This time around, I have ridden all the sportsters including Iron 1200, Sportster 48, and the 1200 Roadster. As well, I have ridden most of the Softails with the Milwaukee 8 engine, the Livewire, Pan America, and even the Ducati Monsters! What are the sporster flaws? how does sportster compare to softail? what are the easy custom mods for sportster? is the sportster fuel tank too small? all will be answered if you watch! Use this as a sportster buying guide!

Well guys welcome back to the ks moto cafe what i got here is my personal 2020 sportster iron 883 that i purchased last year so the whole point of this video review is to give you guys a long-term owner’s review of what i liked and what i disliked about the iron 83 after having ridden this bike for about over a year because i purchased this back in october 2020 and

Ever since i did my first review of this motorcycle back in december i got a chance to ride a lot of other motorcycles especially the soft tail models other sportsters that are on the 1200cc and then i even ventured out to the different types of motorcycles such as a naked sportbike from ducati the live wire and the pan america so if you guys are curious of what that

Feels like for a novice rider like myself i do check out those reviews and having ridden this about 5 000 miles in about a year it’s not a lot of miles however it is substantial enough for me to kind of know what i like and what i dislike about this bike so if you guys are curious on why i purchased this do check out my first review because i do go through that in

Detail and i compare it to the other motorcycles that i was comparing this bike with so when you’re watching this i’m already having the assumption that you are already in the market for this bike and you just kind of want the details of whether or not this will be a bike that you can grow into as a new rider or potentially an experienced rider that’s just trying to

Get into a different segment of riding so let’s start off with things that i love about this bike or i still love about this bike i find this bike still very stylish i love the bobber look it’s a very clean and classic cut of a bike and everywhere i go i still get a lot of compliments from other riders and other harley owners matter of fact the stereotype of sportster

Being a girl bike or you know a beginner bike still kind of sets in sometimes but usually i get those kind of comments from people who’ve never owned a harley davidson before and they’re just copying whatever the internet says and there’s kind of being sheeps on that end but most of the time i get really positive feedback from a lot of people especially from people

Who don’t ride cruisers they always kind of look at it and say like hey if i have to get a cruiser definitely sportster is on top of their list because it just looks really good the other thing i really like about is the evolution engine right here um i know that harley-davidson is parting ways with the evolution engine with the revolution max only because it’s not

Meeting the emission standards in europe and other parts of the world just because it’s getting a little bit more stricter however i have grown to really love the evolution engine and i can see why there’s so much love towards this engine in the last 50 years or so and when the revolution max engine came up for the sports arrest there was a lot of people who were

Angry towards it i welcome it because i’m a fan of something new but after riding the evolution engine as well as the milwaukee eights i am a big fan of this evolution engine the character of this engine is very unique it’s a love or hate relationship for sure because it shakes and rumbles and makes a lot of noises and if you’re not into that and you’re looking for

A very clean fast responsive motorcycle this isn’t it but if you’re looking for those classic cruiser where it’s rumbling a lot where you feel the vibration where it feels like a machine evolution is the best type of engine out there that will give you that kind of satisfaction the displacement of 883 compared to the 1200 there is a pretty big difference especially

On the highway i definitely noticed that when i tried on the 1200 roadster 48 and as well as the iron 1200 but with that said 883 is no slouch i’m still able to ride on the highway comfortably and i don’t really feel that i need any more extra juice to keep up with the highway speeds i am able to get up to 120 kilometers per hour relatively easily and hold that

Speed but anything beyond 120 kilometers per hour i do feel a little bit of a speed wobble and i i don’t really feel comfortable going beyond let’s say 140 kilometers per hour so for me like power is not an issue and the characteristics of an evolution engine is definitely one of my favorite charms of this bike another thing that i really enjoy of this ride is the

Riding ergonomics so as you can see here i pointed out in many of my review rides but having that mid control and higher handlebar where my rider’s triangle is exactly a 90 degree triangle from the foot peg to my handlebar to my ass it is a very comfortable ride and a person with lower back issues like myself i do find that this riding ergonomics is definitely

Easy for me to ride with and it doesn’t trigger any pain that i already have given that this is a 26 inches of seat height it does give you a lot of confidence on the road because you can flat foot this bike pretty easily and when i started out riding this motorcycle it definitely was a positive thing for me just because i have a little bit of a shorter enzyme i

Have 30 inches of inseam and to be honest when you’re starting out riding having confidence on a motorcycle especially yours is extremely important so sportsters i can see why a lot of people value this motorcycle as a beginner bike because you know what it’s a very forgiving bike the power delivery of this bike is not going to excel you away and do an accidental

Wheelie there’s a lot of things i like about this bike guys when i purchased the iron 883 here i knew there were a lot of customization that i could do to make this my own however i bought this bike because i like the way it looked as stock so i try to keep it as stock as possible and try to ride the bike as the way the original designer and the engineer intended

This bike to be i did update the slip-on for the exhaust which is the vance 9 twin slash slip-ons and then eventually i put on the quiet baffle because it got a little too noisy for my neighborhood so if you want to see the review and how to install those things make sure you go through my channel i have installed the four inch riser as well on this bike to just

Give me a little bit more rise on the handlebar and a pullback to keep my back straight and that paid a lot of dividends i have installed this fuel cap which is all aesthetic but i do love it because it dreams harley davidson for me and i really like the design of the willy g skull i did put on a side mount bag here just so i can carry some of my stuff so i don’t

Have to put everything in my backpack and then you will see here that i have installed 1200 roadster stock seat i put this on because i just like the design of the seat i think it just kind of evolves this sports line to more of a cafe racer look as well i put on the crash bars here as one of my first mods that i put on just because this was my first bike and i

Didn’t want to have an accident where i would have to repair a lot of expensive things in this region here so by putting on the crash bar that i bought from amazon where you can find the affiliated link below um the things i don’t like about this bike let’s start with luggage as you can tell i put on this little triangle side mount bag originally i thought i would

Be able to put a lot of things in however only type of luggage i can put in there is actually my first aid kit and maybe a towel anything beyond that it gets really tight and to be honest it’s actually kind of uh useless in my opinion but it does carry my first aid kit if i wanted to bring some of my tools i would have to carry in my backpack which is why i carry

A backpack now initially i’ve been riding for one year without actually adjusting the preload of the rear shocks so for one year now i kind of been riding this bike with a lot of uh misconception that sportster iron 883 had really bad rear shocks once i actually adjusted the preload of the rear shock it improved my ride so much guys so if you’re curious on how to

Do this and my my actual review of adjusting the pre-load watch the video that i will put a link below because it is a big change now it’s probably not as good as if i upgraded this to a progressive 412 or any other aftermarket uh rear shocks but it did extend my comfort for this motorcycle and to be honest i think i can ride with this for a while uh just because

All the little divots and bumps that i used to feel i no longer feel them anymore but some people will probably find the rear shocks quite unsatisfactory considering that there’s only one inch of give in the rear which isn’t much at all the other thing i really don’t like about this bike is the tires they are slippery so right now it’s a little wet there’s a lot

Of fallen leaves and some of the debris is on the ground and this rear tire will slip at any moment to be honest especially on a turn so you do have to be a little bit careful and gentle with your turns it’s something that i have read about it but i didn’t really anticipate as much because i was as new riders couple close calls that i had where i was taking the

Turn during the wet weather a little bit too aggressively and yeah the rear tire slipped just a bit but luckily i was able to catch myself back up but i have noticed uh more and more as i was riding that tires weren’t as very good this michelin scorcher that specifically made for the sportster i haven’t switched them out for anything else yet that’s only because

I’m cheap right now and i have learned my ways to ride with this tire for now but if i had all the money in the world i probably would change the tires out just so it can grip the road better the lean angle of the sportster not really good so it has about 28 degrees on the left side and about 27 degrees on the right and i tell you i have had my pegs hitting the

Ground fairly often especially when i’m going around turns a little bit more aggressively and when i’m saying aggressive it’s not really that aggressive because when i took out the ducati monsters which is a naked sport bike or even the live wire i was able to make the turn so easily but with this particular bike because the lean angle is so shallow you’re most

Likely going to hit that peg sooner than you anticipate now i did talk about how much i love the evolution engine however one of the cons that i found was the the power delivery it’s good for what i’m doing but if you’re going on a group ride with your friends who have different types of motorcycles such as a sport bike or a bigger cruiser you’re gonna have a hard

Time catching up with them and that might kind of sway your decision just a bit for me i’m a solo rider i don’t really like to go on group rides so for me it’s not too big of a problem but once in a while when i do end up going on a group ride i do sense that i’m falling behind a bit and kind of gets embarrassing now if you get to 1200 you wouldn’t really have that

Much of an issue i would almost say sportsters in general the only reason why you would have a difficult time keeping up with the group is most likely because like i pointed out before is your lean angle is very very shallow so on the turns you’ll definitely have to attack it a little bit slower than most motorcycles out there now the last thing i really wanted

To mention about the con is the 3.3 gallon fuel tank it looks really nice i love the peanut fuel tank design however the one of the biggest thing is the mileage of this bike so with the 3.3 gallons i’ve been averaging about 180 to 200 kilometers and i say that because on the manual it’s supposed to give me about 220 230 kilometers however the lights turn on real

Quick like the indicator that says you need to fuel up and it usually kind of kicks in about 150 to 160 kilometers and then i have to play that guessing game on whether or not i’m gonna make it to the next stop or not so i kind of got annoyed by that especially when there are some segments where there is no gas station so i kind of have to plan that ahead and it’s

A little annoying because i am one of those people who have anxiety over mileage so i think i talked long enough here let’s get on the bike here and then we’ll go for a ride and i can just kind of give you guys more discussion on how i personally feel about the bike and whether or not i recommend it to everyone ah so i have to get gas already see let’s see how

Many kilometers do i have 158 kilometers so like when you see the debris here where you see uh this coniferous uh needles and fallen tree leaves it is quite slippery so i have to be a little bit careful when i when i attack the turns even at slow speeds it’s just one of those things that your rear tire is just gonna slip from just because it doesn’t have very

Good grip so compared to adventure bikes that have knobbly tires or even sport bike that has very good contact on the road they can probably get into that corner a little bit quicker than this iron however for me i have to go a little bit grandpa style just to safely make it out so riding alone on this bike is awesome riding with a friend depending on how nice

Your friend is and what kind of bike he has it might not be so awesome now i still really love this bike i i don’t think i can ever give up the iron 883 especially that harley davidson is most likely getting rid of this motorcycle with the evolution engine on it they are really trying to push the revolution max engine on it which is a liquid cooled engine and

That has a bit more technology than harley’s used to i’m a big fan of that just because i want the harley davidson brand to evolve and be relevant in today’s motorcycling community however deep down i still kind of want them to continue to make harley davidson bikes that actually feels like a harley and i think you can really truly appreciate what a harley bike is

Once you have owned an evolution engine motorcycle like just the way it rumbles and the way it sounds the way it feels a lot of companies out there have tried to mimic and copy harley-davidson sportster and they’ve been very close at it like the indian scout honda rebel they’ve been very close however they still can’t replicate the true feeling of the evolution

Engine and honestly that’s the best part about this bike just the way it feels and sounds like a sportster isn’t all about performance in fact it’s really far from being a performance motorcycle you can make it high performance by putting in the mods but for just a regular stock iron 83 nah it’s all about the feel and ride now let me just put some fuel in and

We can continue on with this review reset the trip meter zero zero okay here we go all right so what are some of the honorable mentions that i could talk about this bike uh the brakes they’re not that great it’s very spongy um you know what i mean by spongy is that it doesn’t grab on very well especially the front the rear brakes they’re even worse only good

Thing about the rear brake is keeping your bike upright while you’re at a stop on a hill or something other than that i would not depend on the rear brakes to actually slow me down so that’s something you will have to get used to now i have been thinking about upgrading the front brake calipers because it seems like a pretty easy mod to do and being on let’s say

The soft tail slim which only has a single disc rotor but i remember the front brakes were catching on really well and it’s because it has a four piston caliper compared to the two so if i upgrade that brake caliper to a four piston caliper i think it might it’ll probably improve my braking power on this bike quite quite a bit now another thing worth mentioning

For the iron 83 is the weight it is on the heavier side it’s about 560 pounds and 560 pounds is not a light bike and i mean it’s definitely lighter than the soft towel models which can go up to 700 pounds but as a beginner bike or a starter bike you definitely feel it when you’re doing slow maneuvers or when you’re moving it around in the garage and i definitely

Felt that way not when i was riding but when the bike was either coming to a sudden stop because i stalled the bike or because i was manually moving the bike without the assistance of the engine like in a garage or in a parking lot and if you want to see some of my uh oops videos that when i almost dropped the bike i’ve uploaded that as well as close call so i’ll

Link that there but yeah i can see why weight plays a lot of factor when people are looking for their first bike because the heavier the bike the harder it is for you to control that bike no matter how strong you are 560 pounds is a lot of weight but it also plays into a pro factor because when there’s heavy winds on the road i don’t get moved that much the bike

Feels really planted on the road just because it’s heavier one thing i didn’t really mention and i really should have when i was when i was doing it without riding is the rust factor and i think that is with all harley davidsons it rusts so damn easily i mentioned that on my first video and after one year riding there’s a lot more rust spots that i really couldn’t

Prevent and trying to fight with rust and corrosion is gonna be a lot harder than you think and this isn’t just a sportster alone this is more of a harley davidson bike in general just because there’s a lot more metal on the bike compared to the japanese bikes but it’s just something that kind of bothers me every time i do a detailed look of the bike and i find

A new spot that has rust luckily one area that i had rest on my bike which is the rear fender my local dealership was able to provide me a new one under warranty just because there was a fault of the design where the license plate attachment was so close to the rear fender it actually trapped some of the water and it started to corrode that tip of the fender so

I’m glad that they were able to change that over for me but from what i heard is that i just got lucky on that end because majority of the time rust is just a natural phenomena for harley-davidson motorcycles and they’re very reluctant on covering that under warranty and it’s more of a case by case scenario but in general guys i have no regrets on this iron 883

In fact as i have ridden other motorcycles i am very happy that i actually purchased this iron 83 especially when evolution engine is being phased out so if you’re looking for your first bike i definitely still stand by my point that this is a very good first bike to start out with if you have no experience on owning a cruiser and just love the look and feel of

The old school classic bike then yeah i would say check out the 883 maybe even the 1200 if you want a little bit more power but if you’re a type of person that’s looking for agility speed and really good performance sportster is not the place to get it from if you’re a type of rider who likes to tinker with your own bike and do a lot of diys or at least learn how

To modify a bike or a machine like this then then yeah the iron 83 is definitely a blank canvas that you can start out with and you don’t have to buy new i’m actually a fan of buying news i just ended up buying new because i had a really good opportunity to buy new at a very cheap price so in the near future what i’m going to be doing is i’ll continue making

Videos about my iron 883 and some of the modifications that i will end up doing in the near future and sharing my experience of the iron 883 with you guys and hopefully be able to get on that sportster s real soon if you like my type of content please click that subscribe and like to help the youtube algorithm out for my channel and as always write safe ride prepared right on peace

Transcribed from video
Sportster Iron 883 Review After 1 Year of Ownership By KS Moto Cafe