Harley Sportster XL 883C Review from United States of America

2007 Harley Sportster XL 883C

Model year2007
Year of manufacture2007
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2014
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 10 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.0 / 10
Distance when acquired3000 miles
Most recent distance8200 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki TS400

Summary:

Great buy, incredible value, and so much fun to ride, it ought to be illegal!

Faults:

The only issue was an oil line fitting wiggling loose around 6K miles. 30 seconds with a crescent wrench solved the problem.

No other issues.

General Comments:

I was looking for a bike, but wasn't set on any particular brand. After sitting on this one, looking at its odometer and price tag, I bought it.

Size. Fits like a glove -- provided you're an average height/weight rider. At 5'10" and 190lbs this fit me PERFECTLY! Like they custom-made the bike just for me. Leg angle to the forward controls was great, angle to the handlebars was spot-on. The bike is narrow enough that you don't feel like you're riding a barrel, but not skinny enough to make you think you're on a scooter or a moped. It's the size bike that a motorcycle OUGHT to be!

Acceleration was terrific. The first time I laid on the throttle, I practically flipped off the back of the bike! MUCH more power than I ever expected from an 883 engine (especially after listening to online "experts" saying it was underpowered).

Cruising speed. I most enjoy cruising between 45-60mph, though I've had it over 95 on one occasion with no problem (I think the top speed is 116). It's the perfect bike for around town and day rides. If I was making a trans-continental trip, I might want something bigger/heavier for crosswinds, but not for everyday use.

Comfort. The stock seat was a bit hard and built for 2-up riding. I ride alone, so added a thick Mustang solo seat. Makes the bike look more "retro" and more comfortable, too! With the stock seat, I'd be sore on a 2-hr ride, but with the Mustang Solo I can ride all day with no problem. I added removable saddlebags and windshield for long day trips and overnighters. There are tons of aftermarket accessories (both HD and 3rd party manufacturers) available for this bike. I've noticed that on long trips, I use the REAR footpegs a lot. I don't want a highway bar or floorboards, so using the rear pegs once in a while lets me move my legs around on long trips, obviating the need for rest stops when on the highway. If I want to ride 2-up, I can swap on the OEM double seat back on the bike very quickly. The adjustable shocks are a nice feature that also let me tune the bike's suspension to the passenger weight.

Reliability: In the old days, Harley wasn't known for its reliability, but this '07 bike has been perfect in every regard! Once an oil fitting jiggled loose a turn or so, causing a drip, but was quick/easy to fix on the spot (I don't fault the manufacturer for that).

Economy: The 883 engine gives me around 50 MPG, though I could surely get more if I wasn't such an aggressive rider. The EFI rubber mount engine is smooth and relatively quiet.

Helpful customizations. I fabricated a mini-dash to fit between my "mini police" windshield and handlebars that's just big enough to hold my aftermarket tachometer, GPS, and GoPro camera. None are necessary, but are nice on long trips.

Overall, this is a terrific motorcycle! I had purchased it to ride for a season, but after putting a few miles on it, I doubt now that I'll EVER sell it! Yes, it's that good.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th January, 2014

Average review marks: 9.0 / 10, based on 1 review