Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C Reviews - Page 2 of 3

1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from United States of America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership2009
Most recent year of ownership2010
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 10 / 10
Braking marks 10 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.5 / 10
Distance when acquired23000 miles
Most recent distance30000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XV750 Virago

Summary:

Love the bike. I would buy another

Faults:

When I first got the bike, it had to have the front fork seals rebuilt.

General Comments:

Great bike; my first Harley, handles like a dream, plenty of power. The seat isn't that great.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 18th February, 2010

2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from Australia

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2009
Acceleration marks 5 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 9 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired0 kilometres
Most recent distance43000 kilometres

Summary:

Wish I could marry it. Hahaha..

Faults:

Bottomed out on a speed bump and ripped the oil drain plug off the end of the hose. My fault.

Easily fixed, just a new plastic plug that mounted to underside of chassis (in between the frame rails actually).

Wore out rear brake pads and apparently twisted the caliper! Had a shop rebuild the caliper and rear brake master cylinder. Found out the shop did a dodgy job. Used wrong brake fluid to the point of the master cylinder rusting, corroding and otherwise seizing.

Hence no longer using that shop and doing most of the work myself on the bike.

General Comments:

No backfiring ever, but is lazy off the bottom, but that's just an 883. Can easily be fixed with a few simple mods. Breathing is the key.

For new DIY guys (and girls), Number one rule is to always maintain the bike on a regular basis.

Make sure it is tuned right (especially if you do mods to it). Don't skimp on parts. Oils ain't oils, etc, etc...

Also make sure you get a manual and take your time. Check and double check what you're doing and be realistic about your ability. If you're not sure how to set the valves, don't try to rebuild the engine.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. For every question you'll get 3 different answers most of the time. Learn who the guys in the know are, and listen and learn.

I run on open air element K&N air filter, 1 3/4" drag pipes with 6" baffles and torque cones and never any issues.

Girls bike? Let them ask that question again when you leave a softail eating your dust. Hahaha...

Keep your knees in the air and rubber side down.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th November, 2009

1999 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from United States of America

Model year1999
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Distance when acquired24000 miles
Most recent distance28000 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki KZ1000A2

Summary:

Compared to Japanese bikes I've owned, I'll always go Harley

Faults:

Nothing as of yet.

General Comments:

This bike rides smooth as glass on good roads, and handles curves well.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th July, 2009

2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from Canada

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2005
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 10 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 10 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
9.3 / 10
Distance when acquired3 kilometres
Most recent distance20000 kilometres
Previous motorcycleYamaha XJ650 Maxim

Summary:

Reliable and dead fun to scoot around on

Faults:

Absolutely nothing.

General Comments:

I'm 6' and 200+ lbs, so contrary to popular belief this is not a 'girlie' bike. It has plenty to spare to pull my fat you know what around.

Plenty of torque (although I'm looking to upgrade with a new exhaust, air filter and jets) in stock form and gas mileage is great (300+kms per tank before reserve).

Handles well, not as noisy as you would think, the rubber engine mounts really make a difference in vibration.

Forget the 1200 - do a cheap upgrade as noted about, and you'll have a little road warrior that will surprise a lot of people.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd February, 2007

28th Aug 2007, 08:19

An update on the original review... I just finished a 4775km trip from Ontario through the N.Y., Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine states up into Nova Scotia, then thru New Brunswick, Quebec and Ontario. Absolutely no problems with the Sporty, and it was dead fun through all the twisties on the way. I now have 30,000kms on the bike and the only issue has been a faulty rear brake switch (replaced twice under warranty). I replaced the stock seat with a sundowner sportster seat, and it is as comfortable as can be.

This is a sleeper bike - go out and look at one!

10th Oct 2007, 21:39

I am from Windsor Ontario and I own a 99 custom with 22000 kms on the bike.

I recently went on a 3000 mile trip with the bike, and contrary to popular belief, it rode like a dream once I put a windshield on it.

The bike has never caused me any problems; she runs like a top, in fact someone offered to buy the bike for 7500 and I really needed to think about it. End result I couldn't sell her because she is like a member of the family, and I don't feel like I can replace her.

Anyway, that is my love affair with the 883 custom. Thank you and buy domestic so we can all have jobs to enjoy our Harleys.

23rd Sep 2008, 05:35

I own a 2005 XL883C and have had it for about a year now.

It has under 4000 miles on the clock and it's a great 'little' bike.

No problems whatsoever so far, although I have only put about 1000 miles on it, so would be surprised if there were any.

The bike is quite heavy and not the most responsive handling, but it's great fun and just right for a long ride out.

Does more than 50MPG (UK), and only the maintenance so far has been an oil & filter change. Next I'll do the primary/transmission fluid change, which seems fairly straight forward.

Many maintenance tasks can and should be done by the owner, paying HD £100 an hour just doesn't make sense. One word of warning though, be very careful when refilling after an oil change, you may not need as much oil as the manual states. Remember, each bike is different, so fill up to a safe amount and then add a little more until it's all good!

Ride safe!

Average review marks: 6.9 / 10, based on 8 reviews