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

2000 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from United Arab Emirates

Model year2000
Year of manufacture1999
First year of ownership2006
Most recent year of ownership2006
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 7 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 7 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.1 / 10
Distance when acquired5000 kilometres
Most recent distance7600 kilometres
Previous motorcycleHonda XR350R

Summary:

A Beauty!!

Faults:

The front brake lever travels too far before activating the brake. It is not leaking oil anywhere. I tried bleeding it, but there was no air. With the bike only having 7600 KMs, I can't imagine the pads being worn out either.

General Comments:

I bought my 2000 model 883 used, with about 5000 KMs on it. I wasn't planning on buying a bike and was just daydreaming as I usually did by stopping by the motorcycle dealer just to sit on a few nice bikes. The salesman came over and I asked him how much? He said 5500$. I bought it right there and then. Although it's 6 years old, due to low mileage it looks brand new.

Riding it is an absolute pleasure, for short distances. I only put about 200 KMs on it on a round trip about 2-3 times a week now that the weather is better here in Dubai.

It handles beautifully, runs perfect and is great on gas.

This is my second Harley Sportster. The first one was a 1971 model bought used in 1992, which was one of the most reliable bikes I've ever owned.

I hope this will be the same.

This is not a boy's bike. It doesn't fly when you gas it. It just purrs and accelerates.

It is most comfortable around 90-100 KM range. Any higher and the vibration gets a little too much for any distance. I've taken it up to 140 KMs at times. It does alright, but it's easy to tell that it's going out of its bounds.

Saeid.

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

Review Date: 15th November, 2006

2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883C from United States of America

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2001
Most recent year of ownership2003
Acceleration marks 5 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 5 / 10
Handling marks 5 / 10
Braking marks 5 / 10
Reliability marks 1 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Dealer Service marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.4 / 10
Distance when acquired0 miles
Most recent distance5000 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XV750

Summary:

Fun, but not right for me

Faults:

What things have gone wrong with the motorcycle?

I should mention that I bought two, brand new, out of the box, XL883s at the same time. One for me, one for my wife.

OK, well at 750 miles it left me stranded on the side of the road, at night, in the dark. As it turned out the ignition module fried and I had to call my wife to bring the truck. Due to my unfortunate circumstances, I had to buy the module from a non-harley repair shop and install it myself. Such is life I guess.

At about 2000 miles my bike developed an oil leak from somewhere under the engine. It wasn't much of a leak, but enough to leave little tracks in the garage floor. I never got that fixed.

The screws that held the side cover that covers the electronics opposite of the battery, all decided to fall out one by one. This happened on both of our bikes. I had to end up using some RTV sealant on the threads after a couple of sets of screws were MIA.

On my wife's bike, the valve cover gaskets all of a sudden began to leak like nobody's business after about two years. Instead of taking the bike to the dealership, I just bought some gaskets myself and replaced everything from that point up. It was an easy job and saved me the downtime.

General Comments:

After about a thousand miles, I had my 883 converted to a 1200. That was the best money I ever spent on the bike and avoided the apparently inevitable leaking valve cover gasket incident. I had the custom so the handling was OK, but not great. My wife had the hugger and it probably handled better, but, lacked ground clearance for serious canyon carving.

I found the Harley seats to be some of the best factory seats I had ever sat on. The Sportsters do vibrate. Holy cow do they vibrate. On the custom I found it to be virtually intolerable on the highway as the vibration through the drag bars was a major issue. However, for tall people the forward pegs and the drag bars feel great.

We put the Harley forward controls on the hugger. That made the bike a great little ride and for all day riding a better bike than the custom.

All things considered, if you want an around town bike that cost a little more to own than a bike from Asia, get a sporty. It is fun as heck for short trips. However, if you're looking for a bike that will be reliable and comfortable enough for some highway trips, don't even consider the pre 2005 XLs.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th December, 2005

27th Mar 2006, 21:14

The 1200, before rubber mounted Sportsters became available, vibrated more than the 883 due to the larger, heavier pistons.

18th Nov 2006, 15:07

The excessive vibration is due to lack of counterbalancing, not heavy pistons.

18th Dec 2006, 17:33

I'd love to hear from someone that has bored out an 883 to 1200 in re to vibration. Does it increase? Incidentally, Wiseco makes 1200cc pistons that weigh the same as the stock 883 slugs do.

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