2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883R from United States of America - Comments

6th May 2008, 14:36

Wondering if anyone could tell me why my 94 Sportster 883 is backfiring and hesitating?

21st May 2008, 04:48

"Wondering if anyone could tell me why my 94 Sportster 883 is backfiring and hesitating"?

If you changed its breathing (i.e. jets, air filter and / or exhaust) that can cause the problem if not properly "tweaked".

Another cause can be if you moved to an area that is of a substantially higher or lower altitude than where you previously lived, as the bike from the factory, as I understand, is carbed for sea level.

One more potential cause of your problem is the fact that oil gets into the air box, and that may be the most likely reason.

8th Aug 2008, 13:08

I bought an 883R for my wife. She rode it like all of 3 times. So it sat for a few weeks at a time and I took it upon myself to take it out and ride it.

I also have a Yamaha Roadstar 1700CC, it's a powerful bike and handles well, but when I get on this one and ride it, it's just plain fun.

It pulls hard up to hwy speeds, handles great! And almost everyone I ride with admires it and gawks at it.

The only problem I've had with it so far was the fuel pump died on it right at 1k miles. It spent 2 months in the shop (parts). I ride it to work every other day and gas is inexpensive to keep in it. Less than $10 to fill up. Seems to run better on premium fuel too.

Hopefully it will be a collectors item one day, last year for the R model in 07 and first year for the fuel injection.

Modding is easy; you just add it and it seems to take it pretty easy.

9th Sep 2008, 02:24

Yeah, I have an 03 883r, and while it hasn't got comfort or incredible handling, it has the appeal of yesteryear but with to-days tecnology. It puts a smile on my face and a ring in my ear, and a vibration up my spine, but that's what I love about it.

11th Jan 2009, 17:01

XL883R may have been discontinued after 2007 in North America, but appears to be still available in Europe (2008 & 2009 models). I have a 2005 XL883R and it runs fine.

6th Feb 2009, 23:28

I have a 95 XL883 Custom, my first Harley, and it also backfires through the carb, and it will get you in trouble especially when pulling out in traffic. I've had it in the shop 3 times for re-jetting and timing adjustments to no avail. It still backfires and it's embarrassing. I haven't done anything else to "trick it up". It's very cold blooded, you have to have the choke on for the first 10 minutes. It makes me wonder if all the Harley's do this or is this just a Sportster thing??? If it is, then why in the world with so my problems doesn't Harley do something about it???

30th Apr 2009, 10:38

I bought a slightly used 06 883R about 2 months ago. I too was a little worried that I'd be seen as riding a "girl's bike." Not so. I've also had hard-core bikers stop and comment positively, usually about the orange and black checkered flag color scheme. It simply turns heads.

A set of Vance and Hines shortshots and it sounds dynamite. It carb farts too, but only under certain bike/outside temp combinations. I totally agree, it's as cold-blooded as they come. But it roars up to 75 mph fairly well, and it's a kick to ride around town, which is most of my riding.

9th Jun 2009, 14:56

I'm going to look at an '06 883R in a few days. Here in New Hampshire, where every other vehicle in the summer is a motorcycle, a lot of guys ride sportsters - "regular" and "hard core" types. In fact, you see more men than women riders. I figure price is part of the factor - half of a big twin. Plus they're a better built bike than many years ago AND they're more fun to ride.

17th Jun 2009, 18:12

I just bought an 05 Sportster with 1640 miles on it, barely broken in. It is EXTREMELY cold blooded, requiring the choke to remain partially on for at least the first 3 to 5 miles or so. Pushing the choke off before then causes major carb farting, and yes it still farts long after it's been warmed up. It also has a grating, scraping sound that seems to be coming from the left side of the top-end, sounds like a dry piston, and will get more noticeable as it warms up. It has the stock exhaust so the noise is clearly audible up to the point that I wonder if people can hear it when I ride by!

19th Jun 2009, 17:15

I bought my 2006 XL883 from a woman with only 170 miles on it.

I love it, yes it farts and doesn't like starting for the first time each day. But once it's warm it's great.

I planning to ride from Palm Harbor FL to Gatlinburg TN this week. I want to ride the Dragons Tail (129/28 route).

I only get about 48 miles to a gallon, but I've got a 4.5 gal tank. That larger tank is a big help.

24th Jul 2009, 18:00

Hi.. I have the Harley 883 Custom. I love it, I went from Kaw Ninja to this because I just love the Harleys.. I have convert it from a 883 to a 1200 bore kit, screaming eagles it with everything. I put it on a dyno tester last week and was told to enlarge my jets (only giving 60bhp), which I have done with a drill LOL, because I have reached the largest I can.. I do have a problem when it is cold. It's sputtering. But hey it's a Harley.. (give it 10 minutes while you get ready) this bike will never be sold, too much to list on it now. I love it.. LOL..

3rd Nov 2009, 05:55

I have the 2005 Harley 883 Custom, it has the Screaming Eagle aftermarket pipes and air cleaner.

The sweet spot on this bike is right at 70 mph on the highway, the engine starts to strain a little as soon as I hit 75 mph.

Carb still pops a little till I have run with the choke halfway out for about a minute, I think it is because I live in Denver and the elevation is higher than what it was set up for at the factory.

The carb will mist a little oil on the pipe, right behind the carb, if I take it over 80 mph for more than a couple of miles at a time.

I run 87 octane because it is only 8.9 to 1 compression, my shop manual says that is the octane to run, but I do put in 91 octane if I am going up into the mountains.

I leave all the big twins in the dust up in the mountains, the Sportster models have good ground clearance and good midrange roll on power - Lots of fun in the twisties!

7th Nov 2009, 08:26

I have a 2009 XL883R, which I bought in Shanghai... I think that they are a great bike to ride. With the EFI it runs really well, there are no back fires or stalls...

My wife's only complaint is that the pillion seat was very uncomfortable, after re-modelling she is happy...

Soon to do the 1250cc mod & run an after market ECM, Pipes etc... So I am expecting a increase in performance, which will make an already comfortable bike more comfortable...

In all it's a good looking bike that lends itself well to upgrades, & in my opinion is the pick of the HD stable...

I think now with the EFI & ECM, rubber mount etc we have seen the Sportster model evolve into a real work of art & performance... it is I feel a classic year for the Roadster!!