Sportster Iron 883
53.9 cubic inch (883cc) OHV air-cooled V-twin
Sportster Iron strengths...
Looks: Classic Sportster poise, low slung, and still cool...
Vibration: Rubber mounted engine cures the painful vibes.
Engine: Reliable Sportster V-twin. Torquey. Sounds good.
Wheels: Maintenance free cast alloy wipes clean.
Spares: More parts than a Lego set. Infinitely customable.
Depreciation: Sportsters hold their own better than most.
Belt final drive: Clean power delivery, and easy to change.
Servicing: Straightforward. Owner-mechanic friendly.
Seat height: One size fits all, except maybe the very tall..
ABS: Adds considerably to braking security.
Fuel economy: 55-60mpg is possible, and more even.
...and Sportster Iron weaknesses
Weight: 540lb is a lot of iron for the modest 883cc power.
Harley scene: It ain't for everyone. But it ain't compulsory.
Theft: Put another lock on the garage. Fit a Datatag system.
Poseur: Folk will think you bought it only to impress.
Centre stand: Harley doesn't believe in them. It's a nuisance.
Cornering: Not as bad as it was. But still pretty pedestrian.
Handling: See "cornering", above...
Weather: Dirt magnet scrubs up well, but lacquers peel.
Constant trade ups: You'll eventually want more power.
Pillion: Rear seat ruins the looks, and the pedestrian handling.
Suspension: Basic. A little too soft for many. Needs work.
▲ The 2014 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron as viewed on HD's online brochure. From any angle, the Sportster looks pretty good. But these "classic" rear three-quarter shots do it for most folk, and Milwaukee knows it. So is this bike a solo ride? Pretty much, we figure. So buy a BMW or a Honda if you ride two-up.
▲ The 2009 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron. Buy one of these and you're in the black. You're old school. You're aggressive. You're up for a spot of urban brawling, or so Milwaukee's marketing men would have us believe. We don't know if anyone actually takes that kind of talk seriously anymore. And we wonder if Harley is pulling our peckers. But the macho crap keeps coming.
Copyright Sump Publishing 2014
Closed loop exhaust