2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 review

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 Review

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 Review
2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

If you’re looking for a little attitude when you’re out on the outskirts of town, the 2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 has it in spades, understated and simple. Authentic, cool and bad ass all rolled into one, there’s no denying the dark charisma of this old-school Sportster.

Aesthetically, there isn’t a lot of shiny chrome to catch your eye. From the black powder-coated spoilers, black engine cover, handlebars and mirrors to the fork, wheel and frame guards, the Iron 883 takes a provocative stance with its monochrome paddle – and it works. You see it, and you want to take a look at this compact packaging and take a tour now. Work can wait.

Interestingly, when I sat in the low seat and removed the Iron 883 from the kickstand, the driving triangle felt odd. The footrests are a bit higher than expected, resulting in a knee bent almost 90 degrees – and I’m only 5 ‘6 ”- and the reach of the drag style bars seemed like a stretch.

It didn’t take too long to figure out how to seat this iron horse, as the personality of the Iron 883 quickly crept into me as I shifted into high gear. I leaned forward and forward in a more aggressive stance and all of a sudden it all made sense and I felt good – really good.

Powered by the powerful three-decade Evolution engine, the 883cc air-cooled twin has plenty of low-end torque – 54 ft / lb at 3,750 rpm – so starting is effortless with the late-engagement clutch. . The center-mounted controls make it easier to ride the bike without repositioning your feet, but make sure to continue with a solid, deliberate click from first gear, as an occasional shift will put the five-speed gearbox in gear. neutral instead of the second.

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 Review streetThe Iron 883 is a physically small bike, from its fairly low 29-inch seat height to its midsection and narrow bars, so it’s not intimidating to use despite its murderous appearance. At stops, you’ll easily have both feet flat on the ground, and although it plunges the scale to over a quarter of a ton, its 562 pounds (curb weight) is carried low so it feels lighter and is manoeuvrable in low speed situations like gas stations and car parks. When traffic slows down, you won’t have to hang out with the crowds, as the Iron 883 does a great job of weaving its way through the lanes.

Once you move down the boulevard, images from iconic motorcycle movies start to come through your mind. Even on a relaxed cruise, your body position exudes determination and you feel cool. Twist the throttle and the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 responds, ready for an exciting ride through the alleys.

The suspension is basic; this low seat height comes at the cost of less than two inches of rear suspension travel. You’ll earn your badass reputation by absorbing the harsh blows of well-worn urban pavement, rather than the shocks doing the job. Harley-Davidson makes a variety of solo spring seats for the Iron 883, which I would install if I owned the bike.

At higher speeds, the Iron 883 is solid in a straight line and maintains its composure in the corners as long as the road is smooth. Ripples, bumps and cracks help reduce your speed as the bike feels less secure when the Michelin Scorcher 31 tires momentarily lose all of their grip on the tarmac.

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 reviewThere is only a single 300mm disc up front, but I found it sufficient for bike inspired speeds. The engagement is smooth and without bite. ABS is an optional add-on for the 2015 Harley-Davidson Iron 883; if you’re only riding in the dry, you probably won’t need it.

You are unlikely to find yourself making your way through the 3.3 gallon tank without a break, as the Iron 883 isn’t all about comfort, but it’s a good excuse to stop and let the admiring eyes take a closer look. The lowered fenders and twin shocks emphasize the authentic old-school look, and the side number plate and retro taillights (which manage the brakes and turn signals) contribute to a clear look to the rear. My vintage racing inspired 3-in-1 Harley-Davidson Rallyrunner leather jacket goes perfectly with it.

When it’s time to move on, keep your swagger up with the optional HD Smart Security System. There is no need to search for a key to run your engine. Throw one leg in the solo saddle, hit the starter and go. Smooth.

The no-frills and clean-lined analog instrument cluster features a small LCD strip where you can toggle between mileage driven, speedometer, and tachometer, an unexpected but appreciated touch.

Devoid of flashy adornments while remaining true to the essentials, Harley-Davidson puts the venerable Sportster platform to good use, creating the 2015 Harley-Davidson Iron 883, an inspiring motorcycle that makes you want to get out and ride.

Photograph by Don Williams

Driving style

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 Specifications:


  • Engine: Air-cooled, Evolution
  • Valves: pushrod overhead valves with self-adjusting hydraulic valve lifters; two valves per cylinder
  • Bore x Stroke: 3 x 3.811 inches
  • Displacement: 53.9 cubic inches (883 cc)
  • Compression ratio: 9: 1
  • Fuel System: Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
  • Air filter: paper cartridge type
  • Lubrication system: dry sump
  • Battery: sealed lead-acid, maintenance free, 12 V, 12 amp / hour, 200 cca
  • Starting: 1.2 kW electric with engagement of the solenoid starter


  • Main drive: chain
  • Final drive: belt
  • Clutch: Multi-disc, wet
  • Transmission: 5 speed


  • Torque: 53.8 ft-lbs @ 3,750 rpm
  • Tilt angle right: 29 °
  • Tilt angle left: 30 °
  • Fuel economy (EPA city / highway test): 51 mpg


  • Frame: Mild steel, tubular frame; circular sections; cast joints
  • Swingarm: Mild steel, rectangular tubular section, stamped joints; MIG welded
  • Forks: 39mm, 3.6 ” of travel
  • Shock absorbers: Coil-over, adjustable double preload; 1.6 inches of travel
  • Brake calipers: dual piston front, dual piston rear;
  • Brake Rotor Type: Uniform and Solid Expanding Rotors with Optional ABS
  • Front brake: 11.8 inch x 0.2 inch
  • Rear brake: 10.24 inch x 0.28 inch (260.1 mm x 7.1 mm)
  • Wheels Type: Black, 13 Spoke Cast Aluminum
  • Front wheel: 19 inches x 2.15 inches (483 mm x 55 mm)
  • Rear wheel: 16 inch x 3 inch (406 mm x 76 mm)
  • Front tire: Michelin Scorcher 31, 100 / 90B19 57H
  • Rear tire: Michelin Scorcher 31, 150 / 80B16 77H


  • Length: 88.8 inch
  • Overall width: 33.7 inches
  • Total height: 44.1 inches
  • Seat height: 28.9 inches
  • Ground clearance: 4.7 inches
  • Rake (steering head): 30.5 °
  • Fork angle: 30.5 °
  • Trail: 4.6 inches
  • Wheelbase: 59.5 inches
  • Fuel capacity: 3.3 gallons (warning light at approximately 0.8 gallon)
  • Oil capacity (with filter): 2.8 quarts
  • Transmission capacity: 1 quart
  • Weight:
  • Dry: 540 lbs
  • Border: 562 lb. pound sterling

2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 photo gallery

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