View Full Version : Question for all you 883 owners....

10th January 2005, 05:05
Hello everyone. Let me start out by saying that this is a great site, full of tons of good information. I am preparing to purchase a bike in March, and I have narrowed my decision down to a few machines, the 2005 883 being one of them. One of my main concerns with the 883 is that I have herd time, and time again that it is underpowered and that I'll be wishing that I got the 1200 after owning it for awhile. Unfortunately, the 1200 is out of my budget. This will be my very first street bike, and I keep telling myself that it can't be THAT bad. Can any of you 883 owners out there give me an honest oponion of the performance of your 883? I love everything about the new Sportsters, but I don't want to be dissapointed. I also hate when I hear certain "Harley Guys" say that the 883 is a womans bike. But basically I was just wondering if performance wise it is really that much of a let down. I honestly don't think it can be as dissapointing as some guys make it sound. All replies and input are greatly appriciated. Thanks.

- Dash

10th January 2005, 06:09
well, dash, welcome aboard. I was also told to stay away from the 883's. But what they don't tell you is that you can do a 1200 conversion when your wallet is up for the task. It can be done relatvely inexpensively, depending on WHO does the work for you. I heard some people having it done for around $800.
An 883 is somewhat snappy around town, but can be a bit lathargic on the freeway. But a nicely tuned 1200 will break away from any stock Big Twin. When you do a 1200 conversion and keep the 883 trans sprocket, you'll get slightly more acceleration than a factory 1200, also, but you'll give up some in the top speed. Check out the technical section of this forum, a lot of great information to read. And good luck with your choice.

10th January 2005, 06:16
Hi Dash! Glad you found us...do a little searching here and I'm sure you'll pick up all kinds of facts to help you with your decision...a lot of your decision will be based on what actually talks to you (looks, performance, popularity), so do test ride the ones that interest you and that'll help you a lot! You know most of us here will be prejudiced about our Sporties, but as you read through some of our threads, the Sportster is about it's history, character, feel, and soul...I think I could compare it to the difference between a long term relationship and a one night stand...it took me over twenty bikes to figure out that it was a Sportster that I was looking for as far as having one for decades! It may not be the fastest (but can be), may not be the prettiest (but it is), and you might get teased about it being a girl's bike (but we all know better)! I know I would've been just as satisfied with an 883, but I caught such a deal on my '05 1200 Roadster that I couldn't pass it up! And of course I'm QUITE satisfied with it! Check your local papers and cycletrader.com and you'll see that the Sportster is holding it's value much better than others...what other vehicle will almost net just a few dollars less than a new ones' MSRP after ten years? I guess that alone speaks for itself! Keep posting your questions as they come to you, 'cause this group will be happy to offer our opinions, usually based on experience! Good luck, Dash!

10th January 2005, 06:37
Welcome Dash!

I agree with Engine. Buy the 883. You will be surprised with it's quickness. Then later you can always upgrade it to a 1200 or even a 1250.

10th January 2005, 07:05
I have a few customers that have 883's and do not wish for any more......

a 900 cc bike would not be considered small if it had a european badge on it.

If it's your first road bike then it's a good starting point and only you can decide if ya want more later.... fortunately that option is easy to do if you decide to go that way.

10th January 2005, 07:25
Yesterday as I was riding Dirty Debbie (my 02 883C) for the first time this year I kept thinking to myself, "where is it that people get the idea that the 883 Sportster does not have power?". I mean it is almost a 900 CC bike. When did people start considering that underpowered. I was thinking this as a weaved around cars on the back roads at 70 to 80 MPH, a speed that I reached quick enough to make me have to lean foward and hold on pretty tight.

Sure the 1200 (and many other smaller engined bikes) has quite a bit more power and of course is quicker but ANYONE who has ever riden both of them would tell you that and 883 is a fine bike and you will not be disappointed. You can always upgrade your 883 to a 1200 later if you feel the need. So far I have not.

Oh yeah, I was also thinking about the underpowered phenomenom as I maintained 100+ MPH for at least 20 miles yesterday on the Autobahn.

There are lots of Sportbikes that have smaller engines and have more power. They all look the same. Take a look at the photos of my Sporty in the gallery...there is not one other Sporty in the world that looks like it..it is mine and it is a relection of me.

And where will that Sportbike be in 20-30 years?...the junkyard I know where my Sporty will be...parked in my garage hopefully sitting next to my 50th Aniversary 1200C or 1200R.

10th January 2005, 07:39
You also have to ask yourself, do you want to be on the road now, or when you can afford the 1200. If you really feel that you want the 1200, I suggest that you wait, save up the cash for a larger down payment so it will offset the monthly's and you can have the "bigger" bike. But, you will not be on the road.

I might be flamed by this, but I tend to not want to mess with things on my first bike for a bit. I get what I want in what I can afford. As in don't buy the 883 and then drive it around thinking the whole time about that 1200 upgrade. That personally would nag the hell out me. But, we are all different and if riding is what is most important, get the bike you can now. This is likely the reason many have become Sportster riders in the first place. We want a HD, and we want it now so the Sporty gets ordered. Some of us, including me wanted that nice big Softail, but hey, I only make so much cash and so a 1200C is in my garage. Now, I don't think I will ever be without it despite the fact that I will get a bigger bike. I just love the damn thing.

Each to his own.

10th January 2005, 08:35
I decided on my 03' 883 for two reasons. #1The price! My 883 was paid in full out the door. #2 This was my first bike ever and with only 16hrs of riding time under my belt! (Motorcycle Safety Class) I wanted something I could learn from and if I made mistakes I could have enough time to recover from them. I have gone on several 100+mile runs and the 883 runs great! I went on a bike run last May to Mexico with 13 BT's, 2 Sportbikes and a Chopper. I kept up without a problem...

Everyone has great advice here.... I would just take your time.....


10th January 2005, 09:20
There was a time, NOT so long ago, when the 883 Sportster was the hottest stock bike you could buy. With some of the metric cruisers comming out at over 2000 cc's it's easy to think that an 883 is some how inadequate. I bought my 883 simply because I fell in love with it at first sight. And although the 1200 is snappier on the superslab, believe me the 883 has PLENTY of snap for day to day traffic and is a more than capable cruiser. Although I plan on doing the conversion, it is not for lack of performance in the 883. I could ride it from now on and be perfectly happy with it. It is simply because there is no such thing as too much horsepower :laugh

10th January 2005, 12:44

I am 5'6" 180lbs, and own an 04 883std. The bike lost a little low end after I paid the "taxes" but other than that I can't understand where the "it's a girls bike, it's not big enough" comes from. The bike has absolutely no problem keeping up with my buddies on bigger cc bikes. I will probably do the 1200 conversion at some point in time to gain a little low end back, but If I don't get around to it, I don't think it will hamper me in the least.

The 883 is an awesome bike.

Barry Clark
10th January 2005, 12:53

How did you lose the low end? What exactly did you do to your bike when you paid taxes?

10th January 2005, 12:59
I got my sporty after owning several bikes including crotch rockets, cafe racers, dirt squirts old Nortons and Trumpits. Several reason I got my sporty with the price being the biggest one. I got a great deal on it and saved almost 3 grand over a 1200 which I wanted. But you shoulod see it now, It's a real sweet bike. Over the past year I have purchased all the bling bling you could find, changed the handlebars, mounts, risers and will be doing the 1200 conversion now that its a raining mess here, and I don't ride in the rain, gets my chrome all dirty. The real neat thing is I have been able to make my sporty, my sporty !! You see with the 3 grand I saved I was able to transform my sporty into a personal ride that catches looks and stares and sounds as mean as hell, faster than a speeding bullet and its just a little sporty. I call my bike THE CHROME WHORE..

10th January 2005, 13:15
I love my 883......I'm doing the conversion to 1200 myself just because I need more for riding 2-up. For me alone.....let me use my father's words (a life-long Harley rider).

"That is ONE fast bike!"

I'm 5'7" 150 lbs, and this bike is all I'll ever need.

10th January 2005, 13:34
The wife and I 2-up all the time on her 883 Custom and it does just fine on the freeway. It has no trouble keeping up with traffic what-so-ever. Yes, we're talking about a 1200 conversion, but I think that it the natural course of things. More is better, but it doesn't diminish the value of the 883. What a fine, fine, blank canvas (if you want to look at it that way).

10th January 2005, 13:37
Have you gotten the message yet!?!? The 883 is a fine bike. I've had 13 bikes over the years. The Sportster's heritage and character alone make it stand head and shoulders above the rest. The options for increasing performance are almost endless, if you're so inclined.
The power is, shall we say, adequate. Ya, I'd like a bit more power, but my 883 has done long highway trips at 80 mph, squirts through traffic no problem and does everything else you could reasonable expect from any bike.

10th January 2005, 13:52
I say go test ride an 883 and you will be able to make a better decision.

I will add that I am 205 lbs and my 883 scoots right along. I also used to do a lot of 2UP riding before my wife got her own bike. Had no problems with both of us on there totalling more than 300 lbs.

10th January 2005, 14:04
I will echo what everyone else has said and agree that the 883 is a great bike. It is especially nice if you have not ridden on the street before because (in my opinion) the 1200 can be a lot of bike depending on your size, experience, riding style, etc. I bought an 883 and upgraded it to the 1200 when I was able to afford it. You can always go and test ride one at a locad dealer if you are unsure of your purchase. Good luck with your purchase!

10th January 2005, 14:15
I bought an '04 883 for a couple of reasons: 1. the price $2,000 less than a 1200. 2. I'm not a big fan of all the chrome in fact I'm blacking out most the bike. 3. the insurance even after a conversion you can insure it as a 883. 4. After a couple of years I'm doing an upgrade to a 1200 myself with the parts I pick and after the completion it will be like a new bike again and the satisfaction of doing it myself.

The 883 is not underpowered I am very happy with the power and very happy with the bike as a whole.

10th January 2005, 14:28
Dash- Have you considered the used market for a Sportster? Used 1200 are going for $6500-$7000 right now in this area. That's about the same price you are going to pay for the 05 883. People aren't riding or need the money quick. I have an 883 and get around just fine, nobody leaves me behind and you will find a lot of times you will be waiting on people due to you being able to handle your bike better through the twisties. However like everyone else the "I feel the need for speed" does get a hold of you. Also like said above, do you want to ride now or stand on the sidelines wanting to ride?

97 883 Hugger Taxes paid

10th January 2005, 14:30
3. the insurance even after a conversion you can insure it as a 883.

I hadn't even considered that! :shhhh

10th January 2005, 14:43
Just to back up all the comments, I am a new rider and purchased an 04 883 as my first bike. It is an excellent first bike, has plenty of power for touring and 2-up, you just have to work the gears a little more.

I have toured many miles with the local HOG chapter all on big twins and I have never been left behind.

883 is a great all around bike and should give you many years of exciting riding...then comes the conversion for a grand to renew the fun.

10th January 2005, 14:51
Get the 883!!! You will not be Disappointed!!! :D It has plenty of Power and is cheaper in Cost and Insurance!!

If at a Later date you want more Power, it's cheap to do the 1200 Conversion!!

My vote is get the 883 and you'll be grinning!!! :clap :clap

10th January 2005, 17:20
Wow, thanks for all the replies! In reading all of your responses, I feel a whole hell of alot better in going after a new 883. I truly appriciate all of your input. It's nice to hear the oponions of people that actually own and ride one. Looks like I'll be joining the family as soon as the weather starts to get better....now the only question is: Roadster, or Custom? Hummm.... :tour

10th January 2005, 17:29
With an 883 you get three choices, Custom, Standard or Low. Roadster only comes as a 1200.

10th January 2005, 17:39
If you think you may want the forward controls and like the look of the 21" front wheel, go for the custom. You will spend as much or more than that to make a standard look the same way. To echo the others here, I LOVE my Sportster and would NEVER sell it!! I have an '02 883 custom that after 13,000 miles I have left it as an 883. When out riding with friends, I always stay up in front. From stoplights and curves, my friends who ride these big cc metric bikes fall behind. I have 2 friends who have 1200s and they are definately faster, and pull harder, but thats what I have the Buell for. And if it were me, I'd spring for the brand new 883 before I'd get a used 1200, thats just me.

10th January 2005, 19:28
This is off the topic, but bplinson, do you have family that live in Indiana?

10th January 2005, 22:15
ooooooh should have PMed that :headb :hijack

11th January 2005, 00:47

How did you lose the low end? What exactly did you do to your bike when you paid taxes?


I didn't loose much low end (barely noticable, but I can tell a slight difference on take off). I did the standard, reject, mufflers, and air intake. I have read that depending on your setting etc. You may loose some low-mid range and gain some top end with a "stage I" setup, and that's pretty much where I sit with it. It's not bad by any means, and like I said, I doubt if many people would even notice.... Heck, I could just be too rich or lean on the jetting, but the bike runs perfect (no pops etc.) so I'm not touching it :)

11th January 2005, 01:13
I was going between the 883 and 1200 too. As a former Big Twin owner (2002 Softail) I was afraid of too little power with 883. So I drove myself down to a dealer that had a 2005 1200R in stock, silver, solo seat, what a beauty. Right next to it was a 2005 883 Custom, black cherry pearl, another beauty!!! After about about 2 hours of back and fourth I bought the 883. Here was my rational:

1. Cannot ride 2 up with my wife because it has no rear pegs ($100+) and it has a solo seat. It looks great but my wife would refuse to sit on the fender.

2. Mid controls bother me. I know other love them but for me it felt like me knees were in my chest. (about $300 to add forward controls)

3. Gas tank...The custom hold 1.5 gallons more. That mean alot on those long trips.

4. Finally was the feel. Now this is just my opinion but the sear was too hard and the bars were unconfortable. While the looked great I could not see my self rideing it too long .

I WAS NOT AT ALL DISSAPPOIONTED WITH TRHE POWER IT WAS NOT AN ISSUE. Plus with the $2000 I saved, I can upgrade anything for 1/2 that.

My suggestion is go to a stealer who has both and take a look. Sit on it, and make you own decision.

11th January 2005, 03:10
sporsters ruel,b/t's druel. get the 883. i have an 04 883 custom,which i love. i weigh 165 at 5'6" and let me tell you this thing moves like a bitch.i can easily pull the front wheel off the ground with a warm tire and a good slip of the clutch,and i've only been riding since april 04.the power is there.i will be doing the 1250 conversion,which will put me at about 85 at the wheel on a what 650lb bike wet.say bye bye b/t's

11th January 2005, 03:57
553lbs is the listed dry weight, for the sportster. 8 months riding experience and pulling wheel the front wheel of the ground ? pretty good. Its my guess you will be getting your new 1250 motor sooner than you think, plus some new body parts.

11th January 2005, 03:59
553lbs is the listed dry weight, for the sportster. 8 months riding experience and pulling wheel the front wheel of the ground ? pretty good. Its my guess you will be getting your new 1250 motor sooner than you think, plus some new body parts.yeah. i hope so. i can't wate to feel the diff in power.

11th January 2005, 06:27
883 is awsome bike you wont be disapointed, go on buy it!! :tour

11th January 2005, 17:42
as for custom or standard, you should do as others say and sit on each for as long as possible...Demo Ride would be better.

Also If you plan on riding aggressively through twisties you might want standard for more ground clearance, 19" front tire and standard pegs, if you plan more touring and 2up riding custom would probably be the way to go. Not that either bike is not capable in either, they are.

11th January 2005, 20:10
Dash -
Welcome. As you can tell from the number of replies to this thread - the 883 is an awesome bike. There are lots of advantages of 883 vs 1200. Yes, it is very easy to upgrade an 883 to a 1200 if you wish, you don't need to unless you want to. Most riders elect to do this for different reasons, I won't go into them, as they are all valid. For the most part, the people that choose to upgrade, really enjoy the garage time, in otherwords, they love to tinker. This includes me!

You will hear/read and people will tell you that the Sporster is a "girl's bike", or only "half a Harley". This is pure BS. Don't fall for this crap.

The Sporster will require more from you as a rider then an other HD. The Sporster has been around since 1957, it's more of a Harley then any other model. It has a long standing history proving it's hertiage!

HD's Magical Marketing Machine wants "you" to think this is an entry level bike. It's not. Yes, I belive that they keep the cost of the Sportster on the soft side, from the MoCo's viewpoint - they make more money from the sale of a BT. That's there goal, to sell motorcyles and make profits, they need to do this in order to stay in business. Don't fault them for this - it part of the food chain of life.

If your concern is cost - keep an eye out cycletrader. Lots of people buy Sportsters, and play with them a little, then choose to sell them, it's not uncommon to find very low mileage Sportsters for less then new. I found my '03XL this way.

This is my second Sportster - yes, as anyone on this site will tell you - it's a love affair. Part cult, part hertiage and history - but at the end of the day, it's the best bike HD ever made.

11th January 2005, 21:04

I've been riding motorcycles since I was old enough to ride a bike and have been riding street bikes since the day I could drive. I've owned literally dozens of motorcycles including a blistering Kawasaki 1984 Ninja 900 that would do 0-60 in under 3 seconds in first gear, it also had a top speed of about 155 mph. I also owned a modified '1996 Buell S1 lightning that took 1st place in the All Harley Drags in Kansas City for modified XL class, and lots of other fast and not so fast British, American, and Japanese bikes along the way. My daily rider today is a 1998 883 and I think it has plenty of thrills in it.

I bought the 883 because the price was right and because after many years on many different bikes, I kept returning to Sportsters. Today I know that the Sportster is the only bike for me, and it is about much more than just pure power. The timelessness of the lines, the sound the mechanical rhythm of the machine all play into the satisfaction of the riding experience. The stares from bystanders don't hurt either! I own three Sportsters today, a '52 K, '73 XLCH and the '98 883.

When I first got the 883, after owning the Buell, etc. I thought for sure that I'd immediately do the 1200 conversion as I do all of the work on my bikes and I just knew the 883 would feel like a dog. Well, guess what? That was three years ago and I still haven't gotten around to doing the conversion. I still will when the time is right, but the 883 is as much a riot as you want to make it.

Mine has the Harley Tax paid for so it runs a bit better than a bone stock 883. But to be honest with you, I find many of the same guys that will tell you you'll miss the power of the 1200 don't even wring their bikes out anyway. I hit the rev limiter on mine quite frequently when gettin' on on ramps, or openin' up onto a two lane highway, or takin' off from stop lights. You'd be surprised how much fun they are wide open. I don't have a tach or shift light and that's why I know so well where the rev limiter is. The point I'm makin' is when you're comfortable enough to scrape your knees through corners and run through the gears wide open to the rev limit on a regular basis and still feel bored, that's when you're ready for the 1200! As an 883, it's damn fun. For lots of two riding up you might want the extra displacement sooner, but, I've had a hell of a lot of fun for three years with the 883.

Besides, the original design was for 883 cc as the '57 Sportster specifications state. The size, weight and displacement provide for a very well mannered, balanced, and versatile machine. You may be pleasantly surprised. 50 mpg ain't nothin' to sneeze at either these days!


11th January 2005, 23:12

11th January 2005, 23:24
t-bone.i think i'm gonna cry,thats a sportster.sing it my brother.

12th January 2005, 01:18
Well put gentelmen. It's funny, I called my local dealer today just to see the price difference between a 883 and a 1200R. The 1200R came to 10 and change, and $184 a month with 1K down under a 5 year plan. That's not too bad, but it is a bit more than I would like to spend. I priced a 883 a few months back and I think it came to around $118 a month under a 6 year plan with 1K down.(now that I think about it, I wonder what it would have came to under a 5 year plan...kind of confusing) Anyways, I asked the dealer out of curiousity if he had any left over 883's and he was like: "Man, forget about the 883 it's underpowered, bro." I remember this guy from when I had first went to look at a Sportster, and he kept trying to sway me away from the 883. He kept on telling me that he's just being honest and that it's just too underpowered and that I'll be wishing I got the 1200 in no time. It's hard to want to go after an 883 when the guy thats supposed to sell it to you keeps telling you how "underpowered" it is.

12th January 2005, 01:22
yeah. i hope so. i can't wate to feel the diff in power.

ok I was trying to be nice and not flame or insult you. just incase you really dont understand what I was trying to get across. If you only have 8 months riding experience and are hot dogging your bike trying to pull the wheel off the ground you are gonna tear your bike up and possibley get hurt or killed. im sure your thrilled with the power and torque of your new bike , but take this as a brotherly warning your headed down the path of destruction. I learned my lesson the hard way 30 years ago .

12th January 2005, 01:25

Take your Money and go to another Dealer and buy your 883!!! I've got a 883 and Love it!! :D

12th January 2005, 03:25
ok I was trying to be nice and not flame or insult you. just incase you really dont understand what I was trying to get across. If you only have 8 months riding experience and are hot dogging your bike trying to pull the wheel off the ground you are gonna tear your bike up and possibley get hurt or killed. im sure your thrilled with the power and torque of your new bike , but take this as a brotherly warning your headed down the path of destruction. I learned my lesson the hard way 30 years ago .i can respect what you are saying,fully. i was just trying to interate the power of these bikes.thats all. i don't do that all the time b/c i don't want to kill myself and shorten the life my bike. actually i only did it once,when i got my pipes in a empty parkinglot,and the front end just came up on me.i'm not scared of ridding,but i am full of respect for these things.i've only been ridding for 8mos out of all my 33 years,but i'm totally at home on her and do not want to hurt me or anyone else.thanks for not flaming bro.lol

12th January 2005, 03:43

I bought a 04 XL883 last June. Love the bike and second the opinions that have been expressed. Let me add an additional point that sold me on the 883. 87 OCTANE! 50+ miles per gallon on fuel costing 20 cents less per gallon than premium.


12th January 2005, 13:50
Yeah 87 octane !!!!! And when ya get feelin a little roudy you can run down to your local 76 station and get some 101 0ctane and really rattle some windows. It's 4.50 a gallon but sure make my bike run good !!!!! other than that I have always ran at least 91 octane.

12th January 2005, 14:31
87 octane?!?!? I thought all Harleys took the premium juice!!! Somebody please confirm this. I do not have access to my owners manual at this time

12th January 2005, 14:34
NEvermind. Just checked. Stait from the HD website. 87 octane for the 883's. I probably will not use it but will switch from the 92 to the 89 octane...Think I will start a new thread on this...

12th January 2005, 14:36

Premium is the juice of Choice for a Sporty!!! :D

12th January 2005, 15:22
yes, the '04 manual does state 87 octane as the recommended fuel for the 883.

13th January 2005, 01:09
glad ya got it jay. these sportys can be a bit overwhelming . they kinda make a guy feel bullet proof . by the way did you know that if you hang on to the handle bars a 1973 honda 350 can drag you a long way down the highway even when its up side down .lol that was shortly before the pea gravel extraction on my face and belly.

13th January 2005, 01:48
At quality fuel stops N-87 works ok. At budget stations I will sometimes get a ping so I stick with tier one fuel, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, ConocoPhillips to name a few. If I have to buy a budget stations I will get the N-91 to N-93.

Now going back to the start of this thread I believe the 05 1200 has a newer cam. The upgrade when you can afford it may not be that of the same level as the 1200. Also the gear ratio of an 883 might mislead many. I find my 04 883 stage one will easily go 75 to 80 MPH all day. It will also get up to speed darn quick. In the future I might go the 1200 upgrade. Also living in the Houston Texas area the insurance rate is cheaper on an 883 when compared to a 1200.

I had cash to get the stock 883 standard when I got it back in October of 2003. I wished I could of afford more (don’t we all). But I am in no way dissatisfied with it. The right Sportster for you is basically dependant upon what you want to do with it. If you get an 883 with plans to make it a 1200 and chrome it all out you could be ahead of the game with the 1200 custom. Also don’t ruled out used. You can find some very good deals this time of year.

13th January 2005, 02:12
glad ya got it jay. these sportys can be a bit overwhelming . they kinda make a guy feel bullet proof . by the way did you know that if you hang on to the handle bars a 1973 honda 350 can drag you a long way down the highway even when its up side down .lol that was shortly before the pea gravel extraction on my face and belly.ouch!! i felt that one.

13th January 2005, 03:10
i love my sporty. '05 883 Low. I'm 5'7" and it fits me real good! ...basically same ground clearance as a custom, but with the peanut tank and a few other diff's.

I think the 883 has pretty decent quickness, especially on backroads.

just feels good

not underpowered and any dealer being negative should stick it.


13th January 2005, 04:16
When I first bought my '04 XL883 it did feel a little light on power from what I was expecting. I paid the tax as soon as I could afford it, and man what a difference! It was like riding a completely different bike! I've never seen a vehicle respond to simple bolt on parts the way my Sporty did. Before that, I was dead set on doing the 1200 conversion as soon as money would allow, but now I'm really in no hurry. With the SE filter, pipes, and a re-jet, my 883 has absolutely no problem 2 up pushing a big windshield at interstate speeds. Knowing what I know now, if I had it to do over, I'd still buy the 883. It's a great bike and if you do decide you want a 1200, it's a grand or better cheaper to do the conversion than it is to buy the 1200.

Also, I've never really had any trouble out of the BT guys about riding a Sporty. Maybe it's the economics of this area or maybe it's the twisty roads, but I'd lay money on us Sporty riders having the BT guys out numbered around here. ;)

Whatever bike you choose, make sure it's the bike you want and not what somebody else thinks you should have. Everybody else can talk about your bike, but you're the one that gets to ride it, so go ahead and buy whatever bike makes you happy. That's all that really matters.

My .02

Roger Greendeck
13th January 2005, 04:46
Having just gone through this process I can heartily recommend the 883. II rode both the 1200 and the 883 and while there is a noticeable difference between them the stage 1 takes the 883 closer to the stock 1200 and I am more than happy with the power.

When I was shopping for the bike the dealer told me that the new 883s are putting out the same power as the pre 04 1200s. I don't believe that this is technically true but with the rubber mounts you can use the full rev range in comfort.

At the price they are asking for an 883 I just couldn't go past it :) The money that I would have spent will cover all the other add ons and when in the future I can still do the 1200 upgrade (if I feel like a change) for under $1000.

As has already been mentioned the lower insurance and the miserly fuel consumption are all very good extra reasons for going for the 883.

Ultimately though, go for whatever floats your boat. Think of it like choosing between two beautiful women... you can't go wrong really. But unlike women if you change your mind later neither will be jealous! ;)

13th January 2005, 05:17
...Think of it like choosing between two beautiful women... you can't go wrong really. But unlike women if you change your mind later neither will be jealous! ;)


13th January 2005, 05:56
I think Arthur Davidson was thinking along the lines of Roger from two posts back:

Arthur Davidson, of the Harley Davidson Motorcycle Corporation died and went to Heaven. At the gates, St. Peter told Arthur, "Since you've been such a good man and your motorcycles have changed the world, your reward is you can hang out with anyone you want in heaven".

Arthur thought about it for a minute and then said, "I want to hang out with God." St. Peter took Arthur to the throne room, and introduced him to God.

Arthur then asked God, "Hey, aren't you the inventor of woman?" God said, "Oh, yes." "Well," said Arthur, "professional to professional, you have some major design flaws in your invention:

There is too much inconsistency in the front-end protrusion.
It chatters constantly at high speeds.
Most of the rear ends are too soft and wobble too much.
The intake is placed way too close to the exhaust, and finally,
The maintenance costs are outrageous."

"Hmmm, you may have some good points there," replied God, "hold on." God went to his celestial Super Computer, typed in a few words and waited for the results. The computer printed out a slip of paper and God read it.
"Well, it may be true that my invention is flawed," God said to Arthur, "but according to these numbers, more men are riding my invention then yours".

So go out and get an 883 or 1200...we gotta get our numbers up! :)

13th January 2005, 09:22
I recently bought a 2005 883 Custom and I'm having a blast. This is my first bike and I believe it's a good bike to start off with. One the price tag is very tempting, furthermore with that extra cash you can pay the Harley Tax and have some left over to add some extras.

I haven't riden a 1200 so I can't tell ya the difference between them. For now a 883 is gonna keep smiling for quite some time :D

28th February 2005, 00:35
I am new here can someone tell me what is the Harley Tax?

28th February 2005, 00:38
The Harley Tax means that you got different exhaust pipes, different filter, and rejetted to get the "traditional" Harley sound and better performance ;)

Welcome to the forum!

28th February 2005, 02:36
Dash, go for the 883. 1st bike and you won't be dissappointed. Like the others said, you can always upgrade later if you feel the need to. My 98 is my 2nd 883 and it suits me just fine riding either solo or 2-up. The dealer is only looking to make a bigger sale
for his benefit not your budget. As long as he makes the sale, he could care less if you use it or lose it.

28th February 2005, 02:42
<$ 700.00 to get to 1200, but get the bike that's closest to what you want...