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View Full Version : how do you tell if bike is a 1200 or 883 ?


sonnydaze
4th January 2010, 02:25
im looking at bikes for my wife , so how do you tell if they are 883 or 1200 ?

jreaper
4th January 2010, 02:30
if it still has the stock air cleaner its writtin right on the front.

shotgun46
4th January 2010, 02:33
Welcome from Michigan and I see it's your first post 1 you can check the vin numbers 2 ask the person you are buying it from if it's a dealer site it will also say it in the add

Peg Scraper
4th January 2010, 02:34
Look at the VIN number on frame.
7th number/letter in.
M = 883
P = 1200

That would assume it's stock that is.
Unless a conversion was done. 883>1200.

alank
4th January 2010, 02:37
This may not be true for all years, but look at the ser.#, if it starts with 1HD1 - it's a 1200, if it
starts with 1HD4 - it's an 883.

Peg Scraper
4th January 2010, 02:48
This may not be true for all years, but look at the ser.#, if it starts with 1HD1 - it's a 1200, if it
starts with 1HD4 - it's an 883.1HD1 = Heavywieght (901 cc and larger)
1HD4 = Lightwieght (351-900 cc)
1HD8 = Sidecar
Frame and Engine Number Designations

Frame ID Numbers - 2001 -present
Example: 1HD1CKM115K012345

1 = Made in U.S.A.
HD = Harley Davidson
1 = Weight Class 1 = Heavyweight
4 = Lightweight
8 = Sidecar
CK = Model Designation CA = XLH 883 or 1200
CE = XLH 883 Hugger
CG = XLH 1200 Custom
CH = XLH 1200 Sport
CJ = XLH 883 Custom
CK = XLH 883R
M = Engine Displacement M = 883 Evolution XL
P = 1200 Evolution XL
1 = Introduction Date 1 = Regular Introduction
2 = Mid-Year (January)
3 = California Special
4 = Daytona (March)
1 = Check Digit
5 = Model Year 1 = 2001
2 = 2002
3 = 2003
4 = 2004
5 = 2005
6 = 2006
7 = 2007
8 = 2008
9 = 2009
Y = Plant of Manufacture (York, PA)
T = Plant of Manufacture (Tomahawk, WI)
J = Plant of Manufacture (Milwaukee, WI)
K = Plant of Manufacture (Kansas City, KS)

012345 = Sequential Serial Number


--------------------------------

Frame ID Numbers - 1981 thru 2000
Example: 1HD1CAH11BY013278

1 = Made in U.S.A.
HD = Harley Davidson
1 = Weight Class 1 = Heavyweight
4 = Lightweight
8 = Sidecar
CA = Model Designation CA = XLH
XLH 1000cc 1981 - 1985
XLH 883 1986 - 1987
XLH 883 Deluxe
XLH 1100
XLH 883 1988 - present
XLH 1200
CB = XLS 1981 - 1985
CC = XLX 1981 - 1985
CD = XR-1000, 1983 - 1985
CE = XLH 883 Hugger 1987 - present
CF = XLH 883 Deluxe 1988 - present
CG = XLH 1200 Custom
CH = XLH 1200 Sport
K = Engine Displacement H = 1000 Ironhead XL
L = 1340 Evolution
M = 883 Evolution XL
N = 1100 Evolution XL
P = 1200 Evolution XL
1 = Introduction Date 1 = Regular Introduction
2 = Mid-Year (January)
3 = California Special
4 = Daytona (March)
1 = Check Digit
B = Model Year B = 1981 C = 1982
D = 1983 E = 1984
F = 1985 G = 1986
H = 1987 J = 1988
K = 1989 L = 1990
M = 1991 N = 1992
P = 1993 R = 1994
S = 1995 T = 1996
V = 1997 W = 1998
X = 1999 Y = 2000
Y = Plant of Manufacture (York, PA)
T = Plant of Manufacture (Tomahawk, WI)
J = Plant of Manufacture (Milwaukee, WI)
K = Kansas City, KS

013278 = Sequential Number


--------------------------------


Frame ID Numbers - 1970-1980
Motorcycle Serial Numbers
Vehicle Identification Number (V.I.N.) is located
on the engine crankcase and is the same as the
number located on frame steering head.

Example: 3A 13478 H7
3A = Model Designation 3A = XLH
4A = XLCH
7F = XLCR
2G = XLT
4E = XLS
13478 = Sequential Number

H = Decade Code H = 1970 thru 1979
J = 1980 only
7 = Model Season 0 = 1970
1 = 1971
2 = 1972
3 = 1973
4 = 1974
5 = 1975
6 = 1976
7 = 1977
8 = 1978
9 = 1979
--------------------------------


Crankcase Identification Numbers
Numbers located on both left and right crankcase
halves.

XL Models: Left Case - Inside, Primary Compartment
Right Case - Outside, Near Oil Pump

Example: 781 321 007

7 = Engine Designation 7 = 1000cc Iron XL
16 = XR-1000
17 = 883cc Evolution XL
18 = 1100cc Evolution XL
19 = 1200cc Evolution XL
20 = 1340cc Evolution, California (1988 - *)
21 = 883cc Evolution XL, California (1988 - *)
22 = 1200cc Evolution XL, California (1988 - *)
81 = Model Year

321 = Day of Production 001 = Jan. 1st 182 = Jul. 1st
032 = Feb. 1st 213 = Aug. 1st
060 = Mar. 1st 244 = Sep. 1st
091 = Apr. 1st 274 = Oct. 1st
121 = May 1st 305 = Nov. 1st
152 = Jun. 1st 335 = Dec. 1st
007 = Number That Day

skixx55
4th January 2010, 02:56
On some on the bottom of the cylinder where it meets the cases will have the numbers 883 this isn't saying it hasn't been converted to a 1200 but just to say thats what it started out as. Cheers

sonnydaze
4th January 2010, 02:58
you guys rock , i bought the bike it is a 2005 883 c miles is 7039 with reciepts for $1500 screaming eagle kit ( i think it might be the 1200 kit but does not say ) it has more power than my fathers 1200 roadster , and way more than my wifes old 2002 883 .

shotgun46
4th January 2010, 03:11
you guys rock , i bought the bike it is a 2005 883 c miles is 7039 with reciepts for $1500 screaming eagle kit ( i think it might be the 1200 kit but does not say ) it has more power than my fathers 1200 roadster , and way more than my wifes old 2002 883 .

1500 screaming eagle kit I think that would be an 883 / 1200

Don Burton
4th January 2010, 03:14
you guys rock , i bought the bike it is a 2005 883 c miles is 7039 with reciepts for $1500 screaming eagle kit ( i think it might be the 1200 kit but does not say ) it has more power than my fathers 1200 roadster , and way more than my wifes old 2002 883 .

The 883 gearing will make your 1200 conversion feel like it has more power than you father's 1200R.

sonnydaze
4th January 2010, 03:16
1500 screaming eagle kit I think that would be an 883 / 1200

thats what i thought but it does have se pipes and se air cleaner and every hd skull they make . the skulls have to go and im going to paint it some other color than the white it is now

D-Rock
4th January 2010, 03:47
The 883 gearing will make your 1200 conversion feel like it has more power than you father's 1200R.

Good Point :clap

VEEROD
4th January 2010, 08:48
I'm getting ready to make my 883 to a 1200, I'll will be a nice sleeper:smoke

Takingabreak
4th January 2010, 08:58
It is very popular to upgrade a 883 to a 1200, so looking for the casting stamps on the heads or the VIN code will not tell you if it is a 1200 or not.

The only sure fire way to know is to pull a head and measure the bore.

An alternative way would be to do a dyno pull, and 883 will fall off above 4500 and will not make as much power as a 1200, even a 883-1200 kit will.

Don Burton
4th January 2010, 14:33
I think that someone who is used to riding Sportsters could take one for a very short ride and tell whether it's an 883 or a 1200. Even if an 883 is hopped up enough to make almost as much power as a stock 1200, it will only make it at higher rpms and won't have the lower speed grunt that the stock 1200 has.

rocketmangb
5th January 2010, 00:13
Check the drive belt
Green stripe is for a 1200 gear
Orange stripe is for an 883 gear

Dont mean it hasnt been changed "BUT"

Baphomet
5th January 2010, 00:18
You can tell you have an 883 when everyone tells you that you should have gotten a 1200.


Ok, that's my last smartazz response for the day ... promise. :hidechai

LuxBlue
5th January 2010, 00:26
You can tell you have an 883 when everyone tells you that you should have gotten a 1200.


Ok, that's my last smartazz response for the day ... promise. :hidechai

I was gonna say.....twist the throttle and pop the clutch in first gear as fast and full open as you can. If you fly off the back it's an 883. If you fly off the back and land 20 feet away it's a 1200! :D

trikesbymike
5th January 2010, 00:30
There was a post about a year ago that gave the measurement from the spark plug hole to the bottom of the other side of the cylinder when the piston was down. He gave the length for an 883 and also a 1200. The difference was larger then you would think. Maybe do a search.

shotgun46
5th January 2010, 00:30
Check the drive belt
Green stripe is for a 1200 gear
Orange stripe is for an 883 gear

Dont mean it hasnt been changed "BUT"

Well that's interesting because My Wifes bike and Mine are both 1200s and have red STRIPE belts on them and my 97 for the tire tag on the frame says 883.1200 and My wifes says 1200 kinda weird aint it but the seventh number in the vins are both M :laugh

dashadow
5th January 2010, 01:29
There was a post about a year ago that gave the measurement from the spark plug hole to the bottom of the other side of the cylinder when the piston was down. He gave the length for an 883 and also a 1200. The difference was larger then you would think. Maybe do a search.

That's what I was going to suggest. I wish I could find the post to link it.

.

matridge
5th January 2010, 02:23
newer ones have a sticker on the left side of the frame that will just say 883 or 1200 with a bunch of other information. but again it could have been converted to a 1200 if it says 883. but an 883 converted still has to be sold as an 883 because of the vin number. i would also think that if it was converted the seller would know about it. but i see now you found the information you were looking for.

Sporting Lad
5th January 2010, 03:04
When my bike was an 883 it would go 100 mph, but I had to plan on it: slight downhill straightaway and a tailwind would help.
After the transformation to 1200 I could hit 100 without trying at all. We would be there long before I expected.
The pull from 3500 to 6000 is much stronger on the 1200, plus I can lug it without detonation if I choose to do that.
The 1200 is not only quicker, it's faster with the stock gearing, and it's also more 'rideable' (ie friendly) in city traffic--more low end torque.

But they're both good engines, and I expect your wife will be happy with whatever size it is. Unless of course she's a speed freak. :wonderlan

rocketmangb
5th January 2010, 03:05
Well that's interesting because My Wifes bike and Mine are both 1200s and have red STRIPE belts on them and my 97 for the tire tag on the frame says 883.1200 and My wifes says 1200 kinda weird aint it but the seventh number in the vins are both M :laugh

Sorry i should have been more clear on this.

I believe this applies to Rubber mounts only ! :banana

shotgun46
5th January 2010, 03:06
You can tell you have an 883 when everyone tells you that you should have gotten a 1200.


Ok, that's my last smartazz response for the day ... promise. :hidechai

Ha Ha Ha smartazz answer is good Rep for you :smoke

shotgun46
5th January 2010, 03:09
Sorry i should have been more clear on this.

I believe this applies to Rubber mounts only ! :banana

I am confused on this rubber mount thing :laugh

Sporting Lad
5th January 2010, 03:17
Aaaagh! I forgot what I had started to say! :doh
In British Colombia, where I live, size also matters to the insurance company. The BIG BIKE/little bike cut-off is at 1100 cc where the premiums shoot way up. Makes no sense, I know. Those one litre Superbikes slip in under the cut-off. And so does mine, cos my VIN says it's an 883.
Some days you win... :D :clap

rottenralph
5th January 2010, 03:23
I believe this will answer your question about cylinder size. I grabbed this several years ago from Gary(turns out Gary got it from Decman) and I have to look it up occasionally. It has nothing to do with performance and all to do with an actual correct answer to your question.

You can actually measure the diagonal of the cylinder.
Jack up the rear wheel, take out both spark plugs
put the bike in 5th gear. Rotate the rear wheel
until the piston is at bottom dead center, BDC.
Use a wooden dowel or chop stick to feel when the
piston is at the bottom.

Then push the bottom end of the stick to the far side
of the combustion chamber and mark the end of the stick
where it hits the upper lip of the spark plug hole.
This is the diagonal of the chamber and it will be different
for a 1200 vs. a 883. Your measurements might be close to this.

For a 1200 it will be about 5 7/8"
For a 883 it will be about 5 1/2"

Baphomet
5th January 2010, 04:02
http://www.thecopierguru.com/public/111.jpg

Sorry ... I couldn't resist. But seriously, I'm glad to learn the easy way to do it. Thanks rottenralph.

Sporting Lad
5th January 2010, 07:59
Interesting trick w/ the chopsticks, Ralph. Have you done this measurement? Now I'm going to have to try it.
I've been meaning to do a compression test this winter, so I could do both on the same day.

Make sure to use a clean chopstick and try not to let any leftover sweet and sour sauce or rice fall into the plug hole.
I think maybe this technique was developed by Japanese engineers. Or those from Taiwan?

Ashamsi
7th January 2010, 01:04
I expect your wife will be happy with whatever size it is

That just sounds funny! :D:D:D:D:D

BTW Some pictures of the new bike would be nice

decman
7th January 2010, 01:24
Yup,

That was my post from many moons ago on the XL-List.

Decman

I believe this will answer your question about cylinder size. I grabbed this several years ago from Gary and I have to look it up occasionally. It has nothing to do with performance and all to do with an actual correct answer to your question.

You can actually measure the diagonal of the cylinder.
Jack up the rear wheel, take out both spark plugs
put the bike in 5th gear. Rotate the rear wheel
until the piston is at bottom dead center, BDC.
Use a wooden dowel or chop stick to feel when the
piston is at the bottom.

Then push the bottom end of the stick to the far side
of the combustion chamber and mark the end of the stick
where it hits the upper lip of the spark plug hole.
This is the diagonal of the chamber and it will be different
for a 1200 vs. a 883. Your measurements might be close to this.

For a 1200 it will be about 5 7/8"
For a 883 it will be about 5 1/2"

Sporting Lad
8th January 2010, 03:43
That just sounds funny! :D:D:D:D:D


AHA! Somebody over there's paying attention!
("Unless of course she's a speed freak.") :doh

No offence intended--we're just bein' silly! :toungelau

But yeah, can you post a pic (of the bike!)? :D

sonnydaze
8th January 2010, 18:40
AHA! Somebody over there's paying attention!
("Unless of course she's a speed freak.") :doh

No offence intended--we're just bein' silly! :toungelau

But yeah, can you post a pic (of the bike!)? :Dhttp://i170.photobucket.com/albums/u246/sonnydazegunsmithing/100_0747.jpg

sorry after i got info i needed i never checked back on this thread .