Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles Reviews (20)
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2014-08-19 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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This was my first Harley. I kept her for a little over a year and over 5,000 miles. I really enjoyed the time we had, but the more I rode the further I wanted to go and the more my wife wanted to ride with me. The sporty was great for me (at 245 pounds). Then you add my wife (at 105) and it was time for a Street Glide.
- Rich C., Houston, Texas

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2013-06-29 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is a good motorcycle that you will want to keep. It handles narrow country roads excellent, but will do just fine on a major highway. The Fatboy is my favorite, but the Sportster is great for country roads. In other words, do not trade it in if you get a large road bike!
- Anonymous, Halifax, North Carolina

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2007-02-02 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I ride my Sporty 5 or 6 times a week, in all kinds of weather. It has been perfectly reliable. It's a great bike to learn to ride on. I will definitely buy another Harley someday.
- Andrew, Escondido, California

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2006-12-14 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is a used Sportster. Makes no dif to me. Nothing as pure motorcycly as a Sportster. I told a friend who has a Road King about my Sporty when I got it, he said that he liked his better than the Road King for day-to-day stuff and he misses his. I've had lots of bikes, this is my first H-D. The quality is amazing. Cold blooded carb, but it fits me fine, plenty of power, good for 75-100 miles at a stretch. Harleys don't cost more. They're just worth more.
- wjohn1428, Dayton, Ohio

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2005-07-21 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I always wanted a Harley and never thought I could afford one. This Bike is not expensive and for what you pay you get a great bike. Trust me it is plenty fast if that is what you want and handles great. With the rubber mounted motor it does not vibrate at all. These bikes look great and get looks from people. I love this bike I can say no more. I cannot stay off of it. Everytime I turn around I want to get on it and take off. If you're looking for a great bike this is the one for you.
- MHilley, Anna, Texas

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2005-06-06 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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On March 30, 2004 I purchased a 2004 Harley Davidson Sportster XL883. This 883 Sportster is a wonderful motorcycle. I just love it. It remains stock. I use it as an errand bike around town and is serves its purpose fantastically. Super maneuverable in all traffic conditions. It works best in and around parking lots where tight turns and quick maneuvering is required. The TT type handlebars make it great for quick and short throw reactions. Perfect for cruising wherever you want to go!!
- Chuck Thiel, Spokane , Washington

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2005-01-24 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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My 2nd 883(first was a 2000-883). The rubber mounted engine is superior by far. The Sportster line in MY opionion is Harley's best even though it is priced at half of the others - simple and basic, very functional-pure fun. Have the dealer go from a #42 idle jet to a #48- it will cost 2mpg, but cold weather riding is much better and safer(no misfiring). Also drilling out the baffles with a hole saw will give it a throaty sound, louder but not too loud.
- j mohr, pleasant praie, Wisconsin

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2004-11-13 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought my first Harley an 883XL, I chose the 883 because I could not justify the extra cost of the 1200. I have always had Japanese sportbikes so this was a big change for me. I have noticed the fit and finish is nicer than I expected. At around 200 miles I noticed the oil idiot light on the dash was not lighting up when the ignition was turned on (engine off) the dealer assured me it was no big deal but I persisted and had the sending unit switch replaced and the light worked again. The light stopped working at around 700 miles (engine runs great) I was told that Sportsters do that and that oil is somtimes left around the switch and not to worry about it. So I'm not. The bike runs great and has plenty of power even for two up. Just had my 1000 mile service done and had the Harley synthetic oil put in it, now it shifts much smoother. Let's face it, Harleys aren't as reliable as Japanese bikes, but I must admit there's nothing like riding a real Harley and they now come with a two year warranty.
- Darren, Lee's Summit, Missouri

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2004-09-21 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Have now put about 500 miles on my new 883L; no problems with bike at all. Handles good for 883cc cruiser. Gets going with authority. I think it has decent passing power for its cc type. It isn't a bullet bike, but it does pretty good. Belt drive is quite nice... smoother than shaft or chain, better over bumps, without the chain oil all over the place. This is my first Harley, and I'm actually quite impressed. Just hoping it holds up as well as my old rice burners always have.
- tj emery, Tooele, Utah

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2004-07-13 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Just crossed the 3500 mile mark on my bike I just bought back in April. It is the middle of July now. This bike has been absolutely flawless. No mechanical problems at all. It still rides way smooth with the rubber mounted engine, and I am getting incredible gas mileage. I am getting around 48-50 mpg! I have ridden several times 125 miles without switching to reserve- I don't actually know how far it would go but I bet at least 135 before having to switch. I added passenger pegs, Harley touring seat, forward controls, quick remove mid sissy bar and luggage rack, and Harley sport shield. I also had baffles removed, rejet, and screaming eagle air cleaner. I noticed a definite improvement in power after doing those upgrades. I can cruise up the interstate at speeds between 75-80 mph easy. The revs are a little high but not bad. It has more high speed power after adding the better air breather. I took a 2500 mile trip last year with my then 1500 Vulcan Classic and I can easily see doing that same trip on this sportster. My only complaints are: Sportshield really isn't big enough. I might invest in a bigger removable one. Rear shocks even at full preload easily bottom out with a passenger who wieghs more then 135 lbs. I weigh 185. I have heard that progressive shocks would take care of this. I will wait til next season for that. Side winds do blow it around a little. I just rode a friend's Suzuki LC1500 tonight and it felt like a land yacht compared to my sportster. His bike seemed immovable in the wind. Sometimes I look for a 6th gear that isn't there when I hit about 65 mph. I have had the bike up to 105 and it could have gone faster but I chickened out. I think this high speed is a result of the better breathing since the stage 1 upgrade. After the 1000 mile checkup and service, I changed to synthetic oil at 2500 miles and I noticed the engine running smoother. It may be in my head though. It hasn't used a drop of oil in the last 1000 miles. All in all, I am very happy with this bike for me and the driving I am doing. If my wife wants to really ride with me a lot, I will probably end up with a Vulcan 1600 or something as a Harley big twin just isn't in the budget. I highly recommend this bike.
- patsue, Leon, Iowa

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2004-06-27 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought the XL883 after nearly purchasing an XL1200R. The price difference swayed my opinion. I have always ridden Japanese standards or sport cruisers (Nighthawks, Magnas, etc...) so the Sportster fits into my kind of riding perfectly. Performance: acceptable. The Sportster is not as quick as my last bike (99 Magna), but because of the torque, the bike leaves a stop light with authority, and easily maintains the 75-80 mph pace of the freeways. I have been riding the bike in the mountains outside of L.A. and have had a blast - the bike handles well and I haven't scraped the footpegs or any other part (yet!). Fuel Economy: Great. I get 42-44 mpg with around town riding and 55-58 mpg with freeway cruising. These numbers are with the new jet, air cleaner, and slip-ons. Comfort: Good. My longest rides are in the 3.5 hour range so far and I was comfortable on them. Although it might be nice to have a second foot position to stretch out the legs. Reliability/Quality: Great. As I have only had the bike 3 weeks I cannot attest to long term reliability/quality, but I have not had one problem with the bike's mechanical operation or quality of build. I use the bike for commuting occasionally and the smaller size (relative to other Harleys) makes it ideal for splitting lanes on the L.A. freeways. All in all I am happy with my purchase and considering I got the bike for a great price out the door, and I cannot understand why I didn't buy a Sportster in the past.
- Matthew Adair, Torrance, California

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2004-06-21 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Sorry if the title throws you off. Back in the 60's I owned a 250 Sprint and later a 350 Sprint H...Harley imports from Italy. Both great bikes, except the Sprint H would throw you to the moon if you didn't kick it all the way through while starting it. Now I have an 883 and I recommend this to anyone who wants an all-around bike. With a Sundowner seat...it's comfortable. With SE slip-ons...it's loud and rumbles low. At 70 mph...it's smooth as glass with the new rubber mounted engine. I've owned Hondas, Suzuki's, BSA's and BMW's and none of them got the attention this thing gets. The Harley-Davidson 883 XL is what it is...an honest, simple, no-frills, REAL motorcycle. Go buy one.
- Colin Keefe, Lincoln, Nebraska

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2004-06-16 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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After spending months deciding which bike to get and coming within about $300 of a 650 V-strom, I finally found my bike. It is quite possibly the perfect motorcycle for a daily commute, as well as a good all-around bike. I love it!
- Von, Beatrice, Nebraska

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2004-05-02 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I spent almost two years looking at bikes before I made my decision. I test drove a '03 Sporster and almost had my hands shaken off. Once I found out that the '04s were now rubber mounted I headed right back down to my dealership. The difference between this year and last year's models are like night and day. The bike is now much smoother. The motor is still rougher than a Honda and a lot of noise comes from the heads but HD has taken a big step in the right direction. It now has over 1300 miles of highway, desert, and mountain riding under its belt and so far it has been able to take most everything I threw at it. I'm 6' 3and 280 lbs. but can still get almost 90 mph on the highway with no engine mods. If you are smaller than I am don't let anyone tell you that you need a bigger bike. It was a little cramped until I put on the forward controls but now the bike fits my frame perfectly. Riding two up is fine until I want to head into the mountains where it becomes sluggish. The bike also handles quite well. My wife loves the bike and wants to learn how to ride because of it. When I step up to a Soft Tail she will get this one. This bike is great for both experienced and new riders.
- Anonymous , Boise, Idaho

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2004-04-20 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Well its exactly a month since I got my new sporty. It replaces my 1996 XL 883 that had well over 120,000klms (70,000miles) on the clock. I already have 3700klms (2000miles) on the new one and I've loved every minute of it. I've read a few other reviews here from people who are less than satisfied with their new Sportsters and I understand how they feel as I had quite a few "teething" problems with my first one. But once those problems were sorted out, they happened in the first 2000klms, the bike never missed a beat for the rest of the time I owned it. I am thankful my new 04 XL883 has given me no problems and expect a long and happy run with it. It's not as quick as my old one as it's gained quite a bit of weight over the rigid engine models but that's not really a problem for me. It's smooth to ride long distances and I've already done some short touring. I've changed the pipes, air cleaner and jets so it goes and sound like the Motor Co. intended but if you're looking for a bike with some muscle I would recommend the 1200.
- Phil Coster, Warragul, Australia

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2004-04-15 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is my first HD after owning a 2000 Suzuki LC1500 and a 2002 Honda GL1800. Both were great in their ways, but not fun to ride and very plastic. This time I opted for American steel and am very impressed with the build quality of the new Sportster. It is quite nimble and is very responsive for around town purposes and also on the highway. It is limited in range, however due to the small tank and you can't get too comfortable with the mid pegs, though, in my opinion mid pegs provide superior handling over forward controls. I added the Badlander seat and flatter, wider pegs to improve comfort and may add a removable shield. Other than that, I think I'll leave it stock and see how I like it as it nears the end of the 2 year warranty. Highly recommended.
- Jerry, Clyde, North Carolina

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2004-03-29 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I just got the bike. So far so good. I have almost 150 miles on it. It had 10 when I picked it up. I ordered it in January, and it just came in. It was complete in the factory on 3/11/04. Pretty cool. I am already transforming. I have to say that I amazed at the bike so far. You sit low, but ride tall. I can't wait to get to crank it up.
- JB, Viera, Florida

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2003-12-22 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Now mine for 3 months..joined my home of 03 Electra Glide, 04 RoadKing Custom and 04 Big Dog Ridgeback..and the Sporty is my "FUN" BIKE! Quick, easy to handle, great to run to / around town. Luv my Sporty
- Frank, Memphis, Tennessee

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2003-11-17 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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This is a great bike I Have had mine for a month and a half and put 4700 miles on it already. I ride it to work every day :)(I'm in California). It is the best thing that happened to me. I think I'm in love. And the chicks love it. Hope the wife didn't hear that (the I think I'm in love part). Stock exhaust is too quiet so I drilled out the baffels on the mufflers, much better.
- Jose, palmdale , California

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2003-09-22 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Sierra Red=Hippy Red Earth tone. Exhaust Sound=Low, Bassy, Not too Loud. Clutch=Rather tough pull. Vibrations=0-25, yes. 25mph+, None at all. Tank Graphics=80's hair metal. Acceleration=Quick Loud, machine like gear shifter. You know you did change gears, for sure. Sitting posture=Like a standard-mid pegs, low bars, straight up. Perfect bike so far. Got it today, 0nly 38 miles on it so far. Will post a follow up around 600 miles.
- JdubnaterEAD, Albany, Georgia

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