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Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 reviews

3.9 (69 reviews)
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Reliability
3.9
Overall quality
3.9
Performance
3.9
Comfort
3.9

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69 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Dean

Reviewed on July 30, 2023

Motorcycle reviewed 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
I’ve owned my 883 for 23 years. I’ve had other bikes BMW GS, V Strom and a couple of others but I’ve always kept the Sporty. Have ridden it around Australia twice. Taken it on dirt tracks and up rugged mountains. It’s a great bike if you set it up right. Get a comfy seat, longer shock... read more
I’ve owned my 883 for 23 years. I’ve had other bikes BMW GS, V Strom and a couple of others but I’ve always kept the Sporty. Have ridden it around Australia twice. Taken it on dirt tracks and up rugged mountains. It’s a great bike if you set it up right. Get a comfy seat, longer shocks and some saddlebags. If you’ve got little soft hands and a delicate bottom then well this bike is not for you. The 883 is a way better bike than the 1200 it’s better on fuel and cruises real nice at around 110kmph. Never had any issues. Change the fluids, and replace the battery every 5 years. The sportster is a great bike.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Eric L WINTERS

Oregon

Reviewed on October 2, 2022

Motorcycle reviewed 1999 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

4.5
I've had this bike for almost 5 yrs and starts everyone, replaced battery was getting a little weak,like showroom condition fresh tires, including bike cover and HD Helmet if interested call me at 971-293-9357 or ericwinters144@gmail.com make offer... read more
I've had this bike for almost 5 yrs and starts everyone, replaced battery was getting a little weak,like showroom condition fresh tires, including bike cover and HD Helmet if interested call me at 971-293-9357 or ericwinters144@gmail.com make offer
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Winterhawk

Seattle, Washington

Reviewed on July 22, 2005

Motorcycle reviewed 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
This is a great, classic bike for around town. I ride 6+ hours often so the XLH 883 turned out to be way too small and underpowered for me. It's an awesome looking bike but I'd recommend it for folks under 6' and looking for something to cruise around town in. Since then moved on to an FXD!... read more
This is a great, classic bike for around town. I ride 6+ hours often so the XLH 883 turned out to be way too small and underpowered for me. It's an awesome looking bike but I'd recommend it for folks under 6' and looking for something to cruise around town in. Since then moved on to an FXD!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Steve

San Dimas, California

Reviewed on April 29, 2005

Motorcycle reviewed 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
2002 883 Sportster with 15,000 miles and not a drop of oil on my garage floor. I use regular 87 octane gas and change the oil every 4,000 miles. The only mechanical failures were front turn signal light bulb and highbeam indicator bulb. I replaced them, but only found bulb from an H-D dealer for $3.00! I fina... read more
2002 883 Sportster with 15,000 miles and not a drop of oil on my garage floor. I use regular 87 octane gas and change the oil every 4,000 miles. The only mechanical failures were front turn signal light bulb and highbeam indicator bulb. I replaced them, but only found bulb from an H-D dealer for $3.00! I finally replaced my Dunlop OEM front tire after 14,000 miles. Man those tires last! I had a new one installed for $91... what a deal! So it vibrates a little, I Love It!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Marc

Suwanee, Georgia

Reviewed on April 23, 2004

Motorcycle reviewed 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

4.0
My wife surprised me with an early birthday present and it was a used 2003 XLH 883 Vivid Black beauty. This bike was nicely chromed and I have added a bit myself. he bike is a good value, looks good and sounds, well, incredibly awesome. But alas, I have a bad back and sciatica and this is not the bike for me... read more
My wife surprised me with an early birthday present and it was a used 2003 XLH 883 Vivid Black beauty. This bike was nicely chromed and I have added a bit myself. he bike is a good value, looks good and sounds, well, incredibly awesome. But alas, I have a bad back and sciatica and this is not the bike for me. On short runs, no problems. Bar hopping, no problems. 60 mile runs with a long break, no problems. BUT, a 270 miles on twisty back roads with a few short breaks, I could hardly walk when I got home. Another complaint, and I only have a few, is riding on the highway. Anything above 70 and it asks for a 6th gear. When I ride to the office in Downtown Atlanta, which isn't very often, I keep it at 68 or so and she is happy. If you want a good 'round town cruiser, this is a great Harley to get. If you want to travel, you'll need something else.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
2.0
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Jimi Doyle

Gilbert, Arizona

Reviewed on March 30, 2004

Motorcycle reviewed 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
My bike handles great. I have had no problems since the day I bought it new. When I first purchased it, it set for the first year, and didn't go far the second. But this bike performs and handles just as good as most in its class and more. I build custom bikes and I've enjoyed building this one up.... read more
My bike handles great. I have had no problems since the day I bought it new. When I first purchased it, it set for the first year, and didn't go far the second. But this bike performs and handles just as good as most in its class and more. I build custom bikes and I've enjoyed building this one up.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
3.0
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steve davis

san dimas, California

Reviewed on January 25, 2004

Motorcycle reviewed 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
I've owned my XLH for 6 months now. Bought it used with 3100 miles. I love commuting on it I ride about 250 miles a week. The bike runs perfect with no problems except the occasional exhaust cough. Most mechanics tell me its normal because Harley leans out the carbs to pass federal EPA standards. Go with your... read more
I've owned my XLH for 6 months now. Bought it used with 3100 miles. I love commuting on it I ride about 250 miles a week. The bike runs perfect with no problems except the occasional exhaust cough. Most mechanics tell me its normal because Harley leans out the carbs to pass federal EPA standards. Go with your feelings and get one! Price or the Style! On The Bike that rescued Harley Davidson in 1957 from The Brits and Japanese!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Ben

Beaverton, Oregon

Reviewed on August 26, 2003

Motorcycle reviewed 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
Boy, from reading these other reviews, one can sure tell that Sportsters tend to polarize the ownership experience. You either despise 'em or you adore 'em. I guess I'm in the latter category. In September 2002 I re-entered the biking game after an 18-year absence (I'm 47). I had always been infatuated wi... read more
Boy, from reading these other reviews, one can sure tell that Sportsters tend to polarize the ownership experience. You either despise 'em or you adore 'em. I guess I'm in the latter category. In September 2002 I re-entered the biking game after an 18-year absence (I'm 47). I had always been infatuated with Sportsters as a kid, but they were far out of reach financially and had a pretty sour quality reputation. When I decided to buy another bike last year, I researched Triumphs, Hondas, Yamahas, Moto Guzzis, and a bunch of others, but my thoughts kept gravitating back to the Sportster. It wasn't perfect, but it just pulled at my heart strings. I didn't particularly care for the paint treatment on the 2003 models, but my dealer had a nearly perfect glossy black 2002 XL 883 with less than 2000 miles. I bought it and rode it all last winter and spring. The Sporty was a superb country lane cornering machine, it sounded beautiful, it leaked not one molecule of oil, it was ridiculously cheap to insure, and it looked marvelous. The downside was that it was really vibey at speed, so freeway riding was quite uncomfortable. Yes, the rocker boxes tended to spit oil out their breather tubes when you got on the throttle, and this oil dripped from the air cleaner onto the rear pipe's heat shield. The first time this happened it freaked me out, but I learned to take the air cleaner cover off every other ride and wipe it out. No problem after that. I loved that Sporty, but I needed a touring machine. I traded my black beauty on a new Electra Glide in March. The 'Glide is great, but that Sportster will live in my memory as the best bike I ever owned.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

skip cooper

baltimore, Maryland

Reviewed on December 27, 2002

Motorcycle reviewed 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

3.0
I will start by telling you that I have 35 years riding experience on all types of bikes and I have no brand loyalty. I just love motorcycles. The best thing about the 883 sportster is also the worse thing about it. Namely the engine. Its a great engine with lots of low end grunt and loads of potential but by... read more
I will start by telling you that I have 35 years riding experience on all types of bikes and I have no brand loyalty. I just love motorcycles. The best thing about the 883 sportster is also the worse thing about it. Namely the engine. Its a great engine with lots of low end grunt and loads of potential but by present day standards it vibrates like hell. I find the bike to be painfull to ride at speeds over 65mph for any length of time. Its just as well because the gas tank is so small your not going far anyway. I tried an extended run at 75mph on I95 near washington d.c. and actually pulled off the highway because my butt was tingling so bad that it hurt. There was a BMW dealer right at the exit and I was so digusted with the thing that I rode home on a used BMW K75! If you want to limit yourself to short rides at moderate speeds and enjoy the rewards of hopping up an engine or adding custom features this is a good bike. Just remember that the bike is limited by any modern definition.
Reliability
3.0
Quality
3.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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hochreiter

Dover, New Hampshire

Reviewed on December 20, 2002

Motorcycle reviewed 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 view listing

5.0
I really like the Sportster. The vibration would be bad if I wanted to have a lexus. I've done two 12 hour days (Dover, NH to Slippery Rock, PA) and did not feel the machine was too small or underpowered. The HD aftermarket has enabled me to make it into a comfortable ride. No mechanical or electrical p... read more
I really like the Sportster. The vibration would be bad if I wanted to have a lexus. I've done two 12 hour days (Dover, NH to Slippery Rock, PA) and did not feel the machine was too small or underpowered. The HD aftermarket has enabled me to make it into a comfortable ride. No mechanical or electrical problems. (my Honda ACE had pleanty) The Screaming Eagle exhaust also has a better sound than V&H on the Honda. If you are worried about image the only big twins that laugh at a sportster are those that rolled off the trailer.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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