Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles Reviews (67)
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Read about the experiences consumers and owners have had with Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles Reviews and view their reviews and ratings on various aspects of these motorcycles.

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2005-07-22 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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!
- Winterhawk, Seattle, Washington

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2005-04-29 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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!
- Steve, San Dimas, California

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2004-04-23 2003 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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.
- Marc, Suwanee, Georgia

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2004-03-30 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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.
- Jimi Doyle, Gilbert, Arizona

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2004-01-25 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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!
- steve davis, san dimas, California

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2003-08-26 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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.
- Ben, Beaverton, Oregon

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2002-12-27 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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.
- skip cooper, baltimore, Maryland

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2002-12-20 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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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.
- hochreiter, Dover, New Hampshire

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2002-12-17 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I just turned over 10.000 miles on my 2002 XLH. The bike is everything I wanted and then some. Handles and runs great. I just performed the 1200 conversion and I litterly have power to burn. There are a few things that must be done immediatly. The seat must be replaced as soon as possible, and the air cleaner and pipes as well. Then customise to your hearts desire. I would recommend this bike to anyone.
- Ben, Tracy, California

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2002-10-20 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Put a deposit on one of these great new machines at one of the larger dealers in Denver. Bike promised within a month. Dealer called me to tell me it was in....I was of course excited and looking forward to the delivery. When ready to write out check after getting all the bs about the warranty etc, was told it was $3000 more than contract. Then told there was some "confusion" about my order. Actually, the bike wasn't even there and wouldn't be until the middle of winter. Just wanted to sell me a more expensive bike. This "bait and switch" stuff is sickening. Would be interested if you had similar experiences. I found my bike for the same price at another dealership, and this time got some honest people to deal with.
- joe, denver, Colorado

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2002-10-18 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I purchased an "02" 883 XL in September. I have put about 3000 miles on it since then, commuting about 80 miles daily on Southern California freeways.I was astounded at how gutless it was on my initial ride home. But, I quickly had the carb jetted, put on a screaming eagle breather kit, and added slip on exhaust. Now it goes like a raped ape. Sure it leaks oil at the carb, thats called blow-by, and its a result of driving at to low of RPM's. Its not a big twin, but thats not what I paid for either.
- Ron D., Alta Loma, California

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2002-09-30 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Rode this 883 sporty for a few weeks,,it was a loaner from a buddy who also bought a Soft tail,he was gonna sell me this contraption..thew handling is ok,,the power isnt there,the ride sucks ape nuts and Harleys still shake too damn much,,cant recomend for a decent ride,its a poser bike that even the guys on the big twins laugh at!! I wound up buying a 1999 Suzuki marauder,much better bike for less and will blow the doors off the sporty!!
- John C, Shaftsbury, Vermont

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2002-09-14 2000 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Had one a few months ago, until I traded it in for a Ducati. Back then, I thought it was a great bike, but compared to the Ducati.....it just doesn't measure up. Still, it's great for just cruising around and getting people to notice you, especially if you install screamin eagle pipes. don't get me wrong I loved this bike, and compared to other cruisers I've ridden like the Honda magna, and Suzuki intruder, this one is definitely a keeper. Especially because of the aftermarket parts available for it. First thing I would do is increase the hp to about 80 horsepower. Then, you'll have a pretty nice ride, plus, it's American!! And there is no greater sign of patriotism than ridng a Harley. Harley Davidsons are the "Cruiser" class, where as "Ducati" is the sportbike class. Can't really go wrong with either one.
- Alberto Carreon, New York, New York

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2002-08-28 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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3 weeks a go I purchased a new 2002 883 hugger for my wife. It was a left over, so I got a great deal on it. Under powered for me. She loves it. The stock seat gets uncomfortable very quickly. Definately needs highway pegs or forward controls ASAP. It runs great and have had no issues other than it's hard to find neutral.
- rider, worcester, Massachusetts

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2002-08-27 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Both myself & my wife were looking to return back to riding bikes, We owned Triumphs in the past and were keen to start back into things. We never made it to the Triumph store instead we ended up with a his and hers bare bones basic 883. Sure its got some minor problems, but its no bother to change. The first this is drop the seat is god dam awful. I use a delux touring seat and its really great. The wife uses a similar model with the backrest combination. I have forward mounted controls a bigger tank and small speedway bars. I really love this bike and we have had nothing but smiles from people when we ride together. Its woth looking over.
- Bob & Val, Tasminia, Australia

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2002-08-20 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I waited 9 months for nothing but headaches. Yes, I am a victim of that Harley image because I had to have one. I got oil coming up into the air filter, rough idle, choppy ride and lethargic pickup. The dealer is of little help. It spends more time in the shop than on the road. If this is what the Harley image is about, than no thanks.
- Albert, Newark, Delaware

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2002-07-16 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE CLASSIC IT IS A WELL BUILT QUALITY SOLID MACHINE, HAD MY BIKE FOR A YEAR, DONT LISTERN TO THE WINGERS, I HAVE HAD A SMALL OIL LEAK (WHICH CAN HAPPEN TO ANY BIKE AS IT DID TO MY YAMAHA) WHICH WAS FIXED UNDER WARANTEE, EVERY TIME I RIDE IT IT BRINGS A SMILE TO MY FACE AND THE TORQUE YOU FEEL IS GREAT ITS MUCH MORE PLEASING THAN THE BUZZ YOU GET FROM A JAPPAHARLEY, I HAVE CHANGED VERY LITTLE AS YET JUST HIGHWAY PEGS, THE SEAT SEEMS OK TO ME. IT DOES TAKE A LITTLE TIME FOR EVERYTHING TO WEAR IN (DONE JUST OVER 7000KMS}. I RECOMMEND JOINING YOUR LOCAL HOG CHAPTER AS YOU CAN GET SO MUCH OUT OF IT RIDES, TECHNICAL ADVICE ECT. NO OTHER MANUFACTURE OFFERS THIS KIND OF SUPPORT AND OUR LOCAL DEALER HAS A BARBY EVERY SATURDAY MORNING FOR HOG AND NON HOG HARLEY RIDERS
- GUY, PERTH, Australia

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2002-07-02 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Hi..I haven't ridden yet, but I just bought it today...Picking it up tomoroow..Paid a little over list but all these reviews are depressing me...Did I make a mistake..Email me
- Mike, Minnesota

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2002-06-13 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I bought an 883CC, 2002 Sportster in September. The motorcycle has been ridden less than 6000 miles and is presently in the shop for the second time for oil leak problems in different places. I still like the bike, but am very disappointed and getting very apprehensive since warranty runs out in less that three months.
- H. Jonkers, Santa Maria, , California

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2002-05-16 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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Just bougth this bike. i like everything about it. enuff power for both me & my g/f. its comfortable, responsive & affordable! changed the seat as well
- Michael, Dover, Ohio

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2002-05-15 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I just bought the 883 sportster about a month ago. First HD after owning 6 japanese bikes. The difference is indescribable. I feel like im on a real motorcycle now. I put new bars, forward controls, se pipes, air box, and rejetted the carb. NOW it runs like an 883 ought to. it also sounds pretty darn good with the new pipes. the factory pipes are a waste of metal and should be changed immediately. As for being considered by some to be a "girls bike"... to that i say BS! I weigh 145 lbs, and this bike has more than enough power and torque for me. If youre a fat old man, then maybe you OUGHT to buy something other than the sportster. but if you like raw and classic styling, strong performance, at a semi-reasonable price, then the sportster is your bike.
- chip, charleston, South Carolina

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2002-05-04 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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If you want a HD and can't afford more than $10k then get an 883. I went Japanese cruiser and rode for 3yrs, 42000 miles. I am glad I went Japanese first. I can compare the two. I now have a HD and won't ever turn down another path. The vibration is not the buzz found on Japanese cruisers, it is a solid throb of the engine. At 75mph both Japanese and HD cruisers need a sixth gear, one buzzes the other vibrates, both are annoying. Having the High Flow Air Filter Kit and Screamin' Ealge pipes (with proper tuning) will reduce (but not eliminate) the stock vibration caused by an inefficiently running engine. The Screamin Eagle mufflers are quieter than a V&H set on a Japanese cruiser. It is not a smooth luzury Jaguar, it is a real, bare bones, nothing fake, American motorcycle.
- Stefan, Seacoast, New Hampshire

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2002-04-30 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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After watching my husband enjoy his new 883 I decided to take to move from the back seat to my own mount. Well I have my own now some 8 months later. The stock standard seat is total rubbish, so the first thing you should do is change it. I have a badlander seat. Drop the peg for foward mounted ones and try and get the service to rubber mount the engine. What you end up with is a very very good all purpose bike. I would suggest replaceing the tank with a bigger one if your doing a lot of travelling out of town. As a woman rider I am over the moon with my 883 and would recommed it to anybody interested in a cruiser.
- Trixie, NSW, Australia

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2002-04-17 2002 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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I originally went to my local dealers for a Dyna, but the Harley tax was too stiff..$1500 over retail and no breaks..So I bought a plain 883 xlh..converted it to a 1200 (using a kit), 29 tooth pulley, balance master kit, knocked out the baffles, yost power tube jet kit, Sundowner seat and Autolite platinum plugs and Amzoil synthetic...Great power, great gas milage, light weight, can cruise at 65-70 mph all day with 50 mpg...best of all I am laughing all the way to the bank. The dealer did me a favor with the Harley tax...he saved me big dollars..I did all the work myself....
- william barroso, miami , Florida

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2002-04-16 2001 Harley-Davidson XLH Sportster 883 Motorcycles View Listings

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After my Buell Blast! was in the shop two out of the five first months I had it, I decided to trade it in for a 2001 Sportster. The Sportster has always started fine, but we are now on our second oil leak. With only 1500 miles on the bike I think two oil leaks in two different places is unacceptable. Harleys are great and all that, but after all the problems I have had with the Blast! and now the Sportster, they don't seem to be worth the inflated price.
- W.C. Allred, Santa Rosa, California

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