The Latest American Iron
Call it a Nightster 883 if you like, but the new Harley-Davidson Iron 883 definitely gives the sometimes-disparaged 883 line a tough new look. The motorcycle is the first 883 in Harley’s rebellious Dark Custom line, which includes the Cross Bones, Street Bob, Fat Bob, Night Train and, yes, the Nightster.
Favoring the blacked-out look over chrome, the Iron 883 is a small motorcycle-we were able to sample its compact, low-seat ergonomics first hand-but it unquestionably has a menacing look. Harley went old-school, with the bobbed fenders, side-mount license plate, fork gaiters, solo seat, straight cut shorty dual exhausts, and drag-style handlebars. In person, the bike definitely has street cred, something that many believe the 883 Sportster line has been lacking. It is available in Black Denim and Brilliant Silver Denim, but we would go with the black-it’s a Dark Custom, after all.
“The Iron 883 defies the plastic conventions of other motorcycles at this price,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s got old school style, a new school ride and gives the owner a platform for creative customization.”
The EFI-equipped 883cc Evolution motor is designed to produce a broad torque curve for better in-town performance. The wheels are 13-spoke cast aluminum, and the 16-inch rear tire drops the seat height to just over 25 inches. Handling should be good, thanks to a relatively narrow 150 rear tire, 19-inch front wheel and mid-mount pegs. Rubber mounting of the motor helps isolate the rider from the twin’s vibration.
Clearly a play for the younger market, Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom series has the youngest average age for Harley-Davidson buyers, according to the Motor Company.