Small Iron, Big Hearted Motorcycle
The Harley-Davidson Sportster family has added a new younger motorcycle sibling for 2009: the 883 Iron. The Iron now rounds out the motorcycle lineage and makes the perfect sinister compliment to the polished 883 Low and 883 Custom. As low as the Low and dressed in more blacked-out components than any other Harley, the Iron delivers hard-hitting motorcycle looks in a smaller, tighter package.
Distinguishing features include the black powder-coated Evolution engine, chopped rear fender, black headlamp visor, low-rise drag style bars and solo seat. Once in the saddle, the welcoming 25.3 inch seat height makes it easy for riders of all sizes and skillsets to feel comfortable and the reach to the somewhat narrow bars places you in the ready position. With the HD multifunction speedometer and the open road ahead, the Iron begs to cruise hard from destination to destination.
Firing up the 883 takes only a brief touch on the starter and immediately demonstrates the advanced Evolution side-draft fuel injection that helps this legacy motor run flawlessly. The 883 packs enough punch to keep up with the big boys and cruises effortlessly at 50, 60, 70 or 80 mph. On our test track, we tapped out the Iron at 109mph on the clock, but we also realized over 50 mpg on the open highway-as we rolled past a Prius or two waving only our middle finger in exuberation.
Around town, the Iron jaunts from stop to stop. The suspension works well over the small bumps but gets jolted over larger road deformities. There is no storage, so wear a jacket with some pockets. But the point being, the Iron 883 is all about looking and feeling good. Bystanders marvel at the black, 13-spoke cast aluminum wheels, black front fork gaiters and side-mounted license plate. The black finishes on the engine and the body parts are also noticeably thick, and look as though they’ll easily last for the life of the bike.
Last but not least, the 883 Iron is incredibly easy to ride whether it’s around town or on the open highway. The motor’s linear torque pulls strongly through the power range, and the 5-speed transmission is easy to use and shifts with little effort. We enjoyed several long and satisfying days aboard the Iron, with it only getting slightly rattled around very twisty, bumpy roads because of the somewhat limited suspension and ground clearance. But on the open road, just dial in the power, lock an opened throttle position, and the Iron almost drives itself. Almost too good to be labeled entry-level, the Iron is an excellent and rewarding Harley-Davidson with an edgy, rugged styling that will always turn heads.
Link to: Our Harley-Davidson 883 Iron Radio Review
Read: Our Harley-Davidson 883 Iron Preview
| Rake Steering Head/Trail|
29.6° / 4.60 in.
Bore x Stroke
Miles per Gallon
| Gear Ratio (overall)|
53.89 cu. in.
3.00 in. x 3.812 in.
55.00 ft lbs @ 3500 rpm
Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
60 hwy / 45 city
Chain, 57/34 ratio
| Black, 13-Spoke Cast Aluminum|
| Black, 13-Spoke Cast Aluminum|
| Handlebar-mounted electronic speedometer with odometer, time-of-day|
clock on odometer, dual tripmeter, low fuel warning light, low oil
pressure light, engine diagnostics readout, LED indicator lights,
hazard warning integrated into self-canceling turn signal controls
| High beam, neutral, low oil pressure, turn signals, engine diagnostics,|
low fuel warning, low battery, security system (optional)
| Lean Angle (per SAEJ1168)|
Dual-piston front, single-piston rear
30° / 29°
Straight cut, shorty exhaust with dual mufflers