Any Advice on 883?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by gunsablazin, May 29, 2009.

  1. gunsablazin

    gunsablazin Member

    I do not currently own a bike of any sort and have never even ridden a Harley, but I have always wanted a Sportster. I have saved up enough money to start looking seriously at used bikes and an 883 seems to be in my price range. I don't want to spend more than about $4,000 or so, and that means a 2000-2003 is about as new as I will get. What I want to know is are there any issues with these bikes I should know about before I buy? Would it be better to save more and get a 1200? Most of my riding would be solo and out on country roads, I weigh 190 lbs. is the 883 enough bike power wise? Any help for this Harley newbie would be appreciated.
  2. adamk

    adamk Member

    My budget was about the same as yours.

    One important thing to know is that Harley didn't start rubber mounting the engines until 2004. I test rode a 1200, and it simply shook a bit too much for me.

    Because of the smaller engine, the 883 shakes quite a bit less. I ended up buying a beautiful 2000 883 for a great price and have been happy with it.

    My bike came with an upgrade air intake and upgraded pipes. It's not a sport bike, but I haven't had any problems with the performance.

    Bike depreciate slowly, so if you decide you need the bigger bike you could always sell it and upgrade. So, I'd recommend just test riding an 883 and see if it's good enough for you.
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I have a 93 883 and its a great bike it does vibrate a bit but thats part of its character have ridden it from Scotland to Germany and the length and breadth of the UK without any real problem
    it handles well and is ideally suited to the roads in my part of the country no straight roads lots of bends
    they are simple and easy to maintain
    they do suffer from evo engine problems of cylinder base gaskets blowing and lower rocker gaskets blowing but neither of these are difficult to fix
    in 1994 the Sportster had a bit of a revamp with changes to a lot of parts and stayed the pretty much same through to 2004
    1996 Saw a change in the hand controls (across the Harley range) and the introduction in the Sportster of electronic speedo
    so the years you are looking at are a well tried and tested design where most of the flaws had been ironed out

  4. oseita

    oseita Member

    I bought an 04 883 and have had no problems with it. Sure I wanted a bigger bike since I weigh 300 pounds but the 883 handles my big weight well and it sure was affordable, which means alot in these hard times. As Hobbit mentioned I can still hit 80 easy with it . I do plan to stage it when I can afford too but even stock it runs well.:reyes
  5. gunsablazin

    gunsablazin Member

    Thanks for the info guys! I think I would rather have a nice 883 than a ragged out 1200, for the same money. :)
  6. Carroll B

    Carroll B Member

    I have ridden my son's 2002 that is solid mounted and mine is 2005 and is rubber mounted. The rubber mount makes all the difference in the world, a lot less vibration. I think that in 2004 or 2005 they increased the diameter of the rear axle and it helped make the frame a little stiffer. Yes I would like to have a big twin, but my 883 is paid for, gives me 58-59 mpg if I stay out of the throttle, and has no problem cruising with the big twins. Only thing I wish it had was a little more storage since I use it to commute to work. I like the looks of the peanut tank but would like the bigger tank on the custom for longer range. If you research the models on line you can find out the improvements between the various years.

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

    883 is a fine bike for a solo rider on a budget, but do not discount buying used, as there are always good deals happening at the HD dealer, end user local and internet sales are all good places to start. New is nice, but in this uncertain economy, there are even better deals for some pretty nice HD bikes. Do your homework, enjoy a few weekend test rides HD dealer, and get some different models under your belt. If you do not have the credentials (permit, insurance etc.) or rider experience courses like MSF or Riders' Edge courses will get your skills on track and energy level way up!
  8. jharhod

    jharhod New Member

    yeah i would say 04' i have the 03 and the rubber mounts would be heaven
  9. karl55

    karl55 Member

    Some great advice on this site, and all is true. One thing I can remember from my past experiences when you buy a small motorcycle after a year you are going to want the bigger one. This has been proven time and time again the dealers love upgrades that is how they make their big money. My Advice if you can wait and save a little more money I would buy at least the 1200 sportster. In the end whatever you buy you will enjoy the ride, and will always have the friends on this site to help with any questions about your new Harley Davidson motorcycle. "Live to ride - ride to live"
  10. Paladin

    Paladin Member

    I have a 2000 model 883 (i think, might be a bore job) bought used about 8 months ago. It vibrates like (EDIT) and leaks oil out the rocker boxes, but I still love it. There's nothing like that Harley torque and exhaust sound. :D

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2009