Which 883 to buy?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Carroll B, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. Carroll B

    Carroll B Member

    I have my mind made up on an 883. It will be used for the 30 mile work commute and some weekend riding in the country with friends. I don't need a bigger bike as I have a Corvette for long trips.

    Within 20 miles of home there are two almost identical bikes for sale. Both are 2005, the mileage is within 700 miles of each other (one has 3.3K and one 4K miles), both the same color, and both the same price.

    One has a sundowner seat, large passenger backrest with large luggage rack, security system, extra chrome, mid controls, highway pegs, Python mufflers with screaming eagle stage one kit installed by dealer, and the small 3.2 gal. tank. This bike is being sold for health reasons with the woman who rode it. I was told the seat and backrest cost $700 yet I have seen the seat alone for $250. I have no idea what the mufflers and stage one kit would cost if dealer installed, nor how much extra was paid for the chrome.

    The second bike has a smaller luggage rack with smaller back rest, the standard seat, Cycle Shack mufflers with jet kit, 4.3 gal. tank, forward controls, and clip-on windshield. This one is being sold because he bought a bigger bike and his wife will not let him keep two. This XL883C is currently not tagged.

    I hope to see and ride the bikes this weekend but it is a toss-up right now. I like the bigger tank, mid controls, and windshield on the XL883C. But I like the sundowner seat with large backrest for the passenger, larger luggage rack, and extra chrome.

    Is there anything else I can look for that would make one a better deal then the other? What would have been the difference in original price between the two models? What does it cost to install forward controls if I buy the bike without them?
  2. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Some additional questions:
    1) How often will you be carrying a passenger?
    2) How often will you be taking a long trip where you would need the larger luggage rack?
    3) Maintenance records on both bikes?
    4) Is the windshield a big deal for you?
    5) Who seems like they will negotiate a bit more?

    Never an easy decision buying a bike - every time you come to grips with one issue, a new one pops up! Good luck!
  3. Carroll B

    Carroll B Member

    Most of the time I will ride solo.
    Rack will be used to carry lunch, jacket, shoes, etc. to work, and maybe a trip to the grocery store.
    Good point on the maintenance records, I'll ask.
    Figured the windshield would make it more comfortable for early spring and late fall riding. I see there are plenty listed on Ebay at a resonable price.
    Haven't tried to negociate, will do that after I see the bikes, hear them run, and see what condition they are in. At this point I don't know how deserate they are to sell them.

    I rode bikes for 21 years but haven't been on one in the past 16. Never rode a Harley so I'm not familiar with them.
  4. Dr. Dolittle

    Dr. Dolittle Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Windshields are great and make sure you get a quick detach kind. Not sure if the ebay versions are or not. Had the HD model on my XL1200C and it was great - on or off in 10 seconds!

    As far as which is more negotiable, you know the second guy has his wife bugging him every day about owning 2 bikes. Bet he's really willing to deal!
  5. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    i like the ideal of the bigger tank i would see if he would deal as said
  6. The Bad Man's Angel

    The Bad Man's Angel Active Member

    The 883 is not a bike for riding 2-up, the Sundowner seat isn't that great (think Mustang for seats) The bigger tank is a plus. The HD quick detach windshield is the way to go for that.
    Buy which ever bike you can get the best deal on and spend the $$ saved to make the bike yours and not what someone else wanted.

    DYNAGUY Active Member

    DONT BUY NEITHER ONE!!!!!! The average time anyone keeps a sporster is 6 months. You will want something BIGGER. Dont say or think you want cause you will. That 883 at 65/70 mph will sound like it is goimg to blow. You will not like it.
  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    Sorry but I have to agree with dynaguy. Not a whole lot of new to harley riders stay with the sportsters. Usually the upgrade is to a dyna and usually withing the first year of ownership when they do upgrade.
    Some are very happy with the sportster and stay with it.
  9. Sharky1948

    Sharky1948 Junior Member

    I'm trying to have it both ways! I have a 1200C (purchased last October) and love it. It's fun to throw around in the twisties. But, for the cruising and touring, my wife and I have an eye on an RKC. Trying to justify not selling the Sporty.
  10. USMCCWO5

    USMCCWO5 Junior Member

    My wife has a XL1200N with a small fuel tank. It is her biggest complaint. In fact we had to stop for gas before heading home yesterday after one ride (gas light was on). We filled up before we left!

    I did install the HD windshield, she loves it, and I never ride my RKC without the windshield installed. My head wobbles like a bobble-head doll.

    Now, I haven't totally convinced her, but she is looking at the Softtail Deluxe and is barely over 2000 miles on the Sportster.

    Your Corvette will collect dust like my '66 Fastback Mustang does after you are bitten by the HD bug. Just my two cents.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008