Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 by zhangyun


									       OLD V NEW

                                                                                                                            DAVIDSON                                                     DAVIDSON
                                                                                                                          SPORTSTER 883                                                SPORTSTER 883
                                                                                                                          Raw-edged Harley feel                                        Less vibes, better brakes
                                                                                                                          Heavy clutch, poor handling                                  Too refined for a Harley?

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883
It’s been the entry-level Hog for                                                                           PERFORMANCE
                                                                                                            Mark J: “The 2004 883 feels totally
                                                                                                                                                      Honda Superdream, so although I
                                                                                                                                                      found the 2005 883 Sportster faster
                                                                                                                                                                                                    stiffer. A pre-2004 stock 883 can feel
                                                                                                                                                                                                    a bit heavy to ride. The Customs feel

decades, but are the 2004-05
                                                                                                            different to any Sportster before. The    than the older 883 and with better            different because they have the wider
                                                                                                            engine is smoother, makes a bit more      brakes, the 2002 Custom I bought              rear wheel and kicked-out forks. The
                                                                                                            power and torque – and the rubber         was a revelation in power, braking            2004-on 883s have superior brakes –

883s the ultimate development                                                                               mountings mean it doesn’t vibrate as
                                                                                                            much as the older models.
                                                                                                                                                      and handling. I’m more than happy
                                                                                                                                                      with the 883’s performance.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                    you can ride the later 883s a bit harder
                                                                                                                                                                                                    on twisty roads.”

of the Sportster concept?
                                                                                                              “But my ’91 Sportster had a really
                                                                                                            raw quality about it. The whole riding    Mark L: “The older 883 had a sharper,         RIDING
                                                                                                            experience was involving, the bike        more responsive feel than the later           Mark J: “The later 883 has an edge
                                                                                                            shook at stop-lights and the mirrors      Sportsters. For me, the older bike has        when it comes to handling and braking
SPORTSTER 883 OWNERS’ PANEL                                                                                 vibrated.
                                                                                                              “The 883 isn’t a performance bike,
                                                                                                                                                      more guts, more kick to it. The later
                                                                                                                                                      bikes aren’t quite such raw fun to ride.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    – the brakes on the ’04/’05 models are
                                                                                                                                                                                                    in a different dimension.
MARK JACKSON                        DEBBIE CROOK                        MARK LIGGINS                        but it has the type of performance          “If you modify the 883 – old or               “The later model also has a lighter
                   MARK is from                           BIE
                                                     DEBBIE is a                         MARK works as      you can use, especially on crowded        new model – it becomes a different            clutch action, and a slicker gearbox.
                   Auckland NZ,                      45-year-old                         a sales advisor,   British roads. Because it’s an unfaired   animal. Mine had a Stage 1 kit on it          The 883C model also has a larger fuel
                   and is working                    process                             is based in        motorcycle, you feel like you’re going    – performance air filter, louder pipes,       tank, which is very handy.”
                   in the UK as a                    technician at                       Sheffield and      fast enough most of the time.”            42mm flat-slide carb. Fitting the carb
                   valeter/driver                    Ilford                              owned a 1999                                                 totally transformed the bike. Every           Debbie: “My Custom model has
while travelling the world. The     Laboratories in Cheshire. She has   Sportster 883, which he             Debbie: “I got into biking a few          Sportster should have at least the Stage      the small fuel tank – I rarely go
35-year-old has ridden several      demo-ridden the later 883s, but     modified extensively. The 37-       years ago and I’m definitely not          1 kit on it to make it breathe better.        more than 100 miles between fill-
examples of the 883 Sportster in    bought a 2002 model back in         year-old has also demo-ridden       your typical knee-down sports bike          “The later models handle better             ups. The fuel range might stop me
the last 15 years.                  June 2005.                          the 2004 and 2005 Sportster.        rider. My previous bike was a 250cc       overall; the frame and swingarm are           touring abroad on the bike, but I

  OLDER Sportsters offer a good-value
  introduction to Harley ownership

                                                                                    OLD                                   NEW                                    OLD                                     NEW

                                                                                    CAUTION advised when braking         STOPPERS are less rudimentary,         WASHING machine on spin cycle            YOU won’t be shakin’ all over
                                                                                    as Harley stoppers aren’t the best   but are still hardly high-tech         is unlikely to leave fillings in place   with the rubber-mounted motor

     MO    CYC
                                                                                                              MODEL GUIDE                           ONE DAY WITH...
                                                                                                                                                    MOTO TWIN TRIUMPH THRUXTON
                                                                                                              Although around since 1985,
                                                                                                                                                  MOTO TWIN have bestowed
                                                                                                              Harley-Davidson begins to           some of their tastiest bolt-ons
                                                                                                              market the Sportster 883 more       on the Thruxton – at least it
                                                                                                              vigorously in Europe with more         ks
                                                                                                                                                  looks like it’ll get to the cafe first
                                                                                                              and more bikes appearing on
                                                                                                              UK roads. The 1995 model costs
                                                                                                              £5500 OTR.

                                                                                                              883 Sportster Custom launched,
                                                                                                              featuring a range of accessories,
                                                                                                              and styling details, as standard.

                                                                                                              883R launched (£5800) with
                                                                                                              retro styling and more power for
                                                                                                              ’02-’03 model years only.

                                                                                                              Major update: rubber-mounted,
                                                                                                              engine, lighter clutch, stiffer
                                                                                                              frame, new brakes, 883 Custom
                                                                                                              adds a larger tank, lower seat,
                                                                                                              fatter rear wheel and revised
                                                                                                              fork geometry.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               GARETH HARFORD
                                                                                                              Beefed-up swingarm, wire-spoked
                                                                                                              wheels. 883R returns to range.

                                                                                                              AN EXPERT
                                                                                                              SAYS:                               Plodder gets the
                                                                                                                                                  retro racer treatment
                                                                                                             Steve Webb, sales
                                                                                                             manager, Manchester
                                                                                                             “The later 883s are very
                                                                                                             popular with lady riders and
                                                                                                             first-time bikers who want           WHAT IS IT?                                                             more go compared to the
                                                                                                             something they can feel              MOTO Twin’s ‘retro racer’                                               original 790cc Bonnie and
                                                                                                             confident on. The 2004               take on Triumph’s Thruxton                                              top speed is over 125mph.
                                                                                                             Sportster is an all-new              Bonneville. Performance                                                   It’s no rocketship, but that
                                                                                                             design, and much easier to           and aesthetics are improved                                             doesn’t mean you can’t have
                                                                                                             ride than the older bikes.           beyond recognition from                                                 fun on the way to the cafe.
                                                                                                             That said, we have                   the standard version (Moto                                              It handles well, has a free-
                                                                                                             customers who come into              Twin specialise in top-                                                 revving motor and the really
                                                                                                             the shop, demo ride a few            quality aftermarket bolt-on                                             great thing about it, like any
                                                                                                             machines, then choose a              goodies for all the Hinckley                                            naked bike, is that anything
                                                                                                             used model with a load of            Triumph twins). This bike                                               over 90mph feels fast.
                                                                                                             accessories already on it –          showcases all their popular
                                                                                                             owning any Harley is an              bits and makes you wonder                                               HOW DO I GET A
                                                                                                             individualistic thing.”              why Triumph couldn’t do                                                 BIKE LIKE THIS?
                                                                                                                                                  something so simply sexy.            IT’S fast enough to be fun for     BUY a standard Thruxton
                                                                                                                                                                                       gentlemen of a certain age         (£5999 new; from £5000
wouldn’t want to fit the larger fuel        883, at about £300 fully comp, but I              brakes, go better, handle sweeter and               WHAT’S                                                                  used) and Moto Twin can
tank which the Custom is supposed           have since heard some mates saying                some – like the 883R – look really cool,            DIFFERENT?                           on the tank, complete with         supply the rest: retro racer
to have – it spoils the bike’s lines.”      they paid lots more to insure their               too. What a decision... can I cop out               PERFORMANCE                          Monza filler cap, really           seat, retro racer swept-back
                                            first ‘proper’ big bike.                          and say that I need the extra grunt of a            improvements centre on               hit you when you first see         pipes, Moto Twin SS
Mark L: “You don’t have to go insanely                                                        1200 Sportster instead?”                            the chassis. The suspension          the bike. But there’s other        silencers, air injection
fast to have fun on a Sportster.            Mark L: “I’ve ridden sports bikes in                                                                  is upgraded with Hagon               neat stuff, like the white         elimination kit, retro seat,
  “When it came to my 883, I fitted         the past, but I like the take-it-easy type        Debbie: “If you buy an older bike                   progressive fork springs             rocker and sprocket covers         black GRP front and rear
standard Harley-issue Continental           of riding you can do on the Sportster.            they still hold their value very well,              and Maxton shocks, (the              to match the fibreglass            mudguard, Monza filler cap,
tyres, which were fine. To me, tyres        The other great thing about owning                so you wouldn’t be saving thousands                 latter specially built to suit       mudguards. German-made             footpeg eliminator bolts,
weren’t that important on a Sportster       a Harley is the HOG groups. There’s               by buying used – maybe just                         you personally) producing            LSL Tourmatch 50mm                 cafe racer headlight brackets,
because I wasn’t riding it like an R6.”     things to do almost every week: ride-             hundreds. For me, the main reason                   a much tauter, sharper-              raised clip-ons (higher            Ikon shocks, stainless steel
                                            outs, barbecues, rallies, etc. It might           I bought an ’02 model was that the                  steering machine.                    than stock) and cafe racer         bar-end weights.
OWNING                                      not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there’s         Custom fitted me perfectly; I felt                    Braking is also improved           headlight brackets are pure          The full kit (to fit yourself)
Mark J: “In the 13 years I’ve owned a       no denying that the H-D owner can                 right at home from the moment I                     with EBC sintered pads               class, as are the Italian Road     costs £1348 or buy the parts
Sportster, I think it’s shaken a couple     have a really big social life alongside           sat on it. I know the later 883s are                and braided steel lines, but         Racing mirrors, which just         individually and mix and
of nuts loose, but otherwise it’s been      owning the actual motorbike.                      smoother and brake better, but that                 the standard single floating         offer enough rear view to be       match them to create your
100% reliable. It’s a tough, well-made        “Plus there’s hardly any depreciation           doesn’t matter as much to me as                     disc is retained. Lever feel         acceptable.                        own style. Alteratively, Moto
bike, but Sportsters do respond well        on an 883 – a bit of a change from                feeling 100% at home on the bike.”                  is better, but the brakes still        Stripping the paint off          Twin can fit all the kit and
to some owner maintenance. Newer            owning a Japanese bike, eh?”                                                                          lack the bite of most modern         the fork legs and polishing        paint the bike in a colour of
ones are arguably easier to take care of,                                                     Mark L: “Rigid versus rubber-mounted                bikes.                               (a Moto Twin service) adds         your choosing for £2500.
but the Harley experience is definitely     VERDICT                                           engine? Hmm, that’s really hard to call               The 865cc, 69bhp                   a whole new dimension to             They also do a similar kit
different from owning any other             Mark J: “Now that’s a tough call. I               because it depends on what kind of                  Thruxton’s engine internals          the front end – but it would       for the Bonneville, priced at
motorcycle. You have to get more            really like the older Sportsters, mainly          rider you are and what you want from                are standard but Moto                be so much nicer to see a          £1334.
involved with the bike – riding it,         because they’re more raw, vibey and               the bike. On balance, I like the old-               Twin’s free-flowing SS               chunky AP Lockheed or
looking after it, cleaning it – and love    just an all-round basic motorbike. If             fashioned feel you get from the pre-                mufflers (mated to ’60s-             Brembo four-pot caliper             MOTO TWIN
the unfaired, gutsy, V-twin experience.”    you buy an older Sportster, most of               2004 Sportsters, but for an extra 500               style swept-back headers)            hung off the left stanchion.        TRIUMPH
                                            the depreciation will have already                quid you can get a brand new 883, with              and re-jetted carbs unleash            Stylish single seat is Moto       THRUXTON
Debbie: “My bike has been 100%              occurred, plus it’s likely the owner will         a stack of improvements. You’d have to              10bhp in the mid-range and           Twin’s own and means                #####
reliable. I initially thought the           have added all kind of bits, too. That            ride the bikes yourself to be 100% sure             6bhp on top. The Norton              there’s no need to stop for a       COST:             £7347 (DIY)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           £8500 (fitted)
insurance was quite high for the            said, the newer Sportsters have great             either way.”                                        Commando-style reverse-              rest between the mandatory          POWER:                 76bhp
                                                                                                                                                  cone megaphones deliver an           100-mile refuelling stops.          TORQUE:                 72ftlb
                            WIRE-SPOKED wheels replaced the             1995-2003                            2004-2005                            awesome braaap.                                                          WEIGHT:                205kg
                             883’s standard cast items in 2004          SPORTSTER 883                        SPORTSTER 883                                                             WILL YOU END                        Available: Now
                                                                        COST NEW IN 1995: £5500              COST NEW:                  £5195
                                                                                                                                                  WHAT ABOUT THE                       UP BUYING THE                       Colours: To customer spec
                                                                        USED PRICES:                         USED PRICES:                         STYLING?                             COFFEES?                            New for 2005: To customer spec
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Insurance group: 9 (of 17)
                                                                        1995-2000     £2100-3400             2004               £3600-4475        THERE’S a ton of cool                A SPORTS bike it ain’t, but         Info: www.mototwin.com
                                                                        2001-2003      £3100-3675            2005               £4100-4795
                                                                                                                                                  touches that help make this          performance isn’t half bad,         TECHNICAL SPEC
                                                                        Insurance group: 11 (of 17)          Insurance group: 11 (of 17)          baby stand out in crowd.             as the original bike is a bit of    Engine: Air-cooled 865cc (90mm
                                                                        Servicing: £90 minor, £230 main      Servicing: £90 minor, £230 main                                                                               x 68mm) dohc four-stroke parallel
                                                                                                                                                    The screaming red paint            an old plodder. The bigger          twin. Five gears. Twin carbs.
                                                                                                                                                  with its off-centre stripe           Thruxton engine has a lot           Chassis: Tubular steel cradle
                                                                        TECHNICAL SPEC                       TECHNICAL SPEC                                                                                                frame. 41mm forks with
                                                                        Engine: V-twin, four-stroke, 883cc   Engine: V-twin, four-stroke, 883cc                                                                            adjustable pre-load, Twin
                                                                        Power: 50bhp                         Power: 55bhp                           MCN SAYS:                                                              shocks adjustable for pre-load
                                                                        Chassis: Steel cradle                Chassis: Steel cradle                   Much improved suspension                                             and rebound damping. Brakes:
                                                                        Weight: 255kg                        Weight: 251kg                                                                                                 320mm front disc with twin-
                                                                        Top speed: 105mph                    Top speed: 110mph                       Great looks thanks to quality bolt-ons                               piston caliper. 255mm rear disc
                                                                        MPG/Range: 50/120 miles              MPG/Range: 50/120 miles                 Incredibly evocative sound of the ’70s                               with twin-piston caliper. Tyres:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Bridgestone Battlax BT45 100/90 x
                                                                                                                                                     Typically poor Bonneville front brake                                18 front, 150/80 x R17 rear.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           MO    C
                                                                                                                                                                                                          OCTOBER 12, 2005 MOTOR CYCLE NEWS | 31

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