Owner Speaks! What’s the Harley-Davidson “Sportster XL883R” all about, honestly! Owner’s Review Summary

20230531_ownerreview_harleydavidson_xl883r_1-1.jpg Motorcycle & Industry

From the Webike Community's My Bike, the "Owner Review Summary" introduces various motorcycles based on the voices of owners who actually ride or have ridden them. This time, here's what the owners have to say about Harley-Davidson「Sportster XL883R!」.

To put honest, the Harley-Davidson "Sportster XL883R" is this kind of bike!

オーナーレビュー ハーレーダビッドソン スポーツスター XL883R 883R

The XL883R is a cruiser model of Harley-Davidson, an American motorcycle manufacturer.
Harley is a manufacturer that offers a very large lineup of models, which can be broadly classified into the Big Twin series and the Sportster series. As the name suggests, Big Twin models have large displacements and are used in large transcontinental tourers and super-large cruisers.
On the other hand, Sportster engines are used in lighter and sportier models, and the models equipped with these engines are called the Sportster family.

The Sportster family engines of the same year as the XL883R are available in two displacements, 1200cc and 883cc, both of which are air-cooled engines. The Sportster family is comparatively inexpensive, and the model with the 883cc engine was particularly popular as an entry-level Harley model. Models with 883cc engines also exist in a wide range of variations, but the XL883R is a model designed with sportiness in mind. The "R" in the name stands for "Racing," and the nimble styling was inspired by dirt track racers.

The XL883R has a higher ride height and more bank angle than other models in the Sportster family. Nevertheless, because it is a cruiser model, it has good footing, and even smaller riders should not feel insecure. The Sportster family is lighter and more nimble in handling than the big-twin family, which conquers the mainstream of heavy cruisers. They are equipped with features that are geared toward "riding," such as double-disc front brakes.
It is a model that is relatively easy to get used to, even for riders who have switched from naked models.

Production of the air-cooled engine Sportster family will end in 2021. In 2022, it will be reborn as a new series with a completely newly designed water-cooled engine.

Unfortunately, the XL883R has been discontinued and is now only available as a used motorcycle. Since it is a very popular model, to begin with, the used motorcycle market price is on the rise. However, since it is a motorcycle model with a long model year, there is an abundance of used motorcycles.

When looking for a used XL883R, you should pay attention to the year. The first model year, 2002-2003, has a rigid-mount engine, while the 2004 and later models have rubber mounts. You can think of the rigid mount as having a direct feeling of the engine with high vibration, and the rubber mount as having milder vibration and improved comfort. Although the shapes are very similar, they are full model changes and the ride quality is very different.

In addition, models from 2007 onward use a fuel-injected intake system. While older models have an advantage in terms of reliability, the spartan ride quality of the rigid-mount era is also appealing. Although the style has not changed significantly, the XL883R has unique characteristics depending on its age.

What do Webike users think of the Sportster XL883R?

オーナーレビュー ハーレーダビッドソン スポーツスター XL883R 883R

Sportster XL883R

Average price of the new model: ──
Used model price: approx. approx. 7752 USD
Number of reviews: 35
Data as of May 31, 2023

Average owner satisfaction rating is 3.40 out of 5 (154 people)

It should be noted that the rating for looks is over 4 points. Some owners fell in love at first sight and went for a large motorcycle license.

On the other hand, there were surprisingly few negative comments about the load capacity, which regrettably did not reach 3 points. It seems that the owners are covering the shortfall by installing touring bags, etc.

Sportster XL883R, Quick Summary


- Styling that you never get tired of looking at
- The basic design is still the same as it was in the past
- Surprisingly fun cornering
- Good fuel economy


- Load capacity equals zero
- Easy to rust
- heavy anyway
- Requires both millimeter and inch tools

Sportster XL883R Owner's Voice

Here are some of the most impressive voices among the many reviews.


オーナーレビュー ハーレーダビッドソン スポーツスター XL883R 883R

Motive for purchase, intended use, and comparative models I was looking for a cruiser-type bike because I wanted to ride slowly along the coast and through beautiful scenery rather than going over mountain passes, and I wanted to enjoy riding at high speeds while touring.
Advantages/Satisfactory points  A rocking engine!
A heartbeat that can certainly be felt!
Fun to ride slowly!
Old-fashioned engine with carburetor!
It's said to be slow and sluggish (it's slow as shit compared to the Rokudabo), but it's enough for down the road and on highways! Acceleration is normal!
It can handle multiple tasks from city driving to touring and makes you want to ride it! Fuel economy is better than I expected, such as 18km/L in city riding!
Disadvantages/Dissatisfactory points Oil leak from an external air cleaner
It's funny because it splashes all over the place when I'm driving at high speed. It's like a chronic disease when I change to an external one!
Advice for prospective buyers The 883 is not a low-cost model but one of the great Harley lineups!
The vibration of the engine was wonderful, I really call it a heartbeat!


オーナーレビュー ハーレーダビッドソン スポーツスター XL883R 883R

Motive for purchase, intended use, and comparative models I have always liked it.
Mainly day touring mainly down the road.
Advantages/Satisfactory points  I see negative comments about the motorcycle being slow, and heavy, and the suspension and brake rubber mounts, but I think it is a really fun motorcycle if you stay with it for a long time and adapt your riding style to the bike.
The more you ride the motorcycle, the more the curves come off, and the more you want to ride the motorcycle.
Disadvantages/Dissatisfactory points When switching from a domestic motorcycle, the difference in build quality and approach to motorcycles can be confusing at first.
The serviceability is not good and OEM parts are expensive.
Advice for prospective buyers As there are many older, low-mileage used motorcycles on the market, I think it is difficult to convey the good qualities of these motorcycles in a short distance and time. I think they are for people who can enjoy the changes over a long period of time and who understand and accept the differences from domestic motorcycles.


オーナーレビュー ハーレーダビッドソン スポーツスター XL883R 883R

Motive for purchase, intended use, and comparative models I rode 2000 883 for 8 years.
I gave it up in tears because I got busy with work and no longer had time to ride it, but now almost 10 years have passed and I want to ride a Sportster again.
Advantages/Satisfactory points  Anyway, the style is very motorcycle-like. The combination of orange and black is wonderful. The engine is comfortable at 60~80km/h, making it the perfect big bike for touring down the road in Japan.
Although it lacks a bit of bank angle, it is also fun enough to ride on mountain passes.
Disadvantages/Dissatisfactory points The 2000 model weighed 225 kg, but with the rubber mounts, the weight increased to 260 kg.
Advice for prospective buyers I think there are a few breakdowns.
Since there is a valley of torque at about 2000 rpm (by feel since there is no tachometer) in standard, I recommend changing the muffler to one for North America. With the current noise regulations, the motorcycle should pass inspection without modification.