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Peoples thoughts - HD 883 Custom

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Riding Eagle, Jul 14, 2009.

  1. I have been toying with the idea of trading in my XVS650 (which is now btw a LAMS bike in QLD for any one that may want to bye one) on a 883 custom.

    I have heard a lot of different talk about the 883, which I think comes from a lot of people who have never ridden one, but is there any one here that has ridden one that is willing to say that they are either good or bad?
  2. ive had one - what sort of riding do you expect to do, will you use a pillion and how tall are you?
  3. Jump on the HD Forums and ask around; I have, and the answer convinced me that they sound like the right bike for me (and so my repsonse is from other's advice and research, not from HD ownership). People bag out their reliability, but from talking to long-term owners such claims are about as relevant as attacking modern Triumph for their oil leaks and bad electrics!

    Bullet-proof especially if you don't try to make a drag bike out of it. People regularly buy 1200 head upgrade kit (the XL1200 shares teh same bottom end, which cries under-stressed to me), for $1500 (which is cheap, really), and which means there's probably lots of 883 heads sitting around cheap if you know the right people, plus all sorts of after-market plug-in gearboxes - just see eBay - on a high quality very simple 50 year old design. So fixing your motor is easier and potentially cheaper on this bike than on any other big bike, if you ever need it (which you'd have to be unlucky to!). Belt drive, so forget stripped driveshafts, and the belts have a decent life - say around 70,000km. Massive after-market offerings, more than for any other bike ever, ranging from stupidly expensive to quite cheap.

    Screw the stupid attitudes that bag them, and ignore the wankers who tarnish them. You know you want to and having tasted the XVs you know why! A bike for life!
  4. fcuk it mate, buy what you like.

    I like the standard or the low myself, but whatever floats your boat!

    A mate of mine rode one and said that he felt it was a bit gutless, but he was off a blackbird. All the horsepower you'll ever need.
  5. I'm 99% sure the 883s are still upgradable to a 1200cc for a thousand or two bucks so if you find it under performs you can always take that road.

    Stories of unreliability are complete BS these days unless you're unlucky enough to get a lemon, which can happen with any brand.
  6. I've ridden one, quite enjoyed it actually. As long as you don't treat it like a sports bike, you'll be fine.

    The gearbox & top speed were the bad points, I could only ring $1.40 out of it & the gearbox was REALLY clunky. Slow gear changes work fine though.

    I'm lead to believe this is pretty standard, go for a ride & see if one grabs you.

    Edit: Owned by a family member, I can't remember her ever having any trouble with it.
  7. The fact you can change over to a 1200 is making me start to look at getting an 883.
    I was originally looking at a Triumph Thruxton with a bore kit to increase it to 998 but I really like the 883's look.

    Decisions decisions :p
  8. [​IMG]

    I can't help you on this one. Buels are the closest to HD I'll ever stray...
  9. Definitely my next bike.
  10. I've actually owned an older 883 (I won it!) and while it's not my personal style of bike I thought it was enjoyable.

    On the positive side:
    looked good
    handling was OK
    well built - very high quality chrome and paint.
    genuine "chick magnet" :LOL: (seriously - several women at work immediately asked if they could come for a ride. Something that never happened with my Beemers or the Katana)

    not wonderful performance for the capacity - however as the engine loosened up it improved - the engine was very tight to start with and needed to be properly run in.

    Brakes could have been better, however I only had the single disc. The optional twin discs apparently were much better.

    A lot of vibration.

    However - I believe the vibration has been resolved on current 883s and the braking and performance is supposed to be much better. None of the negatives are sufficently negative to be bothered with if you like the bike and they are all easily overcome.

    Still, expect to have it hung on you. Some things are made to be stirred - Vic, Harley Davidsons and Suzuki Acrosses in particular. :LOL: :p
  11. 883

    Had a 2007 883 custom for a while before selling it . It was a beautiful looking bike but has a lot of buzzing through the pegs and handle bars once it got to freeway speed. Be prepared to cop it from your Jap biek ridding mates :oops:
  12. isnt that just the sad truth.

    If only chicks knew how cool a 1100 katana was/is
  13. Done right you can end up with a better engine than a standard 1200.

    But be aware it will effect resale negatively. The standard 1200 is a better bike in this respect.
  14. That's a good point Ibast, it seems the 883 drops down to the 8-9 mark second hand (Well, people ask that but I know a guy who bought two late model ones for 7k) while the 1200 still sits around 12-14.

    It's amazing how much bolt on shit there is for the sportster. Springer front ends, hardtail rear ends, chain conversions, six speed boxes etc...
  15. That means roughly the same drop in each case, though: the 883 is just over $11k new, whereas (from vague memory) the 1200 is about $17...

    I assume that the $1500 head kit is all that's needed - i.e. use the same carb etc? (That is, $1500 plus gaskets is all you need spend on parts for the conversion?)

    I could never understand criticisms of the XL in terms of vibes. Not that I can speak from experience, though Harley owners reckon my SR would be a lot more vibey...and that's precisely what I like about it! The more shake rattle n roll the better! I wanna feel like Jerry's got the bull by the horns! Mind you a Royal Enfield quickly sent my backside numb from vibrations and that was quite uncomfortable...

    The Jap cruisers - even the XVS650 - are often advertised for only a grand or so less than a Sportster in similiar shape. That surprises me when, nice as they are and as much as I'd love to own any of them, they don't have the presence of the HD, don't retain their value at all when the miles get high, and aren't nearly as cheap or viable to keep on the road when miles get high....
  16. Sort of.

    I think the basic 1200 is closer to $15K.

    I've seen 883s with well over $5k of work having been done to them, being advertised for $8-9k and still not selling, because people didn't touch such a modified bike. Whereas the standard 883s will be sell for that or better, with only slip on mufflers.

    The trick would be to buy one of the converted ones second hand.
  17. Post 2004 - rubber mounted so much smoother ride :cool:

    The Roadster's always look great, the Custom's, well ya gotta keep customising 'em :LOL:
  18. I heard that the rubber mounting gained 20 kilos though? And I can't imagie the vibrations being THAT bad.... surely?
  19. I was just commenting yesterday to a mate, who's a bike mechanic with whom I was discussing the issue of mods and harm, that by far the best thing to do would be to buy a bike which hasn't even had the mufflers changed. So that's a shame (I admit, while I've been trawling sub $10k Sportster ads for about a year now, I haven't paid attention to these distinctions).