Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycles are popular and for good reason. They offer a rider the desired style statement along with practical functionality. Since its introduction in 1957, where it premiered housing a 55 cubic inch overhead valve engine, it has been the ride of choice of many motorcycle enthusiasts.
Today, Harley Davidson Sportsters are available with a choice of the Sportster 883 cc air-cooled V-Twin Evolution engine or a 1200 cc Evo powerhouse. More importantly, there are Sportster models available to suit every rider's needs.
The Harely Sportsters pictured here are custom built by subscribers to our custom chopper mini course. You can click on each picture to be taken to their individual pages.
There was a time, particularly during the AMF Sportster days, that hard core bikers called the Harley Davison Sportster a "girl's bike" due to its sleek appearance, slightly lighter weight, and more stylish look than provided by the Fat Boys, Electra Glides and other big V-Twins of the day. That connotation has faded far into the distance, and today's Sportsters are well respected and extremely popular two-wheel vehicle choices for those who need the wind in their faces and -- legal only in some states -- the wind in their hair.
Today, you can select from a range models, a Harley Davidson Sportster enthusiast can purchase a brand new bike that fits their specific needs. For example, let's look at the XL883L model. The "L" at the end of the model name indicates this motorcycle is the model that is lowest to the ground.
The specifications for the XL883L indicate that the seat height is only 25 to 26 inches from the ground to the top of the saddle. Dry weight, meaning without a full fuel tank, is 563 pounds. These specs reflect an 883 cc 45-degree rubber mounted V-Twin Evolution engine that is air-cooled pair with a five-speed transmission and belt drive. The length of the motorcycle is 89.1 inches.
Compare these specs with the more powerful XL1200L Harley Davidson Sportster. This model uses the 1200 cc air-cooled rubber mounted V-Twin Evolution powerhouse. The higher 26 to 28 inch measurement from ground to saddle top makes this a ride that is actually the same height, based on Harley Davidson's own specs, as the custom Sportster models. Weighing in at 567 pounds dry weight, it is amazing that this model with the much larger engine actually weights a little less than the XL883L model. With so many people thinking the XL883L is the lowest and lightest of the Sportster, the specifications published by Harley Davidson indicate otherwise.
Complete information about each of the seven models is easy to find by simply visiting Harley Davidson's online information. Whether you want a low model, a custom model, a road model, or a stock version, you can learn everything about Sportsters with either the 883cc or the 1200cc rubber mounted V-Twin engines and compare side-by-side the various specifications to help you choose the Sportster that is right for you.
Riders find the clutch operation to be light on all the Harley Davidson Sportsters and the rubber mounted Evolution engines to cause little vibration allowing for a smooth ride. Engine parts are classic silver powder coasted to retain their good looks for years and years.
The Harley Davidson Sportster offers stylish looks and maneuverability. Stock wheels are old-school wheels with spokes, returning to popularity these days, and models contain enough chrome to look great on the street. The only problem with the late model Sportsters is the stock 3.3 gallon fuel tank. Average fuel mileage means the single fill-up range is only around 100 miles or so causing frequent fuel stops on long road trips. However, when you consider price, performance, comfort, then all things considered, this is really not a big problem in the larger scheme of things.