The Iron is a small bike and taller riders will have to fold themselves onto it, especially with the rearset pegs, which bring your knees up quite high. The pegs are still fairly low though, limiting lean angle in the corners (they scrape before you hit 30 degrees), and also transmitting quite a lot of vibes, especially at around 2800rpm.
For the 2015 version, Harley reworked the suspension, resulting in a much plusher ride. Riding over bumps the suspension travel feels smooth and controlled. Unfortunately the revised suspension doesn’t have much effect on the handling.
Granted, the 883 is in no way designed to handle like a sportsbike, but the steering is still on the slow side and is less than engaging when the roads get twisty.
The single front disc does an adequate job of bringing the 256kg Iron to a halt, and the ABS helps to keep things controlled under hard braking.
The Iron is definitely one for those more concerned by budget, style, physical size or making an entry into the Harley family, rather than outright cruiser performance or gusto. It looks effortlessly cool, but the performance is little more than lukewarm.
The Iron’s air-cooled, 883cc, pushrod, 45-degree V-twin is classic Harley-Davidson. Yes, the liquid-cooled, 750cc, camchain-driven, 60-degree Vs of the Streets are a big step forward, but there's a lot to be said for the lethargic, low-revving Sportster lump.
That said, the 883cc V-twin only produces a claimed 51.2bhp and 50.2ftlb of torque, and it really feels like it lacks punch in the low to midrange, which you feel especially keenly when it comes to overtakes.
Wind the throttle on, and rather than being pushed back in the soft, plush seat, you’re left wondering why you’re still alongside the slow-moving car you were trying to pass.
Older Harley-Davidson models had a reputation for agricultural build quality and reliability issues, but things have moved on over the years.
If the service schedule is followed, the lazy V-twin engine shouldn't give any problems, but the finish will need looking after to retain its shine.
The 883 is designed to be an introduction to the Harley-Davidson range and attract new owners to the brand. And its price is a reflection of this.
Costing £7280 when this version was first released, it wasn't exactly cheap, but compared to Softail models (starting at over £13,500) or the brand's tourers (starting at almost £19,500) it is a bargain basement price.
The 883 doesn't come with any bells or whistles. You get a basic, analogue speedo and ABS. Two-tone paint will cost you extra.