I’ve been riding the Harley-Davidson Street 750 for the last few months, after almost 30 years it’s taken over from the XL Sportster 883 as the baby of the Harley range. I was curious to see how the two bikes compared so, took the 883 out for a quick spin and here’s what I thought of it.
On first walk around of the Iron 883 I couldn’t get over quite how mean and aggressive it looked, the use of chrome wasn’t overpowering but did add a certain Harley-like feel to the bike. Cocking my leg over the plush single seat it felt spacious and with the 760mm seat height it fitted my 5’10” frame with ease.
With keyless ignition it meant once the starter button was pushed I needed to stow the fob, ensuring pockets were securely fastened. The dash wasn’t cluttered but managed to include a digital clock and rev counter.
The Iron sticks with the Harley tradition of having indicator switches on each handlebar, which requires a conscious effort each time I signal my intention. The traditional Harley chrome side stand on the 883 was awful, kicking it down for the first time it felt like the bike was going to topple over.
I expected the 883’s larger capacity to make it nippy but I was disappointed as it felt surprisingly sluggish in comparison and the five-speed box felt clunky. The brakes, from first tug of the lever , felt sharp and effective.
At around 50mph, on sweeping country roads, the Iron 883 was great fun to ride but joining the faster dual carriageway, with increased speed, the fun stopped. The lack of wind protection combined with vibrations through the pegs and bars caused pins and needles after just a few miles of riding, which wasn’t pleasant.
There’s also the money side of things to consider. The Street 750 is £1800 cheaper than the Iron 883 and there’s various finance options available through Harley-Davidson, the most popular is PCP. Looking at the same term and initial deposit it’s just over £30 cheaper to buy the Street 750 this way. I’ve checked out MCN Compare and it costs £70 to insure either model for me.
Harley-Davidson Street 750
Base model: £5795 RRP
Term: 49 months
Balloon payment: £2603
Harley-Davidson Iron 883
Base model: £7495 RRP
Term: 49 months
Balloon payment: £3265
Whilst riding the Iron 883 was enjoyable I’m not wanting to swap the Street 750. If I were to buy a bike just on looks alone the Iron 883 wins hands-down. It’s the meaner and more aggressive looking of the two, but it was disappointing to find it vibey and sluggish away from the line.That combined with the higher costs I think I'll stick with what I know.
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