2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883L Review and Comparison
More parts and stripped down than shoot competition, the visual difference from just a flashy Sportster. Much more slender, with narrow tank and frame, reducing his own Sporty style with aspects of the most basic of riding. No flash, no bells and whistles, just an engine and two wheels with a seat, tank and handlebars. its classic looks, featuring the V-Twin powerplant and staggered exhaust, creating a pure blasphemy to see or photograph from the other side from the right.
While quite beneficial for the intended audience, which spelled trouble for the small ergos our testing crew. All six feet or higher, every test rider found the position too narrow for their tastes. In particular, all do not like the placement near the handlebar. Having ridden the previous Sportsters (including the 2005 Sportster Project Bike), we find an alternative placement of bar stock or aftermarket unit is placed higher, makes a world of difference.
"When I first sat on this bike, I felt very uncomfortable," Joey admitted Agustin, our guest videographer. "Saya''6'1 and for me just felt like I was sitting on a bar stool. I felt awkward upright and think I would lose my balance was just promoted to the gas station."
Rear-wheel dyno numbers peaked at 46.6 hp and 45.3 lb-ft of torque, mid-pack in our group test. However, Sporty pack a punch in the street, with the feel and acceleration of throttle peppiest endearing fun for our testers.
"Harley is the best machine - have a range of tensile strength," said MCUSA Road Test Editor Adam Waheed. "Top-end is lackluster and not nearly as strong as the Yamaha, but overall I liked the best."
Agustin also found surprising power: "I continue to underestimate the engine during take-off at first. I felt my body to pay back some times forget that the strength of that."
Dyno charts and descriptions of full-engines motorists unfair, as the Sportster the best sound as well. Motor HD has the most personality, so far. This is one of arbitrary judgments that must drive the Harley critics and competitors nuts to hear, but less perfect Sportster V-Twin, in which more is to give rebuttal what some riders want.
The weakness of the machine rawer feel is vibration. While Harley use rubber mount, engine vibration is still quite vague to obscure the mirror at times and motorists get battered in the Sportster saddle more than delicate rival ships.
Vibration is not entirely to blame though, with the most rigid chassis Sportster parking. Minimum of 3.62 inches of suspension travel front / rear 1.63 inches, allowing imperfections many jerks on the road through the bar and chairs. While the chair itself, it is the most serious of the group, the description of a bar stool before the fair.
"It was quite rough as hell on the highway evenly," confirms Joey.
Non-adjustable 39mm fork and preload adjustable rear shock did not inhibit the rides excited, although not low ground clearance. erode even at moderate lean pegs - real pity as the Sportster, as the name suggests, encourages more aggressive pace with the rising upright position and lean frame. Steering geometry differences further illustrate the point, sweeping the two degrees is more severe, traces of 1.1 inches and 4.5 inches shorter wheelbase is more compact than the nearest competitor.
Transmission 5-speed dental give change in the most direct sense. Where the metric is a quick snick, snick, snick scrolling through the tranny, the HD is more of an accidental click, click, click. It's not better or worse than the Japanese model of slick-shifting per se, only different (there is that word again ...).
Brakes - caliper 292mm disc single and two-piston front discs and 260mm single-piston caliper rear - the average of estimates evaluated by our testers. Although not the most impressive dual-disc package slow things down with reasonable confidence and feel positive lever.
Despite displays at least information (analog speedometer, trip meter and the idiot light) on the instrument cluster Sportster redeem himself by being the only console looks to speed without looking down through their placement above the steering head. Fit and finish the second level after the Star, with clean instrumentation and switchgear. Self-canceling turn signals reach a particular compliment, features a bicycle valued at $ 7,000. We're not big fans of the weak light, but, or the low range of 145 miles (based on the efficiency of our observed 44 mpg) offered by it's tiny 3.3 gallon gas tank.
All Told We enjoyed getting to know the old Sportster again. May it not be the ideal mount for larger riders, but it is an affordable, and fun, entry to the HD brand. At the very least, it's Different ... It is, after all, a Harley.