The unique sound of a running Harley-Davidson V-twin motorcycle warming up, revving up and running down the highway is familiar to anyone who has inhaled a breath of fresh air. For Harley-Davidson enthusiasts, this sound means the call of the open road is near. And along with it comes the freedom from the never-ending challenge of work, and the hassles of home. All of the world’s difficulties fade away as the world blurs by with a simple twist of the wrist.
New Sportster Offering
Perhaps in response to the 2009 worldwide economic slowdown and a resulting drop in United States motorcycle sales, Harley-Davidson has responded by reworking an old friend. The 883 Sportster, part of the 54-year-old Sportster family, gets reworked this year. The Harley-Davidson XL883 Super Low gets reworked to appeal to women riders and first-time riders. But it’s also a great bike for daily commuters, who want to save on gas and are looking for any excuse to be able to afford a Harley-Davdison motorcycle.
However, Harley-Davidson project manager Greg Falkner told Motorcycle.com the XL883 Super Low is really a new bike for the company. Not only will the XL883 Super Low suit the entry-level rider, he said, but it will continue to fulfill the needs of riders after they gain more experience. He says it should fit the needs of riders of all sizes, experiences and riding styles.
Perhaps that means if you have less than $9,000, you can still ride a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle. And the XL883 Super Low is big enough to be a highway rider, but small enough to deliver good fuel economy so the wife continues to say, “What do you mean you are taking the truck to work? You get back on that bike!”
The XL883 Super Low starts of at $7,999, but paint options can easily make the bike climb into the mid-$8,500 range, according to Harley-Davidson. Freight is an additional $305. Dealers may add additional charges so be sure to shop around.
The XL883 Super Low features an 883-CC motor the pushes out 55 pounds-feet of torque at a low 3,500 RPM. That’s enough to get the 536-pound XL883 Super Low rolling, but you won’t win too many drag races. However, Harley-Davidson wasn’t aiming for the green-light crowd, but rather at daily commuters and riders who want the thrill of the open road at an affordable price. The seat height is an easy-to-reach 25.5 inches, which puts the XL883 Super Low at the same level as many other Harley-Davidson offerings.
The XL883 Super Low has a fuel tank with a 4.5-gallon capacity. Harley-Davidson claims a city fuel economy rating of 45 MPG and a highway rating of 60 MPG. You and your XL883 Super Low should be able to cruise all day in the city and easily travel farther than one leg-stretch between fill ups.
The power is put to the pavement by a 120/70 ZR-18 Michelin up front and a 150/60 ZR-17 Michelin in back.
The XL883 Super Low is available in vivid black, blue pearl, merlot sunglow (yellow) and birch white.
For a complete list of specifications, including chassis, engine, electrical and wheels and tires, go to 883 Sportster specifications.
Though the XL883 Super Low may be priced near or above similar offerings from Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha, the bikes rugged feel and sense of solidness was apparent as soon as I pulled away from the curb. Though I can’t afford Harley-Davidson’s larger bikes, I’m still a part of the crowd. I’m enjoying the open road, saving gas and enjoying life at a coast I can afford.