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READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

A customizable bike for a first-time owner

By Rebecca A. Cruz, Lansing, Michigan

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This is my first motorcycle ever—and I love it! I can’t imagine getting a better one (for now). It’s a 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883.         

Rebecca on her denim-black Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883.
Rebecca on her denim-black Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883.

What I love most about this bike is that it fits my 5-foot-3 height perfectly. I did have to change out the stock seat to a narrower one, but the Harley-Davidson Reach Solo Seat I chose works for me. As you can see from the photo, the motorcycle is all blacked out, even the pipes. The paint is called denim black, which in time will wear like a great pair of jeans—an indication that I’m the only one riding it. To continue the blacked out look, I added Harley-Davidson Street Performance Mufflers in black along with a Buckshot Exhaust Shield Kit.
The Harley-Davidson Reach Solo Seat pushes Rebecca closer to the handlebars.
The Harley-Davidson Reach Solo Seat pushes Rebecca closer to the handlebars.

Other features I added included a windshield and windshield bag. I chose the Harley-Davidson Quick Release Compact Windshield and the Embossed Bar & Shield Logo Leather Bag. In order for those to fit, I had the speedometer moved to the side of the gas tank (you can see it under the left blinker). I had this modification done right away so I wouldn’t get used to the speedometer being mounted on the handlebars. This way, I knew where to look as soon as I started riding the bike. Nothing is in its way, and it makes the bike look extra sporty.        
Another of Rebecca's modifications: this Harley-Davidson Quick Release Compact Windshield.
Another of Rebecca's modifications: this Harley-Davidson Quick Release Compact Windshield.

Here you can see how the speedometer's been relocated to accommodate the windshield bag.
Here you can see how the speedometer's been relocated to accommodate the windshield bag.

I also added Arlen Ness chrome Diamond Twister Billit Grips, which were given to me by my friend Steve Hollon, owner of Golgotha Performance Cycles in Grand Ledge, Mich. The handgrips give my bike a little bling and make it look more like a girl’s bike. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that I couldn’t add saddlebags—they just don’t fit with the rear lights, which are welded to the back frame. So I added a Sportster Detachable Solo Rack instead, which is a small luggage rack mounted just behind the seat.  

Rebecca also added chrome Arlen Ness handgrips.
Rebecca also added chrome Arlen Ness handgrips.

I receive a lot of great comments on the look of the whole motorcycle. All in all, it’s just a really fun bike to ride. I can go for miles comfortably. For years, I rode as a passenger on bigger Harley-Davidsons, Big Dogs and American IronHorses, but nothing compares to the thrill I get from riding my own!      
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Reader Comments

I know this is an older review, but for any ladies stopping by, I thought I'd add my experience with the Iron 883. I'm quite petite at 5 feet 5 inches and 110 pounds and I've found the Iron very easy to handle. I can flat foot it with the stock seat, though I think I may be needing to bring my legs in a tad close to the bike, so I plan on adding the Reduced Reach Seat that brings you down 1 inch and forward 2 to 3 inches, depending on which seat you choose. But, I'm able to handle and ride this bike as it comes. Mine is the 2015 model.

I do feel the weight a bit with slow maneuvers, such as moving it in the garage, parking, etc. as the Sportster tends to feel a little more top heavy than say, the Softails or Dyna, even though the Iron is lighter. But it's not something that's a major issue, just takes a little practice and care in the beginning. I should also note my husband, who's 6 feet can also ride and enjoy this bike, which I find remarkable. This bike is extremely forgiving and easy to ride, and I'm still a newer rider.

I also looked at the Kawi Vulcan S, the Yamaha Bolt, Suzuki Boulevard, and Honda Shadow. All amazing bikes, and all have something going for them, but for me personally, this Iron fit me and gave me the confidence I needed. I have pretty short legs for my frame and still feel in total control of this Sportster and she's also a beastly, sexy looking bike you can be proud to ride. But all that matters is whatever bike you choose, it makes your heart sing, and you feel confident controlling it. Even if you're totally in love, it's smart to check out a couple other bikes, if nothing else, to be totally sure of your choice.
One last note, the console of this Sportster is very cool, having such standards as gear indicator, and tach -- something one doesn't often see on "smaller" bikes.

Denver, CO
Friday, April 24, 2015
Hi Rebecca! I'm stumbling upon your post a few years later, but would love to have your opinion. I was looking to buy a 2010 Iron 883 as my first road bike. I've grown up on dirt bikes, so I'm not completely new to motorcycles, but I'm nervous as to whether or not the bike will be too heavy for me to handle. I'm 5-feet-6 and a little under 120 pounds. Most of the people I've talked to are encouraging me to try a Ducati Monster since it's light and compact, but I like the comfort of a cruiser. Would love to hear your input!

Pittsfield, MA
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Editor Response
Hi Jacquelyn,
Since this story is a few years old it's unlikely Rebecca will see your question. I invite you to check out the WRN Forum where you can log in and ask your question to more than 800 women who are members. Perhaps one of them has an answer.

Personally, I don't think the Iron is very heavy. I've ridden the Ducati Monster 696 and will have a review posted soon. The Monster is a little more top heavy, yet lighter so it's really a matter of how the weight is distributed. Hope that helps.
Genevieve Schmitt
Love it! This past Saturday, December 15th 2012 I bought myself a Christmas present. I bought a 2013 Black Denim Iron. I am picking it up on the 22nd. Right now I ride a 113ci full blown bagger and wanted something small (to me) and nimble for local hopping. This was the bad boy that I was looking for. This has it all. The HD brand, the killer looks and it says, "Outta the way!" I can't wait to get it out of the dealer and on to the street. I owned a Sportster in 2002, but it was nothing like this one. Mama's gonna have some fun!

Brooklyn, NY
Monday, December 17, 2012
Happy to find this picture. I just bought a windshield to go on mine and could not get a picture in my head of how the end results would be. Awesome. Thanks for posting!

Lisa Rabon
Conway, SC
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
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