Harley Sportster 883 vs. 1200: In-Depth Comparative Analysis

Different people define motorcycles differently. To some motorcyclists, cruisers are a mystery_ Including even seasoned riders. Someone who doesn’t understand why anything that isn’t the newest, sexiest, and fastest handling is appealing.

Thanks to Harley-Davidson, bikes still play an essential role in our lives rather than simply being a source of adrenaline. Harley Davidson fans consider the Sportster to be one of their favorite bikes. Depending on your needs, you can buy a 883 or a 1200 Sportster. Apart from the emblem, there is nothing to distinguish between 883 and 1200 based on the parts alone.

Harley Sportster 883 Vs. 1200: what’s the major difference? Let’s take a moment to look at the similarities and differences between Sportster models so you can select the one that seems right for you.

Comparison Table In Brief: Harley Sportster 883 Vs. 1200

Harley Sportster 883Harley Sportster 1200
Parameter of Comparison:- 883 Sportster (iron)1200 Sportster (custom)
Engine:- Air-cooled, evolutionAir-cooled, evolution
Engine cc:- 1202 cc883 cc
Fuel type:- PetrolPetrol
Wheel size:- Front- 406.4 mm, Rear- 406.4 mmFront- 482.6 mm, Rear- 406.4 mm
Wheels type:- SpokeAlloy
Ground clearance:- 140 mm105 mm
Ideal for off-road activitiesIdeal for on-road use

A Point-by-Point Comparison of The 883 and 1200 Sportster

  • The ground clearance of the Iron 883 is higher than that of the Custom 1200.
  • In contrast, the 883 Sportster weighs 250kg, and the 1200 Sportster weighs 268kg.
  • There is a slight difference in torque between the 1200 Sportster and the Iron 883.
  • The fuel capacity for an 883 Sportster is 12.5 liters, while a 1200 Custom has 17 liters.
  • Iron 883 is appropriate for off-road activities, while the Sportster 1200 is ideal for on-road use.
  • There is no way to upgrade Harley Sportster 1200, but Harley Sportster 883 can be upgraded.
  • The Harley Sportster 883 is lightweight, while the Harley Sportster 1200 is slightly heavier.
  • Harley Sportster 883 lightweights have smaller bores, whereas Harley Sportster 1200s have larger bores.
  • In contrast to Harley Sportster 883, Harley Sportster 1200 is more powerful.

In-Depth Comparative Analysis Between Harley Sportster 883 Vs. 1200:

What Are 883 and 1200 Sportsters?

Harley Davidson produces this model of bikes. Sportster 883 bikes are also called iron 883. Despite having the name Iron 883 placed on it, Harley-Davidson did not disassociate it from its Sportster brand. Currently, the bike is among the most expensive models on the market.

There is also another Harley Davidson motorcycle series, the Sportster 1200.

Models of the bike are also sold as 1200 Custom Sportsters. There is no doubt that Harley Company is famous for its high-end motorbikes.


In addition to being a cruiser, the 883 motorbike weighs about 250 pounds. There are 6 gears and an 883cc engine. The engine produces a maximum torque at 3500 rpm. 39mm telescopic forks provide the front suspension. In the rear, preloads are dual adjustable and coil-over. Disc brakes and wheel spokes are also essential features. Fuel capacity is 12.5 liters, and ground clearance is 140mm.

Since it is possible to upgrade the Sportster 1200, many bikers prefer the Iron 883 Sportster. As a cruiser, the 1200 Sportster weighs about 268 pounds. It carries a 1202cc motor. 6 gears and 4250 rpm of maximum torque are provided by the motorbike series. A 39mm front suspension is used at the front. A mono-shock is used at the rear. There are alloy wheels and disc brakes on the 1200 Sportster. Approximately 17 liters of fuel are carried, and the ground clearance is just 105 millimeters.

Dimension And Capacities

Harley Sportster 883Harley Sportster 1200
Kerb Weight:- 256 kg268 kg
Length:- 2185 mm2225 mm
Width:- 820 mm926 mm
Height:- 1120 mm1154 mm
Wheelbase:- 1515 mm1530 mm
Seat Height:- 760 mm725 mm
Ground Clearance:- 140 mm105 mm


A no-frills motorcycle like the Iron 883 reminds us just how appealing it can be. Neither power modes nor rider aids can be monitored (the ABS option is $795). It’s only necessary to operate the starter if you have an electric bike. Once that’s over, you’re left with the Evolution V-twin.

Simple two-valve motor with pushrod action greets 1200. A round air filter holder places a touch of modernity, a touch of air cooling, behind the real deal. What is the horsepower of the 73 ci V-twin? Torque of 73 ft-lbs at 3500 rpm is critical. Rubber mounted Evolution motors sound nice and feel comfortable inside the chassis.

Transmission And Braking

Harley Sportster 883Harley Sportster 1200
6 Gears6 Gears
Clutch:- Wet MultiplateN/A
Chassis Type:- Mild Steel, Tubular Frame N/A
Front Suspension:- 39 Mm- Telescopic Forks 39mm- Fork
Rear Suspension:- Coil Over, Dual Preload AdjustableMonoshock
Wheel Size:- 19 inches16 inches
Front Tyre:- 100/90- B19- 57H130/90- B16- 73H
Rear Tyre:- 150/80- B16- 77H150/80- B16- 77H

Handlebar & Control

Harley-Davidson’s Iron 1200 has ergonomics similar to the Schwinn Stingray, which features mid position foot controls, a solo seat, and mini-apes. The seat-to-peg ratio is ideal for a smaller rider, but a taller rider will benefit from the raised handlebars. In spite of my 32-inch inseam, I enjoyed bike rides around town and the countryside despite the lack of room.

It may have helped if my 32-inch inseam had been longer, but I still enjoyed day rides in the hinterlands and the city despite my inseam.

Fuel Consumption And Electrical

Harley Sportster 883Harley Sportster 1200
Compression:- 9:0110:01
Fuel Tank Capacity:- 12.5 Liter17.0 Liter
Reserve Fuel Capacity:-2.7 LiterN/A
Mileage:- 20.00 Km-l24.00 Km-l
Battery:- 12V, MF12V DC
Headlight:- HalogenLED
Tail Light:- LEDLED
Speedometer:- AnalogueDigital

Brakes and wheels

The Sportster 883 front braking system isn’t cutting-edge either due to a single 2-piston brake caliper (some Sportster 1200s had twin disc brakes). Two pistons grip a 292mm disc in the front and one in the rear. In 2014, ABS was introduced. The wheels on Harley models have changed in both size and style over time, depending on the style of the bike. Cast wheels are typically used on models with 1200 spokes.

Road condition

Compared to the 883 Sportster, the 1200 Sportster is equipped with alloy wheels. Off-road, bumpy riding can be done on spoke wheels because their shock-absorbing properties help them to absorb impact. In contrast, alloy wheels are lightweight and do not fare well on bumpy, off-road surfaces.

Harley Sportster 883 and 1200: Price Range

Latest Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 Price: around $9499 MSRP generally. Prices can be up and down depending on the country, year and season as well.

Latest Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Colors/Prices:

  • Vivid Black:- $9999 MSRP
  • Barracuda Silver, Billiard Blue:- $10,349 MSRP

Harley Sportster 1200 cost also relies on several states, country, seasons, as well as an extra charge.

Which Bike is Better, the Harley Sportster 883 or 1200?

Comparing the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 and Harley-Davidson 1200 Custom: Which bike or scooter should you buy? Find out which bike is the right by comparing the Iron 883 Vs. 1200 Custom on carandbike.

We have compared these two-wheelers based on their prices, their engine specifications, their mileage, and their features as well. Ultimately, the final decision comes down to your personal preference.


Is it a Sportster 1200 A girl bike?

Sportsters are often referred to derogatorily as “girl’s bikes” among Harley-Davidson enthusiasts. Due to its size compared to the other 3 Harley engine types: “Sportster,” “Big Twin,” and “V-Rod.” Several women who purchase Harley-Davidsons ride Sportsters.

Is the Iron 883 a chick bike?

Harley 883 was most definitely a girl’s or beginner’s motorcycle. 1200 was seen as more masculine.

What makes a Sportster a Sportster?

The Sportster motorcycle is powered by a 45° V-twin four-stroke engine which shares a common crankpin between both cylinders, known as a “fork & blade” or “knife and fork” engine. Original Sportster engines were Ironhead engines, replaced in 1986 by Evolution engines.

Is a Harley Sportster 1200 Fast?

Actually, it is just 5 pounds heavier as compared to the Sportster’s typical entry-level model, the Iron 883, yet it has no more difficulty riding or handling.

The Bottom Line

It is noticeable that the iron 883 Sportster weighs more than the custom 1200 Sportster. Both bikes have slow speeds that are perfect for city riding. It’s fun to ride them on the mountains and city streets. Harley Sportster 883 Vs. 1200: what’s the better model?

Currently, the 883s are great. They’re fun to play, minimalist, and they’re fast enough. But the 1200s offer much more comfort on the highway. Sure, the 883s can go on the highway without issue, but the 1200s are more relaxed. After owning both, I’d recommend 1200. The latest models are a bit low for many people’s tastes when it comes to cornering, but having said that, you are asking for low seat heights.

Ride safely and have fun!

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