Iron 883 vs. Iron 1200 Sportster: Which & Why To Choose?

In Harley-Davidson’s recent Cruiser model line, you will discover the Iron 883 and Iron 1200. Both are capable of providing you with countless thrills. An iconic Harley-Davidson classic, the Iron 883 offers plenty of power. As an alternative, Harley-Davidson’s Iron 1200 is versatile and suitable for all sorts of adventures.

Which bike is the winner? In comparing the Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster, various factors have to be taken into consideration. The manufacturer took a long time to develop an Iron 1200 version of its very popular Iron 883 Sportster; which was at one time the company’s best-selling bike.

Hence, stay cool. We’ve made a side-by-side comparison that you may find helpful. You will then be able to decide which motorcycle is worth looking at in more detail!

Shortly Comparing Between Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster

Before going to in-depth discussion, you can keep in eye head to head comparison first.

Iron 883 SportsterIron 1200 Sportster
Compression ratio: 9:110:1
Bore and stroke: 3.000 and 3.811 inches3.5 and 3.8 inches
A forward-riding positionThe upright position
Maximum torque:- 54 ft- lbs,  3750 rpm73 ft- lbs,  3500 rpm
Transmission:- 5-speed 5-speed
Displacement:- 53.9 cubic-inches (883cc)73.4 cubic-inches (1202cc)
Primary drive, Final drive:- Chain, BeltChain, Belt
V-twin Evolution, Air-cooledV-twin Evolution, Air-cooled
Lean angle, (R/ L):- 27 and 28 degrees27 and 28 degrees
Fuel capacity:- 3.3 gallons3.3 gallons

Complete Overview Of Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster:

Are you curious to know more information? The following is a detailed comparison of the Harley Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster and Harley Davidson Iron 883 Sportster based on price, specifications, and other features.


From the time it first appeared on the scene in 1957, Iron 883 Sportsters and Iron 1200 Sportsters have been a mainstay of the motorcycle landscape. Street riding and cross-country trek riders can dream of flat track racing, drag racing, land speed records, etc.

Both 883 and 1200 are excellent, simple, and bare-knuckle style as well.

Both main features are:

  • This engine is legendary.
  • Affordable as well.
  • Easily customizable.
  • Designed for modern times.
  • Take it with you wherever you go.

Iron Suspension

The suspension of the Iron 883 Sportster lived up to its hard name; it was hard as iron!

A redesigned rear shock was added to the Sportster line-up in 2016 to mitigate the impact of road obstacles, including manhole covers. This shock is also in the Iron 1200, which offers a much more comfortable ride while still being quite firm.

You can feel the tingle in your fingers and toes as it roars to life with its much larger, more powerful, and throbbing 1202 cc motor. It has a lot of torque. Compared to the 883, Harley claims a torque boost of 36% with the same peak torque (97Nm), like the Forty Eight Special. With its 5 gear ratios, it has you speeding through traffic lights and cruising around town in 4th and even 5th gears.


Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883, with its air-cooled 883 cc evolution engine and blacked out accents, is unlike any other Cruiser. A rubber mounted 883-cc evolution engine makes Iron 883 smooth and hard to beat mile after mile. Make your daily morning commute an exciting experience by weaving through traffic, bursting off at the red light, or skipping over stop lights.

The blacked-out and updated Iron 1200 is an excellent choice for riders seeking pure adrenaline and tons of charm. This motorcycle has legendary chopper styling and a powerful 1200-cc Evolution Air-Cooled engine so it can traverse far beyond urban limits. Basically, rides will turn heads wherever you go with vintage graphics from the 1970s and modern finishes. The Mini Ape bars are a great finishing touch.

Riding position

The riding position is also a major difference between the 2 Irons. On the Iron 883, there is a single seat featuring drag bars, giving it an elegant cafe-racer look. For a more relaxed style, the Iron 1200 Sportster features a 25mm lowered scalloped seat and mini ape bars. If you have short arms, you can turn them as far rearward as you like. If you sit low, you punch the wind with your fists.

Iron 1200 Sportster is likely to be a good fit for many riders, particularly with its slim seat and tank. It’s exceptional position making it easy to place footwear on the ground, even for the shortest riders comfortably. Despite the Iron 1200 Sportster windbreaker nature and lack of endurance, the 12.5 liter tank won’t keep you going too far.


A drag-style handlebar with a low rise and a slammed black finish is a feature of the Iron 883 Sportster. This allows you to ride forward and aggressively. ‘Iron 883’ has 9-spoke black wheels with black rubber where it meets the rim. Those spokes are set-off by a modern, mechanical appearance.

Iron 1200 Sportster satin black Mini-Ape handlebars are an essential part of this classic motorcycle look. Handlebar diameter is 1.0 inches; the rise is 8.75 inches, the spread is 32 inches as well. With a fist-in-the-wind posture, it opens the driver’s triangle by 6.5 inches. Gloss-black speed graphics frame the headlamp, amplifying the aggressive nature of the long bars.

Custom dark looks

A Harley Davidson Sportster with an Ironhead engine was introduced in 1957. A model with a similar engine, the Iron 883, emerged in 2007 as part of Harley’s Dark Custom series. Because it weighs exactly the same as the Iron 883 Sportster at 248kg, the Iron 1200 still has just one disc brake upfront.

It features a matte-black exterior and an attitude-filled interior. Although it appears dark, the Iron 1200 is not dull. The tank is gloss black and painted with an old AMF era graphic from the 1970s. This design, however, doesn’t really fit the Iron and Dark-Custom style.

Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster: “Color Options”

The Iron 883 is available in a range of 4 factory custom colors. In contrast, with the Iron 883, you can give it your own unique touch. Available paint color options include:

  • Black Denim
  • Barracuda Silver Denim
  • River Rock Gray Denim
  • Scorced Orange/ Silver Flux

With an Iron 1200, you can expect precision and versatility like never before! In addition, Iron 1200 is available in 3 signature colors. Available colors include:

  • Vivid black
  • Barracuda Silver
  • Billiard Blue

Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster: “Price Comparison”

There are several price options mentioned below. Remain that, both bikes’ cost can be changed depending on country, season and color selection as well as.

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Sportster Prices:

  • Single color:- $8,999 MSRP
  • Two-Tone:- $9,899 MSRP

Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Sportster Colors and Prices:

  • Vivid Black:- $9,999 MSRP
  • Barracuda Silver and Billiard Blue:- $10,349 MSRP

Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster: Which is the better bike?

Evidently, these two motorcycles have unique characteristics that make them impressive—comparing them to Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster gives an overall picture. Both models have a low stance and mid mount foot controls. Harley-Davidson also offers a range of genuine accessories for both of these motorcycles.

Iron 1200 tank graphics, however, are inspired by the 1970s. The Iron 883, however, can be personalized to suit your tastes. On the other hand, the Iron 1200 is upright, while the Iron 883 has a forward riding stance. Ultimately, you have to decide which one is right for you.


Why is the Sportster a chick bike?

Harley fans refer to the Sportster as a “girl’s bike” because of its small size among Harley’s 3 engine families: “Big Twin,” “V-Rod,” and “Sportster.” The truth is, many women purchase Harleys Sportsters.

Can a Sportster 1200 keep up?

I would say it can. Keeping up with an Iron 1200 isn’t too tricky. There is no doubt that the 1200’s have more horsepower, but I don’t think it matters in real-world riding.

How far can a Sportster go on a tank of gas?

Harley-Davidson’s Sportster series appears to have the highest fuel efficient models compared to their other series. The Harley Iron 883 Sportster can reach a maximum mileage of 45 to 55 mpg on a full tank of gas.

Are 883 Sportsters reliable?

With a smaller bore, the 883 has the same engine and transmission as the 1200 Sportster. So despite the fact that it has the highest torque, the entire bike can handle much more power. I would therefore consider it to be one of Harley’s most reliable bikes.


Iron 883 and Iron 1200 Sportsters aren’t distinguished by their emblems only, but they have quite differences. But which one is the best compared with Iron 883 Sportster Vs. Iron 1200 Sportster. In comparison to the 883 Sportster, the 1200 Sportster has a more significant displacement, as well as a larger bore.

Engines on 1200 Sportsters are slightly lighter than 883 Sportsters, but 883 Sportsters can be modified to look like 1200 Sportsters. Now, choose your very best one and be ready to make a super unique selfie with your favorite bike.

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