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2017 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 - Test Drive Review

2017 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 - Test Drive Review

Snapshot: We ride the 2017 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 and find out what this mean machine is all about.

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Legendary American motorcycle maker, Harley-Davidson recently updated its entire line-up and apart from introducing the new Milwaukee engine, the company also did a great job by adding ABS to the motorcycles which lacked this safety feature. The new Iron 883 like the entire line up gets an ABS, while the rest of the stuff remains the same.

Design and looks:

Iron 883 was one of the earliest bikes from Harley to go on sale when the brand entered the Indian market. Before the introduction of Street 750, the Iron 883 was counted as among the most affordable Harleys one could own, as back then, the only bike that sat below it was the Low Rider. The Iron 883 is also among one of my personal favorite Harleys when looks alone are counted.

Once you are saddled up, you notice the tank looks slim and the Eagle and Shield logo painted on its sides is what grabs the most eyes. Also, the paint color is worth mentioning as its finishing is impeccable on the Iron 883.  The engine gets some chrome bits along with the jet black wrapping, and the air filter on the right side gets a clean looking cowl with Harley-Davidson logo on it. The pipes with a blacked-out bullet-hole head shield surely give the bike a rugged look and the 9-spoke rims it comes with are undoubtedly good looking.   

It's neat body lines and minimalistic yet aggressive looks are what gets me every time I lay my eyes on it. It has a certain bold attitude that makes it highly desirable, and get ready to be the center of attraction because you become an instant celebrity when riding the Iron 883. It has an appeal to it that makes it one of the bikes you would want to ride in a time of cataclysm, like the ones you’ve seen in the big Hollywood movies. It definitely makes you feel like you are riding something really special and each and every eye out on the road is blatantly staring at you.

Rating: 4.7/5

Engine and Performance:

Like its name says it has an 883cc, Air-cooled, Evolution V-Twin engine. This engine makes about 70Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm. It is a unit brimming with mid-range torque. It doesn’t like to be revved hard, easy riding is what this engine feels happy doing. Also, cruising at slow speeds is a bliss because the throttle on-off transitions are smooth and you don’t really need to always keep a hand on the clutch to manage speeds comfortably when trundling in the choke-block traffic. The bike lunges forward with minimum throttle input and it does the same smoothly, without any wrench.

It pulls nicely from a standstill, and its exhaust note will put a grin on your face as it feels special and makes you feel you are riding a metal mammoth. Also, you wouldn’t need to blip the throttle as the note is nicely audible even at idle, so you don’t need higher revs to listen to its V-Twin melody.

At higher engine speeds, vibrations do manage to kick in and the same is most noticeable in between 80 to 90kmph, especially when you are cutting speeds. Just put the bike in top gear keeping the revs in the mid band and the Iron 883 will cruise happily like Aladdin’s magic carpet.

Rating: 4.1/5

Ride and Handling:

You sit up straight on the bike with a slightly forward bent as the short handlebar makes the rider bend a bit forward. The pegs are forward set, and the whole riding position, though looks super cool, is not the most comfortable position in case you want to take it on the long tours but it will do for the short weekend rides. The single seat sure looks very well designed but again may not suit for the long-distance rides.  

It comes with 39mm telescopic forks; twin coil-over shocks, preload adjustable suspension which are tuned to provide maximum stability even when leaning this 256 kg brute to the limit. I managed to find some empty corners during the early morning rides I did on this thing and it is exactly where theses slightly stiff suspension comes into play. This thing does corners well for a cruiser, it holds the cornering lines tight and feels rigid in the action. Also, when leaning you won’t find anything touching the asphalt apart from hero bobs, unlike the earlier 2013 models in which you can find the exhaust kissing the surface. So a good machine it proves to be while taking turns, as unlike other cruisers its tail doesn’t feel like a ping pong ball.

Talking about the new addition in the 2017 Iron 883, it comes with ABS which works great and is always welcome as per our riding conditions. We ride on such roads which can literally throw all kind of farm animals at you, and that too with an element of surprise. So the ABS kitted Iron 883 makes more sense than ever, and its brakes also have a decent stopping power and the ABS safety net will make sure you don’t slide on wet patches.

Rating: 4.2/5  


The 2017 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 is a great looking bike with the price tag it is offered at. In case you are looking forward to buy one, you’ll need to spend around Rs 8 lakh and if you can invest 50 grand more, you can get the fire flames hot rod red flakes paint scheme that will make it look like a shiny cannon ball and is worth that extra money. The new Iron 883 gets safer with the ABS safety feature and is a fantastic bike for the cruiser enthusiast looking to invest in a Harley-Davidson.   

Grand Total: 13/15

Photography: Mohd. Nasir

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