The End Of The Line
HEAVY DUTY Magazine|July - August 2021
Writing a road test about a bike that is due to disappear from dealers’ floors any minute is a bit weird. Should this be more of a eulogy?
Mick Withers

A line that began in 1957 has finally been broken.

We’re happy that we got out hands on this Iron 883 before it disappeared from the test fleet. We’d been told unofficially that 2021 was the final year for Sportsters but nothing had been said officially. Perhaps the news would change and Sportster would continue as a valued part of the H-D model range.

While it was in our custody, the official word came that Sportster production had ceased.

This 2021 Iron 883 is quite possibly the last Sportster that we will ever test. Rumors? There are no rumors, just as there are no last-minute calls from the governor to cancel or defer the execution.

We are hopeful of testing a 2021 Iron 1200 but chances of that happening are getting slimmer with each passing day and each passing sale. Dealers we’ve spoken to report that stocks are drying up fast as demand increases. There won’t be any unsold stock gathering dust in the Australian warehouse.

CAN YOU HOT ROD AN 883?

You can hot rod anything. All it takes is a wallet and the right spanner holder. According to the H-D Screamin’ Eagle catalog, the Iron 883 makes do with roughly 45hp and 45ft/lb. A bolt-on 883 to 1200 Stage IV conversion kit offers 70hp and 75ft/lb. That includes XL1200 heads, cylinders, and pistons as well as a high-flow air cleaner kit, a heavy-duty clutch spring, and all gaskets. Then swap mufflers. You also need to add a Screamin’ Eagle Pro Street Tuner and labor charges. That’s a good option using Screamin’ Eagle parts. There are other aftermarket options that you could explore.

SO, WHAT’S IT LIKE?

The Iron 883 came to us straight after the Street Glide Special and it took a few days to adjust.

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