Harley-Davidson Launches The Dark Sportster Iron 883

sportsterdarkiron883The Dark Custom Series is the Harley-Davidson answer to the problem of its aging baby boomers clientele. This blacked out line already proved that it tends to attract youngest riders. It already includes the Cross Bones, the Nightster, the Street Bob, the Fat Bob and the Night Train. And now a new  model named the the Dark Sportster Iron 883. Of course it’s got a a combination of gritty, old-school garage features, such as front fork gaiters, a drag-style handlebar, a side-mounted license plate holder, and of course is painted black from fender to fender. The Iron 883 starts at $7899 and because I consider it as a stripped down model, I think it’s a very good base for custom creativity. I applaud Harley-Davidson for giving young (and older) riders a new affordable canvas to re-create a rebel culture motorcycle reminiscent of the 60’s. Dark Custom Iron 883.

44 Responses to “Harley-Davidson Launches The Dark Sportster Iron 883”

  1. 1 Sheridan Jan 27th, 2009 at 6:30 am

    I like it, and the price point. This could be the bike that finally convinces me to buy a HD. I look forward to seeing the Australian price!

  2. 2 busfreak Jan 27th, 2009 at 7:18 am

    Nice for the price.

  3. 3 Frank Jan 27th, 2009 at 7:34 am

    There we go. A solid Harley platform and a clean slate to grow it any way I want.

  4. 4 jspfc Jan 27th, 2009 at 9:26 am

    It looks like any other Sporster to me.

  5. 5 Scott Jan 27th, 2009 at 9:38 am

    What’s wrong with raw aluminum look from the 60’s… The only true clean slate.

    Got to hand it to Harley for this one. take a bare bones bike paint and powdercoat it all black call it a custom and charge a grand more. When are they going to learn screwing the customer is not an acceptable business model.

  6. 6 fuji Jan 27th, 2009 at 9:50 am

    Nice bike but a great initiative for some one to buy a used 883 with low miles in the four thousand range listed in the classifieds as they have been in my area for several months.

    OH ! – I forgot that trade in value on a larger new bike next year , so don’t modify it or you lose.

  7. 7 Jeff Nicklus Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:26 am

    To little …. To late!

    Over & Out,


  8. 8 Ben Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:35 am

    You could get a used Ducati Monster for that money, with far better performance. Nice try from H-D, but kids deserve something better today.

  9. 9 Rideout Jan 27th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Is that it? for gods sake HD get on the ball.

  10. 10 Jay Jan 27th, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    I really like this bike. Unfortunetely I am 6’4″, 270 pounds and if I were to ride it it would appear as though a motorcycle was stuck in my a$$…lol! But it’s great for the more average sized rider.

    I think part of the “clean” look comes from not having the speedo/instruments on the tank! When will HD take this concept to other models? The custom scene has only been doing that forever!

    This is definitely a step in the right direction for HD, however one out of many isn’t going to save them.

  11. 11 steveb Jan 27th, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    This is not innovation.
    This is not “thinking outside of the box”
    This does not exhibit an understanding of HD’s emerging markets.
    This is not a value

    This is a lazyman’s way out, using parts-bin chicanery to regurgitate yesterdays mediocre meal.

    Make room, GM – your going to have to share the loser’s table (or is the gov’ts feeding trough) with another Moco, namely HD.

  12. 12 austink Jan 27th, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    I’m new to bikes and I like this thing. I can buy 3 of these for a Sucker Punch – which ain’t even a harley. I don’t want to pay less and end up losing riding time, or inheriting other peoples problems and breaking even. I don’t get all the complaining.

  13. 13 Dennis Johnson Jan 27th, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    A while ago when H-D first released the Nightster I got ahold of a press loaner and put on some good miles just tearing ass around town. I could not believe the level of positive attention that bike garnered. Even my tattooed chopper-riding barber was cooing over it. And, it was a kick-ass fun bike to ride.
    Just making a wild-ass assumption based on nothing but my anecdotal experience on the Nightster, H-D has something with these Dark Custom bikes. I don’t necessarily dig the marketing campaign behind them, but they are reaching a certain customer base. And, again going by my lame empirical research, that customer base isn’t the tried-and-true Harley head.
    Gonna dig seeing the first Iron 883 on the street (not being ridden by a moto journo).

  14. 14 Biker Forums Jan 27th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    We all know that it is just a Nightster with a 883, big deal. There were people asking for it so that’s what they got, a cheaper nightster. I wouldn’t dig on it too much, it is a descent looking little bike and the price isn’t that outrageous. You may be able to get a Ducati for the same or a lesser price but those wanting this bike probably aren’t wanting a Ducati. You are going to see Harley doing some things with the sportster line and maybe some of the Dynas because people just can’t afford the higher priced bikes right now, thats why they are making the offer right now that if you buy a sportster now then they will let you trade it later for a big twin and give you full credit. They are trying to weather the storm is all.

  15. 15 Doc Robinson Jan 27th, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    I guess the Harley-Davidson knockers who seem to frequent this blog won’t be happy until the Motor Company has gone the way of Indian and the hundreds of other American bike manufactures who once existed and made kick-ass bikes, Crocker, Excelsior etc, etc. Or maybe the knockers aren’t Americans at all. One might not agree with everything the factory does, or has done, but for goodness sake the Harley-Davidson Motor Company is the best ambassador America has in the world. Be proud.

  16. 16 steveb Jan 27th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Harley is the American Ambassador to the world? Hmmmm…

    I hope not…lets encourage them to stay in, and focussed on the moto business…. and get a handle on what is being thrown at them in terms of market share, global economies, demographic slicing and dicing, the poor value of the buck and a lack of innovation for the youth market on their part

    Here’s hoping they focus on creating some offerings that will insure their relevancy and survival, without bailouts, hand holding and other govenrmental ridiculousness *clink*

  17. 17 rideout Jan 27th, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Doc, I get what you are saying. It does seem like HD bashing, I prefer to think of it as tough love. Sort of like when your girl asks “does this make me look fat” and you have the balls to reply, “yes dear, you look like a beached whale”. It’s gunna piss her off but damnit she is going to think before she downs that second helping of ice cream. Those of us that have been around the block with harley are worried, we want them to step up, we want them to innovate so that yes, they can continue as Americas great ambassador.

  18. 18 Fausto Simoes Jan 27th, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I’ve always loved black bikes-they look mean and nasty. Even better if they’re belching fire from the exhaust pipes at night.

  19. 19 rodent Jan 27th, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    Harley should start listening instead of dictating

  20. 20 Scott Jan 27th, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Are we talking about the Harley Davidson Motor Company or the Harley Davidson Clothing Company? The boad of directors are so far out of touch with reality they need to be bashed. Ambasadors to the world? Where does dark custom, skulls and crossbones and the like fall into being an ambasador? Must be the kinder gentler HD, or maybe the softer side of HD. I’m here to be your friend and this is my buddy satan? Now I truly am confused.

  21. 21 BadMonkeyMW Jan 27th, 2009 at 10:27 pm

    Nothing more than lipstick on a pig.

    Sportsters are great bikes, but H-D putting out an 883 Nightster w/mag wheels and trying to make out like it’s something ‘new’ is just fucking pathetic. A billion dollar company and this is the best they can come up with?

  22. 22 James (Kiwi) Jan 28th, 2009 at 2:27 am

    Well I agree with Doc,HD is the most well known and highly regarded American brand in many countries.
    I ride my Fat Bob down the street and little kids wave and when they don’t and look a little apprehensive often their parents encourage them to wave! And I always wave back cause that might be the seed that germinates another Motorcyclist.
    Monsters,Bonevilles,Runes,whatever are all cool bikes but they do not get the public adulation a Harley does.
    Why is to big to answer here, but fuck me every company fucks up ocassionaly.The knockers and tall poppy choppers that write here are so negative it gives me the sreaming shits.
    Some of the people here have never had any thing positive to say about HD yet their fuckin industry has grown up around the demand for those big air cooled V twins and sell all the fucked up billet queens they can.Bikes that cannot go round corners, ridden on sundays and trailored to fucking rallies.
    Selling bikes to shiny arse bullshit artists and gladly taking their money.Yet compaining when the same arse wipe trendies do not have the money to buy another shiny shit house.Appreciate what you have.I went to th USA twice in the 80”s buying HD’s cause we could not get enough.Some people got pissy cause they did not like the bikes going out of the Country.
    Now HD sells allot more bikes to satisfy the overseas demand.
    They have been an export that has helped the USA balance of payments and have been great PR for the USA.
    Have I got an anger problem that causes violence……YES
    Normaly I say nothing that is not positive, but a small percentage of the people here need to look at their lame feel sorry for me attitudes.


  23. 23 ian Jan 28th, 2009 at 7:18 am

    The Nightster has been a successful seller here in the UK, and i suspect elsewhere in Europe, its a nice looking bike and works well enough on our roads. So stick a big bore kit on the Iron and its probably not a bad deal.
    Interesting point is that the Dark Iron retails here for £5375 which on current exchange rates is cheaper that the US retail price.

  24. 24 Busfreak Jan 28th, 2009 at 7:48 am

    James, Well said I wish I could of said it better. We should support American made products. We look at news and see our economy tanking, people out of jobs and we still bitch about someone trying to keep an American company going.

  25. 25 Jack Officer Jan 28th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

    If they really wanna reach the “vans” wearing hipster crowd, they should “reintroduce” a panhead-style motor in a rigid frame with a frisco mounted tank, suicide shifter, no front brake, etc. instead of this pretend-I’m-a-badass shit they’re pushing. Who watched the little “Iron” video? Ride that shit up to your local hotrod shop and see how much respect you get. Love all the dudes Hi-fiving each other. Another fine example of a marketing department seriously out of touch. Fuck off HD.

  26. 26 Vans Wearing Hipster Jan 29th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    You guys sound like a bunch of grumpy old men. I refuse to ride with you. I ride for fun. You’re taking the fun out of this. The fucking bike isn’t for you old-timer. I like my base Harley. And, haw haw haw, you don’t ‘get what’s going on’. That’s the idea, duh. It’s not a hate vs. love for H-D, its a generational divide – just how rock and roll is rooted, just how punk is rooted. We have our own kind of motorbikin’ and we’re takin’ it from you without your permission. That’s the fun of it…and you hate it. Now go ride your Big Dog like a douche.

  27. 27 Knee Dragger Jan 29th, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    That was pretty funny.

    Rock on, man.

  28. 28 ian Jan 29th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Vans you are so right – i was a punk in 1977 – and i wouldnt do it now.

  29. 29 TRUE SELF Jan 29th, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    I don’t understand why such a big deal, either you like it or you dont it’s like anything else any motorcycle company or car company they have something you like & something you dont thats why companies make a variety of different models cuz they know that someone will buy it, & with a decent price especially with the economy the way it is. I like it even though I still think sportsters are more chick bikes but at least it’s a cool chick bike with endless options to do stuff to, right now as long as it’s AMERICAN made I’m cool with it….

  30. 30 steveb Jan 30th, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    i cant stop laughing at that line…

    “Now go ride your Big Dog like a douche”


  31. 31 TRUE SELF Feb 2nd, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    LOL , “BIG DOG DOUCHE” too funny, fuckin RUB’s thats “rich,urban,bikers” to the guys with fatter wallets than my Street Bob’s rear tire,I have been goin to Myrtle Beach Bike Week for the past 21 years & every year there are more & more of you guys, your like fuckin cockroaches with your $100.000 customs that cant even make a turn & have “MAYBE” 100 miles on them, all I have is my bike, no car,no truck just my bike. Some call it a lifestyle, hell it’s my fuckin life period, you guys or should I say YOUR WIVES call it a phase or a mid life crisis to regain your youth , bet ya got a convertable & a damn tribal or barb wire tattoo around your bicep too huh? bet ya didn’t even get it all the way around either,LOL oh well fuck it I had to take shit out on someone this mornin , I had money on Arizona for the superbowl, now I feel better. Thanks you RUB ridin ole pricks, you bought the bikes so take the ridicule like a good lil wannabe biker,now go to work & do my taxes….

  32. 32 Axel Feb 4th, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    The entire success of Harley-Davidson lies in its heritage; the fact that the Big Twin bikes of today don’t look that different from the first Knucklehead in ’36. All you twerps who want innovation like the japbikes that are brand new one year and obsolete five years later, go ahead and fucking buy one instead of bitching about real American bikes. You pussies who want to buy a Prius instead of a Chevy, go ahead. You’re sending this country down the toilet, but that’s probably better than you trying to man up enough to buy American (or BE American)..

  33. 33 Mike Greenwald Feb 13th, 2009 at 7:44 pm
  34. 34 Nicker Feb 13th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Great link Mike….

    RE: Quad Cam Bastards.
    “..H.O.G. scaring, fire-breathing, garage-engineered suicide machines…”

    Sorta takes ya back to another time.

    These guys aint look-en for a “baild-out”……….. 🙂


  35. 35 Mike Greenwald Feb 14th, 2009 at 12:12 am
  36. 36 jeff Mar 23rd, 2009 at 6:58 am

    Oh well, I guess I just like the sportsters despite the debates and opinions. I need a new bike to commute to work on, 30 mls. roundtrip, some freeway and will ride everday. Should I purchase the 883 or the 1200…? Appreciate the advice. Jeff

  37. 37 jimmyb Mar 27th, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    I’m 58 yrs old, used to ride back in the day and have missed riding for a long time. I bought an Iron and I’m having a ball. Say what you want, but when it boils down to it I ride to enjoy and buy what I think I’ll like not what other people like. The Iron’s a nice bike and I’ll be riding it for quite a while! Yes, maybe down the road I might get new jugs, but for now I’m doing what I want to do and people do take notice!

  38. 38 PRick Mar 29th, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Why are so many people getting bent out of shape over this bike? So what if a guy wears vans shoes, a plaid shirt and a red helmet. Is that going to hurt your “I wear all black to conform with everyone else badass image?”

    Right, freedom and individuality are only for those with a big tattoo, big gut, big beard, big black leather and a big v twin…

    If some normal Joe riding an HD in vans is enough to piss you off then you’re the poser.

  39. 39 jason Apr 23rd, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    nice bike , BUT its nothing like driving an old school 883 from the 60’s , ironheads are nothing new.
    simple old school design does it for me.. screw the electric start and censors all over your bike..

  40. 40 Billy Straw May 21st, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Nice idea as an entry level Harley pricewize. Should have made it a 1200 also.I have a 2008 1200Low. Installed gaitors,Mustang solo, Skull collection.The only difference that i have the big tank and more chrome.Love Harleys. Cant understand Harley Bashers,especially when they are American.I was in Japan on Vacation and nobody bashes Harley or Honda for that matter.I think the trailer park trash should just cash their welfare checks shut their pieholes and ride their 20 year old Viragos.

  41. 41 Guy Warmoth Sep 18th, 2009 at 12:01 am

    We aren’t Harley bashers… We have bought and supported the company through thick and thin. Ive owned flatheads from the thirties, pans from the 50s, shovels from the 60s and now an evo road king. Ive never owned a knuckle though, but would like to. But like the others I WANT HD to succeed and win. SO DAMN IT! HARLEY-DAVIDSON!!! Stop screwin around! put the XL. (unit construction) sportster engine on a bigger cruiser frame and COMPETE With Japans “BIG small cc crap!! This bike is the same song and dance you’ve been playing with sportster for 40 years!!

  42. 42 coolin Jul 17th, 2011 at 2:29 am

    it’s very cool and nice for price..

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