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Quickspin -2016 Harley-Davidson Iron 883 | Bike Tests | Top Sellers in Australia

On-trend styling and price tag ought to make the Iron 883 a big hit.

You know Harley-Davidson is changing with the times when its marketing gaff quotes the bike’s stylist as saying, “It’s always been my vision that this bike will look better with some dirt. As it is ridden, it may get some scuffs, scratches or character marks, we can’t do this at the factory, that is the privilege of the owner.”

At less than $15,000 ride away, the owner of the 2016 Iron 883 is likely to be a first-time Harley buyer with an eye for custom. Not only is the Iron one of the smallest capacity bikes in the firm’s lineup (at 883cc), with its Dark Custom styling it’s aimed squarely at a young buyer.

The thing you initially notice sitting on the Iron 883 is the super neutral ergonomics. The ’pegs are more nakedbike than cruiser and there’s little to no reach to the bars. However, it’s definitely more cruiser than naked in terms of ground clearance. I managed to scrape the ’pegs riding through the remnants of a typhoon in the centre of Tokyo, but on a bike like this it probably adds to its bobber ambitions.

The shorty front guard, narrow drag bars, blacked-out exhaust, small ribbed air cleaner and solo seat all contribute to the on-trend bobber look. The drilled holes visible on the front guard mount, drivebelt cover and the exhaust shield all – according to the designer himself – hark back to a racer’s effort to lighten a bike.

The Iron 883 also benefits from the updated suspension package for 2016. It’s new cartridges-style internals for the fork and progressive-rate springs added to the two new shocks at the rear with a threaded preload-adjustment collar. The diameter of the fork remains unchanged on the Iron and so too does the length and travel of the rear dual set-up. And, like every bike in the Sportster range which received the new suspenders, an updated seat was also required so as to stow the now-included c-spanner. The Iron 883’s new rolled upholstery solo seat tops off the bike’s new look and Harley-Davidson will offer a rolled pillion seat as part of its extensive accessories catalogue.

New nine-spoke cast aluminium wheels are much lighter than the 13-spoke jobbies they replace, contributing to the bike’s 3.6kg weight reduction, and have neat highlights machined at the top of each spoke which continues onto the rim.

The 2016 Iron 883 starts at $14,995 rideaway (for a standard colour) and represents excellent value both as an entry into the big American cruiser brand as well as an off-the-shelf custom bobber.

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PROS

Off-the-shelf custom

Better suspenders

Finish

CONS

Ground clearance

SPECS

Rake 26 degrees

Trail   117mm

Seat height 775mm

Overall length       2250mm

Weight                 256kg (wet)

Tyres

Michelin Scorcher

Front: 100/90B19 (57H)

Rear: 150/80B16 (77H)

Wheels

F: 2.75 x 19

R: 3.50 x 16

Colours: Charcoal denim, Black denim, Olive gold or Hard candy custom gold flake

Price: From $14,995 rideaway

Test Kellie Buckley Photography Jason Critchell