READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

A customizable bike for a first-time owner

By Rebecca A. Cruz, Lansing, Michigan
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This is my first motorcycle ever—and I love it! I can’t imagine getting a better one(for now). It’s a 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883.
Rebecca on her denim-black Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883.

What I love most about this bike is that it fits my 5-foot-3 height perfectly. I did have to change out the stock seat to a narrower one, but the Harley-Davidson Reach Solo Seat I chose works for me. As you can see from the photo, the motorcycle is all blacked out, even the pipes. The paint is called denim black, which in time will wear like a great pair of jeans—an indication that I’m the only one riding it. To continue the blacked out look, I added Harley-Davidson Street Performance Mufflers in black along with a Buckshot Exhaust Shield Kit.

The Harley-Davidson Reach Solo Seat pushes Rebecca closer to the handlebars.

Other features I added included a windshield and windshield bag. I chose the Harley-Davidson Quick Release Compact Windshield and the Embossed Bar amp; Shield Logo Leather Bag. In order for those to fit, I had the speedometer moved to the side of the gas tank (you can see it under the left blinker). I had this modification done right away so I wouldn’t get used to the speedometer being mounted on the handlebars. This way, I knew where to look as soon as I started riding the bike. Nothing is in its way, and it makes the bike look extra sporty.

Another of Rebeccas modifications: this Harley-Davidson Quick Release Compact Windshield.
Here you can see how the speedometers been relocated to accommodate the windshield bag.

I also added Arlen Ness chrome Diamond Twister Billit Grips, which were given to me by my friend Steve Hollon, owner of Golgotha Performance Cycles in Grand Ledge, Mich. The handgrips give my bike a little bling and make it look more like a girl’s bike. The only thing I was a little disappointed about was that I couldn’t add saddlebags—they just don’t fit with the rear lights, which are welded to the back frame. So I added a Sportster Detachable Solo Rack instead, which is a small luggage rack mounted just behind the seat.

Rebecca also added chrome Arlen Ness handgrips.

I receive a lot of great comments on the look of the whole motorcycle. All in all, it’s just a really fun bike to ride. I can go for miles comfortably. For years, I rode as a passenger on bigger Harley-Davidsons, Big Dogs and American IronHorses, but nothing compares to the thrill I get from riding my own!

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14 thoughts on READER MOTORCYCLE REVIEW: 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883

  1. I know this is an older review, but for any ladies stopping by, I thought I’d add my experience with the Iron 883. I’m quite petite at 5 feet 5 inches and 110 pounds and I’ve found the Iron very easy to handle. I can flat foot it with the stock seat, though I think I may be needing to bring my legs in a tad close to the bike, so I plan on adding the Reduced Reach Seat that brings you down 1 inch and forward 2 to 3 inches, depending on which seat you choose. But, I’m able to handle and ride this bike as it comes. Mine is the 2015 model. I do feel the weight a bit with slow maneuvers, such as moving it in the garage, parking, etc. as the Sportster tends to feel a little more top heavy than say, the Softails or Dyna, even though the Iron is lighter. But it’s not something that’s a major issue, just takes a little practice and care in the beginning. I should also note my husband, who’s 6 feet can also ride and enjoy this bike, which I find remarkable. This bike is extremely forgiving and easy to ride, and I’m still a newer rider.I also looked at the Kawi Vulcan S, the Yamaha Bolt, Suzuki Boulevard, and Honda Shadow. All amazing bikes, and all have something going for them, but for me personally, this Iron fit me and gave me the confidence I needed. I have pretty short legs for my frame and still feel in total control of this Sportster and she’s also a beastly, sexy looking bike you can be proud to ride. But all that matters is whatever bike you choose, it makes your heart sing, and you feel confident controlling it. Even if you’re totally in love, it’s smart to check out a couple other bikes, if nothing else, to be totally sure of your choice.One last note, the console of this Sportster is very cool, having such standards as gear indicator, and tach — something one doesn’t often see on “smaller” bikes.

  2. Hi Rebecca! I’m stumbling upon your post a few years later, but would love to have your opinion. I was looking to buy a 2010 Iron 883 as my first road bike. I’ve grown up on dirt bikes, so I’m not completely new to motorcycles, but I’m nervous as to whether or not the bike will be too heavy for me to handle. I’m 5-feet-6 and a little under 120 pounds. Most of the people I’ve talked to are encouraging me to try a Ducati Monster since it’s light and compact, but I like the comfort of a cruiser. Would love to hear your input!

    1. Hi Jacquelyn,Since this story is a few years old it’s unlikely Rebecca will see your question. I invite you to check out the WRN Forum where you can log in and ask your question to more than 800 women who are members. Perhaps one of them has an answer. Personally, I don’t think the Iron is very heavy. I’ve ridden the Ducati Monster 696 and will have a review posted soon. The Monster is a little more top heavy, yet lighter so it’s really a matter of how the weight is distributed. Hope that helps.

  3. Love it! This past Saturday, December 15th 2012 I bought myself a Christmas present. I bought a 2013 Black Denim Iron. I am picking it up on the 22nd. Right now I ride a 113ci full blown bagger and wanted something small (to me) and nimble for local hopping. This was the bad boy that I was looking for. This has it all. The HD brand, the killer looks and it says, “Outta the way!” I can’t wait to get it out of the dealer and on to the street. I owned a Sportster in 2002, but it was nothing like this one. Mama’s gonna have some fun!

  4. Happy to find this picture. I just bought a windshield to go on mine and could not get a picture in my head of how the end results would be. Awesome. Thanks for posting!

  5. Good for you Rebecca! You have inspired me. Love your bike! I bought my first bike last year, a 2011 Sportster Nightster 1200. I love it but I’m off to a very slow start in my first year. Sad to say that to date I only have 50 miles on it. At this time, I have no one to ride with and I’m still getting to know my bike so I’ve only gone around my neighborhood. I’ve dropped it twice while at a stop. I’m a bit gun shy and nervous about getting around by myself. But I will be getting out there so I can be ready for summer! Like I told my brother, in my mind I’m every where! Now I just need to get out there!Thank you!

  6. Nice look with the blacked-out bars. My first Harley was a Black 883 with lace wheels. She was sweet. Enjoy riding and be safe.

  7. Good for you on getting your first Harley. Go girl!

  8. Interesting, way-cool placement of speedometer. A true custom!

  9. I love the blackout look. I ride a pink Sporty 883 because I wanted to pink out my bike. But Becky, congrats to you because that bike is hot!

  10. Big thumbs up! I have a Sporty 1200C, my first bike; made a lot of the same mods. I am 5-feet-3 also and liked the fit. I really like the denim paint! And now have a good look at how the rack looks, one more mod I am looking at.Thank you for sharing,The Mustang Winemaker on two wheels

  11. Congrats, Rebecca! It is so great that you enjoy your own bike so much. I also like that so many motorcycle companies are making more bikes and parts for women now. I have made similar changes to my Honda Shadow Phantom and I love it! I still have a few “girlie” ideas that I may add sooner or later.Ride safe and have a blast!

  12. I own a 833 XL Low 2007 and I love it. It is also my first bike. I have been riding it four years and won’t trade it for anything. I am only 5 feet and the Sportster is a great fit for a small women. It is easy to handle and fits like a glove.

  13. Kudos to Becky for making her dream come true of owning a bike, a Harley-Davidson at that…and for knowing exactly what she needed to customize her bike to fit her. Becky and her bike look great! Ride on girlfriend!

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