Sportster – by Harley Davidson

The Sportster is Harley Davidson’s little bike started in 1957. The little bike before the Sportster was the Model K Sport and the Sport Solo. These K, KK, KH, and KHK from 52 to 56 had ‘flat head engine, XL Sportster models use an over head valve engine. The Sportster of 1957 had several of the same things as the KH. Even the frame fenders and tank. The front end suspension was also the same.

Harley Davidson made many Sportster.


Nightster started in 2007, the XL1200N Nightster included bobbed rear fender. The riding position and 25.3-inch seat height of the Nightster are the same as those of the XL883L Sportster Low (we have this bike). The bike HP of 57 horse power and a top speed of 107 mph and a wet weight of 564 lb.

The Harley Iron was made in 2009 as a smaller arrangement of the Nightster.


In 09 the XR1200 was set free in the U.S. XR1200 was stopped in the U.S. for 13. The bike has a Horse Power of 79. Top speed of 120 mph and a wet weight of 580 lb.


In 10 model Harley brought us the XL1200X “Forty-Eight” model. It is close to the Nightster style but has the classic 48 tank, wider front tire a fat front end. Chopped off front fender. Low suspension.


In 2012 Harley brought us the XL1200V “Seventy-Two” 2012 to 2016. It has the classic styling of the early 70s chopper/bobbers that were prevalent during this time. The bike’s HorsePower of 54.67. Top speed of 108 mph A wet weight of 559.5 lb.


2016 Harley brought us the XL1200CX “Roadster”. This Sportster has a Horse Power of 65.

The Research

This is the basic information about the Sporty Sportster, They come in the 883 and the 1200. At one time they had one that was a 900, 1000, and 1100. They are the smaller bike of the Harley. The center of gravity in my opinion is higher than some other motorcycles. You can find out everything about these wonderful bikes on Wikipedia. These are also the lighter wet weight of the Harley’s.

My personal one is a 2004 1200XL Sportster. 2007 883 low is the one my husband has.

These bikes are like a dirt bike on steroids. They are small easy to maneuver and will do a wheely if not careful on these bikes. Lots of fun. I have taken this bike into a SKID not realizing how fast these little bikes can get.

On a personal note I don’t think a sportster is the best bet for a first time rider. It can be more scary than the bigger bikes with a lower gravity point.

These are just some of the specs and info on these bikes. There really is so much to them. Please let me know what you think. I did my best to get these specs right to make a good decision on if this is the bike for you.





Natalene Emery


  1. Thank you for this review, not knowing much about bikes I actually would have thought the smaller bike would have been better for a beginner but what you say makes sense, I’m glad you pointed out that his has the power to do a wheely, I never would have thought of that. I think that is probably a mistake that a lot of new riders will make.

    • Yes I made the mistake of thinking smaller was better. I used to be terrified when I first started out and since I now have the bigger bike, I am not as afraid. It is still good to be a bit scared mainly because of the power these bikes have. Thank You for your comment. If you ever want to know something about bikes let me know I will do my best to find out.

  2. Great article on the Sportster! My wife wants to learn to ride and wants her own bike. I have suggested the Sportster as an option for her.\Do you think this would be a good fit for a woman that is 5’5″?
    If not do you have another suggestion I could look into? She is being very persistent about this, so I am going to need to make a move soon!

    • Oh that is wonderful, I personally like a softtail. It is built with a lower center of gravity. I am only 5 ft. 5. It has a turn that doesn’t make you feel like you are going to lay it down. It is a bit heavier but the softtail has a great balance.

      My sportster has a high center of gravity, it feels like I am riding a dirt bike and the turns can get scary. They are fun but for cruising it is my softtail. I have drove it across country and been comfortable. On the Sportster, it can get uncomfortable because of the setup for long rides. 

      Please let me know what she decides, I have seen ladies that are very comfortable on fatboys and classics. Most of the women I have spoken to like the bigger bike.

      Thank You so much for commenting, please keep in touch


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