The 883 Custom displays its chopper orientation, with all that that implies.
Forward controls, a 21 ” front wheel, a lowered rear, a raised handlebar and a two-seater saddle: the 883 Custom, aka C53 in the range, has a number of essential qualities of a chopper.
The two-seater equipment also allows two to enjoy the sensations distilled by the 883cc twin, an important point for many users. From the first turns of the wheel, there is a very typical feeling of this version of the Sportster: feet and arms forward, low seat, the pleasant sound of the twin…. prints that many consider emblematic of the Harley myth. If tall pilots are perfectly installed at the controls of the C53, the position is complicated for those under 1.70, having to stretch their legs to reach the footrests. This is all the more difficult when it comes to operating the gear selector and the rear brake pedal. The little ones will miss the central controls of the classic models here..
The Evolution 883cc engine with ESPFI (Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection), which is a big first in the Sportster family, and a new camshaft make it a much more responsive and efficient motorcycle. These performances provided by the engine are not extraordinary and the somewhat rough handling, 21 “wheel and forward controls oblige, do not encourage sporty driving either. While block 883 is fun and surprisingly easy to use, it runs out of steam very quickly as a duo. But it is above all the comfort, or rather the lack of comfort, that penalizes the use of the motorcycle for the passenger: the minimalist rear saddle and the short shock absorbers make long journeys for two people illusory. We definitely find in this C53 a lot of character traits specific to choppers !
The C53 is or has been for many bikers the gateway to the custom Harley world. It’s an excellent bike, not too expensive yet, but still has everything you need to fully enjoy Harley fun: forward controls, large tank, two-seater equipment and above all a twin full of character…. A mini Softail in a way !
Benjamin G. – builder pictures
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XL 883 C Sportster Custom 1999
Model marketed in
medium: 6.70 l
approx. 165 km / h
The technical aspect
Harley-Davidson XL 883 C Sportster Custom 2000
- Tank: 12.5 liters
- Width: 830 mm
- Height: 1160 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,520 mm
- Weight in running order: 270 kg
- Train before
- Secondary toothed belt transmission.
- Rear axle
(76.2 x 96.8 mm)
at 6,000 rpm
at 4,100 rpm