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Cruiser in modern garb

autos Updated: Mar 10, 2011 01:11 IST
Nikhil Bhatia
Nikhil Bhatia
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Harley-davidson iron 883
Price: Rs.6.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Fuel tank capacity: 12.5 litres
Kerb weight: 251kg
Engine layout: V-twin, air-cooled, four-stroke
Displacement: 883cc
Torque: 7.1kgm at 3750rpm
Wheels: 13-spoke alloy
Front/rear brakes: 292mm / 292mm

The Harley-Davidson Iron 883 looks classy and has a minimalist design. Much of the bike gets a smart matte finish with hints of chrome reserved for just a few parts such as the twin exhausts and rear suspension. Instrumentation comprises a speedometer but a fuel level readout is sorely missed. The Iron’s all-black handlebar mounts easy-to-adjust mirrors as also smartly positioned control levers, and ends in really palm-pampering grips.

The Iron’s slender 12.5-litre tank houses a smartly-finished filler cap that blends with the overall styling. The motorcycle sticks to the Harley design template with robust-looking dual silencers that originate at either end of a big V-twin.

This Harley looks best from the rear, thanks to its gorgeous chopped fender that provides a good view of a meaty 16-inch rear tyre. The brake lamp forms part of the rear indicator assembly and adds a retro touch. The Iron shares its four-stroke, 883cc, V-twin engine with the new SuperLow and XL 883R Roadsters. Air-cooled and fuel-injected, this rubber-mounted engine relies on pushrod valve actuation.

Healthy torque
Harley does not reveal power figures but we estimate engine output is in the region of 50bhp. But torque is the name of the game and the Iron shines with its healthy 7.1kgm of max torque available at a suitably low 3,750rpm. The bike pulls hard from low in its powerband and takes little time to get to a cruise-friendly 120kph. Overtaking slower-moving highway traffic takes nothing more than a simple twist of the wrist.

The Iron comes with a five-speed, one-down and four-up gearbox that operates via a toe shifter. As with most Harleys, the gearbox feels a touch heavy to operate with shifts often accompanied by a mechanical click. Shorter riders will feel at ease on the Iron, thanks to its low saddle height. The ergonomics are, however, a mixed bag, for the well-padded seat places the rider a tad too low for our liking, relative to the handlebar.

The Iron provides decent cushioning against surface undulations when riding over smoothly paved roads. Ride quality is a touch too firm for the rough stuff though.

Good stability
The Iron feels easy to steer as long as directional changes are few. Long, sweeping corners bring the bike’s inherent stability to the fore with it tracking true to its line even at speeds in excess of 100kph. Both front and rear single disc brakes work well and allow the Iron to shed speed without any hint of drama. While we were unable to get accurate fuel consumption figures, one can expect the Iron to deliver in the region of 15-20kpl, which does translate into quite a small riding range between each tank-up.

-Autocar India

Verdict

This Milwaukee beast offers eye-catching looks, adequate punch from its V-twin engine and the lure of the Harley-Davidson badge emblazoned on the tank. Also, it comes at a really affordable price tag of Rs. 6.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).