Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883 gets a simple name because that’s just what it is: a basic, elemental canvas upon which to hang your custom desires. The sole 883cc model in H-D’s line consists of nothing but stripped-down and blacked-out metal, rolling with low bars, a low seat height, and—be warned—slammed suspension. Looking for chrome? Forget it—the Iron’s black powdercoated 883cc engine doubles down on the dark with black rocker covers, and black on the throwback round air cleaner cover. Harley also delves into the bobber playbook with a solo seat and chopped fenders allowing the Iron 883 to flash a little rubber, while a black fork with gaiters adds a splash of nostalgia.
The price starts at $8,999, so it’s easy to understand why the accessible Iron 883 is often viewed as a “starter Harley,” though it will appeal to smaller experienced riders as well because of its more compact ergonomics. But the Iron can still be a highly entertaining ride around town as well as in the twisties, provided you are up for a few jarring moments. Customizers will be instantly drawn to the Iron’s potential as a project bike too.
The Iron 883 regularly makes “best cruisers under $10,000” lists because of its style and accessibility, though there are some competitors, like the Yamaha Bolt and Triumph’s Street Twin and Bobber models, that also offer a stripped-down urban vibe or blacked-out custom sensibility.
The Iron 883 hasn’t had many radical updates since its launch in 2010, so changes to the 2020 model are limited to just new color options.