There aren’t many ways of travelling that are as immersive as riding a motorcycle. It’s a totally different way to experience the sights, sounds and even smells of places you might only be familiar with from the inside of a car. Riding a motorbike is a hugely personal experience because you need to be way more aware of not only your surroundings but how your bike feels and the way you feel when you’re on it. A bike that we recently took out for a ride is the Harley-Davidson 2016 Iron 883, released as part of the brand’s Dark Custom campaign, along with updated models of the Forty-Eight and Street bikes. The aim of the campaign is to strip the bikes back to basics, inviting riders to make them their own with accessories and personal experiences.
With a quick look at the Iron 883, you can see that it has a raw and rugged design. I had it in the Olive Gold colour option with the eagle and shield logo on the tank, and immediately thought, “now this is a bike!” I received quite a few looks from drivers and even some curious questions from strangers when riding around. The bike also comes in Charcoal Denim, Black Denim and a Hard Candy Custom Gold Flake with flame detail and black fenders. It’s not one to get too precious about the paint-job though, as the man behind the design, Dais Nagao, says he encourages riders to scruff and scratch it up to add to the story of the bike.
The bike offers a really comfortable riding position, with the tuck-and-roll solo seat it features being designed to sit you low to the ground. The drag bars are an ideal complement to the seating style. The seat also provides some nice cushioning when it comes to going over dents in the road, making for a pretty smooth ride. The Iron 883 is the perfect width and height for filtering in traffic and the Evolution V-Twin engine, which gives a nice sound at idle, provides the right amount of power to get a head start on cars at traffic lights too. While the bike handles well through the twisties, it’s clear that it’s made to be a city bike; one to be ridden through town because that’s where its performance truly excels.
The digital gear indicator on the Iron 883 definitely comes in handy at times, as do the self-cancelling indicators. The addition of anti-lock braking (ABS) is something that I also appreciated and believe should be rolled out as a standard in all bikes. It also has a keyless proximity based ignition with an auto-arming alarm when you walk away from it. The bike’s 12.5L fuel tank is pretty small, averaging about 180 kilometres before the petrol light comes on, though this might not be a problem for everyone depending on how long your average rides around town are. The throttle rotation is also somewhat long, but again this isn’t an issue that takes anything away from the overall quality of the bike.
After my time with the Harley-Davidson 2016 Iron 883, it’s safe to say this would be ideal for anyone who’s just getting into riding or for those who want something to zip around the city on. It’s a really fun bike with a decent amount of power and great looks.