Harley Davidson Sportster

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Harley Davidson Motor Cycles Index
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Harley Davidson Sportster - Introduction
The Harley Davidson Sportster was first introduced in 1957 and although alterations and enhancements have taken place over the past fifty-odd years to the Sportster model, the Harley Davidson Sportster is still in production today and popular all over the world (and is therefore one of the longest standing ranges of Harley Davidson). There have been many different types of Harley Davidson Sportster designed, with defining characteristics, some of which are mentioned below.

Harley Davidson Sportster - Characteristics
The Harley Davidson Sportster originally inherited several features of the K series (which were produced between 1952 and 1956) such as the connecting rods, crankcase and numerous engine ancillaries. The K Sport and Sport Solo Harley Davidson motorcycles were produced boasting a flat head engine (these models included the K, KH, KK and KHK) and were the first civilian bikes with hydraulic shock-absorbers on both the front and rear wheel. However, the Harley Davidson Sportster was designed with an over head valve engine. There are many features of the Harley Davidson Sportster that encourage the on going demand, but the brand name and the iconic retro design must rate highly on this list. The comfort and power may not always have compared with other manufacturers; however the Harley Davidson Sportster range developed and improved considerably (certainly since the turn of the Century) to answer their critics. The engine was originally mounted directly onto the frame (1957-2003) which caused vibrations to the driver and passenger, however from 2004 the new frame included a rubber mounted engine which provides a more comfy ride with less vibration. The Harley Davidson Sportster 883 (the smallest of the range) was introduced with a low seat, so shorter drivers could easily place their feet on the floor when they came to a stand still. It also handled better with new front forks. Foot rests on the XLH Sportster 883 were positioned better (for riding and not touring) and handle bars were narrowed. For those that required extra power, the Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster has always been available and now possesses an electronic fuel injection system (introduced in 2007).

Harley Davidson Sportster - Identifying Codes
The identifying codes for the Harley Davidson Sportster range are XL and XR (racing models), however the majority are denoted by the prefix XL. Since the introduction of the Evolution engine in the 1980s, there were two sizes - the XL883 (smaller cc) and the XL1100 (larger cc). The latter was further increased to the XL1200 in later years. Variations within the Harley Davidson Sportster range include 883C (Sportster Custom) and XL1200S (Sportster Sport). The H in XLH represents a high compression engine, whereas the C in XLCH signifies ‘competition’. The T in XLT stands for Tourer, the CR in XLCR denotes Café Racer and an additional L refers to a low model. An R will identify the Roadster and an N the Nightster.

Harley Davidson Sportster

harley davidson sportster

 

Harley Davidson Sportster - Developments Through The Years

  • 1957 - Introduction of the Ironhead overhead valve (OHV) engine
  • 1972 - 1000cc OHV replaces the 900cc
  • 1975 - Gear changes switched to the left-hand side
  • 1979 - Dual exhausts on Harley Davidson Sportster instead of staggered exhaust
  • 1985 - Final year of the OHV Ironhead engine on the Harley Davidson Spotster
  • 1986 - Introduction of the Evolution engine in 883cc and 1100cc
  • 1988 - 1200cc engine replaces the 1100cc and the Butterfly carburettor is replaced by the Constant velocity carburettor
  • 1991 - Four speed transmission is replaced by the five speed and the chain drive is replaced by the belt drive on the 883 deluxe and all 1200 Sportster models
  • 1993 - All Harley Davidson Sportsters are produced with belt drive as standard
  • 1994 - New improved battery tray, clutch and oil tank made standard across Harley Davidson Sportster range and a new electrical system with sealed connectors introduced
  • 1995 - The mechanical speedometer is replaced with an electrical one on the Harley Davidson Sportster
  • 1998 - The Harley Davidson Sportster XL1200S is produced with dual spark plug heads and high performance cams
  • 2000 - 4 piston brake callipers and sealed wheel bearings are introduced
  • 2003 - Final year of the Evolution frame mounted engine on the Harley Davidson Sportster
  • 2004 - New frame introduced with rubber mounted engine for reduced vibration. A new shaped ham cam, removal of the transmission trap door and replacing of the exhaust balance pipe to show more engine enhancements
  • 2005 - Rear axle increased to one inch for more stability on the Harley Davidson Sportster
  • 2006 - Gear whine is reduced by the introduction of helical cut transmission gears and the XR1200 is announced with fuel injection fro production next year
  • 2007 - Carburetion is replaced by fuel injection on all Harley Davidson Sportster models
  • 2009 - Mudguard design updated to suit the size of each model's rear wheel instead of the one size fits all approach
  • 2010 - Engine control unit is relocated to allow a wider choice of seat selection on the Harley Davidson Sportster

Harley Davidson Sportster - Current Models
There is a wide range of Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycles in production and some of the latest models include the 883 Low (XL 883L), 883 Roadster (XL 883R), 883 Custom (XL 883C), Iron 883 (XL 883N), Nightster (XL 1200N), Forty Eight (XL 1200X), 1200 Low (XL 1200L), 1200 Custom (XL 1200C) and the XR1200, however not all of these Harley Davidson Sportster motorcycles are available in every country.

Harley Davidson Sportster - A Useful Guide
Thousands of people search to find out about these iconic bikes and their accessories. Even the logo, or emblem is iconic. We hope that you have found this article on Harley Davidson Sportster a useful guide to Harley Davidson products and merchandise. You will find that this website is a great resource, including this article on Harley Davidson Sportster, whether you are looking to buy, sell or even rent a Harley Davidson motor cycle or purchase some products and accessories. Both men and women love this brand and the associated accessories. Common misspellings and unusual references include Herley, Horley, Hurley, Davidsan, Davidsons, Harleydavidson, Harly, Davison and of course Harleys. Harleys are simply the best motor cycles whatever they are called!

Harley Davidson Sportster

Harley Davidson Sportster

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  • Products loved by both men and women including Harley Davidson Sportster!
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