Harley-Davidson 2005 Sportsters Include Lowest Sportster Motorcycle Yet

Harley-Davidson's new 883L has the lowest seat of any Sportster motorcycle to date. The rest of the Sportster line gets minor upgrades.

Harley-Davidson has announced its 2005 Sportster motorcycle line, headlined by a new model, the 883 Sportster Low, which, Harley says, has the lowest saddle of any Sportster model ever. This is the fifth member of the Sportster family, which was completely overhauled for 2004 and given rubber-mounted engines to smooth the savage vibrator.

The new Sportster 883L follows the model of the old style Sportster Hugger. Shorter suspension components and thinner saddle padding bring the 883L's seat closer to the ground. Its handlebar also shifts the hand controls rearward, an additional accommodation for those short of limb.

Harley lists the unladen seat height for the 883L as 27.1 inches. That's an inch lower than the Sportster 883 Custom (which also has a shortened suspension) and 2.2 inches lower than the claimed height of the standard Sportster 883.

Harley has also made two minor changes to the entire Sportster range. All models now have a larger rear axle, now 1.00-inch in diameter instead of the original's .75-inch size. This change also affects all the related parts—rear wheel, swingarm, brake components, etc. In addition, all Sportsters now have a reflector-type headlight, which Harley claims provides better forward lighting.

2005 Sportster models are being shipped to dealers now, and except for a $70 increase in the price for the Sportster 1200 Custom, the 2005 Sportsters are priced the same as the 2004 models. The suggested prices shown in the photo captions are for basic black bikes and do not include freight (which adds $195). If you want actual colors, a single color adds $180, and two-tones, where available, raise the MSRP by $375. There is a $120 emissions equipment charge for California models, and laced wheels and security systems each add $270 ($320 for the wire wheels on some models).

The rest of Harley's 2005 models will be announced on July 15.

Harley's complete release on the new Sportster motorcycles follows.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON ANNOUNCES EARLY RELEASE OF 2005 SPORTSTERS
New Model Introduced Offering Lower Seat Height and Ergonomics

MILWAUKEE (June 28, 2004) - Following an acclaimed redesign in 2004, the Harley-Davidson Sportster family moves forward in 2005 with a new model, the XL Sportster 883L, and an update to the rear axle of all Sportster models. To keep up with the high demand for the new 2004 Harley-Davidson Sportster models, shipments of 2005 models will begin early, with 2005 Sportsters shipments starting June 28, 2004.

For 48 years, the Sportster has been evocative of raw Harley-Davidson performance - a narrow, nimble motorcycle powered by a classic, torquey V-Twin engine. Five models comprise the Sportster line for 2005, each powered by an XL Evolution V-Twin engine that was completely redesigned last year, with improved cooling, high-flow cylinder heads and lighter pistons and connecting rods. The engine is rubber-mounted in the frame to isolate the rider from vibration. Stabilizer links mate the engine to the frame to enhance overall chassis stiffness.

A key update to all Sportster models for 2005 is a series of component changes associated with the rear axle. The diameter of the rear axle is increased to 1.00 inch from 0.75 inch. A new swingarm was designed to accommodate the thicker axle. A new rear wheel and new rear brake caliper also are fitted to accommodate the new rear axle. The result is a 5 percent increase in total vehicle torsional stiffness, which the rider will feel as more precise, responsive handling in all 2005 Sportster models.

All 2005 Sportster models will also have a new headlight with clear-lens, reflector-optics for improved lighting performance. A small Bar & Shield cloisonne is affixed to the headlight lens. In addition, the '05 Sportster family offers 18 color combinations and hundreds of Genuine Motor Parts and Accessories are available.

For anyone who has been dreaming about owning a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, the Sportster family provides a variety of options, all at an affordable price ranging from $6,495 to $9,495.

XL Sportster 883L

The new XL Sportster 883L features ergonomics designed specifically to fit smaller riders, and that make it easier to lift off its sidestand. A seat height of just 26 inches makes the 883L the lowest Sportster ever. A new solo seat has a lower cushion height than the seat on the XL Sportster 883, and the seat is also positioned further forward. New handlebars are pulled further back and are wider than those on the XL Sportster 883. Mid-mount foot controls will fit a wide variety of riders. Front and rear suspension is lowered and re-tuned to maintain precise handling while making it 40 percent easier to lift off its sidestand. The Sportster 883L will be offered in five colors, with a special tank graphic that differentiates it from other Sportster models.

XL Sportster 883L features:

  • Rubber-mounted 883cc XL Evolution engine
  • Silver powder-coated engine with polished covers
  • New 1-inch diameter rear axle and stiffer swingarm
  • Wide polished handlebar
  • Lowered front and rear suspension
  • Low solo seat
  • New fuel tank graphics
  • Chrome staggered shorty dual exhaust
  • Mid-mount foot controls
  • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank

    XL 883 Sportster 883

    The XL Sportster 883 is the most affordable Harley-Davidson model for 2005 at an MSRP of $6,495. Its rubber-mounted XL Evolution 883 engine delivers smooth power for easy get-aways and a vibration-free ride at highways speeds. All the classic Sportster styling elements are here: the distinctive "peanut" fuel tank, staggered dual exhaust and an oval air-cleaner cover.

    XL 883 Sportster 883 features:

  • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 883 engine
  • Silver powder-coated engine with polished covers
  • New 1-inch diameter rear axle and stiffer swingarm
  • Low-rise handlebar
  • Classic solo seat
  • Chrome staggered shorty dual exhaust
  • Mid-mount foot controls
  • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank

    XL 883C Sportster 883 Custom

    The Sportster 883 Custom offers a laid-back profile, with forward controls and pull-back handlebars. A laced 21-inch front wheel, a longer, 4.5-gallon fuel tank and a two-up seat give this Sportster a leaner, lower look. Ten paint combinations are offered for 2005 including solid, pearl and two-tone schemes.

    XL 883C Sportster 883 Custom features:

  • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 883 engine
  • Silver powder-coated engine and covers
  • New 1-inch diameter rear axle and stiffer swingarm
  • Chrome staggered shorty dual exhaust
  • Chrome pull-back handlebar riser
  • Laced 21-inch front wheel, disc 16-inch rear wheel
  • One-piece, two-up seat
  • Forward foot controls
  • 4.5-gallon fuel tank

    XL 1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster

    The XL 1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster offers a harder-edged, performance-oriented interpretation of the Sportster legacy. Its high-performance XL Evolution 1200 engine delivers 70 hp and 79 ft. lbs. of torque for responsive performance across the powerband. Wide, polished handlebars give the rider great leverage in turns, and dual front disc brakes and tachometer are standard. The 3.3-gallon fuel tank features a classic Sportster graphic and a two-tone paint scheme.

    XL 1200R Sportster 1200 Roadster features:

  • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200 engine
  • Silver powder-coated engine and covers with black powder-coated cylinders and heads
  • High-compression, high-flow cylinder heads
  • High-performance cams
  • New 1-inch diameter rear axle and stiffer swingarm
  • Triple-disc brakes
  • Tachometer
  • Mid-mount foot controls
  • 13-spoke aluminum wheels
  • Wide polished handlebars
  • Classic 3.3-gallon fuel tank

    XL 1200C Sportster 1200 Custom

    The Sportster 1200 Custom offers the performance of the rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200 engine with classic custom touches including a laced 21-inch front wheel and slotted disc rear wheel, chrome engine covers, forward-mount controls as well as pull-back handlebars and riser.

    XL 1200C Sportster 1200 Custom features:

  • Rubber-mounted XL Evolution 1200 engine
  • High-compression, high-flow cylinder heads
  • High-performance cams
  • Black powder-coated engine with chrome covers
  • New 1-inch diameter rear axle and stiffer swingarm
  • Laced 21-inch front wheel, slotted 16-inch chrome disc rear wheel
  • Forward foot controls
  • Chrome pull-back handlebar riser
  • Chrome bullet headlight
  • 4.5-gallon fuel tank

    Harley-Davidson Motor Company's entire line of motorcycles will be introduced on July 15, 2004.

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