The Harley Davidson Sportster: A Good Motorcycle for Beginners?

June 26, 2024

The Harley Davidson Sportster: A Good Motorcycle for Beginners?

Have you recently joined the biker camp and are looking for a bike with a strong identity?

Among the options available on the market, the Harley Davidson Sportster stands out, an emblematic icon of American motorcycle culture.

But is it the right bike when you're just starting out?

In this article, we'll explore the features, benefits and important considerations to answer that question.


Harley Davidson Sportster features

The Sportster is often described as a versatile motorcycle, offering a balance between performance and handling.

Available in different versions, such as Iron 883, Forty-Eight and SuperLow, it appeals to beginners with its classic design and intuitive handling.


Iron 48 HD


Sportssters are heavy bikes - a 2015 Sportster Iron weighs around 250 kilos - but that doesn't automatically mean you'll be penalized. Simply because the seat is low enough to keep both feet flat, even for small riders.

You'll particularly notice the kilos when stopping and starting at signs and red lights, but once you've reached cruising speed, the bike will seem easier to balance.



Design and aesthetics

The Sportster stands out for its retro look and clean lines, reminiscent of the American custom era. Its compact silhouette and low seat make it an accessible 2-wheeler for beginners of all sizes.

This bike comes in a variety of styles (bobber, scrambler, etc.). Here are just a few examples:


Custom Harley XLH 883 by David Zemla

Scrambler version : Read it >here<


Custom Harley Sportster 1200 by Atom Bomb

Bobber version "Atom bomb" 


Engine and performance


Generally equipped with a V-Twin engine, the Sportster offers moderate power for beginners.



With displacement ranging from 883cc to 1200cc, depending on the model, it offers pleasant acceleration without being too powerful for a beginner.

The V-twin's torque will never let you down, as demonstrated by this video.

Handling and control


With its relatively light weight compared to other Harley Davidson models, the Sportster will be the easiest to handle of the rest of the range.

Its low center of gravity contributes to greater stability at low speeds, making it easier to learn basic maneuvers.


Advantages for beginners


💸 Affordability: compared to other Harley Davidson motorcycles, the Sportster is often more affordable, making entry into the brand accessible to a wider audience.

👬 Community and culture: by choosing a Sportster, beginners become part of a passionate community and benefit from a rich culture around the Harley Davidson brand.

Customization: like any good custom model, the Sportster offers numerous customization options. This allows new riders to create a bike that reflects their personal style.

Here's a customization by BULL CYCLES that will probably inspire you to take the plunge:


Sportster transformation


Looking for parts or want to build from scratch? Visit >here< our online catalog of Harley-Davidson accessories and contact us for your wildest projects!


A quick recap.


Despite its many advantages, the Harley Davidson Sportster has certain aspects to consider for beginners:

Weight and dimensions: Although lighter than other Harley Davidsons, the Sportster can be heavier than some competing entry-level motorcycles.

Maintenance and costs: Like all motorcycles, a Sportster can be expensive to maintain, especially if you opt for original parts or frequent modifications.

Riding experience: Although perfect for beginners, some may prefer to start with an even lighter, less powerful bike before moving on to the Sportster. For example, the Honda Shadow or, more recently, the Honda Rebel. You'll also find other manufacturers in this category.


    What about the Sportster S?


    If you're looking for a recent motorcycle, the Sportster S is for you. But you'll need a bigger budget.

    The Sportster S is a solid motorcycle, with modern features such as Bluetooth and USB connectivity, Ride by Wire and more.


    harley Sportster S


    Perhaps the most significant change is the removal of the Evolution engine from the Sportster S.

    This engine, used on Sportsters since 1984, is also one of the most reliable motorcycle engines ever made.

    It is replaced by the Revolution Max 1250T, larger than the Evolution engine on the Sportster 1200: 1252 cc vs. 1202 cc. The new engine reduces the weight of the drive train, bringing the bike down to 230 kilos.

    In conclusion


    The Harley Davidson Sportster is an ideal motorcycle for beginners who want to combine style, moderate performance and easy handling.

    With a focus on initial training and the gradual acquisition of experience, it can be the ideal riding companion for those who embrace the spirit of freedom that only a Harley Davidson can offer.

    Whether you're attracted by its classic design or the sense of freedom it offers on the road, the Harley Davidson Sportster could well be your next choice of motorcycle.

    Take the time to try it out and feel the magic of Harley Davidson for yourself!


    To sum up


    The Harley Sportster offers a unique combination of style, performance and handling for beginners wishing to explore the world of motorcycling.

    With a rich culture and infinite customization, it embodies the unique spirit of freedom and adventure of the Harley Davidson brand.


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