The Newest Dark Custom

Kelly Yahr at Harley-Davidson has emailed me again, this time with some pics of the newest Dark Custom motorcycle offering from the MoCo: The Iron 883.

It’s not a bad-looking bike:

The Iron 883
The Iron 883

Kelly writes, “Not sure if you’ve seen it yet, but I wanted to let you know that Harley-Davidson unveiled the new Iron 883 – the latest Harley-Davidson Dark Custom motorcycle. This blacked-out, stripped-down Sportster starts at just $7,899, leaving plenty of freedom for customization.”

That’s not a bad price, actually.

I’m not a big fan of the 883 Evo engine.  There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it mechanically, but, in modern terms, an 883 twin is fairly gutless in terms of power, if you’re gonna do much two-up riding.  Not that you’d really do any of it with this bike, which is essentially a black-power-coated Nightster.  The main problem with the 883 engine is that it weighs just as much as the 1200 engine, so the smaller engine doesn’t bring any weight advantages with it.

The Iron 883 Engine
The Iron 883 Engine

In any event, according to HD:

Decked in black from fender-to-fender, the new Harley-Davidson Iron 883 brings the beat of an 883 Evolution engine backed up by a combo of gritty, old-school garage features like front fork gaiters, drag style handlebar and side-mount license plate holder.

The black powder-coated 883 cc Evolution powertrain with black covers takes the Iron 883 deep into the heart of darkness. With Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) and performance tuning with a flat torque curve, the Iron 883 delivers plenty of power for the city scene. The pipes on the straight cut shorty dual exhaust flow the distinctive American V-Twin sound.

The black chopped rear fender with its combination stop/turn/tail lights shows more of the 150 mm rear tire and black, 13-spoke cast aluminum wheel, while the front tire also rides on a black wheel. The rest of the Iron 883 gets a darker-suited presence with black front forks and fender supports, fuel tank, oil tank cover, belt guard, drag style handlebar and mid mount foot controls.

A classic Sportster solo seat with a height of 25.3 inches fits the lone rider, while a passenger seat and a backrest in complementing black finishes can be added as accessories.

Check out more on the Iron 883 and Harley-Davidson Dark Custom motorcycles at

It sounds exciting, if you’re interested in an 883.  I’m more attracted to the touring line, but, the 883 is a popular bike, and I suppose the Dark Custom deal is working out well for the MoCo, so this model will probably work out well for them, as well.

By the way, another note on HD marketing.  I’m a pretty small-time motorcycle blogger.  yet, somehow, HD found me, and Kelly keeps me updated on what’s happening at Harley.  And, they get some free marketing information dissemination from me.

Now, I’m an equal-opportunity motorcycle blogger.  But somehow, no one at Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki, or Suzuki is interested in providing me with any similar content.  Even though that content would allow them to use me as a free marketing outlet for them.

What is the marketing lesson we learn from this?

Author: Dale Franks

Dale Franks is the former host of The Business Day, ”a daily, four-hour business and financial news program on KMNY Radio in Los Angeles. From 2002-2004, he was a contributor on military and international affairs for Currently, he a publisher and editor of the monthly political journal The New Libertarian, as well as an editor of the popular web log, Q and O. Dale served as a military police officer in the United States Air Force from 1984 to 1993, in variety of assignments both in the United States and Europe, where he also was assigned to the staff of the Headquarters of Allied Forces Central Europe. In addition to broadcasting, writing, and speaking on various topics, Dale has also been a long-time technical training instructor on a variety of computer software and technology subjects. Dale has also long been involved with information technology as an accomplished web designer, programmer, and technologist, serving as the corporate knowledge specialist for Microsoft Outlook at SAIC, the nation's largest employee-owned corporation. Additionally, he is the author of a number of software user guides used for classroom training by one of Southern California’'s premier computer training and consulting firms. His book, SLACKERNOMICS: Basic Economics for People Who Find Economics Boring, is available from Barnes & Noble.

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