Lowering HD Sportster 883

by Carolyn
( Ontario, Canada)


I am 4 ft 9" and about 105 lbs, and I just got back into riding 1 month ago. (after stopping for over 20 years).

I bought a used 2008 HD Sportster 883. The previous owner put the suspension at highest level since she's tall while I am very short. I have to tiptoe to sit on it.

Right now my hubby rides it and while I ride Yamaha V Star 250. I don't want to lower it right away since lowering it may make the bike a little bit crampy for my 5 ft 9" hubby. If lowering it doesn't make it more comfortable for me,I feel I waste money for nothing. HD dealer said I have to buy new suspension to have the bike lower in the back and of course the front has to be lowered too.

When I sat on HD 883 L in dealer's showroom, I found that I can flat foot it and the bike feels light. Does anybody know whether lowering reg. 883 will bring the same effect like riding 883 L? I am fit but not very strong, would I be able to handle this reg. sportster?

Any suggestions?? Thanks!!

Comments for Lowering HD Sportster 883

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Aug 11, 2010
Reduce the seat height
by: Michelle

Lower the back end with shorter shocks and have your husband install them. It's really easy. I did it on my 05 wide glide. I'm 5' 1/2" and I ride an 08 Street glide. I did not lower the suspension but I shaved 4 inches of foam out of my seat all the way down to the hard seat pan and inserted a gel pad and recovered it with the existing seat cover. I now have 17,000 miles on that seat with no comfort issues. I sell Harley's at a dealership in Marysville, WA and have been riding for years. Reducing the seat height and narrowing the seat spread is a really cheap and easy way to lower your bike without compromising the suspension! Good Luck!!!

Aug 06, 2010
by: Anita - Sac, CA

I say if you get an 883L without losing any money on the 883 you have now, GO FOR IT!

You will definitely spend a lot of money to have the current bike lowered so it's probably best to get one that's factory lowered.

Aug 04, 2010
Buy a new 883 L instead?
by: Carolyn

Thanks for everybody that gave me advices regarding lowering HD 883. But there are a few things that my hubby brought it up recently. You see to lower the suspension will cost us $ 400-600 (plus labour). Then we have to lower the front fork, buy pull back riser, another steering wheel plus mid control (this one cost $ 400). My husband thinks that it may be better off for us to buy new 883 L. What does anybody think about that? Thanks!!

Jul 31, 2010
It can be done!
by: Sassy2731

I would go ahead and have your bike lowered and have your hubby get another bike. I know for a fact that a sportster can be lowered for your height. I have a friend that is 4'9" and her bike has been lowered and she rides just fine. I'm 5'2" and my hubby even designed a new way to lower my Roadking Classic with leather bags to fit me. As long as you can reach the ground and are able to back the bike up you can ride it. Trust me my roadking is much larger than your sportster and I can ride with no problems. We have lowered many different bikes in our shop so don't let anyone tell you that it can not be done, because I know it can. Now get out there and ride, ride, ride.

Jul 30, 2010
How low to go....
by: Anita - Sac, CA

I used to have a Sportster 1200C that I had lowered by simply purchasing a shorter set of shocks. I am 5'3". I never messed with the front forks and was told that I didn't need to since I was lowering the bike less than 2" (I think I put 10.5" Progressives on).

There is lots of info out there on lowering bikes and some will say you have to lower the front end as well, but I don't believe that.

You can also buy what is called 'lowering blocks' instead of replacing your shocks. Lowering blocks will lower the bike up to 3", depending on what shocks you have on there now and the manufacturer you buy the blocks from (and they're much cheaper than shocks). With lowering blocks you have to be careful not to go too low otherwise your rear tire will hit the fender over bumps (and if you're riding 2 up).

I would suggest going to the sportster forum online and do some research. There are lots of threads on this subject and plenty of nice folks there to help you with any questions.

I don't believe the bike is too much for you to handle as long as you have both feet planted and can move it without any help.

Good luck!

Jul 30, 2010
Lower It
by: Lynn - Florida

If it's your bike to ride, lower it! That is the only way you will feel comfortable on it. Have hubby trade the 250 and get a bike for him.

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