Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?



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Thread: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

  1. #1

    Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Im looking at an 883 with 5000 Km on it, but it has a hammer performance big bore kit (1250) .. im wondering if this has negative effects on the life of the engine?

  2. #2

    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Why not just get the 1000 sporty? Then you donít have to worry about the kit.

    I know two bikes who have bored out with zero issues


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  3. #3

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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Why would someone do that? Personally I would prefer a sportster 1200 to kit bike. Factory engine should be more reliable and easier to resell. A brief look shows positive reviews for that particular kit. I would only buy it for the right price (for me that would probably be a decent amount less than a 1200 sportster).

    Be careful with insurance, that bike is playing with fire. If you tell them you increased the engine size by 50%, most companies will probably tell you to go away. If you don't tell them, that is material misrepresentation and in the event of a big claim, they could use that to avoid paying and you could lose everything you currently or ever will own.

  4. #4

    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    this was enough to change my mind. Thank you.

  5. #5
    nakkers's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbuxx View Post
    Im looking at an 883 with 5000 Km on it, but it has a hammer performance big bore kit (1250) .. im wondering if this has negative effects on the life of the engine?
    As long as the install is done right, have at it. Great kit and having the lower gearing of the 883 transmission really gives its some seat of the pants pull.

    Many do it and never look back.




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  6. #6
    JavaFan's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    that engine can be either displacement
    HD also has a kit that replaces every part required to make it a stock 1200
    so I wouldn't worry about longevity of the engine with the 1200/1250 kit

    this is of course assuming the engine was properly assembled
    there can be machining required before final assembly
    was this done? was it done right?

    if you can't be sure on those answers, I'd pass

  7. #7

    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    I don't buy engines that people have been taking apart. But that's just me. I'm sure there are lots of 1200 kits installed properly. It's the few that catastrophically fail that worry me. Almost always because it was done wrong. Then they go around blaming Harley Davidson. My advice is to just get a stock Sportster. Sportster '72 is hot seller with the youth crowd.

  8. #8
    kruzuki's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    1200/1250 upgrade is pretty routine with the XL883 engine.

  9. #9

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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    had the hammer kit on my 883 and never had an issue
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  10. #10
    DJM's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Insurance company would never know the displacement unless they pulled the cylinders and measured bore, because that's all that changes.

    Sportster forums have lots of people who have done it, some with high km's. Slightly less power than a true 1200 due to smaller valves found on 883 IIRC.

    Installation quality is the mitigating factor. eg; ring gap, ring orientation and initial start-up/break-in procedures. I personally know someone with an 883 Iron running this kit for last 5 years and no issues.
    Can't we settle this over a pint?

  11. #11

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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by nakkers View Post
    As long as the install is done right, have at it. Great kit and having the lower gearing of the 883 transmission really gives its some seat of the pants pull.

    Many do it and never look back.




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    I had a 883 to 1200 conversion and never had any problems. It came to me that way and I didn't do a lot of research but was under the impression that a full conversion had tranny changes as well.

    Check the UVIP to see how many owners it had. Mine had lots not because it was a bad bike but possibly because it got boring pretty quick. Once I realized I didn't need or want to be in the look-at-me club I bailed to touring bikes with bigger tanks.

    In a lot of circles an 883 is a chick bike so a conversion buys you out of the chick club but HDs are more known for their sound. As an old railroader put it "The steam that blows the whistle doesn't drive the wheels."
    Last edited by nobbie48; 05-17-2018 at 01:02 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    I'd want to verify who did the conversion. There are guys at home in garages that have equal or better success than dealers, and possibly a bit more fussy. But normally if something isn't right the failures happen in lower kilometers, not a couple seasons in.

    I would check my insurance before pulling the trigger on purchase, they dictate everything these days

  13. #13
    DJM's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Compression and leak-down test would take care of any concerns. And Sportsters are only chick bikes to guys with serious insecurity issues. Clowns like that are enough to identify, and avoid.
    Can't we settle this over a pint?

  14. #14

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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by crankcall View Post
    I would check my insurance before pulling the trigger on purchase, they dictate everything these days
    Quote Originally Posted by DJM View Post
    Compression and leak-down test would take care of any concerns.
    How are people insuring these? You have an 883 VIN. In my experience, insurance companies don't deal well with substantial modifications. Are people telling insurance company 1200 and a VIN decode is never done (which would seem to be a reasonable approach for both the rider and insurance company), are they insured as 883, or are people disclosing as modified to 1250?

  15. #15
    DJM's Avatar
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    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by GreyGhost View Post
    How are people insuring these? You have an 883 VIN. In my experience, insurance companies don't deal well with substantial modifications. Are people telling insurance company 1200 and a VIN decode is never done (which would seem to be a reasonable approach for both the rider and insurance company), are they insured as 883, or are people disclosing as modified to 1250?
    It's still insured as an 883. When you do a conversion to 1200 or 1250 the only thing changing are the cylinders and pistons. Since the cylinders look identical, (because they are save for bore diameter) disclosure is up to the owner.
    Can't we settle this over a pint?

  16. #16

    Re: Harley 883 w/ Big bore kit, bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by nakkers View Post
    As long as the install is done right, have at it. Great kit and having the lower gearing of the 883 transmission really gives its some seat of the pants pull.

    Many do it and never look back.
    Transmission internals are the same, overall gearing is different. Sportster 1200 has different pulley ratios - slightly taller.

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