What is the difference between Harley Sportster 883 and 1200 engines?

Looking at specs, 883 and 1200 has same stroke, the difference is the bore size.  I'm wondering if the rest of the two engines are identical?  Maybe heads are different due to different bore sizes. But what about the cases and the transmission?  Maybe different gear ratio?  but are the case the same?

3 Answers

  • Bill
    Lv 4
    4 months ago

    Other than the cylinder bore, only minor differences.  The main ones are the different cylinder heads with smaller valves  on the 883 and different rear sprockets.  The 1200 rear sprocket has 66 teeth while the 883 has 68 but the front sprocket is the same. 

    As stock, an 883 has maximum torque at 3750 rpm vs. 3500 rpm for a 1200.     Cams, cases, and transmissions are the same.

    Usually the 883 engine has a cheaper finish, often silver and painted covers while the 1200 has one of the black finishes with chrome covers.  This varies by model and model year, however. 

    Harley has a kit to convert an 883 to 1200.  Riders who have this done usually leave the rear sprocket alone and just do the engine, often adding a Stage 1 to maximize performance.  Supposedly the torque is higher for a 1200 after the conversion from an 883, as compared to as factory 1200, due to the smaller valves.

    For general riding, either is fine with an 883 bike roughly $1,000 less expensive if buying new.

    Source(s): 1200C currently, have no complaints.
  • Anonymous
    4 months ago

    It's essentially just the pistons, barrels, heads, an ECM recalibration, and some minor bits like gaskets and a heavier clutch spring.  Nothing else is included in the kit Harley sells that it claims brings your 883 up to 1200 specs.


  • Aiden
    Lv 5
    4 months ago

    The difference between Harley Sportster 883 and 1200 is 317

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