Trick Out Your 883 Sportster

Harley wants you to customize your Sportster.

Part of the Harley mystique has always been the personalization of the bikes by their riders. Long ago, cheap, used police and Army surplus bikes were stripped down and souped up by men who had to make or modify many of their parts. Now the personalization of Harleys is one of the motor company’s most important revenue streams. Harley invites numerous simple modifications to their motorcycles in hopes of selling you the pieces you need. So, anyone can make three quick changes. Exchange the standard seat for one you like better. Install new mufflers to make your bike a little faster. And, install a sissy bar so she won’t fall off the back.


1. Remove the Allen or Phillips head screw and washer that fastens the tab on the back of your seat to the rear fender with a Phillips head screw driver or an Allen key. Remove the seat by pulling the seat up and back.

2. Install a new seat by pushing the new seat down and forward. Refasten the seat tab to the fender with the key or screwdriver.

3. Remove the trim bolts on the sides of each rear fender holding the nut inside the fender still with an open end wrench and turning the exposed bolt head with a socket wrench and socket. Apply thread locker (a kind of glue for bolts and screws) to the docking bolts included with a sissy bar mount.

4. Replace the bolts you just removed with the sissy bar mount docking bolts. Loosely screw the original hex bolts and washers inside the fender to the ends of the docking bolts.

5. Push the notches on the two sissy bar mounting plates onto the docking bolts. Tighten the nuts on the docking bolts with an open end wrench.

6. Stick the sissy bar sides into the openings on the mounting plates. Secure the sissy bar to the mounting plates with the Phillips head or Allen screws included with your sissy bar kit.

7. Loosen the heat shields on your exhaust pipes by opening the worm clamps with a flathead screwdriver.

8. Loosen the 4 bolts that hold your exhaust pipes to the exhaust manifold with a socket wrench and socket.

9. Remove the bracket that fastens your exhaust pipe to the belt drive cover with an open end wrench. Loosen the clamp that connects the mufflers to the header pipes using a screw driver.

10. Unfasten the mufflers from the exhaust bracket by removing the four exhaust bracket bolts with an open end wrench. Pull the mufflers off the exhaust pipes.

11. Replace the old mufflers with the new mufflers. Clamp the new mufflers to the old pipes.

12. Reconnect the exhaust to the exhaust bracket and the belt drive cover. Re-tighten the exhaust manifold flange bolts and retighten the heat shields.