Honda and Harley-Davidson are two famous and trusted motorcycle companies. Because of their specific skills and lineups, neither motorcycle manufacturer competes directly. Harley-Davidson focuses more on creating cruisers with comfortable ergonomics and powerful engines. Meanwhile, Honda builds the most reliable bikes in the motorcycle categories, cruisers and bikes with distinct styles, classes, and performances.
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is a popular cruiser in the Honda Shadow range. It was retired in 2007, along with the rest of the Honda Shadow VT1100 series. However, because it is a simple, powerful, and adaptable vehicle, it is still popular among motorcycle enthusiasts. The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 was dubbed the “street rod” of the Honda Cruiser lineup.
Meanwhile, the Harley Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 is a simple yet attractive bike with an original cruiser look. It has high holding value and high-quality construction with a sturdy frame and components. The Harley Sportster Iron 1200’s color palette and petrol tank artwork were inspired by Harley-Davidson motorcycles of the 1970s. It compared the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 vs the Harley Sportster Iron 1200. One can also read the comparison review of 2023 Honda Shadow Phantom 750 vs 2023 Harley Sportster Iron 1200.
2023 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Vs 2023 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 – Features
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is a mid-sized cruiser with a raked front end that gives it a chopper-style look. It has a black color scheme with flame graphics to enhance its hot rod look. The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is a small motorcycle with many chrome elements, such as a spherical headlamp nacelle, front fork, two separate twin mufflers, and engine heads. It has a radiator behind the front wheel as it is liquid-cooled. The blacked-out frame of the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is accented by the engine stroke with chrome fins. Chrome and blackout elements give this motorcycle a traditional cruiser look. The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 features standard-sized, kitted front and rear fenders and conventional tail/stop lights. It has a single-piece saddle that allows for a comfortable two-up ride. A primary peanut-shaped fuel tank and gauges are mounted on the vast, semi-swept back handlebars with low risers outside the Honda Shadow Saber 1100.
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is a contemporary cruiser with blackout looks and distinctive ergonomics. It sports a taller front end with a semi-swept back, high-mounted mini-ape handlebars, and a planted lower end with a 25.7-inch seat height. The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 boasts a sleek design, a cafe racer-style solo seat, and a compact 3.3-gallon fuel tank. The mini-app handlebar has blacked-out side mirrors, front turn signals, and instruments. The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 features bobber-style front and rear fenders, which allow a full view of the beautiful blacked-out, cast aluminum wheels shod in Michelin® tires. It also sports a typical round-shaped air filter cover and dual slash-cut exhaust pipes that are two-by-two.
Engine and Performance
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is powered by a 1,099cc liquid-cooled, SOHC, 45° V-Twin engine that produces 93.4 Nm of torque at 2,750 rpm and 68.9 hp at 4,500 rpm. Because it is an older model, it has twin 36 mm CV carburetors to ensure continuous fuel delivery to the engine and a fuel economy of 45.5 mpg. The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 also features a cleaner five-speed sequential transmission and an easy-to-maintain final shaft drive. To provide better acceleration and throttle responsiveness, the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 features a dual-pin crank engine architecture and lower gears than the rest of the Honda Shadow VT1100 series. Ignition and valve timing changes also result in improved performance and a smoother riding experience.
Since it is lightweight, the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is easy to operate while rounding corners. To ensure adequate braking, it has a 336 mm single front disc and a 276 mm single rear disc brake. The 41 mm front fork with five piston springs and preload adjustable dual rear shock absorbers on the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 guarantee handling and comfort during long-distance travel. The front fork has 4.7 inches of wheel travel, while the twin rear shocks have 3.9 inches.
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is powered by a 1,202 cc air-cooled EvolutionTM V-Twin engine that produces 98.97 Nm of torque at 3,500 rpm and 60 hp. It has a slightly larger engine with a compression ratio 10:1 compared to the Honda Shadow Saber 1100. On the other hand, the Harley Sportster Iron 1200 has a five-speed transmission with a final belt drive. Unlike the Honda Shadow Saber 1100, it has an Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI) engine that delivers a superior fuel economy of 48 mpg. Despite having a 1,202cc engine, the Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is considered an entry-level Harley. The 1,202cc Evolution V-Twin engine produces reliable low-end torque, making it ideal for city riding and short rides.
The narrow shape and low total weight of the Harley Sportster Iron 1200 provide superior stability when turning tight corners and maneuvering through twists and turns. The non-adjustable cartridge-style front fork and dual rear shocks provide insufficient wheel travel and should only be used on paved surfaces. The front suspension has 3.6 inches of wheel travel, while the rear suspension has 1.6 inches. The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 has a 300 mm single front disc, 260 mm rear disc brakes, and an optional ABS to ensure reliable braking.
Comfort and Ergonomics
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is a lightweight, comfortable motorcycle with forward-mounted foot controls that provide ample legroom for taller riders. It has a 27.2-inch seat height and wide, low-mounted, semi-swept back handlebars that maintain an upright rear position. If you prefer comfortable ergonomics and a stretched riding position, swap out the stock handlebars for the Pullback Buckhorn handlebars.
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 is an enjoyable entry-level bike for riders of all heights. On the other hand, shorter riders should sit a bit further to reach the handlebars. Moreover, if you need to become more familiar with motorcycle riding, this vehicle is not for you as the engine delivers low torque. Viking Bags offers saddlebags and backrests for the Honda Shadow Saber 1100 to expand luggage options and enhance comfort.
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 comes standard with a flat solo rider seat that lacks back support and comfort on long rides. With mid-mounted foot controls and high-mounted mini-ape handlebars, it has exceptional ergonomics and a slightly sportier riding style. Due to limited legroom, it is not suitable for tall passengers. However, due to its low seat height of 25.7 inches and straight back position, short and average riders can easily ride the Harley Sportster Iron 1200. It is ideal for city trips and regular travel. Due to its short wheel travel and tight legroom, the Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is unsuitable for long-distance trips on rough and rocky terrain. On long-distance rides, the rider must stretch their knees every hour.
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 can be converted into a tourer by fitting some aftermarket parts from Viking bags that increase storage space and also improve comfort and safety. Aftermarket parts include saddlebags, crash bars, fairings, handlebars, comfort seats, sissy bars, and backrests.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is the Harley Davidson Iron 1200 a Good Beginner Motorbike?
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is a beginner-friendly bike with a sleek design, low wet weight, good handling, and a low seat height. Despite having a 1,202cc V-Twin engine, this vehicle only produces a little horsepower or torque, making it perfect for beginners.
What is the top speed of the Honda Shadow Saber 1100?
The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 has a torquey engine, contributing to its agility. The 1,099cc V-Twin engine delivers responsive throttle and acceleration. The Honda Shadow Saber 1100 has a top speed of 107 mph.
What is the top speed of the Harley Sportster Iron 1200?
The Harley Sportster Iron 1200 is designed as a sleek cruiser with a slightly aggressive riding style. Its lightweight and agile design allows it to reach a maximum speed of 118mph and accelerate to 60 mph in 4.2 seconds.
2023 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Vs 2023 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 – Technical Specification
|Specs \ Bikes||2023 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100||2023 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200|
Engine and Performance
|Displacement||1,099 cc||1,202 cc|
|Engine Design and Type||SOHC, 45 ° V-Twin||
|No. of Cylinders||Two||Two|
|Valves Per Cylinder||Three||Four|
|Horsepower||68.9 hp at 4,500 pm||60 hp|
|Torque||93.4 Nm at 2,750 pm||98.97 Nm at 3,500 pm|
|Stroke||91.4 mm / 3.6 in||96.52 mm / 3.8 in|
|Bore||87.5 mm / 3.4 in||88.9 mm / 3.5 in|
|Fuel Injection System||Twin 36 mm Constant Velocity Carburetors||Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)|
|Transmission||Five-Speed Manual, Sequential||Five-Speed|
|Clutch||Wet, Multidisc||Wet, Multiplate|
|Fuel Economy||45.5 mpg||48 mpg|
|Muffler||Chrome, Separate Dual Mufflers||Blacked-out, Separate Dual Mufflers|
|Exhaust||Two-Into-Two Exhaust||Twin-Into-Two Exhaust|
|Frame||Steel Frame||Mild Steel, Tubular Frame|
|Front: 100/90B19 57H Michelin®
Rear: 150/80B16 77H Michelin®
|Wheels||Cast Aluminum Wheels||Nine-Spoke, Blacked-Out Aluminum Wheels|
|Front||316 mm Single Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper||300 mm Single Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper|
|Rear||276 mm Single Disc with Single-Piston Caliper||260 mm Single Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper|
|Front||41 mm Front Fork||39 mm Cartridge-Style Front Fork, Non-Adjustable|
|Rear||Dual Shocks with Five-Position Spring Preload Adjustability||Variable Rate Spring with Nitrogen-charged
Emulsion-Style Dual Shocks, Preload-Adjustable
|Front Wheel Travel||4.7 in||3.6 in|
|Rear Wheel Travel||3.9 in||1.6 in|
Dimensions and Weight
|Trail||161 mm / 6.3 in||116.84 mm / 4.6 in|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||4.2 gal||3.3 gal|
|Ground Clearance||N/A||4.3 in|
|Width||965 mm / 38.0 in||109.22 mm / 36 in|
|Height||1,160 mm / 46 in||1239.52 mm / 48.8 in|
|Length||2,440 mm / 96 in||2199.64 mm / 86.6 in|
|Seat Height||691 mm / 27.2 in||652.78 mm / 25.7 in|
|Wheelbase||1,650 mm / 65 in||1513.84 mm / 59.6 in|
|Wet Weight||612 lbs / 277.6 kg||564 lbs / 255.83 kg|