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Whats the difference between xl, xlh, and xlx

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  #1  
Old 01-27-2010, 01:40 PM
MCactus MCactus is offline
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Default Whats the difference between xl, xlh, and xlx

Recently picked up a 1983 Sportster XLX. Whats the difference between this and the XLH, XL?? Will parts, specifically fenders, be interchangeable? Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:11 PM
83XLX 83XLX is offline
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In 1983, the XLX was the stripped-down, all black model. It had flat-silver finished case covers, rocker boxes, and rear fender struts. It also had a black exhaust, black handlebars (same as the ones used on the Nightster and XR1200), a single instrument, small front fender, and a small solo seat.

The XLH had a dual seat, passenger pegs, dual instruments, larger front fender, higher handlebars, chrome exhaust, polished aluminum parts instead of flat silver, lower fork tree cover, and you could get it in colors other than black.

The XLS had a big tank with an instrument console, the same full fender used on the XLH, different seat, tall handlebar risers, white-letter tires, all the other chrome and polished stuff found on the XLH, and fancy paint.

All the parts are interchangable, as long as there are no interference problems with model-specific parts (for example, some seats are too long to fit with the XLS tank, but will fit the XLX and XLH just fine).

All Sportsters (except the XR) are today commonly referred to as XL's.

Last edited by 83XLX; 01-27-2010 at 05:39 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:20 PM
WVHogRider WVHogRider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
In 1983, the XLX was the stripped-down, all black model. It had flat-silver finished case covers, rocker boxes, and rear fender struts. It also had a black exhaust, black handlebars (same as the ones used on the Nightster and XR1200), a single instrument, small front fender, and a small solo seat.

The XLH had a dual seat, passenger pegs, dual instruments, larger front fender, higher handlebars, chrome exhaust, polished aluminum parts instead of flat silver, lower fork tree cover, and you could get it in colors other than black.

The XLS had a big tank with an instrument console, the same full fender used on the XLH, different seat, tall handlebar risers, white-letter tires, all the other chrome and polished stuff found on the XLH, and fancy paint.

All the parts are interchangable, as long as there are no interference problems with model-specific parts (for example, some seats are too long to fit with the XLS tank, but will fit the XLX abd XLH just fine).
For '83 probably, but it really all depends on what time frame your talking about.....There's also the XLH in which the H stood for Hot, (or was that CH for California Hot), and my '00 XLH, (not a "Hugger/Low"), was different than you're listing. Mine had a solo seat, no passenger pegs, speedo only, low bars, & regular front fender. I just wanted to point that out.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:52 PM
83XLX 83XLX is offline
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Originally Posted by WVHogRider View Post
For '83 probably, but it really all depends on what time frame your talking about.....There's also the XLH in which the H stood for Hot, (or was that CH for California Hot), and my '00 XLH, (not a "Hugger/Low"), was different than you're listing. Mine had a solo seat, no passenger pegs, speedo only, low bars, & regular front fender. I just wanted to point that out.
What I posted is '83 specific. When you get into other years, things change. The XLX was made for only 3 years, and in '85 you could get 'em in other colors and with a chrome exhaust. When the Evo came out, they were all XLH's for a while. The use of H has meant many things over the years. It originally stood for high compression, when the standard or older model had a lower compression motor, as in FL and FLH. The original Sportster was an XL, and the high compression models were the XLH and XLCH. What the C stood for is open for debate. Back in the day, the hot rod "H" models got a special decal on the oil tank...

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by 83XLX; 01-27-2010 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:38 PM
xFreebirdx xFreebirdx is offline
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Here is a list of Sportster History.
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Old 01-27-2010, 05:44 PM
Booey424 Booey424 is offline
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So with all this being said. I have a 2003 883r and on the title it says MODEL XL3.
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:38 AM
WVHogRider WVHogRider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
What I posted is '83 specific. When you get into other years, things change. The XLX was made for only 3 years, and in '85 you could get 'em in other colors and with a chrome exhaust. When the Evo came out, they were all XLH's for a while. The use of H has meant many things over the years. It originally stood for high compression, when the standard or older model had a lower compression motor, as in FL and FLH. The original Sportster was an XL, and the high compression models were the XLH and XLCH. What the C stood for is open for debate. Back in the day, the hot rod "H" models got a special decal on the oil tank...

Click the image to open in full size.
Yep, I just wanted to point out that it all depended on the year.
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:37 AM
MCactus MCactus is offline
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thanks alot for clearing that up. So how do i find out what gas tanks fit what models? On ebay some say a tank will fit a 1983-2003. Others say 83-85. Just confused and looking to get a fatbob. thanks
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Old 05-24-2014, 05:30 PM
harleymistris harleymistris is offline
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not true . i have an 83 xlx and there is NO black on it. as a mechanic i see NO diff but size of tank

Last edited by harleymistris; 05-24-2014 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-24-2014, 11:12 PM
83XLX 83XLX is offline
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Here you go...the 1983 XLX. It came stock in black only, with the small seat, black bars, single instrument, black exhaust, and silver-painted engine parts. I suppose it could have been special ordered any way you wanted it, though. I'm sure most of them have been modified over the last 30 years, too...

Click the image to open in full size.
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