When the folks at Harley-Davidson introduced the K-model (direct ancestor of the XL, or Sportster line) back in 1952, I doubt they could have known they were birthing a genre that would still be thriving over half a century later. Yet, here we are with a 2018 Sporty that pays tribute not so much to the factory, but to the custom touches added by owners over the ages. The factory stayed faithful to at least one important aspect – performance. While XL models have never been known as ’fast’ bikes, they certainly have a well-deserved reputation as ’quick’ bikes. Nothing in the Harley world comes out of the hole like a Sporty, or handles the corners like one, and the Iron 883 maintains that tradition with aplomb. Bikes like this show how the XL line has not only survived, but also thrived in the entry-level and sport-minded American markets.