Cruiser Battle: Yamaha Bolt vs H-D Iron 883

Here’s how the two motorcycles fare against each other on paper

Bolt vs Iron

Yamaha recently launched the 2020 Bolt in the Japanese market. It goes directly against the Harley-Davidson Iron 883. While both motorcycles belong to the same genre, one has a distinct Japanese flair and the other one is all about, well, American iron. Let’s see which one’s superior on paper.



2020 Yamaha Bolt

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 BS6


941cc air-cooled fuel-injected, SOHC 4-valve V-twin 

883cc air-cooled V-twin Evolution engine with fuel injection


54PS @ 5500rpm



80Nm @ 3000rpm

70Nm @ 3500rpm


5-speed, belt drive

5-speed, belt drive

There’s no replacement for displacement, so naturally, the Yamaha Bolt’s engine is a lot more torquey. It arrives slightly earlier down the rev range too. This coupled with the 4kg lighter weight should make the Bolt, well, bolt effortlessly from traffic lights. Both bikes have a well-spaced 5-speed transmission so cruising down the highway at triple-digit speeds should be effortless.

Despite packing a bigger motor, the Bolt is slightly more fuel efficient with a claimed mileage of 21.2kmpl as compared to the Iron 883’s claimed figure of 20.8kmpl.



2020 Yamaha Bolt

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 BS6


Double cradle frame

Double cradle frame

Front suspension

Telescopic fork

Telescopic fork

Rear suspension

Twin shock absorbers/ Twin gas-charged shock absorbers with adjustable preload in the R variant

Twin shock absorbers

Front brake

298mm petal disc with ABS

Disc with ABS

Rear brake

Petal disc with ABS

Disc with ABS

Front tyre

100 / 90 - 19 (tubed/ tubeless in R variant)

100/90 - 19

Rear tyre

150 / 80 - 16 (tubed / tubeless in R variant)

150/80 - 16

The 2020 Yamaha Bolt and the Harley-Davidson Iron 883 BS6 have a similar set of underpinnings. But in the Bolt R variant, it gets more sophisticated gas-charged twin preload-adjustable shock absorbers which offer better damping than conventional units. The petal discs on the Bolt also offer better heat dissipation thanks to the greater surface area when compared to conventional discs.

While the Iron 883 comes with standard machined alloy wheels, the base variant of the Bolt gets old-school spoke wheels. The obvious downside to this is tubed tyres but Yamaha offers alloy wheels with tubeless tyres in the Bolt R for those who prefer practicality over authenticity.

Dimensions & Features:

Iron 883 underpinnings


2020 Yamaha Bolt

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 BS6




Ground clearance



Fuel tank capacity

13 litres

12.5 litres

Seat height



Kerb weight



The 55mm longer wheelbase in the 2020 Yamaha Bolt should enhance high-speed stability considerably. However, the lengthier wheelbase might make it lazier to turn compared to the Iron 883. When it comes to accessibility, the Bolt wins thanks to its 70mm lower seat height compared to the Iron 883.

Both bikes are quite minimalistic when it comes to the features department. While the Iron 883 gets a semi-digital instrument cluster, the Bolt comes with a fully digital unit. Both the consoles aren’t that info-laden and show only crucial details like speed, low fuel warning, odometer reading, and tripmeter reading apart from other tell-tale lights. The two motorcycles are equipped with a halogen headlamp and an LED tail lamp.

Price & Verdict:

Iron 883 BS6

2020 Yamaha Bolt

Harley-Davidson Iron 883 BS6

Std: 890,000 yen (around Rs 6.27 lakh)

Bolt R: 1,025,200 yen (around Rs 7.22 lakh)

Rs 9.26 lakh in India

(Around an equivalent of Rs 9.68 lakh in Japan)

Despite packing a larger, more powerful engine, the 2020 Yamaha Bolt offers more value for money compared to the Harley-Davidson. If you want a true-blue cruiser with Japanese reliability, the Bolt seems to be the apt choice. The Harley-Davidson Iron 883 is for those who want a quintessential Harley serving as a blank canvas with a huge scope for customisation.

All prices ex-showroom.

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