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-   -   Ironhead Need some advice on 1983 Ironhead (http://xlforum.net/forums/showthread.php?t=2074450)

flthd31 23rd August 2019 00:13

1983 Ironhead do-over - update
 
I'm looking for a winter project and could use some advice. I've been looking for an XLH rather that add electric start to my original paint 71 XLCH. I'm getting a little old to be kickin that beast.
I've lost out on a couple but this one I'm still dealing on. It's a 1983 XLH.
These don't seem to be to popular on this forum so there isn't a lot of info to look at.
It looks to me to be pretty much stock to me but I really am not knowledgeable enough to know with these 80's bikes. The bike starts and runs but that Keihin carb need a little love. The exhaust guards and air cleaner are off for a better view.

Would love some input...opinions, positive or negative.
Were somewhere between 1500 and 1900 at this time. Is this reasonable?
Thanks for any input.


[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/hGrko2R.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/6yyKAfS.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/Kz8d08K.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/jxnU5w7.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/vbjrZEU.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/rLxyJwI.jpg?1[/IMG]

ferretface 23rd August 2019 00:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by flthd31 (Post 5772174)
...this one I'm still dealing on. It's a 1983 XLH.
These don't seem to be to popular on this forum so there isn't a lot of info to look at.

I bought my 83 XLH a few months ago. The PO (or two) had 'upgraded' some parts to XLX and I am continuing the conversion. I like the look of the XLX better. :)

The price seems reasonable if everything works. There will always be some things that need attention, and a 36 year old Harley probably is the poster child for that.

If I had seen it I might have bid on it at that price range. But there are several parts I would swap out immediately, which would push the price up, so if you can stand all that chrome and badges then IMO you should go for it. If it runs and it all works. ;)

flthd31 23rd August 2019 01:11

Quote:

Originally Posted by ferretface (Post 5772177)
I bought my 83 XLH a few months ago. The PO (or two) had 'upgraded' some parts to XLX and I am continuing the conversion. I like the look of the XLX better. :)

The price seems reasonable if everything works. There will always be some things that need attention, and a 36 year old Harley probably is the poster child for that.

If I had seen it I might have bid on it at that price range. But there are several parts I would swap out immediately, which would push the price up, so if you can stand all that chrome and badges then IMO you should go for it. If it runs and it all works. ;)


Thanks for the reply.
My plan would be to actually tear the bike down this winter and refurbish everything and get it as close to original as possible. All that chrome would get repainted black as original and the tins would get repainted as original. I do this myself so cost isn't a big factor.
The XLX is a good looking bike. There's quite a few of them on this forum. That conversion is something I could do in the future...maybe.

owlsplace 23rd August 2019 01:59

I like the chrome on my '81 and there is lots of it. I get compliments all the time. Price sounds reasonable to me.

Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk

IronMick 23rd August 2019 03:33

Quote:

Originally Posted by flthd31 (Post 5772181)
... My plan would be to actually tear the bike down this winter and refurbish everything ...

Generally speaking, it is a good idea to ride the bike as for a year fixing only things that need to be fixed to keep it running. Then decide how much of a tear down is needed. One expert mechanic once famously said "Never tear down a good running engine". :)

rokytnji 23rd August 2019 13:46

Yep. What IronMick stated is golden words.

I have a garage full of unfinished projects. Good thing I have backups.

Our 1983 will roll with a side car when I get around to it.

Edit.

Just looking at pics. It would be in my trailer already. Because pickins is real queer out here . Junk seems to cost money lately.

Iron Mike 23rd August 2019 14:56

Advice can come from 2 sides. I dont think it should take a year to assess the condition of a bike. I can wear a used bike out in a year. A solid weekend and a few tests of the vitals can tell you what you need to know to determine a good starting parts list. A bike can be rebuilt in a week with proper planning, definitely can be done over the winter. It is all based on your drive, your capabilities and your wallet. That looks like a fairly complete machine with potential. Cosmetics are the easy part especially for a guy that does that kind of stuff regularly. Bring cash with you to inspect the bike, try to take it for a test ride. Keep all of the good points to yourself and point out its shortcomings only, and dont appear too eager. If he has no recollection of service to the major items, chassis, trans ect., remind him these are unknowns and will need to be inspected. If the bike performs decent on your test ride, shifts good, no oil residue in pipes ect., make an offer. Or if you pull up to the house and fall in love at first sight, make an offer, theres no advice for that.
Best of luck, happy hunting.

ryder rick 23rd August 2019 16:12

IM gives sound advice for PURCHASING.

I will echo the sentiment "Do not "tear down" a good running motor"

Guys will get all excited to use the skills they learned on TV and YouTube and build a "Bobber".

First of all most "bobbers" are a POS to ride.

That jockey shifted, suicide clutch "bobber" is not fun to ride.
That missing or cut down front fender invites every bit of dirt and road grit into your mouth and eyes.
Those cleaned off handle bars, means no front brake to hold you on a hill and when you stall it making a left turn means it will be easier to push it through traffic than to restart it.
And those bitchen short straight exhaust pipes will make it run like poo and you will be posting here complaining about you cant get your carb working right.
Then one ride you will have an electrical fire because you rewired it and got rid of all those extra wires.

However few ever get this far, a bike comes apart very quickly 1 or 2 hours and I can have an ironhead reduced to it's basic components. Then the reality and magnitude of the project comes to light. Every Ironhead I have taken apart has problems. Screwed up oil pumps from garbage in the oil, they all come with 2 transmission gears that WILL explode and usually go through the cases when they do, swing arm bearings that have never been serviced, neck bearings that fly everywhere when you disassemble them, smeared pistons because they have been slow idled, broken bolts, stuff gets taken apart with a pipe wrench because a 6pak is more important that the correct tool, after that 6pak is gone there are more lost parts and broken parts and little or no memory of how to reassemble them.

The bike never gets reassembled and sold at a loss. All because someones ego wrote a check they cant cash.

Simple repairs are difficult for most riders and the magnitude of a complete "build" is way beyond most riders reach. If they do "finish" it many won't be able to ride it around the block much less than to make it to the next county and back without having to work on it.

So "maintain" a stock bike to actually ride, and buy one of these unfinished projects to tinker with. Don't fall into the delusion of a TV "build" that gets done in 1 week and gets ridden across the country with no problems.

A drill with a Uni-Bit a torch and a big hammer don't make anyone a "Builder", but many can with time and patience 'Maintain" a good running bike for many smiles.

cazz1000 23rd August 2019 16:35

amen ,,, brother rick,,,,

flthd31 23rd August 2019 17:10

Lots of great feedback, thanks, but slightly off track.

I did tear a '71 down in the winter of 2017 and finished it by spring...no prob. It's a great bike, starts fairly easily and really flies, but would love an electric start at my age.

I don't post a lot on this forum but I read it constantly. I realize that tearing into a bike is not done or encouraged by most on this forum but rest assured there are some that can manage it in a timely successful manner.

My main focus for this post was to see if this price is reasonable and how much of this 83 looks aftermarket. These 80's bikes seem to have many different looks.

The tank looks too big to me.
The handle bars look too high to me.
Stuff like this.

Here's couple of shots of the 71 before and after my winter work. It runs as good as it looks. Doing the work is not a problem.

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/lzkDXCE.jpg?1[/IMG]

[IMG]https://i.imgur.com/czRoYDg.jpg?1[/IMG]


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