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-   Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) (
-   -   Ironhead Extended fork tubes and low speed handling (

SHAKY DAVE 30th July 2021 00:53


Originally Posted by ChinCactus (Post 5907664)
Stock isn't ALWAYS the answer. My buddy has a 2003 Night Train. Near As I can tell, it is all stock. Thing has BAD low speed flop.

what do you expect from a stinkin evo????????

Ferrous Head 30th July 2021 01:16

A 2003 Night Train was never built to go around corners. Fine in a straight line (just not at speed).

It was built to satisfy people who buy on the "Chopper" look. Big and heavy in the back end, long and light up front.

It's exactly the direct opposite for what is required to go around a corner fast.

Have a look at something like a 2003 Ducati to see what is done for fast, good handling bikes. Built for speed, not for looks.

At a walking pace a kids pump up scooter handles OK (or we wouldn't let our kids have them) But at 60 MPH ? I don't want to be on that thing.

jsandidge 2nd August 2021 20:24

I sure am glad I took the advice of you wise folks. I put the longer stock (+2) tubes on and just got back from a ride. I love the ride now. I was able to return the shorter ones, so I'm only out the return shipping on them. Thanks guys!

Ferrous Head 2nd August 2021 23:03

Despite it's less than ideal geometry, poor suspension and excessive weight the Sportster does handle better than any Jap bike made before 1972.
It's low center of gravity and the weight help a lot with this.
If you were to lengthen and strengthen the rear swing arm, add longer adjustable dual rate shocks and replace he front forks with modern cartridge type with adjustable rebound and compression the bike will handle better than any 80's Jap bike.

But then, it wouldn't look like a Harley.

It would no longer be a chick magnet and the guys on those little 600 pocket rockets will still eat your lunch.

So, enjoy !

kitabel 3rd August 2021 00:17

low center of gravity?
Iron cylinders and heads above the cases, large diameter iron flywheels - no jap bike has that.

Ferrous Head 3rd August 2021 00:40

You'd be surprised.
Centerline of the crank on a Sportster is just below the centerline of the bike. All of the 70's Jap 4 cylinders carry the weight much higher than you would think.
The seat height adds to this with most of the 4 cylinder bikes using "plank" type seats.
The width of these 4 cylinder bikes limits how low you can put the engine in a frame.
OK with frag bikes but try and get around a crooner on a CBX 6 cylinder Honda !


here's another interesting fact.

When I went to build my first Sporton it finally dawned on me that the centerline of the engine was not on the centerline of the frame !
ie the engine is heavier on one side of the bike than the other.
Annd the engine is "offset" in the frame from where you would assume the centerline to be.

The good news was that it all made installing the engine in a Norton frame a piece of cake.

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