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  #1  
Old 17th April 2016
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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Default 1986-90 Evo Sportsters: What every owner should know but were afraid to ask

A number of us of late have been lovingly renovating our 1986-90 Evo Sportsters and in the process were sharing details of issues and solutions to keep these lovely bikes on the road. With that in mind, it seemed to be a useful idea to to collectively list the known issues with our era of Sportster for the benefit of other owners. This is just a starting point so feel free to add your thoughts and corrections. If this turns out to be useful then maybe we can get this turned into a sticky.
......................................

In praise of the early Evo Sportster
The great thing about early Evo Sportsters is that they are so light compared to the later rubber mounts and handle nicely. They combine the advantage of the 'modern' Evo engines reliability with the heritage of the Ironhead sportster such as sand cast engines, Torrington cam bearings, replaceable lifter blocks and simplicity. These Sporsters understandably command a loyal following but do have some notable issues:

Major issues
1. Clutch/alternator bearings - alternator rotor and stator can expensively make contact.
V-twin supply a clutch basket with an encapsulated rotor which addresses the problem of magnets detaching. Zippers supply a stronger trapdoor to improve support for the mainshaft. Consider upgrading the clutch basket 6009 bearing to an NUP1009 roller bearing and a 7200 angular contact bearing for the clutch through out bearing. Only Koyo and NTN seem to list the NUP 1009 so you may have to order from a bearing factor in Asia
2. Oil tank - fracture due to poorly supporting the weight of the battery.
Harley offered the 62472-93A and 62482-93A upgrade kits but the back of the original oil tank can be reinforced and welded.
3. Clutch spring plate can break up.
Extra plate kits or Barnett Scorpion clutches remove the need for the spring plate
4. Gearbox cam follower breakage
Steel cam followers are available to replace the original pot metal cam follower. Consider replacing at 30K miles.
5. Alternator gear splines wear
Wear on these splines contributes to clutch wobble and require replacement or the "Harton fix": http://xlforum.net/forums/s....php?t=1678442
Issues after high mileage
6. Tappet rollers failure
Consider replacing the tappets after 50K miles. Or use alternatives from S&S or ........
7. Worn gears in four speed trans
Andrews supplies all of the drive gears but you have to use the pre 87 layshaft design if you to replace the first gear. Doing this looses the 'close ratio first' gear
8. Worn oil pump drive gear
After market bronze drive gears claims to resist galling better than the steel.
9. The tappet blocks can crack when using high lift cams.
S&S supply machined tappet blocks.
10. ignition module failure
Thought to be due to poor voltage regulation and or bad earths. See also item 1.
11. Bad earths
Test all earths periodically. Particularly the voltage regular earth where it bolts to the frame should be HD spec of zero ohms. This can affect voltage regulation.
Worthwhile Improvements
1. Brakes
Basically anything. Standard brakes encourage spiritual development through prayer.
2. Suspension.
The front suspension was the first to benefit from 39mm stanchions in 1988 but the damping was still a basic damper rod. Owners report real improvements after fitting cartridge emulators such as Ricor intimidators
Rear suspension is generally thought to be under-srprung and overly pre-loaded as standard. There are a wide variety of aftermarket shocks available. Progressives seem to be preferred by heavier riders.
Care needs to be taken not to strip the upper shock mounts as they are welded into the frame and cannot be replace easily
3.Transmission
consider fitting a 22 tooth drive sprocket on the drive chain as this improves cruising comfort. 22/48 seem to be the preferred combination of gearing.
See also major issues item 1 above:
Consider upgrading the clutch basket bearing with an Koyo NUP 1009 roller bearing. This is about three times as strong as the 6009 bearing and reduces wobble. A few riders have already used this upgrade successfully.
Consider fitting an NUP207-E-TVP2 bearing on the mainshaft, as this is twice as strong and stiffer than the standard 6207 bearing. These are freely available from FAG or SKF.
Consider upgrading the clutch 6200 throw out bearing with a 7200 angular contact bearing as it is more suitable to handle axial loads when the clutch is pulled. This is a well proven upgrade.
Parts no longer available
1. 1988-90 pinion gear.
History of updates
Anyone want to take this on?
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  #2  
Old 17th April 2016
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I noticed in some threads the ignition failure problem (which happend to me also). Probably due to its age, but the cause can probably also be the voltage drop due to alternator problems. Voltage goes down, curent goes up and modul and sensor starts to melt.
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Old 18th April 2016
benton benton is offline
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Ricor intiminators for the front suspension. Progressive shocks are too stiff for this light a bike unless you're heavy. Be careful not to strip the top shock studs because they can't be easily replaced.

Upgade from the sealed beam headlamp, but it's a tight fit. I had to buy a chromed headlamp replcement, but just used the insides and lens.
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Old 19th April 2016
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FOUR SPEED I upgraded basically everything you mentioned in the 10 years I've owned my 4 speed Evo.

I have an 01 in my garage also and I'll take the 90 out any day, I LOVE the 4 speed trans much better then the 5 speed. Then again the 01 is basically stock.
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1990 1200 Sportster, Cycle Shack drag pipes, XLC forward controls, Zippers Billet 4 speed trap door.Update, 86 1100 heads, NRHS 1250 cylinders, Andrews V4 cams, and Compufire Elite 1 ignition. 07 Buell oil pump, Complete Andrews 4 Speed gears and shafts, Barnett Scorpion clutch. HHI 3' mid glide trees. HHI 6 piston front caliper, H-D floating rotor.
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Old 23rd April 2016
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I will add upgrading from the 21/48 to 22/48 gearing as a great upgrade for a 1200. The four speeds don't have the gear span of a five speed. This change keeps the vibes down on the freeway. A 23 sprocket can also be fit with some grinding, but you'll lose your takeoff power. I found even a 22/47 gear set to be too high.
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Old 28th March 2017
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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UPDATE: My NUP1009 bearing has now done about 6k miles. However, there has been some mixed feedback from riders who have tried this bearing upgrade: Two have failed. We think it is due to fake NUP1009 bearings being supplied when imported from Asia. I have been trying to find out if Koyo would import some of their NUP1009 bearings, so we know we are getting real Koyo products. While doing that I noticed another potential upgrade bearing for the clutch basket. The INA BXRE009-2Z. It is a new hybrid design bearing that uses ball bearings a bit like a roller bearing. The upshot is that it has about 50% more rolling elements than the standard 6009 bearing, is nearly as strong as the NUP 1009 and is easier to lubricate. The main advantage is that you should be able to order it from an official INA/ FAG stockist. It could be the solution we are looking for!

UPDATE 2: More highly tune 86-90 Sportsters are breaking their countershafts and in the process damaging the bore of the crankcase needle roller, requiring welding and machining. The solution seems to be to fit the earlier Iron head design supplied by Andrews together with their bushed first gear. This means that the bronze bush has to be fed with oil via a drilling, so an oil collector needs to be fitted to the trapdoor countershaft bearing to feed the oil drilling.
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Old 28th March 2017
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Well, I just talked to someone in the bearing industry, and they can't find that bearing. His message to me: " INA tells me this number does not show up in the US or German system. Germany does show some BXRE part numbers but they stop at 005 and then continue in 200's... He did not see that any BXRE numbers had been brought into the US. The 005 number was a combination cylindrical roller and ball bearing. It was made for an unidentified OEM and there was no inventory. "

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Old 28th March 2017
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So if you have a supplier, supply it up, please. ☺

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Old 28th March 2017
Four Speed Four Speed is offline
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Hi Flame, its a new design apparently and it does show up on the FAG/INA web. Here are the details: http://www.fag.de/remotemedien/media..._193_de_en.pdf
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Old 28th March 2017
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Unfortunately, according to 2 different peoples at INA, these are not available. If you have some in your hands or a supplier, that would be awesome. My guy seems to think it's a great design.

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