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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 19th August 2022
Magneto Sportster Magneto Sportster is online now
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Default Magneto Sportster Tries To Restore a 1953 K Model?!?! (Photos and Story Included)

First off, I know this is the "Ironhead" Section of the forum, so if the moderators don't want me posting about K Models, feel free to delete this thread. But I am not being intentionally belligerent.....the K Model is the foundation of the Ironhead Sportster that we all know and love. Hopefully you can all still appreciate the project.

First of all, I need to say that this project takes me out of my comfort zone. If you follow my posts in this forum, you know that I have done a few very correct restorations of early Ironheads. The Ironheads of the 1950's and 1960's are my passion, they are what I have spent most of my adult life studying (and RIDING). I never planned to restore any bikes outside of that "1957 - 1969" window, but last fall I branched all the way out to 1970 when I acquired a very rusty 1970 XLCH from a friend and decided to begin the restoration process.

Well, here I am with a "bookend" project on the other side. The same friend had been gathering parts for a 1953 K Model project for many years, and finally decided to part with it. After about 6 months of conversation, I finally decided to buy it.

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF8Jdf]

I will be the first to admit I do not know nearly as much about K models, especially the early ones like this 1953. Take a look in a parts manual, and notice how many parts on a Sportster start with 1955. Although the K Models looks very similar to an early Sportster, there is a lot that is different.

So here I go on my new adventure! This is what I am starting with. The engine has already been fully rebuilt (top and bottom ends) by one of the best in the business - Dave at M&G Motorcycle Service in Cinnaminson, NJ. It just needs to be cleaned up, but I know I am starting with a solid foundation:

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF8JoL]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF3Gjp]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nFbeqB]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF8JLh]

And here are all the spare parts that this project came with:

19 inch rims, front and back!

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF3Goc]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nFa61X]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nFbekb]

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nFbenk]

NOS Headlight bucket, bezel, and "Guide" sealed beam:

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF8Jnd]

Early front and rear hubs & brakes:

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nF8JQq]

I was lucky enough to have my good friend and fellow forum member, 16ouncePBR, help me load the project up and get it back to Ironheadquarters. He wanted to get the first ride, and also said that the bike riding in the back of my pickup truck at 60 mph would be the fastest this little 750 K would ever move down the road!

[url=https://flic.kr/p/2nFa63f]

I hope you all enjoy reading about my new project and the updates I will post as the project moves along.

Thanks for reading,
Magneto Sportster
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  #2  
Old 19th August 2022
sportsterpaul's Avatar
sportsterpaul sportsterpaul is offline
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Eagerly await your progress, keep it safe.
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  #3  
Old 19th August 2022
joe s joe s is online now
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cool project!
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  #4  
Old 19th August 2022
doodah man doodah man is offline
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Looks like you’ve got that special early style oil slinger on your generator.
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  #5  
Old 19th August 2022
Old Junk Old Junk is offline
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Thumbs up Yeeeeesssss!!!

This is the stuff I live for on the forum! Been a while since someone's done a build thread. I can't wait to see where this will go. I don't know anything about K models. Pretty pumped to learn. Godspeed, MagnetoSportster!!!
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  #6  
Old 19th August 2022
SportsterXLCH1967 SportsterXLCH1967 is offline
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Looks like a great project to follow with interest! Best of luck with it!
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Old 19th August 2022
CHOPTOP37 CHOPTOP37 is offline
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very interested in this developing. trying to learn the nuances of k vs sportster.
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  #8  
Old 19th August 2022
Captain Johnny Captain Johnny is online now
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Only a fool would object to a K model in this forum. They are such close cousins to our Ironheads. Starting out with a fully rebuilt motor and all those great parts, good on 'ya MS!

I think we all know how this will probably turn out.
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  #9  
Old 19th August 2022
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This flattie needs WAYYYY more chrome and polished parts.... I think I have a springer and coffin tank for it if youre interested....


Looks like a great project, you should have it together and riding by the weekend...

Congrats on the bike, looking forward to the build....
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Old 19th August 2022
Chuckthebeatertruck Chuckthebeatertruck is offline
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Looks like most of the hard to get stuff is there . . .nice score!

I'm curious whether the shop doing the top and bottom end also did a full transmission rebuild - or just a clean up of what was there. Curious because 52/53 are the "challenging" years to set up and I'd be curious to learn what if anything they did differently (if you're aware).

Looking forward to seeing this -- and then hearing about the look on your face the first time you kick it and feel that oh so weak flatty compression at kick over. Your mag kicking days will have you practically booting it to the moon :-)

Thanks for sharing!
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