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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 17th June 2019
kristyza kristyza is offline
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Talking New to the HD world, Ironhrad vs Shovel, whats the diff

So I'm new to the HD world and was wondering the similarities and differences in the body, and engine of an 84 ironhead vs a shovelhead? Thnx
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  #2  
Old 17th June 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Iron 883, now 1200
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Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1959
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the main difference is Shovelheads are larger displacement and the engine and trans are separate units. Ironheads (and all Sportsters) have the trans and crankcase housed together. K models had the same type of crankcase.

Shovels are a little bigger bike as well





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  #3  
Old 17th June 2019
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and sound a whole lot different too
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  #4  
Old 17th June 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Iron 883, now 1200
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Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1959
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Sportsters have the final drive on the right side
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Old 17th June 2019
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Sportster/Buell Model: Iron 883, now 1200
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Evolution of HD big twins

https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/blog/....z7mW1C3d.dpbs

Sportster history

https://www.lowbrowcustoms.com/blog/....rgDY7mG3.dpbs
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  #6  
Old 17th June 2019
Iron Mike Iron Mike is online now
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4 cams and better pushrod geometry.
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Old 17th June 2019
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shovel had a torque advantage
shovel had crappy head flow characteristic.
took a little more finesse to coax more power
even though it had a weird cam setup, they still could run
get away from stock hd gearing, would easily smoke a beemer 900rs (that was a fun street race)
i give the xl hands up on handling, doing "8"'s or knee slide
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Old 17th June 2019
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The rocker boxes looked similar. Other than that, two completely different bikes. It's like comparing any sportster today to a big twin.
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Old 17th June 2019
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The one on the left is a Shovel and the one on the right is an XLCH

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  #10  
Old 17th June 2019
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The shovel is an attempt to make a bigger,clumsier albeit more powerful bike into a lighter almost as nimble and almost as racy version of a true sports bike,thus the name Sportster.
Once in a while ,you see some wing ding try to turn a Sportster into a smaller lighter version of a big bike by adding pounds of fairings saddle bags and even more cumbersome big bike tanks and fenders,....never should the twain meet or try to imitate one another. There's always trade offs and side effects,like drugs ,that aren't usually good.
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