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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #21  
Old 23rd December 2019
ParrotHead's Avatar
ParrotHead ParrotHead is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Near Philly
Posts: 7,908
Sportster/Buell Model: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year: 2006
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1200R
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 2007
Other Motorcycle Model: Suzuki GT550
Other Motorcycle Year: 1974
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Vehicles age more when sitting so I'd be more interested in knowing how many miles in the last year or two (individually). Also as stated what is the maintenance history.

I bought a 2007 1200R in April 2018 with 20,000 miles on it. The PO had all the maintenance records from the local dealer and there wasn't a mark on it. I put another 10,000 miles on it this year

My 2006 1200R now has 261,000 miles on it and runs great. The original engine lasted until 203,000 miles and died an early death do to my mistake. the only issue was oil coming out the breathers, I was adding about 1 qt every 5,000 miles. The replacement engine had 17,000 miles on it when installed in May 2017 and now has about 75,000 on it. I have done nothing major to either engine other than change the oil every 5,000 miles or so using HD Syn 3.

To be a little more specific to the OP's question, I'd weigh the total mileage, recent mileage, and cost to decide if I wanted to buy a bike. I'd consider an older low mileage or not recently ridden bike if the price was low enough to justify replacing the rubber bits in the brakes, tires, and the wheel/steering head bearings. I'd consider a high mileage bike if I knew the service history. I'd also consider having a bike shop take a look at it if I had some concerns and really wanted that bike


Quote:
Originally Posted by Greasyman View Post
OP, here. Thanks for all the answers. I ended up buying a '74 last week, so the EVO info is moot, at least for me, though I hope others find it useful.

I have no idea how many miles are on my ironhead, but the engine was allegedly rebuilt 4000 miles ago. We'll see, I haven't even done a compression check yet. Bike wasn't running when I bought it, and still isn't, but I knew I was taking a chance.

So far I've been just enjoying looking at it in my garage, sometimes I can't believe it's really mine. I've never owned a Harley before, and it's been at least ten years since I've owned any kind of bike.
4,000 miles how many years ago?

Congrats on the bike. Plenty of help on this forum for Iron Head owners
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  #22  
Old 23rd December 2019
farmall farmall is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 264
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 73
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Congrats on your score! Do a comp test anyway for reference, change all the fluids (fork oil is frequently ignored) and perform a charging system test with a voltmeter.Get the factory service manual and factory parts book.
Since it sat I'd strip, dip/ultrasonic clean the carb, replace the intake manifold seals while the carb is off, and if it doesn't have a carb brace install one.
The secret to running vintage motorcycles is pretty simple. It's preventive maintenance vs. riding until something malfunctions then correcting it.
When you sort things out at your leisure it's easy and convenient. Then you can enjoy riding!
Inspect wiring thoroughly and if it's ratty don't try to band-aid old wiring harness. Most old motorcycle problems are electrical but those are the least expensive to intercept before they happen and once comfortable with wiring you'll look for excuses to do it better than the factory! Supplies and tools (crimpers, heat gun, strippers etc) are cheap and useful for a lot more than motorcycling.
Ironheads are respectably tough but they require an interested owner.
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