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

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  #81  
Old 28th July 2016
Chuckthebeatertruck's Avatar
Chuckthebeatertruck Chuckthebeatertruck is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 2,269
Sportster/Buell Model: Xlh
Sportster/Buell Year: 1959
Sportster/Buell Model #2: Sprint 350
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1969
Other Motorcycle Model: Guzzi Ambassador
Other Motorcycle Year: 1969
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MXHD55U View Post
If you keep after the oil changes it will survive without a filter. 26 years of XLCH's did.
Unless you live where it gets really warm I'm not of the inclination to believe you need an oil cooler. I think More damage is done by the oil not getting up to operating temperature then the chance of the oil getting over heated.

For a first attempt I think it came out pretty good. Especially starting with a lot bits in boxes. Most would have been inclined to part it. God bless ya for saving it

MX
If it's any consolation, I know many a dude with serious mileage on bikes without coolers or filters.
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  #82  
Old 28th July 2016
zipdog zipdog is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1975
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawgford View Post
i faux pas'd no casting forging and i guess you are not on on tig tech..,the can weld inconel and titanium... Anybody heard the new 4 valve run?
Welding technology has come a long way in the 45 years since that bike was built.
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  #83  
Old 29th July 2016
Whitewalls's Avatar
Whitewalls Whitewalls is offline
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Posts: 507
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1971
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1973 HD/Aermacchi TX125
Other Motorcycle Model: 1966 Honda Dream 160
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Thank you all for the nice words.
This Forum is exceptional. It amazes me that anyone can ask a question and get 2 pages of replies within a few hours.
I am truly honored that my bike is featured as Bike of the Week.
I am going to focus on getting some miles on this thing. Summers are short here in Seattle.
I will keep you posted.
Thanks again!
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  #84  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Whitewalls Whitewalls is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1971
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1973 HD/Aermacchi TX125
Other Motorcycle Model: 1966 Honda Dream 160
Reputation: 205686
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Well it's been a few years since finishing this build so I'm giving a 5000 mile report.

I noticed while riding around yesterday that the odometer is at nearly 5k miles which made me realize this bike is much more reliable than expected.
When I picked up this basket case project I had no previous experience with HD. I had heard so many negative things about Ironheads. The typical myths about cracked engines, leaks, breakdowns, and things rattling loose on every ride etc.
Well it turns out in my experience that was all nonsense.
I had a few bugs to work out in the beginning but this bike has had no major issues and does not leak. Of course it has little quirks that I've learned to deal with. It does not like gas from the grocery store pumps. As long as I stick with Shell or Chevron 92 octane it starts very reliably in 1-3 kicks.
It has a Mikuni VM38-9. The intake Y is aluminum and supported by a bracket. The carb and air filter are not supported and have not had any issues. They remain firm and secure and no issues with the connection hardware.
The engine runs very well and shifts smooth. One thing I've noticed about the Ironhead engine is its not completely happy until its fully heat soaked after riding for about 45 minutes. Once fully warm it runs especially smooth and sounds it's best.
I change the engine oil every 500 miles. It's an xlch so no filter. Just drain and fill with 3 quarts. I use VR1 or HD sae 60. As far as I can tell it still has the original bottom end so I want to preserve it as long as possible. I change the primary oil, points, condenser and spark plugs every 2000 miles. My Winter maintenance includes adjusting the primary chain and tightening all fasteners.
I am quite impressed with how well this bike runs. Surely not what I was expecting.
I enjoy riding on sunny days only. Everywhere I ride, it turns heads and starts conversations. I'm looking forward to many more years of riding this old Ironhead.
I cant believe it's time for a new rear tire already!

Safe riding everyone.
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  #85  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Toejam503 Toejam503 is offline
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I convinced a friend of mine to get his '80 Ironhead out of storage and start riding it again. This thing had been in a storage shed for 7 years. He changed the oil, brake fluid, etc. and it fired right up. It runs really good!. It also has 29K on it and has never seen an overhaul or top-end or even a new clutch yet. He bought it when it was 2 or 3 years old and has taken really good care of it. Good maintenance is the key!
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