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

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  #11  
Old 2 Weeks Ago
mlan12 mlan12 is offline
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Thank you all for the helpful insights. I will continue to research this, but I have a better idea now on what to look for when I go shopping. Thank you all again.
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  #12  
Old 1 Week Ago
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The wisdom I heard was, Sportsters go for $1500, you never pay more than $1500 for a Sportster, and you never buy a kickstart only Sportster. Knowing they require wrenching, and being the kind of guy who wants to learn the manly art of Sportster maintenance (it's like shaving, you have to know how to do it) I bought one with a title...that ran, the PO's friend got it started. The friend had bought it from an estate. It looked like it had been cared for somewhat, but had been slid and the wires all pulled out of the handlebar controls, so it couldn't be started and run, but the owner was an airplane/harley guy who I sort of trusted who had bought it from a friend so of course his friend wouldn't have effed him over.... It was stored in a cold aircraft hangar and didn't hardly leak oil all winter it was in my driveway. When it started to get warm out it started leaking oil like crazy. By a stroke of dumb luck I discovered the tranny c/s bearing had blown out. So now I get to disassemble the engine to take the crankcase to the local indie shop to get it welded up...I assume it's cracked because they almost always crack when the tranny goes out...40+ years of slamming it into 2nd and 3rd and you get trouble...you gotta love them and be prepared for the unexpected and assume you will get to know your toolbox intimately...when I get the tranny pulled I will know more...but I look forward to it like dessert, I love wrenching and a wrench session is the same as a riding session for me, same satisfaction and it's safer...I'm new to ironheads but even one that runs and rides will need care...it doesn't mean the heads won't need to come off in the fall or the bottom end rebuilt...you gotta be in love with them. You gotta be willing...

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  #13  
Old 1 Week Ago
revjen45 revjen45 is offline
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Why in God's name do you want an Ironhead? It's like boat being a hole in the water that you shovel money into. Have had my '79 XLS since 1990.
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Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by revjen45 View Post
Why in God's name do you want an Ironhead? It's like boat being a hole in the water that you shovel money into. Have had my '79 XLS since 1990.
Because most of us live by your posting signature....
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  #15  
Old 1 Week Ago
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When I started looking for one back in 1990, I decided on an '83 model. Still had a generator (I knew of the alternator problems on the late'84-'85 models), had the more modern frame, electronic ignition, etc. I still own it, and have had very few problems with it. The '78 and earlier models look more traditional, though.

That said, buy one that looks to have been taken care of and is still pretty close to stock. Many of the problems people have with Ironheads are due to poor maintenance and ham-fisted repairs and "customization".

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Don't do it !! You might fall in love.
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  #17  
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after some thought I suggest 77/78 they have the classic look and the more modern leftside shift
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  #18  
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There's nothing wrong with right side shift. Some riders prefer it.

Sent with :-)
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  #19  
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Yay! Now I'm worried about alternator issues on my 85.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave L View Post
Yay! Now I'm worried about alternator issues on my 85.
Be not afeared. I'm not. One time I found 7 dollar magnets for sale, but did not know what I was looking at.

Windings are for sale. And replaceable . Bearing fixes on clutch baskets and trap doors galore I think are posted about and documented here on this site.

So I aint skeered.
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