The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM®
 

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM® > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE FORUM > Sportster Motorcycle Era Specific and Model Specific > Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985)
XLF Blogs XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use

Notices

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

Active Threads
0 Were your parents anti bike?
Last Post: DEEP DIVER
Posted On: 1 Minute Ago
Replies: 19
Views: 226
0 :( New deep rebuild on my 90 inch
Last Post: conv90
Posted On: 5 Minutes Ago
Replies: 124
Views: 10,471
0 Cylinder wall scoring after rebuild, can you live with it?
Last Post: Mad Max
Posted On: 59 Minutes Ago
Replies: 4
Views: 178
0 Big bore stroker - the beginning of a 10-year long build
Last Post: RKN
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 800
Views: 72,619
5 Hots For An Xl Forum Member?
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 3 Hours Ago
Replies: 10,954
Views: 3,157,858
0 Will a 2000 swingarm bolt up/ fit my 99?
Last Post: Jason's Sporty
Posted On: 4 Hours Ago
Replies: 16
Views: 288
0 Good 2 into 2 exhaust?
Last Post: FearTheBeard
Posted On: 5 Hours Ago
Replies: 7
Views: 226
0 Does Synthetic Engine Oil cause Higher or Lower temps at the oil tank?
Last Post: Sportycus
Posted On: 6 Hours Ago
Replies: 91
Views: 16,986
5 Eye Protection When Riding?
Last Post: Graywolf
Posted On: 6 Hours Ago
Replies: 261
Views: 60,843
0 Gravydog crashed again.
Last Post: BKB
Posted On: 6 Hours Ago
Replies: 87
Views: 3,699
0 What color are your pipes?
Last Post: cazz1000
Posted On: 6 Hours Ago
Replies: 3
Views: 93
0 Relocated Turn Signals
Last Post: 1Scooter
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 2
Views: 62
3 Shaky Dave Recovery
Last Post: SHAKY DAVE
Posted On: 8 Hours Ago
Replies: 26
Views: 968
0 With this fit my 99
Last Post: jordan1200
Posted On: 8 Hours Ago
Replies: 11
Views: 171
0 1200s mid throttle stumble
Last Post: NZstu
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 18
Views: 326
0 KT - 2018 - Hop-along Highway
Last Post: IXL2Relax
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 38
Views: 3,645
12 Lets see the "C's" XLC's that is. Pics Please!
Last Post: Kejobe
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 1,183
Views: 421,593
0 Crusty's Travels
Last Post: Screw Loose Dan
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 1,651
Views: 171,895
3 Transmission Assembly, Tutorial w/Pics
Last Post: Rodzilla
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 73
Views: 50,528
0 Thinking of a fall SE Ohio ride
Last Post: sprink
Posted On: 10 Hours Ago
Replies: 55
Views: 3,126
0 Recommendations for a good parts vendor
Last Post: brucstoudt
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 16
Views: 825
0 Hottie of the day, no nudity.
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 8,416
Views: 676,113
0 Happy Birthday wandrur!
Last Post: wandrur
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 4
Views: 92
0 Iree's late night cafe
Last Post: Graywolf
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 984
Views: 100,894
0 New England 2018
Last Post: Boudwood
Posted On: 13 Hours Ago
Replies: 225
Views: 11,613
0 Poll for the legalization of cannabis
Last Post: tigger
Posted On: 13 Hours Ago
Replies: 380
Views: 52,368
0 Hi from Queensland Australia
Last Post: juzyHD
Posted On: 14 Hours Ago
Replies: 13
Views: 124
0 What are your thoughts on this 2004 rubbermount Sporty?
Last Post: farmall
Posted On: 14 Hours Ago
Replies: 68
Views: 2,951
0 PLEASE READ THIS Before You Post In 'The BUY - SELL - TRADE Zone'!
Last Post: Folkie
Posted On: 14 Hours Ago
Replies: 1
Views: 2,084
0 FS Stock 2012 Xl1200 and 1275 jugs
Last Post: Folkie
Posted On: 14 Hours Ago
Replies: 1
Views: 174
More...
Members Birthdays
black pearl (74), SDREDD (57), pig (55), BonRu (53), cbass (45), ssm7530 (43), HawkeyeTX, SxysCowboy (35)
Sponsored Links
Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
  #11  
Old 3rd June 2018
mlan12 mlan12 is offline
XL FORUM TEAM MEMBER
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 386
Sportster/Buell Model: XL1200L
Sportster/Buell Year: 2006
Reputation: 66301
mlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud ofmlan12 has much to be proud of
Default

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.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 10th June 2018
Gold Member's Avatar
Gold Member Gold Member is offline
XL FORUM TEAM MEMBER
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 182
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1972
Reputation: 34657
Gold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to beholdGold Member is a splendid one to behold
Default

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...

Last edited by Gold Member; 11th June 2018 at 03:20..
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11th June 2018
revjen45 revjen45 is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Western WA
Posts: 43
Sportster/Buell Model: XLS1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Other Motorcycle Model: Norton Ranger
Other Motorcycle Year: 1968
Reputation: 10
revjen45 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

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.
__________________
Better to perish in the struggle for freedom than survive to see defeat.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11th June 2018
Iron Mike Iron Mike is offline
Chief Harley Engineer
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 509
Sportster/Buell Model: xlch
Sportster/Buell Year: 1964
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH IR EFI
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1971
Other Motorcycle Model: BMW K1200RS
Other Motorcycle Year: 2001
Reputation: 45641
Iron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to beholdIron Mike is a splendid one to behold
Default

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....
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12th June 2018
83XLX's Avatar
83XLX 83XLX is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 8,074
Sportster/Buell Model: XLX-61
Sportster/Buell Year: 1983
Other Motorcycle Model: Honda CL350
Other Motorcycle Year: 1969
Reputation: 680234
83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute83XLX has a reputation beyond repute
Default

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".

__________________
I never wanted a Harley, but I always wanted a Sportster.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it (especially if you don't know what you're doing). Most Sportster problems are owner-induced.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12th June 2018
mct496's Avatar
mct496 mct496 is offline
Senior Chief Harley Engineer
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: in the garage in maryland
Posts: 1,068
Sportster/Buell Model: xlh
Sportster/Buell Year: 1975
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 84 xl paughco rigid
Other Motorcycle Model: 70 xlch
Reputation: 26996
mct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to allmct496 is a name known to all
Default Don't do it

Don't do it !! You might fall in love.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 13th June 2018
the cowboy way's Avatar
the cowboy way the cowboy way is offline
Senior Chief Know It All 3rd Class
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: TENNESSEE
Posts: 1,721
Sportster/Buell Model: hand built M/XL ironhead
Sportster/Buell Year: 9293
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1976 motor in a 1987 fram
Sportster/Buell Year #2: ????
Other Motorcycle Model: 1974 XL & 2003 FXD
Other Motorcycle Year: 7403
the cowboy way has disabled reputation
Default

after some thought I suggest 77/78 they have the classic look and the more modern leftside shift
__________________
Forever Two Wheels
1997 AMRA National E-class Champion
Ironhead parts I have tons of em
machine shop @ home

Last edited by the cowboy way; 13th June 2018 at 03:25.. Reason: spell check
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 13th June 2018
sportysrock's Avatar
sportysrock sportysrock is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Disinformation Superhighway Exit 54
Posts: 4,377
Sportster/Buell Model: XL883H/1200H
Sportster/Buell Year: '96
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH 1000 w/elec. leg too
Sportster/Buell Year #2: '72
Reputation: 437003
sportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond reputesportysrock has a reputation beyond repute
Default

There's nothing wrong with right side shift. Some riders prefer it.

Sent with :-)
__________________
Ol' Big Daddy of the Dirty Ducks MC
I'll see your Twin Cams and raise you 2 more
Unlike the Internet, Al Gore DID INVENT Global Warming
Political Correctness never killed any terrorists.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #19  
Old 13th June 2018
Dave L's Avatar
Dave L Dave L is offline
Land Speed Record
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: North east
Posts: 737
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1985
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1985
Other Motorcycle Model: Kawasaki Vulcan 700
Other Motorcycle Year: 1985
Reputation: 207037
Dave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant futureDave L has a brilliant future
Default

Yay! Now I'm worried about alternator issues on my 85.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 13th June 2018
rokytnji's Avatar
rokytnji rokytnji is offline
XL FORUM LIFE MEMBER
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Texas/Mexican Border
Posts: 2,069
Sportster/Buell Model: xls 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1980
Sportster/Buell Model #2: xls 1000
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1983
Other Motorcycle Model: 1200 Chopper XL
Other Motorcycle Year: 1990
Reputation: 3217530
rokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond reputerokytnji has a reputation beyond repute
Default

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.
__________________
*Reference the Sportsterpedia! For Helpful info on your scooter.
I don't live in a What If world.
Traveled to
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



Sponsored Links
All times are GMT +1. The time now is 10:18.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
XL Forum® - Linson Media LLC