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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 6th November 2008
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Hopper Hopper is offline
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Default 5,000-mile Ironhead ride

Five weeks` vacation.
One 5,000-mile round trip.
One 1977 Ironhead.
One wild hair up my ass about taking the old beast for a decent ride.


This is the route I plan on taking, roughly:



As the regulars will know, the story so far of the bike`s history and recent resurrection/ground up rebuild are on this thread here: http://xlforum.net/forums/s...d.php?t=209347



The bike is now all loaded up ready to go. I have two days of work until I blast off on Saturday morning. Leaving Cairns, on the north of Australia`s east coast, heading 1000 miles south along the coast, through mostly cattle county to the outer edges of the state capital, Brisbane.


I am going to catch up with my Buell-riding young nephew there for a day or two at the Sunshine Coast, then do the other 1000 miles from there to Adelaide across the inland, meandering through some pretty nice semi-mountainous country, then across the wheatfields for some long dusty stretches.

With a bit of riding around god`s own motorcycling country in the back-country hills around where my folks live near Adelaide and going to the annual Christmas run with a bunch of old riding buddies, I should easily rack up another 1000 miles in a couple of weeks.

Then come the 2000 miles home up through the inland way. Cattle country, desert, more cattle country. Not much difference between the two in most places, not when you come from the wet tropics were I live. We get about 78 inches of rain a year here in Cairns. But I will be passing through Australia`s wettest town on the first day, Tully, where they get 157 inches a year. So everything is pretty damn green relentlessly green in fact. But out in the inland "outback` they get 20 inches in a good year, but a lot of places have had no rain at all for five to 10 years on account of the drought, el nino and global warming. But now that Mr Obama has been elected he is going to fix all that. And me riding my bike through there is usually enough to guarantee rain.

The map above shows the loosely planned route, sort of. My photoshop is a bit wobbly in places.


Being that Australia is more or less the same size as the USA, north to south and east to west, it is kind of comparable distance to starting in New York, riding down to Florida, across to Texas and then home via Missouri or someting like that.

But the terrain is more like starting out in lush tropical Florida, then going across Texas, Arizona and New Mexico. Then my destination of Adelaide is much like San Diego and SoCal.


Either way, it is going to be one hell of a ride.

Is an Ironhead as reliable as an Evo? (Of course it is)
Can you long distance tour on a Sportster? (Of course you can. I did it before)
Will that 30-year-old fatigued iron hang together? (Will my even older fatigued ass hang together???)
Is my workmanship good for the duration? (700 hours of my labor in the rebuild, damn I hope so.)
Should I know better by now? (Definitely)

Guess I will find out the answer to these and maybe some other questions in the next month or so.

Here is the tools I am taking, plus a small box containing a spare voltage regulator, generator brushes, float needle and carb o-rings, spare chain link.


I got all the creature comforts sorted out: sheepskin seat cover (over that very skinny 1975-style cobra seat), with a bit of high-density foam from a camping sleeping pad slipped under it.


And I put some bicycle handgrips on my highway pegs so my feet don`t vibrate off all the time.



With that lovely bright red Ventura top bag (robbed off a H*nda) in place against the sissy bar it makes a perfect back rest. I put a sheet of that camping sleeping pad down the front of that bag too so it is nice and comfy. Got my tent and sleeping bag inside there, with a bag of tools. The throwover saddlebags are not good for much weight so mostly got clothes in there (lots of warm clothes for the frigid south when my tropical-bred ass gets there)



So that is it. Two more sleeps and I am on the road, bigtime. Just a little bit excited (Can you tell??)

Dunno what sort of access to computers I have - and being i work in front of one every day I will be avoiding them where I can - but I will try to post some pics along the way.
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  #2  
Old 6th November 2008
Form&Function Form&Function is offline
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I wish I could take a week off to ride.
Have fun and be safe.
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  #3  
Old 6th November 2008
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Do you have a GPS? If so how about an occasional upload of a GPX file. We can import those directly into Google Earth and really see where you have been.

Uuhhh, i seem to recall an earlier pic of some long haired hippy on a '77 IronHead. Still have the hair? You could fool us all [or some of us] by simply uploading pics of the old trip claiming that is you now on this trip.
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  #4  
Old 6th November 2008
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Hopper Hopper is offline
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Location: Australia
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 75 motor in Norton frame.
Other Motorcycle Model: 42WLA 45, Harton, Narley
Other Motorcycle Year: 1942
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronMick View Post
Do you have a GPS? If so how about an occasional upload of a GPX file. We can import those directly into Google Earth and really see where you have been.

Uuhhh, i seem to recall an earlier pic of some long haired hippy on a '77 IronHead. Still have the hair? You could fool us all [or some of us] by simply uploading pics of the old trip claiming that is you now on this trip.
Uhh, GPS? WTF is that?? You might have to make do with a postcard.


I think you will be able to tell the difference between then and now:





I might grow the beard back while I am on holidays though.

(Practising my best Harley rider scowl in both pics. Think I have it just about down pat by now)
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Old 6th November 2008
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Have a safe ride, its going to be great.

My friend and I just did 1700miles in 5days, he had his original 79xl 1000, The first day we had to get the clutch handle rewelded due to it being sheered off when bike fell over. Later in the day his generator went dead, one day lost while waiting on a new part. His speedometer went dead half way into the trip, so I had to watch my odometer for when he had to refuel. Other than that we had a great trip.
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  #6  
Old 6th November 2008
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Hopper would you believe i will be up in Gladstone next weekend (15th) dang ..will just miss you. Ride safe . .look forward to internet cafe updates on your way!!
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  #7  
Old 6th November 2008
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cool have fun I did 4200 miles this june july in three weeks roode all the way the wife and kids follwed in the truck with all there gear very fun it was a awesome ride from new mexico trought part of arizonia uath nevada oregon and back. ride safe ride free.
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  #8  
Old 6th November 2008
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Good luck man,

I'm in Canberra at the moment planning a trip up to Byron Bay in December on my 1980, via the sceneric route along the coast of course. We've planned our trip to have a minimum of highway miles and mostly winding coastal roads.

The "frigid south" is still getting a bit cool at night but really warm during the day. Alot less humid though.
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  #9  
Old 6th November 2008
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Hopper Hopper is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1977
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 75 motor in Norton frame.
Other Motorcycle Model: 42WLA 45, Harton, Narley
Other Motorcycle Year: 1942
Reputation: 256674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66impala View Post
Have a safe ride, its going to be great.

My friend and I just did 1700miles in 5days, he had his original 79xl 1000, The first day we had to get the clutch handle rewelded due to it being sheered off when bike fell over. Later in the day his generator went dead, one day lost while waiting on a new part. His speedometer went dead half way into the trip, so I had to watch my odometer for when he had to refuel. Other than that we had a great trip.
Thanks all.
Haha, don't mention the G-word. I have new bearings and brushes in mine, and am carrying the old brushes as spares, plus a spare mechanical regulator. No telling how the shellack on a 31 year old armature spinning around for days on end in tropical heat will fare though!
Plan B there might be to buy a sealed car battery and charger, lash it all to the sissy bar and travel from power plug-in to power plug-in.
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  #10  
Old 6th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hopper View Post
... I think you will be able to tell the difference between then and now ...
Yup, now you need to wear glasses.

Have a great trip, eh!
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