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Boomer8484
8th April 2011, 17:13
I have been wanting to learn everything I can about my Sportster, and every indie shop I go to, when I tell them I have a 79 Sportster, they say "Oh, the bastard year." From the little research I have done I know that exhaust pipes are specific for 79 only because of the rear master cylinder, and I think the oil tank and forward controls are 79 specific too. Anyways, what other stuff makes a 79 the bastard that it is? Thanks for chiming in.

Monte03
8th April 2011, 17:33
I think because it Broke away from the traditional Swing Arm Style frame, does not mean that 79 is bad, in fact I have had friends that built upon the 79 into an XR style Hot street bike and it looked Bad Ass.

Ivan RoachCoach
8th April 2011, 17:41
...from jackholes who've never thrown a leg over ANY Harley.

It's a little difficult to find crappy drag pipes for them (whoop-dee-f@#king-doo, no great loss) because of the rear master cylinder location.
That's it.

Otherwise --- it's got a stiffer frame than earlier IHs, electronic ignition, a good rear disc brake, and the ever-dependable quad cam motor.
Does that sound like a "bastard" to you?

GA_Ironhead
8th April 2011, 17:54
+1. The same thing that makes Ironheads fragile, undependable transport. (They're not, but some would have you believe so.)

78ironhead
8th April 2011, 18:20
1979: I also own a bastard bike. Not sure if all this is correct.

All models got the XLCR frame and exhaust (Siamese).
XLT was dropped from the product line.
Kick starter was dropped.
Disc brakes front and rear.
Hugger model available for the first time.
Last year for XLCH
New model XLS appeared:
Extended forks
16″ rear wheel
siamese exhaust
drag bars on 3.5″ risers
sissy bar w/leather pouch
highway pegs
2 piece seat
chromed rear sprocket
Production Information:
XLH (6,525)
XLCH (141)
XLS -(5,123)
XLCR (9) (?leftover ’78′s?)

78ironhead
8th April 2011, 18:23
+1. The same thing that makes Ironheads fragile, undependable transport.

It's the owners fault.

Airbozo
8th April 2011, 18:25
Being a bastard child myself I say "Ride that Bastard proud!"

lol!

hasselme0
8th April 2011, 18:26
Frame
Exhaust
Rider?
Thats what some have told me.
:smoke

1979XLH
8th April 2011, 20:54
forward controls are 79-83 or 79-85 depending on brand. if using forward controls any exhaust can be used. the first year for the stiffer frame. seats i believe you can use 79-2003.

not really a bastard. just the first year for a changing bike.

the not so great electronic ignition can be swapped out for earlier points setup easily.

1979ironhead
8th April 2011, 20:59
I have been wanting to learn everything I can about my Sportster, and every indie shop I go to, when I tell them I have a 79 Sportster, they say "Oh, the bastard year." From the little research I have done I know that exhaust pipes are specific for 79 only because of the rear master cylinder, and I think the oil tank and forward controls are 79 specific too. Anyways, what other stuff makes a 79 the bastard that it is? Thanks for chiming in.


If you really want to you can re-locate the rear master cylinder by using '80 sprocket cover and brake lever parts. However, the location of the '79 master allows you to install a kicker so you can have kick and electric foot.
Forward controls from 79-85 will work.
As for a "bastard" year.... those indies of yours don't know shit.

Moon Wolf
8th April 2011, 21:22
All good stuff here. And Ivan is right--there is inherently nothing wrong with a 79. From an engineering standpoint it can be argued that the frame is a better design. The other issues are quibbles--yes, the exahaust selection is limited, but if you want more choices, move the master cylinder. No reason to sweat the small stuff.

To my mind, the only issue is aesthetics. To an old timer like me, 79 and later bikes don't look like a Sportster. I find the pre-79 geometry far more appealing. But why should you care what I think? It's a good bike, and if you like it, that's about all that matters.

Francois
8th April 2011, 21:23
...from jackholes who've never thrown a leg over ANY Harley.

It's a little difficult to find crappy drag pipes for them (whoop-dee-f@#king-doo, no great loss) because of the rear master cylinder location.
That's it.

Otherwise --- it's got a stiffer frame than earlier IHs, electronic ignition, a good rear disc brake, and the ever-dependable quad cam motor.
Does that sound like a "bastard" to you?

Man, I just dig your kind 'a straight answers!!
+1k on that!!

the cowboy way
8th April 2011, 21:57
all XLs are bastards
quad cam bastards
the 79 is a good year IMHO
you can have a kicker if ya want

72 & E-73 have a bastard heads
75 & 76 have a bastard crossover

if ya like yer 79
make it yours
paint it your favorite color

Boomer8484
9th April 2011, 01:36
Frame
Exhaust
Rider?
Thats what some have told me.
:smoke

Lol, I like that comment!

spdtrux
9th April 2011, 02:05
1: 1 year only pipes due to rear brake res(easy fix)
2: 1 year only frame ( well 78-79 XLCR) not the same as 81+ but closely alike
(No bolt on Hard tails available)

Oh and my 79 is Pimp! passenger seat is always wet after i take my girls for a ride.

waza
9th April 2011, 03:11
Because everyone knows that the '79 is the best sportster made:smoke

SirAsh
9th April 2011, 04:22
they are considered the bastard bike because whenever someone on one would leave a bt in their dust that's what they were called

'79 Supercharged Fuel Inj
9th April 2011, 05:09
they are considered the bastard bike because whenever someone on one would leave a bt in their dust that's what they were called

+1000

ironowner
4th May 2011, 22:10
i remember in the early eighties, my 72 sporster was cussed by every harley mechanic because of the right shift. it's just a way of nature telling you they don't know what they're talking about and just pick up a wrench..

sportymike02
4th May 2011, 22:21
they are considered the bastard bike because whenever someone on one would leave a bt in their dust that's what they were called

that's ALL Sporties, no?

83XLX
4th May 2011, 22:47
People didn't like the looks of 'em when they came out - siamese exhaust, sidecovers instead of exposed battery and oil tank, rear-mounted shocks. Harley "fixed" them a little in '80 and '81 to please the potential buyers, and then went with the new frame in '82 that carried over into the Evo era. There are a few things different on them, but nothing you can't change if you don't like it. They make a great platform for a vintage cafe racer, too.

south Ga ironhead
4th May 2011, 23:50
Dont take what others think to heart,I own a 1980 sportster that I ride everywhere,only been let down once ,bad battery(3 weeks old).I regulary ride 400 + miles a weekend.so enjoy your bastard an beat the shit out of it every chance you get! LOL