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IronMick
2nd January 2005, 01:33
IronHeads. I am trying to figure out when IronHeads became so special to me. I think it was after i bought mine, just this past September. Then i realized that it has been 20 years since the last FeXL was built, 25 years since mine was built. These are fastastic bikes. It takes a special person to want one, to have one, to maintain one, to love one!

Here on Bert's forum we have a community of IronPeople. Our bikes are special and we are special. We should consider seriously the somewhat distant future for FeXLs. How about another 20 years from now, or more? Will our special bikes still be? What can we do now, in our homes, in our workshops, and here in this forum, to ensure a secure future for these special bikes?

As you can see. i have mine stripped down to pretty well the frame and engine. The front wheel will be coming off after the back wheel goes back on. This bike is being seriously renewed! I am installing original replacement parts where possible. Good ol' eBay! I have an original air cleaner for which there is a K&N filter available, an original set of headers & heat shields including the crossover, and some original decals and emblems. Can hardly wait for spring - except that i have lots more work to do.

A big thanx to Bert for getting and keeping this place going, and to all you guys for the help i have been getting here, which my bike and i really need.

dabronco
2nd January 2005, 02:47
Mick, You are right about us being special! My wife says I'm special but in a 'short bus' kinda way! But I agree it takes a degree of patience, and love for mechanical, busy sounding gizmos and twirly things to be the proud owner of an iron. I can't help but high five myself when someone on a fatboy or goldwing is so busy checking my bike out that they didn't see the light turn green in front of them.

IronMick
2nd January 2005, 03:45
Mick, ... I can't help but high five myself when someone on a fatboy or goldwing is so busy checking my bike out that they didn't see the light turn green in front of them.

Beautiful; i love it! Mine will be like that come Spring.

74FeHeadXLH
2nd January 2005, 06:51
My wife says it too about the fact "I'm a pecial kind of NUT" owning a 74 Ironhead. She also sat back and watched me nurture and massage and build and re-build a 53 FLH pan for better part of 6 yrs before I passed that bike on. I really love my Ironhead, and have about as much fun tinkering, tweaking, an wrenching on it as I do riding it. I find that people are very curious about these facinating little bikes, especially when you pull up into the local "boutique". I mean everyone has a softail or fat boy or the latest B.T. with all the adornments hung on 'em. , but how many good lookin and good runnin FeHeads are really out there? Also it pisses "em off when a "little" old sporty gets more attention than the "Big Ones" do. Being unique is a little more interesting than how much chrome can I hang on my new $20000 bike. Mike 74 XLH (all buisness little chrome)

Irondrake77
3rd January 2005, 03:26
my 77 is a great bike with the kind of charater i couldn't get from a brand new sportster, that's why I love it even for all the problems it gave me this past summer. Now that the engine is in the shop getting a long overdue overhaul, and cleaned up it will last another 30 in my care, and that says something.

collinsb
3rd January 2005, 03:45
http://franken.8k.com/stuart2.gif

"Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley".

Stuart Smalley advice to all Ironheads - "You are a caring person and you deserve good things. You are entitled to your share of happiness. Refuse to beat yourself up. You are an attractive person, and fun to be with. Because you're good enough, you're smart enough, and, doggonit, people like you!

Moved On
3rd January 2005, 03:49
Hey Billy,

Where'd you find a picture of the real Flathead45 behind the avatar?

Gary

collinsb
3rd January 2005, 04:17
Hey Billy,
Where'd you find a picture of the real Flathead45 behind the avatar?
Gary

I put "dinglewad" in the Google search engine! Yours, mine, and Flatheads picture showed up! Somebody better get ahold of them rich Google guys. They're getting too smarty pants.
Billy

alleydude
3rd January 2005, 04:24
The Ironhead is the last of the old school Harleys. The Sportster was the last to go EVO. I compare my Ironhead to my wife's '04 XL883C, and it just seems so much more alive. Don't get me wrong, the EVO is a fine, fine machine, and I am sure many feel the same about their modern Sporty as I do about my Ironhead. I just don't get that feeling. Those old bikes, spit and complain, cough and sputter, but once they've had a minute or two to wake or (warm up), they are ready for battle. They show their eagerness with every turn of the throttle. They rock!

Someone told it to me this way about the cursed XL vibration. A true Sportster rider doesn't "live with" the vibration, they "live for" the vibration. A Sportster rider gets in sync with the vibes, and thus cancels out all that might be considered bad. With bike and rider in sync, all is right with the world.

That's how I feel about my Ironhead.

IronMick
3rd January 2005, 04:50
<<
A true Sportster rider doesn't "live with" the vibration, they "live for" the vibration. A Sportster rider gets in sync with the vibes
>>

Riding a bike that does not shake is like being sexually intimate with someone who behaves likewise.

dabronco
3rd January 2005, 06:51
Groovy baby! YEAH!!!

iron68
4th January 2005, 22:14
When I bought my Ironhead, it was just going to be a "stepping stone" until I built a BT chopper. Like most of us i fell in love with the cranky old thing. She's crippled 2 of my friends trying to start it and left me stranded a couple times.I will never sell it. I love the vibration, the oil puking out of the breather and the rattling. Makes you one with the machine.



I am currently looking for a bone stock one to restore to as close to new condition as I can. When I'm done with that I want to get another and do a wild 60's-70's full blown chopper.

FE's will live as long as I do!

skooter
4th January 2005, 22:56
Hey iron68! I love the look of your bike. I down loaded the pic and tried to use it for wallpaper on my 'puter screen but it is a little blurred. Do you have a clearer image of that thing. I love the look of the Iron Head in a hard tail frame.

iron68
4th January 2005, 23:30
Have you tried pulling it from the gallery?

skooter
4th January 2005, 23:32
Yes I did and the large photo was a little burry there too. Take a look it isn't very sharp an image. Still looks good on my computer screen though. Gives me inspiration to get my own Iron Head hard tail.

XLFREAK
13th January 2005, 14:07
I agree whole heartedly, with that special feeling that goes along with the Ironhead. It's a classic hot rod of motorcycles. Sure the new bikes are gourgous and state of the art, but no comparison to the fire-breathing Ironhead.

I'm diligantly pushing forward with my 78 makeover now.

Work in progress: http://www.shareaproject.com/index.php

IronMick
14th January 2005, 06:21
Cool! Another great IronHead project under way.

frogg_nutts
15th December 2007, 01:35
The Ironhead is the last of the old school Harleys.
Amen. Im lucky enuff ..have two. could have bought a new one same price!

Moon Wolf
15th December 2007, 02:22
As you can see. i have mine stripped down to pretty well the frame and engine. The front wheel will be coming off after the back wheel goes back on. This bike is being seriously renewed! I am installing original replacement parts where possible. Good ol' eBay! I have an original air cleaner for which there is a K&N filter available, an original set of headers & heat shields including the crossover, and some original decals and emblems. Can hardly wait for spring - except that i have lots more work to do.



Here's to making it original:clap

Best to you, Mick

Ironhead_Chris
15th December 2007, 02:26
welcome to the forum Mr. nutts.

ericfreeman
15th December 2007, 04:17
For me, I'll never own anything other than an Ironhead. I grew up watching Bronson whisper his way around the country on that beautiful red bike and my first Harley was a new '77 XLCH, red of course. Hated to sell that scooter two years later but I was going overseas for a few years and didn't want to let it rot away somewhere.

Now, after nearly 30 years of being away from motorcycles, I found a nice '78 Anniversary Edition Ironhead with low mileage and unmolested condition (of course that didn't last long!). This will be my last bike as I have no intention of ever selling it. There's just something about those big black iron cylinders and heads that set it apart from all the pure aluminum bikes out there. It's a real, old school motorcycle that looks, feels, rides and sounds just the way it should. To each his own, but I'm an Ironhead guy all the way. Even have the tee shirts and sweatshirt from LowBrow Customs to prove it!

Eric

CrazyHorse
15th December 2007, 04:53
The old saying is-------
"If it feels good........DO IT"
And not too many things feel as good as riding down the road on an Ironhead.

It's almost a religious experience and is the best thing next to sex...........even after 30+ years of doing it.
:p

IronMick
15th December 2007, 16:43
...even after 30+ years of doing it.

... the sex or the iron?

stealthammer
15th December 2007, 17:36
Someone on another thread posted a quote something like:
"I didn't buy a Sportster because I wanted a Harley, I bought a Harley because I wanted a Sportster."

Many of us could say:
"I didn't buy an Ironhead because I wanted a Sportster, I bought a Sportster because I wanted an Ironhead."

I bought my '75 because it's original owner was a street racer, it's second owner was an 'outlaw', and both rode it hard and loved it dearly. It's third owner is a friend who bought it and never rode it. It sat under a canvas cover for 13 years on the side of his house because he's 6' 7'' and felt 'cramped' on it. I felt it was sinful to neglect an old 'warrior' like that so I bought it to bring it back to life and breath new life into it's old soul.

To me, the Ironhead Sportsters are as historically significant as the Shovelhead, Panhead, or even 'old' flatties . The original K-model was not built for utility or as a status symbol, it was built for 'enthusiastic' riders, and the Sportster carries on that tradition even today.

The Ironhead of the '60s established itself as the choice of 'independant' freedom seekers, and during the '70s it helped Harley to fight off the Japanese 'invasion'. Today, a 'cult' has arisen to preserve it's place of honor, and I for one am proud to be a member.

CrazyHorse
15th December 2007, 20:07
... the sex or the iron?


LOL..........the Ironhead of course..........:D

CrazyHorse
15th December 2007, 20:11
Someone on another thread posted a quote something like:"I didn't buy a Sportster because I wanted a Harley, I bought a Harley because I wanted a Sportster."Many of us could say:"I didn't buy an Ironhead because I wanted a Sportster, I bought a Sportster because I wanted an Ironhead."I bought my '75 because it's original owner was a street racer, it's second owner was an 'outlaw', and both loved it dearly. It's third owner is a friend who bought it and never rode it. It sat under a canvas cover for 13 years on the side of his house because he's 6' 7'' and felt 'cramped' on it. I felt it was sinful to neglect an old 'warrior' like that so I bought it to bring it back to life and breath new life into it's old soul.To me, the Ironhead Sportsters are as historically significant as the Shovelhead, Panhead, or even 'old' flatties . The original K-model was not built for utility or as a status symbol, it was built for 'enthusiastic' riders, and the Sporty carries on that tradition even today. The Ironhead of the '60s established itself as the choice of 'independant' freedom seekers, and during the '70s it helped Harley to fight off the Japanese 'invasion'. Today, a 'cult' has arisen to preserve it's place of honor, and I for one am proud to be a member.


DAMN.........stealthammer is a poet!

Now my eyes are all watery and I'm gonna have to go across the livingroom and give the Sporty a hug!............:p

( YES........mine is nice and warm and watching tv)

mold99
15th December 2007, 21:27
Ironheads, especially the early models, have that "lean and hungry" look. totally non-poser. they go back to the era when all motorcycle riders were somewhat "hardass". you rode because you loved it, not because it was cool. all bikes were very basic and somewhat simple. compare an ironhead to an evo sportster. the ironhead is like a rowdy kid, and the evo seems like tough middle age guy with just that hint of getting bloated. compare just the motors. the ironhead looks to have only about 3/4 of the bulk of the evo. that makes for a narrow, lean looking machine. don't get me wrong, i really enjoy my "99" 1200s, but my ironhead takes me back to a different time.

tr7dan
15th December 2007, 22:14
Well at first (not knowing anything about Harleys) I thought I had just discovered a pile of rusty junk, but the more I read this forum, the more I think I might have a real find. Here's another pic of my '80 XLH ironhead just after being pulled from it's ten year slumber in the dust and clutter and gloom of a customers garage.


http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/2/medium/harley_42.jpg


I'll be starting the renovation sometime over the Christmas break when I have a few days off work to get things set up in my workshop. Hopefully I'll have it on the road and mechanically sound for the summer and then, after I've given it a good shakedown, I'll give it the full cosmetic treatment and bring it up to show condition - probably a job for next winter.


Dan

Moon Wolf
15th December 2007, 22:33
I guess I'm not going to be able to pass up this opportunity to philosophize after all. For the record, I tried, and a lot of this has already been said, but then old men tend to repeat themselves.

Although they bear the nameplate, to my mind at least, the Evos are not "Sportsters." This is not to denigrate the new bikes in any way. As we all know, they are reliable and beautiful machines, a joy to own, and I salute those who ride and maintain them.

But a "Sportser," the Sportster of my youth, was a horse of a different color. In those days, a Sportster was both commitment and statement. It was a Sport bike, a fire-spitting demon, the fastest production motorcycle on the planet, a continuing source of awe. In short, there was nothing else like it, not even close.

Yes, I loved the Bonnevilles, the Commandos, the Interceptors, and I have posessed and adored both Pans and Knuckles, but none of these occupied the same niche or satisfied the same lusts as my XL.

When someone pulled up to a party (always onto the lawn, it seems) on a Sportster, the revelers stopped talking, drinking, making out, or whatever else they were doing and came onto the porch to bear witness. It was akin to a fighter pilot making a deck landing or an astronaut back from the moon--both a spectacle and a moment of celebration.

Do I romanticize? Yes, of course--isn't that the point? We are none of us as big as our dreams, but on certain August nights of our youth, as we shifted from third to fourth at the edge of town and felt the arms around our waists tighten, we came as close to being perfected as we'd ever be.

These machines felt different, smelled different, and ran different from any bike before or after. It took a rider with moxie simply to fire the engine. More than once, I've seen neophytes literally launched over the handlebars just trying to kick one of these beasts over. This was not a machine for the faint of heart.

The early Sportsters were the anti-cruiser, coveted by those that wanted to travel fast and loud. There was a now almost lost symbiosis of rider and machine--they required constant care and attention and they repaid us with those already mentioned moments of ascension. I think this symbiosis, most of all, is what Mick is referring to when he talks about what belonging to the club means.

Now, approaching my fortieth year of ownership, I crave neither speed nor noise, at least not on a daily basis. What I enjoy most is the artifact, that living, breathing symbol of youth, rebellion, and joy that I can see right now from my home office. And unlike most "symbols," on certain August nights, at the edge of town, I can find that younger self waiting, his hand still quick on throttle, and I'm telling you, there's nothing like it.

thefrenchowl
15th December 2007, 22:47
Nice one, Wolf... can't add anything!!!

Patrick

CrazyHorse
15th December 2007, 22:51
Well at first (not knowing anything about Harleys) I thought I had just discovered a pile of rusty junk, but the more I read this forum, the more I think I might have a real find. Here's another pic of my '80 XLH ironhead just after being pulled from it's ten year slumber in the dust and clutter and gloom of a customers garage.




I'll be starting the renovation sometime over the Christmas break when I have a few days off work to get things set up in my workshop. Hopefully I'll have it on the road and mechanically sound for the summer and then, after I've given it a good shakedown, I'll give it the full cosmetic treatment and bring it up to show condition - probably a job for next winter.


Dan

Dan............
Looks like a lot of potential there!

And worth every bit of the time & $$$ to bring her back.

GOOD LUCK & ENJOY!

Moon Wolf
15th December 2007, 23:05
I think you can live that dream daily rather than treat it as an "artifact".



Good point. I simply meant to say that I am no longer hell-bent for leather. On most days, I tend to keep it under the century mark.

CrazyHorse
15th December 2007, 23:13
MoonWolf.

Too bad you live clean across the country.

I'd enjoy buying you a beer!

Keep on.........keeping on! :smoke

BTW----->
anytime I start to act old or overly responsible.........my sons tend to dog me until I fall "back into line".
A most helpful thing!
:)

Y2K
16th December 2007, 00:08
Well at first (not knowing anything about Harleys) I thought I had just discovered a pile of rusty junk, but the more I read this forum, the more I think I might have a real find. Here's another pic of my '80 XLH ironhead just after being pulled from it's ten year slumber in the dust and clutter and gloom of a customers garage.


http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/2/medium/harley_42.jpg


I'll be starting the renovation sometime over the Christmas break when I have a few days off work to get things set up in my workshop. Hopefully I'll have it on the road and mechanically sound for the summer and then, after I've given it a good shakedown, I'll give it the full cosmetic treatment and bring it up to show condition - probably a job for next winter.


Dan

Good find! did ya get it cheap? I'm keeping an eye out for a good "barn find" classic Harley on a shoestring buget,they're getting harder to find all the time.

Moon Wolf
16th December 2007, 00:21
That bike looks great, TR7dan. Don't throw anything away! If you want to go with an aftermarket part, be sure to preserve the original.

tr7dan
16th December 2007, 01:01
Yep, got it cheap, 500 ($1000 - by English standards it was a steal). A customer of mine more or less begged me to take it away from him as it was cluttering up his garage, though I was reluctant at first coz I didn't even know what it was.


http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/2/medium/harley_51.jpg

I will probably get it all in good running order first before concentrating on the appearance (other than a good clean and polish) and then a good cosmetic makeover to follow. I must be honest and say that I don't particularly like the original style of the 1980 model - the air filter for that year was naff, I prefer a single seat and I'm not sure about the tank, though I know that there's a lot of discussion going on at the moment on the forum about tank sizes and shapes.

It seems to me that Harleys don't really have to be kept original (apart from the older and antique models) and I get the feeling that around the year that this bike was born, it was not a great time in their history. I have noticed, looking through the accessory books etc. that lots of custom and pattern parts seem to be available "to fit 1982 - to present". What was the significant change for the 1982 year - can anyone tell me?

Dan

Moon Wolf
16th December 2007, 01:25
We have several members, including our moderator, Iron Mick, that ride 1980 models. They can do a much better job of detailing the changes than I.

The bike does look fairly original, and while it doesn't have the cache of an early model, true stock Ironheads with born-together parts are getting harder and harder to find.

By all means, swap parts out to your hearts content, just put up all the original bits and pieces in a safe place (including nuts and bolts) in the event you change your mind.

You're probably safe trash-canning that rear rim, though.

joestuff
16th December 2007, 02:41
This has been a very interesting thread, I can't really think of much to add, except that having a community such as this forum makes owning an ironhead all the better!!!

We might be turds in puchbowl, but we are having the best time at the party...How was it Bob Wier sang "I might be going to hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoying the ride"

ericfreeman
16th December 2007, 02:48
I think Moon Wolf captured what we love about these old Ironheads best. The ties to the past, dreams included plus the present where they can still get the blood pumping and the adrenaline rushing. Nothing else like it!

Eric

IronMick
16th December 2007, 04:00
... Here's another pic of my '80 XLH ironhead just after being pulled from it's ten year slumber

Looks even "better" than mine when i brought it home. The PO was unable to take care of it so it basically rusted in his shed for a few years. Every nut and bolt and fastener and whatever was rusty.

You have original instruments, an original seat [very comfortable IMO]; looks like a king tank [same style as a classic peanut but bigger, 3.1 gals]; looks like a bobbed front fender - mine is the full fender with the chrome support rods.

Tires will be trash. Rear wheel too for certain. I would remove the front tire and examine that wheel on the inside. It looks ok on the outside but it is probably too rusty to repair on the inside.

What i have done with all my project bikes is strip them down to the engine & frame - but one section at a time: front - fender, wheel, brakes, instruments, etc; then rear - wheel, fender, sprocket/brakes, etc; then middle - tank, carb, starter, battery, etc. Clean, examine, repair/replace, as i go along; put it back together.

Fire up the bike, fire up your life too, eh.

RcRacer
16th December 2007, 04:02
.. ..... <snip> .......

I must be honest and say that I don't particularly like the original style of the 1980 model - the air filter for that year was naff, I prefer a single seat and I'm not sure about the tank, though I know that there's a lot of discussion going on at the moment on the forum about tank sizes and shapes.

It seems to me that Harleys don't really have to be kept original (apart from the older and antique models) and I get the feeling that around the year that this bike was born, it was not a great time in their history. I have noticed, looking through the accessory books etc. that lots of custom and pattern parts seem to be available "to fit 1982 - to present". What was the significant change for the 1982 year - can anyone tell me?

Dan

The biggest difference in '82 is the frame. The frame for '79 through '81 is what drives most of the differences in seats, oil tanks, swing arm etc.

The air cleaner you have is not stock, nor is the front fender. The front fender is "bobbed". The original wraps almost half of the front tire with fender braces towards the rear and the front.
The generator and regulator is slightly different. Brake calipers changed in '82. The oil tank is unique for '80 and '81. The right side oil tank cover is also elusive to find. I like the peanut gas tank looks and have the king peanut on mine so that I can enjoy a little longer run between gas stations but you have a few options that work on that frame.

Don't let that discourage you. There are plenty of parts out there and there's a good number of members in these forums with bikes of that vintage.

I bought my ironhead as a starter project to get my feet wet with the intention of making nice and then selling to upgrade to a BT. Once I got it done, I realized that I can't let it go. I love the way it looks and better yet, I love riding it. It's a blast!

http://members.aol.com/thercgarage/harley_build_21_sm.jpg

Moon Wolf
16th December 2007, 07:57
Tires will be trash. Rear wheel too for certain. I would remove the front tire and examine that wheel on the inside. It looks ok on the outside but it is probably too rusty to repair on the inside.



Isn't that front rim aluminum?

sycle1
16th December 2007, 08:18
Great thread.
I hope to one day be the proud owner of an iron head to restore.
Over here they are even harder to find.

boilermaker
16th December 2007, 13:34
Isn't that front rim aluminum?
Nope
Nice find though almost completely stock Would love to find something like that myself. at 500$ its was a hell of a deal.Around here you would pay 3-4 times that for one in worse shape

Gray
16th December 2007, 19:47
In those days, a Sportster was both commitment and statement. It was a Sport bike, a fire-spitting demon, the fastest production motorcycle on the planet, a continuing source of awe. In short, there was nothing else like it, not even close.

....on certain August nights of our youth, as we shifted from third to fourth at the edge of town and felt the arms around our waists tighten, we came as close to being perfected as we'd ever be.

Set that to music an I'd buy it. Brought a tear to my eye that did. Thinking about my and my sporty's glory days. Courted my misses on that bike, honeymooned to Amsterdam on it and my son was very nearly born on the back of it. Probably why I'll never sell it.

CrazyHorse
16th December 2007, 19:55
Nope
Nice find though almost completely stock Would love to find something like that myself. at 500$ its was a hell of a deal.Around here you would pay 3-4 times that for one in worse shape


That's 500 pounds UK........
equals about $1000 US.........
Canadian......what.........about $1300?????

Around here you can get nice clean Ironhead sportsters between late 70's to early 80's for $3000 to $4000.

Nice older ones for as little as $2500.

A complete rolling basket like that one for around $1500 to $1800 I'd say.

A deal anyway you see it!

boilermaker
16th December 2007, 20:31
That's 500 pounds UK........
equals about $1000 US.........
Canadian......what.........about $1300?????

Around here you can get nice clean Ironhead sportsters between late 70's to early 80's for $3000 to $4000.

Nice older ones for as little as $2500.

A complete rolling basket like that one for around $1500 to $1800 I'd say.

A deal anyway you see it!
I forgot the conversion:doh
The market is pretty close to that here Basket bikes go for about 1500-1800 if you can find one I saw an 82 last year the guy wanted 3500 and it needed a lot of work.No rust though to much oil leaking out of it:p

SLS
16th December 2007, 21:23
This is one of the best threads ever!!! :wonderlan


tr7dan,

Welcome to the world of Ironhead Sportsters,...a world like no other. The more you learn about your steed, the more you will love it. There is no substitute for the Iron, none. And yes, they DO attract attention, LOL....especially from the billet barge geezer-glide riding set...heh heh heh!!!!!,


Mick,

Does your 80 have an exhaust crossover? Or is it a XLH and XLCH difference? I noticed that tr7dan's bike does not have one, but mine does....

Do what you want to your bike, Dan.....stock, restored, modified, chopped, bobbed......its all good! Make it YOURS, ...and ride it like you stole it!

http://home.comcast.net/~hifiparty/sportyapes1.JPG

alleydude
16th December 2007, 21:42
Funny how this thread sat dormant for almost a year with only 17 posts until yesterday, where it was revived and took off. More Ironhead users on the site now? Interesting...:geek

IronMick
16th December 2007, 21:59
Mick,

Does your 80 have an exhaust crossover? Or is it a XLH and XLCH difference? I noticed that tr7dan's bike does not have one, but mine does...

Mine had aftermarket pipes when i bought it. I got the exhaust from eBay.

I have two original magazine ads for 1980 Sportsters, one being a Roadster. Both bikes have the crossover, and it is black not chrome.

In the 1979 to 1985 FM all of the bike pics that show the right side, except for 1979 and XR1000, have the black crossover.

I am guessing that they all had it, and that they were removed quickly by the first owners.

flathead45
16th December 2007, 22:00
Funny how this thread sat dormant for almost a year with only 17 posts until yesterday, where it was revived and took off. More Ironhead users on the site now? Interesting...:geek
time to break out this one again I think

http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/showthread.php?t=78592

show your ironhead

SLS
16th December 2007, 22:45
Thanks for the info, Mick!

Mine is black, and the rest of the exhaust looks original.

Can't say I like the crossover pipe......as it blocks the view of the 'pretty' side of an already gorgeous motor! :laugh

Really, I can't think of many bike engines that look as cool as an Ironhead. :smoke

tr7dan
16th December 2007, 23:55
I first came across this bike buried under a load of clutter in a customers garage.

I'm in the building trade and I had done a job for this guy and we got chatting about bikes. He tells me that he has an old Harley that has been parked up unused in his garage for the last ten years and he was looking to get rid of it but didn't know what it was worth. When I first saw it I hadn't a clue what it was. I knew only that it was a Sportster and the registration plate was 1981 but other than that I didn't know the engine size or model designation or anything so, before I agreed to buy it, I went home and 'phoned a place down south who advertised "Harley Davidson bought for cash - any year any condition".

When I gave the guy the details of the bike he said " not worth having !! - you'll spend all your time working on it, trying to keep it running. It's worth 500 -1000 tops".

Kinda put me off really, so I phoned my customer and said that I wasn't interested in buying it but if he advertised it locally he would possibly get 1000 for it. He said that he couldn't be bothered advertising it as it meant he would have to drag it out and clean it up and so he asked me to make him an offer. I said that I really didn't want another restoration project and, to me, it was probably only worth 500 quid. He then said "well ok, give me 500 and it's yours". I turned him down and it was about a week later before I finally changed my mind and decided to buy it.

Since then I've digested tons of information about Ironhead Sportsters. I bought a factory manual and parts book on fleabay and now spend most of my spare time trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. Do I keep it original, or should I add my own personal touches to it? I can see this project ending up as a bit of an obsession, but whatever happens I know I am gonna have a lot of fun and satisfaction doing it.


Special bikes, special people - I hope I got the right bike for my first Harley. We'll see.

Dan
http://xlforum.net/photopost/data/2/medium/Harley_61.jpg

IronMick
17th December 2007, 01:33
I first came across this bike buried under a load of clutter in a customers garage ... Special bikes, special people - I hope I got the right bike for my first Harley ...

IMHO you most certainly did get it right; and a very good deal; as long as it is a classic project bike that you are looking for; a hobby.

The longer i have mine the more i love it. It is awesome, having one of these IronHeads.

74ironhead
17th December 2007, 15:44
Everyone has spoken about how I felt when I owned mine. Mine was in a rigid frame, low slung, only a motor a taillight and headlight and a rear brake, kick only. Flat black with min apes. Lepara seat. When I rode it up to any bar, toy run, or meet, or bike show, people would step over the new bikes to look at what I just rode in on, and to watch me kick it as I left, as if it were a lost art. I ran paughco straight pipes and pissed off all the neighbors and set off many car alarms. It gave me great satisfaction to ride and open the throttle. It wouldn't go over about 80 but that was fast enough on that rigid. I want that feeling back that I didn't get from my 883. It was a fine and reliable bike, i never had to do anything but change the oil, but it didn't feel right. It was like my soul was missing something. IT WAS. The IRONHEAD. And as some shirts say, "Leaving big twins behind since 57."! Later gang.!

stealthammer
17th December 2007, 16:23
Everyone has spoken about how I felt when I owned mine. ...
....It was like my soul was missing something. IT WAS. The IRONHEAD. And as some shirts say, "Leaving big twins behind since 57."! Later gang.!

Congratulations. There are only two kinds of Ironhead owners, the ones that rode one because it was all they could afford, and the ones who ride one because they love them.

The '69 you're looking at may be a little overpriced but you'll have to assess that for yourself. Personally I don't mind paying a little extra if the bike and I get along.........

74ironhead
17th December 2007, 16:51
I used to have a perfect virago 1100, i sold it in perfect condition to buy an ironhead in boxes, not to get a harley. But because I wanted a hardcore bike like those my father rode. I paid 2k back then for one in boxes and the frame was basically just a roller. I may have pics of that old bike on this site somewhere. Not sure anymore, I'll do some diggin, when It blew up I bought a 97 883 and rode it for about a year. Thought I'd start a bike shop that failed beyond belief, not enough riders to support it, I had to sell the 97 to put food on the table. But anyway, ONCE YOU GET IRONHEAD IN YOUR BLOOD, IT COURSES WITH HUNGER THROUGH YOUR VEINS AND BEGS TO BE FED.

YOU HAVE A KILLER SCOOT BY THE WAY. ONCE YOU GO BLACK YOU NEVER GO BACK....

IronMick
17th December 2007, 17:33
I used to have a perfect virago 1100 ...

Me too. At one time or another i had 3 1985 Virago XV1000s. Great bike. Much like a sporty - v-twin, air cooled, easy to work on, great torque [you can easily do wheelies on those bikes!], good lookin' bikes [to some], etc, etc. But the IronHead, well, it's all being said here.