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

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Old 27th February 2008
ckulik73 ckulik73 is offline
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Default Introduction and Air Cleaner Fire

Hello fellow Ironhead Owners. This is my 1st post here on the board. I've been registered for a while and really enjoy reading your posts and the wealth of info provided. I decided to post what happened to me just this weekend hoping someone else can learn from my situation.

First, I'm the recent owner of an 82' Ironhead. Picked it up over the summer and have really enjoyed owning it. I hope to post some pics soon.

Here's what happened. I purchased a new teardrop air cleaner of ebay. It's the typical S&S style just not with the hefty price tag. It was a nice kit and came with a foam filter. I own motocross bikes and know the importance of oiling the filter before use and the typical maintenance that goes with it. However, the weather has been miserable here in the Chicago area and working out in the cold garage is not much fun. Anyway I decided to just test fit the assembly to the bike and see how it looked and had intended to take it all apart, oil the filter, and re-assemble it later.

Well a week went by and we got our first day of decent weather over the weekend. I decided that it would be a good time to wake the bike up from its winter sleep. Well as I am cranking it over it backfires out the carb. Soon there is a steady stream of smoke coming from the air cleaner. Where there's smoke there's fire right? Absolutely. Fire erupts from the filter and there are flames shooting out from under it. I was in a panic but luckily I had a fire extinguisher handy. I doused it and the fire was out. What a mess...When I took it apart the foam filter had almost completely burned away leaving only the mesh. Also, my new cleaner was now burned and sooty. I haven't checked into the carb so I don't know if I caused any damage yet.

So, moral of the story. Theres a couple I guess... First always keep a fire extinguisher in your shop/garage. Second, don't be too hasty, you might forget something small that could lead to something disatrous.

Has this happened to anyone else?
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