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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 19th January 2011
dc45 dc45 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 6
Sportster/Buell Model: xlh
Sportster/Buell Year: 1973
Reputation: 10
dc45 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default New 73' Ironhead project (and introduction)


Just picked up my first project bike, a 73 Sportster XLH. Transmission was stuck in gear (shifter also missing, which could have something to do with it) and cam cover was unbolted...I bought it off of someone who had got it from an estate sale, so I dont have much info. Cams look good, took off primary cover and clutch looks brand new (nice and shiny, lockwashers look really fresh).

What should I do first as far as figuring out what kind of work the engine needs? I've stripped everything else off the bike, most of which looked original. Bike has about 28k on it. Should I start a top end rebuild or try to get her running first as is? I'm assuming I have to get into neutral first to start with the electric start (no kick on the xlh). I am very much a newb, so I appreciate any help. I'd like to do as much work myself as I can, so if I dont need to do any bottom end work, that would be great.


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