Thread: Go Sportsters
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:01 AM   #1641
Beastly Adventurer
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Joined: Jan 2006
Location: DeKalb County, Illinois
Oddometer: 2,009
Originally Posted by 83XLX View Post
A lot of the Storz stuff that is listed for '86 and newer will fit the '82-'85 Ironhead, too, as they had basically the same frame and front end. The Ironheads made in the last half of '84 and all the '85 models had the same alternator setup as the first Evo motors, which could be trouble-prone. Before that, Ironheads had a generator charging system.

I own an '83 Ironhead (and have had it for 22 years), and they aren't the junk many people seem to think they are. Sure, if you buy an abused one, one that hasn't been maintained, and/or one that had been "customized", you can have a mess on your hands. Find a good one, though, and it will be no more troublesome than any older bike. They have solid lifters, so the pushrods do require periodic adjustments, and the drive and primary chains need adjustment, too, but that's about all the extra care they require. The later ones had a decent electronic ignition, too, so none of that points & condenser crap.

If you want to build in some real performance, though, an Evo is probably the way to go. There's a lot more go-fast stuff available for them, and they can make better power than a similarly-modified Ironhead because of the better head design and better cooling. Ironheads are cool, though.
Great info and a beautiful bike. I missed out on a good looking '78 Ironhead in my neighborhood because I was dithering about spending the money. Kicking myself about that today. The performance thing is irrelevant to me. Yeah it would be cool to have some fire breathing monster, but the way I ride it would just be wasted.
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