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Old 08-24-2012, 04:06 PM   #1621
kraven
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Originally Posted by eric123 View Post
The problem with most Ironheads is their owners. When sorted out they aren't too bad, but no where as maintenance free as an Evo. That being said, if I didn't have so much money tied up into my Ironheads, I would go home and douse them in gasoline and torch them...

This sums up most ironhead owners nowadays.

To me it's like any old tech bike, whether it's an old Kawi, BMW airhead, or ironhead Sporty. Points ignition, carbs, crappy charging systems, and all the quirks that used to be part of riding a bike, now disappeared from maintenance issues (mostly), make the old irnoheads seem hellishly unreliable.
If you're in for a wayback machine, and for the regular maintenance, then the ironhead could work.

I would rather have the evo for the updated parts. And if I were going to run it hard, I'd rather have the Buell lump, just because nearly every part of it is upgraded for the increased loads of performance use, or to make more power. And the blacked out engines look neato.

I salute your rough plan. Do it!

ETA: There are chain conversions for the newer sportsters, so you're not stuck with belt.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:07 PM   #1622
ian03xl
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Originally Posted by TheOtherBart View Post
Not a bad idea...I prefer projects that I can ride while I tinker though if you know what I mean. But something to think about.



If I got something with a belt I'd want a chain conversion. Not to sound like a total poser but it just wouldn't be a streettracker with a belt. So getting something that didn't have a belt would be a good thing. Could you be more specific about the ironheads? Complete junk in what way? Unreliable? Known issues? I know nothing about the various iterations or their quirks.
You'll have a lot more money tied up in an iron head just making it a reliable runner than just picking up a early 90s EVO and making it a streettracker. However if your into ironheads and don't mind more maintenance then go for it to me nothing sounds cooler than an ironhead screaming at 7000 rpm.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:14 PM   #1623
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Nice!!

soon to be my advbike
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:18 PM   #1624
TheOtherBart
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I'm sure I could Google it, but does somebody want to give the Cliff's Notes on "Evo"? What year range are we talking about, and what makes them more reliable and desirable? I've been creeping SearchTempest for a while now and I'm seeing very, very little in that $2500 range that Berto's talking about.
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Old 08-24-2012, 04:29 PM   #1625
kraven
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Originally Posted by TheOtherBart View Post
I'm sure I could Google it, but does somebody want to give the Cliff's Notes on "Evo"? What year range are we talking about, and what makes them more reliable and desirable? I've been creeping SearchTempest for a while now and I'm seeing very, very little in that $2500 range that Berto's talking about.
Ironheads were succeeded by the Evolution engines in '86. You can look the Evolution up on wiki.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #1626
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'86 was the first year of the EVO and were a 4 speed until '91 then they got a 5 speed. In '04 they rubber mounted the engine and some other minor engine improvements but done away with the trap door trany and in 07 fi was introduced . That's the short of it as far as why the EVO is more reliable is because of better manufacturing practices, tighter tolerances and better materials oh and electronics are better too especially since '91 on up.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:17 PM   #1627
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Originally Posted by ian03xl View Post
'86 was the first year of the EVO and were a 4 speed until '91 then they got a 5 speed. In '04 they rubber mounted the engine and some other minor engine improvements but done away with the trap door trany and in 07 fi was introduced . That's the short of it as far as why the EVO is more reliable is because of better manufacturing practices, tighter tolerances and better materials oh and electronics are better too especially since '91 on up.
Thanks! Everything I'm finding from that era is $3500+. Maybe I roll the dice on an ironhead if the right deal crops up...this would be a totally unnecessary third bike so I can't justify spending any real money on it.
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:29 PM   #1628
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The EVO deals are out there my buddy just picked up an 03 with 10000 miles for $2500 and another friend got a '96 for $3000 both 1200's just be patient or shoot someone a lowball offer its tough selling a used Harley right now.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:13 PM   #1629
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xlforum.net has a lot of info on XLs.

The Ironheads carry their weight higher--tilting one off the stand takes more effort than with an Evo.

I'm not sure whether or not Ironheads use hydraulic lifters or not. If not, adjusting pushrods is very simple, but very frequent.

Older Ironheads (pre '77 I think) were rh shift. The early LH shift models had problematic linkages.

Nothing fits a '79. There is (was?) a Yahoo group for just this bike called FAMES (Fits All Models Except Seventy-nine).

The 86-90 Evos have the stator on the clutch basket. This is less reliable then the newer 91-up design that places the stator on the crankshaft output. 91-up also got 5 Speed transmissions. If your pockets are deep enough, 91-03s can be upgraded to a 6-speed transmission from Baker.

2000-up models have sealed bearings. If you want to convert one of these to chain, buy a sprocket for a -99 model and have the hole enlarged (I don't remember by how much, but someone on xlf will know). I did not notice any increase in vibration in my XL when I converted to chain.

Until 2004, all 883 & 1200 Sportsters had the same clutches, primary, etc. 883s had a smaller countershaft pulley, but that was the only difference. If you want to do a conversion, a converted 883 will either make slightly more power than a stock 1200 but run much smoother, or vibrate just as much and make a bunch more power than a stock 1200 (Sport models excluded). All depends on how much you want to spend and how hard you want to hit the rev limiter.
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Old 08-24-2012, 11:50 PM   #1630
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:36 AM   #1631
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Touring on an XR? How do you find that seat?
Rob
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Old 08-25-2012, 04:47 AM   #1632
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Touring on an XR? How do you find that seat?
Rob
Firm.

I wore a pair of bicycle shorts, and had a bit of sheepskin on the seat. You can see it better here:



They helped a lot. We did 5 450km days.

I was thinking of picking up a fresh one here:



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Old 08-25-2012, 09:12 AM   #1633
skysailor
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Originally Posted by Nadgett View Post
Firm.

I wore a pair of bicycle shorts, and had a bit of sheepskin on the seat. You can see it better here:



They helped a lot. We did 5 450km days.

I was thinking of picking up a fresh one here:



You look very short in the first pic. How do you touch the ground?
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Old 08-26-2012, 06:08 PM   #1634
83XLX
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Originally Posted by TheOtherBart View Post
So I'm starting to eyeball some Sportsters, just sort of idle window shopping. If I were to pull the trigger my idea would be to slowly build something of a streettracker. I raced flattrack way back when and the style just appeals to me. Anyway, I know the easy way is to get the Storz catalog and go nuts, but it looks like their stuff only fits bikes back to 1986, and to get into a price range that I'd want to swing for the initial purchase I'd probably be looking at something older that that. Are the differences between pre- and post-1986 that significant? Any huge red flags with a '70s era Sportster in general?
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...

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Old 08-26-2012, 08:39 PM   #1635
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nice!!!
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