Thinking Of Resurecting My '73 Sportster

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by lake_harley, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. plugeye

    plugeye mc caregiver

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    yeah, put some tires & mufflers on it, a solo & its finished
    sweet
    #21
  2. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Tires - yes
    Mufflers - most likely (still have the originals, I think)
    Solo Seat - not likely

    I think I'd like to take the aluminum wheels off and go back to more original. I do have the original rear spoked wheel but, like a dummy, I sold the front years ago. I think the '73 front wheel/hub was a one-year-only orphan because the front brake caliper and mount changed in '74, so I guess I'll be checking around. Maybe someone here has one:ear ?
    #22
  3. Kurt V

    Kurt V Been here awhile

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    I still have some Sporty stuff laying around here, rubber isolators, relays, that kind of thing. If you want them, they are yours for the asking. I also think I have the same speedo and tach like the one in your picture, but in the older chrome style if you are interested in going that route. Make you a deal on that.
    #23
  4. crazydrummerdude

    crazydrummerdude Wacky Bongo Boy

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    I like where this is going..
    #24
  5. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Transient

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    I had a '77 Cafe Sportster, fun bike. Lot of firsts: dual discs, black pipes, factory balanced engine, etc. Clutch lever pressure was like doing one of those grip exercisers.

    Should have had a sign on it though saying "the parts falling off of this motorcycle are of the finest American quality".
    #25
  6. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    KurtV....I'm actually going to be in Jeff City this Saturday for the Missouri State high school cross country meet (my daughter is running), but will have several other people along that may not understand a stop-over to look at motorcycle parts. I appreciate your offer and will be in touch sometime if I find I need something. I don't want to accept free parts just to hoard them. What year(s) Sporty are the parts from?

    Lynn
    #26
  7. drhach

    drhach gorillamanufacturing.com

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    Damnit, I just typed a really long message and it got lost somewhere. It was brilliant too. Small children would have wept. Anyway, I'll condense it somewhat. First of all, cool bike. 73 was the first year for the disc brake. However the hub remained unchanged on the Sportster until 1977. The caliper was changed in 1974. needless to say, the hub/wheels are plentuful as are the rears (that front hub was also used on the big twins). Honestly though, How uncommon are Lesters? There is a big novelty aspect there, but it's your bike. Your bike looks to be mostly original. That black Speedo case was a 73 only part. They were chrome before that and dropped in 74. Another thing to be aware of, You mentioned that you may have the orginal mufflers. They go for pretty big bucks, if you can find them. There are repos out there but so many guys took them off that nice orignals fetch a pretty penny. They should have a five digit part number on them followed by a -62A. Basically, if you have any of the original stuff, keep it. PM me if you want to, I can send you some literature to help get you going. You should get a factory service manual and a factory parts manual before doing anything. They are invaluable.

    By all means post pictures of your progress.
    #27
  8. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info on the front wheel. I seem to recall that the caliper got a lot smaller on the '74 Sportys and thought that the rotor and hub might have been changed as well. When I bought this bike I had planned to buy a new '74 Sporty but a friend of mine bought the last new XLCH the dealer had on the floor. His version of the story may vary, but that's OK. My black bike always ran circles around the red/maroon bike he bought, the one that would have been mine:lol3 .

    I'll have to find all the stock exhaust parts and look for the numbers you referred to. I have a way of keeping things forever, and my shop looks like it, so I'm reasonably certain it's there.

    I thought that the wrinkle-paint side covers were a '73 only deal, but didn't know about the tach/speedometer case. I think this bike is probably responsible for me having a preference for black motorcycles. I've owned three other black bikes since. There's just something sinister and stealthy about black...especially wrinkle-finish and flat or satin black.

    One thing that I won't do in working with the bike, is make any changes that can't be reversed. I realize, from a value standpoint, that the bike is probably worth more in stock form. My son (now 20) will own it one day. I've vowed to come back to haunt him if he decides to ever sell it!

    Lynn
    #28
  9. flemsmith

    flemsmith lurk

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    I'm just starting to work on mine again...when you take off the gas tank, could pls post a pix or two of the frame/wiring harness around the engine/seat area? I'm pretty sure my frame has been butchered a bit and I'd like to see what they originally looked like. Mine is a bastard 73 engine and 74frame that was a basket case and has all sorts of parts from wherever now. Nice to see someone going after one of these. Have fun!roy
    #29
  10. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

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    that rainbow sportster decal is too cool.
    #30
  11. drhach

    drhach gorillamanufacturing.com

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    The wrinkle paint on the speedo case is absolutely 73 only. I think you're also right about the side cases. I believe it showed up again in 1977. 1973 was a year of a few firsts and lasts and onlys.
    #31
  12. motorjon68

    motorjon68 Been here awhile

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    Take lots of pics.
    #32
  13. Yarddog

    Yarddog Been here awhile

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    For mufflers, for the original look but a little louder, but not too loud, I'd go with the Paughco or Cycle Shack tapered mufflers...the goose cut are VERY traditional, but I think yours would look great with the tapered ones...You'll have to cut yer drag pipes off about ten inches, more or less, but you're losing horsepower using them anyway...

    Regarding wrinkle paint versus keeping yours totally stock, do what suits you best without worrying about what was stock for that year! Your bike doesn't have a ton of collector value, but it's valuable to you, so make yourself happy with it...I like your idea of going back to spoke wheels but if you decided to keep the mags cuz you liked 'em better, cool!
    #33
  14. Richy

    Richy Been here awhile

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    Honestly, your bike belongs in the "Why do some bikes just look right" thread, IMO.

    If you decide to sell the mags, I'm in!
    #34
  15. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Wow, what a compliment! I guess that's part of the reason I would never want to sell it.

    I think the mags will stay, whether on the bike, or on a shelf.

    Lynn
    #35
  16. Poacher Bob

    Poacher Bob Persona non grata

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    THAT'S how a Sportster should look! (can't stand a fat-bob tank on a Sportster) Oh, and:lurk
    #36
  17. Poacher Bob

    Poacher Bob Persona non grata

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    :ear
    #37
  18. lake_harley

    lake_harley Been here awhile

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    Ha! Perfect way of asking how it's going.... I'm guessing? Answer is "not so well". I've been sort of busy with my fabrication business and have since bought another project bike and inherited the task of some much needed maintenance on my son's 500 Ninja.

    I did work on the front brakes (master cylinder) a bit but just need to get to the Harley shop to get a rebuild seal kit. For some reason I can't get motivated on the Sporty. I think once I start making some real progress on it I'll get the itch to ride it and keep going.

    Odd, that I happened to see the new response today to the thread. I will post updates once I get going.

    Lynn
    #38
  19. safetywire

    safetywire Been here awhile

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    Lake,

    If your generator still needs work, call Allen Armature in Kansas City, KS. They are just north of I-70 at 18th. Street and Central and see if they are still big in the Harley generator rebuilding business. Possibly the person who was really good at it retired by now, but at one time they were widely regarded as the go to place for such things. I've not needed a generator or alternator rebuilt in some time and not up to date on such things.

    Good luck with your project!
    #39
  20. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Clean the carb,fresh plugs and gas,fire it up. The sound will get ya goin'.
    #40