Author Topic: Retro Sportster Build ?  (Read 1734 times)

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Offline 72_350_FOUR

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Retro Sportster Build ?
« on: October 15, 2013, 09:58:05 am »
I've built a couple cafes now and done a resto, and am thinking of building a hard tail/springer front end retro looking sportster. Any of you guys have Harley experience? i've never owned one, i know certain years are better to stay away from than others,.... any other advice or thoughts? Im not a Harley guy, i just like the old panheads and want to try and build a replica, or something along those lines.
1972 Honda CB350F

Offline Bankerdanny

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 12:57:35 pm »
I think the first gen Sportster is a great looking bike.
"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they're true" - Abraham Lincoln

Current: '76 CB750F. Previous:  '75 CB550F, 2007 Yamaha Vino 125 Scooter, '75 Harley FXE Superglide, '77 GL1000, '77 CB550k, '68 Suzuki 80 (K11 probably, it's been 30 years), '68 Yamaha YR2, '69 BMW R69S, '71 Honda SL175, '02 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, '89 Yamaha FJ1200

Offline seanbarney41

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2013, 01:41:53 pm »
most of my friends are Harley/chopper guys.  I have ridden all my friends bikes (except my buddy Taylor's new panhead, which is foot clutch/suicide shift, and it's really nice and he worked really hard on it and I would feel terrible if I screwed up with this unfamiliar riding style)...that said, I think Harley's are crap, for the most part.  Another buddie has a Shovelhead FXR...1340cc can barely outrun my 736cc (he doesn't get away from me until well above 90mph, and then it's just a matter of time before something breaks/falls off etc.)  Also, old Harleys are kinda expensive and you can pretty much count on having to do a total rebuild on all of them.  (you think Honda previous owners are bad, check out how fubar'd an old Harley is sometime)  Cheapest thing is an Ironhead Sportster (mid 1950's-1980/81?) and they have many well known issues...basket cases can be found in my area for around $2500.  Seems like guys have the best luck with Evo(1983?-present) motored bikes as far as economical, dependable projects.  I want to do an Ironhead cafe someday, but for a $2500 buy-in, then the time and money for a total rebuild, the fun per dollar quotient just is not there in Harleyland.
If it works good, it looks good...

Offline mono

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2013, 01:52:20 pm »
if you're in C-bus, talk to Pat at Ledsleds in Dayton.  he sells hardtail kits to weld yourself, or you can drop off your bike and he'll do it all.  my buddy just got done converting his 2003 886 through those guys and it came out great.   

advice i know from helping/watching my buddy's build:  don't go cheap on the springer front end.  he's got a DNA springer front, and he's not ultra-pleased with it.  it's not CHEAP per se, but you get what you pay for i guess.


Offline Old Scrambler

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2013, 02:52:20 pm »
Few people do basic research...........Did you know that twin-pipes and shortie mufflers on iron-head Sportsters were sold as an accessory or replacement option?  The original factory exhaust offered with the base-model XLH or XLCH was a 2 into 1 high-pipe design. Same for the tank........."turtle design was standard.........tear-drop was optional.

A nice looking iron-head is the customized bike used in the THEN CAME BRONSON TV series of 1969.   

BTW........a Sportster could be notalgic..........and so could a PAN...........but don't confuse them.
Dennis in Wisconsin
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Offline 72 yellow

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2013, 03:18:08 pm »
I bought a new 1973 Sportster from the old Detroit Harley-Davidson back in the day.  It came with a 2 into 1 exhaust system that was ugly.  I was told it was for noise regulations in Detroit, California and I believe Philadelphia.  It had a large single muffler we called a bagpipe.  It cost $40.00 for a set of the staggered duals that I had to install myself.  I liked the bike a lot.  The thing I remember most is the roasting of the inside of my right leg every time I put my foot down at a stop.  This was due to the oil tank location on the XLH model. 

Offline dusterdude

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2013, 05:59:46 pm »
Ironhead all day long
mark
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Offline 72_350_FOUR

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 01:45:14 pm »
Yes I'm aware of the buy in price, it's scary for sure.   Everything is on a different level price wise, hopefully resale would be also.   The thing that strikes me as odd is the shere number of Harleys for sale on any given day on Craig's List...  Maybe it's because there are so many around, maybe it's because there is a huge turnover market. like "I'm gonna ride a Harley" "Oh i guess i don't wanna ride a Harley"  and then they sell them... I don't know?   I know I've seen a number of bobber builds and most of them aren't to my liking to put it nicely.
1972 Honda CB350F

Offline Bankerdanny

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Re: Retro Sportster Build ?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 03:01:50 pm »
I think a lot of guys decide they want to get into motorcycling, so they buy a Harley because they see them all the time or they know someone that has one, or it just fits their image of what a 'biker' rides.

Then they find that being a 'biker' isn't as fun as they thought. It's hot in the summer, they don't feel safe on the highway, they don't want to ride in the rain, they can't use their bike for errands, whatever.  They just find that rather than hitting the open road like they thought they would they mostly leave the bike in the garage and after a few years decide they want the money tied up in the bike back.
"The problem with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they're true" - Abraham Lincoln

Current: '76 CB750F. Previous:  '75 CB550F, 2007 Yamaha Vino 125 Scooter, '75 Harley FXE Superglide, '77 GL1000, '77 CB550k, '68 Suzuki 80 (K11 probably, it's been 30 years), '68 Yamaha YR2, '69 BMW R69S, '71 Honda SL175, '02 Royal Enfield Bullet 500, '89 Yamaha FJ1200