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Old 04-15-2009, 06:06 AM   #1
strokersporty
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Default Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Does anyone wanna clarify on some of the major differences between the early XLH and XLCH? This could be a good thread!!!

(thanks for the suggestion dragon)
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:17 AM   #2
M.O.Ther
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

The Harley dealer where I used to work was opened in 1962, and has a museum with restored versions of all 9 production models for that year, including the XLH and the XLCH.

The H tank is larger, sometimes refered to as a "turtle" tank, while the CH has the smaller tank that H-D now refers to as a peanut. The H had a cast aluminum primary cover, while the CH one is stamped steel, and is held on with more bolts. The H has a battery coil ignition while the CH has no battery and is magneto fired.

The XLH has steel rims while the CH's rims were aluminum. If I recall, both were available in 18" or 19" for more or less seat height and/or ground clearance.

OK, someone else's turn.
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Last edited by M.O.Ther; 11-04-2009 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

if i remember seeing correctly, the CH was kick only. or am i wrong?
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:21 AM   #4
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

The XLCH had bigger cams!!! And XLCompitionHot!!!!!

.................Roach.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by misfit36 View Post
if i remember seeing correctly, the CH was kick only. or am i wrong?

Before 67...............................Roach.
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Last edited by Destralo Roach; 04-15-2009 at 09:05 AM. Reason: Up late!
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

I'm not much help here, but I logged on this morning because I was going to ask the EXACT same question about a '77 I'm looking at picking up on the cheap. I've messed with Brits and big twins a bit, but never an old ironhead. Were the differences the same in the late 70's as they were in the early years? Any difference at all in power produced? Thanks!
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lackluster View Post
I'm not much help here, but I logged on this morning because I was going to ask the EXACT same question about a '77 I'm looking at picking up on the cheap. I've messed with Brits and big twins a bit, but never an old ironhead. Were the differences the same in the late 70's as they were in the early years? Any difference at all in power produced? Thanks!

Your bike would have no Estart, but you can add it, your cams are still "P" cams, thats it...................Roach.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

I've wondered about this also. I bought my 72 titled as a "CH", but it was E start only...?
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Yeh, it should have had kickstart, but if you got it used, who knows, some one might have taken it off, guy still do that on shovels for some reason???

............................Roach.
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Old 04-15-2009, 08:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

roach, you meant BEFORE 67, right?
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Yeh, it was late, before 67, all sportys were kickstart only, the Estart XLH came out in 67...............the last kick only was 1969!
Then from 1970 on up you could have bothe intill 82 when the frame got in the way.......................Roach.
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Outside of MO thers post, a lot of mis-information here. Check this out:
http://www.sportster.org/history/index.shtml#1970

Good info
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Old 04-15-2009, 09:34 AM   #13
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

69 was the last of the real CHs.....From 67 to 69 the factory was making two cases for the Sportys...One for the kick-start CH and the other for the ele.start. In 1970-up, both shared the same case....
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Ok, I'll try & add a little. I will limit myself to 58-65, the interesting years...
The CH's & H's had the same cams, CH's had the horseshoe oil tank, CH's came with both steel & alloy (available -60) rims but were always 18" rear & 19" front, H's came with 18" front & rear, CH's had 1" more ground clearance, etc...

Most differences would be very obvious, but pics of old unmolested Sportster are really hard to find. To my eye the early CH's are extremely beautiful bikes, that don't really need any mods to look good! Maybe lose or bob the front fender & you're done! A XLH on the other hand imho don't look good at all.

Here's a pic that shows the -61's, the absolutely best lookin year!
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Old 04-15-2009, 10:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

I always read that the XLCH was the faster version that would blow the Brit bikes off of the road (which was Harley's intention), since they had ruled the top end highway speeds for so long.
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Old 04-15-2009, 01:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

up through 69 the CH had a shorter frame and swing arm. the H had this frame with different oil tank mounts til 67. In 67 the frame on the H was doglegged back right above the swing arm pivot to accomodate the new battery box and electric start. The H swingarm was lengthened accordingly, 70 thru 78 they had the same longer frame and motor cases . later on the H's had the alum rims and the CH's got the steel rims. I never really understood that thinking on the part of the factory.
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Old 04-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #17
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

One other feature ( and maybe the coolest) was on steel rims the CH had 4 screws on each side of the rim holding the rim from spinning in the tires. In the early years the frame on the H was an inch shorter. No one rembers that the CH was the bike that had the small eye brow to hold the headlight. The H had a large cover over the headlamp. I worked in a Harley shop in 69 and still have my 68 XLCH that is stock except for the seat and stroker.
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Old 04-15-2009, 03:11 PM   #18
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldspeed View Post
I worked in a Harley shop in 69 and still have my 68 XLCH that is stock except for the seat and stroker.
One of the Best Years of the CH's....Sure would like to see a picture of it....
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Old 04-15-2009, 04:51 PM   #19
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

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One other feature ( and maybe the coolest) was on steel rims the CH had 4 screws on each side of the rim holding the rim from spinning in the tires.
That would be -67 & up, the alloy rims had them as well.
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Old 04-15-2009, 06:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: Difference in early XLH & XLCH...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destralo Roach View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by lackluster

I'm not much help here, but I logged on this morning because I was going to ask the EXACT same question about a '77 I'm looking at picking up
Your bike would have no Estart, but you can add it, your cams are still "P" cams, thats it...................Roach.
Well, Roach, I have a completely-stock '77 that is electric start only. Had another engine, same, that we added a kick kit to.


I thought the original poster had a specific question about '62....
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