74 XLCH-1000 chopper - The Jockey Journal Board

Go Back   The Jockey Journal Board > General Discussion > The Board

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 10-21-2020, 06:25 PM   #1
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Hey everyone!

I've wanted a Harley 30+ years. I couldn't pull together the money to afford one. I found this one on FB marketplace, snagged it for $2500. I don't know for sure if that's a good price on a bike like this, but I own it now so there's no going back.





The guy I got it from said it was a 74 motor in an 84 Softail frame (among other things). Looking at the serial(?) number on the neck and motor I used this tabperfomace VIN reference guide to understand the frame and motor match as an XLCH-1000. I believe if I'm right it was the 491st built that year...?





The motor appears to have had a kick start at some point but doesn't now







Somebody decided to adjust the rake 12 degrees (so I was told), put a springer on it and add a Softail rearend. I don't know Softail suspension very well, but I know the bikes tail doesn't look like a typical Sportster.





Since the bike has this different rearend the shifter has been converted from right side to left. This little ball end connector came off while I was riding it home in the rain. It seems like a questionable way to connect that. I guess I need to figure out a better method. In this pic it's that backside connection on the end of the threaded rod.





An extra fun thing is this switch on the motor. I bet has to do with the electrical (duh). I haven't played with it yet.





Also looks like the throttle cable is artistically set up...





Anyway, I've been riding it everywhere and it handles great, idles like a monster. Yesterday while educating my son about the fuel petcock I accidentally left it on reserve so today I ran out of gas for the first time.

Thank you all for providing so much information on here. I have no less than 40 tabs open in 3 browser windows right now reading all about the motor and trans. The clutch has a very wide throw between shifts, it's hard to find neutral, as it warms up it creeps even with the handle pulled in (meaning the bike wants to move). I'm not afraid of working on it and is actually why I chose to buy it. I want to *know* my bike that well.

Thanks again, I'm having a blast.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-21-2020, 08:12 PM   #2
69camfrk
Senior Member
 
69camfrk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: GA, If you want sympathy, you can find it in the dictionary between shit and syphilis
Posts: 316
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

If you keep an ironhead for any length of time, you will definitely be working on it. Part of the joy of owning old bikes. Enjoy.
69camfrk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2020, 09:07 PM   #3
magnum45pete
Senior Member
 
magnum45pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Brighton England
Posts: 1,635
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

nice bike..... a bit of fixing up here & there & you'll have a lotta fun with that !! well done & good luck with it fella,
magnum45pete is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Old 10-21-2020, 10:59 PM   #4
Stormin
Senior Member
 
Stormin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: near Edmonton, AB
Posts: 140
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Nice bike! Yup, a little TLC and I can see you'll have the bugs worked out.
Stormin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2020, 06:44 AM   #5
Elektron
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Miami FL
Posts: 181
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

That's when H-D had to convert right-side shifting bikes to left-side shifters. I believe for several years around-then, the mechanism to accomplish that was behind the engine, and external.

The throttle has an improvised spacer, you probably want-to find a better way to provide the spacing needed, or get a throttle cable made to your needed size/length.

I like the look, quite a bit different from a mid-1970's stock Sportster. Have you run the frame VIN to discover exactly what it is?

I was just speaking w/my riding buddy in Palm Beach Co. FL, he has a '75 engine Ironhead in a '76 frame, he just retired, and has this to put-together. He's been collecting parts for it for a l-o-n-g time. He also has a '70 Ironhead basket case, same-deal, that one has an S&S stroker crank kit. His everyday ride is an 80 c.i. '80 Low Rider he bought new.

Isn't that extra nut & bolt on the throttle housing for a throttle tensioner? I think it should have some sort of a thumbscrew on it.
Elektron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2020, 09:08 AM   #6
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektron View Post
That's when H-D had to convert right-side shifting bikes to left-side shifters. I believe for several years around-then, the mechanism to accomplish that was behind the engine, and external....

I am new at the deep history, but from the numbers on the motor and frame (on the neck) match and decode it as a '74, but sites I've found say the factory cross over was on 75 & 76..?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Elektron View Post
I like the look, quite a bit different from a mid-1970's stock Sportster. Have you run the frame VIN to discover exactly what it is?

Thanks I like it a lot. From what I've found it started as a 74 XLCH-1000. (I mentioned it in the post. )



My latest adventure is a low battery after it ran out of gas. It had me wishing for the kickstart right about then. I had it on the charger over night. Today I'll run some tests while it's running.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2020, 08:15 PM   #7
Speeding Big Twin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 121
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

As you discovered, 4A indicates XLCH Sportster. At first they were approx 900cc but became approx 1000cc as of 1972 (?) models.
Kickstart Sportsters and electric start Sportsters had their engine numbers mixed in together. For 1974 models it appears they began at either 10000 or 10001.

I canít see anything wrong with your engine number and all its characters appear consistent with factory stamping for a 1974 Sportster engine at that stage. I say Ďat that stageí partly because the 9 is rounded which is what Iíd expect at 10491. On 1974 Sportster engines the 9 was rounded early in the model year but it changed to a different type somewhere in the high-19000s or low-20000s.
NB: exceptions are possible.
Below is an example for comparison of most characters. Your 0 also looks okay, being oblong in shape.







Stamped under each case half you may find crankcase production numbers, aka belly numbers, aka line-bore numbers, aka confidential numbers. For example, 774-1234(5).
First character (7) is a code number used for Sportsters.
74 indicates model year.
Remaining four or five characters indicate sequential production.
If both cases have exactly the same number underneath, and if the numbers are authentic, it means the cases were originally machined together as a matching pair at the factory.

The frame is intriguing for several reasons. It has the same number as the engine? Can you post a photo of the entire steering head please and a close-up of the frame number. Thanks.
Eric



Speeding Big Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2020, 08:32 PM   #8
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

This is great info! Thank you! To answer some of the questions -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
Stamped under each case half you may find crankcase production numbers, aka belly numbers, aka line-bore numbers, aka confidential numbers. For example, 774-1234(5).
First character (7) is a code number used for Sportsters.
74 indicates model year.
Remaining four or five characters indicate sequential production.
If both cases have exactly the same number underneath, and if the numbers are authentic, it means the cases were originally machined together as a matching pair at the factory.
When you say "under" where should I look? I'm asking Google and going to go check the bike in a minute.
[EDIT] -
I found where they should be. I have read that on some motors one is inside the primary though(?) I'll look under the bike for anything in the daylight tomorrow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
The frame is intriguing for several reasons. It has the same number as the engine? Can you post a photo of the entire steering head please and a close-up of the frame number. Thanks.
Eric

Here's a pic of the serial number on the steering head.





Here's a side view of the whole area.


Last edited by Butt Hurtz; 11-01-2020 at 11:38 PM.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 02:33 AM   #9
Speeding Big Twin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 121
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

You're welcome. For 1974 Sportsters I'd expect both belly numbers to be under the cases. The left belly number didnít go in the primary area until 1975 models.

Your frame VIN is interesting, partly because of its location. Hereís where it is on a 1974 H-D Sportster frame.







Hard to be sure from your picture but the 4s, A and H donít look as wide as the 4s, A and H in your engine number? And I wouldnít expect them to be because frame VIN characters are not always exactly the same as engine number characters although on this occasion Iím not yet sure what is going on.

For comparison, hereís an example on a 1974 Harley Sportster frame. Also notice the 9 on this frame is not rounded. Does your frame 9 look like this?







Does your VIN look original to the frame? Or is it possible that the section containing the VIN is from another frame?

How is the front of your engine secured? It looks like the frame has a mount running between the downtubes but that would be Big Twin style. Also notice the sidestand assembly is the type normally used for a Big Twin. And notice how the rear brake pedal assembly is attached.
Eric
Speeding Big Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2020, 11:13 PM   #10
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
You're welcome. For 1974 Sportsters I'd expect both belly numbers to be under the cases. The left belly number didnít go in the primary area until 1975 models.
I stuck my phone under the bike and captured one of the belly numbers -






Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
Hard to be sure from your picture but the 4s, A and H donít look as wide as the 4s, A and H in your engine number? And I wouldnít expect them to be because frame VIN characters are not always exactly the same as engine number characters although on this occasion Iím not yet sure what is going on.

Does your VIN look original to the frame? Or is it possible that the section containing the VIN is from another frame?

Maybe it has been welded back on(?) It's certainly not where you showed it should be. I don't have any other Harley to compare it to. I'll have to Google search. It does seem pretty thick for just a serial number plate. You can sorta see that in this combo pic of it and the case serial number.






Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
How is the front of your engine secured? It looks like the frame has a mount running between the downtubes but that would be Big Twin style. Also notice the sidestand assembly is the type normally used for a Big Twin. And notice how the rear brake pedal assembly is attached.
Eric
I'm not sure what a sidestand is (a kickstand?). Here is a pic of the front engine mount -



I seriously appreciate the help here. This is one of my favorite things when I get something, to decipher these numbers and learn about it.



Momentary side convo - people joke that these old Harleys leak oil, but I'm not sure what is an acceptable amount. The crankcase blow by tube dispenses what I would call a generous amount.

I have cardboard under it in the garage because my wife says my bike is 'old & incontinent'

Ironic thing is her 2009 CBR600 RR has had more trouble than my bike!
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 03:43 AM   #11
Speeding Big Twin
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 121
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Near the first portion of the belly number do I see a shiny area? Is there any sign that something else was stamped there? In the 70s some belly numbers were not done properly at the factory and a line was stamped thru the offending characters. Then a new number was applied and sometimes a Harley Bar and Shield logo was stamped nearby.

Apart from that question I canít see anything unusual. Normally belly numbers are the same model year as the engine number but sometimes for one reason or another the belly numbers are from the previous year and that may be what happened on this occasion.

I canít see anything wrong with the characters. First 7 is a code number used for Sportsters. Notice the 7s are sans serif.
The 3 has a flat top and is sans serif.
The 2 is sans serif.
The 1 has a serif across its base and a top serif at about forty-five degrees.
The 4s are sans serif and they have an open back.
All these things are normal for 73 Sportster belly numbers. Hereís an example for comparison.







Sidestand equals kickstand. Sometimes in Harley catalogs youíll see them listed as a jiffy stand.

Iíve never owned a Sportster but I donít think there should be a Ďgenerousí amount of oil from the crankcase breather pipe.

Front engine mount bracket isnít normal for a 1974 Sportster. Maybe your frame was meant for a Big Twin and someone adapted things to accept the Sportster engine? Or perhaps it was meant for a Sportster but the maker didnít want to mount the engine in the normal manner? Anyway, hereís the front of a Sportster frame and youíll see it has no horizontal member between the bottom of the downtubes. Normally there is a plate each side connecting the engine to the downtubes.







Re the frame VIN, Iím wondering if someone took that section off the original frame and attached it to the frame you have. Five-pointed stars look normal. As I suspected, the 4s, A and H donít look as wide as the 4s, A and H in your engine number and I wouldnít expect them to in this instance. Your frame 9 is like the example I posted above and that is normal for a 1974 Sportster frame.

Hereís another example. Itís an electric start model (3A) but the A, 4s and H are the narrow style just like they are for the 4A frame. And the 9 is not rounded. All normal for a 1974 Sportster frame VIN.
Eric



Speeding Big Twin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 09:23 AM   #12
joe49
Senior Member
 
joe49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tonica Il
Posts: 2,146
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Frankenstein bike. Not to bad of a job, but not great.
__________________
OLD MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIAST
joe49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 11:12 AM   #13
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Good news - I looked for the other belly number today. With the engine cold and with the help of daylight it was easy to find. The numbers on each side match so there's that.

Bad news - (horrible even?) was what I thought was a small blob of road grime mixed with oil or something while the engine was hot turns out to be something hard (like JB Weld?) slathered along the length of the bottom.





Looks like I should really get on the rebuild I have been considering. But it's just so fun to ride it's hard to stop.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 11:19 AM   #14
richbob
Senior Member
 
richbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Atlantic coast.
Posts: 2,423
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Jb weld magic stuff.
Ride hard enjoy.
__________________
Rush Rush to the Yayo. Blondie

"Ultimately were all dead men"(Oliver Reed.Gladiator)
richbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 02:20 PM   #15
Ratso
Senior Member
 
Ratso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 1,625
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Is that shit really brown, as the photo makes it appear? Looks kind of like Bondo with way, way too much hardener.

I agree with richbob (but not if he was being sarcastic). Go on and ride that punk awhile before you pull it apart.
__________________
"Bite the parts like a monkey." --Dutch Dennoz
Ratso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 03:46 PM   #16
richbob
Senior Member
 
richbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Atlantic coast.
Posts: 2,423
Default

I was serious 😉
__________________
Rush Rush to the Yayo. Blondie

"Ultimately were all dead men"(Oliver Reed.Gladiator)
richbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 05:32 PM   #17
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratso View Post
Is that shit really brown, as the photo makes it appear? Looks kind of like Bondo with way, way too much hardener.
It's the color of oil when your coolant or water gets mixed with it. That sorta grey/brown deliciousness.

I do indeed plan to keep riding it. Especially now in this cooler Florida winter. No matter what, I am having a riot riding it and chicks seem to dig it. heh heh.

I've had it for two weeks as of today and put probably 900 miles on it. I think I'll at least check the valve adjustment sometime just to know where they're at.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 05:43 PM   #18
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Fun story -

Hanging out at my buddy's jam session last night this old guy starts telling me he likes my bike. Says it's a shovelhead.

Now I will always admit if I don't know something, but I said to him "No I'm pretty sure it's an ironhead"

He is adamant it's a shovel because only those motors "...had those shiny things on top!"

Not sure how that was the deciding factor, but I let it go and thanked him for helping me know what I had. Then he told me that his brother had a sweet '81 softail he rides and that together, they have about 9 or 10 Harleys.

Now when I talk to him I can understand where he's coming from. At least he shared in the enthusiasm for old bikes. haha
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 06:35 PM   #19
joe49
Senior Member
 
joe49's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Tonica Il
Posts: 2,146
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

'81 softail makes 2 things he got wrong.
https://www.google.com/search?q=firs...hrome&ie=UTF-8
__________________
OLD MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIAST
joe49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2020, 11:50 PM   #20
Butt Hurtz
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 13
Default Re: 74 XLCH-1000 chopper

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe49 View Post
'81 softail makes 2 things he got wrong.
Yep, exactly.
Butt Hurtz is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:08 AM.