Ironhead. What would you do? - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 02-21-2020, 04:53 PM   #1
69camfrk
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Default Ironhead. What would you do?

A buddy of mine sold me a complete '79 Ironhead motor for $250. It is all there, and the flywheels have been balanced, and the rotating assembly is together. I didn't realize when I made him an offer, that it was all there, as my intention was to build a dummy motor (minus internals) for display in the man cave. Now that I know everything is all there, I'm thinking build the damn thing, and put it in a nice rigid frame with a springer front end and have another bike. Whatcha think? BTW, I have 6 bikes, so it is not like I need another one, but I'm not sure I can let a whole motor go to waste.
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Old 02-21-2020, 05:29 PM   #2
Medyo Bastos
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

Iíve about got a complete ness rolling chassis your motor would look good in


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Old 02-21-2020, 06:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

Are you trying to cause me an immediate divorce? All my 'ol lady sees is "junk"!!
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Old 02-25-2020, 12:29 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

If it was my motor I'd find a 78 or earlier numbered frame, add a good quality hard tail and build it. Georgia is pretty easy to register/plate a bike and 78 and earlier frames are generally cheap.
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Old 02-25-2020, 02:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

wasn't the 79 Sportster a bit of an odd ball with a lot of one year only parts to it ?,
it may pay you to part it out,
there must be a lot of 79 owners who need parts that are no longer available,
then buy another earlier one that you could build into a bike or as a piece of man cave art,.... just an idea
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Old 02-25-2020, 03:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 69camfrk View Post
Whatcha think? BTW, I have 6 bikes, so it is not like I need another one, but I'm not sure I can let a whole motor go to waste.
Shouldn't be a problem with your old lady, mine didn't say much till I had over 12 bikes.

Your engine will have oil pump clearance problems in '77 or earlier frames

Only assed up thing with the '79 is the kicker cover is made higher and had the rear master on it which made for a f'd up rear exhaust pipe.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:57 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

Many will argue you have the best iron head frame built - very similar to the factory XR frame that ended production in 1980. If you build it to its 1979 incarnation, then you'll have issues finding exhausts to fit around the rear master cylinder. I hate, hate the term "street tracker," mostly because it's been overused. If you were going to build something that looks like it came off a dirt track, however, this is the frame to do it with. I learned the hard way that any cams marginally bigger than the stock Q cams will require some not insignificant clearancing work on the right case on later ironheads.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:44 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ironhead. What would you do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum45pete View Post
wasn't the 79 Sportster a bit of an odd ball with a lot of one year only parts to it ?,
it may pay you to part it out,
there must be a lot of 79 owners who need parts that are no longer available,
then buy another earlier one that you could build into a bike or as a piece of man cave art,.... just an idea
'79 wasn't really wasn't as much of an oddball as you think. I've owned a '79 XLS for 35 years. The frame WAS changed that year for a 3 year run. It was the XLCR frame, and it was the first year for the production Sportster to have triple disc brakes and the rear master cylinder was in an odd location, which was fixed by '80, thus pipes that fit '79 only. The motor/trans is really no different from say a 1977. So the cost of a build would be no more than any of those. I think I've already talked myself into building it, but will use a sprocket cover from an '80-'81 for the rear master cylinder. It looks like a Paughco rigid frame is in the $650 range, with a springer front end in the $450 ball park. I'll keep you guys updated.
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