Jockey Journal Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I recently started riding and while my '08 XL883 gets me down the road, it lacks....character, uniqueness. It's rather bland. So in the interest of riding something with a bit more class, what was the last year for the non-rubber mounted engined Sportster? I figure I'd start there and work my way back in time. I want a bike that shakes my fillings, one that I know is idling. That's what a bike should be.
I'm sure that this topic has been addressed previously; I was unable to find it. Thanks for your help.

XL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
234 Posts
I like being shaken a bit too. I understand your thinking. The sportster 1200 engines are pretty gnarly. One of those, solid mounted, would be cool. You could always solid mount what you currently have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
570 Posts
If you want to get rattled, I can tell ya' that an 883 evo (at least stock) isn't likely to do it - even solid mounted.

I've got an '01; it's actually pretty smooth. You can see out the mirrors at 75+. The only real vibration is right at sixty MPH... I find myself doing 58 or 62. Because, right at 60, that little bike hits the 'brown note'.

No kidding. I think if I were to hold it at that speed for a long period, I'd have a very, very unpleasant time doing laundry.

But apart from that, the bike doesn't really rattle/shake a lot (hell, only lost a couple mirrors, a shift peg, and a license plate bolt in a half year of daily riding). :D

Oh, and I've learned to not be afraid to grab the Loctite on the first trip to the toolbox on any job...

Honestly, I feel kinda' like you, that I'd like something a little older and gnarlier. But, my little Sporty is such a nice bike that I don't really want to fuck it up; I'm thinking that the solution for me is to own two bikes.

Then I can have a snarly, rattly, badass li'l ground shaker for when I want some fun, and a nice, dependable piece of transpo to get me to work in the morning (well, in Seattle, that's probably only gonna' happen 8-9 months out of the year).

-Bill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Whiskey67 and others replying,
Thanks for the input. It has really helped and given me direction. I do like the stance of ironheads. However, for someone not mechanically inclined or gifted but badly wanting to learn, would you steer me toward or away from an ironhead? I am a hands-on learner but have no tools. That of course can be remedied. Many people that I've asked about the ironhead vs. evo, always seem to steer me towards an '86 or later. Perhaps this is because they too don't want to work on their bike and are simply passing on what they think is helpful advice. I have garage space and the desire to get my hands dirty(alot). I may have just answered my own question. Most people I talk to about this mean well, but I think they too want to ride without any fuss. Whereas, I want to ride but also wrench.
Again, many thanks to all who commented.

XL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
RetroRob,
As I have been more of an HD kind of guy, what are my options in British steel? Is the Triumph platform the only one available, or are there others? I am somewhat familiar with Triumphs, but there seem to be many models out there: T120, Bonnevilles, etc. As my moniker implies, I am a big man, 6'9",and would need something of some power to move me down the asphalt. Most people I tell this to suggest a big twin or a garbage wagon to accomodate my size, but screw that. I like a minimalist bike--no windshield, bags or assorted crap.
XL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
if you want the real h-d feel you got to go pre-evo, no matter sporty or big twin. or tou might want british but i always considered them smooth , well its just a different frequency. anything with cast iron cylinders has class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
Ironheads are a little rough riding bikes, but they do have class. Plus, you can pick up baskets pretty cheap, or even running ones, although, you will be spending lots of time, getting all the previous owner/mechanics juryrigs out of them. Believe me, if you get a ironhead, you will either learn to wrench, or selling it, basket style. They are pretty simple and straightforward to work on. But you can spend a pile getting them up and running, as a dependable bike. I love em. But then, I have been riding ironheads for many years, and wrench on em, mostly from memorie. A good service manual, if very necessary, if you do decide to get one. I would go for a pre 77, or better yet, pre 75. Those are the changeover years, and the only ones I would avoid, are I think, 82-84, which had the alternator behind the clutch hub. Even the early 900's are pretty dependable, and still cheap to get, as long as you are not looking for one that is restored. Go for it. Eventually, you will probably sell the evo, and opt for a real HD. Or own several.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
457 Posts
85 is the only alternator ironhead, 82 and later had the nipondenso starter with built in soleniod and jackshaft which is good. Your 6'9" and you want a sportster?! Get a shovelhead they shake too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,187 Posts
You are pretty huge for theses bikes. I would opt for maybe an okd flh, something beefy that would look better under a big guy like yourself. Lots of nice flh dressers for sale that you coukd strip down for not much more than the cost of an ih.. I'm 6ft. With a really long reach and I feel cramped on most of these unit bikes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,485 Posts
85 is the only alternator ironhead, 82 and later had the nipondenso starter with built in soleniod and jackshaft which is good. Your 6'9" and you want a sportster?! Get a shovelhead they shake too.
I am more knowledgeable on the older ironheads, so my mistake. Just know that the alternator models had major charging problems. The ones with no kick starters are not my favorite either, even though they did have the better electric starters. You can get the 1.4Kw starters for all the older ones too. Which make them much more reliable in the starter division. I also agree with getting a shovelhead, but they can be more expensive to buy and build, and I never tell anyone what they need to ride. If you love sportsters, you love sportsters. Me, I love all the old stuff, from shovels/ironheads back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
I suggest riding what you have while you start looking for a bigger older bike to make your classic project. A Shovelhead is a great suggestion. You can make it really cool just by taking things off, that is easy to do with limited tools and gives you learning experience.

Some ideas for you in this FL swingarm thread:
http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2942

More in depth Shovelhead build showing a lot of neat tech tips:
http://www.jockeyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=64185
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top