Jockey Journal Forum banner

Late 70s Ironhead "33-66"

14126 Views 44 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  goaarongo
Hi all - Wanted to load up some pics of a project I have been working on and start the discussion. Its an ongoing, slow endeavor, but I'm hitting the point now where I would like some feedback, help, inspiration etc...

A few details:
1977 XL1000 motor with electric start
1979 Sportster Frame, minor modifications
Going with all disc brakes

This bike has never been a "bike" in the sense that I'm tearing one down and rebuilding/modifying it. It's being cobbled together as I go with random parts from random bikes. I started with a solid motor that had been in a running chopper. I'm looking to go for something somewhere in the neighborhood of a dirt tracker... influenced by the XR750, but with some bobber type elements mixed in. Hoping for a raw, industrial look, that is clearly garage made but not and embarrassment to ride around on. I'm learning a lot about machining as I go...

I'm excited to hear tips on fabrication as well as detailed info about the bike components I'm using. Think I mentioned I am learning as I go... I have built two other bikes before (one other in the "cobble it together as you go" style) but I'm new to American Iron. Hope you guys will humor me and throw some feedback or info my way.
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
A start...

So here are some things I have done so far:

Found motor, frame, and tank. The tank is custom, and had about 2" removed from it... Had it dipped and pressure tested afterwards. The oil tank is also custom, and something that I found laying around. I like the round tank in the rear triangle.

See less See more
Some brakes...

I'm going to try to use the period calipers, although I have definitely struggled with them a bit. I drilled and tapped some screws into the rear "trapped" nuts... Hope this will keep them from spinning more and stripping the aluminum completely.

This was the best one of the two front calipers... some of the others were a bit looser. My rear caliper had been badly abused. Someone ran the disc on the outside of both pads and up against the housing. I had to mill the inside to get it flat again.

Picked up some new rubber and new pads. Hope the rear caliper isn't too sloppy - we'll see. Anyway, I think I'm square on brakes.
See less See more
Front fork lowers...

Planning on going without a fender on the front. I hated the big square reflector mounts and the big fender mounts I wont need. Spun these on a lathe, which is an idea I think I picked up on this site. These two aren't actually a matched pair (forgot to take the before pic), but you get the idea.

With the brakes mounted.

See less See more
Mockup 1...

This is kinda where she is at right now. I was able to scare up 2 18" rims (hard!) and went ahead and got the XR750 fiberglass from airtech. Ive trimmed it up quite a bit and may go even smaller.

Planning on running some kinda knobby tires... Enduro, or something of the like. Still working on the spacers for my rear axle, which is using a more modern hub. Found some gas shocks for the rear. They look cool, but I'm not sure yet how they will ride.

Anyone have any general thoughts about the direction so far?
See less See more
Looks pretty damn good to me so far. I like the XR ducktail as you have it. Forks look trick too with the unturned sections left as is, kind of like upside down forks on some of the new sport bikes. Keep us posted.
Oh, this is going to get interesting.
very nice and glad to see something more different then the norm on here.
Love that chopped tank and the front fork treatment which looks like a ceriani now!
I like alot, looks great. I really like the flattrack / basic bike look. I am going in a similiar direction with my 74 XLCH

See less See more
Thanks for the comments. FeHD - That's a nice looking ride. I almost went with that frame on this build, but really liked having the rear triangle. Think I only made it harder on myself, since I belive HD only made this frame for about 3 or 4 years. Fitment issues abound. Love your exhaust... been looking for a good 2 into 1. One question, do you know how long your fork tubes are offhand? I'm worried mine may be too long.
Thanks. The tubes are stock, I put 2" PVC spacers inside them to limit the extension, its pretty easy to do. I couldnt find a good 2-1 for mine so I made that one myself. Its 304 stainless, I got all the material including the reversecone muffler from these guys
This is yet another reason I love JJ. I am not really into the dirt tracker style, but both of these bikes are nice. I really like your ride FeHd. Too much good on that bike to get into why, but a lot of thought went into the bike and it shows.
More hits... Cool.

FeHD - thanks for the link to the exhaust materials. Might be a fun way to practice my TIG welding (so far stainless is all I've been practicing on). I have been toying with the idea of cutting away some of the engine covers. Looked again at yours and seems you beat me to it. Here's a pic of what I have going on.

As you all can see, my covers don't match. Thinking I'll sandblast them, and maybe powder coat. More interesting is the now unnecessary disc brake actuator. Gotta pull that out. Hard to see in this pic, but the cover has already been cut a bit underneath it... who knows why. But, its inspiring me to cut it even more. Anyone else gone down this road? At a minimum, I think I'll window the sprocket cover to expose some of the chain, and I'd love to drop that unneeded hole. Design is yet to be finalized here so I'm open to thoughts and opinions.
See less See more
If your really brave, go check out the Quad Cam Bastards. Its a private forum that deals only with modified and chopped sportsters. I have been a member over a year now, and I'm telling you, ya wont find a better group of guys and some gals. Very tight knit, no bullshit kinda people that love sporties.
Here is some pics of my cam cover and the cover I made to support the kicker and the shifter. It also mounts my rear M/C. Its a mockup in the pic, but the finished piece will be very close.

See less See more
Here's more or less where I'm at with the sprocket cover. Still need to strip the chrome and spin a few spacers to get the thing to bolt on right.

I'm fairly happy with the shape of the 3 cutouts. Part of me wanted to go bigger, but this is really all I felt I could get away with without compromising the structure of the cover. The master cylinder AND footpeg bolt right into this guy, and there are only 4 bolts holding it on.
See less See more
Here is the latest conundrum. I'm torn with what direction to go with the seat. I have my xr750 seat mostly fitted up. But I came across this really cool chunk of metal that is trying to pull me another direction.

Its actually a chromed piece of cast iron that was once part of a stove. Fits the back of the bike pretty nicely. Guess I'd have to rig up some kinda solo saddle for it, which would expose a lot more of the frame. On the other hand, this is coming along pretty good too...

Plus, I found this sweet light that came off a snowmobile.

Tough decision... Anybody have thoughts on this? Either way I'm going to add a very minimal metal fender underneath. And I'm going to go hack at least a foot off those strait pipes.
See less See more
Intresting build. Dont you wanna have that taillight more in? Put the fender there and then the light. A foot or two off those pipes will do it...
nice work! Love the sectioned tank...
Here's a friends bike he just finished and you might get a kick of.

1979 sportster
See less See more
Nice job. Looks like you have a lot of great tools and skills to get the job done.

The bike is very much looking like what you described initially you wanted it to be.

Where are you putting the battery?

What is "33-66""?
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.