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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,
Im an ME student in Pdx, and have never had a real bike. I`ve had a handful of hondas that I paid about a dollar a cc for, but nothing fancy.
Ever since Ive been learning about solidworks, Ive become fascinated with Harleys v-twins, and the way that they work. Along the way, Ive heard a lot of things (good and bad) about each different series of HD engine. Ive heard some things about "the AMF years", and many of the things I hear are conflicting.
I could use some help, here!
I'm saving up to get a used bike, Harley of course.
A lot of them are on craigs and in the paper for 2 to 4 k, mostly late 70's sportsters with ironheads.
I'd like something in the area of 1000cc, which is what I see a lot of for sale.
I know this is going to spark dissagreement, but in your opinions what is the best (most durable) 1000cc engine that HD made (makes)?
I figure you are the folks to ask, before I spend my summer dough on a fancy ride.
Thanks for any advice
Ken
 

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Harley no longer makes a 1000cc engine, currently the closest you will get is either 883cc or 1200 cc. If you really want a 1000cc, it will be an older bike, an ironhead. As with any older vehicle, it will take some TLC to maintain.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the good ideas!
I should look for a shop to check it out like you said.
Were there any common issues in the iron heads compared to the newer evolution motors? I think the ironheads were made by amf, and someone told me that makes a big difference, and another dude said that it didn't make any difference. I probably won`t (or can't afford to) get anything older than an ironhead. Ive seen some sportsters (883 and 1200) made after 2000 that are about 4 grand. Why are they so cheap for a newer bike?
This is probably the most interesting project ive ever embarked on.
I have a lot to learn!
 

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I think the ironheads were made by amf, and someone told me that makes a big difference, and another dude said that it didn't make any difference.

AMF bikes were from '69 - '81, so that makes the newest AMF bike 27 years old. Any issues with AMF manufacturing has likely been taken care of by now by previous owners. So I wouldn't let it throw you if you are looking for a vintage bike and it happens to be built in the AMF years.

There are however some "bastard" years. Years that certain parts only fit one year bikes, for example - the rear brakes on a '79.

Now, there was the XR-1000 that was only built in '83 and '84 (less than 3,000 total) that had unique heads on it similar to the XR-750 dirt track racer with twin carbs on the right, and exhaust exiting on the left. That by definition would be a bastard bike, but I would love to have one. But the chances of running into someone wanting to sell it and not knowing what they have are zilch.



Why are they so cheap for a newer bike?
This is probably the most interesting project ive ever embarked on.
I have a lot to learn!
A lot of people start off with a newer sportster as their introduction to Harleys. Some of these people either move to a bigger Harley or find out that motorcycling really isn't for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks!
What year did they make an 1130?
I think I'll look into a mid/late 70's sportster, I like the look of them, and they seem to be the most inexpensive for sale.
Hopefully, like you guys said, the previous owners maintained them, and fixed any problems that were inate to the model year.
What kind of bike is the Captain America (easy rider)? Is that a sportster, or a softail? I like the sissy bar.
 

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STAND AND FIGHT!
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What kind of bike is the Captain America (easy rider)? Is that a sportster, or a softail?
...or a softail?

There's an important distinction a ME student, and budding Harley history buff needs to be aware of.
For many, many, years and many, many, riders of chopped Harleys, and other bikes that have the
clean, low, no shocks or springs rear end the Cap'n America bike had, those were the original "hardtail"
frames, which the name softail is a cutesy derivation of. Softails have a concealed rear suspension.

There is NO rear suspension on a hardtail at all. Nothing.
Nothing between the rider's backbone and the bumps but the tire.
That's one thing that made a long trip on a bike like that a real man's job.
It would have been PUNISHING!

The bike originally had a pogo-stick kind of suspension/mount for the rider seat
 

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Ive heard some things about "the AMF years",
Ken
No matter what the experts tell you, AMF saved Harley Davidson. Yes, they screwed a lot of stuff up, but if you research it you will find that the reason AMF was even ABLE to buy HD was that HD was a house of cards about to crumble.
 

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COB
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RJ is referring to the water cooled v-rod.
Those guys like to call us "Air Heads" but I can't imagine being called a "Water Head" too complimentary.
 

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COB
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...or a softail?

There's an important distinction a ME student, and budding Harley history buff needs to be aware of.
For many, many, years and many, many, riders of chopped Harleys, and other bikes that have the
clean, low, no shocks or springs rear end the Cap'n America bike had, those were the original "hardtail"
frames, ]
Welllll.......to be painstakingly hair splitting, a Hardtail is a section one welds to a swing arm frame to make it a Rigid. The original frames were, I believe, Rigids.

Don't yell at me it is 7 in the am and I just got home from work.
 

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No matter what the experts tell you, AMF saved Harley Davidson. Yes, they screwed a lot of stuff up, but if you research it you will find that the reason AMF was even ABLE to buy HD was that HD was a house of cards about to crumble.
Yup, AMF did 2 good things for HD:
1) retooled the factory
2) got out of HD
 
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