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‘91 Sportster 1200
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I’m a complete n00b when it comes to HD so please take it easy on me!

I was at a picnic with friends on Monday, and the subject of motorcycles came up. The hosts were in their mid 70s, and he mentioned “her old Harley out in the barn” which she hadn’t ridden since her late 50s, over 15 years prior. He said it was a “1972 Harley,” had “training wheels” on it, and a side car not currently attached, neither of which ever worked out for her.

I was intrigued so I asked him if he could show me. He said they were going to take it to the junkyard because the clutch wouldn’t engage after sitting so long and it needed a “new” carb, petcock, battery, tires, probably a new tank, etc.
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Years ago they got it started but couldn’t get it into gear from neutral due to the clutch failing to engage.

Obviously it’s not a 1972. Once we got inside, she said he was wrong, it’s actually a 1991 Sportster 1200, and showed me the title.

First I said that if they were just taking it to the junkyard I’d like to have it, to try to get it running. She hemmed and hawed and said they tried to sell it but nobody ever offered them anything reasonable for it.

I asked them if they’d take $500 for everything, they agreed, and I’ll be picking it up soon.

I’ve always owned metric bikes, mostly Hondas, never a Harley.

Any pointers on getting the clutch operating? I suspect it’s something relatively simple.

Anything else besides changing to new tires, battery, motor and trans oil, and brake fluid I should be looking at with such a “barn find”?

The side car is a Velorex Model 562. I’ll probably sell it to finance getting this back on the road.Any idea of it’s worth?

I’ll be selling the “training wheels” style trike kit too, but I don’t yet know what brand and model it is.
 

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‘91 Sportster 1200
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I just found a local bike mechanic WAY off the beaten path about 15 minutes from me and talked to him about this. He recommended changing all the fluids and battery, draining the tank and cleaning the carb first, and then just seeing if it will start.

He said the frozen clutch might free up just by getting it started and pushing it down the road while working the clutch. The carb and petcock are easy to rebuild. I’m no mechanic, so if I do need any help he’s very reasonable, far more so than anywhere else I’ve found locally.
 

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You are on a good path with the mechanic you mentioned. Oil dries and the residue is like a brittle glue. Heat and fresh oil certainly may free the clutch. Once running and moving, working the lever while accelerating or decelerating helps to free the plates. You can gently shift up/down without using the clutch without harm to the transmission. Good find, good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are on a good path with the mechanic you mentioned. Oil dries and the residue is like a brittle glue. Heat and fresh oil certainly may free the clutch. Once running and moving, working the lever while accelerating or decelerating helps to free the plates. You can gently shift up/down without using the clutch without harm to the transmission. Good find, good luck.
Very helpful explanation and recommendations, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I’m picking it up Monday. I talked to them just now to make sure everything above was included. The 74 year old lady was hemming and hawing again when I talked to her today.

“I didn’t realize my husband said you could have the side car and trike kit too for that price. I paid over a couple thousand for those in addition to the bike.”

I replied, “Ok, how about I give you another $250 for that stuff, $750 total.” Given the total package, I almost felt guilty, and I thought she would make a counter offer.

Surprisingly she was satisfied with that, and I’m going up Monday to pick it up and bring it home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great find, keep a running commentary on how you get on. Good luck
Will do.

I’m hoping I can fit everything in a UHaul motorcycle trailer.

I have my Ford Crown Vic set up for towing but I don’t think this side car or trike wheels will fit in my car, and the weight of the largest UHaul utility trailer with loading ramp is past my towing capacity. I know the trike kit is too wide for their motorcycle trailer but it is removable and I hope I can fit it and the side car in the the trailer alongside the Sportster.
 

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2016 Harley-Davidson Ultra Limited
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Very cool - keep us updated on how the project goes, and include lots of pictures! Welcome from Minnesota!
 

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Ok, I’m a complete n00b when it comes to HD so please take it easy on me!

I was at a picnic with friends on Monday, and the subject of motorcycles came up. The hosts were in their mid 70s, and he mentioned “her old Harley out in the barn” which she hadn’t ridden since her late 50s, over 15 years prior. He said it was a “1972 Harley,” had “training wheels” on it, and a side car not currently attached, neither of which ever worked out for her.

I was intrigued so I asked him if he could show me. He said they were going to take it to the junkyard because the clutch wouldn’t engage after sitting so long and it needed a “new” carb, petcock, battery, tires, probably a new tank, etc.
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Years ago they got it started but couldn’t get it into gear from neutral due to the clutch failing to engage.

Obviously it’s not a 1972. Once we got inside, she said he was wrong, it’s actually a 1991 Sportster 1200, and showed me the title.

First I said that if they were just taking it to the junkyard I’d like to have it, to try to get it running. She hemmed and hawed and said they tried to sell it but nobody ever offered them anything reasonable for it.

I asked them if they’d take $500 for everything, they agreed, and I’ll be picking it up soon.

I’ve always owned metric bikes, mostly Hondas, never a Harley.

Any pointers on getting the clutch operating? I suspect it’s something relatively simple.

Anything else besides changing to new tires, battery, motor and trans oil, and brake fluid I should be looking at with such a “barn find”?

The side car is a Velorex Model 562. I’ll probably sell it to finance getting this back on the road.Any idea of it’s worth?

I’ll be selling the “training wheels” style trike kit too, but I don’t yet know what brand and model it is.
Welcome to the Harley family , from Bedford Pennsylvania
 

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I know the trike kit is too wide for their motorcycle trailer but it is removable and I hope I can fit it and the side car in the the trailer alongside the Sportster.
Umm, I personally know nothing about these trike kits.
However, i do read a lot of stuff on this forum! One other member, was removing a trike kit from his wife's bike. IIRC, he had a hell-of-a time getting it apart. That thing is not exactly compact, if you know what i mean...

You may want to rent a larger truck... Just my .02
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Umm, I personally know nothing about these trike kits.
However, i do read a lot of stuff on this forum! One other member, was removing a trike kit from his wife's bike. IIRC, he had a hell-of-a time getting it apart. That thing is not exactly compact, if you know what i mean...

You may want to rent a larger truck... Just my .02
Thanks. This is a Tow Pac brand Insta Trike kit (I think, though it could be another brand),; they’re made to be taken on and off, like a big set of training wheels.
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I had the seller measure them tonight, and subsequently rented a big enough utility trailer to accommodate the bike with the trike kit.
 

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I have to say that the Insta-Trike kit is ugly AF. Welcome to the forum from Illinois and Michigan. Great find, enjoy her.
Well, the price was right. If the new owner is creative and skilled with cutting and welding. It could be converted into a nice looking camp trailer behind the bike. As far as the trike kit... Naw! I just couldn't do that to a sporty. HD makes trikes for a reason and they look good.

That said, I do like the side car option! Cool way to take mans best friend on a M. C. ride with ya! Kids too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
Well, the price was right. If the new owner is creative and skilled with cutting and welding. It could be converted into a nice looking camp trailer behind the bike. As far as the trike kit... Naw! I just couldn't do that to a sporty.
Actually I’m already in the process of building an ultralight mini camper to pull with my Honda Silverwing. I was building it on an import motorcycle trailer frame that’s quite a bit beefier but a little smaller than the 40x48 Harbor Freight trailer a lot of people use. I’ve already lengthened the tongue several feet to accommodate the camper build. Here it is before I cut the tongue down a bit:
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With the floor and the beginning of the walls:
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My primary concern was the narrow axle, leaf springs and wheels/ tires of the original trailer. This Insta Trike kit has torsion springs, wider, independent axles and decent looking larger chrome wheels so I’ll attach them to this frame instead.

This type of camper is called a “Foamie.” The structure of the camper is made out of xps rigid foam insulation board, then covered inside and out with “poor man’s fiberglass” (pmf) for structural strength and to waterproof it. The xps is coated with Titebond II wood glue, cotton canvas is pressed on, a second layer or Titebond is applied, then several layers of exterior latex paint to waterproof it. It makes for a remarkably strong yet ultralight trailer body.

I had already designed the size and shape of it this spring, but it turns out a Canadian company, Helios, is building one the same shape and size.
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Theirs weighs 400 pounds and costs $12,000 to $20,000. Mine will total around 240 pounds and I’ll have about $900 in it when I’m done.
 
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