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Harley Davidson 1957-1985 Ironhead Sportster
 Production Information

 

1957:

  • The Sportster XL was introduced as "a modern, up-to-date power plant."
  • 55cid 7.5:1 Compression, hemi-spherical style heads, 90 degree valve angle, 4 cams
  • Production Information:
    • XL (1983), $1,103
  • 1958:
    • XLH introduced with higher compression and larger valves
    • Camshaft gears became integrated with the camshafts, eliminating the need for a woodruff key.
    • Drive gearshaft was enlarged .125 in.
    • Drive gear and second gear support shaft was enlarged .125 in and had 8 splines (instead of 6).
    • Choke control lever moved from left side to the air cleaner.
    • Heavier clutch cover and new gasket.
    • New oil resistant clutch hub seal and gearshaft o-ring.
    • Two brush generator.
    • Optional turn signals and 1 in over suspension.
    • The XLC & XLCH (Competition/California Hot)
      • Larger ports and valves
      • High domed pistons
      • Light ended tappets
      • Magneto ignition
    • Production Information:
      • XL (579), $1,155
      • XLH (711)
      • XLC 
      • XLCH (239)
  • 1959:
    • New dual exhaust on XLH with twin mufflers.
    • Nacelle headlamp on XLH
    • 5 in headlamp with eyebrow on XLCH
    • Trip-o-meter on XLCH
    • Nylon chain tensioner
    • Single switch ignition on left fork
    • Valanced front fender
    • End relieved connecting rod bearings
    • 14.5 sec mile (90 mph)
    • Production Information:
      • XL (42), $1,175
      • XLH (947), $1,200
      • XLCH (1059), $1,285
  • 1960:
    • New shock absorbers.
    • Production Information:
      • Sportsters (2,765)
          XLH $1,225
          XLCH $1,310
  • 1961:
    • Creased edge on fuel tank.
    • Production Information:
      • Sportsters (2014)
          XLH $1,250
          XLCH  $1,335
  • 1962:
    • Aluminum upper triple tree.
    • XLR appeared for TT racing.
    • Production Information:
      • Sportsters (1998)
          XLH  $1,250
          XLCH $1,335
  • 1963:
    • Both XLH & XLCH got 1.323:1 3rd gear ratios (were 1.381)
      • Final ratio 5.56:1 on the H
      • Final ratio 5.85:1 on the CH
    • XLCH got "shorty duals"
    • XLCH got an ignition key and improved magneto/coil
    • 14.3 sec mile (92 mph)
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (432), $1,270
      • XLCH (1,001), $1,355
  • 1964:
    • Chrome panel for XLCH lower fork bracket.
    • New graphic for the XLH (oil tank).
    • Full width aluminum brake drum in the front.
    • Aluminum tappet guides.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (810), $1,295
      • XLCH (1950), $1,360
  • 1965:
    • XLH and XLCH received a 12 volt electrical system.
    • XLH got automatic spark advance.
    • Racing-type ball end levers.
    • High fidelity horn.
    • New shocks
    • 3.7 gal fuel tank
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (955)
      • XLCH (2815)
  • 1966:
    • P Cams, race developed intake ports, jumbo valves -> 60 hp
    • Tillotson diaphragm carb
    • "Ham-can" air cleaner
    • Carb heat insulator
    • Hexagonal tank badge.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (900) $1,415
        XLCH (3,900) $1,411
      • XLRTT (25)
  • 1967:
    • Electric start option.
    • New shocks
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (2,000) $1,650
      • XLCH (2,500) $1,600
  • 1968:
    • New forks (damping and travel) and the fork boots were canned.
    • Kick start was dropped from the XLH.
    • Restyled primary cover.
    • Peanut tank was an option on the XLH
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (1,975) $1,650
      • XLCH (4,900) $1,600
  • 1969:
    • First use of the exhaust crossover pipe (increases hp by 5 to 58 hp) with stacked duals
    • New head castings.
    • Safety bead wheel rims.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (2,700) $1,765
      • XLCH (5,100) $1,698
  • 1970:
    • XLH got the headlamp eyebrow of the XLCH
    • Optional boat tail (again in 71)
    • Magneto ignition on the XLCH replaced with XLH's points/coil.
    • First year for XR-750
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (3,033)
      • XLCH (5,527)
  • 1971:
    • Wet clutch with single spring.
    • Points and condenser moved behind plate on timing case cover.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (3,950)
      • XLCH (6,825)
  • 1972:
    • The 61 cid (called a 1000cc) XL replaced the 900.
    • Rated for 61 hp, 9:1 CR, 110+mph, 13.38 sec mile (97.7 mph), and 43 mpg.
    • Bendix/Zenith carb.
    • Wet clutch.
    • New oil pump.
    • Oil tank placed near chain
    • Seat is thinner w/less padding.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (7,500) $2,120
      • XLCH (10,650)
  • 1973:
    • First AMF production Harley
    • Mandatory turn signals.
    • New 35mm Kayaba forks, single disc front brakes.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (9,875)
      • XLCH (10,825)
  • 1974:
    • Throttle used return springs.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (13,295)
      • XLCH (10,535)
      • XR (100)
  • 1975:
    • Left hand side gear shifting, right hand side rear brake (Fed mandated)
    • New 35mm Showa forks.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (13,515)
      • XLCH (5,895)
  • 1976:
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (12,844)
      • XLCH (5,238)
  • 1977:
    • New cases to accommodate the left side shifting.
    • Frame designed for removal of oil pump with engine in frame.
    • XLT (touring) became available
      • included thicker seat
      • 3.5 gallon tank
      • touring handle bars
      • saddlebags from FLH
      • geared higher
      • windshield
    • XLCR was introduced at Daytona (available again in 78).
      • cast aluminum wheels
      • fiberglass tail section w/solo seat
      • wrinkle black engine paint
      • bikini fairing
      • black siamese exhaust
      • dual disc front brakes
      • low bars
      • black paint scheme [on everything]
      • 4 gallon gas tank
      • 68 horses, 9:1 compression, 110 mph
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (12,742)
      • XLCH (4,074)
      • XLT (1,099)
      • XLCR (1,923) $3,623
  • 1978:
    • Cast wheels option
    • Front dual disc brakes
    • Electronic ignition
    • Battery and oil tank moved inboard
    • HD 75th anniversary model XLH
      • Midnight black w/gold trim
      • anniversary graphics
      • gold aluminum wheels
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (11,271)
      • XLH Anniv model (2,323) $3,127
      • XLCH (2,758) $3,370
      • XLT (6)
         
  • 1979:
    • All models got the XLCR frame and exhaust (Siamese).
    • XLT was dropped from the product line.
    • Kick starter was dropped.
    • Disc brakes front and rear.
    • Hugger model available for the first time.
    • Last year for XLCH
    • New model XLS appeared:
      • Extended forks
      • 16" rear wheel
      • siamese exhaust
      • drag bars on 3.5" risers
      • sissy bar w/leather pouch
      • highway pegs
      • 2 piece seat
      • chromed rear sprocket
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (6,525)
      • XLCH (141)
      • XLS -(5,123)
      • XLCR (9) (?leftover '78's?)
  • 1980:
    • A 16 in wheel replaced the XLH 18 in.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (11,841) $5,867
      • XLS (2,926)
  • 1981:
    • Buy back from AMF
    • wire or cast wheels options, 16" or 18" rear wheel options
    • XLS
      • buckhorn handlebars
      • shorty dual exhaust
      • 3.3 gallon, 2.2 gallon tank optional.
    • XLH
      • shorter front forks
      • 3.3 gallon optional.
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (8,442)
      • XLS (1,660)
  • 1982:
    • Lighter frame
    • oil tank repositioned
    • Thicker head gasket w/lower 8:1 compression
    • Larger rear disc
    • XLS repositioned the battery
    • Production Information:
      • XLH (5,015)
      • XLS (1,261)
  • 1983:
    • XLH:
      • high bars
      • vacuum advance (VOES?)
      • 3.3 gallon tank option
      • new seat
      • less restrictive exhaust.
    • New model XLX-61: (built to sell for $3,995)
      • solo seat
      • peanut tank
      • staggered dual exhaust
      • speedo only
      • 9 spoke wheels
      • vacuum advance (VOES?)
      • satin finish cases. {only year}
      • six coil springs in clutch
      • 156 watt generator
      • loose output roller tranny
      • output shaft oil seal secured by a bolt on cover
      • 3 generator drive gears
      • 10" dual front disc brakes.
    • New model - XR-1000, based on XLX chassis
      • aluminum SR style heads w/intake ports on right, exhaust on left
      • polished and bored by Jerry Branch
      • helicoil inserts where rocker boxes bolt to head,
      • 9:1, XR pistons
      • light aluminum pushrods
      • eccentric rocker shafts adjust valve lash
      • iron cylinders (shortened half an inch to make room for the 'Branch' heads)- w/through bolts
      • vacuum advance-V-fire III breaker less ignition
      • twin 36mm Dell'Orto carbs
      • satin textured cases
      • 9 spoke cast wheels
      • oiled felt air filter
      • The XR-1000 had 71HP @ 5,600 rpm, 125 mph, 490 lbs
      • 2.5 gallon tank, 2.5 quart oil capacity $6,995.
    • Production Information:
      • XLX-61 (4,892) $3,995
      • XLH (2,230)
      • XLS (1,616)
      • XR-1000 (1,018) $6,995
         
  • 1984:
    • Diaphragm spring clutch (mid year)
    • Generator replaced by the alternator. (mid year)
    • XLH used the Peanut tank again.
    • XR, improved brakes, orange/black HD racing color option
    • XLH/X/S Single (larger) front disc.
    • Production Information:
      • XLX-61 (4,284)
      • XLH (4,442)
      • XLS (1,135)
      • XR-1000 (759)
         
  • 1985:
    • Production trimmed in anticipation of the Evo XL.
    • Production Information:
       
        • XLX-61 (1,824)
        • XLH (4,074)
        • XLS (616)
           

     

     

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