Harley Davidson bobber ironhead sportsters

William Power By William Power, 26th Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/4jzu6bw_/
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Motorbikes

Would you like to build a custom chopper cheap? This articles discusses the prospect of doing so with an Iron-head Sportster.

Building a Harley Davidson Chopper on a budget

One of my favorite past times in life are my motorcycles. I`ve been riding for years and I love the biker lifestyle, especially because I don`t drink anymore (LOL). There is nothing compared to what I call “two wheel therapy” and the freedom I feel on the road. I`ve ridden across the United States over 20 years and I`ve been blessed to see the beauty of our country from two wheels.

Years ago, I wanted my first Harley Davidson, but as a young man, I was broke. I had several motorcycles at the time: a dirt bike, a couple of run down Yamaha`s, and some other Japanese models. The one motorcycle I had never owned was a Harley. I had ridden several Harleys, as some of my friends were good enough to loan me theirs, but I had never owned one myself. I came into a few thousand dollars that year and I bought a `72 Iron head sportster. All my buddies made fun of me telling me it was a junk heap, and that AMF Harleys always broke down. I was determined and I didn`t care what they said, I was now the proud owner of a Harley Davidson. The bike had kick and electric start, and I remember I was almost afraid to try to kick it.

When I got home that evening I could barely contain my enthusiasm; I tore the straps from the trailer—as a mad man addicted to drugs—and my fix was moments away. I let down the kickstand, put on my helmet, and fired her up. To my great surprise, she started up like she was waiting for me and ready to roll herself. Over time, I rebuilt that bike into one heck of a chopper. She was on a 77 low-rider frame with a weld on rigged. Because the bike was on a big twin frame, I was able to put regular fat-bob tanks on her as well as other big twin parts. She had 16" apes, 6” risers, and a narrow glide dual disk front end. She was solid black with `61 tank emblems and a cat’s-eye dash. The motor was stock except we put 9-1 Keith Black pistons in her and she had great compression. The funny part, which most people loved about the bike, was that it had a Kawasaki rear end and brake system on it.

That old bike blew a tranny on me at about 80 MPH on Interstate 285 in Atlanta, GA; how I didn`t hit the pavement only God knows, and I believe he was there. I planned to rebuild her someday—her name was Rebecca. I named her after a really rebellious and mean girlfriend I had at the time. I never spent more than a few thousand building that bike, probably more than I should have, but it was a great motorcycle and fun to ride.

The point I wanted to make is that if you want a cheap Harley, or a neat bike to build a bobber out of, I suggest an Iron-head sportster. They are usually around $1500 to $4500 and are easy to build. The bike I have in the picture up top is a great bobber. It has a suicide shift on the left and a left hand brake. I have all the wiring internal on the handlebars so it looks clean. I have less than $3500 in the bike. I originally had a suicide clutch on it, but I kept laying the bike down to be honest so I changed it. The bike is small fast and a definite head turner; I love to take off down the road and watch people look at the suicide shift as I go by. You can find Iron heads all over on eBay, craigslist, and other motorcycle websites. You may not like them, but they have one of the best sounding motors Harley ever made—good luck building your first chopper cheap!

The finished product

As I stated earlier in this article, I had planned to rebuild my old chopper after the tranny blew. I took the motor out of “Little red” (an `81 Iron-Head sporty) and put it in the old `72 chopper frame; however, I got rid of the Kawasaki rear end and used all Harley parts. It took about two months to build this bike and it was a blast. When I went to set the motor in the frame, I used a hand wench and a 6’ aluminum ladder (laughing). I have several pictures to post that will show the bike in the different stages as I built it, enjoy.

Build you own Harley Chopper

Here is another picture of the bike as I went through the final stages of building. I couldn`t find the one with the ladder straddling the bike to wench the motor into the frame, but these show the stages from start to end. Enjoy.


Bobbers, Building A Chopper, Choppers, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Ironhead Sporsters

Meet the author

author avatar William Power
William Power is a self-published author, poet, and freelance writer from the beautiful and peaceful North Georgia Mountains.

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author avatar MarilynDavisatTIERS
27th Oct 2013 (#)

Good evening, William. I know that bike! I don't think I realized you built it; I am impressed. ~Marilyn

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author avatar William Power
27th Oct 2013 (#)

Hey Marilyn,
Yep, I build that one all by my lonesome. It took me about two months. I wish they had a slideshow format here. I had more pics. Love ya. WP

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