Sporster_4

The Harley Days- Part One

In Motorcycles by gfaherty30 Comments

So I had owned my first bike, the 76 Yamaha for about one month before I started spending time at the local Harley dealership and lusting after the bikes.  The evo models had just started to be released and they had an old used Sportster that I wanted but couldn’t afford.  I live near the campus hospital and there was someone who worked there who rode an old FLH, completely stripped down and painted dark maroon/purple.  I rode by that bike and stopped to look at it every day for months.

sportster_1

It was a year or two later when I was able to save up enough money to buy my first Harley.  I really didn’t have any idea what I was buying.  I really wanted a rigid frame big twin but ended up with a 1976 XLCH, a kick only sportster that was pearl white with extended front forks.  I paid $1,600 for it or something like that.  I didn’t realize later about the difference in the sportsters and the big twins but I did my best to make it look like one.

 

This is how it looked when I brought it home, except that it had an ugly king and queen seat.  the kickstand was screwed up so the bike would lean over too far so the carb would be flooded every time I tried to start it (turn off the gas anyone???) and so starting it was a real pain in the ass.  Kick only, no electric starter and it would kick back like an old mule.  It actually became a sport with my friends who would gather outside of what ever watering hole we were in to watch me try to get it started.  I usually ended up with at least one twisted ankel from the kickback snapping my foot.  So I would be hobbling around trying to walk off the pain while trying to get it started so I could be on my merry way.

 

 

 

 

Sporster_2I added a one piece quick bob tank and dash to give it more of a Big Twin look.  Also went back to stock fork legs to bring the front end down a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sporster_4After I was able to get it re-painted a beautiful pearl white and a brief flirtation with huge ape hangers.  They were fun but way too high.

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