Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster Review

1974 Harley-Davidson XLCH Sportster from Canada

Model year1974
Year of manufacture1974
First year of ownership1991
Most recent year of ownership2000
Acceleration marks 5 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 4 / 10
Handling marks 2 / 10
Braking marks 2 / 10
Reliability marks 2 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.4 / 10
Distance when acquired40000 kilometres
Most recent distance55000 kilometres
Previous motorcycleYamaha XS750 2D

Summary:

Sounds nice, but a maintenance whore

Faults:

XLCH Iron head Sportster.

Made in 1974 - Year of the AMF strike.

Shift pawl broke mid shift - rode 4 blocks in first..

Generator had short, replaced.

waste spark ignition made the bike a paint shaker at higher revs. Installed a stinger single fire distributor and ran single fire ignition - much better.

Constantly had to re-tighten lifters once a week.

General Comments:

I bought the bike from a couple of gents. Stretched frame, extended forks - was a chopper.

Was a fun ride for the first couple weeks, then constant wrenching ensued.

Finally decided to do total rebuild as the tranny pawl shifter broke, leaving riding back to my house - 4 blocks in first - with open pipes... cylinders were .040 overbore anyways.

When I split the cases, I found someone had scratched inside the case "F*ck Harley" - seems an employee at AMF had a wee beef with the management at the time.

Rebuilt the whole engine from ground up. Dual plugged the heads and ran a stinger single fire ignition kit, as I was tired of having my feet go numb if I rode 3500rpm or faster...

Frame was engineered poorly; riding over train tracks when wet is truly scary.

Don't get me wrong, I love the bike, but it was a true maintenance whore.

Sold it and used the funds to buy my first house.

Rode a 45 chopper instead. Less power, but far more reliable..

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd September, 2009

Average review marks: 3.4 / 10, based on 1 review