Go Back   Harley Davidson Forums > Harley Davidson Motorcycles > Classic > Ironhead
Sign in using an external account
Register Forgot Password?
Search


Ironhead A place to talk about Ironheads.

Reply
 
 
 
P
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:11 AM
joey81iron85 joey81iron85 is offline
Hang Around
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: indiana
Posts: 17
Default 1981 weak points

this morning a old maint.man at work was telling me how 81 wasn't a good year for the iron...i was just wanting some of your guys thoughts on the year and whats so wrong with it besides a few parts being hard to find i'm prob. gonna have some kinda new question or 3 about everyday for awile
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:14 AM
hotrod351's Avatar
hotrod351 hotrod351 is offline
Road Warrior
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,357
Default

theres no weak points on any iron head.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:26 AM
joey81iron85 joey81iron85 is offline
Hang Around
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: indiana
Posts: 17
Default heres a pic of my first iron

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...h_P1110441.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:39 AM
Neal Perez Neal Perez is offline
Prospect
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 165
Default

Look i have been around Ironheads for about 4 months, so let me give my 25 cents worth, when i say i will give you my 2 cents am always lying.

1- To say parts are hard to get is untruth, i have found so many sources for parts that everyone here knows also like JP, DENNIS KIRK, EBAY and countless other shops, so not finding parts is bullcrap, some things like complete motors, but too much stuff on ebay that keeps getting relisted.

2- not a good year, yes, i was laid off in 81 in houston, i was working for an oil company and our complete economy feel to a botomless pit, harley was the same unchanged. i have not seen any old 81 bikes driving around here other than old harleys, every single part on mine is simple and cheap. so you can make a case for a bad year on anything, my glass is always half full.

Now the previous owner of my 81 had it at the dealer when he sold it to me, i told him all week, get it out of there i take it as is, if you are going to the dealer everytime the bike farts you are in trouble, but if you are mechanically inclined, and want to do some of your work, specially if you enjoy doing it then you are home free.
__________________
Neal in Texas
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:45 AM
joey81iron85 joey81iron85 is offline
Hang Around
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: indiana
Posts: 17
Default

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...g?t=1296488630
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:46 AM
joey81iron85 joey81iron85 is offline
Hang Around
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: indiana
Posts: 17
Default

http://i1192.photobucket.com/albums/...g?t=1296488741
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-31-2011, 09:50 AM
joey81iron85 joey81iron85 is offline
Hang Around
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: indiana
Posts: 17
Default

im down to work on it no i have never rebuilt a engine but im 25 and its never to late to learn now as fair as the basic stuff i can do no prob. with a few questions and places like this forum
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-31-2011, 11:52 AM
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is offline
Outstanding HDF Member
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London, ON Canada
Posts: 2,526
Default

1979 to 1981 are often referred to as difficult, but mostly by guys who have never owned one, and guys [jerks?] who think they are cool when they can put down someone else's choice. There is a web site somewhere FAMES or similar "Fits All Models Except SeventyNine". Google search should turn it up. I looked at it one time and it was not useful to me.

I had a 1980 for six years until about a year ago. Never had trouble getting any parts.

79 to 81 uses a different frame that 57 to 78, the Cafe Racer frame. The frame, seat and oil tank are unique to these years but virtually everything else is "the same" [more or less].

Electronic ignitions were first used in these years. They were said to be unreliable and many were changed to points. Some guys changed to points because they were "afraid" of EI, and "everyone" new points.
__________________
Mick
IronHead Forever!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-31-2011, 02:27 PM
Neal Perez Neal Perez is offline
Prospect
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 165
Default

I do not personally like having the cafe racer frame, i had an idea of putting a hardtail on it, ( bolt on ) then later if i wanted have all the parts to put it back to original. the idea was scrapped because the frame in order to put a bolt on hartail, would make the bike too long to make it look right, that is why they dont make that kit for this bike, besides i like the stock look. i cant believe that someone would not like electronic ignition, but that is a personal choice, but today i don think they make any vehicles from go karts to trucks that use anything other than elec ig.
If i could change one thing it would be the seat height, i am over 5'10" and have to have boots to be confortable, i will remedy that soon by putting shocks that are a little lower on the bike.
__________________
Neal in Texas
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-31-2011, 04:43 PM
83XLX's Avatar
83XLX 83XLX is offline
Road Master
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Heart of Dixie
Posts: 885
Default

You can't put a bolt-on hardtail on any Sportster newer than '78 - the frame design won't allow it.

The only real drawback to a '79-'81 Sportster is body parts interchangability. The '78 and earlier models share a similar frame, so fenders, tanks, seats, etc. from many years will fit each other. The '82-'85 Sportster frame design carried over to the Evo, so many body parts from the late 80's and 90's (and even newer) will fit them. A lot of parts for the '79-'81 models are unique to those 3 years.

If you want a unique bike, or if you want to build an ironhead cafe, the '79-'81 is the way to go.
__________________
If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Reply With Quote
Old 01-31-2011, 04:43 PM
 
 
 
P
Reply

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
81 sportster sgtbain Sportster Models 2 10-06-2014 03:54 PM
Slight Mods on The Iron ... buick_81 Sportster Models 4 05-28-2012 10:19 PM
09 iron 883 oil leak dksob81 Sportster Models 5 10-11-2010 05:41 PM
what size engine in an 81 straydog13 Ironhead 1 03-22-2008 04:24 PM
dual sport tires on a 81 iron head hdpearson13 General Harley Davidson Chat 5 10-23-2007 05:29 PM


Tags
1981, 79, 81, cafe, covers, fit, frame, interchange, ironhead, makes, primary, racer, seats, sportster, wheel, year, years


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

Join HDForums

Advertising
Featured Sponsors
Vendor Directory
Sponsors

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:24 AM.


Internet Brands, Inc.