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  1. #1
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    Default 1979 Ironhead Pros and cons

    Hey guys, did a search but did not find what I was looking for. I have a line on a 1979 ironhead for relatively cheap but remember reading somewhere on here to avoid the 1979 year. Can anyone out there give me some specifics as to why? I even remember seeing someone calling it a bastard year.....

  2. #2
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    Just that 1979 was a stand alone year. many parts are restricted to fit only that year so can be a pain if you like buying pre-fabbed parts with selection etc. Not that big a deal if the bike runs great and asking price is cheap. Depends on what you want out of the bike and your fab skills really.

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    A lot of people just don't like the AMF years and say that quality, especially in sportsters, declined exponentially until they switched to the evo style motor. But I haven't heard anything year specific.

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    '79 was when they switched frames from the old "c block" style frame. it's called the bastard year because it's got a different rear pipe than others, because the location of the rear master cylinder. if you wanted to you could get a sprocket cover from an '80 or '81 and relocate the MC and change the rear exhaust pipe. it's really not a big deal. it also used to be harder to find a bolt on/ weld on hardtail section, but now there's a David Bird hardtail section you can get from lowbrow. so that's not really a factor now either. as far as it being an AMF bike, i have an '80 sportster and i havent had any major problems with mine, just the normal shit that happens with any other harley. if the price is right i'd go for it...

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies! Not much is gonna stay stock on the frame as it will be going to Led sled to be hardtailed. I may just go for it!

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    i wouldn't hesitate, yea there's some year specific things with 79's but it's no biggie...nothing wrong with AMF's

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by crmnl View Post
    '79 was when they switched frames from the old "c block" style frame. it's called the bastard year because it's got a different rear pipe than others, because the location of the rear master cylinder. if you wanted to you could get a sprocket cover from an '80 or '81 and relocate the MC and change the rear exhaust pipe. it's really not a big deal. it also used to be harder to find a bolt on/ weld on hardtail section, but now there's a David Bird hardtail section you can get from lowbrow. so that's not really a factor now either. as far as it being an AMF bike, i have an '80 sportster and i havent had any major problems with mine, just the normal shit that happens with any other harley. if the price is right i'd go for it...
    yep, that's the biggest thing with a 79. just get a rigid frame. problem solved.

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    i almost forgot. they might be right side shift. i can't remember when that stopped. i think it was earlier than 79 when it stopped, but i know someone on here will chime in to verify. right side shift isn't bad, but it's different. i think it adds a bit of coolness to the ironhead. most people can't wrap their skull around it.

  9. #9
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    79 is left side shift

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by purerockfury View Post
    i wouldn't hesitate, yea there's some year specific things with 79's but it's no biggie...nothing wrong with AMF's
    Yeah. Really if you are looking for more or less a donor bike you'll be fine. And I didn't mean to imply that there is anything wrong with AMF Harleys. I was merely relaying an opinion that a lot of people have shared with me. They also love their Kawasaki Nomad or their Blackbird that they ride all the time. Seems its a love it or hate it kinda thing.

    Shovelheads Forever

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