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  1. #1
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    Default To Hardtail or Not?

    On the fence with this one. Should this be hardtailed, or should I find a different project? Got a good deal on it or what i think was a deal. Really would like a bigger bike to hardtail , but this is what I have at the moment. -Thx
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Sportster.jpg  

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    I wouldn't........ It's not a good choice but let's see what others say about it...

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    O kinda hate to cause it's a low mileage no issue bike. Put tires brakes cables, battery on it in the last week, winter boardom have had it a few weeks. Maybe it's not the best donor it's a rubber mount i don't want a different frame i don't want a special construction title either

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    Flyrite did a frame for the later Sportsters called the 'smoking gun'. At least you'll have plenty of parts to put on ebay...I wouldn't bother.
    I have two hardtails but never ride them any distance.

  5. #5

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    call me a pussy but after being a tech for 10 years my back is shot and cant handle riding rigids anymore. i've built a few of em and they look great but after 50 miles my back is done for a few days

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldassflh View Post
    call me a pussy but after being a tech for 10 years my back is shot and cant handle riding rigids anymore. i've built a few of em and they look great but after 50 miles my back is done for a few days
    What kind of tech? How old are you??

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    What kind of tech? How old are you??
    auto/heavy diesel tech,and i'll be 28 in a few months,really abused my back when i was younger doing dumb shit and lifting weights entirely to much.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldassflh View Post
    auto/heavy diesel tech,and i'll be 28 in a few months,really abused my back when i was younger doing dumb shit and lifting weights entirely to much.
    Got yea and DAMN your young that's really a shame..... I started doing mechanical work when I was 17 and I'm 60+ now and my back is still fine, I NEVER picked up and carry anything more than 20lbs very far.. Sometimes you don't have a choice but I didn't make a habit of it... I've always said that's why they invented the wheel...LOL I still ride my rigids and have for 40+ years with no problems...

    Start taking care of your back NOW while your still young enough as you will really need it when you get in your 60s.....

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    It's clean enough to sell for money to get a big twin, so I'd sell it and get a big twin or sell it and get a solid mount older Sporty for less money then roll the profit into the project. A motorcycle is worth X dollars. You can turn one that's not quite what you want into the basis of one you want without turning a wrench, then do the project you prefer.

    How many other bikes do you have? It's wise to keep one that's utterly reliable and reasonably comfortable to ride while working on something else. Spring will be here soon.

    Start taking care of your back NOW while your still young enough as you will really need it when you get in your 60s.....
    Truth! Backs turn to shit without any help. Of course there's always the SOA "trike with oxygen tank" option.
    Last edited by farmall; 02-06-2018 at 7:50 PM.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Got yea and DAMN your young that's really a shame..... I started doing mechanical work when I was 17 and I'm 60+ now and my back is still fine, I NEVER picked up and carry anything more than 20lbs very far.. Sometimes you don't have a choice but I didn't make a habit of it... I've always said that's why they invented the wheel...LOL I still ride my rigids and have for 40+ years with no problems...

    Start taking care of your back NOW while your still young enough as you will really need it when you get in your 60s.....
    that's the plan but then i end up thinking im 16 again and can heave auto trannys around and throw manuals up in place by hand but i pay for it for a while to come everytime. and farmall when i can't ride two wheels anymore i'm hanging it up,just not a trike guy in the slightest,

    i use to be able to carry one ton axles by myself and throw a set of 40s on my old jeep just fine but anymore i can't

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldassflh View Post
    i use to be able to carry one ton axles by myself and throw a set of 40s on my old jeep just fine but anymore i can't
    I totally understand... When I was your age I could pick up a bare BB Chevy motor and put it in the back of my truck to take it to the machine shop.... But to carry it or something heavy like that very far I knew better... It wasn't that I couldn't believe me... I seen way to many old guys when I was your age with fucked up backs... That got me thinking...

    The older you get you will think of that more and more...

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    That's not a rubber mount Sportster, it's a 2003. Last year of the solid mount bikes.

    I do agree with the others though, the bike looks too nice to chop up. Maybe sit on it for a couple months when the seller's market on bikes will improve as the weather warms up and make a little on flipping it and then hunt for a better chop worthy donor. And you know me, I love Evo Sportys, I just scored one this week for $1500 running with the title. Just maybe not the one to start your rigid project with.

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    What am I missing? It's an evo sporty....

    If you have the tools and time and know how cut it up.

    2003 was the best year to chop an evo sportster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbetty View Post
    What am I missing? It's an evo sporty....

    If you have the tools and time and know how cut it up.

    2003 was the best year to chop an evo sportster
    Just curious, why 2003 in particular?

  15. #15

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    As mentioned---not a hardtail---I know a few 60+ guys riding hardtails for years---setting it up has a
    lot to do with your ride quality---a four inch stretch, a well sprung maybe air ride seat, a good working
    front end and footpeg location so you can get your ass off the seat and you get a pretty smooth ride.

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    OP mentioned he'd rather have a larger machine. It's easier to turn clean stock bikes into money and the more money you obtain from selling a machine you don't really want the more you have for something you do. OTOH if you add money to a bike you don't really fancy you have purchase cost plus parts and labor into it which is often hard to recover on resale. This isn't about Sportsters being good or bad, it's about the best financial choice to get whatever OP wants.

    A motorcycle is just money on wheels, and higher end used Sportster prices overlap lower end big twin prices. The thing isn't collectible so there's no reason not to chop it from that perspective. It's a Sportster, which only exist because big twins are too expensive for some buyers.

    As for different frames and titles, it's easy enough to swap the original neck to something else, but that's more time and money. It's good to contemplate different options. Make a spreadsheet to see roughly what your choices will cost. Ask the dead Presidents.

    What does the owner really want? What's the best way to get what he wants? If the answer is a big twin then going straight to a big twin beats the common, classic mistake of trying to make a Sporty look like a big twin, being unhappy it failed to become a big twin, then selling it at a loss to get a big twin. If cash is an issue, ride it while saving more loot. Breaking it down this late in winter means it may not be finished by spring. If you have other bikes, not a problem. If its OPs only machine, remember he who makes his only ride a project is frequently a pedestrian.

    It's a mass-produced consumer product, like a toaster or a dildo. If it doesn't toast well or is isn't sized for your orifice of choice, get something that fits your desires.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadMonkeyMW View Post
    Just curious, why 2003 in particular?
    That was the last year they made that particular "model" and basically they worked out all the bugs and they are pretty much bullet proof, very simple to modify, simple to make repairs, you got the trap door tranny, 04 and up you have to split the cases to work the tranny, wiring harness is pretty straight forward and easy to tear into, and from what I hear they handle better than the newer ones (I wouldn't know never rid'n a newer one).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by 7and7is View Post
    That was the last year they made that particular "model" and basically they worked out all the bugs and they are pretty much bullet proof, very simple to modify, simple to make repairs, you got the trap door tranny, 04 and up you have to split the cases to work the tranny, wiring harness is pretty straight forward and easy to tear into, and from what I hear they handle better than the newer ones (I wouldn't know never rid'n a newer one).
    The only weak point I know of is the fly wheels...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadMonkeyMW View Post
    That's not a rubber mount Sportster, it's a 2003. Last year of the solid mount bikes.

    I do agree with the others though, the bike looks too nice to chop up. Maybe sit on it for a couple months when the seller's market on bikes will improve as the weather warms up and make a little on flipping it and then hunt for a better chop worthy donor. And you know me, I love Evo Sportys, I just scored one this week for $1500 running with the title. Just maybe not the one to start your rigid project with.
    oldkid, you said you, "Got a good deal on it or what i think was a deal. Really would like a bigger bike to hardtail."
    Do you know anybody in Canada? Ship it up here and make a real profit so you can buy that bigger bike; look at this example:

    2003 HARLEY DAVIDSON SPORTSTER 883 ANNIVERSARY EDITION GOOD CONDITION VANCE AND HINES PIPES BIKE IS CLEAN, 17,000km $5,800.00
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	$_59.JPG 
Views:	3 
Size:	122.6 KB 
ID:	81542

  20. #20
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    Punch that pig with a 1200 kit and chop the hell out of it.
    The donor is solid, so if your work is good it ought to be a hell of a runner.
    I've ridden my hardtail over 250 miles in a day once. A sprung set is the secret (and a loose grip on the bars).

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