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Harley-Davidson Sportster History

25 বিকলাঙ্গ করা 2015 | লেখক: | মন্তব্য বন্ধ উপর Harley-Davidson Sportster History
Harley-Davidson Café Racer

Harley-Davidson Sportster History (1957-1985)

When Harley-Davidson bolted a new overhead-valve motor to their K-Model frame in 1957, the Sportster legend began.

Early Ironhead Sportster

The new motor displaced 883cc (advertised as 900cc) and was derived from a 3.81 stroke and a 3.00 bore. Both connecting rods shared a common crank pin, referred to as a ‘knife and forkdesign. Each valve was operated by its own cam, simplifying valvetrain geometry.

One carburetor fed both front and rear cylinders.

The bottom end of the XL motor was the same as the K-Series bike. Inside the rear of the engine cases housed the four-speed transmission, with twin cylinder jugs sitting 45 degrees apart. The new OHV motor, fitting neatly under the gas tank, sported a pair of cast-iron cylinder heads.

Aluminum is usually the preferred material for cylinder headsnot only is it lighter than cast-iron, it dissipates heat better. Harley had previously used aluminum heads on their Panhead motor (introduced in 1948), which helped reduce engine operating temperatures in warm weather. But early Panhead riders experienced top-end problems, so H-D engineers chose to use cast-iron for the Sportster heads.

For the first year of Sportster production, concerns of overheating kept the compression ratio at a conservative 7.5:1. Making 40 horsepower and weighing 495 পাউন্ড, the new XL Sportster was not yet burning up roads.

মধ্যে 1958, the XL remained the standard Sportster, while a new XLH model was fitted with larger valves and higher, 9:1 তুলনামূলক অনুপাত. Power increased significantly. A third model, originally set up as an off-road bike, was named the XLCH.

It was sold with no headlight or taillight and had twin straight exhaust pipes. A small 1.9 পয়সের পাঁচ সের গ্যাস ট্যাংক, borrowed from the 125cc Hummer, would become the classic Sportster ‘Peanuttank.

1958-1959 Sportster

The XL model received new fenders and headlight nacelle, and an ignition switch mounted on the left fork. Saddlebags, available in either white or black, were optional. The XLCH model proved quite popular, এবং ভিতরে 1959, lights, mufflers, and full fenders were fitted. The left-handgrip spark advance was still retained.

A smaller 5-3/4 headlamp with eyebrow was used, and would become a classic Sportster feature.

Sportster XLR

Built to compete in TT scrambles, Harley-Davidson started producing the XLR in 1962. Differences between it and the XLCH were mostly engine modifications. Different heads and cams were used, and ball-bearings were used at the crankshaft ends to reduce friction.

Produced in limited quantities, the XLR weighed about 300 pounds and properly tuned, could put out 80 অশ্বশক্তি. The motor would power many race-bikes, including Cal Rayborn’s record-setting streamliner in 1970.

Early Sixties Sportsters

Sportster models through the early Sixties remained basically unchanged, receiving small, yearly refinements. মধ্যে 1963, an ignition key was fitted to the XLCH. Popular options included turn signals, spotlights, and windscreens. In anticipation of upcoming electric starters, both the XLH and XLCH were upgraded to 12-volt electrical systems in 1965.

Sportsters now had automatic spark advance, which helped starting.

The classic oval-shaped ham-can air cleaner, brought about by federal emission laws, first appeared in 1966. Also this year. the Linkert carburetor was replaced by a Tillotson, which was less sensitive to lean and tilt, and also helped power and driveability. Engine cases were revised to accommodate electric start, first offered in 1967.

Two years later, cylinder-heads were redesigned, and had larger valves.

মধ্যে 1969, Harley-Davidson was acquired by AMF (American Machine and Foundry Company), a large business conglomerate who manufactured and sold, among other things, lawn and garden equipment, golf clubs, snowmobiles, sailboats, powerboats, bicycles, mopeds, and now, মোটরসাইকেল.

Then Came Bronson Bike

1970 was the second and final season of the American TV show Then Came Bronson. The show starred wool-capped Michael Parks riding around the country, finding adventure on his red ’69 Sportster XLH. Bud Ekins, the famous Hollywood stuntman, appeared in several episodes.

The show and the bike were both popular, prompting Harley-Davidson to offer a Bronson Red paint option for several years.

Sportster-Powered Bonneville Record-Holder

The Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah have long been a mecca for high-speed competition. It was here that a Sportster-powered streamliner motorcycle broke the world speed record in 1970. The streamliner body was a 15-foot-long aluminum tube, with a cross-section of only 23 উচ্চতা.

Inside was a small cockpit and a modified XLR motor, bored and stroked to 1,480cc (89-কিউবিক ইঞ্চি). The engine ran on 70 percent nitro-methane. Owned by Manning/Riley/Riveria, the pilot was famed Harley-Davidson factory rider Cal Rayborn.

His recorded speed of 265.492 mph would stand for fifteen years.

1971 Sportster

The Sportster’s distributor, formerly sitting atop the right-side engine case, was moved inside the gearcase, and an automatic advance mechanism was added to aid starting.

মধ্যে 1971, Sportsters were converted to a wet clutch setup. As its name implies, a wet clutch sits in oil, a dry clutch does not. Wet clutches are quieter and give an easier pull at the clutch lever.

The fiberglass seat and tail section, known as the ‘boat-tailwas available again this year for the final time.

Now in its 14th year, an average of 6,500 Sportsters were being sold annuallytriple the amount from a decade ago. And in that time, the Ironhead XL’s fan-base had widened deeply. On one end were the race guys, who loved its tourquey power and the endless ways to squeeze out more.

On the other end were the custom guys, who embraced the clean, integrated symmetry of the compact V-twin engine.

1972 Sportster

To keep up with the litre-bikes that Japan was offering, the Sportster got a bump in motor size in 1972. Boring the cylinders 3/16ths of an inch brought displacement from 883cc to 997.3cc (advertised as 1000cc). The increase also gave a more optimum bore-to-stroke ratio, resulting in a smoother running motor. Power was also increased, pushing top-speeds past 110 মাইল প্রতি ঘন্টা.

Quarter-mile times dropped into the mid-thirteens, and by removing the stock exhaust baffles, another half-second could be gained.

The Sportster for 1972 saw several minor changes. Prone to vapor lock when the engine was hot, the Tillotson carburetor was dropped in favor of a Bendix unit. The new carb also sat closer to the motor, causing less of an obstruction to the rider’s right knee. The magneto ignition used on the XLCH models was gone, in its place was the points/coil/battery system from the XLH.

Seat padding was reduced. Sales nearly doubled from the previous year, with just under 18,000 units sold.

1973 Sportster

Sportsters were upgraded from front drum to single disc front brake in 1973. The same year, turn-signals became mandatory on all motorcycles sold in America.

AMF-produced Harleys began rolling off the York Pennsylvania assembly line, although the AMF logo had been appearing on gas tanks since 1971. Harley-Davidson was now just one of dozens of divisions in a corporation, and quality control was becoming an issue.

1974 Sportster

Under the control of AMF, build-quality seemed secondary. To increase profits, the corporation began streamlining production and cutting the workforce. This led to a 101-day strike by union workers.

With the influx of quicker and cheaper Japanese bikes, Harley-Davidson’s share of the 750cc and larger motorcycle market had fallen to 21 শতাংশ.

1975 Sportster

New federal regulations required all motorcycles sold in America to have left-side shift and right-side brake controls. AMF’s remedy was to continue using the existing engine cases and route the gear-shift linkage across the back of the engine, thus avoiding the expense of re-tooling. New cases were eventually fitted in 1977.

আন্দাজ 5,300 Sportsters were produced in 1975.

1976 Sportster

To help celebrate America’s 200th Birthday, Harley-Davidson offered special Bicentennial Edition models, with commemorative decals applied to the gas and oil tanks. পরে বছরের মধ্যে, Sportster models switched from Bendix to Keihin carburetors.

1977 Sportster

In an effort to re-capture some of its lost market, two new Sportster models were offered in 1977. The first was the XLT, set up in touring style with a thicker seat, touring handlebars, saddlebags, and windshield. It was also geared higher, and carried a larger 3.5 পয়সের পাঁচ সের ট্যাংক.

Harley-Davidson Café Racer

The other new model was the Cafe Racer.

1978 Sportster

All Sportster models were upgraded to a new, stronger frame and swingarm, derived from the XLCR, which was in its second and final year of full production. Also borrowed from the Cafe Racer were dual-disc front brakes and cast aluminum wheels, as well as siamesed exhaust pipes, which boosted both torque and mid-range horsepower. Longer stroke rear shocks helped increase rider and passenger comfort.

All models now had electronic ignition and a solid-state voltage regulator, which provided easier starting and required less maintenance.

To commemorate Harley-Davidson’s 75th year in production, a special-edition Sportster was offered, featuring midnight-black paint highlighted by gold trim, gold cast-aluminum wheels, and limited-edition anniversary graphics.

The factory brochure proclaimed the 1978 model as the quickest, most powerful, most agile yet. Sales for 1978 topped 17,000 units, the highest in Ironhead Sportster history.

1979 Sportster

মধ্যে 1979, the Sportster’s mechanical rear drum brake was upgraded to a hydraulic disc brake, and the breaker-points ignition were replaced with a Prestolite breakerless electronic type. Valve guides were changed to cast iron to provide better lubrication to the valve stems. This would be the last year of the kick-start XLCH.

Using the XLCR’s frame, দ্য 1979 XLS had cast wheels, extended front forks, 2-into-1 exhaust pipes and a 16 rear wheel. With a large, dual rear seat and sissy bar, the XLS was decidedly un-Sportster like, and curiously named the Roadster.

Looking back over the decade, the Sportster had come a long way. It was still a great looking, powerful street-bike, and more reliable than ever. At 500 pounds and sporting a fifty-nine inch wheelbase, cornering was not its strong suit, but a low center of gravity made the bike easy to manage, even when cruising slow.

The softly sprung suspension gave a firm but comfortable ride at highway speeds.

1980-1981 Sportsters

The ignition system from last year was replaced by a Magnavox system, which used an inductive pickup to send signals to a timing control module. This module is often referred to as the black box. A new electric starter and drive were used, as was a double (push-pull) accelerator cable.

An electronic tachometer replaced the cable-driven unit.

মধ্যে 1981, members of the Davidson family, several executives from AMF, and several others bought the Harley-Davidson Motor Company back from AMF. Once that was done, they put themselves on the stock market, sold shares of the company to the public, and pulled themselves out of a large debt.

While the eighties brought us high-revving, multi-cylinder motorcycles with ten-grand redlines, the Sportster was still getting it done at 5,500 RPM. Accelerating anywhere above 2,000 RPM, down-shifting was not necessarya twist of the throttle and the 1,000cc V-twin responded with all the torque you needed.

1982 Sportster

এখন 25 years-old, 1982 XLH and XLS Sportsters featured special anniversary trim in silver and black. To comply with federal regulations, engine compression was lowered to 8:1 CR, which lowered both horsepower and top-end speed. Early eighties Sportsters were fitted with a stronger and lighter frame.

1983 Sportster XLX61

Clearly one of Harley-Davidson’s greatest marketing moves, the entry level, no-frills XLX61 Sportster was offered in 1983. This bare-boned machine came with nothing but a solo seat, peanut gas tank, and single (speedometer) gauge. Built to sell for $3,995, it was available in black only. In its first year, 4,892 examples were sold, more than all of the other three XL models combined.

The XLX helped the Sportster become one of the best-selling motorcycles of the 1980s.

1983-1984 Sportster XR1000

As a tribute to the flat-track successes of the XR750, Harley-Davidson offered the limited-edition XR-1000 Sportster. The XR cylinder heads, specially prepared by Jerry Branch, were all-alloy and featured bigger valves than XL Sportsters. To accommodate the larger valves, intake ports were moved to the right side and exhaust ports were on the left.

Because the XR cylinder heads were larger than the stock cast-iron heads, the cylinder barrels had to be shortened to fit in the Sportster frame.

A pair of 36mm Dell’Orto carbs brought power output to 70 অশ্বশক্তি, dipping quarter-mile times under thirteen seconds. Dual eleven-inch front brake rotors supplied the best stopping power yet. আন্দাজ 1,000 examples of the XR1000 were built in 1983, এবং সম্পর্কে 750 produced in 1984.

1985 Sportster

With production trimmed in anticipation of the new aluminum-head Evolution engine, less than 7,000 Sportsters were built in 1985, the last year of the XL Ironhead engine.

The Ironhead Sportster, arguably the loudest and meanest-sounding V-twin ever, enjoyed a 28-year production run. Long live the Ironhead!

Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer
Harley-Davidson Café Racer


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