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 Barn find! Sportster 1200

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AldusFran
Fishbone
Dale N.
steve_h80
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john grinsel
Erdoc48
Mech 1 twa
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BrianInVA
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 07, 2022 4:48 pm

I was at a picnic with a friend on Monday at the farm of friends of his, and the subject of motorcycles came up. The hosts were in their mid 70s, and the husband mentioned his wife’s “old Harley out in the barn” which she hadn’t ridden since her late 50s, over 15 years prior. He said it was a “1972 Harley,” had “training wheels” on it, and a side car not currently attached, neither of which ever worked out for her.

I was intrigued so I asked him if he could show me. He said they were going to take it to the junkyard because the clutch wouldn’t engage after sitting so long and it needed a “new” carb, petcock, battery, tires, probably a new gas tank, etc. Years ago they got it started but couldn’t get it into gear from neutral due to the clutch failing to engage.
Barn find! Sportster 1200 2693c310
Barn find! Sportster 1200 04c39810
Barn find! Sportster 1200 4999fa10

Once we got back inside, his wife said he was wrong, it’s actually a 1991 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200, and showed me the title.

First I said that if they were just taking it to the junkyard I’d like to have it, to try to get it running. She hemmed and hawed and said they tried to sell it but nobody ever offered them anything reasonable for it.

I asked them if they’d take $500 for everything, they agreed, and I’ll be picking it up soon. I’ll be able to sell the trike kit and the sidecar for about triple that amount, and have enough left over to get this bike back on the road.

I’ve always owned metric bikes, mostly Hondas, never a Harley.

So now I’m entering into the world of Harley Davidson mechanics. If I can get it running, I’ll let my friend who owns the property here where I live ride it when our “Catholic bikers gang” goes for a ride. He has seven kids and no spare cash for toys, though he really wants to get back on a bike. Plus this is kinda my way of paying him rent, without paying him rent, which he refuses to accept from me.

(But I’m REALLY tempted to put the side car back on it. I’ve always been intrigued by motorcycles with side cars since I was a kid and would really like to try one.)
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sonuvabug
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 07, 2022 7:09 pm

That's such a cool story.  Now you are obligated to breathe new life back into that machine and set-up. Stay with it and good luck.
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Mech 1 twa
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 07, 2022 9:20 pm

That's a nice find and cheap enough do a good cleaning first and evaluate everything. The time spent and etc. is what adds up. Etc is money in parts seems easy enough but can be more than you think.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 07, 2022 10:50 pm

sonuvabug wrote:
That's such a cool story.  Now you are obligated to breathe new life back into that machine and set-up. Stay with it and good luck.
Mech 1 twa wrote:
That's a nice find and cheap enough do a good cleaning first and evaluate everything. The time spent and etc. is what adds up. Etc is money in parts seems easy enough but can be more than you think.
Thanks. This should be a great project. I’m already getting inquiries elsewhere about selling the side car, and that should go a ways towards financing getting it cleaned up and back on the road.

This one is orange and black under all that dust. I looked up photos of the 1991 Sportster with that color scheme and it looks sharp in these photos I found:
Barn find! Sportster 1200 25ae6a10

Barn find! Sportster 1200 00075c10
It should clean up nice if this is any indication.
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Erdoc48
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 6:43 am

At least the parts will likely be plentiful…you won’t have difficulty finding much of anything I would think. It’s work, but if you have the time…
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john grinsel
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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 11:02 am

could be money pit---remembering in their day, running perfectly they were real shakers. I have had 3 new 883 sportsters....they still shook. HD may be better at pulling your trailer.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 12:45 pm

john grinsel wrote:
could be money pit---remembering in their day, running perfectly they were real shakers.   I have had 3 new 883 sportsters....they still shook.   HD may be better at pulling your trailer.
True. I’ve always been a fan of metric bikes and most of mine have been Hondas. I’ve never had any interest in Harleys.

I’m pretty much taking this project on for a close friend, so he and I and his kids can ride together.

I have a “hard stop.” Once I sell the side car and trike kit, and subtract the initial $500 purchase price, I’ll have my budget to get this on the road. Anything beyond that my friend will have to pay for. Or I’ll “invest” in getting it on the road, just to flip the bike.

This year and model is currently going for roughly $2800-$4500 on Facebook Marketplace and other internet sites so I should be able to recoup my investment and still make a profit.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 1:13 pm

Given this latest barn-find status I
I'm pretty sure you'll be faced with another contaminated fuel tank. But at least you won't be faced with needing a fuel pump.

Good luck with this latest resto.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 1:41 pm

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
Given this latest barn-find status I
I'm pretty sure you'll be faced with another contaminated fuel tank. But at least you won't be faced with needing a fuel pump.

Good luck with this latest resto.
Thanks. I’m planning a new tank already. The oem tank is only 2.2 gallons. At 50mpg that really limits its range. A 3.3 gallon replacement tank is easy to find and a direct replacement.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 1:45 pm

I was just offered $1000 cash for the side car, sight unseen, and it’s not even in my possession yet. So with financing assured, this project is a go!
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Mech 1 twa
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 08, 2022 9:19 pm

You have a plan and reasonable expectations that's good. From some of my past troubles with old bikes get it running first engine is the biggest part to start with. Pull the plugs and spray a good amount of oil in cylinders let it sit a few hours and see if it turns. Jumper cables and a car battery will work well crank it over. Check the compression if it's good check for spark at wires. Switch in run position a good start to getting it going. If that's all-good time for some Carb. rebuild.

Before you waste time replacing tank or cleaning make an IV line to feed the Carb. to get it started and go from there.

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steve_h80
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 09, 2022 1:26 pm

I hope you can give us a running report of progress, a barn find like that is everyone's dream.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 09, 2022 1:52 pm

steve_h80 wrote:
I hope you can give us a running report of progress, a barn find like that is everyone's dream.
Will do.

I’m picking it up Monday. I talked to them just now to make sure everything above was included. The 74 year old lady was hemming and hawing again when I talked to her today.

“I didn’t realize my husband said you could have the side car and trike kit too for that price. I paid over a couple thousand for those in addition to the bike.”

Of course that was over 15 years ago.

I replied, “Ok, how about I give you another $250 for that stuff, $750 total.” Given the total package, I almost felt guilty, and thought she would make a counter offer.

Surprisingly she was satisfied with that, and I’m going up Monday to pick it up and bring it home.
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Dale N.
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 09, 2022 8:02 pm

Yes, please keep us posted Brian.
I had a 74 CB-750 Honda that had been sitting for a few years before I bought it for $200. It was made in Japan to stay in Japan. It had a sticker on the rear fender that was written in those Japanese Hieroglyphics that nobody can read. The speedo was in kilometers so I had to mentally figure out speed in my head.
I got it running and a couple years later my Wife and I rode it from MN to Pensacola, FL. What a Blast!!!
Barn find! Sportster 1200 Jan_da12
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john grinsel
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 7:14 am

Sidecar---what brand is it, fittings professional quality? bike have lowered gearing, steering dampener?

If Jawa Sidecar with right fittings, all might be worth more---In Milwaukee, in winter,Harley used to use Jawa Sidecars running all winter in tests with Sportsters----Hook ups were most likely, professional and strong-----If not Jawa, get your money and running....most US sidecar set ups were pretty crude, not strong.

I bought new HD big twin with tin sidecar in 1966---very strong, nice lashup, sidecar brake, handled well Only problem, if you tried to ride hard like BMW could take, Engine could not get rid of heat, 18,500 miles I blew engine twice, but did well,first 125 miles rear cylinder actually cracked---although at that time HD did not have warranty, there was dealer holdback, and repair free--secondtime at 18,500, crankpin broke---I was lucky, at that time, Tacoma Police had similar failure, same engine number group, I got new crate engine free---thanks to service manager in Tacoma HD---who took, my knocking/smoking bike outside ran it wide open in neutral until it blew!!
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 9:11 am

john grinsel wrote:
Sidecar---what brand is it, fittings professional quality? bike have lowered gearing, steering dampener?

If  Jawa Sidecar with right fittings, all might be worth more---In Milwaukee, in winter,Harley used to use Jawa Sidecars running all winter in tests with Sportsters----Hook ups were most likely, professional and strong-----If not Jawa, get your money and running....most US sidecar set ups were pretty crude, not strong.

This is a Velorex, apparently their Model 562, made in Czech Republic. All the attachment hardware is intact and included. They still sell them. New, these sell for over $4,000. I don’t know it’s value used, but I plan to sell it to finance getting this Sportster on the road.
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sonuvabug
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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 9:21 am

BrianInVA, if you can afford to fix the H-D without selling the sidecar, I might be inclined to hang onto the sidecar until you've got it on the road.  That way you'll have a much better idea of how much you're into the Sportster for $-wise.  Looks like you have wiggle room up to around $2,000 depending on the condition of the sidecar once detailed.  You might even want to sell them as a set if you get bored with both down the road.
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BrianInVA
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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 9:36 am

sonuvabug wrote:
BrianInVA, if you can afford to fix the H-D without selling the sidecar, I might be inclined to hang onto the sidecar until you've got it on the road.  That way you'll have a much better idea of how much you're into the Sportster for $-wise.  Looks like you have wiggle room up to around $2,000 depending on the condition of the sidecar once detailed.  You might even want to sell them as a set if you get bored with both down the road.
Good advice, thanks. I’m sorely tempted to hook up that side car and give it a try! I’ve been intrigued by side cars since I was a kid. (If money wasn’t so tight I wouldn’t even consider selling it.)
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john grinsel
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 9:55 am

It is Jawa
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 10:01 am

john grinsel wrote:
It is Jawa
I snapped a photo Monday. The rear of the side car appears to say Velorex?Barn find! Sportster 1200 Bf44dc10
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john grinsel
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 10:30 am

Jawa/Velorex were sold as combination--big Jawa twin. I had Jawa Sidecar with Yamaha SR500=worked
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 10, 2022 12:30 pm

john grinsel wrote:
Jawa/Velorex   were sold as combination--big Jawa twin.   I had Jawa Sidecar with Yamaha SR500=worked
Ah, ok. Czech Jawa made the motorcycle and Czech Velorex made the sidecar.

With a heel toe shifter, I’ll be able to ride the Sportster without worrying about upshifting with my weak left leg.

The Tow Pac frame already attached to the Sportster can easily serve as a tow hitch with a few simple modifications, so if I choose to tow the camper trailer I’m currently building with it, it’s already wired.

It might be a better option than using my Silverwing to tow with, and though the weight and HP of both the Silverwing and the Sportster are similar, I think the drive train and torque of the Sportster is better suited for towing.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 12, 2022 4:27 pm

Its on its way to its new home. Barn find! Sportster 1200 1a50f110
Barn find! Sportster 1200 A3cb3610
Barn find! Sportster 1200 194c0710

Anyone need a Velorex Model 562 side car? I’ll be selling it.
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Cosmic_Jumper
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 12, 2022 5:37 pm

WT…? You sold the Sportster? And are entertaining offers on the Velorex?
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 12, 2022 5:51 pm

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
WT…? You sold the Sportster? And are entertaining offers on the Velorex?
No (no way!), I’m restoring the Sportster and need to sell the side car to finance it. Sorry if I was unclear - it’s new home is MY home LOL.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 13, 2022 1:20 pm

I stopped and got a burger on the way home last night. While I was eating I placed a Facebook Marketplace ad for the side car for $1250. A guy from Pennsylvania responded this morning and we agreed on $1100. He’s picking it up tomorrow.

So I recouped my initial $750 investment and have a couple dollars left over to start the restoration. Given the Sportster’s current condition, I’m going to need it! The paint is remarkably good, but all metal surfaces are corroded, and the old gas in the tank smells like rocket fuel and the inside of the tank is covered in slime. Barn find! Sportster 1200 206bf710
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Fishbone
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: That Sportster is worth far more with the sidecar rig   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 13, 2022 10:52 pm

1993 HARLEY DAVIDSON Electra Glide Sport - 29k miles Sold for $4800
During the 90's dealers where charging up to a 15% to 40% premium above retail and taking orders. Those days are far gone for Harley Davidson, i said at the time i will never buy one .... there day will come. 46 bikes in 62 years, no Harley yet but the price has come down to where they are worth it. My current bike is a 03' SilverWing.
1988 HD Electra Glide Classic $4000 This is a good site to see what bikes are really selling for motorado.com they usually have a few scooters ....92 HD Softail $6500 https://youtu.be/dTOqvPMk56Y Then i see this 2002 BMW R1150GS 6k miles! $4000. 18 of my 46 where BMW's .. 6k miles that is a steal ... only $4k the owner is not thinking, that's a $6800 bike.
My opinion the Sportster is better off cleaned up and running as a package deal, sportster alone $2600 but with the car $7000. Bike is easy to find but the car and wheels no. "Sell as a package and buy yourself something you really enjoy riding". Without forward controls and a 21in front i can't ride the things, test road a 883 and 1200 talk about shake rattle n roll.  

Barn find! Sportster 1200 Harley10
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AldusFran
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 14, 2022 10:35 am

Brian, first remove the spark plugs carefully and add about a teaspoon of Marvel Mystery each cylinder and let sit for a couple days( better with a oil spry can) so the Marvel will soak around the pistons and rings. Good luck with your shaker and keep us informed about your progress.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 14, 2022 4:00 pm

AldusFran wrote:
Brian, first remove the spark plugs carefully and add about a teaspoon of Marvel Mystery each cylinder and let sit for a couple days( better with a oil spry can) so the Marvel will soak around the pistons and rings. Good luck with your shaker and keep us informed about your progress.
That’s what I thought too!

However a grizzled old Harley collector,  who used to own a small town Harley dealership in Pennsylvania and was his own Harley mechanic, came down today to pick up the Velorex 562 side car. He was thrilled about the side car which he’s going to put on his ‘79 HD 1100, one of his six Harleys.

However, as soon as he saw my barn find 91 Sportster he was tearing it apart (with my blessing) to see if he could get it started. He was here for about three hours, just chatting and looking over the entire bike and it’s wiring, etc. then trying to get it started.

I asked if I should pull the plugs and fog the cylinders with oil overnight before trying to start it. He said, “Let me look in the oil tank and check the spark plugs first, and then we’ll see.”

The spark plugs looked like new with no foiling and smelled like decent gas, even though the gas tank itself smells like hell. The oil tank had plenty of oil in it.

He removed the old battery, took off the air cleaner, hooked up my lithium starter battery, sprayed ether in the carb, and after several tries, it started right up briefly on the ether.

Then we pushed it back and forth while he shifted it through all five gears, and said that would help free up the frozen clutch.

He said to change the engine oil with non synthetic HD 20w-50, change their primary oil and put an ounce of SeaFoam in each.

Then empty any old gas in the tank and put some lacquer thinner in it, let it sit overnight, disconnect the fuel line from the carb, then drain it out through the petcock.

Then reconnect the fuel line to the carb but disconnect it from the engine, put more thinner in the tank, let the thinner run through the petcock and fill the carb float, let it site overnight, then drain it.

Then fill the tank with gas and some SeaFoam, put a battery in it, and it should fire right up. He said let it thoroughly warm up, turn it off, push it back and forth again working through the gears, and the clutch should start working fine.

He was originally going to give me $1100 for the side car, but then we started talking about all the parts he had in his work shop that could replace the corroded parts on my Sportster.

He said he had a nice full exhaust system that would fit, a nice air cleaner and horn cover, the side racks that go on the sides of the rear fender beside the seat, possibly a battery cover, and a good set of rear shocks to fit it.

I was almost afraid to ask what he wanted for all those parts but he said he’d give them to me if I’d take $1,000 cash for the side car and could definitely get him the side car windshield (and hopefully the tonneau cover). I know the windshield at least is still in the attic of the farm where I found the bike, but we couldn’t recover because of a bees nest there.

I’m running up to his workshop Saturday afternoon to pick up the parts.

He seemed to know exactly what he was doing and was a walking Harley encyclopedia.  

But if ANY of this sounds like bad advice, please let me know.
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sonuvabug
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 14, 2022 6:55 pm

You were there, we weren't. Go with your gut and judgement.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 14, 2022 10:44 pm

sonuvabug wrote:
You were there, we weren't. Go with your gut and judgement.
Thanks. Can’t argue with success - He had it running in one short afternoon so I’ll follow the rest of his advice.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 15, 2022 1:12 pm

Before any work on the primary cover side:
Barn find! Sportster 1200 Aeac2010

After some work with a cheap Harbor Freight hand held soda blaster gun, then a brass wire disk on an angle grinder today, to remove the decaying clear coat Harley puts on their shiny aluminum parts:
Barn find! Sportster 1200 7c17e310


This is cleaning up better and faster than I had hoped!

I’m going to get a buffing wheel for my angle grinder. I started working with some Harbor Freight buffing wheels for a drill and Mothers aluminum Polish. I never used this kind of drill mounted buffing wheel before and unfortunately got some scratches on the aluminum from the steel arbor.
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gustav
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 15, 2022 5:28 pm

Hope your good luck keeps on a coming Brian. I've had seventeen bikes, never a Harley though. Paul
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 15, 2022 7:20 pm

gustav wrote:
Hope your good luck keeps on a coming Brian. I've had seventeen bikes, never a Harley though. Paul
I’ve never had a Harley either. This is my tenth bike.

After some time with a buffing wheel and aluminum buffing polish this afternoon:Barn find! Sportster 1200 E66ac810Barn find! Sportster 1200 99a3ed10
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smellybeard
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeMon Sep 19, 2022 7:41 pm

A Swing might make a good sidecar tug. The manual says don't do (possibly because of lateral loads on the wheelbearings) it but that wouldn't stop me. I'd be tempted to fit doors to the Swing around my legs. A set of light pully weights and the extra weight would be taken care of - not that a Velorex weighs much anyway.

Pity it's on the wrong side of the bike and the wrong side of the Atlantic...
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Cosmic_Jumper
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 20, 2022 11:39 am

smellybeard wrote:
(Snip) … Pity it's on the wrong side of the bike and the wrong side of the Atlantic...

The Wrong side of the Atlantic?

Barn find! Sportster 1200 1c0d6c10
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 20, 2022 12:13 pm

smellybeard wrote:
A Swing might make a good sidecar tug. The manual says don't do (possibly because of lateral loads on the wheelbearings)  it but that wouldn't stop me. I'd be tempted to fit doors to the Swing around my legs. A set of light pully weights and the extra weight would be taken care of - not that a Velorex weighs much anyway.

Pity it's on the wrong side of the bike and the wrong side of the Atlantic...
Well, as I mentioned above, a guy came and picked up the side car for $1000 plus an unused exhaust and unused shocks to fit my Sportster. A retired Harley mechanic, he also got the Sportster started briefly on ether while he was here, so I do know it has spark and will fire up.
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Loosemarbles
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 20, 2022 4:12 pm

Don't be sore Tim, it's just different folks Laughing
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 21, 2022 11:59 pm

My Harley mechanic experience is definitely coming up short.

First attempt to start it. The retired Harley mechanic who bought my side car got it started last week on ether, so I know it has spark.

As he recommended, I put lacquer thinner in the tank, let it sit over night, took the fuel line off the carb the next day, and drained it through the open fuel line, then repeated the process. So I know fuel can pass through the tank, petcock and fuel line.

I replaced the old fuel line, reconnected it to the carb, put in a new battery, fresh non ethanol gas with SeaFoam, put the choke on, and tried to start it. (Video shows the choke off. I tried to start it several times with it both on and off.)

It turns over fine but it doesn’t fire. Maybe it’s not getting gas.

(Video was for some friends who wanted to see my “progress.” This was just to show them I got it to turn over freely.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/8gl3GkRttMI?feature=share )
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gustav
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 2:39 pm

kill switch?
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Loosemarbles
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 4:07 pm

Harley?
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Cosmic_Jumper
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 4:13 pm

My 2¢: Well, if you’ve verified that fuel is getting to the carburetor and the battery has a full charge and the beast fires up on starting ether then it seems that the carb isn’t doing its job. Substitute, rebuild, or replace.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 4:30 pm

Loosemarbles wrote:
Harley?
$500 barn find. Couldn’t pass it up. They included a side car and removable trike kit for another $250. I sold the side car for $1000 plus the guy gave me new exhaust chrome, new mufflers and barely used rear shocks. I’m putting it together so a close friend to whom I’m deeply indebted for his generosity can ride with me soon. He has seven kids and can’t currently afford his own bike but had one for years back in California.


Last edited by BrianInVA on Thu Sep 22, 2022 4:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 4:33 pm

Cosmic_Jumper wrote:
My 2¢: Well, if you’ve verified that fuel is getting to the carburetor and the battery has a full charge and the beast fires up on starting ether then it seems that the carb isn’t doing its job. Substitute, rebuild, or replace.
The retired Harley mechanic who bought the side car recommended trying something very simple first - tap on the float bowl to see if the float is stuck before trying anything else. I’m just heading out to do so. If that doesn’t work I’ll be replacing the petcock and cleaning the carb, then rebuilding it if necessary.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 7:02 pm

Tapping on the bowl didn’t do anything. I just pulled the fuel line off the carb and worked the petcock. Gas is flowing from the tank both in the on and reserve positions.


Tapping on the bowl didn't do anything so I removed the carb. When I turned the throttle assembly on the carb it was freely spraying gas into the carb from the right front brass jet (primary? Sorry, don’t know proper terminology yet) towards the rear of the carb.

I took off the bowl. Looks pretty rough in there. The float doesn't seem to be moving either. Barn find! Sportster 1200 4ff4ad10

I just filled the bowl with lacquer thinner and put it back on the bottom of the carb. Hopefully it will free up the float assembly.

I’ll definitely be needing a new gasket between the air filter assembly and the carb. This one is in two pieces now.

But it definitely starts on ether. I tried it again briefly while I had the air filter off before I removed the carb.
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Mech 1 twa
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 22, 2022 9:28 pm

The best thing about Harleys most have just one Carb. All those little passages need to be open and clean. Worked on some Carbs but not Harley. Main body will have the jets that flow the fuel bowel is only part of it. Photo of a pilot jet
Barn find! Sportster 1200 Pilot_10

Holes are very small and hard to clean this is mostly idle circuit but there is a main jet also.  Search for a rebuild kit gaskets and O rings.  Bowel gaskets like to leak once removed.  Carb cleaner and compressed air to blow through all those passages. Clean tank is a must, or you'll be taking it apart again with dirt in Carb.

Don't forget intake gaskets to heads Vacuum leaks will cause all kinds of problems.

Just looked a 91 carb vacuum diaphragm slide under that black cap on top those are known for cracking and slides sticking. Plate on bottom of bowel is accelerator pump same problem their leaks and not pumping fuel when throttle is twisted.
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeFri Sep 23, 2022 3:39 pm

Mech 1 twa wrote:
The best thing about Harleys most have just one Carb. All those little passages need to be open and clean. Worked on some Carbs but not Harley. Main body will have the jets that flow the fuel bowel is only part of it. Photo of a pilot jet
Barn find! Sportster 1200 Pilot_10

Holes are very small and hard to clean this is mostly idle circuit but there is a main jet also.  Search for a rebuild kit gaskets and O rings.  Bowel gaskets like to leak once removed.  Carb cleaner and compressed air to blow through all those passages. Clean tank is a must, or you'll be taking it apart again with dirt in Carb.

Don't forget intake gaskets to heads Vacuum leaks will cause all kinds of problems.

Just looked a 91 carb vacuum diaphragm slide under that black cap on top those are known for cracking and slides sticking. Plate on bottom of bowel is accelerator pump same problem their leaks and not pumping fuel when throttle is twisted.
Soaking it overnight in lacquer thinner worked to free up the float.

I reassembled everything, turned on the gas and tried to start it, but now gas was pouring out of the carb.

I found a barely used new cv carb off an 883 locally for $60 so I'm going to pick that up this evening. I can rebuild this carb later.

Any idea if I need different jets to put an 883 carb on this 1200, or are they the same?
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BrianInVA
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 1:52 am

I put a new petcock on it this evening, and a used rebuilt carb I found locally. and it started right up this evening. It doesn’t want to idle yet, but that should be a simple idle screw adjustment.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/nWHXp7eS02Q?feature=share
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steve_h80
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 2:12 am

See if you can find someone with an ultrasonic cleaner for the old carb.
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Meldrew
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Barn find! Sportster 1200 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 5:51 am

Haven't Harley-Davidson now cancelled the venerable Sportster after 64 years in production. Sales of the Sportster were discontinued in Europe in 2020 because it couldn't meet Euro 5 emissions.

Never fancied owning a HD myself, although I'll admit to buying a couple of HD dealers T shirts in Philadelphia and Florida. I also had one of those HD hog money boxes for many years that was painted up like a Harley-Davidson gas tank.

Some bloke in York bought it when I had a major clearance of motorcycle gear in early summer.
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