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Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeby Dale N. Wed Nov 30, 2022 3:52 pm

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 Barn find! Sportster 1200

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AldusFran
Fishbone
Dale N.
steve_h80
Cosmic_Jumper
john grinsel
Erdoc48
Mech 1 twa
sonuvabug
BrianInVA
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AuthorMessage
BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeWed Sep 07, 2022 4:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

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.
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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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AuthorMessage
BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 7:58 am

Meldrew wrote:


Never fancied owning a HD myself
Me neither. I texted my brother in law, who loves Harleys, yesterday:

“I never dreamed I’d even own a Harley, let alone be tearing apart the carb etc.

“Old dogs, new tricks.”
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Mech 1 twa
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
Mech 1 twa


Number of posts : 1320
Location : Allentown PA.
Points : 3944
Registration date : 2016-01-02

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 8:57 pm

I had to look it up three times on different sites but 1991 883 and 1200 have the same jet sizes pilot and main. It's running that's good. Looked it up HP 50 and torque 84. HP is about same as SW but torque is much more. SW 49 hp and 36.9 torque.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 9:34 pm

Mech 1 twa wrote:
I had to look it up three times on different sites but 1991 883 and 1200 have the same jet sizes pilot and main. It's running that's good.  Looked it up HP 50 and torque 84. HP is about same as SW but torque is much more. SW 49 hp and 36.9 torque.  
Great, thanks.

I’m working on the replacement carb tonight. It started up easily on this carb late last night, but when I tried to start it this afternoon gas came gushing out of this carb too.

So I took it back off and removed the bowl and the float. The carb and jets are clean but the float is definitely way out of adjustment.

When I started looking through my factory service manual I just got in the mail yesterday for help, I quickly realized all the pages in chapter 4 related to carb repair are missing entirely from this manual. Ugh.
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Mech 1 twa
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
Mech 1 twa


Number of posts : 1320
Location : Allentown PA.
Points : 3944
Registration date : 2016-01-02

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Sep 24, 2022 9:47 pm

Floats can be tricky. Mostly it's the needle part that wears or gets dirt in it and won't stop the fuel from flowing. I'll say it again clean tank is important any dirt will just gum up that newer carb again put a filter on the line if not sure.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Sep 25, 2022 1:02 am

I adjusted the float, reassembled everything again and tried it again. There’s still gas pouring out of the carb so for now I’m throwing in the towel.

The retired Harley mechanic / collector who bought my side car volunteered to rebuild the carb for me. I asked him if he’d be willing to let me do it with him so I understand it better, and he welcomed the opportunity, so I’ll be getting together with him this week to do so.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeTue Sep 27, 2022 2:18 am

Despite the generous offer, the guy who bought my side car is an hour and a half drive one way.  So I dropped the carb off this morning to be rebuilt at a local independent shop five minutes away. .

Since I can’t work any further on mechanical issues until I get the carb back, I cleaned up and waxed the tank, which turned out pretty darn nice:
Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 64c54e10

And I took off the generic windshield, the entire Tow Pac trike kit frame, and the old rusted sissy bar and the saddle strap from the original two up seat. I picked up a solo seat from an ‘89 Harley Sportster and set it on to see how it looks with the windshield and sissy bar gone. I like it:

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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeThu Sep 29, 2022 12:24 pm

Managed to get the front and rear wheels off without hurting myself or breaking anything, not a small feat. I’ll take them in for new tires to be mounted Monday. It looks … nekkid.
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Started working on the front forks. They were covered in surface corrosion but shined up decent with a buffing wheel on the angle grinder with lots of buffing compound:Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 02f96710
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Mech 1 twa
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
Mech 1 twa


Number of posts : 1320
Location : Allentown PA.
Points : 3944
Registration date : 2016-01-02

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 01, 2022 8:26 pm

Starting to look better keep at it you will have a nice bike in the end.

I've been down that road 20 some years ago 1979 Honda CM 400A non running and sat outside many years paint faded and rusty. Got it running rite and ridable but was still ugly.   I was up at my buddy's garage one day and one of his customers came in and said he had a similar bike with a seized engine. It was a 1981 CM 400 5 speed bike. Paint was perfect and had nice parts and better forks.  $125 dollars later it was mine let the fun begin. Had both of them jacked up and swapped all the parts a long weekend of work. Road it for many years and sold it for something faster but I miss it.

Ride ON.
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smellybeard
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider



Number of posts : 154
Location : Ireland
Points : 1017
Registration date : 2020-08-11

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 03, 2022 10:05 am

I did the cosmetic end of a barn find MZ TS250/1 this summer. Good clean and replaced a lot of chrome and rubber. The big job I took on was stripping the wheels, polishing the original East German alloy rims and rebuild with new stainless spokes and fitted new Metzlers.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 03, 2022 2:31 pm

I still haven’t figured out any “easy” way to clean and shine up the air cooling fins on the engine. If anyone knows of any please let me know.

One YouTube video shows a guy using an electric fish fillet knife where he cuts off most of the knife blade then bolts a paint stirrer on what’s left, then puts cloth on the paint stirrer and buffs between the fins with buffing compound.

Seems a long way to go to accomplish that but if it works? I haven’t found any easier way.
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smellybeard
Maxi-Scooter Rider
Maxi-Scooter Rider



Number of posts : 154
Location : Ireland
Points : 1017
Registration date : 2020-08-11

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeMon Oct 03, 2022 2:50 pm

Nor have I. MZ has deep fins and 45 years worth of muck and corrosion. I used plenty of elbow grease and wire wool wrapped around sticks and stuff. Kitchen squirty stuff and a squirty-stuff bottle filled with water. Citric acid brightens up alu but be careful how it runs down the rest of the engine. Stay away from caustic soda and dishwasher tabs which will darken and dull things. I recall taking a nail board to the fins too.

The important thing really is to know when to stop and when to let nature finish things off for you. The worst of the new shine will go off it fairly quickly and it'll start to look 'real' again and you should try to imagine how it will look then. After the polish, I gave my rims a run through the dishwasher - with no detergent or anything - to dull them down a little and see where I stood.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2022 9:47 pm

Well, this barn find story continues to get more bizarre. (To me at least.)  I sold the side car right away, but the Tow Pac InstaTrike kit has been for sale on Facebook Marketplace since I brought the Sportster home, despite several prospective buyers who were “on their way with cash” but never materialized.

This week a disabled guy out of state contacted me who desperately wanted the trike kit because he broke his back and can’t steady his 2003 Sportster, and my trike kit is a direct fit for his 2003.

Problem is, he’s on disability and has no cash. And can’t currently drive and has no way to get here.

But … he asked if I would be willing to take a 1980 Sportster 1000 with clear title in trade, if I would deliver the trike kit to him? It runs but needs some rewiring completed.
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It will be a 750 mile round trip to go get it so I’d be investing my time, a couple tanks of gas, and the cost of a UHaul motorcycle rental.

But I was only asking $500 for the trike kit so this seems like a no brainer.
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Loosemarbles
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
Loosemarbles


Number of posts : 1212
Age : 61
Location : South East England
Points : 3607
Registration date : 2016-10-01

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2022 11:06 pm

It would be great if you could oblige this guy but the words 'can' and 'worms' spring to mind. However, if you have the time and the inclination, why not?
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSun Oct 09, 2022 11:39 pm

Loosemarbles wrote:
It would be great if you could oblige this guy but the words 'can' and 'worms' spring to mind. However, if you have the time and the inclination, why not?
Yes, it does have the potential to be a nightmare.

I’m not going to put the car in gear till I see a copy of a valid title in his name. But as I’m no longer working I do have the time on my hands to make this kind of trip.

The retired Harley mechanic who bought my side car has become a friend who has volunteered to help me through anything that might need repaired or replaced on it. He just got done restoring a 1979 Sportster from the ground up and told me if I don’t jump at this, he will.
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
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BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 14, 2022 4:55 pm

I’m on my way home with the second Sportster. It is going to need a LOT of work!

Fortunately I already found all the original parts I need to restore it to original, from another Sportster that was torn apart to build a chopper.Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 000c9c10
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
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BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
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Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeFri Oct 21, 2022 8:33 pm

I finally got back home from traveling and had a chance to get the rebuilt carburetor back on my ’91 Sportster.

Success!

It finally starts, runs and idles without touching the throttle:
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/ug4Kjk8deb4?feature=share
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steve_h80
Silver Wing Expert
Silver Wing Expert



Number of posts : 915
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Points : 3386
Registration date : 2016-05-15

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 22, 2022 2:59 am

Congratulations 🎊
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Loosemarbles
Silver Wing Guru
Silver Wing Guru
Loosemarbles


Number of posts : 1212
Age : 61
Location : South East England
Points : 3607
Registration date : 2016-10-01

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PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 22, 2022 3:11 am

A good job well done. It must be such a relief to hear that motor running nicely cat
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BrianInVA
Super Scooter Rider
Super Scooter Rider
BrianInVA


Number of posts : 232
Location : VA
Points : 502
Registration date : 2022-04-17

Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 Empty
PostSubject: Re: Barn find! Sportster 1200   Barn find! Sportster 1200 - Page 2 I_icon_minitimeSat Oct 22, 2022 6:34 am

steve_h80 wrote:
Congratulations 🎊
Loosemarbles wrote:
A good job well done. It must be such a relief to hear that motor running nicely cat
Thanks! Yes, incredibly relieved, and excited to take it for a spin. I just need to mount the wheels, adjust the brakes and hope the formerly frozen clutch frees up with the new fluids after getting the motor and transmission up to operating temp.
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