Hardtailing A 1979 Ironhead

by Jay
(Rixford, PA USA)

1979 Ironhead Frame

1979 Ironhead Frame

I have a buddy I ride with every summer and he is my best friend. It all started at the end of summer 2011 he had hit hard times and was having a hard time making payments on his bike.

I had always heard him tell of wanting an old ironhead hardtail chopper and it just happened one of my other friends had this old 79 ironhead and he had it listed for sale pretty cheap as in 1500 cheap and it run but had problems.

I went and looked and my friend said he was selling it to make a bike payment he said he thought the clutch was shot and it had a few broken parts.

I noticed it had already been chopped on by some joker with no idea what he was doing thank god it was just the tail of the frame they cut and the fenders.

I made the deal to trade some stuff and a little cash for the bike I had my other friend with me and told him it was my gift to him for being he had to turn in his bike due to hard times .We brought it home and sat and thought and planned for around two weeks.

Then one day he showed up with a hardtail for a 78 sporty and he warned me everyone said the 1978 hardtail would never fit the 1979 I ask him if he trusted me and he said of course so by the end of abought 10 days i hacked the end off his frame and modified it a little and mounted the 1978 hardtail section and when he seen it he seemed impressed it fit like it was supposed to unless you know bikes and hardtails you might never know where the original bike ends and the hardtail section was added on.

I have fabricated a rather simple battery
tray and threw in an old square oil tank we are looking to swap out for a round one.and after i got it to where i knew the tail was done except for trading out the oil tank I tore off the headlight because he is going for the old school look you know big king queen seat and sissy bar and small square double headlights the one that came on the bike was junk anyway right away.

I noticed someone had rewired the controls with all red wires so I had to go through it wire by wire.I have finally got it to where it looks good and is functional. We decided to check out the tranny the other day and that is when the panick set in, we noticed it was full of water.

Yes I said FULL OF WATER. We drained it and looked everything over and it seems we got lucky we wiped everything down and filled it with fluid and ran it a little bit drained it and refiled it and started it and the trans seems to work fine now.

We are still trying to finish up the bike at this moment but i can give an update upon completion if you might like.I have welded and fabricated a lot of stuff even a set of levers for a 1995 sportster for a friend so his girlfriend could ride it and reach the leavers.

But I got to say this is my first try of fabricating on this scale and i must say I like it a lot.It is nice ti know with getting lucky and buying the bike cheap and fabricating most everything myself in total we got around 2,500 in the whole bike.

I have photos of the bike from the beginning on my phone. I will send them to my pc and add them later if you want me to.

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Dec 07, 2013
by: Anonymous

I have a 79 chop with the 78 hardtail,so i now the story...Did you fit the std rear brake?
How far along is it now.

May 09, 2012
Great story
by: Dan

I like it. helping a friend is great. hope it all went well and your into the riding part now.

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