1959 Sportster

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

  • The serial number is stamped on the left side of the engine case. The first 5 or 6 digits represent the year and model 1)

Specifications

Engine

  • Engine type: 4 cycle Overhead Valves, 45 degree V2 2)
  • Displacement: 54 ci / 883 cc
  • Hemi-spherical style heads
  • Bore: 3 in / 7.62 cm 3)
  • Stroke: 3.8125 in / 9.68 cm 4)
  • 90 Degree Valve Angle
  • Horsepower: 42 @ 5,500rpm (XL) 5)
XL XLH,XLCH
Compression 7.5:1 9.0:1
Torque 48 ft-lb / 2.023 Nm @ 3600 RPM52 ft-lb / 2.191 Nm @ 3800 RPM

6)

Capacities

  • Fuel capacity: 4 gal / 15.14 l (XLCH 2.2 gal / 8.328 l)7)
  • Oil Capacity: 3 qts. / 2.83 l 8)
  • Transmission Capacity: 1.5 pints / .71 l 9)
  • MPG: 50mpg (est.)

Dimensions

  • Weight: 495 lb / 225 kg
XL, XLH XLCH
Wheelbase 56.6 in / 143.51 cm 57 in / 137.6 cm
Overall Length87 in / 221 cm 83.25 in / 211.4 cm
Overall Width 34 in / 86.36 cm 29.5 in / 75 cm
Overall Height40.5 in / 103 cm 42 in / 106.7 cm
Road Clearance2.5 in / 6.35 cm minimum4 1/8 in / 10.478 cm minimum

10)

Drivetrain

  • Constant Mesh - Foot shift
  • Speeds - 4 Forward
  • Number of Sprocket Teeth
    • Engine: 34
    • Clutch: 59
    • Transmission: 21 (XLCH 20)
    • Rear Wheel: 51
  • Gear Ratios (XL,XLH)
    • 1st: 10.63 to 1
    • 2nd: 7.69 to 1
    • 3rd: 5.82 to 1
    • 4th: 4.21 to 1
  • Gear Ratios (XLCH)
    • 1st: 11.16:1
    • 2nd: 8.08:1
    • 3rd: 6.11:1
    • 4th: 4.42:1

Tires

  • Front and rear: 3.50 x 18
  • Tire pressure
    • Front: 14 psi / .96 bar
    • Rear: 18 psi / 1.24 bar

Models

XL 883

  • $1,175 when new with only 42 ever produced. 11)

XLH 883

  • $1,200 when new with 947 produced 12)

XLCH 883

  • $1,285 when new with 1059 produced 13)
  • New Features 14)
    • New dual exhaust with twin mufflers.
    • Nacelle 5 ¾ in headlamp with eyebrow on
    • Trip-o-meter

XLR

XLRTT

1)
HD Parts Catalog XLH/XLCH-1000 #(99451-78)
2) , 3) , 4) , 5) , 6) , 7) , 8) , 9) , 10)
Harley-Davidson 1957 - 1969 Service Manual
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