Sportster History (with VINs & Specifications)

1957 Orig Ironhead - 1967 Elec Start - 1986 Evo Engine - 2004 Rubbermount - 2007 EFI - 2014 CANbus


Look Up Sportsters by Specific Year (Specs, VINs & Pics)

  • These listings are under construction and incomplete at this time so please excuse our progress. You can help us populate these pages by contacting the Sportsterpedia Admin Team at any time by clicking on the 'contact' button on the lower portion of the Main Page or logging on to The and posting in the Sportsterpedia section of the forum. We would like to hang a picture of your 'factory original' ride in the catalog pages. You must own the pictures in order for us to use them. Please provide year, model and any small modifications that deviate from factory conditions.

Sportster Model Years in Production

Additional information needed to complete the Ironhead chart 1)



History of Sportster Changes - Year, Model, Feature/Specs

Below is a summary of the progression of early to present day Sportsters. Included here are general year model changes from models to engines, tires etc. For detailed information on a specific year model go to: Year-by-Year Listing of Sportsters.
  • 'THE HISTORY OF THE SPORTSTER' contributions by: docjimbob, Tim Schumacher, Tom Riccio, & Kev Maher and Bruce's Harley Page (check for History on all HD models). 2)
  • Other sources are referenced accordingly with footnotes.
  • Click on the wording lit up in blue for further information on the relevant subjects.

1957 - 1959


  • MoCo notes:
    • Willie G Davidson designed a new HD tank logo before actually joining the company.
    • Royal Canadian Mounted Police receive a new model FLH.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
  • Production Information:
    • XL (1,983), $1,103
  • The Sportster XL was introduced as “a modern, up-to-date power plant” and weighing in at 204 lbs and making 42 Horsepower at 5,500 RPMs. 3)
    • Wheel base 56-1/2“
    • Overall length 87”
    • Overall width 34“
    • Overall height 40-1/2”
    • Saddle height 26-7/8“ to 29”
    • Road Clearance 2-1/2“ to 4-5/8” 4)
    • 55cid 7.5:1 Compression, hemi-spherical style heads, 90 degree valve angle, OHV V-twin, 4 cams 5)
    • 48 ft-lbs of torque at 3600 RPMs.
    • 1-11/16“ Dia. intake valves 6)
    • 3”x3.8“ bore and stroke
    • Piston Displacement (883cc) 53.9 cu. in.
    • Kickstart only
    • 18” wheels standard
    • Speedometer designed into the sheet metal of the fork shroud.
    • Telescoping front forks
    • Fuel tank capacity 4.4 gallons with fuel valve (petcock).
    • Oil tank (3 quarts) located under the seat on the right side using a recirculating oiling system
    • 6 volt dry charged battery
    • Two brush 6V generator (29982-52) w / voltage regulator (74510-47A) powering a six volt system 7)
    • Coil-over shocks
    • 'Jubilee' trumpet horn mounted on the right side of the engine, power pack on the left side
    • Paint color, 'HD 100' enamel
    • Standard solo seat
    • Options included
      • Windshield
      • Saddlebags
      • Dual seat
    • Front drum brakes (operated by a lever on the left handlebar)
    • Rear drum brakes (operated by a foot pedal on the left side)
    • Rear swingarm with Timken bearings at pivots.
    • Short-barrel Linkert Carburetor
    • Engine ID numbers on a pad located on the left side between the cylinders
    • Straight retained bearings on gear shaft
    • Roller valve lifters were called (High Speed Racing Tappets)
    • Spark plugs were air cooled and could be dis-assembled
    • Cams ramped on both closing and opening side
    • Stellite-faced (free rotating 8) ) exhaust valves
    • Spark plugs were air cooled and could be dis-assembled
    • Aluminum alloy pushrods extend up through the covers to reach the rocker
    • Cam-ground aluminum pistons w/ chrome plated top ring, non plated center ring and u-flex lower oil ring
    • Aluminum rocker boxes enclose valves and rockers
    • Cast iron barrels and heads
    • Single-unit construction of engine and transmission
    • Four speed transmission with a foot shifter on the right side
    • Seven plate clutch (operated by a lever on the left handlebar)
    • Primary chain and transmission are lubed by an oil bath separate from engine oil.
    • Double tapered Timken roller bearings on sprocket shaft
    • Only Year:
      • Woodruff keys for camshaft gears
      • 6 splines on drive gear/ second gear shaft
      • Choke control operated by a left side lever
      • The early 57s didn't use rocker bushings. 9)
      • Tappet rollers had no needles 10)
      • Spark plugs were air cooled and could be dis-assembled
      • Hard faced skidshoe. 11)
      • Spark plugs were air cooled and could be dis-assembled
      • Tank emblem: Round plastic disc with 2 silver and red quadrants with Red Harley-Davidson name over it, press riveted to the tank.
  • Paint Colors: 12)
    • Skyline Blue with Birch White tank panels.
    • Pepper Red with Black tank panels.
    • Birch White with Black tank panels.
    • Black with Pepper Red tank panels.
    • Options (no charge):
      • Fenders to match tank panel when panel is a standard color.
      • Birch White - (indicate either solid or with black panels).
      • Any standard color without tank panels.
    • Options (extra charge):
      • Metallic Midnight Blue with Birch White tank panels.
      • Spring Special: Nugget Gold.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Gross sales for the year total $16,390,000
    • Last year of the XL as a standard sportster line.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
  • Racing notes:
    • Jack Hellar (private rider) sets Salt Flats record of 134.881 mph on a Sportster.
  • Production Information:13)
    • XL (579), $1,155
    • XLH (711)
    • XLC was a first and only year production Sportster.
    • XLCH (239)
    • XLRTT (26)
  • All model (except XLRTT) changes include:
    • Transmission changes:
      • New countershaft 14)
      • New countershaft drive and 2nd gears including a new spacer between them, new C-2nd gear thrust washer . 15)
      • New sprocket cover includes a filler cap washer. 16)
  • XL changes include:
    • New oil tank cap gasket
    • Camshaft gears became integrated with the camshafts, eliminating the need for a woodruff key.
    • Choke control lever moved from left side to the air cleaner.
    • Heavier clutch cover and new gasket.
    • New oil resistant clutch hub seal and gearshaft o-ring.
    • Non-valanced front fender
    • Tank emblem redesign to a round plastic disc with two gold and two black quadrants with a red 'Harley Davidson' over it.
    • Optional 1“ extended shock absorbers (same springs with XLCH shocks) 17)
  • New model XLH: was introduced with all the features of the XL and higher compression with the same weight of 204 lbs but running 55 horsepower at 6,300 RPMs. 18)
    • Wheel base 56-1/2”
    • Overall length 87“
    • Overall width 34”
    • Overall height 40-1/2“
    • Saddle height 26-7/8” to 29“
    • Road Clearance 2-1/2” to 4-5/8“ 19)
    • 3”x3.8125“ bore and stroke
    • 53.9 c.i. (883 cc) piston displacement
    • Optional turn signals and 1 in over suspension.
    • Compression ratio 9.0:1
    • Optional 1” extended shock absorbers (same springs with XLCH shocks) 20)
    • New 2-brush 6V generator (29975-58A) 21)
  • New model XLC: is an off-road version of the XL featuring:
    • 55ci 883cc medium compression engine
    • Four-speed transmission
    • Peanut gas tank (2.25 gallons) with strainer (only) and a 45° fuel outlet - no valve.
    • Tank emblem is a large 'V' with a checkered flag in and between the name Harley Davidson in the area behind.
    • Choke control lever on the air cleaner
    • Magneto ignition
    • Stamped steel primary cover
    • lightened tappets
    • No speedometer
    • Wide ratio gearing
    • Short dualies with no mufflers
    • No lighting and bobbed fenders
    • The XLC was discontinued after the 1958 model year.
    • Same shocks as XLCH 22)
  • New model XLCH: CH was also an off-road version of the XL with a lower weight of 188 lbs running 55 horsepower at 6,300 RPMs.23) featuring:
    • Wheel base 57“
    • Overall length 83-1/4”
    • Overall width 29 1/2“
    • Overall height 42”
    • Saddle height 30 1/2“
    • Road Clearance 4-1/8” to 6-1/2“
    • 55ci 883cc high compression engine
    • Compression ratio 9.0:124)
    • Four-speed transmission
    • High domed pistons
    • Light ended tappets
    • Magneto ignition 25)
    • Larger ports and valves
    • Peanut gas tank (2.25 gallons) with strainer (only) and a 45° fuel outlet - no valve
    • Stamped metal primary cover
    • Small section semi-knobby off-road tires
    • Short dual pipes without mufflers
    • Roller lifters
    • Choke control lever mounted to the air cleaner
    • Allow rims
    • Shocks are 1” taller than XL, XLH 26)
    • Sprung solo seat
    • Kick start
    • No lighting and bobbed fenders
    • Tank emblem is a large 'V' with a checkered flag in and between the name Harley Davidson in the area behind.
    • Only year:
      • No speedometer
      • No headlight
      • No battery
      • Staggered dual exhaust without mufflers
  • New model XLRTT: (Tourist Trophy Racer) was a specialty model with the 55ci 883 OHV V-twin engine
  • Paint Colors:
    • Skyline Blue - tank top Blue, sides Birch White.
    • Calypso Red - tank top Red, sides Birch White.
    • Sabre Gray Metallic - tank top Gray, sides Birch White.
    • Black - tank top Black, sides Birch White.
    • Options (no charge):
      • Any standard solid color.


  • MoCo notes:
    • John Davidson joins the company.
    • Honda comes to America to “meet the nicest people” and become a stiff competitor.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • HD implements a service manual program consisting of a master service manual (dealer only item) covering the complete model line and manuals for individual models that anyone could buy. The Sportster FSM (99484-59) had a dealer purchase price from the MoCo of $4.00 with a list price of $5.00 27)
  • Production Information:
    • XL (42), $1,175
    • XLH (947), $1,200
    • XLCH (1059), $1,285
    • XLR (5)
    • XLRTT (13)
  • XL and XLH changes include:
    • 4.1 gallon fuel tank
    • New dual exhaust with twin mufflers
    • Sheet metal nacelle headlamp with new Trip-O-Meter speedometer mounted in the nacelle
    • Nylon chain tensioner
    • Valanced front fender
    • Single switch ignition mounted on the back of the left fork.
    • End relieved connecting rod bearings.
    • Arrow-Flite tank emblem designed with an oval red ball behind a chromed arrow with 'Harley Davidson' name in red on arrow shaft.
  • XLH changes include:
    • High lift intake cams and re-contoured exhaust cams.
    • Optional redesigned buddy seat and dual exhaust with stacked mufflers.
  • XLCH changes include:
    • First year XLCH was designed to be street legal.
      • 5-3/4“ diameter headlamp mounted under an eyebrow mount.
      • New electrical system including a generator, headlight and stop/ tail light.
      • Horn moved to the left side of the engine.
      • Trip meter speedometer mounted behind the handlebars.
      • High lift intake cams and re-contoured exhaust cams.
      • High mounted 2 into 1 exhaust system with un-muffled dual exhaust optional.
      • Laconia chrome rubber mounted handlebars are standard.
      • Handlebar clamp cover, standard.
      • Steering damper adjusted from bottom side of fork bracket.
      • Nylon chain tensioner.
      • End relieved connecting rod bearings.
      • 2.25 US Gallon gas tank
      • The '58 XLH 6V generator was installed on the XLCH but with a different voltage regulator (74510-47A) to power the six volt system 28)
  • Magneto Ignition System mounted in a fixed position producing advanced spark timing only—— 29)
  • Paint Colors: 30)
    • Skyline Blue - tank top Blue, sides Birch White.
    • Calypso Red - tank top Red, sides Birch White.
    • Black - tank top Black, sides Birch White.
    • Options (no charge):
      • Any standard solid color.
    • Options (extra charge)
      • Hi-Fi Turquoise - Tank top Turquoise, sides Birch White.
      • Hi-Fi Red - Tank top Hi-Fi Red, sides Birch White.
      • Spring Special: Hi-Fi Coral and White.

1960 - 1969


  • MoCo notes:
    • Harley Davidson purchases half of the bike division of the Italian Aermacchi Company
    • HD International (HDI) is established to provide better control in the overseas market of their motorcycles and accessories
    • Overseas expansion of the company becomes focal point
  • Racing notes:
    • Last year Daytona motorcycle races are held on beach sand.
  • Fuel notes:
    • Tetramethyl lead introduced as an additive to automotive fuel which changed the face of Tetraethyl lead in place since 1923.31)
  • Production Information:
    • Total of 2,765 XLH and XLCH Sportsters sold
    • XLH $1,225
    • XLCH $1,310
    • XLRTT
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New re-calibrated shock absorbers, similar to Big Twin 74s.
  • XLCH changes include:
    • Standard 19” front wheel, rear is still 18“.
  • Paint Colors: 32)
    • Skyline Blue with Birch White side panels on the tank.
    • Black with Birch White on the side panels of the tank.
    • Options (no charge):
      • Any standard solid color.
    • Options (extra charge):
      • Hi-Fi Turquoise - tank top Turquoise, sides Birch White.
      • Hi-Fi Red - tank top Hi-Fi Red, sides Birch White.
      • Spring Special: Hi-Fi Coral and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • John Davidson joins the Dealer Relations Department
    • William H Davidson is named Chairman of Aermacchi.
    • Sprint models are on assembly line at the Varese, Italy factory. Introduction of the Sprint model. 33)
  • Production Information:
    • Total Sportsters sold 2,014.
    • XLH $1,250
    • XLCH $1,335
    • XLRTT
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Standard dual (double duty) seat and a new tank decal, long oval containing a long pointed star divided into four quadrants with the name 'Harley Davidson' across the top.
  • XLH changes include:
    • 3.75 gallon fuel tank with a creased edge
  • Paint Colors: 34)
  • XLH (No tank panels).
    • Pepper Red.
    • Black.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue.
      • Hi-Fi Red.
      • Hi-Fi Green.
  • XLCH:
    • Pepper Red and White.
    • Black and White.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue and White.
      • Hi-Fi Red and White.
      • Hi-Fi Green and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD acquires 60% stock in Tomahawk Boat Company and establishes their Tomahawk Division in Tomahawk, Wisconsin. H-D recognizes the rising relevance of fiberglass in motorcycle production, and begins manufacturing its own components. As a result, the Tomahawk Division is established.35) That 35,300sq-ft bldg. is now responsible for all golf cart bodies, windshields, saddlebags and misc motorcycle components manufactured.
    • Service notes / Recommendations:
      • Factory Service Manuals for all Harley models issued for the year 1962 (covering years 1959-1962) had a dealer price of $4.00 with a list price of $5.00. The Sportster part number is 99484-62. The 1962 Master Service Manual covering all Harley models (not sold to customers) had a dealer price of $21.00. 36)
  • Production Information:
    • Total Sportsters sold (1,998)
    • XLH $1,250
    • XLCH $1,335
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New aluminum upper triple tree and oval shaped tank badges.
    • Sprocket teeth for all models: Clutch - 59, Rear Wheel - 51, Engine - 34. 37)
      • XLH transmission sprocket - 21 teeth, High gear ratio - 4.21 38)
      • XLCH transmission sprocket - 20 teeth, high gear ratio - 4.42 39)
  • XLCH changes include:
    • New (Smith) tachometer on late 1962 models. 40)
    • All 1962 and future XLCH models, beginning with the engine numbers 62 XLCH-2549, starting Sept. 15, 1961 are provided with an oil level dipstick attached to the oil tank cap (part no. 62625-62). It was recommended to install these in previous year Sportsters. 41)
  • Paint Colors: 42)
    • Black and White.
    • Tango Red and White.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue and White.
      • Hi-Fi Red and White.
      • Hi-Fi Purple and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • The Tomahawk Division is established and is operational as a Harley-Davidson facility by 1963. 43)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (432), $1,270
    • XLCH (1,001), $1,355
    • XLRTT is back
  • XLH & XLCH changes include:
    • At the start of the 1963 model year, both XLH and XLCH transmissions were assembled with a slightly higher 3rd gear ratio. Not long after production, it was found advisable to reinstate the 1962 3rd gear ratio gear sets starting with engine # 63XLCH1305 and lower numbers (1199, 1216, 1221, 1240, 1261, 1268, 1274, 1289, 1297 and 1298). The new higher gear ratios are not listed in the 1963 Parts Catalog. 44)
      • 1.323:1 3rd gear ratios (were 1.381)
        • XLH final ratio 5.56:1
        • XLCH final ratio 5.85:1
    • A new style starter pedal and the tank emblem is a stylized version of the Bar and Shield with the bar stretched out to the rear
  • XLCH changes include:
    • A rubber mounted sealed beam headlight with a dimmer switch mounted to the handlebar
    • Improved magneto/coil with ignition key lock on the magneto
    • “shorty duals”
  • Paint Colors: 45)
    • Black and White.
    • Tango Red and White.
    • Horizon Metallic Blue and White.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Turquoise and White.
      • Hi-Fi Red and White.
      • Hi-Fi Purple and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • The three-wheeled Servi-Car becomes the very first Harley-Davidson motorcycle to receive an electric starter (Delco Remy).
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (810), $1,295
    • XLCH (1950), $1,360
    • XLRTT (30)
  • XLH and XLHC changes include:
    • New full width die-cast aluminum brake drum in the front and aluminum tappet guides.
    • Last model year of the 6 volt generator (29975-58A) for XLH & XLCH 46).
    • Only year with wide White tank panels for both models
  • XLH changes include:
    • New graphic for the oil tank.
  • XLCH changes include:
    • Chrome panel for the lower fork bracket and a chrome plated primary chain guard.
  • Paint Colors: 47)
    • Black and White.
    • Fiesta Red and White.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue and White.
      • Hi-Fi Red and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Gross sales for the year total $30,560,000
    • Service notes / Recommendations:
      • HD implements a uniform warranty service procedure to all dealerships whether servicing motorcycles of regular customers or tourist / transient owners who are covered under warranty. Warranty claims were now welcomed at any HD dealership regardless of the purchase place with proof of warranty. 48)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (955)
    • XLCH (2,815)
    • XLRTT (25)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New 12 volt electrical system, with a new 12 volt generator (29975-65) with both models sharing the same voltage regulator (74511-65) 49)
      • The '58 & up generator brushes (2)-(30426-58) were used on the six volt generators as a replacement to part number (30451-58) which was made of a different material and could only handle the lower capacity of the six volt system. The change to the 12 volt system prompted a Service Bulletin advising not to use the earlier style brushes (30451-58) brushes on the new 12 volt systems which could result in short brush life and damage to the armature commutator. 50)
    • Starting on April 30, 1965, with engine number 65XLH7359, the spark plug has been changed from a #5 to a #4 on Sportsters. The #4 is a hotter plug that gave better results for break-in and normal service. It also eliminated wet fouling tendencies under low loads which are common during engine break-in. The #5 was still recommended after break-in if driven hard at highway speeds (of the era).51)
    • High fidelity horn mounted on the left side of the engine (XLH lost the “Jubilee” horn)
    • Racing-type ball end levers with the smaller 13/32” dia. pivot pin.
      • A quantity of early 1965 motorcycles came with the previous year model clutch & brake levers with the 15/32“ pivot pin. Late production motorcycles were equipped with the new style levers with the exception of the Sportster which only switched to the new throttle side lever. The MoCo directed that all motorcycles brought to the dealers requiring lever replacement be fitted with the new style levers via a hand-lever bracket kit including a 15/32” to 13/32“ bushing for use with the smaller pivot pin. 52)
  • XLH changes include:
    • (2) - 6V wet charged battery upgrade (to make 12 volts). Batteries were thinner with a pad between them. 53) 54)
    • 3.7 gal fuel tank
    • Magneto Ignition System now mounted on a movable plate allowing for advanced or retarded spark timing 55)
    • Adjusting cam for setting shock pre-load. This adjusting cam on the XLH and Electra Glide covered style shocks later had to be factory changed to a smaller diameter to eliminate the step at the bottom end to prevent contact with the cam and the cover when the shock telescopes to the compressed position. 56)
  • Paint Colors: 57)
    • Black and White.
    • Holiday Red and White.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue and White.
      • Hi-Fi Red and White.


  • MoCo notes:
    • The first of the “Shovelhead” engines is introduced on the Electra-Glide models, replacing the Panhead. 58)
    • Service notes / Recommendations:
      • The generator brush holders on 1966 Electra Glide and Sportster models were reversed so, when it's mounted, the (+) brush will be on the top to protect it from accumulated moisture and possible grounding. Incidentally, a small number of generators on '66 model motorcycles were sent out with the terminals (“F” and “A”) stamped in reverse order. The mistake should have been re-stamped and corrected by the dealership before delivery to the customer. 59)
      • The MoCo directed the dealerships to check the torque of cylinder base nuts on Electra Glide, Servi-Car and Sportster models before customer delivery due to the discovery at the factory of torque loss and metal stretch due to initial run-in. 60)
      • A technical bulletin went out to dealerships regarding the need to check the shifter cam assemblies on high mileage Sportsters for possible damage to the support dowel pins before dis-assembling the tranny to diagnose shifting problems. 61)
        In the same time frame, the MoCo started using a 40 micron air filter on Electra Glides instead of the previous 10 micron filter. 62)
      • Last year of the complete master service manuals which included all model motorcycles combined (1959-1966), (dealer only editions). They were to be discontinued by the MoCo as a standard practice due to more HD models being added to the line-up which made the manual too large. New year supplements were to be added to the earlier manuals to update them to cover current models. 63)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (900) $1,415
    • XLCH (3,900) $1,411
    • XLRTT (25)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • “P” Cams
    • Advertised increase of 15% more power
    • New two-piece, oil control, piston ring installed on Sportster and Electra Glides featuring a ventilated cast iron double edged scraper ring with a separate expander spring behind it. This replaced the old rail type oil control rings. However, the part number (22355-57A) stayed the same for new style oil control ring as was for the old one. 64)
    • Dual venturi "Tillotson" diaphragm carb with an automatic economizer, positive-action acceleration pump and a large capacity air cleaner. 65)
      • Starting with engine number 66XLCH 10611 produced after August 10, 1966, an update to the Tillotson was implemented featuring a new inlet valve lever, needle and seat to correct problems such as a high speed lean condition caused by vibration and the needle sticking due to dirt in the carburetor. 66)
    • “Ham-can” air cleaner introduced due to EPA regs
    • Patented insulator that isolated the carb from the engine heat
    • Option packages offered for Sportsters.
    • The right crankcase had a fillet added at the base of the countershaft low gear boss starting with engine no. 66XLCH6117 on Jan. 13, 1966. 67)
    • The transmission countershaft low gear received a counter-bore machined at the right case fillet area to provide clearance and prevent the gear from jamming at that point. 68)
    • Rear (Diamond and Rex) drive chains now come with a press fit side connecting link for improved chain durability. The slip fit connector used previously was suggested for emergency use only. (Duckworth) chains retained the slip fit connector. 69) 70)
  • XLH changes include:
  • XLCH changes include:
    • Hexagonal tank badge
  • Race developed intake ports, jumbo valves → 60 hp
  • All early Sportsters up until 1966 were kickstart only. 71)
  • Paint Colors: 72)
    • Black with White Tank Panels.
    • Indigo Metallic with White tank panels.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue with White tank panels.
      • Sparkling Burgundy with White tank panels.


  • MoCo notes:
    • John Harley becomes active in the Parts and Accessories Division
    • March 6th, Gordan Davidson passes away.
    • New York based 'Bangor Punta' attempts buyout of HD stock.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • The Prestolite electric starter replaced the Delco-Remy on the Electra Glide and Servi-Car models for this year upon depletion of the Delco-Remy stock. 73)
      • All 1967 HD models now come standard with a new fabric reinforced 1/2” O.D. rubber gas and vent line hose to replace the previous 7/16“ O.D. solid rubber type hose. This new hose was sold in 25' lengths only and suggested to be resistant to ozone cracks. It was recommended to replace the old type hoses (in questionable service when brought in) with the new type hose material. This new rubber hose material was originally used only on mid 66-67 Electra Glides equipped with Tillotson Carbs.74) 75)
      • As of October 16, 1967, a new oil recommendation was issued for all HD 4-cyle models to reflect the trend towards lighter oils made possible through the development of better lubricating properties. The lighter oils greatly improved the ease of kick starting a motorcycle. 76)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (001) was issued adding a spark plug cable guide to all 1967 XLCH models on the carb manifold lower mounting stud to keep the plug wires from coming in conflict with the throttle lever cable.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (2,000) $1,650
    • XLCH (2,500) $1,600
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New revised shocks.
    • From September 20, 1966 through the 1969 model season, a Rim, Tire and Tube Flap was installed on the rear wheel only which replaces the standard rim strip. 77)
  • XLH changes include:
    • Electric starter.
    • The engine case was redesigned to allow for the new starter.
    • New single 12V battery replaced the dual 6V ones. 78)
    • The frame on the XLH was doglegged (kicked-back) just above the swing arm pivot to accommodate the new battery box and electric start. The XLH swing arm was lengthened accordingly. The long frame has the seat post tubes set 1.5 inches towards the rear, so the upper shock mounts, fender rail mounts got moved rearward.
  • XLCH changes include:
  • Additional Information:
    • From 1967 to 1969, the factory was making two cases for the Sportster, one for the kick-start XLCH and the other for the electric start XLH. 79)
  • Paint Colors: 80)
    • Black with White tank panels.
    • Crystal Blue with White tank panels.
    • Options:
      • Hi-Fi Blue with White tank panels.
      • Sparkling Burgundy with White tank panels.


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD faces a financial crisis. With negotiations and meetings with American Machine and Foundry, HD voted on Dec. 18th to merge with AMF.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • The MoCo issued a service checklist to aid in testing and repairing (instead of returning for warranty) Tillotson carburetors due to some dealers having difficulty diagnosing problems on 1966 → Sportsters & 1967 → Electra Glides. 81)
      • Beginning on May 1, 1968, all oil is being drained from oil tanks prior to shipment to dealers to prevent wet sumping. If the dealer had the bike an extended period of time, they were instructed to drain the oil again and tag it as empty. 82).
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (1,975) $1,650
    • XLCH (4,900) $1,600
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New M-125 Rapido hydraulic style forks 83)(damping and 1” extra travel) and the fork boots were canned.
    • All late 1968 Electra Glide and Sportster models received an upgrade on the "Tillotson" carbs incorporating a ball check valve in the accelerator pump passage of the plastic cover.This was to provide a positive seal against air bleeding back from the venturi into the fuel chamber. 84)
    • All Electra Glide and Sportster models now are equipped with a new clutch and brake control cable anchor pin. The notch for inserting the cable is now in the side of the new anchor pin instead of at the bottom. The cable ferrule slides into the open slot in the anchor pin with the slot facing toward the inside of the lever. 85)
  • XLH changes include:
    • Kick start was dropped.
    • Peanut tank was an option.
  • Paint Colors: 86)
  • Black with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
    • On black bikes, the tank panel was most likely plain black, not wrinkle.
  • Jet Fire Orange with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
  • Options:
    • Sparkling Burgundy with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
    • Sparkling Blue with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.


  • MoCo notes:
    • There was quite a bit of uproar over the AMF acquisition of the Harley Davidson Company by enthusiasts.
    • HD was family owned until the buyout from AMF. 87)
    • January 7th, AMF shareholders approve purchase of a major portion of HD Motor Company for $21 million dollars.
    • Rodney C Gott becomes chairman of AMF/ HD
    • October, HD petitions the AMA Competition Committee to sanction a new Class C Race, allowing OHV engines.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • All motorcycles shipped after Jan 1, 1969 are equipped with a front brake lever stoplight switch on the front brake control lever to conform with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety standards 88).
      • The MoCo began a new practice of setting ignition timing on Electra Glide, Servicar and Sportster models with the circuit breaker cam fully advanced instead of in the retarded position done in the past. Correct timing position was changed to 45° BTDC on Sportsters. 89)
      • Starting on January 3, 1969, the MoCo changed the size of the wire of the two ignition timer weight springs on Electra Glide and Sportster models to increase the speed at which timing advance occurred. This was to insure that the spark timing would be fully retarded at cranking speed and will advance gradually as RPMs increase to the fully advanced position. 90)
      • The MoCo noticed a flywheel sprocket shaft (Timken) bearing endplay issue on Electra Glides upon replacing the original bearings. Usually, a set of bearings coming from the manufacturer will supply the correct endplay when installed. However, to bring the endplay within specs it was possible, after careful measurements, to still require a 0.003“ shim. This didn't affect Sportsters as much since the endplay specs are a bit wider ranged (Electra Glide - 0.0005”-0.006“), (Sportster - 0.001” - 0.010“) but it was still advised to be mindful of the endplay on Sportsters as well. 91) An endplay issue on the Sprint was also addressed the following September.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (2,700) $1,765
    • XLCH (5,100) $1,698
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New standard exhaust with stacked mufflers and separate headers and the first use of the exhaust crossover pipe with stacked duals
    • Redesigned plastic lens on the tail light
    • All HD models now have a brake light switch on the front brake lever.
    • Starting on models on June 9th, 1969, a 1/16” vent hole was added to the Sportster and Electra Glide models oil filter cup in the side 1/4“ down from the cup opening to relieve any possible pressure build-up in the tank (which forces oil from the tank when the cap is removed) and to prevent possible siphoning of oil from the tank into the engine after the engine is shut off (wet sumping). It was also suggested to retro-fit earlier motors with this modification. 92)
  • XLCH changes include:
    • Late XLCH received a new 19 tooth transmission sprocket (35197-52) starting 11-04-1968 with engine serial number (69XLCH 5921) 93)
    • 1969 was the last of the original XLCH engine cases (one for kickstart, another for electric start) 94)
  • Option packages offered for Sportsters
  • XLH got the Deluxe Equipment and the Highway Cruiser Group.
  • XLCH got the Deluxe Equipment Group.
  • Paint Colors: 95)
    • XLH
      • Black with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
      • Jet Fire Orange with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
      • Birch White with Black Wrinkle tank panels.
      • Options:
        • Sparkling Burgundy with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
        • Sparkling Blue with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
        • Sparkling Gold with Black Wrinkle tank panels and White Strip.
    • XLCH
      • Black with White Strip on tank.
      • Jet Fire Orange with White Strip on tank.
      • Birch White.
      • Options:
        • Sparkling Burgundy with White Strip on tank.
        • Sparkling Blue with White Strip on tank.
        • Sparkling Gold with White Strip on tank.
  • Additional Information:
  • Last year of the magneto ignition system on the XLCH
  • Increased hp by 5 to 58 hp ?
  • New head castings.

1970 - 1979


  • MoCo notes:
    • Start of production of snowmobiles with limited availability.
    • HD (#1) logo is designed to celebrate Mert Lawwill's win as the AMA Grand National champion.
    • US Environmental Protection Agency is created.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • A new numbering system for both engines and frames is implemented for all Harley Davidson vehicles.
        The new Vehicle Identification Number or VIN system, was stamped into the engine and the frame plus an ID label on the right downtube.
        It consists of a model code, 5 digit serial number, a manufacturer's identification and the model year. 96)
      • A number of 1970 year model Tillotson Carburetors were received and installed by HD that had a defective idle mixture needle (27688-66).
        They had a blunt end instead of the tapered end.
        Symptoms include an erratic or unstable idle mixture setting requiring frequent adjustments with the needle requiring adjustment over 1-1/8 turns open.
        Defective needles were replaced when discovered. 97)
      • A loose handle on the gas tank valve will not allow enough fuel flow to the engine, possibly resulting in engine slowdown especially at high speeds.
        There should be no more than .010” clearance between the lock ring and the handle when the valve is closed.
        .006“ shims (6160 P) were available to decrease the clearance and tighten up the handle.
        Add enough shims to provide only a slight clearance when the valve is closed to obtain maximum diaphragm opening when the valve is open. 98)
      • Wheel balancing is recommended by the MoCo.
        Because automotive wheel weights would not fit the Sportster aluminum rims and later type steel rims;
        HD released spoke balancing weights (which surround and press onto the spoke nipple) and are approved as a wheel balancing alternative. 99)
  • Racing notes:
  • On the Bonneville salt flats near Wendover, Utah, racer Cal Rayborn breaks the world record for land speed set by a motorcycle. The vehicle is a sixteen foot streamliner powered by a single Sportster engine, and averages just over 265 mph. 100)
  • Fuel notes:
  • US auto makers develop catalytic converters and as it was found that the leaded gas was poisoning the converters, fuel manufacturers were ordered to begin building engines to run on unleaded gasoline by 1975.101)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (3,033)
    • XLCH (5,527)
    • XR-750
  • Magneto ignition on the XLCH replaced by the XLH points and coil ignition
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Optional boat tail (fiberglass seat/ fender combo) also in 71.
    • A rocker arm gasket was added between the rocker box and the head to prevent possible oil leakage caused by slight differences between the two surfaces.
      There was no gasket installed here in prior years. (the joint between the head and rocker box was previously sealed with aluminum paint) 102)
      This following the use of this gasket on Electra Glides from May 8, 1969. This gasket could be retro-fitted back to 1958 Sportsters. 103)104)
    • HD began installing tapered bead (C - Section) wheels and 'Special' Goodyear tires as a matched combination. This new wheel tire combo was only implemented in the Sportster lineup on 'high ground clearance' models with the 'low ground clearance' models using a straight bead set. The affected wheels are identified with the tire off as having a 2.50C in the stamped part number on the inside under the tube. 105)
    • The 1970 type Sportster rear brake light switch was now being supplied with mounting hardware as a kit, with wiring, (72004-67) for replacement of earlier switches used back to 1967.
  • XLH changes:
    • Headlamp eyebrow of the XLCH
  • XLCH changes:
    • First battery is installed on an XLCH (12V) 106)
  • First year for XR-750 as a specialty model with a 45ci OHV racing V-twin. In consideration of new AMA rules for Class C racing, a new Sportster®-based motorcycle, the XR-750 racer is introduced. 107)The XR750, which in basic design was a destroked iron cylinder Sportster engine. The engine was housed in a proven KR-style swingarm chassis with Ceriani forks.The striking orange and black bodywork was the design of the Wixom Brothers. The engine made competitive horsepower, but the heat it produced led to self-destructive tendencies. Though the bike scored a respectable number of victories from 1970-’71, it also broke a lot. While stop-gap measures such as oil coolers and reduced compression helped, the factory knew what the trouble was and was concurrently building the improved “alloy” engine model. When it debuted in 1972, there were still teething problems to solve, but the basic package was a winner. The MoCo produced small batches of the complete machine in 1972, 1975, 1978 and 1980. Since then, only the engine has been available, with the customer choosing an aftermarket frame from manufacturers such as Knight and C&J
    • Total Production – Approximately 530 between 1972 and 1980, Aluminum Barrels, OHV, Bore and Stroke – 3.125 X 2.98 Inches, Displacement – 45 Cubic Inches, 750cc, Brake Horsepower – 90, transmission – 4 Speeds, Wheelbase – 56.75 Inches, Weight – 295 Pounds, Wheels – 19 Inches, tires – 4.00 x 19, Brakes – Rear Disk .108)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White or Hi-Fi Sparkling Blue.


  • MoCo notes:
    • First year of the AMF/ HD logo
    • William J Harley, engineering vice president passes away
    • John Davidson named executive vice president
    • William H Davidson named chairman
    • Engines and transmissions now built at the Capitol Drive Plant
    • Full swing production of snowmobiles
    • Begin of partnership with Evel Knievel
    • First year of publication of Easy Rider Magazine 109).
    • In response to the customizing craze, Harley-Davidson introduces the FX 1200 Super Glide®, which combined a sporty front end (similar to that of the XL series) with the frame and powertrain of the FL series. A new class of motorcycle, the cruiser, is born. 110)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • A spark plug port repair kit (Heli-Coil) was made available for repairing damaged spark plug threads in the head. 111)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (012) was issued for some 1971 Sportsters produced between February 2 and February 26, 1971 assembled with defective rear wheel hubs with incomplete brazed joints causing the tack welds to break. This allowed the spoke flange to move on the hub and loosen the spokes. 112)
  • Fuel notes:
    • Notices on September 27 and August 2 of 1971: In regard to low leaded or unleaded gas, in HD 2 & 4 cycle engines, the octane rating is lower than regular or premium leaded gasoline, therefore not recommended for use. The new fuels contain additives such as phosphorous which replaces tetra-ethyl-lead and test results reveal that these additives may not provide the same type of performance and engine protection received from leaded gas. Extensive use of low or non leaded gas may cause piston damage in 2 or 4 cycle and accelerated wear and scuffing of the valves in 4 cycle engines. 113) 114)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH (3,950)
    • XLCH (6,825)
    • XR-750
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Wet clutch system with dual (inner & outer) springs.
    • Ignition Circuit Breaker moved to the cam cover behind a plate in the (nosecone).
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White, Hi-Fi Sparkling Blue, Sparkling America & Sparkling Burgundy.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • The MoCo revealed an easier way to make clutch adjustments by removing the access plug from the chain compartment cover instead of the need to remove the cover (as outlined in the FSM) and owners manuals for 1971 and later Sportsters. 115)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (015) was issued on a number of 1972 Sportsters produced from November 1, 1971 to March 29, 1972 without the (3 position) stake operation performed on the rear left side fork bearing lock nut on the swingarm.
      • A safety defect (017) was issued on a number of 1972 Super Glide and Sportster models produced with the front wheel bearing lock ring (11035) installed backwards which can result in the front wheel to be loose or the bearing (9009) to lock up. The retaining ring is flat on one side and beveled on the other. 116)
  • Racing notes:
    • Mark Brelsford wins Grand National Championship on a XR-750 117)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (7,500) $2,120
    • XLCH 1000 (10,650)
    • XR-750 (200) 118)
    • XRTT-750 (10) 119)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New engine bore size (3.18”). The 61 cid (called a 1000cc) XL replaced the 900.
    • Rated for 61 hp, 9:1 CR, 110+mph, 13.38 sec ¼ mile (97.7 mph), and 43 mpg.
    • Wet clutch.
    • The circuit breaker cam, or ignition timer cam, (newly designed for the 1971 model year) was redesigned for the 1972 model year and was recommended as a replacement for parts order on 1971 model Sportster, Electra Glide and Super Glide models. 120)
    • New oil pump.
    • Oil tank placed near chain
    • Seat is thinner w/less padding.
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White or Hi-Fi Sparkling Blue.
  • XR-750: The new, more powerful, more reliable aluminum alloy XR-750 debuts with two versions including a dirt track and a road racer model 121) and becomes the dominant dirt track racer through the next three decades. 122)
    • 45 degree V-twin OHV 4 cycle 750cc (45ci)dry sump engine and 4 speed transmission 123)
    • 10:1 CR, Bore/Stroke 3.125“ x 2.983” maxed at 8,000 RPM.124)
    • Rod length 6.438“ 125)
    • 42 mm / 33 degree intake and 35 mm / 35 degree exhaust valves 126)
    • “E” cams
    • Cam gear assemblies comprised of a shaft and a one piece cam / gear unit
    • Engine weight: app 150 lbs.127)
    • Rocker arm ratio 1.5 128)
    • Primary drive ratio 20/59 129)
    • Ceriani front forks with 4.40” travel130)
    • Dirt Track Version: 131)
      • Overall length 83“, width 33”, height 31“
      • Wheel base 56.75” with a minimum ground clearance of 7“ on 4.00” x 19“ tires front and rear
      • Steering head angle 26”, trail 3.44“
      • Rim profiles are WM-3 front and rear
      • Brakes: front not required and not supplied for the rear
      • Total dry weight of 295 lbs.
      • Fiberglass and Team Colors: Jet Fire Orange and Black
      • 2 gallon gas tank
      • Oil tank holds 2.75 quarts
    • Road Race Version: (one year only in production) 132)
      • Overall length 78”, width 21.5“, height 28”
      • Wheel base 54“ with a minimum ground clearance of 8.25” on 3.25“ x 18” tires on front, 3.5“ x 18” on the rear.
      • Rim profiles are WM-2 on front and WM-3 on the rear
      • Front drum brakes: 4-shoe, 250mm dia.
      • Rear (10“ dia.) disc brakes
      • Steering head angle 27”, trail 3.62“
      • Total dry weight of 324 lbs.
      • Fiberglass color: white
      • Team Colors: Jet Fire Orange and Black
      • 6 gallon gas tank
      • Oil tank holds 4 quarts


  • MoCo notes:
    • William H Davidson, chairman, retires from the company. John O'Brien (AMF production expert) takes his place.
    • John Davidson named president
    • The Juneau Avenue Plant is turned into a huge warehouse/ office complex combo. Motorcycle production is upgraded when all assembly operations are moved to a modern 400,000 square foot plant in York, PA. All other production operations remain in Milwaukee and Tomahawk. The Capitol Drive plant in Milwaukee begins production of engines. 133)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (020) was issued for some early production XL and XLCH models that were made without a retaining clip to hold the wires to the fender near the tail light bulb socket which allowed the wires to loop outward into the tire well.
      • A safety defect (021) was issued on a number of 1973 XL, XLCH and FX motorcycles that were assembled with defective lower fork bracket forgings.
      • A safety defect (023) was issued (due to some instances of frame breakage, poor handling / possible loss of control) on all 1973 XL and XLCH frames.
      • A group of 28 motorcycles (initially produced with the reinforced frame issue resolved) were sent to the U.S. Army that required the fender relocation.
  • Racing notes:
    • Sputhe Engineering Developed the “mini-sump” for the XR-750 (Harley-Davidson has adopted this feature on every model engine that they build). 134)
    • After winning at Daytona in 1969, the road racing program struggled as the motorcycle manufacturer entered a period of financial difficulties and could no longer support a team. Though the company would continue to dominate dirt track, and would make a brief return to Daytona in the Battle of the Twins in 1983, Harley-Davidson effectively said goodbye to road racing in 1973. But it was just a matter of time before it returned. 135)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (9,875)
    • XLCH 1000 (10,825)
  • First AMF production Harley
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Single disc front hydraulic disc brakes 136)
    • Japanese “Kayaba” brand front forks
    • Plastic switch housings for handlebars
    • Starting July 1, 1973, there was a new Kick Starter Gear Assembly installed with new kick starter gear, bushing and spacer. The new 'pressed in' bushing has a Teflon coated lead bearing surface on a steel ball shell. The gear has a groove for the starter gear spring and the spacer length (and diameter) were increased to fit the new gear. 137)
    • Mandatory turn signals.
    • New 35mm Kayaba forks, single disc front brakes.
    • Late 1973 models (produced after May 1, 1973) received a top end make-over with new heads, head gaskets, cylinders and head bolts. Late 1973 engines are identifiable by looking at the head bolts which have 12 point 7/16” bolts. Early 1973 and prior heads were held on by 6 point 9/16“ bolts. These new parts are not interchangeable with older engines due to the different bolt pattern up top. 138)
    • A disc brake caliper (stud type) mounting pin was made available by the MoCo for replacement of the original (riveted type) pin that could work it's way loose. This (pin, nut and washer) was suggested for FL, FLH, FX, CL and XLCH.139)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White or Hi-Fi Sparkling Blue.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Union goes on strike for 101 days over the cost of living wage increase
    • Plant security tightens with stricter security procedures in place following the then -current employee, John Buschman, for major theft.
    • Last year of business partnership with Evel Knievel after failed Snake River Jump on Flash Gordan rocket.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • Through an error with HD suppliers, an unknown quantity of ignition coils were mislabeled as 12V coils but were actually 6V coils which possibly affected some 1973-1974 FL, FLH, FX, FXE, XL, XLCH and GE models. To prevent failed coils and poor ignition troubles, the MoCo suggested the dealers test all of their stock supply and all 1973 and 1974 motorcycles (in for servicing) that were suspect of having ignition problems. 140)
      • Due to a production oversight, lubricant was omitted on the ignition key switch indexing plate which could cause the switch to bind up. The remedy was for the dealer to remove the switch, punch a small hole in the switch body and add silicone lubricant into the hole and possibly add also to the 1/8” tumbler lubrication hole in the mounting thread area. 141)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • DMV notes:
    • From a May 31, 1974 transmission from California Department of Motor Vehicles (Governor, Ronald Reagan), the director of the DMV sent a letter to all California vehicle dealers advising of a problem involving the resale of any vehicle previously owned by military personnel. Official labels / decals that were placed on a vehicle and including gate entry and parking passes, must be removed before resale to guard against unauthorized use of these decals. Military authorities informed the DMV of this issue. 142)
  • * Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (13,295)
    • XLCH 1000 (10,535)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Throttles now given return springs.
    • Beginning with the 1974 year model XL & XLCH, a directional arrow was incorporated into the design of the rear tire which mandated pointing the arrow toward the forward rotation upon installation to assure the best performance of the tread under severe acceleration. 143)
    • Late 1974 clutch changes include a new pressure plate and six spacers over the studs between the pressure plate and the releasing disc to set spring set-up pressure to a controlled amount. A conversion kit was available to convert 71-E73 models to the new 74 style set-up. 144)
    • A 2“ long 20 gauge wire (70105-73) was added on FL,FLH, FX, FXE, XL and XLCH models to act as a fuse-able link. The fuse wire protects wiring between the battery and the lighting, ignition and accessory circuit breakers. In place of this HD part, any 20 gauge braided wire will work also. 145)
    • Beginning with production XL and XLCH models during March and FX and FXE models during April in 1974, a spot-welded reinforcement section was added underneath the fender at the license plate bracket mounting holes. This was done to strengthen that area on the fender where the security system alarm is mounted to protect against cracking of the mounting holes in the fender. Bolt on versions were available for 1973-E1974 models with the security system. 146)
    • Mid 1974 models received a new swingarm bearing kit containing 2 bearings which are 0.100” narrower than the original bearing dims used in Sportsters up to February of 1974. 147)
    • A certain number of 1974 and 1975 XL & XLCH models were produced with modified rocker arms and rocker covers. These were machined to prevent interference between the rocker arm and the inside of the rocker cover due to a thickness variation in the covers. 148)
  • Paint Colors:
  • Birch White, Vivid Black, Sunburst Burgundy or Sunburst Blue
  • Additional Information:
  • Last year of the right side shifter 149)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • During the 1975 season, the MoCo received several reports of XL & XLCH transmissions with a blocked oil transfer hole in the trapdoor (resulting in little to no oil supply to the transmission). 150)
      • Between December 16, 1974 and January 7, 1975, a total of 63 mainshaft low gears were inadvertently installed in XL/XLCH transmissions without prior heat treatment which gave to noisy gear movement due to accelerated tooth wear. 151)
      • Per the MoCo, dealers were to instruct their customers that any alterations to the motorcycle outside of factory specs may void their warranty. The Moco left it up to the individual dealer as to whether an alteration on the motorcycle affected the warranty since some alterations may be unrelated to a defect or failure of OEM parts. Since front forks and exhaust alterations were common, these were strictly prohibited before sale or while under warranty. 152)
      • California Vehicle Code Section 25650.5, which would require all motorcycles (manufactured after January 1, 1975) to be equipped with 1 and not more than 2 headlights which automatically turn on when the engine is started and to remain on while the engine was running, was successful challenged in U.S. District Court by the Motorcycle Industry Council. The Court held that this section was pre-empted by the National Highway Safety Act of 1966.
        • By October of 1975, a Service Bulletin from the MoCo reads that all 1975 V-Twin models now operate with the headlight and tail light on in the (ignition) position as well as the (ignition and lights) position due to the increasing number of states requiring headlight operation during daylight hours. 153) 154)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (029) was issued due to the MoCo experiencing an increase in wheel spoke breakage on front and rear (FL & FLH models) and rear only (FX, FXE, XL & XLCH models), 16“ & 18” only.
  • Fuel notes:
    • New US car models made with catalytic converters which require unleaded gasoline.155)
    • All current HD motorcycles require the use of “Premium Grade” leaded gasoline of 98 octane or higher research grade (this is usually equivalent to 95 Road Octane which is usually posted on service station pumps). Regular leaded may be used as temporary until premium can be located in case certain stations are out at the time. HD still cautions against the use of low or no leaded gas. 156)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (13,515)
    • XLCH 1000 (5,895)
    • XR-750 (100) 157)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • A new shifter linkage to put the foot shift on the left side and a new rear brake linkage to put brake on the right side.
    • New fuel tank petcock (no reserve as before). 158)
  • XR-750 (dirt track) rim profiles changed to WM-2 in front and WM-4.5 in the rear 159)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White, Vivid Black, Sunburst Burgundy, Sunburst Blue or Sunburst/ Vivid Orange
  • Additional Information:
    • New 35mm Showa forks.


  • MoCo notes:
    • John Harley, son of founder William H Harley, passes away.
    • Service Notes/Recommendations:
      • HD issues a new engine crankcase ordering procedure to which the dealer had to hold the customer's crankcases until the new case arrives to them and then the customer crankcase was to be destroyed by the dealer (not shipped back to the factory under any circumstance). The order form had to be notarized by a notary public, police or DMV official before sending it to the factory. Crankcase had to be ordered as a matched set and for replacement only (preventing a stock supply by the dealer). The MoCo no longer provided crankcases for VINs they no longer carry. Full engines were available for parts stocking without having a notarized order form. 160)
      • HD issued a chart listing for the Bendix carburetor main jet size identifications since the jets are not labeled by jet size but only the Bendix part number that is stamped on the hex head section of the jet. 161)
      • A number of XL/XLCH/FLH/FX models were having a problem with the Liberty Edition tank and fairing decals fading. Due to the decals being sprayed with a hard protective clear enamel on the finished product, the MoCo decided to replace the tanks and fairings along with new colorfast decals as a warranty item. 162)
        • Affected VINs: (3A/4A/2C/9D/2A) 17112H6 and below.
  • Factory Recalls:
    • A safety defect (030) was issued on the rear brake shoes for XL & XLCH models produced from January 5 to May 20, 1976. The linings could separate from the brake shoe due to a bonding adhesive issue.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (12,844)
    • XLH 1000 Liberty Edition
    • XLCH 1000 (5,238)
    • XLCH 1000 Liberty Edition
  • XL and XLCH changes include:
    • Rear shock (54535-67, used on 1967-1974 XLH/XLCH) has been replaced by new shock (54547-75) with a conversion kit (54529-76) for adapting the new shocks to the older models (always replace rear shocks in pairs). The conversion kit contains all necessary mounting hardware to replace (1) side. 163)
    • Late 1976 models received a new Keihin non-CV (or butterfly) carburetor.
    • Petcock changes: 164)
      • E76 models received a new part number petcock (still using a vertical outlet) for use with the Bendix carb.
      • L76 models received a new petcock with a horizontal (90°) outlet for use with the new Keihin carb.
  • Additonal Information:
    • Liberty editions of XLH and XLCH were offered in Black Metal Flake paint with Red, White and Blue decorations.
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White, Vivid Black, Sunburst/ Vivid Orange, Vivid Blue, Vivid Red, Vivid Brown or Champagne Silver.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Vaughn Beals named President
    • Rodney C Gott HD Museum opens
    • First year of HDOA, HD Owners Association, organized by Carl T Wicks
    • HD controls 21 percent of the 750 cc and larger motorcycle market
    • Harley-Davidson introduces the FXS Low Rider® to the public in Daytona Beach. With drag style handlebars, unique engine and paint treatments, the Low Rider lives up to its name by placing the rider in a lowered seating position than was typical.165)
    • Willie G. Davidson's dynamic version of the Sportster, the Cafe Racer, is released. 166)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • HD issues a new frame ordering procedure before stamping replacement frame VINs. VINs parts ordered that were not compatable with the frame ordered, were not allowed as a measure to assist in helping to further prevent theft of vehicles. 167)
      • There was a change in the ignition advance lubrication procedure. Since August, on all production engines, the timer weight assemblies and breaker cam posts have been sprayed with “Never-Seez”, a spray can type lubricant when making timer adjustments. Never Seez or Locktite Anit-Sieze was suggested for dealer use along with a high temp grease on the point cam rubbing block. 168)
      • A quantity of special oil pumps (1600s), assembled in early 1977 1000 CC engines, have oversize oil pump body 0-rings which are assembled in the groove in the check valve bore to seal the pump cover. This oversize 0-ring (12042), must be used in place of the standard 0-ring (26432-76) on these pumps only. All such special pumps are identified with the letter “ 0 ” stamped on the pump body. 169)
      • Some roller bearing parts stock were found to have incorrect diameters. Two of those part numbers are gear shaft (9421) and crank pin front rollers (9150A) for Sportsters. In light of this oversight, a listing of part numbers with their correct dims and tolerances was issued.
      • The MoCo issues a bulletin on hydraulic brake system maintenance. 170)
      • HD issued a list containing part numbers and adjustments for the variable components for Keihin carburetors used on 76-77 1000 and 1200cc engines. 171)
      • The drum brake lining and rivet set (44432-54A) on XLH,XLCH,FL & FLH models had linings which tended to crack during the riveting process due to the brittle nature of the lining material. These linings, first, had to be bonded and then riveted to the brake shoe by the factory. For this reason, these linings will no longer be sold separately. Use riveted and bonded brake shoe and lining set (44401-49B) instead. 172)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A safety defect (033) was issued on August 26,1977 regarding a quantity of 100 electric start XL-1000 motorcycles produced from June 24-June 28, 1977 having the new Showa rear shocks assembled with cupped washers on the mounting studs instead of flat washers and 493 of the new design Showa shocks shipped to dealers as spare parts from June 29-July 28, 1977.
      • A Safety Defect (040) was issued on June 12, 1979 regarding all 1977-1978 XLCR models having pushrods in the rear master cylinder with insufficient contact area with the plastic piston.
  • Racing notes: Jay Springsteen wins Grand Nation Championship and a Number 1 Plate running a XR-750
    • Alan Sputhe designed and built a set of dual carburetor aluminum heads for the 1000cc street Sportster that he raced at El Mirage Dry Lake in Southern California. This machine was timed at 157 m.p.h. 173)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (12,742)
    • XLCH 1000 (4,074)
    • XLT 1000 (1,099)
    • XLCR 1000 (1,923) $3,623
    • Confederate Edition Sportsters
      • XLH 1000 (299)
      • XLCH 1000 (45)
      • XLT 1000 (15)
    • XR 750 (83)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • New cases to accommodate the left side shifting.
    • Frame designed for removal of oil pump with engine in frame.
    • A newly designed breather valve was installed on engines produced around October 15, 1976. All 1000cc engine numbers (3A, 4A or 2G) 27940H7 and above had the new breather valve. It serves the same function as the gear driven breather valve used on 1976 and earlier engines but due to it's improvements in doing so, it was suggested to be retrofitted to all 1977 XL & XLCH engines. 174)
    • Optional carburetor main jets were made available for XLH & XLCH Keihin (Late 1976 →). 175)
    • By late 1977, shorter bolts were used to mount the headlight bracket. 176)
    • New oil pump design fitted with gerotors instead of gears and consisting of two gerotor pumps in the same pump housing. The feed pump forces oil to the engine while the scavenger pump collects and returns oil back to the oil tank. In a gerotor type pump, oil is transferred from the inlet to the outlet as it is trapped between the rotating inner and outer gerotors. 177) 178)
  • XLT (touring version of XLH) became available, included:
    • Thicker, low seat
    • Large 3.6-gallon tank 179)
    • Touring handle bars
    • Saddlebags from the FLH
    • Higher gearing
    • Windshield
    • Turn Signals
    • Rear passenger pegs 180)
    • Rear passenger hand hold behind seat181)
    • Gerotor style oil pump 182)
  • XLCR (Café Racer) was introduced at Daytona (available again in 78) featuring
    • Morris cast aluminum wheels
    • Fiberglass tail section w/solo seat
    • Wrinkle black engine paint
    • Bikini fairing
    • Black siamese exhaust
    • Rear disc brakes
    • Dual disc front brakes
    • Low bars
    • Wheel base measure 58.5“
    • Gloss Black paint scheme [on everything]
    • Four speed transmission
    • Rear-set foot pegs
    • 4-gallon gas tank
    • Gerotor style oil pump 183)
    • 61.00 HP (44.5 kW)) @ 6200 RPM 184)
    • 70.51 Nm (7.2 kgf-m or 52.0 ft.lbs) torque @ 3800 RPM 185)
    • Max 6800 RPM 186)
    • Bore/ Stroke 81.0 x 96.0 mm (3.2 x 3.8 inches) 187)
    • 10” front and rear brakes 188)
  • Confederate Edition Sportsters were sold for the 1977 season only. Read more here in the Sportsterpedia.
    • There were reportedly no changes mechanically speaking for this special limited addition to the lineup.
      There is very little documentation on the Confederate Edition which is accepted as due to it's controversial overtones.
    • Paint Colors: 189)
      • Charcoal Silver.
      • Rebel flag decal R(61650-77) and L(61651-77) on each side of the gas tank.
      • Front fender decal (59100-77) resembling the insignia that was on the caps of the Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
      • Additionally there were a reported 44 Harley Confederate FLH motorcycles and 228 Harley Confederate Super Glide motorcycles. 190)
  • Paint colors
    • Birch White, Vivid Black, Vivid Blue, Vivid Brown, Charcoal Silver (Confederate Edition), Midnight Blue Metallic, Arctic White or Bright Blue.
    • Confirmed colors for XLT from TSB #M-719 are Vivid Black, Vivid Blue, Brilliant Red, Charcoal Silver and Vivid Brown.
      See list of technical service bulletins here in the Sportsterpedia.


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD celebrating 75th Anniversary
    • The last year of business connection with Aermacci Company in Italy and HD. HD closes the factory down in June.
    • Willie G. Davidson becomes Vise President of Styling
    • HD outlined the Clean Air Act of 1978 as it affected the company and it's customers. 191)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • HD issued a tire fitment chart with a list of all 16“,18” & 19“ wheels supplied by the MoCo as standard or accessories along with the correct matching of tire, tubes and wheels. 192) and a wheel (hub) bearing spacer recommendation for proper handling and to minimize bearing & tire wear. 193)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A Safety Defect (040) was issued on June 12, 1979 regarding all 1977-1978 XLCR models having pushrods in the rear master cylinder with insufficient contact area with the plastic piston.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (11,271)
    • XLH 1000 75th Anniversary Model (2,323) $3,127
    • XLCH 1000 (2,758) $3,370
    • XLT 1000 (Touring)(6)
    • XLS 1000 (Roadster) (2)
    • XLCR 1000
    • XR-750 (83) 194)
  • XLH Anniversary Model (75th Anniversary Special Edition): 195)
    Equipped with standard Sportster features with the addition of:
    • Limited anniversary graphics, Midnight Black with Gold trim.
    • Gold pinstriping on the fuel tank, fenders and oil tank, done by hand.
    • Gold lettered air cleaner insert.
    • Gold and black Harley Davidson tank decal straight out of 1917.
    • Gold and black model designation on the lower fork cover.
    • 9 spoke cast aluminum wheels finished in gold.
    • Black leather cut and sewn seat.
  • XLH, XLCH and XLT changes include:
    • Dual disc front hydraulic brakes
    • Siamese exhaust systems
    • Battery and oil tank moved inboard
    • Revised frame with the XLCR rear section
    • Optional cast wheels including retro-fit to prior years down to 1954, XL & XLCH on rear and down to 1974 for front 196)
    • Starting June 10, 1977 new (Truarc) piston pin retaining rings were installed on 1000 and 1200cc models. This Truarc type lock ring has holes for Truarc Pliers (96215-49).
      • The groove in the piston pin bore has been changed to accommodate the new pin lock ring (22588-78) which replaces the Spirolox retaining ring (22582-52).
  • XLCR changes include:
    • Optional dual seat for XLCR, also last year for the XLCR
  • XR-750 engine changes include:
    • A bigger (44mm) intake valve
  • Last year for the XLT
  • Paint colors
  • Birch White, Vivid Black, Brilliant Red, Charcoal Silver, Arctic White, Concord Blue, Chestnut Brown and Black Cherry
  • Last year of the Battery Ignition System


  • MoCo notes:
    • The heavyweight models receive first priority
    • Sales in the USA fall to less than 4% of motorcycle market
    • Introduction of the FXEF Fat Bob, “Fat” because of the dual gas tanks, “Bob” for the bobbed fenders. 197)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • HD clarified some confusion regarding Provision 3 of the limited warranty which states that the purchaser must return their motorcycle to the selling dealer for warranty service, except that if the purchaser has moved / is touring a long distance or needs emergency service, they may return their motorcycle to any other authorized Harley-Davidson dealer. This means, although it is good business promotion, a dealer (other than the selling dealer) has no direct obligation to pro­vide warranty service unless he desires to do so, or is directed to do so by the factory according to the terms of his dealer contract. 198)
        • This coming after many customers and dealers alike have stated that their selling dealer assured them they could return their motorcycle to any dealer for warranty service. This occurred most often when the customer purchased a motorcycle from other than the nearest dealer. Then, when service was required, they naturally expected the local dealer to honor their warranty and were quite upset when warranty service was refused and they were referred to their selling dealer. 199)
      • The MoCo makes recommendation on proper cam gear selection for quiet operation. 200)
      • HD makes recommendation for corrective measures regarding carburetion and the new (breaker-less) Prestolite electronic ignition system on (1100, 1200 and 1340cc) models and emissions control design changes. They operate with leaner air/fuel mixtures and are more sensitive to carburetor mixture settings / ignition spark. 201)
        • In May of 1980, the MoCo issued a Service Bulletin in response to having some owners of 1000cc and 1340cc engines, built since January 1, 1978, experience a knocking and / or pinging due to the unavailability of fuels with high enough octane ratings. It was recommended to try retarding the timing (up to 10°) on both the Prestolite (1979) and Magnavox (1980) ignition systems. 202)
        • The procedure for lacing 16 inch wheels changed to make them easier to lace in production. The relationship of the spoke flanges on the wheel hubs changed to match the new lacing pattern. Rims, spokes and nipples did not changed. 203)
      • In some cases, the 1974-1979 starter relay used on 1200, 1340 and 1000cc models may develop corroded contacts because of moisture under wet road conditions. 204)
    • Factory Recalls:
      • A Safety Defect (036) was issued on 568 early 1979 XLH-1000 models with inadequate rear brake linkage parts from February 15, 1978 to March 22, 1978.
      • A Safety Defect (037) was issued by the MoCo on certain 1978-1979 FLH, FLH-80, FX, FXE, FXS and 1979 XLH, XLCH models produced and shipped with an improperly machined front brake master cylinders during from June 7, to June 14, 1978. Within the front brake master cylinders, the plunger piston bore diameter was honed up to .015” over the maximum limit.
      • A Safety Defect (039) was issued for a total of 370 motorcycles (including, XLH-1000, FLH-1200, FLH-80, FXR-1200, FXEF-1200FXEF-80, FXS-1200 and FXS-80) that were produced and shipped to dealers from March 22nd to March 30th 1979 with a possible defect in the front brake master cylinder.
      • A Safety Defect (041) was issued for 635 XLH and XLS models produced and shipped between March 30 and April 19, 1979 with a possible defect in the assembly of the brake pedal stop bolt jam­ nut not being securely tightened at the time of assembly.
      • A Safety Defect (044) was prompted in August due to a number of 1979 FLH, XL and XLS models with master cylinder pistons made from an incorrect material as received from HD's supplier. 1979 XLCH, FXE, FXEF and FXS models were added to the list in March of 1980.
  • Racing notes:
    • Sputhe Engineering began building complete Sportster based 1300cc aluminum XR-750 type engines.
  • Fuel Notes:
    • Maximum permissible level of 0.13 g of lead per liter of gasoline established thru a ruling from US Court of Appeals in March of 1976.205)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (6,525)
    • XLCH 1000 (141) Last year in production.
    • XLS 1000 Roadster (5,123)
  • XL, XLCH, XLS changes include:
    • Last official year for kickstart engines 206)
    • New breakerless Prestolite electronic ignition system 207) replaces the circuit breaker ignition system. A kit was also available to convert 1971-1978 models to the new electronic ignition system. 208)
    • Carburetor modification kits (including jet(s) and an accelerator pump stop screw) were made available for 1200cc, 1340cc and 1000cc models to provide leaner fuel mixtures when operating at elevations above 4000 feet sea level. 209)
    • For a period of one month from January 9 to February 8, 1979, (1200, 1340 and 1000cc) motorcycles were produced with the crankcase number stamped on the engine number pad instead of the VIN (frame) number in this location.
      • Upon a considerable investigation and analysis, it was felt that the advantages of the old system out-weighed the advantages of the new system and it was decided to revert to the duplication of the engine and frame VIN numbers which had been in effect since 1970. 210)
    • Changes were made in early 1979 production engines to improve the engagement of the clutch teeth between the mainshaft 2nd gear and the clutch gear. This upgrade was recommended as a replacement for earlier transmissions, especially those with severe shifting service where rounding of the gear teeth is likely to occur. 211)
      • On September 21, 1978 starting with crank­ case (# 779-26 4- 021), the mainshaft clutch gear thrust washer thickness was decreased .020“ and the transmission drive sprocket hub width was increased .020 in. to compensate for the clutch gear change.
      • New drive sprocket (35205-79).
    • Mid year change to discontinue using lockplates and screws on V-Twin flywheels for improved serviceability. 212)
    • New swingarm change to include a rear fork cap for adjusting the axle. 213)
    • Brake disc upgraded to a harder stainless steel 214)
    • Brake pad material changed to work better with the new brake discs. 215)
  • XLH and XLCH changes include:
    • Early models had the same 18” rear wheel as in the past while Late 1979 models changed to a 16“ rear. 216)
    • Early Sportster models received a new polished front master cylinder.217)
    • Late models received a black front master cylinder replacing the polished one. 218)
    • Rear drum brakes replaced with disc brake and master cylinder 219)
    • Brake system placed where kickstand was.
    • Kick starter was dropped as a standard feature but left as an option.
  • XLS - (later named Roadster). A new model based on the 'Sportster' version of the FXS Low Rider and features:
    • Extended forks
    • 16” rear tire
    • Siamese exhaust system
    • Drag bars on 3 1/2“ riser
    • Sissy bar with leather pouch
    • Highway pegs
    • 2 - piece seat
    • Chromed rear sprocket
    • Black front master cylinder
    • XLH: Vivid Black, Brilliant Red, Concord Blue, Chestnut Brown. 220)
    • XLS: Black/Gray. 221)
  • Additional Information:
    • For 1979 - 1985, the one-way, external, foo-foo valve and the six-inch metal vent tube at the front of the timing cover were done away with. Instead, a one-way valve was built-in inside the timing cover. A rubber breather hose then ran from the generator drive area of the timing cover, at the 9 o’clock position, to the stock carb air filter so that any oil mist was fed back through the engine, making the EPA pollutocrats more happier than they were with the idea of engine oil spraying out into the atmosphere. 222)

1980 - 1989


  • MoCo notes:
    • US Government asked the MoCo to 'complicate' their identification numbers due to an increase in theft.
    • In April, Charles K Thompson named president and deputy group executive of HD.
    • Harley-Davidson debuts the FLT with its vibration dampening, rubber-isolated drivetrain and unique trailing front fork. The engine and five-speed transmission are hard bolted together.223)
    • Harley-Davidson releases the FXB Sturgis model, employing belt drive, black chrome appointments and 80 cubic inch engine.224)
    • The FXWG Wide Glide is introduced for the 1980 model year. 225)
    • Last year model of the XR-750 as a full motorcycle production bike. Engine kits (only) were sold from 1990 to 2003 226)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • On a number of 1980 XLH/XLS models, the battery may have been mis-positioned. The pad the battery rests on is thick enough to allow the battery to be pushed over the carrier retaining edge until the battery vent tube fitting is wedged against the oil tank which could break the fitting. The fix was to glue 2 battery cover pads together and attach them the oil tank to create separation of the tank and the battery. 227)
      • The condition of the rear shock absorber upper and lower mounting bushings should be checked at least every 5,000 miles since excessive looseness of the bushings could affect proper shock absorber function. 228)
      • The MoCo found that some parts stock crankpins (date stamped 11/79) used on '54-'79 XLs were missing a weld and some parts stock chain adjuster linings (39978-58) used on '58-'78 XLs were brittle. Existing parts stock was inspected and corrected. Dealers were to make sure any customer purchases of these items were called and exchanged. 229)
      • Some XLH models were originally shipped with XLCR shocks factory installed. These XLCR shocks were modified to incorporate the same spring and damping rate of the XL shocks but were chrome instead of the standard XL black shocks so the only difference is appearance.
      • Some solenoid covers used on 1977 → XL models have the ability to conduct electricity.
        • The affected VINs are: (3A) 27367J0-30533J0
      • Starting with crankcase #780-024-024, oil return holes in the cylinder head gasket have been elongated (egg-shaped) to prevent blockage from slight alignment differences possible when installed The part number (16769-73) didn't change for the new gasket. A template was included with this bulletin to modify old parts stock gaskets to the new shape. 230)
      • There is a possibility of high pressure oil leakage around the oil passage between the upper crankcase cover and the crankcase. Since November of 1979, the crankcase castings have been reworked and modified to eliminate this possibility. As a part of that revision, the crankcase cover gaskets used in production and in stock have been modified to not only fit the revised castings but also to eliminate the possibility of oil leakage on earlier crankcases. The oil passage hole in the top (middle) of the gasket was elongated (slotted). The old parts stock at the dealer (without the slots) had to be elongated using a template supplied from the factory. 231)
      • Inspect brake stop bracket (welded to muffler) for the correct bend periodically. 232)
      • A quantity of ignition coils (31609-80) used on all 1980 models, failed at low mileage. The problem was an internal breakdown of the windings within the coil. 233)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (11,841) $5,867
    • XLS 1000 (2,926)
    • XR-750 (180) 234)
  • XLH, XLS changes include:
    • New “Q” cams installed 235)
    • The timing marks have been revised on all 1980 and later 1000cc (crankcase number 780-108-001 and up) and 1340cc models to enable the timing to be set electronically at the factory. 236)
    • All HD models (including XLs) have new changes including:
      • New Magnavox Electronic Ignition System with a full electronic advance (containing no mechanical advance mechanism to adjust). The entire spark and timing system is controlled by the ignition module assembly. Should the engine timing not advance properly or the spark be off, just replace the entire module. Note, you cannot use a solid core spark plug wire. You must use carbon core plug wires. 237)
        • In May of 1980, the MoCo issued a Service Bulletin in response to having some owners of 1000cc and 1340cc engines, built since January 1, 1978, experience a knocking and / or pinging due to the unavailability of fuels with high enough octane ratings. It was recommended to try retarding the timing (up to 10°) on both the Prestolite (1979) and Magnavox (1980) ignition systems. 238)
      • “R” (resistor) type spark plugs provide radio ignition noise suppression, improve the reliability and prevent a possible malfunction of the transistorized Magnavox ignition system. Sportster engines changed from the old type 4 or 5 to the new 4R5. The original 4R5 still had the 4-5 markings, but carried a black terminal at the end to distinguish it as the new resister type plug until the supply ran out. Then they were marked as 4R5 with the same gap as before (.040'). This was also a warranty replacement item. 239)Tamper proof ignition timing cover held on by two pop rivets to help prevent anyone (except the dealer) from tampering with the timing. 240)
      • Upgrade to cast iron valve guides instead of steel on all HD 1980 models. Cast iron guides can be reamed to size (allowing for more accurate clearances), are more self-lubricating (due to the graphite found in the carbon of the iron) and they are more compatible with unleaded gas.
      • New heads with 3 angle valve seats (Front 16673-80, Rear 16674-80 for Sportsters) 241) contain the new the cast iron guides and use new valve spring collars (18222-79) that were designed specifically for these guides (new replacement heads for a pre-1980 model must use the new lower spring collars). The old collars will not work with the new cast iron valve guides. Since the new valve guides will not fit in pre-1980 heads, cast iron valve guides will soon be a direct replacement for the current steel guides. These interchangeable replacement guides (for pre-1980 models only) will not need the new spring collars. 242) 243)
      • New intake and exhaust valves. HD had two suppliers for these valves (Nittan and Eaton). Either brand is a standard replacement. These valves will fit all the way back to the 1966 model year but you cannot use old valves (intake 18074-66 or exhaust 18082-57) with any new cast iron valve guide introduced in 1980 due to the 3 angle valve job. 244) 245)
      • In compliance with EPA regulations, the carburetors are totally non-adjustable by the customers. There is no low speed mixture screw to set. 246)
      • The air cleaner has been tightly sealed and a drain hose and plug has been added to the assembly. This allows the condensation to drip into the hose rather than onto the engine or rider. Simply remove the drain plug every 1250 miles, when you do the normal air cleaner maintenance, and drain the fluid from the hose. Check to be sure there is no blockage within the tube, then reinsert the plug. In the past, oil mist and moisture could condense within the air cleaner and drip down onto both the engine and the rider's leg. 247)
      • New spin-on automotive type oil filter as standard equipment. 248)
      • The right side cover has been modified to allow you to check the battery water level without removing the cover. 249)
      • The inner sprocket cover has been removed which allows for easier brake accessibility for maintenance. 250)
      • The ignition rotor on early 1980 models were attached with a “Pozidriv” cross-slot screw (2611). Starting in, July of 1979, this screw was replaced with a large hex head screw (2611A) to provide for a means of an accurate torque measurement (75-80 in lb) and the threads were sealed with Loctite Lock 'N Seal. Dealer were to replace the old screw 'if' they ended up working on a motorcycle that had one. 251)
  • XLH changes include:
    • Optional Hugger package with shorter shocks and thinner seat.
  • XR-750 (dirt track) changes include:
    • New Marzocchi front forks with 5.31” travel and a 2.5 gallon gas tank 252)
    • XLH: Vivid Black, Bright Blue, Saddle Brown, Candy Red. 253)
    • XLS: Fuel tank: Black/Charcoal. Fenders: Black/Gray. 254)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Feb 26, Vaughn Beals heads up a group including Charlie Thompson and Wilie G Davidson and ten other HD executives who sign a letter of intent to buy HD back from AMF. 255)
    • June 16, HD history is made when they successfully buy HD back from AMF. HD shareholders celebrate with a York to Milwaukee ride.
    • Close to 200 clerical positions are eliminated. 'The Eagle Soars Alone' slogan is born.
    • A gold dipstick was inserted by Vaughn Beals into the first non-AMF motorcycle to roll off the assembly line at York, Pennsylvania.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) was expanded to 17 digits including codes for country of origin, maker, bike weight, engine displacement, introduction date, a check digit and which factory made it. 256).
      • The MoCo had a problem with 1972-1981 piston ring kits (date code 4-80 and 5-80) in that there was a possibility that the oil control rings in the kits were the wrong size. Check ring gap for proper measurement when installing (.012“-.025”). 257)
      • The MoCo also issued a warning regarding brake line maintenance on 80 and 81 XLH/XLS models. Avoid bending or kinking and use caution when routing around the solenoid (electrical shortage) and rear exhaust / heat shield (wearing a hole in brake line). 258)
      • The torque value in the service manual for rocker arm acorn nuts is incorrect. The correct torque value is 15-20 ft-lbs. 259)
      • Always check the fitment of battery covers and avoid contact to the battery positive terminal. 260)
      • The 1980-E1981 ignition module has a four second delay that may cause a problem on kick-start motorcycles, where there may be a pause between kicks. 261)
      • App. 800 motorcycles (FXE/FXEF/FXS/XLH/XLS) were assembled with washers under the lower handlebar clamps due to the risers being made too short. The original height was 2.115“, the erroneous risers were made at 1.94” tall and required washers under them to account for the loss in height to avoid contact with the aluminum headlight bracket, marring the finish and vibration. 262)
      • In October, HD issues a new tire fitment chart, with the introduction of Dunlop tires, for all models from 1980-1982. 263)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Racing notes:
    • Scott Parker begins racing for team Harley-Davidson on the AMA dirt track circuit. He will become the most successful racer in Harley-Davidson history, accumulating 93 career victories and, more incredibly, winning 9 Grand National Champion titles in a 10-year period. 264)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (8,442)
    • XLS 1000 Roadster (1,660)
    • Milwaukee Edition 1000 (804) 265)
  • XLH and XLS changes include:
    • 81 models saw new heads beginning with crankcase (#781012001), all 1981 production XLs utilize 3 angle valve seats on both intake and exhaust ports.
    • All 1981 model motorcycles are equipped with a dual cable (pull-pull) throttle assembly. The throttle cable pulls the throttle butterfly open when turned counter-clockwise (as on previous models) while the idle cable pulls the butterfly closed when the grip is turned clockwise. The carburetor is equipped with a return spring which closes the throttle when grip is released (as on previous models). 266)
    • New petcock with a reserve tube. 267)
    • The transmission vent hose routing was changed on late 1981 models and was suggested as a practice for E1981 models as well. The hose should now be routed under the starter, over all of the oil lines and the rear brake line, and down between the pivot bolt and swingarm. 268)
    • Commonized flywheel taper design on 1200/1340 and 1000cc engines. All tapers have were communized at 6° and all keyways were standardized. 269)
    • A special foam tape was made available for XL/FX/FLT models front brake calipers. Applied to the front of the outer caliper half, it helps to prevent caliper rattle. 270)
    • Part number changes to 1980-1985 color coded cam gear tables for quieter operation for 1000/1200 and 1340 engines 271)
    • Rear wheel option: wire or cast, 16“ or 18”
  • XLS changes include:
    • Buckhorn handlebars,
    • Shorty dual exhaust
    • 3.3 gallon gas tank with an optional 2.2 gallon tank
  • XLH changes include:
    • Shorter front forks
    • Optional 3.3 gallon gas tank
    • Longer wheel base (60“) 272)
  • Milwaukee Edition: See more here on this model.
    • Limited edition (AKA, the Buy Back Bike or Milwaukee Special) celebrating Harley Davidson's rebirth and return into private ownership from AMF.
    • Reportedly, only 804 of these motorcycles were produced.
      One for every Harley Dealership.
      One extra for the top 100 Harley Dealers.
      Four for promotional purposes.
    • XLH: Vivid Black, Metallic Blue, Candy Red, Candy Root Beer. 273)
      • Large fuel tank (Lg) w/decals: Metallic Blue, Candy Red. 274)
      • Additionally, a Saddle Brown fuel tank is shown on page 508, 10-82 sheet.
    • XLS: 2-Tone Silver, Black w/Red Pinstripe. 275)
    • Milwaukee Edition: Orange/Black. 276)


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD celebrates the Sportster's 25th Anniversary
    • First year of new custom paint program
    • HD petitions the International Trade Commission for tariff relief from Japanese motorcycles
    • US President Ronald Reagan imposes a five year tariff on all Japanese 700cc or larger imports.
    • Lay-offs total 1,600 out of 3,800 employees
    • Aggressive program initiated to clean up all bootleg HD merchandise.
    • In May, more than 100 riders leave the Capitol Drive Plant on protest ride to Madison in response to Wisconsin State Police using Kawasaki motorcycles.
    • Advertising budget is estimated at about $3 million.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • First year application of MAN (materials as needed) or just in time for production.
      • On Sportster Vins prior to (1HD1CAH15CY111159), the positive battery cable may contact the leading edge of the oil tank. Inspect and re-route the cable if necessary. 277)
      • All standard sized pistons are graded for size in .00025” increments. This is done for production purposes on­ly and does not apply to oversized (.010“-.070”) pistons. 278)
      • The normal brake pad inspection interval is 2500 miles for all 1982 and later models. This is adequate under normal riding conditions. More frequent inspections should be made if the motorcycle is ridden under more adverse conditions (steep hills, heavy traffic, etc.). 279)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Fuel notes:
    • Sportster fuels requirements have changed. A lower compression ratio was achieved by the addition of a thicker head gasket. This allowed for the use of regular grade unleaded fuel (89 octane) as opposed to the unleaded premium stated in the current service and owner's manuals. Testing has shown that prolonged use of unleaded fuel is bad on the valve train. Dealers were advised to relay this information to their customers. 280)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (5,015)
    • XLHA 1000 Anniversary Sportster (932)
    • XLS 1000 (1,261)
    • XLSA 1000 Anniversary Roadster (778)
  • XLH and XLS changes include:
    • Lighter frame and longer wheel base
    • Oil tank repositioned
    • Battery re-positioned
    • Thicker head gasket to lower compression ratio. 283)
    • Larger rear disc
    • New 13 amp generators featuring thrust washers (4 thicknesses to adjust armature endplay from .004“-0.010”) between the rear end cover and rear ball bearing. 284) This generator can be retrofitted to 1965 models with some guidelines for retrofitting: 285)
    • Late 1982 - the internal crankcase breather valve in the cover was redesigned to incorporate a rubber umbrella valve attached to the base plate along with a larger diameter (1-3/4” O.D.) oil separator washer on the generator armature. 286)
    • A limited number of E1982 XL engines (782216009-782237017) were assembled without the communized flywheel taper design. 287)
    • New rear brake caliper with the same square seal design but the brake pads are now supported on the caliper bracket to make changing pads easier. 288)
    • New hand levers and switches. The front brake master cylinder is made so there is no free play in the brake hand lever when the hand control switch assemblies are posi­tioned correctly. 289) 290)
    • Low maintenance battery. 291)
    • E1982 models now have a 45° angle cut into the end of the rocker arm shaft. A 0.015“ spacer was made available for 1973-Very Early 1982 models, with the flat cut rocker arm shafts, to prevent O-ring distortion and oil leaks in this area. The washer fits inside the O-ring under the right end screw of the rocker arm shaft. E1982 models, with the new 45° shafts do not need the washer. Never use more than 1 washer on the shaft 292)
    • L1982 models have a new clamp-on two piece exhaust system. The one piece (welded) rear exhaust & muffler assembly (65600-80A) and one piece front exhaust pipe & muffler assembly (65605-80A) is no longer available after the current stock is used up. Due to size differences, parts from the two different exhaust systems cannot be interchanged. 293)
    • A foot rest chain protector (50943-82) was made available that fits over the footrest bracket to prevent contact between the final drive chain and the passenger footrest bracket. 294)
  • Paint colors: Click here to download the 1982 Painted Parts List
    Both anniversary models came with 25th anniversary graphics and special paperwork about the bike's history signed by Chairman Vaughn Beals, President Charlie Thompson and Styling Vice President, Willie G Davidson.
    • XLH: Vivid Black, Candy Red, Metallic Blue, Metallic Green. 295)
    • XLS: Red/Black, Black w/Gold pinstriping. 296)
    • XLH and XLS Anniversary Models: Dark Maroon and Pewter. 297)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Factory sponsored 'Harley Owners Group' (HOG) is founded.
    • International Trade Commission levies a five year tariff on Japanese motorcycles 700cc and over.
    • Dick O'Brien, long time manager of HDs factory race team, retires.
    • The first production XLX was given to Jay Springsteen 298)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • Oil tank drain method: Using hose clamp pliers (HD-84 04), loosen and slide the clamp from the oil drain hose to the plug bracket. Disconnect the hose and drain the oil from tank into suitable drain pan. Upon reinstallation of the drain hose, connect the hose to the plug bracket and secure it with the clamp. Fill oil tank with 3 quarts of HD Power Blend Super Premium oil. If the oil pressure light stays on, air may have been introduced in the oil system making it necessary to prime the oil pump. 299)
      • Reports were received indicating that tumbling stone contamination may have been existent in Late 1982 - Early 1983 engines with crankcase VINs (782025001-783200001). Tumbling stones are used in the polishing process of tappet bodies and occasionally can become wedged within the tappet body. The retention of a tumbling stone in the tappet assembly will cause premature tappet wear. If contamination has occurred and tumbling stone material is allowed to circulate through the engine for an extended period of time, some engine damage will eventually occur. Affected engines will first show excessive wear of one tappet guide assembly. 300)
      • A service bulletin was issued for Checking VOES operation on 1983 and later models. 301)
      • The number of transmission mainshaft (R) shims for parts order increased to a total of 10 sizes (these parts will retrofit Sportster transmissions back to 1954 K Models). 302)
      • HD issued a new tire fitment chart for correct matching of tire, tubes and wheels for 1983 models. 303)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (2,230)
    • XLS 1000 Roadster (1,616)
    • XR-1000 (1,018) $6,995
    • XLX-61 1000 (4,892)($3,995)
  • XLH and XLS changes include:
    • Camshaft shims (6769 & 6770), used to control maximum camshaft end play have been discontinued in production engines. It was determined through testing that an increase in the maximum allowable cam gear shaft end play does not contribute to an increase in noise or prove to be detrimental to component operation 304)
    • Higher compression ratio (8.8-1) achieved through new piston design and the use of the earlier style thinner head gasket. This higher compression ratio along with a new two stage ignition system (VOES), provides increased performance while allowing use of leaded regular grade gasoline. 305)
    • Pistons upgraded with a .040“ higher crown surface which adds to the compression ratio also. The piston is identified by a chamfered edge on the crown. 306)
    • Piston rings now include a beveled barrel-faced moly-filled top ring, a taper-faced second ring and a three piece oil control ring with chrome plated rails and a corrugated expander. 307)
    • New finish to cylinder and head gaskets. The gasket surface has a new finish appearing similar to the grooves of a phonograph record. The soft copper head gasket conforms to the finish and prevents oil leakage at the oil return passages. Torque values stayed the same at 55-65 ft-lbs. 308)
    • A 2-stage computerized microprocessor module including a Vacuum Operated Electric Switch (VOES) added to the ignition system and is programmed with 2 spark advance timing curves to meet varying engine loads. 309)
    • New ignition module plugs to prevent intermixing of 1983 ignition components with earlier Magnavox modules and sensors. A jumper wire can be fabricated to perform module and sensor checks of 1983 components. 310)
    • Late 1983 Oil pump assembly design modification. This new assembly will retrofit to 77-E83 XL engines: 311)312)
      • Gerotor gears now fabricated without the chamfered top and bottom on the outer diameters as was in the E1983 and earlier gerotors.
      • L83 pump bodies and covers have an under-cut or relief to accommodate for clearances with the new gerotors.
    • Passenger footpeg mounts on the swingarm 313)
    • Models produced after VIN (1HD1CCH17DY113282) use a new low pressure fuel tank cap. The vent relief pressure has been reduced on the screw type fuel caps by utilizing a softer spring and should help eliminate a lean condition. 314)
    • New shoulder-less intake and exhaust valve guides for 1000cc engines (beginning with crankcase number (783 101037). 315) 316)
    • A new style thrust washer is used on Late 83 XL production engines to control transmission mainshaft endplay. Also, the new washer is thicker and has no tang to prevent rotation as the old style thrust washer has. The roll pin in the crankcase has also been eliminated. 317) 318)
    • Late 83 XL ignition modules (32410-84) and sensor assemblies (32400-84) are being made with rubber rather than plastic components to improve service life and avoid possible separation of the connectors in the field resulting from loose fitting components. 319) 320)
  • XLH changes include:
    • High bars
    • 3.3 gallon gas tank
    • New seat
    • Less restrictive exhaust
  • New model XLX-61: Striped down version of the XLH and built to sell for $3,995, featured:
    • Solo seat
    • 2 gallon peanut gas tank 321)
    • Black staggered shorty dual exhaust
    • Black flat track handlebars 322)
    • Speedo only, no tach
    • 9 spoke cast aluminum wheels
    • Small front fender with fender struts. 323)
    • Satin finish cases.
    • Only year
      • Six coil springs in clutch
      • 156 watt generator mounted at the front of the cases
      • Loose output roller tranny output shaft
      • Output shaft oil seal secured by a bolt on cover
      • 3 generator drive gears
      • 10” dual front disc brakes
      • Wheel base (60“) 324)
      • Engine covers 325)
      • Very little chrome. 326)
      • First year (only), models were available in black paint only. The later ones were available in other colors (mainly red and blue) with chrome pipes. This model Ironhead is what the '86 883 Evo styling was based on. 327)
      • Early build XLX models may have had a VOES with a vacuum operating requirement of 7in-Hg resulting in a longer than necessary retarded ignition curve. This VOES should've been be replaced (by the dealership during warranty period) with a new VOES requir­ing only 4in-Hg vacuum for operation. The new VOES is identified by a white dot at the vacuum hose connection. 328)
  • New model XR-1000 (mid-year edition) based on XLX chassis.
    • 71HP @ 5,600 rpm, 125 mph, 490 lbs,
    • Engine is a hybrid or cross of the XR-750 and XL-1000 matched to an identical XL 4 speed transmission:
    • Aluminum XR style heads w/intake ports on right, exhaust on left, heads ported and polished by Jerry Branch
    • Helicoil inserts where rocker boxes bolt to head
    • 9:1, XR aluminum pistons
    • Light aluminum pushrods
    • Eccentric rocker shafts adjust valve lash
    • Iron cylinders (shortened half an inch to make room for the 'Branch' heads)- w/through bolts
    • Vacuum advance-V-fire III breaker less ignition
    • Twin 36mm Dell'Orto carbs with accel pumps
    • Timer cover - Eagle racing design
    • Satin textured painted cases
    • Timer cover - Eagle racing design
    • 2.5 gallon gas tank
    • “H-D XR-1000” decal on gas tank
    • 2.5 quart oil capacity
    • Left side high megaphone dual mufflers
    • 9 spoke cast aluminum wheels: rim valve hole diameter front - .45”, rear - .34“
    • Tubeless 4 ply tires: 19” front, Dunlop K-291S (100/90V-19), 16“ rear, Dunlop K-291S (130-90V-16) 329)
    • Dual disc front brakes
    • Black wrinkle finish fork stem and bracket
    • Black handlebar
    • Oiled felt air filter
    • New designed calipers
    • Speedometer and Tach
    • XLH: Vivid Black, Candy Red, Claret Red, Indigo Blue. 330)
    • XLS: Indigo and Pewter, Black w/Gold pinstriping. 331)
    • XLX: Vivid Black. 332)


  • MoCo notes:
    • The new V2 Evolution engine introduced on many Big Twin models is more oil tight, maintenance free, lighter in weight, cooler running and more powerful.
    • Also witnessed is the debut of the Softail design and its trend-setting method of “hiding” the motorcycle's rear shock absorbers. 333)
    • Bill Davidson, Willie G's son, joins the company overseeing the National Demo Ride Program.
    • HD wins California Highway Patrol contract with 155 motorcycles ordered.
    • HD receives a US Navy contract for production of gun shell cases.
    • HD brand beer is sold.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • Due to a number of plastic vent hoses coming off the battery hose nipple, starting in mid December of 1983, all motorcycles shipped from York (except FLH with a rubber vent hose) were fitted with a battery hose clamp (10067). Also, as P&A batteries were received from the vendor, a clamp was included with the hose. 334)
      • Additional undersize and oversize shifter forks were now available for XL/XR-1000 parts order to get more precise spacing of the sliding mainshaft 2nd gear and countershaft 3rd gear. The new forks are identified with a stamped (P) for plus or (M) for minus (instead of the + or - symbols) as well as the dimension. 335) 336)
      • A number of 1984 16” laced wheels were manufactured without a radius on the outer rim flange. Consequently, the automotive type wheel weights used for factory balancing of 16“ laced wheels may not stay on the rim at normal operating speed. On the affected wheels, the automotive type weights must be replaced with spoke weights or sticky back weights. 337)
      • HD issued a new tire fitment chart for correct matching of tire, tubes and wheels for 1984 models. 338)
      • To aid the stamping operation, the locations of the crankcase numbers on the following case halves were changed to a different location on that case half (opposing case half numbers remained the same as before): 339)
        • 1340 Shovelhead - Left Case (1484 044001 and up)
        • 1340 Evo - left case (1584 044003 and up)
        • 1000 Sportster - right case (784 044001 and up)
      • The MoCo advised to use sulfuric acid with a specific gravity of 1.270-1.280 for activating new batteries instead of automotive grade acid with 1.255-1.265 specific gravity due to motorcycle batteries being smaller in size than automotive batteries. The higher specific gravity will increase battery amperage output up to 20%. Also, the ball type hydrometers are not as accurate as the Kent Moore type (HD-96910-35). It is not recommended to add this higher specific gravity acid to batteries already in use. 340)
  • Factory Recalls:
    • Recall (058) Certain 1984 XL models - alternator rotor magnets. See Service Bulletin M-890.
  • Fuel notes:
    • City of Chicago first to order end of all leaded gasoline sales since New York City ended ban on leaded gas in 1928.341)
  • Production Information:
    • XLX-61 1000 (4,284)
    • XLH 1000 (4,442)
    • XLS 1000 (1,135)
    • XR-1000 (759)
  • All model changes include:
    • Beginning with crankcase (#784174011), a production change incorporates a new crankcase set (35105-83) and a pressed in mainshaft bearing (12049) while using the same transmission mainshaft, roller bearing and retaining ring as before. The new crankcase set was also sold as replacement parts for 82-84 Sportsters. The new seal and bearing race are not interchangeable with earlier crankcase components. 342)
    • Transmission changes:
      • Mainshaft 1st gear (35277-52A) is now flat on both sides (allowing it to be installed with either face toward the crankcase) instead of one side having a recess on the rear face. This new gear will retrofit 54 and up models. It also requires the removal of the crankcase roll pin and the replacement of the hooked thrust washer to the newer circular thrust washers. 343) 344)
      • L84 - replacement mainshaft sprocket nut (35049-71) has been developed to prevent transmission oil leaks from the sprocket splines on 71-84 XL/XR models. The new sprocket shaft nut encloses the end of the mainshaft and creates a metal to metal seal between the sprocket, lockwasher and nut when torqued to 35-65 ft lbs. To use this nut on 71-E84 models, a modification to the inner or outer sprocket cover (respectively) will have to be made to prevent interference between the nut and the cover. 345)
      • L84 - new transmission access cover (trapdoor). This new alternator / clutch /transmission access door (34847-84) utilizes two slots for removal. 346). 347)
      • L84 - beginning with crankcase (785 208001) manufactured after July 26,1984, the mainshaft fourth gear bearing assembly is now retained within a shoulder in the new trapdoor. 348)
      • Countershaft 4th gear (35695-58) also has been redesigned to eliminate the recess on the surface away from the access cover. This new gear will also retrofit 1954 and up models. 349) 350)
    • L84 - Alternator (stator) replaced the generator. The stator is attached directly to the trapdoor. 351)
    • Right crankcase number moved to the lower face below the gear case (near and under #4 cam) beginning with right case # (784 044001) 352)
    • Torque spec changes include:
      • Front caliper mounting bolt torque specs changed from 40-45 ft lbs. to 25-30 ft lbs. 353)
      • The rear axle nut torque specs have been changed from 45-50 ft lbs. to 65-70 ft lbs. Wheel bearing endplay, however, remained the same. Bearing endplay must be checked after tightening the axle nut. 354)
    • Tubeless tires on the cast rims. 355)
  • XLH changes include:
    • One large front disc brake
    • Diaphragm clutch spring (mid year)
    • Alternator (mid year)
    • Used the Peanut tank again.
  • XR 1000 changes include:
    • Improved brakes
    • Orange/black HD racing colors option
  • XLS Roadster changes include:
    • One large front disc brake
    • Diaphragm clutch spring (mid year)
    • Alternator (mid year)
    • Shortened wheel base (60”)
  • XLX-61 changes include:
    • One large front disc brake
    • Diaphragm clutch spring (mid year)
    • Alternator (mid year)
    • XL: Vivid Black, Candy Red, Candy Purple. 356)
    • XLS: Vivid Black, Purple and Silver. 357)
    • XLX: Vivid Black, Candy Red. 358)
    • XR-1000: Slate Gray. 359)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Last year of the Iron Head engine
    • Production trimmed in anticipation of the Evo XL.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • Direct lubrication of the XL cam gear teeth allows tighter gear fitment and gear backlash and noise are reduced (a slight gear whine is normal and does not indicate gears are too tight). 360)
      • The new piston pin retaining ring (22589-83) for use on XL engines (same as used on EVO 1340 and XR-1000 pistons) requires a modification to be done on the piston pin retaining ring installer (HD-34623) to extend it's use to the new style pistons (requires cutting a flat area (.250“ from the outer edge) out of the diameter of the business end of the tool. 361)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 1000 (4,074) $4,795
    • XLS 1000 Roadster (616) $5,599
    • XLX-61 1000 Sportster (1,824) $4,695
  • All model changes include:
    • Beginning with crankcase (785 306029) manufactured after November 1, 1984, pistons have a new style cam ground, barrel shape. Piston rings include a moly-filled top ring, a taper-faced second ring and a corrugated expander ring. 362)
    • Beginning with crankcase (785 303002) manufactured after October 29, 1984, a cam gear oiler has been added inside the gearcase to direct oil from the top end oil passage to the gear mesh between first / second gears and third / fourth gears. 363)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White, Vivid Black, Classic Tan, Classic Crème, Slate Gray Metallic or Candy Blue.


  • MoCo notes:
    • June, HD goes public to refinance and pay off debts with $2 million in company shares of common stock. The Motor Company is listed on the American Stock Exchange, the first time Harley-Davidson is publicly traded since 1969, the year of the AMF merger. 364)
    • Harley-Davidson releases the Heritage Softail®. 365)
    • December, to diversify its holdings, HD purchases the Holiday Rambler Corporation, producers of quality motor homes.366)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • For vehicles sold for use in California (as part of the evaporative emissions kit) the carburetor fuel overflow fitting was capped and the overflow line was removed. 367)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Fuel notes:
    • Japan became the first nation to fully phase-out leaded petrol.368)
    • Sportster Fuel Requirements: 89 Octane or higher (leaded or unleaded)369)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (8,026) $3,995
    • XLH 883 Deluxe (2,322)
    • XLH 1100 (3,077) $5,199
    • XLH 1100 Liberty (954)
  • XLH 883 and XLH 1100:
    • All new Evolution V-twin engine and updated chassis.
    • Beginning with the following crankcase numbers, a new crank pin bearing set and revised flywheels were installed.370)
      • 883 (1786 083 003)
      • 1100 (1886 090 012)
    • Transmission changes:
      • 'Late style' gears (both mainshaft and countershaft 2nd and 3rd gear) are app .025“ smaller in diameter. The late style gears can also be used for 1957 and up XLH 883 models. 371)
      • There was a running change to new style hydraulic lifters in 1986 for Sportsters. 372)
        • They were the same as those used in 1340cc engines beginning in the 1986 model year.
        • This change was made to allow for one component to service the entire product line.
        • The new lifters were identified with the presence of two notches opposite each other in the pushrod socket.
        • Beginning with Sportster crankcase numbers;
          • 883: 1786 127 043
          • 1100: 1886 127 001
    • Clutch cables are now made of a new heat resistant material. 373)
  • XLH 883:
    • Engine: 883cc OHV Evolution V-twin with 3 x 3.81” bore and stroke
    • Aluminum heads and cylinders
    • Hydraulic roller lifters
    • Standard 34 mm fixed venture Keihin carburetor
    • Redesigned and powder-coated frame for the new engine
    • Four speed transmission with the 'late style' gears being a running change as the old style gears were depleted (old or new style gears can be used). 374)
    • Cast aluminum wheels: 19“ in front, 16” in back
    • Solo seat
    • Low bars
    • Speedometer only
    • Single disc front brake
    • Peanut tank
    • Final drive is single-row chain
    • Turn signal that double as running lights
    • Seat height is30“
    • Wheelbase is 60”
    • weight is 478lbs
    • Upgrade package Deluxe offered with special paint and trim
  • New Model XLH 1100:
    • Deluxe trim
    • Engine: 1100cc OHV V-twin with 85.1 x 96.8mm bore and stroke
    • Four speed transmission with “late style” transmission gears (app .025“ smaller dia.). The old style gears cannot be used on 1100 models. 375)
    • Turn signals double as running lights
  • XLH 1100 Liberty Edition:
    • 1100 version with Statue of Liberty graphics on tank and front fender and certificate of ownership.
  • 883 Deluxe (mid-year introduction):
    • Laced Wheels
    • Dual-seat
    • Passenger Pegs
    • Dual Gauges (added Tach)
  • Paint Colors:
    • Birch White, Vivid Black, Candy Red, Slate Gray Metallic, Candy Blue, Candy Pearl and Signal Red.


  • MoCo notes:
    • March, Richard Teerlink named president of the motorcycle division
    • HD exports 1,600 motorcycles to Canada, 1,200 to Western Europe and 1,300 to Japan.
    • HD again wins California Highway Patrol contract.
    • March 17, HD moves to have 5 year tariff lifted earlier than expected, sending a message to Japan that HD can compete.
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (4,990)
    • XLH 883 Deluxe (2,260)
    • XLH 883 Hugger (2,106)
    • XLH 1100 (4,018)
    • XLH 1100 Anniversary (600)
  • 883 Hugger (mid-year introduction):
  • Fork tubes shortened 2”
  • Revised shock angle by lengthening Swingarm 1/2“
  • Softer seat at 26.75”, (1.75“ lower than standard)


  • MoCo notes:
    • August, Richard F Teerlink named President and CEO of HD
    • August, James H Patterson named President and CEO of the motorcycle division
    • First year of the HD traveling museum pulled by a Peterbilt tractor. The museum displays HD memorabilia and seven motorcycles
    • HD, celebrating 85th anniversary with a Homecoming in Milwaukee attended by over 60,000 enthusiasts, organizes a ride (app 6,000 riders) for muscular dystrophy. Proceeds total near $600,000. 376)
    • H.O.G. membership totaling over 90,000
    • The springer front end returns in the FXSTS Springer® Softail®. 377)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
      • A number of Screaming Eagle carb kits (91731-85A), packaged during March of 1988 (3/88 date code), contained carburetors with accelerator pump rods that were too short. The incorrect pump rods were only 2.35” long, end to end, and completely disabled the accelerator pump and caused the engine to stumble upon fast acceleration. The correct length pump rod (27374-88) is 2.55“. 378)
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (5,387) $3,995
    • XLH 883 Hugger (4,501) $4,199
    • XLH 883 Sportster Deluxe (1,893) $4,428
    • XLH 1200 (4,752) $5,875
  • XLH 883 changes include:
    • 40mm constant velocity Keihin CV slide carb as a standard component
    • Taller shocks
    • Longer swingarm
    • Stiffer 39mm front fork tubes replaced the older 35mm unit
    • Solo seat and cast wheels
    • Option package included:
      • Two tone paint
      • Spoked wheels
      • Dual seat
      • Extra chrome
      • Tach
  • XLH 883 (Hugger Option):
    • Lowered suspension
    • Lowered seat
    • Buckhorn handlebars
  • XLH 1200 (replacing the XLH 1100) featuring
    • 1200cc Evolution OHV V-twin with 3.498 x 3.812 bore and stroke
    • 39mm front forks
    • Two tone paint
    • Dual seat
    • Buckhorn bars
    • Speedometer and tach
  • Paint Colors:
    • Vivid Black, Bright Cobalt Candy Blue, Bright Candy Plum, Candy Brandywine, Brandywine and Crimson, Bright Cobalt Candy Blue and Brilliant Silver, Candy Crimson, Candy Bronze and Crème, Vivid Black and Crème, Metallic Blue and Cadet Blue Metallic or Champagne Gold.


  • MoCo notes:
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
    • Factory Recalls:
  • Racing notes:
    • The HD 883 Twin Sports Road Racing Series begins with full sanctions from the AMA.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (6,142)
    • XLH 883 Hugger (4,467)
    • XLH 883 Sportster Deluxe (1,812)
    • XLH 1200 (4,546)
    • XR-750 Engines Only (37) 379)
  • XLH 883 and XLH 1200 changes include:
    • Aluminum intake manifold
    • New air cleaner element
    • Offset piston pins
    • Protective coating added to battery positive cable
  • XR-750 engines got an upgrade 380)
    • 12:1 CR 381)
    • 37mm exhaust valves 382)
    • Primary drive ratio 25/59 with optional 30/59 383)
    • Cam lobes and gears are now pressed onto the shafts individually and then welded. Gears on #s 2&4 shaft assemblies are locked with a grooved pin.
    • Max 9,200 RPM 384)
  • Paint Colors:
    • XL 883 and XL 883 Hugger: Vivid Black, Metallic Blue, Candy Brandywine, Bright Candy Plum. 385)
    • XL 1200 Hugger: Vivid Black, Metallic Blue/ Silver, Candy Brandywine, Candy Crimson/ Candy Brandywine, Bright Candy Plum. 386)
  • Kickstand repositioned further rearward

1990 - 1999


  • MoCo notes:
    • The European parts and accessories warehouse opens.
    • Upon its introduction, the FLSTF Fat Boy® almost instantaneously becomes a modern legend of motorcycle design.387)
  • Racing notes:
    • Nigel Gale wins the Twin Sports Championship.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (5,227) $4,250
    • XLH 883 Hugger (4,040)
    • XLH 883 Deluxe (1,298)
    • XLH 1200 (4,598)
    • XR-750 Engine Kits (only)
  • XLH 883 and XLH 1200 changes include:
    • New paper air filter and paint options
    • 40mm Keihin CV carb - constant velocity with an accelerator pump
    • One piece, right hand flywheel (pinion shaft no longer has a taper)
    • Oil pump drive gear, spacer and pinion gear now depend on clamp load to remain in position. The “T” key aligns the pinion for timing.
  • XR750 engine kits (only) were sold from 1990-2003
  • Paint Colors:
    • XL 883 and XL 883 Hugger: Vivid Black, Bright Candy Plum, Bright Candy Ruby, Bright Candy Hi-Fi Blue. 388)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Bright Candy Ruby, Dark Candy Ruby/ Bright Candy Ruby, Candy Hi-Fi Blue/ Silver. 389)


  • MoCo notes:
    • HDI offices are moved from Connecticut to Milwaukee which triples the staff.
    • Production begins on a new $31 million state of the art paint facility at the York, PA, factory. It becomes fully operational in 1992. 390)
    • June, European H.O.G. rally in England.
    • Bill Davidson named director of operations of H.O.G. and it's 135,000 members with 650 chapters worldwide.
    • Motorcycle exports up over 30%.
    • June 1st, HD stock splits 2 for 1 to almost $56
    • HD earns 62% market share of 850cc and larger motorcycles.
    • HD sponsors 'The Moving Wall', Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
    • The Dyna line of motorcycles debuts with the 1991 FXDB Dyna Glide Sturgis®. 391)
    • New assembly line for 883cc and 1200cc Sportster engines at Capitol Drive Plant results in relief on old line and overall improved quality.
    • PPG formulated new customized paints for Harley-Davidson for better paint quality, color selection, and match. 392)
    • All 1991 models came with a plastic bag around the entire motorcycle to prevent corrosion and the need for CRC spray.
  • Racing notes:
    • Scott Zampach wins Twins Sport Series and US Twin Sports Championship with Nigel Gale placing third.
  • Fuel notes:
    • Sportster fuel requirements changed: 87 Octane or higher (unleaded)393)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 (4,922) $4,359
    • XLH 883 Hugger (3,487)
    • XLH 883 Deluxe (3,034)
    • XLH 1200 (6,282) $6,245
  • All model changes include:
    • 5 speed tranny replaced the 4 speed
    • Hydraulic lifters were replaced with automotive type units
    • New ignition module
    • Oil pump given internal cast feed lines
    • Breather system moved from the crankcase to the heads with (umbrella valves) in rocker boxes
    • Alternator moved from behind clutch to the crankshaft (faster spinning rotor produces peak output at lower rpm)
    • Primary cover redesigned for easy removal
    • New rubber mounted rider foot pegs
    • New 401/402 series Dunlop tires, old Dunlop k-291 tires replaced with K402's
    • Turn Signals became self-canceling with signals from speedo
    • Right side timing hole
    • Tappet blocks, rear motor mount, oil filter mount integrated with case
    • One piece push rod tubes to reduce leakage
    • Camshafts are now supported on the inboard side by bronze bushings for reduced noise
    • 5/8” hex Champion spark plugs
    • The crankcase breather (umbrella valves) were relocated to the rocker boxes breathing directly through the A/C backing plate bolts.
    • Change from 24oz to 40oz of fluid for primary / transmission
    • The clutch pack had an increase in the number of clutch plates, material was also changed from cork to paper.
    • New primary chain adjuster.
    • Gates belt drive replaced chain on 883 deluxe and 1200 models.
    • Jiffy stand re-located further back on frame for improved customer access.
      The new location prevents the 5 speed engine from being retrofit to earlier Sportster frames.
    • 1991 replacement crankcases have no oil system bypass and have the cam gear oiler hole in the gearcase 394)
  • XLH 883 and XLH 883 Hugger changes include:
    • O-ring chain final drive
  • XLH 1200 changes include:
    • Steering stem nut cover
  • Paint Colors:
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Wineberry Pearl, Bright Sapphire Metallic, Vivid Yellow, Bright Candy Ruby. 395)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Dark Sapphire Metallic/ Bright Sapphire Metallic, Vivid Yellow/ White, Dark Candy Ruby/ Bright Candy Ruby, Candy Sapphire Sun Glo. 396)


  • MoCo notes:
    • World wide licensing of trademarks and logos
    • $32 million robotic painting system set up at the York Plant.
    • HD stock worth almost 7 times original price.
    • Miss HD, Krisann Whitley, is crowned at Daytona.
    • Service notes:
      • A change in the break-in (burnishing) procedure for new 1992 brake pads and discs was issued thru Tech Tip #28. 397)
      • A limited number of used right side crankcase halves made available (useful for line reaming gearcase cover bushings). 398)
    • Parts notes:
      • The last year of Japanese made carbon canister emission filters.
      • Oversized crankpins for pre-commonized taper models were made available to permit fitment of late style rod bearings to 1957-E1981 XL's and 1941-E1981 FL / FX's. 399)
      • Dunlop 291 tires no longer available from Dunlop. HD dealerships now the only source for these OEM t1res. 400)
      • Replacement voltage regulators for L1984-1990 XLs (74523-84A) may not be exactly the same as the unit being replaced. The wires exit from the regulator's side housing instead of exiting from the rear as in the original. 401)
  • Racing notes:
    • Scott Zampach wins the Twin Sports Championship with Nigel Gale in second place.
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 $4,499
    • XLH 883 'Hugger' $5,075
    • XLH 883 'Sportster Deluxe' $5,559
    • XLH 1200 $6,400
  • All model changes include:
    • Oiling system bypass in the filter pad was eliminated to 'borrow oil for the cam gear oiler' 402)
    • Improved oil check ball has a post added to it to positively locate the parting line of the check ball on the ball seat
    • Cam gear oiler - additional oil passage is located in gearcase to provide additional cam gear lubrication. 403)
    • New sprocket nut with a flange to increase the clamp load applied to the face of the sprocket. 404)
    • Wrist pin clips have changed in color from silver to bronze for visual verification of installation 405)
    • Improved brake pad material and discs 406)
    • New halogen headlight assembly for improved resistant to vibration and longer service life 407)
      New style wiring connector plug to maintain clearance inside the headlight bucket. 408)
    • New stronger headlight bracket offers better durability. 409)
    • Standardized Sportster hand controls with Teflon Insert For Clutch Lever Pivot 410)
    • Indicator Icons - Internationally identified symbols on the warning lamps for easier identification 411)
    • Re-located ignition switch, now preventing scratching of the horn cover 412)
    • Continuously vented gas tank 413)
    • Harder plunger in neutral switch
    • New front belt pulley nut retainer (two bolts retaining the sprocket nut plate to prevent loosening) 414)
    • CV Carburetor changes- New float and needle design. Internal circuitry changed to create a “fast idle” feature 415)
    • Formed fuel and VOES hoses 416)
    • Improved enrichener cable - change in spring design to reduce tension needed to activate enrichener 417)
    • Chassis Fastener Corrosion Protection - Ultra-Seal process insures that fasteners will not corrode 418)
    • California Evap System - new “trap door” recovery system mounted on the air cleaner (butterfly valve activated by a solenoid)to open during engine operation.
      This externally mounted system eliminates the reed valve from the intake tract. 419)
    • Late '92 - Head bolt counterbore, spark plug s1de, was reduced in depth for ease of manufacturing (bolt length increased) 420)
    • Late 1992 - Cylinder base gaskets changed to improve crush resistance and gasket seal-ability 421)
    • In late September, fender struts were slotted to make service and accessory installation easier 422)
  • XLH 883 changes include:
    • New “DID” O-ring final drive chain. 423)
  • XLH 883 Hugger changes include:
    • Thinner contoured seat is 1-1/2“ lower than current Hugger (3” lower than XL1200) 424)
    • Lower suspension accomplished with new forks, shocks and side stand 425)
    • New “DID” O-ring final drive chain. 426)
  • Deluxe 883 changes include:
    • New, embossed seat and buckhorn handlebars with handlebar mounted turn signals.
      Early 1992 models will have turn signals mounted to triple clamp. 427)
  • XR-750 now has a key (replacing the splines) to drive the pinion and oil pump gears
  • Paint Colors:
    • New clearcoat for all models 428)
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Bright Candy Ruby, Red Voyage Metallic, Candy Sapphire Sun-Glo. 429)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Bright Candy Ruby, Turquoise/ White, Dark Candy Ruby/ Bright Candy Ruby, Candy Sapphire Sun-Glo. 430)


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD buys into the Buell Motorcycle Company, expanding it's capacity to further research and development. Erik Buell created the Company to manufacture American sport motorcycles using Harley-Davidson® XL 883 and 1200 engines.431)
    • New Buell/ HD model on the drawing board, the “Thunderbolt”.
    • June 12th, for 90th year reunion, first time an interstate highway was ever closed down specifically for HD motorcycle riders. An estimated 100,000 people ride in a parade of motorcycles. 432)
    • June 12th, Willie G leads 15,000 strong, 35 miles North from the airport in Kenosha to the 90th year reunion held at Milwaukee's Summerfest grounds.
    • Service notes:
      • While installing a tire on the rim, water based lubricants may contribute to corrosion of the rim.
        Oil based lubricants can cause deterioration of the rubber of either the inner tube or the tire itself.
        It is recommended that you use a lubricant that is compatible with the rim and rubber components. 433)
    • Parts notes:
      • Now using an American made carbon emission filter manufactured by Miniature Precision Components in Delavan, Wisconsin.
      • Replacement screws for CV Carb float bowls no longer have the captive lockwashers. Testing has shown the lockwashers were not necessary. 434) 435)
      • Two retrofit oil tank kits available for earlier Sportsters will retrofit to all 1982-1993 Sportsters (except XR-1000) 436)
        • 1982 - E1987 (62482-93) with flared brake lines
        • L1987-1993 (62472-93) - with banjo brake lines
  • Racing notes:
    • Scott Zampach wins the Twin Sports Championship
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 $4,775
    • XLH 883 Hugger $5,420
    • XLH 883 Deluxe $5,820
    • XLH 1200 $6,800
  • All model changes include:
    • Belt drive now on all Sportster models
    • New Fuel Tank design with larger mounting holes & isolator grommets
    • Finger tip “blade” profile brake and clutch levers on all models
    • Alternator rotor fasteners changed from countersunk Allen fasteners (41191-74) to hex bolts (4702) 437)
    • New cast iron oil pump drive gear (26318-88A) for increased service life, implemented April 23, 1992, will retrofit to 88-later models 438)
  • Paint colors:
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Mandarin Orange, Scarlett Red, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Bright Aqua Sun Glo, Bright Aqua Sun Glo, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Scarlett Red. 439)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Scarlett Red, Dark Victory Red Sun-Glo/ Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Bright Aqua Sun Glo/ Silver, Bright Wineberry Sun Glo, Silver/ Charcoal Satin Bright, Candy Sapphire Sun-Glo. 440)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Harley-Davidson enters Superbike racing with the introduction of the VR1000, a dual overhead cam, liquid-cooled motorcycle. 441)
    • The classically-styled FLHR Road King® is introduced. 442)
    • Las Vegas Metro Police unit now totals 8 HDs in their fleet
    • June 1st, Michigan State Police return to riding Harleys on the freeway
    • Service notes:
      • New improved drive belt sprocket nut torquing procedure in production that is capable of doubling the clamp load across that critical joint. 443)
    • Parts notes:
      • All HDI vehicles (except Japanese 1340, XL and Swiss XL) will have High Contact Ratio transmission gears. 444)
      • Starting in late November, 1993, the paint shop changed the internal coating of the fuel tanks to a gray powder coating. 445)
  • Racing notes:
    • In 1994, HD returned to the top level of pro road racing with the VR-1000 Superbike Race Team. Despite memorable performances during its eight-year run, including a pole position in 1996 and podium finishes by Pascal Picotte in 1999, Harley-Davidson concluded in 2001 that the VR 1000 was at the end of its development cycle and was no longer competitive in the AMA Superbike series. While the program was ended following the 2001 season, the VR 1000 Superbike racing program helped Harley-Davidson develop and refine technologies such as liquid-cooling and electronic fuel injection. The program also led to the development Harley-Davidson's first production liquid-cooled motorcycle, the 2002 VRSCA V-Rod. 446)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883
    • XLH 883 'Hugger'
    • XLH 883 'Deluxe'
    • XLH 1200
  • All model changes include:
    • Chamfer added to shift forks to permit adequate clearance of the fork in the new forged gear fork grooves.
      The chamfer is needed for clearance in the fork groove in the forged slider gears being used in 1994 motorcycles. 447)
    • Oil tank revised (visually identified by relocated oil drain line which now runs to the frame instead of nipple on underside of battery tray)
    • The oil tank and battery tray mounting brackets have been strengthened to make them more durable 448)
    • Both the oil tank return and vent lines now routed above the sprocket cover on their way to the oil tank. 449)
    • New rear frame section made of more durable forgings and rubber isolated rear fender at all mounting points 450)
    • Revised rear struts – straight w/ chrome steel covers
    • New electrical system (wiring harness/weatherproof Deutsch wiring connectors)
    • New ignition switches with an accessory position 451)
    • New electrical component tray under the seat
    • New one-piece battery cables 452)
    • Interference-fit carburetor float pin pedestal on all models
    • All XL engines equipped with 1200cc style starter motors as a running change 453)
    • New forged transmission gears (marked with a groove around their circumference for identification) 454)
    • Fuel cap has a new 3/4 turn release feature 455)
    • Rivets are no longer used to retain the mufflers 456)
    • New stainless steel (single use) muffler clamps eliminate the need for silicone or graphite tape to ensure sealing 457)
    • New style cylinder studs and a new silicone beaded base gasket as a L1994 running change. 458)
    • New primary cover 459)
    • Engine sprocket seal now is now reversed during installation with spring side facing engine 460)
      Seal spacer I.D. also reduced to .995“-1.000” for tighter fit on sprocket shaft (part numbers did not change)
    • Replaced small Derby cover with large 4-bolt full Derby cover and quick-release clutch cable
    • Primary/transmission fluid level reduced from 40oz to 32oz
      All 91-94 Sportsters can adopt this new fluid level without any component changes. 461)
    • There has been a change in the material used to construct the wiper portion of valve guide seals. 462)
    • Transmission's shifter return spring was redesigned (34481-91A) to eliminate any backlash present at the shifter shaft crank. 463)
  • XLH 883 changes include:
    • Aluminum lower triple clamp which was previously stock on only the 1200’s
  • Paint colors“:
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Aqua Pearl, Bright Victory Red Sun-Glo.464)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Aqua Pearl/ Silver, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Dark Victory Red Sun-Glo/ Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Aqua Pearl. 465)


  • MoCo notes:
    • October 1st, HD announces plans to double production to 200,000 motorcycles annually by the year 2003 (100th anniversary)
    • HD announces the probability of building a new plant to accommodate the proposed increase in production.
    • The 30th Anniversary Ultra Classic® Electra Glide® becomes the first production Harley-Davidson motorcycle to include sequential port electronic fuel injection. 466)
  • Fuel notes:
    • December, US phases out leaded gasoline for road-use vehicles.467)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 $4,995
    • XLH Hugger 883 $5,700
    • XLH Deluxe 883 $6,120
    • XLH 1200 $7,200
  • All model changes include:
    • New Vacuum operated petcock - Located on leftside of tank
    • Ignition switch moved to steering column (because of petcock location)
    • New electronic speedometer with resettable trip-meter
    • Crankcase stamped number (1,2 or 3) to indicate the pinion race size moved to inside the gearcase below #2 cam bushing 468)
  • XL 1200 changes include:
    • New larger 3.25 gal gas tank (bigger peanut tank - crimped bottom)
  • Paint colors:
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Aqua Pearl, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Nugget Yellow, Burgundy Pearl. 469)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Aqua Pearl, Aqua Pearl/ Silver, Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Dark Victory Red Sun-Glo/ Bright Victory Red Sun Glo, Nugget Yellow/ Vivid Black. 470)


  • MoCo notes:
    • Jan 22nd, sale of the Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle Division to the Monaco Coach Corp. for $50 million.
    • Feb 5th, Initial attempt to trademark the 'Harley' (Potato-Potato) sound. Company spokeman Steve Piehl “We don't want the sound of our motorcycles to become the generic sound of motorcycles”.
    • A new, state-of-the-art Parts and Accessories Distribution Center opens in Franklin, WI. By the beginning of 1997, all inventory is moved from the original warehouse at Juneau Avenue to the new 250,000 sq. ft. facility. 471)
    • August 24, HD breaks ground for a new production center in Kansas City, Missouri.
    • Service notes:
      • All OEM oil filters are interchangeable between models (however we recommend that you use the appropriate filter for the model). 472)
      • All 1996 motorcycles should have the ignition timing checked with the vehicle at idle (950- 1050 rpm) 473)
        (not at 1650-1950 rpm as with earlier models)
      • A shortened the oil tank dipstick (62634-84A,) allowed for communized use between Sportster and Softail models.
        The location of the lower level mark is the same. The upper fill mark (not previously on Softails) is applicable to all models. 474)
      • Have difficulty removing stubborn Allen fasteners from the clutch and brake levers housings?
        A 4mm Allen wrench is a slightly tighter fit than a 5/32” Allen. The tighter fit makes it less likely to strip the head during removal. 475)
      • The latest turn signal module (68537-89F) does not incorporate the 10 second delay feature found in earlier modules (required for 1990 and earlier models with self-cancelling turn signal kit (91860-88B). 476)
      • Warmer weather will bring some motorcycles out of storage with a black spot in the odometer display.
        Apparently the cold temperatures cause this. Running the vehicle in warmer temperatures will cause the spot to disappear. 477)
      • Older mirrors sometimes get wobbly due to rust build-up on the pivot ball.
        Loosen the screws and spray WD-40 into the pivot and rock the mirror for a minute or so, then retighten the screws. 478)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883 $5,095
    • XLH Hugger 883 $5,760
    • XLH 1200 $7,360
    • XLH 1200C Custom $7,910
    • XLH 1200S Sport $8,360
  • All model changes include:
    • New larger gas tank now 3.3 gal w/rounded bottom edge on 1200 models
    • Cast Wheels upgraded to 13-spokes
    • New oil tank dipstick (see Service Notes above)
    • Improved adhesive for reflectors
    • The spoke nipple is a new style, as a running change, which requires a special Torx Plus driver for installation 479)
    • New outer clutch release ramp (25409-94A) has the coupler on the inside of the ramp.
  • XL 1200S:
    • Fully adjustable damping front forks and rear shocks with a slight power increase
    • Dual front floating disc brakes
  • XL1200C:
    • Dual staggered shorty pipes
    • Laced front 21“ wheel
    • Cast disc rear wheel with slots
    • Handlebar switches revised to more rounded style
  • Paint colors:
    • XL 883 (all models): Vivid Black, Patriot Red Pearl, States Blue Pearl, Platinum Silver, Mystique Green.480)
    • XL 1200: Vivid Black, Patriot Red Pearl, States Blue Pearl, Violet Purple, Two tone Victory Sun Glo and Platinum, Two tone Violet and Red Pearl, Platinum Silver and Black.481)


  • MoCo notes:
    • A new 217,000 sq. ft. Product Development Center opens next to the Capitol Drive plant in Milwaukee. The building is dedicated to Willie G. Davidson. 482)
    • Powertrain Operations at Capitol Drive expanded its capacity by moving FL engine and transmission production to a newly purchased plant located in Menomonee Falls. XL engines and transmissions, as well as Genuine Parts Manufacturing, remain at Capitol Drive.483)
    • A new 330,000 sq. ft. plant in Kansas City produces its first Sportster. 484)
    • Service notes:
      • New head torque procedure for Sportsters 485)
      • If you replace a rear fender on a '94 and later XL model because of cracking, use P.N. (59722-98) rear fender brace kit. 486)
      • Battery drain on Dyna and XLs may be due to the ignition switch not placed in the “off” position when the key is removed. 487)
      • Before replacing a voltage regulator for improper output, check grounds for good connections. Only 30% of regulators replaced have failed output tests. 488)
      • If you encounter a front brake light flickering or staying on without use of brake, it may be due to the piston return spring not returning to proper length. 489)
      • If you cannot get the round key into the lock, the tumbler shifts out of the index position when the key is removed.
        This does not, however, disable the lock permanently.
        These locks may still be operated by filing the ear from the key and inserting in the required lock position. This will help re-align tumbler. 490)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883
    • XLH 883 ‘Hugger’
    • XLH 1200
    • XLH 1200C ’Custom’
    • XLH 1200S ’Sport’
  • All model changes include:
  • XLH 883 changes include:
    • Larger gas tank (3.3 gal)


  • MoCo notes:
    • HD celebrates its 95th Anniversary. 140,000 plus riders are warmly received by Milwaukee to help with the celebration. 491)
    • A new assembly facility opens in Manaus, Brazil, the first operations outside of the U.S.492)
    • HD buys a remaining 49% interest in Buell Motorcycle Company. Erik Buell is named Chairman of Buell operations. 493)
    • Service notes:
      • XL batteries cracks in the case is being caused by over tightening the battery hold down strap.
        The strap nut should be tightened only until the assembly is secure, not to the end of the threads. 494)
      • When replacing a speedometer on 883’s, label one of the black ground wires on the harness before cutting to ensure it's located on the new speedo correctly.
        If the 2 black wires are switched, the unit will not power-up and function. 495)
      • There was a minor change to the rocker box head gaskets (16778-84B) and (16779-84C)
        The color changed from Gray to Green. The material is still the same, just a different color. 496)
      • A process change for powder coat fluoride levels will cause the inside of the crankcase to look stained or burnt up. This change will allow the powder coat to bond better. 497)
      • If you encounter a speedometer cable boot that is damaged at the drive end from contact with the brake rotor

screws, you should place silicone in the boot to seal against water entry and reinstall. 498)

  • Production Information:
    • XL 883
    • XL 883C 'Custom'
    • XL 883 ‘Hugger’
    • XL 1200
    • XL 1200C ’Custom’
    • XL 1200S ’Sport’
  • All model changes include:
    • Jiffy Stand gets replaceable bushings
    • New ignition module (still dual-fire) - All in nosecone (except 1200S)
    • First year for Bank Angle Sensor (BAS) (External - All models)
  • XL883C:
    • Standard 883 powertrain on a 1200C chassis.499)
  • XL1200S changes include:
    • Engine compression increased to 10:1
    • Single-fire ignition module (underseat) & quad-output coil
    • Dual-plug Buell Lightning heads (with hotter 'W' cams)
    • Manifold Air Pressure (MAP) Sensor (NO VOES)
  • Paint Colors:
    • XL1200S: Vivid Black, color option code (024).


  • MoCo notes:
    • The Touring and Dyna motorcycle families receive the new Twin Cam 88® engine. 500)
    • Parts notes:
      • There was a change made to the Sportster transmission detent plate to improve shift quality. The zinc die cast part has had a material change to powdered metal. The ramps were redesigned as well. The new part number is PN 33656-90A. This retrofits to all five speed XL’s 1991 and later. This change occurred on April 22, 1999. 501)
  • Production Information:
    • XLH 883
    • XLH 883 ‘Hugger’
    • XLH 883C ‘Custom’
    • XLH 1200
    • XLH 1200C ’Custom’
    • XLH 1200S ’Sport’
  • New transmission shift detent plate (see Service Notes) 502)
  • First Year for 1200C Forward Controls (stock)

2000 - 2009


  • MoCo notes:
    • The FXSTD Softail® Deuce™ is introduced .503)
    • The 2000 model year Softail® models are outfitted with the Twin Cam 88B™ engine, a counter-balanced version of the Twin Cam 88. 504)
    • Buell introduces the Blast®, a single-cylinder motorcycle. 505)
    • Parts notes:
      • 22 amp and 32 amp voltage regulators are now being painted with a tougher, longer lasting powder coat paint.
        As a result of testing, a dedicated ground wire will soon be added to XLs produced in Kansas City 506)
  • Fuel notes:
    • European Union bans leaded gasoline at the pump.507)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883 'Hugger'
    • XL883C ‘Custom’
    • XL1200
    • XL1200C ’Custom’
    • XL1200S 'Sport'
  • All model changes include:
    • Front axle redesigned with the same dims as previous but with a shorter (by app. .169”) head length.
    • 3/4“ sealed 4SSR wheel bearings on front and rear.
    • First year for 4-piston calipers
    • Pressed together flywheel assembly (supposed to be stronger and hold it’s trueness better)
    • New lifter anti-rotation pins are individual screw pins (no plate to hold them as previously)
    • New AGM type batteries 508)


  • MoCo notes:
    • The VRSCA V-Rod® is introduced for the 2002 model year. Inspired by the VR-1000 racing motorcycle, the V-Rod is Harley-Davidson's first motorcycle to combine fuel injection, overhead cams and liquid cooling, and delivers 115 horsepower. 509)
    • Harley-Davidson announces expansions at the Product Development Center (Milwaukee), as well as Tomahawk, WI, and York, PA, facilities.510)
  • Racing notes:
    • Harley-Davidson Racing announces the latest addition to the team: 17 year old Jennifer Snyder, the first woman to win a national event in the Formula USA National Dirt Track Series. 511)
  • Production Information:
    • XL 883
    • XL 883 'Hugger'
    • XL 883C 'Custom'
    • Xl 1200
    • XL 1200C 'Custom'
    • XL 1200S 'Sport'


  • MoCo notes:
    • The Buell® Firebolt® is introduced.512)
    • The Open Road Tour debuts in Atlanta, GA, in July to celebrate the upcoming Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary.513)
    • Parts notes:
      • A one-piece metal gasket (18800-84) will replace the two piece paper lower rocker gaskets (16779-84D and 16778-84B). This new gasket is not reuseable.
        When installing this gasket make sure the letters and numbers printed on the gasket are facing upward. Torque values remain the same.
  • Racing notes:
    • HD launched the Screamin' Eagle/Vance & Hines Pro Stock Motorcycle team in 2002 with rider GT Tonglet to compete in the NHRA Drag Racing Series. Harley-Davidson teamed with Vance & Hines Motorsports, winner of 23 NHRA titles, to develop a V-Twin engine that would be competitive with the four-cylinder engines prevalent in the Pro Stock Motorcycle class. 514)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883 'Hugger'
    • XL883C ‘Custom’
    • XL883R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200
    • XL1200C ’Custom’
    • XL1200S 'Sport'
  • First year of 883R 'Roadster'
  • First year for bullet-style turn signals across the line


  • MoCo notes:
    • Buell Motorcycle Company introduces the Lightning® XB9S. 515)
    • More than 250,000 people come to Milwaukee for the final stop of the Open Road Tour and the Harley-Davidson 100th Anniversary Celebration and Party. 516)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883 'Hugger'
    • XL883C ‘Custom’
    • XL883R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200
    • XL1200C ’Custom’
    • XL1200S 'Sport'
  • New style mirrors.
  • Special HD 100th Anniversary paint/badges
  • Last year for 1200S 'Sport' models
  • Last year for solid mount engine-to-frame on all models


  • MoCo notes:
    • For the 2004 model year, the Sportster® family models receive rubber engine mounting, a new frame, and a wider rear tire. Some Sportster® models receive a redesigned gas tank. 517)
    • The FLHRSI Road King® Custom is introduced. With its low rear suspension and wide handlebars, the FLHRSI brings a beach look to a classic Harley-Davidson motorcycle. 518)
    • Parts notes:
      • Fuel tanks on all 2004 Sportster and Dyna models, and Softail models produced after January 2004, are made from NiClad carbon steel. This material resists corrosion and eliminates the need for an epoxy coating inside the tank. 519)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883C ‘Custom’
    • XL883P 'Police'
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200R 'Roadster'
  • Rubber Mount Engine in redesigned frame
  • 883 heads have minor changes
  • 1200 Models get Buell XB-style Heads and 'W' Cams
  • First Year cylinders have larger fins
  • First Year for oil squirters for new piston design
  • First Year all models have Single-Fire Ignition & Coil
  • First year for Crank Position Sensor (CKP)
  • Bank Angle Sensor (BAS) integrated into Turn Signal Module (TSM/TSSM)
  • Trap door transmission eliminated (cases must now be split to access transmission).
  • Oil tank is mounted further under the seat
  • Seat height is lowered by an inch
  • Rear tire width increased to 150 mm
  • Custom models get 4.5 gallon gas tanks
  • New air cleaner cover
  • New 2-Piston Brake calipers
  • Brake calipers & master cylinders are Sportster only versions
  • Switch housings & handgrips are Sportster only versions


  • MoCo notes:
    • The XL 883L Sportster® 883 Low brings a lowered seating position to the Sportster® line.520)
    • The FLSTNI Softail® Deluxe adds a sleek look to the Softail® line and a paint scheme reminiscent of 1939 Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Also, the FLSTSC/I Softail® Springer® Classic revives looks from the late 1940s. 521)
    • Harley-Davidson and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) mark the 25th anniversary of their partnership. 522)
    • Service notes:
      • The torque has been increased for the flywheel sprocket nut for 2004-Later Sportsters from 190-210 to 240-260 ft lbs. 523)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883C 'Custom'
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883P 'Police'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' – Mid year intro
    • XL1200C ’Custom’
    • XL1200R 'Roadster'
  • Swing arm & rear wheel re-designed including a 1″ rear axle and a 1” Sealed 4SSR wheel bearing.
  • Last year for straight cut gears in the transmission. 524)
  • Shifter shaft diameter and thus the primary cover different due to bushing opening being larger in 2005 from 2004 525)


  • MoCo notes:
    • The first of the 6-speed transmissions are made available on 2006 model year Dyna™ motorcycles. Also joining the Dyna™ family is the FXDB/I Street Bob™. 526)
    • The 2006 model year includes the all-new FLHX/I Street Glide™, a lower profile touring motorcycle.527)
    • Harley-Davidson unveils plans for an all-new museum in Milwaukee, scheduled for opening in 2008. 528)
    • Harley-Davidson appoints Beijing Feng Huo Lun (FHL) as the first authorized Harley-Davidson dealer on mainland China. 529)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883C 'Custom'
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883P 'Police'
    • XL883R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200C ’Custom’
    • XL1200L 'Low' (mid year intro)
    • XL1200R 'Roadster'
  • First year of 1200R (black engine)
  • Last year of carbureted engines


  • MoCo notes:
    • The XL 1200N Nightster is introduced with black rims, fork gaiters, and a side mount license plate holder. 530)
    • The new FXCWC Rocker introduces Harley-Davidson’s first swingarm-mounted rear fender and 2-into-1 Trick seat. 531)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883C 'Custom'
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883P 'Police'
    • XL883R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200L 'Low'
    • XL1200R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster'
    • XL50 50th Anniversary of Sportster- Only 2000 Produced - Only This Year
  • First year for Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)
  • First year for Neutral Switch & Clutch Switch Interlock - Prevents starting if in gear and not holding clutch disengaged
  • EFI Ignition implementation means some parts from 04-06 won't fit anymore including seats and rear fender due to ECM location
  • 883 models receive 'W' cams (1200 only previously)
  • 883L lowered further
  • 883 & 1200 model heads each have minor changes - including modified intake manifold mounting surfaces
  • Introduction of 1200N mid-year (model different in some markets including taller shocks in Europe, no cut fender or side-mount plate in Canada)
  • Last year of 833R Roadster in the US
  • Last year for 3.3 gallon tank on 1200R
  • Last year 883 cylinders can be bored for 1200 upgrade


  • MoCo notes:
    • The Touring family now has an all new frame, providing longer wheelbase, lower seating position and better maneuverability. 532)
    • The all new Harley-Davidson Museum opens in Milwaukee on July 12. Located at 6th and Canal streets, the Museum showcases hundreds of classic and custom motorcycles, interactive exhibits and never-before-seen films and photographs.533)
    • Hundreds of thousands of riders from around the world converge on Milwaukee to celebrate Harley-Davidson’s 105th Anniversary. Riders and dealers raise more than $6.7 million for MDA. Entertainment includes the Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen. That same weekend, HOG marks 25 years with its own party. 534)
    • Service Notes / Recommendations:
  • Financial notes:
    • The U.S. Great Recession of 2008, also known as the Global Financial Crisis of 2008, is considered by many economists to have been the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. U.S. households lost on average nearly $5,800 in income due to reduced economic growth during the acute stage of the financial crisis. 535)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883
    • XL883C 'Custom'
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883P 'Police'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom
    • XL1200L 'Low'
    • XL1200R 'Roadster'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster' *
    • XR1200 (HDI only)
  • All model changes include:
    • New head gasket eliminates the O-rings for cylinder dowels. They can be installed either side up and will retro fit to earlier year models. The O-rings (26432-76A) are also eliminated from gasket kits.
  • Only year 1200R had 4.5 Gallon tank (in US)
  • Intro of hollow axles – both front and rear axles were re-designed with a 25mm OD hollow body and fitted with 25mm sealed 2SSR wheel bearings.
  • Last year for base 883 and 1200R in the US
  • Intro mid-year of new 883 cylinder design with thin steel sleeves536)
    • Cannot bore new design for 1200 upgrade
  • New Model XR1200 in Europe:
    • Black three-spoke lightweight cast aluminum wheels; 18“ front / 17” rear.
    • Sport-tuned Showa suspension with 43 mm inverted front forks and pre-load adjustable twin rear shocks.
    • Nissan dual 4 piston front brake calipers.
    • Brake rotors: 537)
      • Front rotors 11.5“ x .20” (292.10 mm x 5.08 mm) uniform expansion type.
      • Rear rotors 10.24“ x .28” (260 mm x 7.01 mm)
  • HDI Only - 1st year Jiffy Stand Interlock


  • MoCo notes:
    • Harley-Davidson announces expansion into India. 538)
    • The 2009 model year brings the first three-wheeler for public purchase in the new FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic. Also new is the history-inspired Cross Bones, a bobbed factory custom.539)
    • On October 30, 2009, Buell Motorcycle Company closed its doors, bringing an end to a 26-year run.
  • Production Information:
    • XL883 (HDI only)
    • XL883C 'Custom'
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200L 'Low'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster'
    • XR1200
  • First year 883N Iron - Blacked Out similar to Nightster
  • Front fender revised - closer to tire
  • First year of XR1200 in US (Limited edition 750 models):
    • Black three-spoke lightweight cast aluminum wheels; 18“ front / 17” rear.
    • Sport-tuned Showa suspension with 43 mm inverted front forks and pre-load adjustable twin rear shocks.
    • 4 piston brake calipers.
    • Brake rotors: 540)
      • Dual front rotors L - (41821-08), R - (41820-08)
      • Rear rotors (41833-08)

2010 - 2019


  • Production Information:
    • XL883C Custom (HDI only)
    • XL883L 'Low'
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883R Roadster (HDI only)
    • XL883N 'Iron
    • XR1200
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200L 'Low'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XR1200X (HDI only)
  • Revised Oil Tank, Electrical Junction Box and ECM
  • ECM relocated behind rear jug (allows seats and rear fenders from 04-06 to fit)
  • First year of XL1200X 48
  • Last year of XR1200
  • (HDI only) Intro of XR1200X - an XR with floating discs, and adjustable front and rear suspensions (including Showa Big Piston forks)


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow' (re-engineered Low)
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200L 'Low'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XR1200X
  • SuperLow replaces 883L 'Low' (first stock XL with radial tires but on smaller wheels with more shock travel - seat height slightly higher than previous 883L)
  • First year of XR1200X in US:
    • Higher-grade Showa suspension w/ Big Piston Fork similar to the current Suzuki GSX-R1000 or Buell Barracuda 2.
      (smoother, more responsive action and reduced weight, due to fewer internal parts)541)
    • Showa shocks with piggyback nitrogen-charged reservoirs (controlled ride at the rear - spring preload, plus
      compression and rebound damping - can now be adjusted at both ends)542)
    • Full-floating Nissin front brake rotors (292mm) 543)
  • Last year of XL1200L 'Low'
  • 883L, 883N, 883R and 1200L receive new 10-1/2“ rear brake rotor (cast wheels only).


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200N 'Nightster'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XL1200V '72'
    • XR1200X


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XL1200V '72'


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883LP 'Low Police'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XL1200V '72'
  • First year of XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
  • Significant changes for 2014 544):
    • All 2014 Sportsters will utilize the “HDLAN electrical system” (aka CANBus).
    • The BCM (Body Control Module) controls all things electrical; including the horn, headlight, and starter.
      • The BCM eliminates the need for separate TSM/TSSM modules.
      • Eliminates the need for load balancer for running LEDs.
      • Marketed that there are less wires and fuses needed.
    • Exhaust changes:
      • All US/Domestic models now have catalyst in the mufflers.
      • Welded cross over pipe.
    • Brake system changes:
      • The front calipers change from dual 25mm pistons to 34mm.
      • The rear brake is now a dual 35 mm piston.
      • ABS optional.
      • All models now fitted with a side mounted rear master cylinder (41700025). 545)
    • Bikes fitted with the security system will be shipped for “keyless” operation and ignition switch eliminated.
    • The rear swing arm mounting changes.
    • Oil Tank changes.


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL883R 'Roadster' (HDI only)
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XL1200V '72'


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200CX 'Roadster'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
    • XL1200X '48'
    • XL1200V '72'


  • MoCo notes
    • February 2nd, 2017 Harley executives rode to the White House to meet President Donald Trump.
    • July 18, 2017 HD's (HOG.N) shares skidded to a more than one-year low after the motorcycle maker cut its full-year shipments forecast as demand weakens among its aging baby-boomer customers and fewer millennials take to motorcycling. They also said it would need to cut production in second half of 2017, resulting in hourly workforce reductions at some of its U.S. plants. Harley's shares were down 9 percent at $47.17 in late morning trading on Tuesday. 546)
  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883N 'Iron'
    • XL1200C 'Custom'
    • XL1200CX 'Roadster'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT' $11,899 547)
    • XL1200X '48'


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883N 'Iron 883'
    • XL1200C '1200 Custom'
    • XL1200CX 'Roadster'
    • XL1200NS 'Iron 1200'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
    • XL1200X 'Forty-Eight'
    • XL1200X-ANX 'Forty-Eight -AnvEd'
    • XL1200XS 'Forty-Eight Special'


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L 'SuperLow'
    • XL883N 'Iron 883'
    • XL1200C '1200 Custom'
    • XL1200CX 'Roadster'
    • XL1200NS 'Iron 1200'
    • XL1200T 'SuperLowT'
    • XL1200X 'Forty-Eight'
    • XL1200X-ANX 'Forty-Eight -AnvEd'
    • XL1200XS 'Forty-Eight Special'

2020 - 2029


  • Production Information:
    • XL883L SuperLow
    • XL883N Iron 883
    • XL1200C 1200 Custom
    • XL1200CX Roadster
    • XL1200T SuperLow 1200T
    • XL1200NS Iron 1200
    • XL1200X Forty-Eight
    • XL1200XS Forty-Eight Special


  • Production Information:
    • XL883N Iron 883
    • XL1200NS Iron 1200
    • XL1200X Forty-Eight



Sportsters Specifications by Specific Year

Model K









Online Links to Sportster History Information

The following links are presented for your reading enjoyment. There is no claim of accuracy for the information presented in the destination links.

Chart by IXL2Relax of the XLFORUM
3) , 4) , 18) , 19) , 23) , 24)
1959-1964 HD Sportster FSM pg 1A-3
1972-2003 HD Shop Dope Service Bulletin No 392 11-27-1957
1955-1965 HD Sportster & KH Model Parts Catalog pgs 26,95
Credits to the Harley Davidson Data Book by Rick Conner 1996 MBI Publishing Company
14) , 15) , 16)
1958 HD Supplement Spare Parts Catalog for Sportster and K Models
17) , 20) , 22) , 26)
1953-1963 HD Sportster and K Model Parts catalog pg 58
1955-1965 HD Sportster & KH Model Parts Catalog pg 24
HD Service Bulletin #403 dated December 15, 1958
1955-1965 HD Sportster & KH Model Parts Catalog pgs 24,95
29) , 55)
-1985 Clymer Sportster Repair Manual pg 215
Harley Davidson Service Bulletin No. 465 dated Dec. 1, 1961 page number OA-1
37) , 38) , 39)
HD Shop Dope Service Bulletin No 455 December 6, 1961
HD Service Bulletin #465 dated July 9, 1962 pg OA-29
HD Shop Dope Service Bulletin No 454 December 4, 1961
HD Service Bulletin #471 dated March 15, 1963 pg OC-95
HD 1955-1965 Parts Catalog pg 24
HD Service Bulletin #520 dated September 27, 1965 pg OA-45
HD 1955-1965 Parts Catalog pg 24, 96
HD Service Bulletin #503 dated December 31, 1964 pg OC-149
Harley Davidson Service Bulletin No. 515 dated June 11, 1965 page #OC-169
HD Service Bulletin #507 dated Feb. 18, 1965 pg OC-155
53) , 78) , 106)
1961-1971 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 95
HD Service Bulletin #488 dated July 6, 1964 pg OA-40
HD Service Bulletin #494 dated September 15, 1964
HD Service Bulletin #521 dated October 11, 1965 pg OC-193
HD Service Bulletin #523 dated October 18, 1965 pg OC-199
HD Service Bulletin #541 dated July 15, 1966 pg OC-225
62) , 75)
HD Service Bulletin #542 dated July 15, 1966
HD Service Bulletin #528 dated December 31, 1965 pg OA-1
HD Service Bulletin #527 dated December 1, 1965 pg OC-209
Shop Dope Vol 4 Service Bulletin No 518 Sep 10, 1965
HD Service Bulletin #547 dated October 24, 1966 pg OC-237
67) , 68)
HD Service Bulletin #537 dated March 22, 1966 pg OC-221
HD Service Bulletin #534 dated February 17,1966 pg OC-215
1957-1967 HD Sportster / KH Parts Catalog pg 39
HD Service Bulletin #536 dated March 7, 1966 pg OC-219
HD Service Bulletin #546A dated January 8, 1969 pg OC-235
HD Service Bulletin #561 dated October 16, 1967 pg OC-259
HD Service Bulletin #545A dated June 7, 1968 as revised in April of 1970 pg OC-203
HD Service Bulletin #564 dated January 15, 1968
HD Service School - Service Bulletin #570 dated May 21, 1968
Shop Dope Vol 4 Service Bulletin No 563 Nov 29, 1967
HD Service Bulletin #571 dated May 21, 1968
HD Service Bulletin #572 dated June 10, 1968
1970-2010 Haynes Sportster Service and Repair Manual pg 0.5
Shop Dope Service Bulletin #588A dated October 9, 1969
89) , 90)
HD Service Bulletin #562A dated May 1, 1969 pg OC-261
HD Service Bulletin #591 dated June 23, 1969 pg OC-321
Shop Dope Service Bulletin #592 dated June 17,1969
HD Service Bulletin No 582 Dec 17, 1968
HD Service Bulletin #596 dated September 16, 1969 pg OC-331
HD Service Bulletin #605 dated November 28, 1969 pg OC-349
HD Service Bulletin #608 dated April 9, 1970 pg OC-355
HD Service Bulletin #616 dated September 30, 1970
1957-1969 HD Sportster FSM pg 3B-9
Shop Dope Service Bulletin #593 dated June 17, 1969
HD Sportster Parts Catalog 99451-78 pg 5
HD Service Bulletin #597 dated September 16, 1969 pg OC-333
HD Service Bulletin #623 dated April 15, 1971 pg OC-381
HD Service Bulletin #624 dated April 30, 1971 pg OC-33
HD Service Bulletin S6 dated September 27, 1971
HD Service Bulletin #625 dated August 2, 1971
HS Service Bulletin #634 dated February 18, 1972 pg OC-399
HD Service Bulletin #638 dated August 14, 1972 pg OC-407
118) , 119) , 157) , 194) , 234) , 379)
1972-2003 HD XR750 Service Manual XR 750 Production Schedule pg 69
HD Service Bulletin #627 dated October 11, 1971 pg OC-389
121) , 123) , 124) , 125) , 126) , 127) , 128) , 129) , 130) , 131) , 132) , 159) , 252) , 380) , 381) , 382) , 383) , 384)
1972-2003 HD XR-750 Service Manual pg 3
1954-1978 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 89
HD Service Bulletin #618C as updated December 17, 1974
HD Service Bulletin #652 dated July 30, 1973 pg OC-443
HD Service Bulletin #653 dated July 30, 1973 pg OC-445
HD Service Bulletin #669 dated August 16, 1974 as revised in September of 1974
HD Service Bulletin #675 dated October 14, 1974
DMV letter from the Director of the California DMV, Robert C. Cozens, dated May 31, 1974
Harley Davidson Service Bulletin #655 dated November 15, 1973 page #OC-449
HD Service Bulletin #663 dated May 29, 1974
HD Service Bulletin #659 dated March 6, 1974 pg 1
HD Service Bulletin #661 dated April 15, 1974
HD Service Bulletin #688 dated May 12, 1974
HD Service Bulletin #678 dated December 17, 1974
150) , 151)
HD Service Bulletin #686 dated April 8, 1975
HD Service Letter M-4 dated October 13, 1975
Management Memorandum No. 74-233 dated December 16, 1974 from the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Caifornia Highway Department
HD Service Letter dated October 25, 1975
HD Service Letter dated July 23, 1975
1975 HD Sportster Parts Catalog Supplement
HD Parts and Accessory Bulletin dated November 24, 1975
HD Service Bulletin #697 dated March 29, 1976
HD Service Letter M-7 dated November 7, 1975
HD Parts and Accessories Bulletin dated January 16, 1976
1954-1978 HD Sportster Parts Catalog Supplement
HD Parts and Accessories Bulletin dated October 5, 1976
HD Service Bulletin #705 dated November 11, 1976
HD Service Letter ML-39 dated March 4, 1977
HD Service Bulletin #M-712 dated June 16, 1977
HD Service Bulletin #M-713 dated June 10,1977
HD Service Letter ML-52 dated May 11, 1977
HD Service Bulletin #M-708 dated December 1, 1976
HD Parts and Accessories Bulletin dated February 8, 1977
HD Service Latter ML-38 dated March 4, 1977
1970-1978 HD XL/XLH/XLCH/XLT 1000 FSM
178) , 182) , 183)
HD Service Bulletin #M-711 dated June 3, 1977
1977 HD XLT Owners Manual Supplement pg 3
180) , 181)
1977 HD XLT Owners Manual Supplement pg 2
HD Service Bulletin #M-725 dated February 14, 1978
HD Service Bulletin #M-731 dated June 20, 1978
HD Service Bulletin #M-734 dated July 5, 1978
AMF Harley Davidson 75th Anniversary Models Brochure
HD XLH, XLCH 1000 Sportster Parts Catalog pg 91 (99451-78B)
198) , 199)
HD Service Letter dated March 2, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-743 dated April 3, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-739 dated November 3, 1978
202) , 207) , 238)
HD Service Bulletin #M-780 dated May 23, 1980
HD Service Bulletin #M-738 dated October 17, 1978
HD Service Bulletin #M-763 dated Decmber 21, 1979
1954-1978 HD Sportster Parts Catalog 49
HD Service Blletin #M-730 dated June 15, 1978
HD Service Letter #ML-110 dated March 2, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-744 dated April 3, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-735 dated July 14, 1978
1979-1985 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 87
214) , 215)
HD Service Bulletin #M-737 dated August 3, 1978
1979-1985 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 63
217) , 218)
1979 HD Sportster Parts Catalog, 99451-79A, pg 49
1979-1985 HD Parts Catalog pgs 63,65
220) , 221)
1979 Painted Parts List pg 510, 10-82
1972-2003 HD XR-750 Service Manual pg 69
HD Service Bulletin #M-759 dated October 16, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-764 dated December 21, 1979
HD Service Bulletin $M-768 dated March 18, 1980
HD Service Bulletin #M-777 dated May 13, 1980
HD Service Bulletin #M-778 dated May 13, 1980
HD Service Bulletin #M-779 dated May 23, 1980
HD Service Bulletin #M-793 dated July 3, 1980
1979-1985 Sportster FSM pg 3-39
HD Service Bulletin #M-781 dated May 23, 1980
237) , 240) , 242) , 244) , 246) , 247) , 248) , 249) , 250)
HD Service Letter #ML-131 dated September 14, 1979
HD Service Bulletin #M-760 dated November 16, 1979
1979-1980 HD Parts Catalog pg 3
243) , 245)
HD Service Bulletin #M-782 dated June 3, 1980
HD Service Bulletin $M-760 dated November 16, 1979
253) , 254)
1980 Painted Parts List pg 505, 1-82
HD Service Bulletin #M-800 dated October 10, 1980
257) , 258) , 259) , 260)
HD Service Bulletin #M-813 dated January 30, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-814 dated February 6, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-831 dated June 12, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-838 dated October 2, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-804 dated November 4, 1980
1979-1981 Sportster Parts Catalog pg 87
HD Service Bulletin #M-813 dated January, 30 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-829 dated May 19, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-832 dated June 12, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-830A dated June 30, 1981
272) , 281) , 282) , 324)
1979-1985 HD FSM
1981 Painted Parts List pg 506
274) , 275) , 276)
1981 Painted Parts List pg 508, 10-82
HD Service Bulletin #M-839 dated October 2, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-844 dated October 30, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-875 dated October 11, 1983
280) , 283)
HD Service Bulletin #M-845 dated November 17, 1981
284) , 288) , 289) , 291) , 292)
HD Service Bulletin #M-837 dated October 2, 1981
285) , 287)
HD Service Bulletin #M-840 dated October 2, 1981
HD Service Bulletin #M-848 dated April 9, 1982
HD Service Bulletin #M-853 dated March 19, 1982
HD Service Bulletin #M-851A dated March 23, 1982
HD Service Bulletin #M-855 dated July 19, 1982
295) , 296)
1982 Painted Parts List pg 503, 1-82
1982 Painted Parts List pg 507, 10-82
299) , 305) , 306) , 307) , 309) , 328)
HD Service Bulletin #M-856 dated August 6, 1982
HD Service Bulletin #M-857 dated October 5, 1982
301) , 302)
HD Service Bulletin #M-858 dated October 7, 1982
303) , 329)
HD Service Bulletin #M-867 dated March 11, 1983
304) , 308)
HD Service Bulletin #M860 dated November 12, 1982 pg 1
310) , 311)
HD Service Bulletin #M860 dated November 12, 1982 pg 2
312) , 346)
HD Service Bulletin #M-892 dated June 22, 1984
1979-1985 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 89
HD Service Bulletin #M-859 dated October 29, 1982
315) , 317) , 319)
HD Service Bulletin #M870 dated April 15, 1983
316) , 318) , 320)
HD Service Bulletin #M-870A dated May 10, 1983
330) , 331) , 332) , 358) , 359)
1983 Painted Parts List pg 503, 10-82
HD Service Bulletin #M-873 dated December 9, 1983
335) , 343) , 349)
HD Service Bulletin #M-876 dated January 13, 1984
336) , 344) , 350)
HD Service Bulletin #M-876A dated February 7,1984
HD Service Bulletin #M-881 dated March 9, 1984
HD Service Bulletin #M-883 dated March 13, 1984
339) , 352) , 353) , 354)
HD Service Bulletin #M-885 dated April 10, 1984
HD Service Bulletin #M-891 dated May 18, 1984
HD Service Bulletin #M-872 dated August 8, 1983
HD Service Bulletin #M-886 dated April 6, 1984
347) , 348) , 351)
HD Service Bulletin #M-894 dated September 7, 1984
1979-1985 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 73
356) , 357)
1984 Painted Parts List from P&A Bulletin P&A #207
360) , 361) , 362) , 363)
HD Service Bulletin #M-899 dated November 30, 1984
HD Service Bulletin #M-905 dated August 26, 1985
1986-1990 HD XLH FSM pg 1-6
1986-1990 XLH FSM
371) , 374) , 375)
HD Service Bulletin #M-906 dated August 19, 1985
1986-1990 HD Sportster FSM pg 3-44
HD Tech Tip dated April 1986
HD Service Bulletin #M-961 dated April 8, 1988
385) , 386)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-58
388) , 389)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-50
HD Tech Tip #20 dated August 1991
1986-2003 Clymer Sportster Repair Manual
394) , 402) , 420) , 422)
HD Tech Tip #27 dated October 1991
395) , 396)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-42
397) , 399) , 400)
HD Tech Tip #28 dated February 1992
398) , 404)
HD Tech Tip #29 dated April 1992
401) , 408) , 433) , 436) , 447)
HD Tech Top #34 dated July 1993
403) , 406) , 407) , 409) , 410) , 411) , 412) , 413) , 414) , 415) , 416) , 417) , 418) , 419) , 423) , 424) , 425) , 426) , 427) , 428)
HD Tech Tip #26 dated September 1991
405) , 421) , 437) , 438)
HD Tech Tip #30 dated July 1992
429) , 430)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-34
HD Tech Tip #33 dated January 1993
435) , 445)
HD Tech Tip #37 dated December 1993
439) , 440)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-26
443) , 444) , 448) , 450) , 451) , 452) , 454) , 455) , 456) , 457) , 459) , 461) , 462) , 463)
HD Tech Tip #35 dated August 1993
449) , 453)
HD Tech Tip #38 dated February 1994
HD Tech Tip #39 dated July 1994
HD Tech Tip #36 dated October 1993
464) , 465)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-18
HD HD Tech Tip #40 dated October 1994
469) , 470)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-10
472) , 473)
HD Tech Tip #43 dated September 1995
474) , 475) , 476) , 479)
HD Tech Tip #44 dated January 1996
477) , 478)
HD Tech Tip #45 dated April 1996
480) , 481)
HD 1989-1996 Painted Parts Book pg 1-2
485) , 486) , 487) , 488) , 489) , 490)
HD Tech Tip #46 dated October 1997
494) , 495) , 496) , 497) , 498)
HD Tech Tip #48 dated August 1998
1998 HD Sportster Parts Catalog pg 135
501) , 502)
HD Tech Tip #50 dated June 1999
HD Tech Tip #51 dated December 1999
HD Tech Tip #52 dated June 2000
HD Tech Tip #58 dated March 8-2004
HD Tech Tip #211 dated 9-16-2005
See Service Bulletin M-1267
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