To make it easier for you to choose the right manual, we have compiled various information for you below, such as model designations, types, and production years.
This manual is applicable to the following models: Sportster / Harley-Davidson Inc / Harley-Davidson Motor Co / Harley
1979 XLH Sportster 1000
1980 XLX Sportster 1000
1981 XLS Sportster 1000 Roadster
1982 XLS Sportster 1000 Roadster
1983 XLX-61 Sportster 1000
1984 XLX Sportster 1000
1985 XLH Sportster 1000
4A1-1001 to 4A9-38000
4A2-1001 to 4A2-16000
Model or production year(s): 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985
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"Download the Original Harley-Davidson Sportster Parts List and Manual: Unveiling 1979-1985 Engine Specifications, Maintenance Tips, Modifications, and More!"
Welcome to the comprehensive guide on the iconic 1979-1985 Harley-Davidson Sportster! In this article, we will delve into the technical data, maintenance tips, common issues, modifications, and more that are vital for any Sportster enthusiast. So, whether you're a proud owner or an admirer of these classic machines, get ready to discover everything you need to know to keep your Sportster running smoothly and in top-notch condition.
• Engine Type: V-twin, 4-stroke.
• Displacement: 998cc (61 cu in) for 1979-1980 models, increased to 1,100cc (67 cu in) for 1981-1985 models.
• Bore x Stroke: 3.00 in x 3.81 in.
• Compression Ratio: 9:1.
• Carburetor: Bendix constant velocity (CV) carburetor.
• Ignition System: Electronic ignition.
• Cooling: Air-cooled.
• Transmission: 4-speed, later models upgraded to 5-speed.
• Primary Drive: Chain.
• Final Drive: Belt.
• Horsepower: Approximately 50-65 hp (varies by model and year).
• Torque: Around 55-65 lb-ft (varies by model and year).
• Clutch: Wet, multi-plate.
• Frame: Tubular steel with engine as a stressed member.
• Front Suspension: Telescopic forks.
• Rear Suspension: Twin shock absorbers.
• Front Brake: Single disc.
• Rear Brake: Drum, later models offered a rear disc option.
• Wheelbase: Approximately 59.6 inches.
• Fuel Capacity: Around 3.3 gallons.
• Oil Capacity: Approximately 3 quarts.
• Weight: Varies between 490 lbs to 560 lbs, depending on the model and equipment.
• Top Speed: Approximately 100-110 mph (160-177 km/h) depending on the model.
Facts and Details:
- The Sportster line saw significant design improvements in 1986 with the introduction of the Evolution engine. The 1979-1985 models feature the Ironhead engine.
- The 1980-1985 Sportsters had an increased alternator output, improving the charging system's reliability.
- The Sportster XLX-61, introduced in 1983, featured a 61-cubic-inch engine and a solo seat, catering to riders who preferred a classic look.
- In 1984, Harley-Davidson celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Sportster by releasing a limited-edition model with commemorative badges and trim.
- The 1985 Sportsters were equipped with improved rear swingarms, enhancing the bike's stability and handling.
- Some Sportster models from this era came with a kick starter as well as an electric starter for added convenience.
- The Sportster's classic peanut-shaped fuel tank design, introduced in 1982, remains an iconic feature to this day.
- Throughout these years, the Sportster lineup was available in various configurations, including Standard, Roadster, Low Rider, and Super Glide.
- The Sportster's popularity soared during the 1980s, making it one of Harley-Davidson's best-selling models.
Maintenance Intervals, General Maintenance Tips, and Common Issues:
► Regular oil changes should be performed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.
► Clean and lubricate the drive chain or inspect the belt tension regularly.
► Check and adjust the valve clearance every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
► Inspect the spark plugs and replace them as recommended by the manufacturer.
► Clean and adjust the carburetor periodically to ensure optimal performance.
► Monitor brake pad wear and replace them when necessary.
► Regularly inspect the tires for signs of wear and maintain proper tire pressure.
► Keep the air filter clean and replace it as needed to maintain engine efficiency.
► Check the battery and electrical connections for corrosion and ensure proper charging.
► Inspect the suspension and steering components for wear and proper function.
Five Tips for Effective Sportster Maintenance:
1. Follow the recommended maintenance schedule in the owner's manual to keep the bike running smoothly.
2. Keep the bike clean and free from dirt and debris, especially in hard-to-reach areas.
3. Regularly inspect and replace worn-out components, such as brake pads, spark plugs, and filters.
4. Use genuine Harley-Davidson parts and recommended fluids to ensure the best performance and longevity.
5. Store the bike in a cool, dry place and use a motorcycle cover to protect it from the elements.
Popular Tuning Tips or Modifications:
■ Installing performance exhausts and air intake systems can improve airflow and boost power.
■ Upgrading to a larger carburetor or a performance EFI system can enhance fuel delivery.
■ Adding aftermarket suspension components can improve handling and comfort.
■ Upgrading the ignition system with electronic components can enhance spark and ignition timing.
■ Installing a high-performance camshaft can provide a more aggressive power delivery.
Accessories and Attachments:
+ Sissy bars and backrests.
+ Luggage racks and saddlebags.
+ Windshields and fairings.
+ Upgraded seats and passenger pegs.
+ Handlebars and grips.
+ Foot controls and shift levers.
+ LED lighting and auxiliary lights.
+ High-performance air filters and intake kits.
+ Custom paint and decals.
+ Performance exhaust systems and mufflers.
+ Engine guards and crash bars.
+ Upgraded brake components.
+ Custom wheels and tires.
Owner Reviews and Opinions:
☺ Classic and timeless design.
☺ Good power and torque for its size.
☺ Nimble and agile handling.
☺ Iconic Harley-Davidson sound.
☺ Versatility for customization.
☻ Limited long-distance comfort.
☻ Vibration at higher speeds.
☻ Limited stock braking performance.
☻ Older technology compared to newer models.
The 1979-1985 Harley-Davidson Sportster is a legendary motorcycle that holds a special place in the hearts of riders and enthusiasts worldwide. Its robust engine, classic design, and endless customization possibilities make it a true icon in the world of two-wheelers. By following the maintenance tips and investing in regular care, you can ensure your Sportster continues to provide thrilling rides and unforgettable memories for many years to come.
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