When I saw this 1977 Ironhead Sportster on Craigslist, I just couldn’t resist. Something about the black and white paint job made me think of Stormtroopers (from Star Wars, not Nazi Germany). It’s definitely been a technological terror (which apparently is common with AMF Harley-Davidsons), and I’ve already had fun troubleshooting electrical issues, whining clutch bearings, a rusted-out tachometer cables, a leaky brake master cylinder, and fouled plugs galore.
At one point, I was afraid I’d been sold a thirty-six year-old hunk of junk. And we all know where fear leads, right?
Well, I tried to go all Jedi-zen, and accept that this bike is just high maintenance, but Master Yoda wasn’t around to guide me. So yes, when my front cylinder stopped firing, my fear quickly lead to anger, and when my turn signals stopped working DURING the Virginia Motorcycle Safety Inspection, my anger lead to hate, and when my battery died and I had to roll start the bike back from the inspection station, rather than just give up and cry, I embraced the Darkside.
I am know bending this Ironhead to my will, forcing all pistons to fire, blasting electrical connections clean, and forcing the battery to charge under the watchful gaze of my minion, Admiral Battery Tender.
It may take this old Ironhead twelve parsecs to make the Kessel Run, but I’ve shown it who is the Learner and who is the Master!