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1974 XLH Sportster Frame Details

Affe is from Finland, a country with a great culture and fine tradition when it comes to American V-twins.

Affe made available these pictures of the frame of his own Harley Davidson 1974 Ironhead Sportster XLH 1000 which he took when he was restoring it.

Here you see the Harley XLH frame after stripping and cleaning, prior to modification of the diagonal rear stiffeners (see arrow) for the rear fender strut mounting:

Photo of 1974 Ironhead XLH Sportster Frame by Affe from Finland.

At some point in early 1973 Harley Davidson modified the frame design of its Sportster line. The U-shape cast steel top rear end node of the frame (i.e. underneath the saddle) was changed to a stamped and welded U-shape arrangement.

After delivery of the first batch of Sportsters outfitted with the new frame, it soon became apparent that the new stamped and welded U-shape arrangement was underdesigned and could not withstand the forces of the rear springs / shock absorbers and the weight of the rear fender.

Harley quickly redesigned the stamped and welded U-shape arrangement and came up with the diagonal stiffener braces indicated in the photo above, and which became standard until around 1979 when Harley Davidson again redesigned the rear end of the Sportster frame.

Photo of 1974 Ironhead XLH Sportster Frame by Affe from Finland. Here's the same Sportster frame after modification of the diagonal rear stiffeners, which was required to clear a wider rear fender.

This sure looks like a nice and clean piece of work, ready for coating.

CLICK HERE for more information on the modifications that Affe made to the frame of his 1974 XLH Ironhead Sportster.

Photo of 1974 Ironhead XLH Sportster Frame by Affe from Finland.

Photo of 1974 Ironhead XLH Sportster Frame by Affe from Finland. Here you see the XLH frame after coating, ready to start building up.

For more information on the modifications that Affe made to the frame of his 1974 XLH Ironhead Sportster go to:

1974 XLH Frame Modifications by Affe

Or check out Affe's own website:

Affe's Harley-Davidson and American V-twin Website

(May 2008)


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