Dave Patmore’s Harley Sportster Rebirth . 1976 1000cc Iron Head Sportster It started about three years ago after giving the garden a make over and building a large play house at the bottom for the kids, one half for my bits and the other half for them, and after sitting down I started to twiddle my thumbs getting board I needed something to put in there,
I started to think of what I could do, at this point a bike was the furthest thing from my mind but I have had several bikes and done motocross when I was younger for quite a few years, but after seeing wide ass bike cruising down the road and the pipes singing there song, the visions soon started, so after picking up my laptop and started looking at the classified sites a bike was found. This bike was found in a back garden after seeing an add, It had sat for a number of years and was a non runner with a seized clutch, swing arm and front wheel, the rest of the bike was in a bad way it had been butchered and had a number of non Harley parts on it, it showed signs of both rust and corrosion. It also had no neither v5 nor number plates nor very little history. Once rescued and back home in my shed I had a picture in my head of what I wanted,
the duo glide look the total opposite of the machine that inspired me in the first place, I had seen a number of these bikes and liked the classic look it started to grow on me so the bike was stripped and started from scratch, I wanted to give it the fat look of a big twin and a longer wheel base. So I started by getting a few tools and cutting of all the old brackets to tidy the frame up, the swing arm was eventfully removed and the seized bearings knock out, a new set were fitted and the swing arm refitted to test its operation,
it was then removed again and I started to lengthening the swing arm by 6 inches and relocated the lower shock mounts to lower the rear by 4 inches and then added a fat boy front end this gave me the rolling chassis. I then could work out how long the front tubes needed to be to make the bike level then I relocated and modified the top shock mount and used a pair of rear fender struts from a soft tail, the next step was to find a full rear fender but because the chain runs on the other side to most Harleys the chain cut out was on the wrong side, so the rear fender was made from a sidecar fender and the chain cut out was put on the right side this also gave me the full fender, the battery was put under the seat and a cover made to hide that and the wiring loom, next was the oil tanks,
these were not going to be bought of the selves so I had a set made, the custom made oil tanks and chain guard were made by P&D Bikes along with all the major welding of tank and shock mounts . the set of shovel tanks that came with the bike were used and needed very little modifying, the solo seat was recovered and I put the studs around the skirt to add the classic look and modified a road king seat rail to fit and along with the seat springs it work well. After all these parts were test fitted it was stripped, and the frame and swing arm was sent of to be sand blasted and powder coated.
By now I had a good idea of what was going to fit and what was not, what I wanted and were to get it. EBAY this online auction site will have any thing you need to rebuild a bike and its world wide, I was looking at dorking boot sale for parts in the morning and shopping in the states that afternoon, I must admit I have found a good few deals on there and friends, by now I had collected a tee chest full of new parts and started to fit them when the frame came back, I got a deal on a pair of 16inch rims and bought a new set of tubes and put together the front end this gave me the rolling chassis, I started to fit the tanks and the dash unit this was very tedious as it took a lot of adjusting to get every thing to sit right the handle bars were fitted to make sure nothing hit. The hole thing was dry built and the engine was replaced the rest of the parts added to ensure every thing fitted. Then it was dismantled back to the rolling chassis. the engine has been totally rebuilt with S&S crank set, rod and pistons, the heads were stripped and powder coated with the rest of the engine and then new valves, springs and guides were fitted, the oil pump was overhauled and an oil filter added, the gear box was checked and all bearings replaced and shimmed along with a new clutch. Crane hi4 ignition and home made wiring loom. every nut and bolt was replaced and all the chroming has been done local platers,
Pro plate, finely the tank and fenders were painted by a friend and the prep was a lot of work many nights of rubbing down and shaping up, the colours are original Harley, Venetian blue and birch white sprayed in a classic duo glide style and then I put the rest of the bike all back together it took me about two years to finish and was more of a hobby then a project and have enjoyed the whole rebuild, when I was down to the last few bits silly nut and bolts, washers and sills This is when I found out that Harley Davidson UK was running a best sportster competition which the first round was in less then a month and was told that I should go in for it…so I did only finishing my bike days before the first round. The first round was held at stadiums Chingford London, and it was the middle of summer but the sun weren’t shinning but it wasn’t raining so of I went with a few mates and entered my bike…it came first along with another 4 bikes to go onto the second round,
after that I did a few miles to run her in and fine tuned a few bits, quered a few oil leaks and added a bit more chrome the front and rear fender rails. The second round was just outside Watford and ounce again me and a few mates set of, this turned out to be on of the hottest days of the year and a great day it was…I won again me and 4 other were of to faker see in Austria for the finals. When we got to Austria it was amazing there were bikes every were trade tents and stalls and some of the most amazing bikes I have ever seen, all walks of life and what really opened my eyes was how friendly the people were, it was such a buzz to see people from all over taking photos of my bike and there mates taking photos of them next to my bike and people taking the time to ask questions and congratulating me on a nice job, now my bike may not appeal to every one but I have put all I had into it and would like to think that its finished off to a high standard and its what I had in my head when I first started out. any way the judging was on and the three judges were taking a good long look at al the bikes,
there must have been around 20 bikes in the final and they were all nice bikes……the judges took there places to announce the results and I was over the moon to win 1st place for custom classic, and never thought I would be entering any completions but when other people look at it or take photos it does make me happy, and to think I done most of it myself. Many of the new parts have been bought from the states via eBay auction a well worth place to look for new and old parts.
Here’s The Gory Details, er I mean the
OWNER: DAVE PATMORE ORIGINAL MAKE, YEAR & MODEL: HARLEY DAVIDSON SPORTSTER ENGINE: 1000cc IRON HEAD
ENGINE MODIFICATIONS:.. The engine has been totally rebuilt with S&S crank set, pistons and rods,S&S Super E carb rejetted and running open drag pipes I also drilled the main jet air bleed hole out to .050 to help stop some of the midrange hesitation that is likely to plague me on the iron head the heads were stripped and powder coated with the rest of the engine and then new valves, springs and guides were fitted, the oil pump was overhauled and an oil filter added, the gear box was checked, an Andrews main shaft and counter shaft were fitted all bearings replaced and shimmed along with a new clutch. The generator was repaired and new brushes the starter was overhauled and new brushes fitted, heavy gauge audio power cable was used to get the power to the starter along with a Crane hi4 ignition and home made wiring loom.
FRAME: Original 76 XLH with modified rear shock mounts and fat bob petrol tank mounts added and then powder coated black
FRAME MODIFICATIONS: I wanted to give it the fat look of a big twin and a longer wheel base, so I started by lengthening the swing arm by 6 inches and relocated the lower shock mounts to lower it by 4 inches and then relocated and modified the top shock mounts and used a pair of rear fender struts from a soft tail, the battery was put under the seat and a cover made to hide that and the wiring loom, the custom made oil tanks and chain guard were made by P&D Bikes along with all the major welding of the shock mounts . the set of shovel tanks that came with the bike were used and needed very little modifying, the solo seat was recovered and I added the seat studs around the skirt to add the classic look and modified a road king seat rail to fit around the rear of the seat and along with the seat springs it work well.
EXHAUST: Half length straight through fish tails, these were on the bike when I bought it and was one of the things that attracted me to it I never wanted to change them as they have the classic look, so I had them rechromed, heat shield are not available but I was given some odd ones by biff and I will have a go making them fit this winter.
FORKS: Harley fat boy 41mm front end with chromed lower sliders and tin ware, one off stainless steel bearing cups WHEELS: 16 inch chrome wheels with stainless spokes and chromed hubs and hub caps, Dunlop white walls BRAKE(S): Standard H/D front caliper, rebuilt and chromed, rebuilt Lockheed rear caliper with custom made bracket and chromed, homemade goodridge braided brake lines with hydraulic brake switch mounted behind rear fender and 11 ½ inch vented disks…………..and chromed
HANDLEBARS: knucklehead style 1 ½ chubby bars with chrome controls, switches, levers and braided cables.
LIGHTS: Beehive rear light with the Harley trio up front and no indicators
MUDGUARD(S): Heritage front fender dressed with chrome trims and spears and a classic fender rail, the rear fender was made from a sidecar fender and the chain cut out was put on the right side, TANK: Twin 5 gallon fat bobs from an early shovel and using a cat eyes dash, one off leather tank panel my own design SEAT: Single seat was with the original bike and has been recovered and studs added to the skirt for the classic look, one off seat rail made from an old road king rail then rechromed, 3 inch springs add the finishing touches
ELECTRICS & BOXES: One off wiring loom made by me and relays added for passing lamps and horn
PAINT: Classic colours and style from the duo glide and painted in two pack by my mates peter and Alex
POLISHING/PLATING: a lot off the one off items were chromed and the modified parts were rechromed a large amount of the new bits were bought chromed
OTHER STUFF: One off forward controls incorporating oil filter and running boards made from bit a pices,rear fender rail made from an original duo glide rail modified to fit, one off classic looking full chain guard, of coursed all chromed, old style horn