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1966 Ironhead Sportster Short Chop

Thank God There's Harleys . . .

"KMac" from Fall River, MA, United States made available these pictures of his 1966 Ironhead Sportster Short Chop which was converted some 35 or 40 years ago. With her psychedelic paint job and and classic Chopper saddle this Harley Davidson Chopper represents a true 1970's oldschool motorcycle.

Image of 1966 Harley Ironhead Sportster Short Chop Motorcycle by KMac.

Look at the geometry of the motorbike as shown in this picture. The front fork seems to be extended by three or four inches, causing the frame to tilt backwards, and causing the rake of the front fork to be increased. We are in doubt whether the rear shocks might have been shortened as well.

We wouldn't mind if anybody would call this 1966 Ironhead Sportster a Custom Bobber, but technically speaking, increasing the rake of the front fork will make her a "Short Chop".

Photo of 1966 Ironhead Harley Sportster Chopper bike by K-Mac. Note that the Chopper style saddle and the rear fender have not been fixed to the bike yet.

Image of 1966 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper Motorcycle by KMac.

As you can see, when she was converted to a Chopper, the 1966 Sportster frame was left intact. Note how the rear fender strut supports are pointing downwards more than usual, a sign that the frame tilts backwards, which confirms that the rake of the front fork has been increased. Which makes her a Chopper.

The Chopper image is amplified by the psychedelic paint job and the chromed rear swing arm. Straight Bobbers lack excessive paint and chrome.

Image of 1966 Harley Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Front Wheel by KMac. Detail view of the 1966 Harley Davidson Sportster front wheel with drum brake (not hooked up yet).

Chopper or Short Chop?

Not all Choppers have been created equal...

In our perception, it's not the length of a front fork that tells us whether a bike is a Chopper or not. To us it is the rake that counts.

To us, as soon as a stock motorcycle or a Bobber has her rake increased significantly, she has thereby become a Chopper. Whether she has a long front fork or not.

For more information on Choppers and Short Chops, check out the Bobber Republic Info Pages!

Harley Davidson Chopper Tank

Photo of Peanut Fuel Tank on 1966 Ironhead Harley Sportster Chopper motorcycle.

There's no denying that the frame and fuel tank of this Harley Davidson Sportster Chopper are adorned with an awesome paint job!

Note the custom filler cap!

1966 Harley Davidson Sportster Engine

Photo of 1966 Ironhead Sportster Harley Engine. Here's a closer view of the 1966 Harley Davidson Ironhead engine of this Sportster Bobber.

Image of 1966 Harley Davidson Ironhead Engine.

Photo of horseshoe Chopper oil tank on 1966 Harley Ironhead Sportster.

Image of rear swing arm of 1966 Harley Ironhead Sportster.

(April 2010)

Photo of 1966 Ironhead Harley Sportster Chopper bike by K-Mac.




Clymer Service and Repair Manuals

Even if you have no intent to get your hands dirty - these books are a joy for every Harley Davidson fan!