Fathead Bobbers
Indian Bobbers
Classic Ironhead Sportsters
Oldschool Bobber Project
Flathead Bobbers
Knucklehead Bobbers
Panhead Bobbers
Shovelhead Bobbers
Blockhead Bobbers
 HOME |  Ironhead Short Chops |  Ironhead Choppers | Links |  Bobber Republic Info Pages

1978 Harley Ironhead Short Chop

Thank God There's Harleys . . .

Dave from Bristol, Connecticut, United States made available these pictures of his Harley Lowrider Chopper which he built in 3 months on the basis of a 1978 Ironhead Engine in a raked Sportster frame with bolt on hardtail.

Dave says this Sportster Short Chop is very hardcore and not for the faint of heart. While she is totally roadworthy and goes very straight, she does the "chopper flop" at low speed, a trait of any bike with this much rake. Dave warns that if you have to ask what the chopper flop is, then this type of bike probably is not the bike for you. Also, she does not like to be laid over in turns too far because of her lowness. (Dave wanted her to ride even lower, but the ground got in the way...)

Photo of 1978 Sportster Lowrider IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. Dave and his friend Jeff (who is a certified welder) raked the stock 1978 Sportster frame to 50 degrees. The bolt on hardtail was dropped 4.5", as low as Dave could go.

Photo of 1978 Harley Lowrider Sportster IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. The 1978 XLH 1000 Ironhead motor has stock ignition, Andrews cams, a Mikuni carburator and a K&N air filter. The exhaust pipes were fabricated by Dave, and have Screamin Eagle tips. The front chain sprocket has 22 teeth, the wheel sprocket has 51 teeth.

Photo of 1978 Sportster Lowrider IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. The forks are 1973 35mm Kayaba which Dave extended. The 19" front wheel has a stock hub and rim, powdercoated black, red pinstripe on the rim, and fitted with a Continental Dirt Track tire.

Photo of 1978 Harley Lowrider Sportster IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave.

Photo of 1978 Sportster Lowrider IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. Raked frame, rigid tail...

Photo of 1978 Harley Lowrider Sportster IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. This 1978 XLH has left foot shift. Dave rebuilt the tranmission with new gears, bearings and forks, in combination with a Barnett clutch kit.

Photo of 1978 Sportster Lowrider IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. The seat is a 3" sprung solo. The oil tank was scratchbuilt by Dave from a fire extinguisher. Those old school brass fittings look real cool!

Photo of 1978 Harley Lowrider Sportster IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave. That's the K&N remote oil filter. The 18" rear wheel has a stock hub and rim, powdercoated black, and is fitted with a Dunlop Dirt Track tire. Note the red pinstripe on the rims, looks real neat.

(September 2008)

Bobber or Chopper?

Mind you, we love Dave's bike and think she beautiful. And if anybody wants to call her a Bobber, respect, please go ahead.

But just for clarity, here at Sportster Bobbers we would rather classify her as a "Chopper".

To determine whether a bike is a Chopper we generally assume the following rule:

Any stock bike or Bobber of which the front fork has been elongated considerably or of which the rake has been increased considerably, has thereby become a Chopper.

We like to follow this rule since in our mind a Bobber is created by removing parts of a stock bike. And in our mind, Choppers have raked and/or elongated front forks, and Bobbers do not.


Long Chop or Short Chop?

No doubt, Dave's Harley Lowrider is a Short Chopper or "Short Chop".


Want to read more about Short Chops?   Check out the Bobber Republic !




Photo of 1978 Harley Lowrider Sportster IronHead Hardtail Bobber by Dave.




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!