Harley-Davidson have always looked like they marched to their own beat, with innovations and departures from their core design coming few and far between. But that doesn’t mean the design department ignored what was happening in European and Japanese manufacturer’s development departments. In the 1970s, use of disc brakes, electronic ignition and electric starting became commonplace. The Sportster benefitted from these features along with the rest of the range and gained an extra 100cc to boot. For the 1979 season, the XLS was introduced with extended forks, sissy bar back rest and drag ‘bars.
By 1985, it produced 57bhp with 55 lbft of torque, shifting through a 4-speed gearbox, and was stopped by a pair of 254mm discs at the front and a 300mm disc at the back.
The 1985 Harley-Davidson XLS Roadster on offer here is from the last year of the “Iron Head”. Purchased brand new by our vendor in ’85, the bike was used sparingly until he sold it to his uncle a couple of years later. His uncle used the bike minimally before putting it in to his dry barn in the late 1980s. So our vendor eventually liberated it from its hibernation and bought it back. He set about a mechanical restoration with a local shop and a cosmetic restoration to bring it back to its former glory. With only minor blemishes (see photo of rear fender), the bike is offered in, what he describes as very good condition. Mechanically, he reports that the bike is in excellent condition and rides perfectly.
Frame no. 1HD1CBH1FY110927
Location: Dunstable, Massachusetts