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79 Harley-Davidson XLS 1000 Roadster discussion forum:
|rat said 2004-05-10 20:16|
I wanted to add my input on this particualar bike. My friend and I purchased two of these bikes brand new but I never checked their serial numbers to see if they were one apart. First of all with my bike being totally stock with the exception of drag pipes, I got a solid 72 mpg continuously on the open highway. My friends bike did not reach the 70 mpg mark but than he never ran drag pipes. He always had a muffler system. The one problem that my friend encountered with his was continual problems with the electronic ignition and after the frustration was overwhelming he switched his over to the old points style system which I believe solved his ignition problems. The only problem I remember having with mine was a charging system problem. I was never able to solve the problem. I know I had to purchase a battery every year and I still had problems with a dead battery. I installed a kickstart on my bike which really never helped because apparently when the battery had no juice the ignition was still dead and did not generate enough spark by kicking. I almost bought a magneto for mine but never did. I did do a lot of push starting which was embarrassing.
I am sure if I had the bike today I could have fixed it but back then the electonics was still greek to most of the mechanics in this area. Other than that it was a great bike. I was able to ride mine in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gear straight up in down in a wheelie. It was an awesome wheelie bike. Go twenty mph in first gear pull the clutch in take it to about 5000+ on the tach dump the clutch and she would stand straight up! Later as I beefed it up with cams, a weber carb, and the drag pipes I was able to whip any motorcycle in a 1/4 mile drag race that was not 4 cylinders and 750 or larger in cc´s. My bike would j-hook and then leave the line in a wheelie with me laying on the gas tank and those 750 and 900 jap bikes would jump 20 feet on me instantly. Needless to say my bike had more top end believe it or not at the half mile mark I was making a comback(I seen 128 on the speedo once with my brother on the back and left a 550 honda four cylinder about a mile behind us). On the open road I could lay my knee on the asphalt through the turns just like a flat tracker. On the back twisty roads I could loose those 750s and 900s. One time I had to turn around and go look for them and they were searching the woods for me because they thought I missed a turn. Those were the good ole days. By the way one day when I was power sliding my bike at 60 mph+ wide open in second gear, I lost the bike on gravel that spilled over from a ditch and needless to say my glory days of machoism were over. I never made a comeback in the bravery department after that accident. Hang on to those 79´s, they are classics to us old farts who owned them and needless to say we did our part in keeping Harley alive today. We had enough American Spirit to purchase the so called basketball bikes(AMF) and thank God enough of us did. In 1979 I could have purchased the local Harley Dealership for $80,000. I believe they sold 4 bikes that year. That was the biggest mistake I ever made in my life by not buying that dealership. Today I could not buy it for $800,000.
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