Original and unrestored with just 89 miles,1973 Harley-Davidson XLH1000 Sportster Frame no. 3A45652H3 Engine no. 3A45652HA

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Lot 191
Original and unrestored with just 89 miles
1973 Harley-Davidson XLH1000 Sportster

Frame no. 3A45652H3
Engine no. 3A45652HA

Sold for US$ 6,900 inc. premium
Original and unrestored with just 89 miles
1973 Harley-Davidson XLH1000 Sportster

Frame no. 3A45652H3
Engine no. 3A45652HA

Now approaching its 60th year of continuous production, the Harley-Davidson Sportster is one of the longest-running model lines in vehicular history, two wheels or four. Here we have a 1973 example, original and unrestored, showing less than 100 miles.

For such an important model, the Sporty did not have a particularly auspicious beginning when introduced in 1957, being basically an 883cc overhead-valve conversion to the K-model flathead roadster, which it resembled in style and performance. Stripped-down, pumped-up models were soon to come, but the early Sportsters did their job well – offering sporting riders an alternative to the lightweight, nimble-handling imports from England then gaining favor. With its swingarm frame, unit-construction engine/gearbox, foot shift and hand clutch, the Sportster was definitely not your grandpa's Panhead dresser.

In fact, throughout most of the 1960s, the hotted-up XLCH Sportster was the meanest bike on the block, able to easily dust off British 650s in stoplight drag races. That reputation was definitely on the wane in 1973, though, when this XLH rolled off the assembly line, not that Milwaukee's ad writers were letting on. "To handle this one, you have to have earned it," bluffed the ad copy, "Pull the trigger. Hang on!" Those puffy-chested claims didn't jive with reality, however, when the Sportster came up against the new Japanese four-cylinders or a good-running Norton 850.

And in truth the Sportster, despite a bump to 998cc, was already conceding the performance high ground in favor of a more sophisticated ride. The electric-start XLH had previously done away with the CH's cantankerous kick lever, and in 1973 for the first time it was equipped with Kayaba forks, a front disc brake and turn signals.

A true time capsule, this particular XLH1000 was purchased in Kansas City, Kansas, and ridden just two times by the original owner, who then stored it carefully in his garage for decades, having covered just 89 miles. It is original in every way, including the period Goodyear tires. The collection acquired the bike from the first owner's son.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the engine number for this motorcycle is 3A45652H3.
Contacts
Original and unrestored with just 89 miles,1973 Harley-Davidson XLH1000 Sportster Frame no. 3A45652H3 Engine no. 3A45652HA
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