Chalk it up to the fact that our next “Under the Radar” focuses on the 1972-1985 Harley-Davidson Sportster, but this week we found ourselves trolling through eBay’s Harley listings to see what kind of old American Iron we could find.
And what a find. From what the seller says, this 1959 Sportster, only the third year for the Sportster model and the second year for the XLCH, was laid up in a shed about 1981, and hasn’t turned a wheel since. The XLCH (for “Competition Hot”) was a minimalist animal; 1958 models were sold with no instruments, lights or mufflers, equipped with straight pipes only. For 1959 things got a bit more civilized, with lights and, on some models, a speedo. The seller claims the original owner died in 1968, after which the bike was stored for 11 years. It came out of storage for a short three years, before being parked for another 19 years.
Except for the non-original paint and the Mikuni flatslide carb, this rare old Sporty looks remarkable complete and original, and would make an excellent foundation for someone looking for an early Sporty.
To visit the auction for this 1959 H-D Sportster, go here.
To see our Motorcycle Classics feature on another 1959 Harley-Davidson Sportster, go here.