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.