Dave Hennessey - 1970 XLCH

At one of the AMCA Highlands Chapter monthly events, a man walked into our breakfast place and asked “Are any of you guys interested in buying a 1970 XLCH Sportster?”

He was the original owner, and the bike was original, except that the chainguard had broken and was replaced with a later model, and he had repainted it several times. The small XLCH tank was on it, but he had also purchased the larger XLH tank (optional that year) since he rode the bike cross-country several times. The frame decal showed that it had been assembled in August 1969, so it was one of the first 1970 bikes produced.

I fell in love. I had the engine disassembled and reassembled by one Highlands Chapter member, because it was leaking oil between the crankcase halves. I had it painted by another Highlands Chapter member. I decided to mount the large tank, as I was tired of stopping at every gas station.

I bought the wrong chainguard (60608-67 67-71 XLH) which has a similar curve to it) at Oley, but was fortunate to find the right one (60308-70 70-71 XLCH). I traded the NOS wrong one for a NOS right one - even-up! The bike is rather finicky to start, but once started runs quite strong.

2021 Update - I was fortunate to find a NOS 52012-66A Dual Seat, which was only used on the 1970 and 1971 XLCH. This is a totally different animal than the 52012-66 (the Aermacchi seat) which was used on the 1966-1969 models. Unfortunately, it was missing the front mounting bracket (52529-71) and clip (52117-61A), so it's on the shelf for now.