Since Larry owns Garage Company Customs, a motorcycle shop, all of our time revolves around motorcycles, so knowing which motor is which is a must. Impressing the guys with all this knowledge is fun and it helps me understand most of what they are talking about. If your man is anything like mine, a girl that knows her motors is level 10....so study up and flex your knowledge on him!!
First, you must know what to look for....
Rocker boxes are the easiest way to distinguish american v-twins from each other. Even with after market rocker boxes, they look close enough to the originals that you should still tell them apart.
ROCKER BOXES are the tops/caps/covers on TOP of each end of the "V" or heads on the motor.
1948 (1973 THANKS RICKY)
These do not have rocker boxes that sit on top of the "V" or heads, like later models.
Look for the "fins" on the head of the motor
These rocker boxes have 2 large nuts on each box and the front looks similar to a knuckles on your hand. They are bulky looking
These rocker boxes are completely enclosed on top, with a lip running around the bottom. They look similar to a pan or hat sitting on top of the "V" or heads.
These rocker boxes are horse shoe shaped from the top and have 2 nuts on the front and each side.
They do resemble the knucklehead (just don't tell your man that), but these nuts are much smaller and not as bulky. Shovelhead rocker boxes have a much sleeker and smaller look.
These rocker boxes look very similar to shovel heads, but the main thing that sets Ironhead sporsters apart is their transmission being connected in one case with the motor. With the other motors these two parts are completely separate.
|The transmission (part sticking out on bottom left) is connected to motor|
|SHOVELHEAD- The transmission is not connected or pictured|
So go get 'em girls!!!