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1976 XL1000 creativity



I had a '76 XL1000 for the past 10 years, but lost 3rd gear this summer, so I bought an '06 XL1200C to ride. I would really like to do something creative with the old bike, but don't really know where to start. I believe the bike is totally stock except the seat, and the turn signals have been removed. I think that to just put it back on the road again, I will have to replace the rear brake drum-not much pedal, fix transmission (3rd gear) and rebuild engine (smokes at idle).

With these things in mind, I start to think of what kind of mods I could do along the way - like rear disc conversion, 5 speed conversion, big bore kits, maybe a belt drive conversion, wider rear wheel. I know options are endless, but money isn't.

I have looked around a little, but have not found any good resources for simple / inexpensive upgrades and conversions for these old bikes. I was hoping someone on here had good advice for me. Maybe even just some good pics of a mid-late 70's XL which has had extensive work done using original frame and engine.

This is a great place for general Sportster advice. Give us a bit more direction. Are you a chopper guy? Does a cafe bike catch your eye? Flat track replica? A Sportster is a great blank canvas on which you may paint anything you like.
I like the Cafe Racer look and I think this bike would play the part well. I don't want to make this bike a chopper, and have not seen a flat track replica that catches my eye. I like the pro-street look that so many builders are going to these days, but this bike can't make a transition like that on a budget. A classic/modern cafe sounds like a good option.
Considering you have a 1976 my thought would to clone the 1978 XLDR café racer style. Even though you have a modified bike, it can still be a highly desirable machine.

My son and I are currently redoing a /75 XLCH as a hard tail bobber. The engine has been bored out an rebuilt and the bike pulls hard in all 4 gears. We're having a bit of a problem with the wiring to the right turn signals (they're required in Canada) but we're working on it. My son has custom made a new spring seat pan, side licence plate mount, tank mounts (peanut tank), headlight mount, rear fender, etc. Good thing he's a sheet metal fabricator. Anyway it's good to know there's a lot of knowledge available on this forum. We'll be counting on you guys for advice I'm sure.