American IronHorse LegendIn the August '06 issue we tested the Legend. As of 2006, American IronHorse Motorcycles finds itself among some pretty elite motorcycle companies. Back in 2005 when the company announced its '06 model lineup, the Fort Worth, TX, manufacturer of high-performance, luxury custom choppers and cruisers began a celebration of its 10th year in business. Anyone who has followed the American V-Twin market lately can attest to what an accomplishment that is these days.
The Texas Chopper and LSC each have 8 inches of stretch in the dual downtubes; the Legend has only 6 additional inches. The backbone shares the same dimensions, with 4 inches added when compared to stock measurements. This allows all the choppers to utilize IronHorse's patented Super Stretch Chopper Tank, which became an instant classic when it debuted on the Texas Chopper back in 2002. Another major factor differentiating the Legend from the rest of the chopper family is this year's introduction of a new set of handlebars designed exclusively for this model. The bars and their integral risers are designed to pull back to the rider 2 inches farther than the bars on other models. This, coupled with the shorter frame, doesn't just make for better ergonomics-the bars add to the bike's overall ridability and control. As with the entire lineup of AIH bikes, the Legend begins with a frame manufactured exclusively for AIH by Daytec. One of the industry's premier manufacturers of frames (both suspended and rigid), Daytec will be providing all the frames used by AIH in 2006. Manufactured from DOM tubing and other high-quality components, the powdercoated frame unites an A-frame and a Softail-style swingarm tethered to the frame via a pair of Progressive manually adjustable shock absorbers. Out front, the neck is raked to 38 degrees and comes with a set of AIH's own 4-degree raked and polished triple-trees, complete with internal fork stops. Leveling out the front of the bike is a set of 10-inch-over fork tubes with polished lower legs.
Powering the Legend is a 111ci polished Super Sidewinder Plus engine. This proprietary powerplant is standard on all '06 models and can be upgraded to either a polished 117-inch or a polished 124-inch motor, both from S&S (upcharges are $1,000 and $2,000, respectively). S&S's 111-incher boasts bore and stroke numbers of 4-1/8-inch bore and 4-1/8-inch stroke for smooth operation, while its compression ratio is set to 9.5:1. IronHorse only offers the motor in a carbureted version, with no EFI option available as of this writing. Completing the EPA-approved package is an AIH ignition, and a good-looking and -sounding two-into-one exhaust system, complete with heat shields. Other features found on the Legend are a hydraulically operated clutch designed to give the rider reduced effort at the lever, four-piston brake calipers, floating brake rotors, and a hidden-strut rear fender. The turn signals have also been upgraded from traditional bulb-style to vibration-resistant, long-life LED-style.
When it comes to the ride, we always have different-sized riders on our test bikes, and quite often there is a large disparity in the way a particular bike fits various sizes of riders. While this is true with the Legend, most of us felt comfortable on the bike. The new handlebars go a long way in adding to the bike's comfort; instead of having to lean forward to reach the bars, they come back nicely, allowing for a natural seating position that takes a lot of strain off the rider's lower back.
Having the ability to drop the transmission into an overdrive (.86:1-ratio) Sixth gear was welcome as we ran the bike down the freeway in the 75-80-mph range. When you consider that the Legend has a base MSRP of $30,195 and is backed by a 98-dealer network that will take care of the bike under warranty for 24 months and unlimited miles from the date of purchase, we feel that the Legend is a very good value.