Ian Smith's Ironhead Sporty


Ian Smith is a second-generation beverage businessman whose turf includes Birmingham, Alabama. How anyone can make a living selling Red Bull in the land that perfected moonshine is beyond my comprehension, but if the clean specs and reliability of his ironhead are any indication, old Ian is doing fine. Perhaps Red Bull is just what the doctor ordered for shaking off the cobwebs after a long night of 'shining by the moonlight. Whatever the case may be, Ian, his motorcycle and the human jet fuel he slings for a living have my undying respect.



I learned a bunch of stuff the hard way about my motorcycle after the initial build. Here’s what happened. It was last year’s Big Mountain Run. My crew and I stopped in Chattanooga for lunch and I decided that my bike was running well enough to put all my gear—including the spare battery—in one of the chase vehicles. We hit I-75 during rush hour and my battery drops a cell while I'm doing 75 in the left lane. I'm running and then I'm not. The chase car with my tools and spare battery are heading down the highway with the pack.

There was no room in the median, just a concrete barrier. I sent a few frantic text messages to guys up the road and wondered what to do next. A Tennessee State Trooper had to block five lanes of I-75 so I could push my bike to the next exit. After about a 1-1/2 miles of pushing I found a doctor’s office and asked if I could use their computer to Google the nearest auto parts store. My boy Big Boss Ross rode back 25 or so miles with my battery and saved the day. I learned a lot on that trip and it exposed every issue that still needed attention with my machine. I'm proud to say I made it home and now my bike is as reliable as a 39-year-old motorcycle can be. I just ride it and enjoy it until something breaks.


Owner: Ian Smith

Bike name: Alabama 1/2 Sack

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

Motor: 1973 XLH Stock

Frame: Hardtailed by previous owner

Fork: Narrow Glide shaved by Big Boss Ross

Home-built custom bits: I made the seat and saddlebag; Big Boss Ross turned the foot controls; Spenser and Larry at Garage Company Customs built the stainless exhaust

Thanks: My friends Larry Pierce at Garage Company Customs, Bill, Big Boss Ross, Spenser, Whitey, Custom Jeff and Chopper Ed

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Commented on 7-23-2012 At 07:18 am

Hell Yeah! This bike rules. Congrats Ian.

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 08:01 am

nice bike i love the tank

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 08:53 am

Ian's bike rules! And he pukes early so he can party all night.

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 09:19 am

Yeah. that one is good.

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 09:48 am

Love this bike!

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 10:09 am

one of my fav ironheads

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 11:51 am

I've seen this bike go from P.O.S. to beautiful righteous machine. Ian has learned more and worked harder than any 3 other bastards I know. Makes me proud to ride with him.

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 12:08 pm

I like the bike better since he painted over all that fairy dust

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 12:08 pm

Great lookin bike! Perfect stance, that bag is classy

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 12:31 pm

great meeting you ian up in bama. great bike. love that front end

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 12:46 pm

Thanks guys! Appreciate the comments from you classy individuals!

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 03:22 pm

got love ironhead style

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 05:44 pm

What tank is that?

Commented on 7-23-2012 At 08:51 pm

Ian always smells nice...eventhough he sweats alot...he smells better after riding the Ironhead...Ironheads rule...Ian rules...eventhough he's building a Shovel...he won't smell as good after riding a Shovel...I ride an Ironhead...I don't smell as good as Ian after riding my Ironhead...Do you like New York Strip or are you a fag?

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 09:20 am

I recall seeing pics of this one before and it's one of my faves as well. Simple and classy, not overdone and built to ride...dig it.

Hey Ian, what kind of clutch lever and perch are you running there? Is that just a stock HD? I haven't looked at many Ironheads before but I need something simple like that.

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 01:12 pm

great bike. the old ch's had magnetos which ALWAYS got me home. i like my
evo sportster now, but i have had battery 'issues'. but i don't miss those sketchy knee-popping kickstarts too much.

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 03:06 pm

Congrats dude. You do smell good. If you weren't married you'd prolly be pretty good at getting laid.

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 07:48 pm

Everything about that bike looks great!

BMFC: It's a Superglide tank

Commented on 7-24-2012 At 09:10 pm

good suff dude. great work on that looks awesome!*

Commented on 7-25-2012 At 02:32 am

Great bike! Clean and simple. Love that saddle bag.

Commented on 7-25-2012 At 08:40 pm

awesome stance

Commented on 7-28-2012 At 08:11 am

Yo Leatherman! I jus' dropped in on CC to catch up'n what do I seee.... U and yer sweeet lookin' sled were the feature. Way 2 go Ian and well deserved. The ole Ironhead always looks great and your leatherwork steps it up a'nudder notch dude! Congrat's bro!

Commented on 8-6-2012 At 02:06 pm

damn i love ironheads.. a thing of beauty..

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