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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I now have around 760 miles on this bike. over 600 since last Thursday. I took it to the Delmarva/Ocean City Bike week. Where to start:

1. It is not a touring bike, that is for sure. It has a comfortable ride unless you hit a hard bump then the rear suspension let's you know it is there.

2. It handles like a dream. Tucks nicely into a turn and powers out without an issue. My chicken marks are about 1" and I am not pushing the bike at all. In OC you normally have to pass your entrance and make a U-turn to enter a business of the other side of the street because of the medium. I noticed I was doing it in a lane and a half when everyone else was taking over 2 lanes.

3. In slow bumper to bumper traffic it is very easy to balance and slip the friction zone to maintain a roll instead of putting your feet down every 20 feet. My hands are sore because it has a high performance Barnett clutch which is very heavy and the front brake is stiff as well. It stops very well, no fuss no muss. There just isn't much give in the lever.

4. The sound of those drag pipes, you either love or hate. They are loud and have a nice burble between shifts, not to mention the pop and snarl as you slow. I would like to drop the level about 20 db by changing the baffles. The guy at the Vance and Hines trailer said you can't do it with baffles you would have to change the pipes.

5. My leg position is not comfortable. Not sure what I can do about it. Probably need to stretch the tendons in my inner thight. I am very sore there where my legs end. My right leg has to wrap around the air cleaner and then bent back in to the peg. I really have to twist my foot to get more than an inch of the brake petal. There is nothing in the way on the left and my left leg is the sorest. I think the wind just pulls it out and keeps pressure on it. Maybe I should hug the tank and rub all the paint off of it.

6. There is a slight wobble in the front end between 20-25 mph. The handle bar ends move about a half inch. I don't notice it at any other speed. I will have to get it up in the air and see if I can find anything.

7. Vibration. It is a Harley. It vibrates. It has always driven me crazy on other bikes (including Harleys) that I have tried. It puts my feet to sleep as well as my hands. And that Evo lope what can I say about that other than awesome.

BOTTOM LINE: I have wanted one since I can remember. It is exactly what I thought it would be. I don't love it yet but getting there. I think she likes me too!
 

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Maybe a longer brake pedal and shifter will help with the foot position. I'm not sure if the pegs themselves are a problem, but longer ones can usually be found as well.

I'm not sure how to adjust the rear suspension on those, but that may be an option. I bet there are aftermarket solutions to the short travel, but I'm not sure how costly they are.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The rear suspension is new as is the shock on the front. I think it is more that my fat butt is used to the air suspension on my RSTD.

The book says there not adjustable, but it is a softail and the suspension on newer ones is. I am going to have to take a look. I have the old ones as well so I should be able to see if they are adjustable.
 

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Aging & Worn
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Ya know........for all I heard about the vibration of a Harley, I only really experience it when sitting still with the motor running, and I don't sit that long to be bothered by it.

I wouldn't say that any vibration I experience has annoyed me at any time.

-Soupy
 

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Didn't you let some air out of the tires? That didn't help at all? Then you may have to put the stock back on. Stock surely won't be as stiff if you can't find a way to soften what's on there now.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I let 10 lb out of the rear from 45 to 35, left the front alone at 31.5. I just haven't looked at the shocks to see if they are adjustable. The owner's book says no.
 

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I maybe wrong but I thought the only way to adjust the ride on those was to get an aftermarket shock like a Progressive that adds an adjustment. Maybe Eye has a secret way to do it though.:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Don't know Eye, I cannot see any labels on them. There appears to be a spot on the shaft for a wrench that sits against a washer like stop. You would have to disconnect the end of the shaft from the mount to move it.

The ones that came off are Showa or something like that and they don't have anything on the shaft you could put a wrench on. I did notice these shocks have remote reservoirs. The new ones don't seem to have that feature.
 

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88

Is 88 the engine size? And FXSTS must be the model. But for us dummies, what type of bike is it? Harley makes Sportsters and a variety of cruisers, is about all I know. Not counting the V Rod. I hear mention of screaming eagles. We saw many of them out on the boat this summer. And some Osprey.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Don't know Eye, I cannot see any labels on them. There appears to be a spot on the shaft for a wrench that sits against a washer like stop. You would have to disconnect the end of the shaft from the mount to move it.

The ones that came off are Showa or something like that and they don't have anything on the shaft you could put a wrench on. I did notice these shocks have remote reservoirs. The new ones don't seem to have that feature.
Generally speaking, Softail shocks are adjustable with a special wrench. (About $20.00.) You loosen the lock nut then turn the adjuster plate on the shock can itself to add or decrease pre-load, then tighten down the lock nut again. It's relatively easy to do as long as you can jack up the back of the bike.

Softail shocks don't have any reservoirs unless they are some fancy-shmancy air adjustable aftermarket unit.

If you can get a picture or two of the shocks you have on there I might be able to tell if they're adjustable.
 

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Troublemaker
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I now have around 760 miles on this bike. over 600 since last Thursday. I took it to the Delmarva/Ocean City Bike week. Where to start:

1. It is not a touring bike, that is for sure. It has a comfortable ride unless you hit a hard bump then the rear suspension let's you know it is there.

Hard suspension, but that's okay, it's a Harley

2. It handles like a dream. Tucks nicely into a turn and powers out without an issue. My chicken marks are about 1" and I am not pushing the bike at all. In OC you normally have to pass your entrance and make a U-turn to enter a business of the other side of the street because of the medium. I noticed I was doing it in a lane and a half when everyone else was taking over 2 lanes.

This is good!

3. In slow bumper to bumper traffic it is very easy to balance and slip the friction zone to maintain a roll instead of putting your feet down every 20 feet. My hands are sore because it has a high performance Barnett clutch which is very heavy and the front brake is stiff as well. It stops very well, no fuss no muss. There just isn't much give in the lever.

Hard clutch, but that's okay, it's a Harley

4. The sound of those drag pipes, you either love or hate. They are loud and have a nice burble between shifts, not to mention the pop and snarl as you slow. I would like to drop the level about 20 db by changing the baffles. The guy at the Vance and Hines trailer said you can't do it with baffles you would have to change the pipes.

It's too loud, but that's okay, it's a Harley.

5. My leg position is not comfortable. Not sure what I can do about it. Probably need to stretch the tendons in my inner thight. I am very sore there where my legs end. My right leg has to wrap around the air cleaner and then bent back in to the peg. I really have to twist my foot to get more than an inch of the brake petal. There is nothing in the way on the left and my left leg is the sorest. I think the wind just pulls it out and keeps pressure on it. Maybe I should hug the tank and rub all the paint off of it.

It not comfortable, and it hurts to ride it, but that's okay, it's a Harley.

6. There is a slight wobble in the front end between 20-25 mph. The handle bar ends move about a half inch. I don't notice it at any other speed. I will have to get it up in the air and see if I can find anything.

7. Vibration. It is a Harley. It vibrates. It has always driven me crazy on other bikes (including Harleys) that I have tried. It puts my feet to sleep as well as my hands. And that Evo lope what can I say about that other than awesome.

Other bikes vibrate, drives you crazy, but this one vibrates and puts your hands and feet to sleep, but that's okay, it's a Harley.

BOTTOM LINE: I have wanted one since I can remember. It is exactly what I thought it would be. I don't love it yet but getting there. I think she likes me too!

You got what you want, it's a Harley.
It's a great looking bike, but with all your dislikes, it sounds as you need to get a different model if you want to ride a Harley. I don't think you will ever love the bike, but you are in love with the brand.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
2Play,

Getting comfortable on the bike will require me to get off my lard ass and do some stretching and loosen up some tight tendons. 20+ years behind a desk and old age will do that to you.

Sorry you thought I was complaining. I thought I was giving an honest first impression.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Generally speaking, Softail shocks are adjustable with a special wrench. (About $20.00.) You loosen the lock nut then turn the adjuster plate on the shock can itself to add or decrease pre-load, then tighten down the lock nut again. It's relatively easy to do as long as you can jack up the back of the bike.

Softail shocks don't have any reservoirs unless they are some fancy-shmancy air adjustable aftermarket unit.

If you can get a picture or two of the shocks you have on there I might be able to tell if they're adjustable.



The cylinder is on the left. The shaft has like a nut fitting on it and then a lock nut. The right side is where it mounts to the swing arm. One of the locking nuts was loose the other finger tight. To my mk1 mod1 eyeball they do not seem even distance to the mounting section. One appears to be an RCH wider.



This one isn't as good but at the very bottom you can see the cylinder, the ring on the shaft I was talking about and then the nut fitting and lock nut.
 

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Troublemaker
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2Play,

Getting comfortable on the bike will require me to get off my lard ass and do some stretching and loosen up some tight tendons. 20+ years behind a desk and old age will do that to you.

Sorry you thought I was complaining. I thought I was giving an honest first impression.
I hear you on the getting out of shape. I just started taking care of some of that last April. I have since lost 60 pounds and can now do things easily that used to be a lot of work. I need to lose another 20 or so, but it is getting a lot harder now than it was. I say this while looking at a bag of 3 Musketeers on my desk. I know the old age thing too, my oldest grand daughter is graduation college next year, seems like it wasn't that long ago she was just starting pre school!

I'm sure you will like the bike, it's just that your first impression is quite negative on the things you expect out of it. I have had bikes that were that way at first, never kept them long enough to try and work it out. I either love it or hate it, and that will not change. A test ride isn't enough to make a decision for me any more. Doesn't matter what badge is on it, so I'm not bashing HD, everyone knows how they are, it's just that some love it, some hate it, but to most, it's the status of owning one. I don't have a problem with that, but the ones that just have to have an HD usually have them sitting in the garage under a cover waiting for the value to shoot up and call it an investment.

I hope you love it, but it would be a lot easier if it was what you wanted to begin with.
 

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Well, I can tell you it ain't a normally adjustable shock, but I can't tell you WTF you have on there.;)

Normally on the end of the cylinder that you see in the left side of the picture you'll have an adjustable end plate with 4 holes in it, and you'll have a length of threaded rod visible between the cylinder and the fitting that attaches to the swing arm. Yours looks like a solid end piece, and there's absolutely no room for adjustment even if there was an adjuster plate.

I called a friend and he said Harley did try an air shock on a few models of early Softails, but he didn't know which ones, and neither of us has ever seen one. It might be worth looking at a Progressive upgrade or something.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
You may have missed the fact that I bought it for buzzing around town not long trips (I have the RSTD) for that. And of course the first thing I do is take it for a long trip without getting used to it.

My comments were not meant to be negative and I am sorry they sound that way. I just went back and re-read what I posted. The only thing that I feel is slightly negative is #5 and 7. 5 because my chuncky legs hurt from the position they were in. Stretching more should take care of that. #7 is missing a bit of what I typed. "This one vibrates as well but does not put my hands and feet to sleep and that Evo.....

6. After checking the front end I am fairly certain is the windshield It went on for the trip and is coming back off.

Bottom line is I like the bike warts and all and have already turned down two offers that would have made me a decent profit.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I will have to get further under it There are no holes in the end plate but there are holes around the end of the cylinder.

This is the old shock.

 

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Well, I can tell you it ain't a normally adjustable shock, but I can't tell you WTF you have on there.;)

Normally on the end of the cylinder that you see in the left side of the picture you'll have an adjustable end plate with 4 holes in it, and you'll have a length of threaded rod visible between the cylinder and the fitting that attaches to the swing arm. Yours looks like a solid end piece, and there's absolutely no room for adjustment even if there was an adjuster plate.

I called a friend and he said Harley did try an air shock on a few models of early Softails, but he didn't know which ones, and neither of us has ever seen one. It might be worth looking at a Progressive upgrade or something.
Your eyes are better than mine. I can't even tell what I'm looking at. But then I'm used to shocks on the side so you can get a good picture of them.
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeah the pictures aren't as good as they could be. I dropped tire pressure to the manual levels, 30 and 32. We will see what that does.
 
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