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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I recently picked up my girlfriends 1990 HD Sportster 883 from her building. The bike has been sitting for 2 years and we would like to get it running again. I live in a small town in SC and there are only 3 mechanics to choose from. Two of them have a "rip-off" rep and the other one is really backed up with work so it would be months to get it back. However, Greenville, SC isn't far and there is a Harley Davidson place there (as well as a ton of other mechanics). I was thinking of running it up there but wouldn't that be a bit pricey at the HD place? It needs 2 new tires (we picked out some cool avons), oil drained and changed, new battery, possibly new spark plugs, fuel lines cleaned although it was sitting without gas in it, possibly a new chain. I definitely don't want to wait for months and definitely want to dodge the rip off people. The manual tells how to do pretty much everything, but with my lack of experience with motorcycles I'd rather have someone who knows what they are doing make the bike safe and get it up and running. I only know how to ride them, and still a novice. Any help would be great thanks.
 

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yes you could take it to HD but i would just take it to a smaller shop you can trust the bike shouldnt need any major to get it going
 

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Oil change is something you can do yourself, same with the battery. So maybe that can help you cut down on mechanic costs and make your decision a little easier?
 

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Depends on where they have the battery located on the sucker. With some bikes it's as easy as popping off a panel, with others (such as my old 250 Nighthawk) you have to unbolt the entire side panel to do it. Not saying it is super difficult or complicated but it can be a pain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the help guys, yeah I am going to prob. change the battery myself, it is easy to get to. I'll leave everything else to the mechanic. As far as taking it to a smaller shop I can trust, I'm clueless on who to go to around here, guess I'll have to live and learn. The HD place is even backed up, he said it would be a week or 2 before he could even get to it. I guess it is the busy season. Thanks again!
 

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Gone.
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If you have the service manual and a few basic tools there's nothing you can't do yourself. (Other then possibly mounting tires.) If you're in no great hurry just take your time and follow the SM step by step. If you get hung up, don't understand something, or just get confused or lose confidence, send me an note and I'll talk you through it. Or, if you are planning on a vacation to Florida throw it on a trailer and we'll knock it out in a day.
 

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HellBilly
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If you have the service manual and a few basic tools there's nothing you can't do yourself. (Other then possibly mounting tires.) If you're in no great hurry just take your time and follow the SM step by step. If you get hung up, don't understand something, or just get confused or lose confidence, send me an note and I'll talk you through it. Or, if you are planning on a vacation to Florida throw it on a trailer and we'll knock it out in a day.
What he said. Everything but the tires you could do yourself; It just seems hard at first. But you feel awesome after doing even little stuff to your bike, and can lord it over your non-biker friends ("Oh yeah, sorry I'm late; had to change the oil in muh bike, ya' know?") I could barely turn a wrench when I started doing my own maintenance ; Take your time and you'll be fine.

Bonus incentive; you're going to save yourself anywhere from $100-$300 (Rates based on where I live) if you do stuff yourself. The only thing I'd take to the dealer/shop is the tires, unless you really want to build some character.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well for all the parts: tires, intake seals, carb, battery, new oil filter/change. Fixed a blinker (and a cpl other parts) it was $435 and $200 in labor. I went to an awesome mechanic at Ancient Iron in Anderson, SC named Pappy. He got her up and running like new. I've already put 500 miles on that joker in 4 days. I'm in love with it.
 

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Well for all the parts: tires, intake seals, carb, battery, new oil filter/change. Fixed a blinker (and a cpl other parts) it was $435 and $200 in labor. I went to an awesome mechanic at Ancient Iron in Anderson, SC named Pappy. He got her up and running like new. I've already put 500 miles on that joker in 4 days. I'm in love with it.
So, 635 total? Or just 435 and 200 of that was labor? Either way, glad you got it running...and 500 miles in 4 days? Man, I wish I had the time to ride like that...
 

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Everything but the tires and chain removal sounds fairly simple and straightforward. Save yourself some money and do everything you can yourself.
 
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