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Sportster Motorcycle General Discussion and Problems For discussing problems about your Sportster motorcycle that don't fit anywhere else.

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  #31  
Old 1 Week Ago
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My point being, buy a genuine shop manual from H-D. Also owner's manual and parts manual for your model Sportster.
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  #32  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprtstr1200s View Post
My point being, buy a genuine shop manual from H-D. Also owner's manual and parts manual for your model Sportster.
Why would they ever become unavailable?!?
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  #33  
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Well, I wanted a owner's manual for 1999 XL1200s, for the shock settings. With that being said, DEALER said he would try to get one for me, $21.00. Three weeks later it came in. Now I have service, parts, and owners manuals and real happy to have them. I'm trying to get "Scanalyzer and cartage" for my bike for 2 years, no luck yet. Cha-Ching$$$$$$$$$. Walk into parts dept. ask for something for 19 year old bike. God help the guys with EARLY XLCH/H bikes. You know the ones with the shifter on the "RIGHT" side Hahaha
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  #34  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprtstr1200s View Post
Walk into parts dept. ask for something for 19 year old bike.
Point taken.
The old proverb with a bush in your hand.. or is that a bird....

Unless you plan on buying a new bike when parts and manuals are discontinued for your old one, it's probably best to get the manuals when they are readily available. Sure, you can get them cheaper on Ebay used. But, they are not always on the shelf there or other online sources.

In searching old threads from 10 years ago, there are countless vendors who have went belly up who may have had exactly what you need now.

The internet companies are volatile, seem to merge or vanish often and change their sources without notice.

I asked the Chevrolet parts dude on the phone for a source for a factory dipstick tube for an older V-8. He said they don't carry anything longer than 10 years. I then asked him how long he'd been working there. I believe he said about 4 years. To which I replied, "Then you only have six more years left yourself".

He didn't get it.
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  #35  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hippysmack View Post
Point taken.
The old proverb with a bush in your hand.. or is that a bird....

Unless you plan on buying a new bike when parts and manuals are discontinued for your old one, it's probably best to get the manuals when they are readily available. Sure, you can get them cheaper on Ebay used. But, they are not always on the shelf there or other online sources.

In searching old threads from 10 years ago, there are countless vendors who have went belly up who may have had exactly what you need now.

The internet companies are volatile, seem to merge or vanish often and change their sources without notice.

I asked the Chevrolet parts dude on the phone for a source for a factory dipstick tube for an older V-8. He said they don't carry anything longer than 10 years. I then asked him how long he'd been working there. I believe he said about 4 years. To which I replied, "Then you only have six more years left yourself".

He didn't get it.
I don't see the service manuals going away. There's too many in print,v and when they get old enough that the copyright expires you'll find them legally for free on the internet.

Not to mention the aftermarket ones are available too.
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  #36  
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Yes, there are many in print. All I'm saying is the only thing you can truly count on when you need it is what you have in your possession with an educated reason for having them.

The FSM, parts book and the owner's manual all play essential roles in repairing and maintaining your bike. If you have these, you are already in a better position than one's that don't.

When we were working on the parts catalog article in the Sportsterpedia, I learned there are different versions of a parts book and the newer editions have parts listed that were not the same as the original part number due to parts stock changes / upgrades over time. It depends on what you want the parts book to do for you as to which edition you need.

Buying a parts book today with -a on the end of the parts number is most likely a second edition, -b would be a third edition. It's all in the article in the wiki.

FSM's, especially long year span manuals, do not always keep the original information. I.E., If a part was used up through '76 but a service change in '77 mandated back to'70, then the 70-78 FSM may not even mention the previous procedure since it may not be practiced anymore by the MoCo for whatever reason. But, folks have been servicing their bikes based on the (then) FSM with no problems.

From the IH Wheels section (and a service bulletin).
This new Rear Wheel Rim, Tire and Tube Flap was also recommended as a retro fit to earlier model Sportsters. Consequently, the ’59-’69 FSM includes the installation of this flap with no specification of year model used on. However, this new flap did not make it into the 57-67 Parts Catalog or the 68 Supplement Catalog. It first appeared in the 1969 supplement Catalog.

The internet is what it is. I have a few, I'd say, and I got most of them from Ebay so I'm not knocking buying used.

Some people will not trust an aftermarket manual. I've been using Clymer, Haynes and Chilton most of my life. But, I eventually got to a point with V-8s that I mostly just needed torque specs. Forgot most of it by now though.

All of these service manuals have errors, including Harley. But, if I've gotta ruin something from following a manual, I rather that be the FSM.
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  #37  
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Well I still think the internet is a game changer in all this because there will be more and more sources, not fewer.

I'm not sure how the original parts manual is better than the updated one. The only change in an update is to change the superceded part numbers. NOS isn't a thing if the number was superceded. In this day and age it's very unlikely you'll find the older number on a shelf. It could happen, but unlikely. And I'm Harley speak that just generally means not having an a, b, c.

Now considering my career (now in my 25th year) of writing repair manuals and working with the OEM data I've always preached the same (even when writing for Chilton, Clymer, Seloc etc.).

I always preferred OEM and still largely do.

But these last two years working with www.cyclepedia.com I'll have to admit they are going the next step and making even better than OEM in most cases because they are giving the OEM data but with a literal photo-by-photo picture essay of the procedures. I've not worked with an OEM manual that thorough in much of my career. Ironically it was the Harley manuals that used to maybe come closest.

So don't get me wrong, I hear ya... But the world is an ever growing and changing place.
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  #38  
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I hear you Hippysmack. I still have the HD Panhead service manual I got with a used Panhead I bought in Cal. back in the '70's . It has a printed price on it for $12.50. I like having the printed stuff because switching back and forth between links and menus on a website gets frustrating at times and I can't haul my computer out to the shed with me. FYI, I,m one of the dinosaurs that's never owned or wants to own a cell phone. It doesn't mean I don't know how to use the things, I choose not to . I do love all this feedback, tho. You all know as well as I do that I'm the only one who can decide if I got a fair deal, or not.
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  #39  
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Change is a big word and can be good and bad at the same time.

Your obviously into reading manuals and knowledge for a better change while creating them. Nothing wrong with that. Read the link I gave about the parts catalogs when you have time. It will explain what I have posted. IXL2Relax and myself have spent a whole lot more time researching, thinking, writing and revising that article than my brain has allowed me in this thread. One can't progress until he knows where he's been. I'd love to see manuals with a collaboration of hands on and how to's combined with 'sho nuff' data but then again, this forum bridges that gap too.

I would like to know more about cyclepedia and I'm not knocking it. Just haven't heard about til now.
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You guys are doing a great job on the sportsterpedia.com, I've already used it on several occasions helping a friend with his basket '02 Sporty. He's been trying to use an '87 shop manual but too many differences. I Appreciate the Forum!
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