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lowering shocks

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  #1  
Old 14th November 2019
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Default Seeking advice on shorter rear shocks

I'd really appreciate the benefit of some seasoned knowledge. I'm just getting started on my Ironhead project. I'm calling it a '79 thru 84 XLH. The title says it is an '82, the front brakes are '84 according to the picture in my Clymer manual, and which parts seem to fit, and the carb is a Zenith of uncertain vintage, but the '82 parts kit I bought it didn't fit. The wire spoke wheels and tires are stock sizes, and the frame is unmodified. I want to bob the rear fender and make a single seat for it. I would like to lower the rear by putting shorter shocks on it. Burly makes a 10 1/2" set that I think would look good, but they claim to fit many HDs, but not mine. I'm curious why they don't fit and if I should put the effort into making them fit. Barring that, is there a brand in that size that will fit? And now for the question that probably should have
come first - Is it even a good idea to put shocks that short on the bike? Thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 14th November 2019
1Scooter 1Scooter is offline
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Take a shock off the bike. Measure the shock length eyelet to eyelet. Just remember, when lowering the rear to allow for swing-arm movement. Too short and you will drag on the tire as it bottoms out. Also, short shocks ride VERY hard. One other little thing . . . Jiffy stand will be too long and bike lean angle will be way off. Then ya gotta change the jiffy stand to a short one. By the way, 82's came with Keihin not Zenith carbs. Clymer manuals just plain SUCK. Get a Factory Service Manual and a Factory Parts Manual, you need them.
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Old 14th November 2019
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Thanks, 1Scooter! I was aware of the need to replace the side stand. It has some aftermarket chrome thing on it, now, so I'm not emotionally attached to it. I'm not sure what year the Zenith carb is, but it is what came on the bike when I got it, so it is what I'm stuck with for the moment. The Clymer actually labels it 1972 - 1976, so who knows. I'll be repositioning the fender, or making a new one, so I think I can handle clearance issues. I just wonder if the Burlys have different bushing size than what I need for the bike. They fit so many models, back to '91, I'm curious if there was a change in the mounting bolt sizes after then or something. I think I'll measure mine and then go to the HD parts department and measure later ones. Cheers!
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Old 15th November 2019
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Default Seeking opinion on bobber seat

I'm going to be turning my bike into a single-seater and would like to know what you think of those seat pans that come with a plate underneath that mounts to the bike frame, and the seat mounts to the plate. It looks like a way to avoid having to weld spring studs to my frame (I don't weld), but I have only seen them on line, not in person. Is anyone using one of those? Any suggestions for specific seats to buy also appreciated. I am a leather worker, so I don't need a complete seat, just the pan set up. Thanks! - Steve
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Old 15th November 2019
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Default Seeking advice on shorter rear shocks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulf Coaster View Post
I'm going to be turning my bike into a single-seater and would like to know what you think of those seat pans that come with a plate underneath that mounts to the bike frame, and the seat mounts to the plate. It looks like a way to avoid having to weld spring studs to my frame (I don't weld), but I have only seen them on line, not in person. Is anyone using one of those? Any suggestions for specific seats to buy also appreciated. I am a leather worker, so I don't need a complete seat, just the pan set up. Thanks! - Steve


I’ve seen plenty. They look great. That pan and kit looks so much better than people trying to rig up their own style. That being said, I had a buddy that used one and said it’s like sitting on a 2x4. The ones I’ve seen were all the Harley one for newer frames with efi. Haven’t seen any on pre-04.


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Old 15th November 2019
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I have that set up on my 06 and I am very happy with it; looks and comfy wise.

I also have Burlys installed... I like it... they are harder/better than stock.
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Excellent! Thanks for the response. On the strength of that, I think I'm going to give them a go. If I can find that seat and base set up without the padding and leather, I'll grab one of those, too. I'm looking forward to making my own seat with some Celtic knot tooling, so I'd like to be able to get just the frame and pan.
Cheers!
Steve
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gulf Coaster View Post
Excellent! Thanks for the response. On the strength of that, I think I'm going to give them a go. If I can find that seat and base set up without the padding and leather, I'll grab one of those, too. I'm looking forward to making my own seat with some Celtic knot tooling, so I'd like to be able to get just the frame and pan.
Cheers!
Steve
Keep us posted... with pics!!!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Highly-Dangerous View Post
Keep us posted... with pics!!!

Thanks, I will. When working with shocks that say they fit newer bikes, do you know if I need to worry about mounting bolt diameter? I would like to try those Burly Slammers, but they all say they only fit bikes back to 1991. I have gangs of room to lower things, especially since I'll be relocating the fender as needed, so all I can think of is the bolts might be the wrong diameter.
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Old 17th November 2019
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Default Next installment... Shocks and the carb

I got a definitive answer on the shocks by visiting the Harley dealership. The Burly's would work, but they found me a pair of Dyna shocks about the same size that they said would give me a better ride. We will see how things go when they get here on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I received my (much more expensive, but much better) carb rebuild kit and installed it. Everything went together smoothly, especially the accelerator pump! No leaks, and the bike runs and idles. It took one more step to get there, though. When I first cranked it, the front cylinder wasn't running. I pulled the plug, which was fouled. I cleaned it and found it was sparking weakly from the center post to the insulator. Yeah, that seemed wrong. I checked the manual and found the plug was the wrong heat range, anyway - too cold. I pulled the front plug and it wasn't even the same type plug! It was even loose, showing exhaust up one side. Anyway, new, proper plugs have the bike running and idling. It's running rich, so I am gradually playing with the mixture screws. Getting close! Next step is getting the signal lights to work. I have the situation where they come on but don'f flash, but if I hold down both switches, they will flash. Back ones are brighter than front ones. It's a mess. Cheers! Steve
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