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Sport-Glide / Sportster Motorcycle Touring This section is for the discussion of setting up you Sportster motorcycle touring and long distance riding.

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  #2151  
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SonWon SonWon is offline
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Personal opinion.

This may have been true with chain drives however with belt drives I doubt that argument is still true. Belt drives absorb shock. Once the clutch is fully released it no longer provides any shock relief to the drive train as the rivet plate is bypassed. I think Harley keeps it to generate repair revenue for the shops. For the sake of argument if the shock to the drive train was true then why doesn't Harley design a better solution? Twin Cam chain tensioners are in the same boat, designed to fail. And while I am started the primary chain tensioner should be automatic based on hydraulics similar to that of a hydraulic valve lifter. Harley should design their bikes to be the most dependable and not design time bombs into them. This would go a long way for increasing sales.

Knowing the clutch was the only major short coming to a Sportster is why I bought one.
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  #2152  
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Don't want to turn this into a clutch plate thread and sort of hijack Crusty's "travels", but i doubt very much that Harley leave the plate in just to generate a bit of repair revenue for the dealer work shops. It always seems it's the copper rivets that fail, so why they can't be changed for some other material that would be more resilient to failure should be the question.
And, there is no way the Twin Cam tensioners were also designed to fail. Just badly designed is all.
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  #2153  
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Crusty Crusty is offline
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Just for the record. The clutch that just failed was in the original engine, which died at 57,000 miles. The clutch in the replacement engine failed about 10,000 miles later, so I took the plates out of the original clutch and put them in the replacement. That means that I got pretty close to 90,000 miles out of the original plates.

I don't consider that to be either weak or badly designed. If I change out spring plates every 50,000 miles, this new clutch should last a long , long time.
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  #2154  
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That is a good point, more short trips will certainly wear down the rivets faster versus long trips.
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  #2155  
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Where the Road Ends: Alaska to Argentina Via the Darien Gap
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  #2156  
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Crusty Crusty is offline
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I read that article. I subscribe to Rider. That trip's a little tougher than this fat old tramp really wants to deal with. It's an interesting read, though. I'll be happy to settle for riding to the Arctic Ocean in the summer, then maybe riding across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

This morning, I'm more than a little stiff from fixing the clutch in the Roadster. I really need to get a lift. This laying on the floor crap is getting old. Especially since I haven't fully recovered from my accident and my legs and knees don't want to do what they're supposed to. Standing up after laying on the floor was pretty painful.
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  #2157  
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50 Years!


I just realized that I started riding motorcycles 50 years ago, this month! I am truly amazed! I remember when Janie first let me ride her Honda 90 how much I fell in love with it. And a few days later, she left it with me while she went away for a long weekend, and I literally rode that bike all night long. I put over 500 miles on it in less than 4 days. It was the start to a lifelong addiction.

I remember when I got my Moto Guzzi Sport in 1973. I finally had a reliable bike and so I rode it from Colorado Springs to Ron’s place in Lafayette, Louisiana straight through. The Odometer said 1203 miles and I did it in 22 hours. I stayed there one day, then turned around and did the same ride home. That ride almost killed me, but I made it.

I remember the first time I raced the bike on a track. I had so much adrenaline in my system that I couldn’t think. I was third into the first turn after a high speed straight, and even though I was standing on the rear brake, the bike wouldn’t slow down. I had totally forgotten to use the front brake. I ran off the track, but a few laps later, the race leader lapped me and I got on his ass and followed him around. He couldn’t get away from me. I realized that I was fast enough to run with the leaders. I finished dead last, but I was hooked.

I remember getting on the bike one summer night and taking a ride to Gloucester, Massachusetts spontaneously. Riding along Bass Rocks Road was almost an other worldly experience.

I remember bringing my Guzzi into the house and completely dismantling it to replace the clutch. I didn’t have a proper clutch plate alignment tool, so I stood the engine on its nose, lightly snugged the pressure plate bolts and used the transmission as an alignment tool. It worked.

I remember being in South Dakota and after looking all over for Mt. Rushmore and not finding it, I stopped in a roadside turnoff and was expressing my frustration to my wife. A lady in the car parked beside us said, “Look up!”
I did and I was staring into George Washington’s nostril.

I remember traveling all over this country; sometimes with friends and sometimes alone. There are so many memorable experiences, I can’t recall them all.

I have had some truly tough rides, as well. The ride down the Burringbar Range in Australia at 2:00 AM during a Cyclone sits at the top of my list for most terrifying ride. It was a super slick mountain pass with no pavement markings and sheer cliff walls on one side and a steel Armco barrier on the other. It took all my skill to go 20 MPH, and I was really pushing my limits. They built a nice highway and bypass it now, but in 1994, it was pure Hell that night.

There have been other really tough rides, like the night I was almost caught in a tornado, or the day I rode home from work in a Hurricane, but the Burringbar Range stays in my memory as the worst. So far.

And I’ve made some wonderful friends. People who would go to great lengths for me. I’ve had friends who gave me bikes when I didn’t have one. Friends who sent me parts anonymously, friends who repaired and painted parts at no charge, friends who relayed me and my dead bike from Cincinnati to Massachusetts. Friends who were and are the kind of people I aspire to be like.

Although I’ve tried to “Pay it forward”, I doubt I’ll ever get close to evening the score.

There are so many more stories and experiences and other wonderful things that have happened because of Motorcycling, but I won’t relate them at this time. I just feel extremely fortunate that I got to live at this time and experience these joys.

And I wonder at what future Joys Motorcycles will bring me.
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  #2158  
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I have a lift similar / like this one, Black Widow Hydraulic Motorcycle & ATV Jack - 1,500 lbs. Capacity. Best to strap the bike to the lift.

And one of these, not this brand and half the price, https://www.mygaragestore.com/detail.aspx?ID=2000.
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  #2159  
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John, got Black Beauty off the bike lift and out into the sunshine. Also got my driving lights working, yea!!! Ran 10 miles down to Algonac, bike missing on the front cylinder. Cleared out and ran perfect for 8 of the ten miles then slowing down to enter town started cutting out again. Front cylinder, put new plug in, same misfiring. Limped her home and swapped front plugwire off of Orange, still misfiring. Will lift the tank up in the morning and put a new coil in,(just happen to have a brand new Daytona Twin Tec) on the shelf. I will keep you posted on my issue as not certain when I’ll be getting out of here.
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