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  1. #1
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    Default Springer Help... FXR fit Sportster?

    Hey,

    Been lurking on this forum for awhile and read lots of great info. Finally got a question I can't seem to find using the search function...

    Anyways, I got a bunch of nice parts in trade that came off a 1984 Harley FXR - part of that being a nice springer front end (aftermarket)...

    I took my bike, which is a 1994 XL 1200 Sportster, to a local shop. They installed the front end along with a wide glide rim and tire I brought them...

    Now, that the front end is installed, it hits the gas tank. I've read this is a pretty common problem and that it could be cured by moving the tank up and back...

    Well, the local shop is telling me that the springer isn't going to work on my sportster since it came off of an FXR... My research shows that the parts should be able to cross over...

    They are wanting me to go back to a stock type front end or "a springer made for a sportster"...

    Are they just being lazy or should I try to buy a different type of springer?

    The mechanic told me today that they could "make it work" but would have to "re-engineer" the front end... He also commented about the lack of steering stops (but he did say that wasn't a big deal and could be fixed)...

    I'm thinking I might have chose the wrong shop and have been considering trying to find someone else to work on it...

    The shop is "Thunderbird Motorcycles in Wheat Ridge, Colorado" if anyone has any experience with them.

    Thanks for reading and I appreciate any advice.

    Coby
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails coby_springer_sportster.jpg  

  2. #2
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    As long as the steering stem is the same size, it will work. It sounds like they may be more used to early ironheads (mid 70's and earlier.) They used to use a 7/8 steering stem on the ironheads, and a 1" steering stem on the big twins, but in the late 70's (I believe, I don't know the exact year) they started using the same size steering stem in the big twins and sporties. It sounds like your only issue is the lack of steering stops on the front end. Only thing I would suggest is if it a different length from the one that came off of your sportster to check the trail to see if it is within an acceptable range.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillSCB View Post
    As long as the steering stem is the same size, it will work. It sounds like they may be more used to early ironheads (mid 70's and earlier.) They used to use a 7/8 steering stem on the ironheads, and a 1" steering stem on the big twins, but in the late 70's (I believe, I don't know the exact year) they started using the same size steering stem in the big twins and sporties. It sounds like your only issue is the lack of steering stops on the front end. Only thing I would suggest is if it a different length from the one that came off of your sportster to check the trail to see if it is within an acceptable range.
    This is exactly my line of thinking as well. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I attached a pic of the front end installed to the original post, so it's bolted up and what not. In the pic, the front end is more or less resting on the tank (hits when turning side to side, no contact when pointed straight, if that makes sense). You can see that there isn't much turning radius at the moment.

    I'm almost certain I've read in more than one place that this was common with the particular tank I have, I guess something about the same and it being tall in the front. I believe I have what's called the "king" tank...

    Thus, I thought an easy fix would be to just lift the tank up (and back) and get new neck bearings that had internal stops built in. Seems like it should be easy to fab up (or buy) a tank lift kit, and then just drill a new hole in the frame for the rear mount, if needed, to move back.

    Is my line of thinking right or am I off base here?

    Thanks,
    Coby
    Last edited by CobyW; 02-28-2016 at 4:24 AM.

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    Springer on a fxr. Damn that's probably the ugliest combination I can think of. Now hardtail that sportster and it will look killer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CobyW View Post
    This is exactly my line of thinking as well. Thanks for the confirmation.

    I attached a pic of the front end installed to the original post, so it's bolted up and what not. In the pic, the front end is more or less resting on the tank (hits when turning side to side, no contact when pointed straight, if that makes sense). You can see that there isn't much turning radius at the moment.

    I'm almost certain I've read in more than one place that this was common with the particular tank I have, I guess something about the same and it being tall in the front. I believe I have what's called the "king" tank...

    Thus, I thought an easy fix would be to just lift the tank up (and back) and get new neck bearings that had internal stops built in. Seems like it should be easy to fab up (or buy) a tank lift kit, and then just drill a new hole in the frame for the rear mount, if needed, to move back.

    Is my line of thinking right or am I off base here?

    Thanks,
    Coby
    I think you are on point. If you like the front end, unbolt the tank and see where it needs to be to avoid interfering. Next step is modify the tank mounts (weld-on solution) or make some sturdy relocation brackets ( bolt-on solution.) If your tank doesn't seem to agree, shop the swap meets for a different version (smaller capacity, lower/higher tunnel) You can find a used tank way cheaper than a Springer front end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinginrods View Post
    Springer on a fxr. Damn that's probably the ugliest combination I can think of. Now hardtail that sportster and it will look killer.
    Gotta get the front end working correctly first, lol. But a hard tail could be in the future, it's definitely a look that I love!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrFxr View Post
    I think you are on point. If you like the front end, unbolt the tank and see where it needs to be to avoid interfering. Next step is modify the tank mounts (weld-on solution) or make some sturdy relocation brackets ( bolt-on solution.) If your tank doesn't seem to agree, shop the swap meets for a different version (smaller capacity, lower/higher tunnel) You can find a used tank way cheaper than a Springer front end.
    Excellent - thanks for confirming!

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    That is a DNA springer. Will fit either bike, issue is with the tank not the front end. the only "sportster specific" springers would be for 81 and earlier sportsters with 7/8th neck stem, and 04 and up sportsters, which paughco makes since there are frame clearance issues.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hankhill View Post
    That is a DNA springer. Will fit either bike, issue is with the tank not the front end. the only "sportster specific" springers would be for 81 and earlier sportsters with 7/8th neck stem, and 04 and up sportsters, which paughco makes since there are frame clearance issues.
    Thanks Hank!

    I found the answer after discussing with a buddy who runs a Springer on his Sporty. It's def a tank clearance issue - I have pics of the brackets he fabbed up to move his tank back and took them to the MC shop this week and they are going to fix it.

    I think you are spot on about the issues - I think they were thinking it was like the newer Sportsters since they seem to work on mostly late model stuff.

    Cheers,
    Coby

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