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  1. #1

    Default So you just bought your HD

    Posted this elsewhere - thought it might add value here

    So you bought your 1st harley and want to know what to do next ?

    These are older bikes that need continuous love so

    BEFORE SPENDING ANOTHER CENT ON ANYTHING

    Go buy the OEM Harley Davidson Factory Service Manual and the Parts Book (not Clymer etc the ones you need are from HD) specific to your model and start reading them both - any time you can like over a beer or on the can - on the way to work if you don't drive/ride - just start getting book smart on these bikes BEFORE opening your tool box

    Now have both these open when ever you do any work - look at the diagrams as you pull stuff apart - learn how parts fit etc and it will help you identify parts that need replacement and when things dont look quite right etc - pdfs are OK on an iPad but iPads and workshops with greasey fingers (its a shovel!) just dont mix so the BOOKS are where its at

    This simple single step will save you time posting questions on the internet that are best explained in those books with diagrams and critical information such as torque requirements for fittings which often aren't supplied in forums and FB pages - if after reading these books you are still stuck/not sure then please post questions - lots of helpful guys here who happily volunteer info but please do some basic research 1st

    Now the second and 3rd thing to do is go wash your bike thoroughly and then service it

    As you are armed with the right books go and buy the recommended fluids and other consumables and service the bike as per the manual - you'll have the required part numbers from your part books so ordering this stuff is easy - people whinge about the young part guys at dealerships not knowing anything about older bikes - Guys its up to YOU to know this stuff

    Washing and servicing your bike will have a few benefits - not only is basic maintenance critical but often you'll notice things that need attention - especially when cleaning and for me is often a key step in bonding with a new to me bike

    Look after your bike - that's YOUR job

    (Please note these are not all my original thoughts and thanks needs to go those that have guided me - Tattoo and Farmall also deserve special mention here!)
    Last edited by panheadpete; 06-04-2016 at 7:31 PM.

  2. #2

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    this thread would have saved me so much pain, suffering, and money back in the late 80's/early 90's

  3. #3
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    Study how things work.

    Collect info on every complex part of your motorcycle. Keep it with your manual and parts book.

    If you don't know something you should, make an effort to learn. That includes basic engine troubleshooting, ignition theory of operation, and how your carburetor or fuel injection system works.

    Learn BEFORE something shits the bed. If you are going to ride a chopper that means you fucking need to become your own mechanic or be rich enough to pay one.

    Learn and use the CORRECT terms for parts. "Muh frenostat micturated muh thang" is gibberish. Knowing correct terms helps you THINK in correct terms helps you visualize systems.

    Learn to use a search engine. There is no excuse for anyone not being proficient in finding info on the internet except laziness. If no joy, THEN ask here. Don't ask because you are too lazy to search.

    When posting ALWAYS put the relevant MAKE, MODEL AND YEAR in the first post. You want free help? Making someone read your profile to figure out your ride is lazy and its stupid if your problem is with something not in your profile.

    Post details. If you test something SAY HOW you checked it. There may be a better way or several!

    When you take things apart, take clear digital pictures for reference. You can shove a camera underneath your bike or other places inconvenient to see. (Also works great with cars.)

    Take your time. If you get pissed off, walk away. Always work calmly.

    Question popular products or modifications. They may or may not be wise, and may or may not suit YOUR intended use of your motorcycle.

    A bunch of parts with racing specifications don't necessarily result in either an effective performance bike or one that is pleasant to ride.

    Don't throw money at problems. Throw wisdom, intelligence and eventually experience at problems.
    Last edited by farmall; 06-04-2016 at 7:39 PM.

  4. #4
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    Learn to use a search engine. There is no excuse for anyone not being proficient in finding info on the internet except laziness. If no joy, THEN ask here. Don't ask because you are too lazy to search.


    I'm glad to see it's finally sticking.......

    Thanks for the name recognition.....

  5. #5
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    We'll see what stuck when the next person asks us how to breathe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    We'll see what stuck when the next person asks us how to breathe.

    LOL You got that right.... LOL You know something???? I think it's really cut down on the dumb ass questions we use to get all the time...... LOL

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    I never knew that parts catalogs even existed until I stumbled upon one listed on Ebay. It was still in the plastic wrap and set at a reasonable price. I bought it more for nostalgia than to actually use. That is until I actually opened it. MAN, what a GREAT book! Had I only known 30 years ago. If you own a Harley, GET A PARTS CATALOG and a FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuxBitza View Post
    MAN, what a GREAT book! Had I only known 30 years ago. If you own a Harley, GET A PARTS CATALOG and a FACTORY SERVICE MANUAL!
    Nice ain't they????? That's why I keep telling people to buy them...... Hell I don't make a dime off of them
    but they are worth every penny...........

  9. #9
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    Those books are worth their weight in young cunt lips.

    Hunt them for years you don't own because interchange is educational too.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Those books are worth their weight in young cunt lips.

    Not worth that much anymore. Markets flooded with them nowadays, and their depreciation is obscene.... On the other hand, books hold their value

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlyJJ View Post
    Not worth that much anymore. Markets flooded with them nowadays, and their depreciation is obscene.... On the other hand, books hold their value

    LOL Were not taking monetary value.......... LOL LOL Weren't you one that asked a question a while back that didn't have a manual???? I might be wrong?????

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    Bullshit! Howcome they leap off here like gold, I've tried to buy a '78 FXS and a '67 sportster just for shits and they were gone in five minutes.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by seaking View Post
    Bullshit! Howcome they leap off here like gold, I've tried to buy a '78 FXS and a '67 sportster just for shits and they were gone in five minutes.

    Yep a FXS is hard to come by............ I finally got one a while back on ebay.........

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    Another helpful resource is this online parts book reference. Only goes back to 79 but still very helpful:


    http://partsfinder.onlinemicrofiche.....asp?make=hdmc

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    Parts book is a must along with factory service ,
    and if you have a period pc Palmers is a must have
    we need a period correct chopper bobber book
    Most of us old Pharts don't need it but it would be nice for younger guys
    to see period correct bobbed and chopped bikes of 50, 60, 70,s

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by xnewmanx View Post
    Another helpful resource is this online parts book reference. Only goes back to 79 but still very helpful:


    http://partsfinder.onlinemicrofiche.....asp?make=hdmc
    Excellent link. Thank you.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    LOL Were not taking monetary value.......... LOL LOL Weren't you one that asked a question a while back that didn't have a manual???? I might be wrong?????
    First day I bought my shovel I also bought a manual for it, albeit a Clymer rather than HD

  18. #18
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    I swiped my manual off here last year and had it printed at work. If I had realized just how good a hd manual would be I would've even paid retail. Lol. Thanks to everyone here that shares there knowledge for the most part great community.

  19. #19
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    did you say '78 FXS?
    i got one that aint pretty. i'll trade ya for naked pictures of yer sister.
    just kidding. i've got 2 that are falling apart and may or may not be complete and another shovel manual. a stack of info.
    i'll trade ya for some dumb chopper shit or whatever.
    hit me in a PM.

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