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Thread: Fork tubes

  1. #1
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    Default Fork tubes

    Looking to buy a set of 39 mm fork tubes around +6 inches. I see some on ebay for like $180. Anyone have experience with those? The brand is Hardrive I think. If those are crap what would you suggest? Or if anyone has some used ones for sale let me know.

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    No experience with them but everyone will suggest and recommend Forks by Frank.

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    Yup, Forking By Frank. I bought a pair of 39mm 12 overs and they are really impressive. Perfect in every way, really nice chrome. They do take a little while from the time you order. And they cost quite a bit more than the Taiwan tubes. I haven't personally seen any of the offshore offerings, but heard less than great things. Call them up at Franks, everyone I talked to was really friendly. They make them right there in Illinois. You'll need a set of seals, and a rebuild kit isn't a bad idea. I bought it all as a package from Genuine James. If I remember right, the tubes and seals / rebuild kit was about $300 without shipping. They've been at since 1966, must be doing something right.

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    What about these guys?

    Custom Cycle Engineering

    " For over 30 years we have been manufacturing extension fork tubes. We start with DOM 1026 steel tubing that is ordered specially from a tubing mill. Then we centerless grind the outside diameter to OEM specifications and also machine the rest of the tube to exact ID specs.

    We buff the material to a mirror finish and chrome plate the final product to a show chrome finish. This is a product that we are very familiar with and we cover every Harley-Davidson fork tube model all the way back to 1949.
    We maintain a large inventory and offer sizes from 4 under stock FL to 20 over stock FL. When ordering please specify model and year."
    https://www.customcycleengineering.c...1/Fork_Tubes-6

  5. #5

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    I can honestly say that the tubes from TC Bros. are phenomenal. I've been very happy with my set and they come with a rebuild kit and spacers. Complete set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    What about these guys?

    Custom Cycle Engineering

    " For over 30 years we have been manufacturing extension fork tubes. We start with DOM 1026 steel tubing that is ordered specially from a tubing mill. Then we centerless grind the outside diameter to OEM specifications and also machine the rest of the tube to exact ID specs.

    We buff the material to a mirror finish and chrome plate the final product to a show chrome finish. This is a product that we are very familiar with and we cover every Harley-Davidson fork tube model all the way back to 1949.
    We maintain a large inventory and offer sizes from 4 under stock FL to 20 over stock FL. When ordering please specify model and year."
    https://www.customcycleengineering.c...1/Fork_Tubes-6
    I've been running CCE tubes for years and they've held up great. The company been around forever making cool shit and still make their stuff here in the US. Good company to support. Plus, they sell through Drag Specialties so if you're cool with a local shop they can get them to you cheap and fast.

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    I'm gonna second the comments about the TC Bros kits, they are solid and have go on easy enough and have a great finish. I'm sure Frank does great work but the TC bros stuff was just easier for me to get my hands on.

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    I got 6 over Moto Iron tubes from TC Bros and they seem to be of good quality. They also came with new seals and clips which is a bonus but didn't come with new bushings, something that I don't understand because that would complete the kit but instead you have to place a paltry $11 order with another aftermarket source that sells the bushings.


    **Addendum*** (about a week after original reply)
    Yesterday I inspected the '98 Sporty to prepare for a ~3000 mile trip and found that the fork tubes already had wear marks where the sliders move up and down the tubes. They're not gouges, just those light superficial buff marks you normally see on old long mileage bikes. The OEM tubes have over 30K miles on them and are cleaner looking yet these Moto Iron fork tubes are less than a month old and have only done about 1800 miles. That makes me question the quality of the supposed 'hard chrome' finish. They also have a couple of nicks higher up which I assume would be from road debris so I am no longer impressed. The next time I'm just going directly to Frank, live and learn.
    Last edited by Skjoll; 06-27-2019 at 8:21 AM.

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    Yet another update... after about 5000 miles the fork tubes have pitted badly enough that both seals are now leaking profusely and the left side is contaminating my brake pads and disc. I am not happy and will go back to the OEM tubes. I'll let TC Bros know about the extent of the wear after only ~4 weeks so we'll see how they respond.

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    Hopefully they offer a replacement. That's pretty ridiculous after five thousand miles. If not, the Franks tubes are absolutely top shelf. I wish I could remember the exact price, but it wasn't all that much more. It's a pretty significant part of the machine, when it comes to looks and not dying. I had to pay like $70 shipping to Canada and don't regret going with Franks.

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    Pics of the failed plating would be nice for reference.

    OEM or other quality tubes should be good to well over 100K miles.

  12. #12

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    Unfortunately my camera is of low quality and doesn't focus well on closeups so all of the pix I took aren't really helpful. FWIW the Moto Iron fork tubes have a couple of nicks in them now and the chrome plating shows slider wear marks that I've only seen on forks with more like 100K miles on them.
    Last edited by Skjoll; 07-15-2019 at 6:38 AM.

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    I agree with Down, TC Bros. are top notch I'm running 6 overs and I have had no problems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwhosoever View Post
    I agree with Down, TC Bros. are top notch I'm running 6 overs and I have had no problems.
    If you don't mind my asking, what kind of miles have you got on them?

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    I've only got about 10k on mine but that involves Texas to EDR and back and almost no cleaning or maintenance, they still look great.

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    I heard back from TC Bros and they requested pix, replied with the expected "we do not hear of this issue ever" response and offered to replace the tubes but I have yet to find out what that process entails. If I have to pay to ship the damaged ones back I doubt that I'll take that chance because I just may get another set from what could be a bad 'Friday afternoon' batch where quality control was lacking. I don't follow up a bad purchase by spending even more money on it... I would rather bite the bullet and just go with Frank's Forks. At the very least I'll try to do a hardness test on the Moto Iron and compare it to several Showa and vintage Cerianis I have laying around.

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    As others have said- Custom Cycle Engineering. They offer Show chrome, Hard chrome and Titanium plating. Forking by Frank are good but they are a pain in the ass to deal with.

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    Up until a few years ago, Franks wouldn't take credit card payment. Had to mail them a money order. I always thought that was kind of cool myself, like they are doing enough business to set the rules on how it goes. When I called to order mine a couple years ago, they had started taking credit card payment over the phone. They said 6 week wait for 12 over 39mm, but I had them up here in Canada within 3 or 4 weeks. Everyone was really pleasant to deal with, you could tell they all knew what they were doing. I can't think of anyone else in the custom motorcycle game that has been turning out top notch parts for as long, and with such consistency. I'm not associated with Franks in any way, I just think it's cool to support a small American business that's been doing it since 66. I wouldn't say there was any pain in my ass during the purchase, and it's not like tubes are something you usually need in a hurry, the wait time didn't inconvenience me a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlbertaFarmer View Post
    If you don't mind my asking, what kind of miles have you got on them?
    Well I have been running them for two years and I commute 3-4 days out of the week and I have not had any issues with pitting or anything else for that matter.

  20. #20
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    If you're going with franks anyway I'd recommend getting the TC bros replacements either way and just flipping them on the classifieds here or elsewhere online so you can recoup some cost - but that's just my broke ass instincts shining through

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