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New springer

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Posts: 84
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 2:21 pm
Location: Burley Idaho

New springer


Post by 57stroker » Sun Feb 05, 2006 4:28 pm

Description: I installed my $50 12" over springer last Saturday.

Post by 57stroker on Oct 3, 2003, 1:56pm

I installed my $50 12" over springer last Saturday. I've been riding the bike this last week. Boy it's sure ...LONG. As soon as I left the shop, I discovered it's tweaked. It pulls ever so slightly to the left. If you look at it closley, you can see that the spring rod on one side is closer to the rigid fork than the other. I'm going to pull it off this weekend and attempt to straighten it. Anyone out there done this before? I've read thru the old manual on how to guage the front end and one of the machines at work has a table that should be good and flat. The old machinist at work told me to use the arbor press because he thought the hydraulic press would be too much. I know I should have checked it before, but I just get in too dang big of a hurry to try something new. The other thing that I noticed is that the springs don't move at all, even when I'm driving down the mile of graveled road every day on my way to work. When you look at the rockers, the axle is way above the other two holes because of the rake of the front end. I know that other people have made their own rockers to cure this. Anyone on the forum done this? I'm running chromed stock rockers and I'm pretty sure they are forged. I'm wondering how I make a pair that will be strong enough. I guess stainless steel is out of the question unless I make them a lot thicker. I made my own top clamps for my handlebars and an aluminum headlight bracket. If anyone is interested, I'll try to post some pics of them.

Post by Cotten on Oct 4, 2003, 4:18am

Whew! You really mean old springer!
Yes, straightening is just a matter of push 'n pull, common sense, and NO heat. Done it more times than I can count.
As far as your altered rake and stuff,,, yer on yer own.

Post by 57stroker on Oct 4, 2003, 1:44pm

Thanks Cotten. I'll do the tweak and check shuffle today. It'll probably be a done deal by the time you read this. My the neck on my frame had been cut and re-welded. It appears to be around 35 degrees. I've heard about people reversing the rockers? Whatever that means. I do have one question you might be able to help me with. My springer is a pre 1947 Harley that has been lengthened using Ford radius rods. The only referance I can find to setting the spring tension says to have 7/16" of adjustment rod above the bottom nut and then put the locknut on. I made my own nuts and they appear thicker than the stock ones. Does the spring tension affect the way the springer works? The photos of the stock springers appear to have the springs a lot more compressed than mine. Thanks again for the advice, I'll let you know how it works out....

Post by Cotten on Oct 4, 2003, 6:10pm

The tightening of the nuts on the spring rods has little effect. Remember that the top springs extend when the bottoms compress, so overtightening the springpack just accents the pogo effect.
There are lots of different springs that have been made for customs, some looser wound. And chroming affects their rebound rate as well.
With customs, pogoing is just another dangerous aspect that is part of the sacrifice for vanity.
Orignal in-line springers had the option of a friction dampener, or "ride control" that did a little. Then when the offsets were brought out, a Monroe shock was added, and they made a big difference. The modern repops are so fragile that they pose a safety problem in themselves.

Note that if your fork was properly silver-soldered instead of welded to the radius rods, it can probably be shortened if desired.
De-raking the neck has been made easier by ready-made gussetts as well, some even with a neck-lock.

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Joined: Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:06 pm
Bikes: 1962 FLH
Location: Pahoa Hawaii

Re: New springer


Post by Jackson » Mon Dec 28, 2009 7:43 am

wow that brings back memories. Rode my buddy's pan once, 20'" over Harley springer fork. A lot of rake and no stretch on that wishbone frame. It was better once you got movin' but talk about front end flop. the 21" front wheel would rather lay sideways than stand up straight. I did notice, recently, a chopper going down the road quite easily with what looked at least 20" over on an after market springer. What seemed to make it trail fairly well were the long rockers that put the axel further forward and above the bottom end of the fork. I don't know why you couldn't make some artistic custom rockers out of steel plate with short pieces of pipe welded in that would accept the stock bushings? I'm having my own challenge installing a late model Harley springer, offset, '88 and up style on a 48 Harley frame. It looks so pretty on there and is longer than the orig. but seems to bind and not turn smoothly once the top triple clamp is on. would a wedge washer help? I know it can be done. '55 Bobber in photo on this site. Is a beautiful example! Any input or experience with this combination? appreciated thanks! I clicked on (New springer) hoping to find answers? Jackson

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Re: New springer


Post by Bigincher » Tue Dec 29, 2009 1:40 am

Custom-made rockers is the answer. I have a long-ass extended HD springer on my old chopper; the first one broke, so I bought a replacement, has about the same amount of extension. However, the first set of rockers won't fit, so I installed a set of OEM rockers, and now I am in the process of designing a new set. I made up some prototypes out of plywood (yes, plywood--- 5-ply 1/4") to see how much trail I would have. I've heard between 4 and 6-1/2 inches is the 'sweet spot', so that's what I was trying to achieve.

Here's the amount of trail with stock rockers, somewhere around 8 inches.

Here's a photo with my prototype rockers, trail corrected to around 5 inches.

The final look.

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