Saturday, November 8, 2008

Decisions are the worst...and the best.

Decisions are one of the reasons behind my purchasing a Harley. I had a Honda first and it was a great bike. This is in no way a knock on metric bikes. I just felt like the Harley offered more options for mods and making the bike my own. I enjoy tinkering with the bike in the garage almost as much as riding it. I also like the way a Harley has all the fasteners exposed and looks like a guy can sit in his garage and take it apart and put it back together again with just a few common tools. I believe Indian Larry referred to it as the "mechanicalness" of the bike. Anyway, I have really gotten hands on with my scooter which gives me a sense of pride and I feel better knowing how things work. Nothing on my bike is what you would call "custom" I guess, but I have added my own twist here and there. Here's couple parts I had powder coated:
The horn cover was selling for about $125.00 on ebay. I bought the horn cover for about $30, I think. Then I had it powder coated for $15.00. I already had the gas cap medallion wich I mounted to the cover by drilling a hole through the horn cover and then attaching a short bolt to the back of the medallion with JB Weld. I then attached the medallion with a nut and loctite. The air cleaner cover is the stocky which I powder coated for about $10 and bought the skull insert for it. Not a customization per say, but it balances out the horn cover and adds a little contrast from the chrome. Below is a before pic of the horn cover:
Now, the decision I am faced with is what to do next? I want to save painting for last. It'll be kind of like getting a new bike after a few years and I still like my factory paint. So, it comes down to wheels or engine work. After mulling it over, I am leaning towards wheels. I found these for a good price from So far, they have been very helpful.
They are DNA Mammoth 52 fat spoke wheels. The spokes are 3/8" and I think they would look killer on the fatty. I am thinking about 18" diameter which is bigger than stock, but not too big that it requires modifying the front fender. I can get the wheels a little less expensive than engine work, and I figure with only 8500 miles, I may as well give the stock 88" a little more run before having it cracked open to put in more ponies. Anyway, if this is the biggest dilemma I have in life I guess I'll be okay.
Feel free to post any opinions, I can take it.


Webster World said...

I like spoked wheels gest. Not into mag's myself.

Webster World said...

I like spoked wheels best.

TRT said...

Yeah, spoke wheels look great, until wash day!!!

Willy D said...

Spokes, mags. All the same to me. Like both. Only issue, if you go to different size tire, pay close attention to the load rating. A lot of folks overlook this.
If you did the mods on the parts and they are not "off the shelf" then yes they are custom. Talk shit and take pride.

fasthair said...


It's hard to beat the look of spoke wheels. Mine came stock with spokes but with the amount of riding I do they just require too much maintenance. Plus I like the fact if I get a flat on the road I can “plug” it to get me some where that I can get it fixed properly. Also I believe mag wheels offer better safety when a flat occurs. The bead will stay on the wheel longer allowing a better chance of getting the bike stopped. Tires on wire wheels have a tendency to spin on the wheel when flat causing loose of control. This has been my experience.

As far as the more power goes you are close to doing all the cheap stuff you can, since you’ve got the pipes, air filter and control unit. A set of bolt in “500” cams are the last step in cheap easy to do horse power. After that, horse power is going to start to cost about 100$ a pony. However with the above mods you will find that bike will have all the horse power and more importantly torque you will ever want.

This last comment always gets flak from people when I say it. If I was you when you install the camshafts convert them from chain drive to gear drive. The chains and guides have always been a source of problems with the TC motor. Not only will you get rid of that issue you will also gain a few extra ponies verses the chains, as much as four according to some reports.

Other then that I’m enjoying watching you make your bike what you want it to be. BTW have you got that garage door opener installed yet? :)


TRT said...


first off, no I haven't got to the garage door opener yet. And I am planning on doing the gear drive conversion when I do cams. I am trying to decide between Woods Cams or Andrews cams. Any reccomendations? What's the "500" cam you referred to? Also was looking into a Stage I 95" kit from HD but I figure I can just do the cams and be happy with the hp/tq and save some money. What do you think?

mrs road captain said...

Spoke wheels may look pretty, but I am not a wrencher in any right, and I'd really rather have the piece of mind riding down the road that I could (or my hubby could...if he ever practices with the kit he bought-LOL) plug it vs calling a tow truck.

fasthair said...

Mr. TRT,

500 refers to the "lift" of a camshaft and is a general term for a mild bolt in cam which is what you will be after. One of the biggest mistake people make is getting a cam that is too big or "hot". Camshaft selection can make or break a project. I’m not going to try and teach you about the specs of a cam and what affects it has on power output, you can learn that if you want on the ‘net. I will give you some guide lines though.

First thing you must remember is that you are limited to 6,200rpm with the 88B motor. Never set your RPM limiter higher then that or you WILL break your motor, it’s a fact and just the way it is. Second is stock heads will only flow 80hp maybe 85hp amount of air at the most. More air flow equal more power. Third the largest lift cam that will fit in the TC motor without modification (to cases, heads/valve springs ect.) is a .510” lift cam.

Now that you know your limits you can choose a cam that will fit your needs. You want a cam that makes good power from about 2,000rpm up to 6,200. You want this because of your engine limits AND because you have a heavy bike so you need low end power. Anything more and you are 1: wasting money 2: wasting power. So a cam that makes power from 3,000rpm to 7,000+ is not a good match for your engine/bike. This is important to understand. People get all coo coo about big horse power numbers and miss the point of “matching parts” for the combination.

So what cam you are asking would be best for you? I’ve got three that I KNOW work well with your combination. The first one is the Andrew’s 26G. It has a lift of .490” and makes power from 1,800rpm to 5,200rpm. These next two move the power band a bit higher and leave room for adding 95” cylinders at a later time. Again Andrew’s is my choice with a 31G, with a lift of .510” the power band moves up from 2,400rpm up to 5,800rpm with a bit more top end punch. Next would be the S&S 510G it is almost identical to the 31G so the results will be very similar. If it was my bike and with your pipes I would go with either of the latter two. The reason being is your pipes don’t work well at low RPM, so the 21G will run out of steam about the time your pipes are getting ready to play. I won’t get in to pipes other then to say a 2 into 1 system will almost always out perform a 2 into 2 set up and “drag pipe” style is even worse then a set up with high flow mufflers. I will say drag pipes do look bitchin’ though. :)

Last few notes. For the most part Andrew’s makes ALMOST everyone’s camshafts and I think they make S&S cams too, I would almost bet on it, but I could be wrong. All gear drive set ups are S&S regardless whos name is on the box. S&S designed and patented the set up. Gear drive MIGHT add a bit of a whine so it is a bit noisier but the noise goes away as they “wear in.” Also a gear drive set up cost twice as much as the same cams for chain drive. I feel the superior design makes the trade off well worth the extra cost.

And for your reading pleasure… as if this wasn’t enough :) You will learn more at this site then I could every try to teach you.

Andrew cam specs…
S&S cam specs…


TRT said...


The spoke wheels above are sealed for tubeless application so that help with the flat tire issue.

fasthair, thank for the info.

The 26G is one of the cams I am looking at, I am also considering a D&D Fat Cat 2 into 1 for the reasons you mentioned. Would you still reccomend the 31G or 510G with that set up? I like the idea of leaving room to move up to 95" in the future too.

fasthair said...

I don't know that pipe but I did go to their web site. It looks like it should work ok. It sure looks nice. Most 2 into 1 pipes are pretty equal. On any given bike they will produce with in a pony or two of each other. I have the Vance & Hines Pro Pipe HS on my bike.

Yes I would go with either of those two cams. Since you want to punch it out to 95" maybe someday, plus either will work well with 88" The 26G is a bit to small for what I think you are after. It is designed more for stock pipes and air filter and it is for sure too small for a 95" motor.


TRT said...

Thanks for the information. D&D is a local company here in Fort Worth, TX and from what I read the Fat Cat is one of the best performing 2 into 1 pipes on the market, plus I agree that they look pretty good. I am still trying to decide if I am going to wait and do the 95" kit and the cams at the same time in order to save $ on labor and dyno tuning. The main thing I want is to maintain reliability in the engine while boosting performance a little bit.

Superior MC said...

in regards to the wheels: for price you should also look at I am sure we will be able to help you w/ any questions that you have

fasthair said...

There really isn't any cross over labor between the cams and the cylinders. The trick to doing the cams it to use bolt cutters on the pushrods and going with adjustable pushrods to go back together with. SE Quick Installs work good and fair priced. That way you don't have to remove the rocker boxes.

As far as saving dyno time I don't think much would change tune up wise when the cylinders are done. You might ask your local dyno guy that question.


Mr. Motorcycle said...

I think the stuff you are doing is custom. I like the radial spoke wheels. I call my front 100 spoke wheel a six pack wheel. (I can drink a six pack in about the amount of time it takes me to clean it properly).

I went with a solid high polished rear wheel. (easy to clean, getting behind pulleys and brake, etc.)

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