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Old 05-15-2015, 10:30 AM   #1
JCook5003 OP
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Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Southwest Virginia
Oddometer: 54
Dad's 1979 Harley

Hey Guys-

Thought I'd create a space here for my Dad's old Shovel. I guess in order to do this story justice I have to give up some of my own riding history.

I've been in to bikes my whole life, my dad was always into Harley's had a Sportster and the above mentioned 79 FXS-80 (Low Rider). I started riding around 15 on an old Hodaka dual sport I literally found in our barn and later discovered was my grandfathers. It was never street legal but I rode it all over the farm roads and things around our farm.

After school I decided to get into street bikes and bought a Ninja 250 for a first bike, I piled tons of miles on, dropped it a bunch and smiled even more. After that I moved on to a 79 CB750 and that was a great bike and really launched the idea of older bikes for me, I had a bunch of old Honda's after that.

I had a pretty bad wreck on the 750, broke my ankle, got some hardware added to my parts list. About 10 screws and pins later I got a push from my ex-wife to stop riding. I was a poor kid and on the mend so I kind of let the idea go.

Last July I lost my dad very suddenly at 55, he was in poor health the last few years and didnt ride, his old Shovel just sat in our garage neglected. I realized after losing him that life's way too short a ride to not do the things that make your soul happy.

I asked my mom for the bike and she obliged. So here I am knocking on 30 with my first Harley.

First order of business was to get the thing road legal and mostly safe....new tires, fluids, chain, some gaskets, fuel tank flush, S&S Super B rebuild, new axle bearings, new starter, and a total front fork rebuild later, I actually got to ride it.

The clutch is pretty worn out, and is next on the list of fixes, along with some jetting changes to the carb to try to work out some dead spots. I've got a Mustang wide vintage touring seat, but it didn't fit, I'm talking to J&P Cycles to try to sort that out. Also a matching sissy bar, but it's gonna require new fender struts since these were the smooth version with no thru bolts. Dreams include a 5 speed in a four speed case from Baker and a switch from cast wheels over to some spokes in the 21/16 combo flavor. Something my dad always wanted to do, but in his words, taking care of your shit ass kid comes first.

Much better pictures will follow and I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions along the way, hopefully some of the Harley guys around here can help me out when I need it.

I'll be posting up ride photos, bike work photos and other misc. crap in this thread.

Thanks for such a cool internet community.
Josh
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JCook5003 screwed with this post 05-27-2015 at 07:52 AM
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
woodnbow
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCook5003 View Post
Hey Guys-

Thought I'd create a space here for my Dad's old Shovel. I guess in order to do this story justice I have to give up some of my own riding history.

I've been in to bikes my whole life, my dad was always into Harley's had a Sportster and the above mentioned 79 FXS-80 (Dyna Low Rider). I started riding around 15 on an old Hodaka dual sport I literally found in our barn and later discovered was my grandfathers. It was never street legal but I rode it all over the farm roads and things around our farm.

After school I decided to get into street bikes and bought a Ninja 250 for a first bike, I piled tons of miles on, dropped it a bunch and smiled even more. After that I moved on to a 79 CB750 and that was a great bike and really launched the idea of older bikes for me, I had a bunch of old Honda's after that.

I had a pretty bad wreck on the 750, broke my ankle, got some hardware added to my parts list. About 10 screws and pins later I got a push from my ex-wife to stop riding. I was a poor kid and on the mend so I kind of let the idea go.

Last July I lost my dad very suddenly at 55, he was in poor health the last few years and didnt ride, his old Shovel just sat in our garage neglected. I realized after losing him that life's way too short a ride to not do the things that make your soul happy.

I asked my mom for the bike and she obliged. So here I am knocking on 30 with my first Harley.

First order of business was to get the thing road legal and mostly safe....new tires, fluids, chain, some gaskets, fuel tank flush, S&S Super B rebuild, new axle bearings, new starter, and a total front fork rebuild later, I actually got to ride it.

The clutch is pretty worn out, and is next on the list of fixes, along with some jetting changes to the carb to try to work out some dead spots. I've got a Mustang wide vintage touring seat, but it didn't fit, I'm talking to J&P Cycles to try to sort that out. Also a matching sissy bar, but it's gonna require new fender struts since these were the smooth version with no thru bolts. Dreams include a 5 speed in a four speed case from Baker and a switch from cast wheels over to some spokes in the 21/16 combo flavor. Something my dad always wanted to do, but in his words, taking care of your shit ass kid comes first.

Much better pictures will follow and I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions along the way, hopefully some of the Harley guys around here can help me out when I need it.

I'll be posting up ride photos, bike work photos and other misc. crap in this thread.

Thanks for such a cool internet community.
Josh
Thanks for sharing that with us.. I hope someday one of the kids or grandkids will care for one of my bikes the way you are for his. Well done.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:42 AM   #3
mk2wilson
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That's one you should keep forever.
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:46 AM   #4
kraven
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Cool. An old Dyna low rider. Lookit that swingarm angle!
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Old 05-15-2015, 10:53 AM   #5
JCook5003 OP
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Cool. An old Dyna low rider. Lookit that swingarm angle!
I noticed that too, typical bike knowledge would say it rides like crap that way. It's not the smoothest bike I've ever ridden, but didnt they come from the factory that way?

As far as I can tell it's an OEM swingarm that's been chromed. Only thing I could figure it the custom shocks in the back are shorter than stock and actually lowered the bike more.

Any cause for concern here?
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
Tim_Tom
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Originally Posted by kraven View Post
Cool. An old Dyna low rider. Lookit that swingarm angle!
Also it's tied down on a trailer in that photo. Compressing the rear suspension.

It isn't going to set any performance records no matter what you do it. Sort it out how you like and enjoy your fathers motorcycle. Good luck with the project.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:02 AM   #7
D.T.
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"Shit ass kid."

I helped my Mom sell my deceased Dad's HD a year or so ago. RIP Dad.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:05 PM   #8
jersey jim
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Cool. An old Dyna low rider. Lookit that swingarm angle!


No Dyna there, good old fashioned solid mount shovelhead FX Lowrider.

Looks like dad wanted that low down in the ass rigid look, which does look nice, but a longer set of shocks (Progressive makes some nice ones) will make it ride and handle much better. That and some fresh fork springs and heavy oil will make it handle surprisingly well for what it is.

Oh yeah, if she's been sitting for a long time I'd definitely throw on some new tires.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:52 PM   #9
kraven
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Yep. No Dyna. My bad.

Get it unhooked and let us see it off the trailer, and we can be more help.

That's a nice looking machine.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:13 PM   #10
CaseyJones
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I'm not a fan of old Harleys; but that's a GOOD reason to get one and keep it up...a rolling monument to your dad's memory; a tip of your hat to his belief in Harley-Davidson when H-D was in its darkest days.

It's a good reason...nay, the BEST reason...to have a trailer-queen or parade bike. You ride to live and live to ride; and what's one more bike in the garage, when it came free and loaded with sacred memories?

Ride on!

FWIW, I'm your dad's age; and when I hit 50...the ex long in the rear-view mirror...my fear of road-rash and an early death rendered meaningless by the calendar and my lengthening shadow...I took it back up. I've now, as a graybeard, ridden four times as much as I did as a kid before my wreck. All of where I so wanted to go, back then...mostly, I've made it.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:33 PM   #11
JoeFab
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'Bad Attitude', sweet bike man...j.f.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:39 PM   #12
BigIron
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I stumbled onto an old LowRider a couple years ago and had to buy it. It's all there, just don't know what works yet.

I always thought these are one of the iconic Harleys built in the 50 years or so. A sorted shovel can be a solid bike and they sound fantastic. It won't get down the quarter mile quick or wail in the curves, just a different kind of bike.

Some of my affection for these is probably a result of getting passed by one at full throttle when i was a youngin'. I still remember the sound.

Yer story is way better tho. Good luck with the build and have fun with Dad's bike.
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:17 PM   #13
duckman
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you're lucky to have something so personal from your dad, get it in shape but don't change anything
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:07 PM   #14
AKjeff
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Looks real nice for its age, pretty cool that it was your dad's too.
Enjoy it!
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:00 PM   #15
Philthy64
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Great story - great bike. They demand your attention and require constant "tinkering" but on a good day when they are on song, it's hard to beat the feeling of cruising down the highway on a shovel.

Good luck !

Philthy
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