(1.)This is what was left of the FLHR when it wandered into our shop.
(2.) A set of new 16-inch rear and 18-inch front wheels from American Wire Wheel and tires from Avon were the fist step in bringing this bike back from the dead.
(3.)We also decided that because of the wear on the OE rotors, such as this crack, that we would give Biker's Choice a call and get outfitted with new rotors.
(4.)We also went with Biker's Choice front and rear axles, chrome pulley, and all needed attachment hardware.
(5.)After all of the hardware was bolted onto the wheels, we took them to Wheel Works to get them dynamically balanced and properly inflated so they would be safe at any speed.
(6.)We installed the front wheel first only because it's the easier one to do. The axle and spacer kit from Biker's Choice made the new wheel fit in its new home perfectly.
(7.)We torqued the axle down and tightened the lower fork nuts to factory specs.
(8.)The Arnott Air Ride shocks were installed so we could make sure there would be no tire-to-frame rubbing issues when the shocks were at their lowest setting.
(9.)The rear wheel was mounted and then measured for the proper spacing.
(10.) Once again Biker's Choice was spot on with its spacer selection, so we could then persuade the axle into its final resting place.
(11.) We then tightened down the rear axle and checked the wheel for any clearance issues
(12.) The bike was getting a little hard to roll around with no handlebars, so we decided to mock-up the set of LA Choppers 16-inch tall, 1 -inch ape hangers we had gotten for this build.
(13.) We also used one of LA Choppers Beefy one-piece risers made specifically for baggers using tall apes.
(14.) Here's how the bars looked installed on the bike with the H-D hand controls, 50's Boy grips and Throttler cruise controller mocked up on the bike so we can get the proper length cables, wires, and brake hoses for our next installment.
(15.) The first chapter of bringing this bike back from the dead was now complete. Next month we will be moving onto the brakes and hand/foot controls.
A few months ago we briefly discussed our newest project bike, a '98 FLHS that ended up on our doorstep battered and beaten to an inch of its life. Since we are lifelong members of PET-B (People for the Ethical Treatment of Baggers) we decided that we would not put this old dog to sleep, but re-build it to be better than it was when it rolled off the assembly line so many years ago.
The FLHS, or FLH Sport as it's commonly known as, was first released in 1983 and was the predecessor to the Road King, which hit the streets in 1994. Like today's FLHRs, The FLHS had hard bags and the same FL frame as the rest of the baggers, but had a removable windshield in lieu of a front fairing. In all actuality the FLHS was a civilian version of H-D's Police bikes and was the perfect fit for funeral parlors and Shriners all across the country. To be honest with you the FLHS in its stock form was pig-ugly. It had a weird-shaped plastic and metal pod/nacelle with a protruding headlight that housed all of the various gauges and dials that normally would reside in the bike's fairing. This of course looked okay when the windshield covered the majority of it, but once that was removed repulsiveness ensued. The overly poofy OE seat and girder-like rear rack that came on the bike were also lacking in the looks department and now two decades later, added to the not so cool '80s look of this bike.
Luckily for you we at Baggers are not about restoring bikes back to their former ugliness, so we are going to give this tired dog some good looks and a bit of pep in the motor department. We are launching this build with new wheels from American Wire Wheel, rubber from Avon Tires, and a mess of goodies from Biker's Choice. Thankfully for us, all of these companies have been around long enough to have the right parts for '80s Baggers, which can be tricky to come by. We are going with a classic look on this project so we decided on a set of 18-inch front and 16-inch rear 100-spoke wheels wrapped in all-black rubber with chrome rotors, pulley and hardware. With this winning combination we are sure that when this bike finally hits the road again it can have another 20-plus years of dependable fun!