Custom Cycle Engineering | Swingarm Retrofit Conversion Kit - Hot Bike Baggers Magazine
01. This is the Custom Cycle Engineering Swingarm Retrofit with pivot shaft
02. To get started, the first thing we needed to do was remove the saddlebags, exhaust, shocks, brake caliper, and rear wheel to get to the swingarm.
03. Next, the chrome plug and the fork bracket were removed from the left-side mount followed by the pivot shaft nut. The old rubbermount isolator was then removed.
04. From the right side, the swingarm pivot shaft was removed along with the bushings, seals, and isolator
05. With the pivot shaft out, the swingarm was removed from the frame.
06. The swingarm was placed in the hydraulic press and the old Cleve bloc assembly was removed (pressed out).
07. Here is a shot of both the stock H-D Cleve bloc assemblies (on the right) and the new CCE bearings assembly.
08. This is a look at how the two different swingarm assemblies fit in the swingarm to frame.
09. Following the instructions, we applied a coating of red Loctite (supplied) to the swingarm housing and the bearing races. We then placed the bearings into the swingarm.
10. Using the included Press Plug tool we pressed the spherical bearing into the swingarm
11. ...until the plug bottomed out. This puts the bearings at the exact depth and location needed for smooth operation.
12. Here is a look at how the spherical bearings sits in the swingarm. Following the instructions, we allowed the Loctite to set up for at least two hours.
13. Next, a small amount of anti-seize was applied to the pivot shaft, then inserted through the frame mount, swingarm, and transmission.
14. CCE recommends the replacement of the old rubbermount isolators with new replacement isolators.
15. The spacer and nut were then installed on the pivot shaft.
16. The pivot shaft nut was tightened to 45 lb-ft of torque.
17. The rear wheel and belt were then installed along with the brake caliper, shocks, and saddlebags.
18. Once we had the bike back together, it was taken out for a testride and it felt better. The rear of the bike felt much stiffer; "less floaty" as Kazoo put it. We also were able to give the bike a test ride through a few switchbacks, and though we admit we did not ride it before, the rear never felt loose or off track to the frontend at any speed.
We all know it sucks getting old as things start to wear out with time. The same goes for our motorcycles: components wear out and break down. The difference is that if your TV or toaster breaks down, you're not sitting on the side of the road waiting on a tow truck, or worse, sitting in the hospital from an accident. It's always a good thing to go over your bike before you ride, but what about the parts you can't see, such as wheel bearings and swingarm bushings? Unless you have a reason to, these parts are often overlooked until it is too late.
Here at Baggers magazine, we have a few go-to shops that always help us out with doing tech installs and letting us borrow tools as needed. So when one of the shop techs (Kazoo) at Freedom Cycles in Orange, California, picked up a project bike that needed a list of things, we were glad to help out. The bike is a '99 Road Glide with just more than 60,000 miles on it, it still runs great, but just needed to be gone through and freshened up. One night Kazoo noticed that the rear end felt a bit soft, thinking it was low tire pressure. He pulled over but the tires were fine.
Once he got the bike to the shop and started checking the rear, Kazoo found that the swingarm felt loose. It was then he knew that he needed to replace the stock H-D Cleve bloc with spherical bearings. After looking online, we came across Custom Cycle Engineering (CCE) and its FLT/FXR Swingarm Retrofit with pivot shaft for $339. Replacing the Cleve bloc with spherical bearings would dramatically change the handling and tracking of older dresser models. The spherical bearings reduce the stiction at the swingarm pivot and negate any lateral and torsional movement in the swingarm. The conversion fits all FLT and FXR models from 1980 to 2001. In '02 Harley-Davidson changed the Cleve bloc bushing to a spherical bearing still used today on FL Touring models. The CCE swingarm conversion kit updates pre-'02 models bringing the swingarm/frame/transmission interface up to date and lead to a much better.
Custom Cycle Engineering