In the ever-evolving series of our 1997 Road King, we have shown you how to buy and ship a bike safely, some out-of-storage tune-up tips, a proper fit feature and a Samson exhaust install article. Now it's time to get blacked out!
We ordered black fork lowers, bells and a nacelle kit from our Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories catalog, a flush-mounted axle and chin fairing from FBI, black Bro Bars from Trask Performance and some grips from our friends at Performance Machine.
We invited our suspension guru Todd "Toad" Stanford in for the fork rebuild and lowering. He suggested using Race Tech's lowering kit with their proprietary Gold Valve emulators and tuned springs, which improve the way that the OE fork rides and limits the dive that is commonplace with these older frontends. The Gold Valve emulators actually turn these damping rod forks to a cartridge-style fork, which is easily tunable for a person's given riding style and preference. They do this by having the ability to adjust compression damping by controlling the flow of oil by spring preload and flapper valve adjustments. Oil viscosity is also key to a better ride, since rebound damping is controlled by the weight of the fork oil used. Once the choice of oil is made, then the emulators are adjusted by setting the spring preload. Properly doing this will increase the compression preload on the fork without making the rebound feel harsh, therefore making the frontend feel firmer during compression but smooth and controlled on the rebound stroke and virtually eliminating the dreaded "bagger dive" we all have felt from time to time.
(1.)Here's a look at the black fork lowers and bells from Harley-Davidson.
(2.)With the legs off of the bike, the oil is drained, and the dampener rods are pulled.
(3.)We now drill the dampener rods to Race Tech's specs to allow more oil flow.
With the fork being done, we now moved on to installing the Trask Performance Z-bar as well as the Performance Machine grips. The bar has a great bend and height to it and also gives the bike a mean look. While we had the hand controls off of the bar, we just had to install a set of the Performance Machine grips in all black with the ultra-comfy Renthal rubber inserts.
All this combined, we definitely added to the blacked-out look that the bike is undergoing as well as made the bike handle much better. Stay tuned next month when we install some killer new wheels, tires and brakes. B
(4.)Once installed, these emulators will control the flow of oil that the drilling of the
(5.)The modified dampener rods are now reinstalled into the fork legs.
(6.)New seals are now installed into the black legs from Harley-Davidson.
(7.)The emulator is now adjusted, the springs are installed and the C-clip is put in place
(8.)The oil height is checked and adjusted to Race Tech's specifications.
(9.)Once the spring height is properly measured, the preload spacers are cut to our desire
(10.)Toad now installs the shiny, new black fork covers.
(11.)We now slide the fork up into the trees, completing the fork portion of the build.
(12.)We now start by pulling off the old bar, making way for the new black bar.
(13.)From here we internally wire the bar and install it using a one-piece top clamp for a
(14.)Once the longer throttle and clutch cables were installed, the black nacelle kit and
(15.)We recheck and adjust all of the components to factory specs, and we are blacked out!
21601 N. 3rd Ave., Suite D
Phoenix, Arizona 85027
Bro Bars (MSRP $400)
3700 W. Juneau Ave.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208
Black nacelle (MSRP $259.95)
Black fork lowers (MSRP $249.95)
Black bells (MSRP $49.95)
1501 Pomona Rd.
Corona, California 92880
Fork kit (MSRP $259.99)
Fat Baggers Inc.
138 E. Lincoln Ave.
Chariton, Iowa 50049
Chin spoiler (MSRP $239.95)
Flush-mount axle (MSRP $99.95)
6892 Marlin Circle
La Palma, California 90623
Black rubber grips (MSRP $149)