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Old 09-19-2009, 07:01 AM   #11
MOKE1K
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I can understand your comments about performance. HD's haven't been leading the pack there but as far as reliability goes you must be reading the playbook from the 70's and early 80's. I have an 86 Heritage with over 100k on it and have never had it breakdown on me. My 04 Road Glide is the same. Harleys these days are pretty solid.
Personally I think reliability comes from how well the owner takes care of the Motorcycle. I dont believe it to be a Brand thing. Unless of course your talking AMF years. Boy they still havent lived that one down.
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Old 09-19-2009, 07:16 AM   #12
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Personally I think reliability comes from how well the owner takes care of the Motorcycle. I dont believe it to be a Brand thing. Unless of course your talking AMF years. Boy they still havent lived that one down.
My AMF Low Rider was fairly reliable once I replaced, repaired, or renewed every moving part, upgraded all the fasteners, re-welded the frame joints, put in a new wiring harness, replaced the fuel and ignition systems, and upgraded or replaced the suspension and brakes. It only left me stranded twice in the 12 years after that "tweaking."
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:02 AM   #13
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So let me get this right, your AMF Low Rider was fairly reliable once you turned it into a Klazy Ken Low Rider?
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #14
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So let me get this right, your AMF Low Rider was fairly reliable once you turned it into a Klazy Ken Low Rider?
Given the S&S crank and rods, Wiseco pistons, Carillo pushrods...etc. along with the other stuff I mentioned, that left as original parts the cases, jugs, frame, triple trees and fork tubes (but not the innards) headlight bucket, fenders and tank, wheels, parts of the braking system.

In spite of being a PITA it had it's moments. One of my favorites was when I parked backed in to a slot in front a crowded bar that opened into the street. After a few beverages with the OL, I walked out and kick-started it. It hit on the second crank and did a ear-shattering backfire right into the bar. People literally dove to the floor. It was all I could do to act nonchalant as Kristine climbed on and we rode away.
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Old 09-19-2009, 06:44 PM   #15
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That explains divorce number 3.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:01 AM   #16
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"Unless of course your talking AMF years. Boy they still havent lived that one down."

The only people that seem to talk about the 'AMF years' are the ones that never rode one from then. AMF saved Harley-Davidson from extinction. That is a fact.
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Old 09-20-2009, 05:21 AM   #17
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"Unless of course your talking AMF years. Boy they still havent lived that one down."

The only people that seem to talk about the 'AMF years' are the ones that never rode one from then. AMF saved Harley-Davidson from extinction. That is a fact.
True, but werent they the same people who built bikes that leaked on the showroom floors. I worked for the family that brought Harley Davidson to the Hawaiian Islands in the 60's and the son told me they had oil pans on the showroom floor. After that the father had enough and got rid of the brand sold it off. What a big mistake that was now in retrospec.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:05 PM   #18
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True, but werent they the same people who built bikes that leaked on the showroom floors. I worked for the family that brought Harley Davidson to the Hawaiian Islands in the 60's and the son told me they had oil pans on the showroom floor. After that the father had enough and got rid of the brand sold it off. What a big mistake that was now in retrospec.
Yes, they did have problems, but not nearly as big a the 'legend' became over the years. AMF made improvements too. One of them was starting to design the Evo motor. Without AMF, Harley would have folded up in the 60's never to return. I owned and rode the AMF bikes, and they were no better, and no worse, than the British or Italian bikes of that era. That was part of the ownership of those kinds of bikes.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:31 PM   #19
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True, but werent they the same people who built bikes that leaked on the showroom floors. I worked for the family that brought Harley Davidson to the Hawaiian Islands in the 60's and the son told me they had oil pans on the showroom floor. After that the father had enough and got rid of the brand sold it off. What a big mistake that was now in retrospec.
Well, yes, but leaking motorcycles was the norm worldwide until the Japanese changed the name of the game. If you went into any Triumph or BSA shop you would see drip pans as well. No one thought anything of it.

Oh yeah, some of the Japanese bikes leaked too. That's why they went to the horizontally split crankcases.
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Old 09-20-2009, 12:38 PM   #20
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Yes, they did have problems, but not nearly as big a the 'legend' became over the years. AMF made improvements too. One of them was starting to design the Evo motor. Without AMF, Harley would have folded up in the 60's never to return. I owned and rode the AMF bikes, and they were no better, and no worse, than the British or Italian bikes of that era. That was part of the ownership of those kinds of bikes.
Well, actually the Shovelheads were quite a bit better than most of the Brits and Italians. Sportsters had some problems, but few things were worse than BSA. If you had to pick the worst bike in the world BSA would come in waaay ahead of HD. Maybe Gilera or Parelli might beat BSA for the distinction, or wait, Zundapp or Jawa. Now there you had some really really bad shyt.

Moke, you missed one heck of a lot of "fun". Going for a ride and being unsure that you were going to make it home was part of the experience. Look at a biker movie from the 60s or 70s and you'll see them using a chase truck. You really had to do that in a group ride because somebody's bike would crap out... guaranteed. One friend and I used to make wagers as to which bike in the group would fail. It would usually be a Sportster or a BSA. Panheads and Shovelheads and Knuckleheads seldom crapped out. Triumphs did pretty well too. All of them leaked. LOL!
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