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Old 10-27-2007, 05:44 AM   #21
longride
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Here here! Well said, Sir! Most of the work I've done on my AMF was undoing the crap the previous owners had done. Once I replaced the points with the Crane ignition and the carb with the S&S, maintenance became a matter of oil, filter, and the occasional set of plugs.

Now, I have a terrible dillema. A while back I listed the bike on EBay when I was in a feeding frenzy to get a Concours 14. I put a reserve of $10k on it, which I think was a subconcious way to avoid actually selling it. Over the past week, I have been contacted several times by a broker representing a Japanese buyer. No, it's not one of the scams, I can smell them a mile away at this point. They've offered the $10k, and the broker wants to come down in the next couple of weeks with cash to arrange shipping. One the one hand, I think I've had a great 15 years with the bike, but it doesn't give me the thrill it used to, on the other hand, I think I'd regret selling it for the rest of my life. For crying out loud, I may be the only guy on the planet who actually has an AMF tattoo...

I had 2 AMF Shovels (still own one) and had an AMF Ironhead Sporty and none of them ever let me down once. Not one breakdown . That was more the norm than the exception I think, but there are the horror stories out there that people still repeat as fact 40 years later. Of course, the people that repeat them never rode mile 1 on any AMF Harley. I do believe you are correct that you have the only AMF tat in existence. Classic!
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:57 AM   #22
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I may be the only guy on the planet who actually has an AMF tattoo...
... we should mount and stuff YOU and send you to the Harley museum.

As far as AMF goes. I definitely recall a couple of guys who bought new Sportsters in '72 who had nothing but trouble with them. I suspect there was some sabotage by union thugs after the AMF takeover but Harley apparently solved that problem. My '80 AMF FXWG did have to have the top end rebuilt at 30K miles, but that's fairly common for Shovelheads. Aside from that I had no problems with it. I had no trouble with my '85 ironhead sporty either in 24K miles. Wasn't AMF though.

I've never been able to figure out the wimp's whining about vibration either. Yeah it vibrated some but it isn't much and who are these poossies anyhow? You like vibration try riding an SOHC CB750 buzzing along at 4,500 rpm for a while. May as well sit in a dentists chair. Far worse than any Harley. Ha! Try a Triumph Daytona 500 for that matter.
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Old 10-27-2007, 06:08 AM   #23
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there are the horror stories out there that people still repeat as fact 40 years later.
My deceased brother in law was a Factory trained HD mech, he was trained in the early 70's. During the many long nights we spent rebuilding the Low Rider, he told me stories about the terrible labor issues HD had during the AMF years. According to him, the workers would deliberately sabatoge the bikes by doing stuff like putting bolts in the trannies, leaving flywheel nuts loose, etc. I don't know if he wsa just telling stories or if it was true. I do know that when we took my bike apart, there were welding rods left sticking out of the frame joints and some of the castings were pretty poor. I've also heard from other sources that the dealers had to virtually rebuild the bikes once they were delivered and sold.

One thing that I do know is fact is AMF poured millions in captial into the HD facilities, tooling, and modernization of the plants, which positioned the LBO crew for success when management bought the company in 1980. It's a shame, when I got the Low Rider, it had the original paint including the AMF logo on the tank. Then that nice lady wiped me and bike out and I had to repaint it. I got the correct HD logo, but didn't replace the AMF logo. The AMF logo is still on the wheels and maybe another place or two.

I value your opinion, LR. If you were me, would you sell the Low Rider to get a 14 or something else, or keep it till you passed it on to your kid? Maybe that's just too subjective a question to ask...
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:18 AM   #24
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Well Ken, that's the only AMF tat I've ever seen...There was an Factory Rep. named Bishop floating around Norfolk Naval Shipyard in the 70's with a General Regulator logo tattoo, I thought that was a little over the top though GR's controls systems were miles ahead of the Bailey Mini-Line it replaced.

You didn't ask me Ken, but if I still had one of my Shovelheads I'd keep it. My bagger and the chopper, along with my Trophy and the '78 Sporty are the only bikes I've owned I wish I still had
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:38 AM   #25
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In my experiance, and in the experiance's of others I knew of, AMF Harleys were at least as reliable as anything on the road and in my experiance more so. I think the biggest problem with them then and now is the amature sledge-hammer mechanics and tons of aftermarket cr*p people insist on subjecting them to.

After riding Yamaha's (1977 XS650, 1980 XS1100) trouble free for five years I bought my first HD, an 82 FXR, in late fall of 81. I had one factory provided problem with the bike. After about 5000 miles the exhaust valve guide in the front cylinder broke loose and was sliding up and down within the head. When it was pulled apart the valve was in good shape and wasn't stuck in the guide. It took two attempts to get it fixed. The local HD shop put in an oversized guide but after about two months it happened again. By now I was in Germany so I went to a shop that also did their own machining and they took care of the problem.

The rest of the problems I had were self induced. Shovelheads just weren't designed with the autobahn in mind.

I know a lot of guys slam AMF but without them HD would have gone under. They modernized the production line and the Evo was developed during the AMF days.
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Old 10-27-2007, 08:08 AM   #26
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...
I've never been able to figure out the wimp's whining about vibration either. Yeah it vibrated some but it isn't much and who are these poossies anyhow? You like vibration try riding an SOHC CB750 buzzing along at 4,500 rpm for a while. May as well sit in a dentists chair. Far worse than any Harley. Ha! Try a Triumph Daytona 500 for that matter.


That's true, four cylnder vibration puts my hands to sleep in no time, I wind up slapping my thigh and shaking them trying to get some feeling back. Harley vibs are at a much lower frequencey and don't bother me.
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:22 AM   #27
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I value your opinion, LR. If you were me, would you sell the Low Rider to get a 14 or something else, or keep it till you passed it on to your kid? Maybe that's just too subjective a question to ask...

Man, that is a tough question! For me, I don't really get attached to the bikes all that much. I like riding different stuff all the time, so if it was my Low Rider, I would probably sell it and move forward. I also found that fast bikes are fun, but I sold my Busa before I either lost my license or my life! I was riding it like a maniac! I am looking now for a new bike, but I can't sell the Bagger (wife won't let me), and don't want to sell the Shovel or the Knuck. Four bikes is a pain though. I know for certain that you won't get attached to a modern bike like you are to the Shovel. They just do that to ya!
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:25 AM   #28
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[quote=V2Rider;172062] Shovelheads just weren't designed with the autobahn in mind.[quote]


Boy is THAT an understatement!
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:01 PM   #29
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Old 10-27-2007, 05:12 PM   #30
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[quote=longride;172068][quote=V2Rider;172062] Shovelheads just weren't designed with the autobahn in mind.
Quote:


Boy is THAT an understatement!
AMEN to that! I rode the piss out of that bike. It quit on me (threw a rod) somewhere in Denmark on the way back from Norway. Me and my girlfriend pushed it into gas station and hitchhiked back to Frankfurt, Germany where I put down a deposit, supplied by my girlfiend, on a first year Heritage Softail. Still have the scoot but she's long gone.
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