New here with first Harley - Harley Davidson Forums: Harley Davidson Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 04:07 AM Thread Starter
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New here with first Harley

I am a 58 year old former auto mechanic. I started with a municipal fleet services department back in '77, and finally had to give it up 2 years ago do to a lot of medical issues. So now I'm retired/disabled. I started riding dirt bikes at age 8, got my first street bike at 16, and have been riding ever since. I've had about 40 bikes during that time, mostly Japanese, couple of vintage Triumphs and a Royal Enfield. I've always wanted a Harley, but never bought one. I finally remedied that problem when I bought a 2006 Sportster 1200 Low about a week ago. I love it. I live in Phoenix, AZ, and it was 114 degrees today. Supposed to hit 120 next week. So I won't be doing much if any riding for awhile, which is OK, because I want to learn about the bike (very different from Japanese bikes) and do all the maintenance. It currently has 12,000 miles on it and looks almost like new.

Problem I'm having is every maintenance video I watch on YouTube about the same procedure gives a different way to do it, and different specs on things like the primary chain slack, what oil to use and how much in the primary chain case, what the deflection on the belt should be, etc. And to make matters worse, the PO gave me a Haynes manual with it that contradicts a lot of what I see on YouTube. I was told to get the genuine H-D manual. It's awfully expensive, and the maintenance seems simple once you learn the proper way to do it. I am not a motorcycle mechanic, but I have been working on bikes all my life. I just need to get used the maintenance procedures on the Harley.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 05:40 AM
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Welcome from Virginia. My first Harley was a 97 Heritage that was pretty easy to figure out but the newer bikes have so much electronics and unfamiliar stuff. I went all out and got the all of the manuals. I got the Maintenance, Electronic Diagnostic, and the parts manual for mine. Although it is still new, 2013 and has not had many issues, the piece of mind I get from the manuals helps very much. I will go to the videos for ideas on how to do something but I rely on the manuals for the torques, specs, replacement parts etc. Sometimes I get turned around in the books and the videos really help clarify.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:10 AM
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Welcome from Kentucky. At age 62 I bought a 1200 Sporty. Had couple of Hondas and a Triumph Bonnieville in my youth but went many years without a bike till I got my Sporty. Now ride a Road Glide. I believe you will be very pleased with your Harley. Congrats!
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:14 AM
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Welcome from Western Colorado.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:19 AM
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I agree with the others, Buy the manual for your bike.
Yes they are expensive but worth every penny if you are going to do your own maintenance.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 06:20 AM
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Welcome from New Mexico....congrats on your first but probably not last Harley....check eBay for the manuals...might find some decent prices on them...with your experience you should be good to go once you have the specs...now when it comes to what oils to use, you will get a hundred different answers here for all good and proven products....think it will just come down to a personal preference...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:28 AM
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:42 AM
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Welcome from Mesa Arizona

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 10:47 AM
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Welcome from California.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 06-19-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses. Geez, 8 responses overnight. Many forums I belong to it takes a week to get a response. This looks like a great forum. I won't be a newbie to Harleys for long. They are seriously different from Japanese bikes in a few ways. But I'm starting to pick up things already. I will get the genuine Harley manual.

GreyGhost are you doing much riding at the moment? I rode the bike home on U.S. 60 from Meridian Rd to Dobson and Warner at 2:00 PM. I almost died from the heat. Supposed to be 117 tomorrow. I am divorced, my kids are grown, so I turned my air conditioned living room into a bike room. Unfortunately I cannot get the Sportster in there, because of the size of the entry way. It's too long. I have 3 bikes stored in there now. It took me an hour to get my Kawasaki Vulcan 750 through the door, but unless I sell it ( I have put over 100,000 miles on it) it and the other bikes will probably spend the rest of my life in there and my kids will eventually wind up with them. I removed the tanks, drained out all the ethanol gas, drained the carbs, put things back together, and put a gallon of non ethanol TruFuel in each one, for long term storage. I will start them up and warm them up every couple of weeks to prevent deterioration. Now that I have the Sportster, I can't see wanting to ride anything else. Sorry about all the rambling. Just super exited about the new (to me) bike. Jerry
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