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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2009 FLHP which I am really loving. Is it possible to swap out the air bladder under the seat for one of the newer springs in the new FLHP's? This would eliminate the need for the air tank and allow me to remove the rear deck platform. Has anyone made this swap?
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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On my 06 flhpi, I mounted my tank in my right side saddle bag above my abs module. I'm not familiar with the newer seats.
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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I've read about this. It seems to be popular in some circles. When my original bladder starting leaking I thought about trying it. Then a gentleman off another forum offered to give me a new one that he no longer needed. I wouldn't be above trying it, but I like to be able to adjust the firmness of my seat. I can't begin to say how much I love my seat. I bought a backrest for it and have a p-pad that I have rarely used.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hey Old Coot, we discussed moving it on an earlier thread. My problem is I have zero tools or skills to drill the hole in the saddle bag. I've taken it to a couple of HD dealers and none of them will touch it because they are afraid of cracking the saddle bag when it is drilled. Obviously you drilled it without a problem,
But I can't get anyone willing to do the work.

Kong is an interesting option, but I wonder how durable it is.

NJG
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Hey Old Coot, we discussed moving it on an earlier thread. My problem is I have zero tools or skills to drill the hole in the saddle bag. I've taken it to a couple of HD dealers and none of them will touch it because they are afraid of cracking the saddle bag when it is drilled. Obviously you drilled it without a problem,
But I can't get anyone willing to do the work.

Kong is an interesting option, but I wonder how durable it is.

NJG
I used a standard 1/4" bit for the air line and industrial velcro to keep the tank in place. I have yet to have a problem. I'm not sure, but your bike being an 09, I imagine you could go with a newer set up. I considered the newer set up, but mine being an 06, with 5gal. tank and old style frame. I don't think it would be compatible. The kong would be a little more involved than just drilling a small hole in the back of the bag.
Good luck on whatever you decide. Ride safe and enjoy. :ride
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks OC & 93Horse,

I've done some checking on the new spring system, it's not compatible with the bladder system, I'd have to buy a new seat to go with the spring. The spring by itself is almost $300 through HD. I'm awfully tempted to pull out the drill and try to punch the saddle bag myself. Is there a particular bit that would be better for the job, wood vs steele, or something like that?
 

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Flat Land Redneck
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Just a regular 1/4" or 3/8" steel bit. I don't see why it would damage the bag. You might want to use a rubber grommet, available at any parts store. Don't get wound to tight about it. If I can do it, ANYBODY can.:)
 

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I have the Kong conversion on my 2012 RKC with a 2010 police seat. I initially had the air bladder with reservoir tank and was going to mount the tank behind the right side panel (there was just enough room under the ABS module for it to fit). Unfortunately, the tank would not hold air pressure overnight. It would be fine during the day, but the next morning, no pressure and I would need to refill the tank. I went through two tanks with the same problem and decided that it just was not reliable enough for me, particularly when I travel multi-day and multi-state a couple of times each year.

I converted to the Kong set-up, which is a dog chew toy mounted beneath the seat bracket where the air bladder is located. It eliminates the air lines, bladder and tank completely. The Kong is available in various sizes and firmness, so finding an acceptable comfort level is pretty easy and very inexpensive. I actually went through two set-ups before I found my happy setting and still only spent maybe $30 total.

I have had the Kong in place for over 2½ years; I ride every day; odometer now at 50k; and I have no complaints about the seat comfort or the cushion effect of the Kong. I know at some point, the rubber may deteriorate or become too soft and warrant replacement, however, I have no reservations about buying a new Kong and logging more miles with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
DLM Prez, thanks for the Kong background. Which size Kong do you use. I saw a video on retiredpolicebikes.com where they used a medium and a large Kong. I guess it depends on personal preference for the seat height. They showed how to install the Kong, but they didn't show how to replace the Kong on the post in lieu of the bladder. Is it difficult to do?

Also, good to hear from someone in Richmond. I grew up in Mechanicsville, and went to Lee-Davis High and VCU. Richmond is a great town.
 

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It has been a while since I did the Kong conversion so my memory might be a little fuzzy on the specifics of what I actually used. However, I believe that my first attempt was a medium (black) Kong with a x-large (red) Kong that was cut down for the "saucer". Here is the link that includes the instructions that I used:

http://www.retiredpolicebikes.com/uploads/gorillaman/docs/TheKong.pdf

After using this initial setup for a few months, I decided to make another with a stiffer Kong because I felt that the medium Kong was a tad too soft (I am 6'-1", 220 lbs). I next purchased a large Kong (black) and did not need the "saucer" because the ride height was perfect without it. I have been using this setup for over 2 years now and have been very happy with the results. The black color Kong blends in so well, that you really do not notice it under the seat bracket; it virtually disappears. So unless you really want to call attention the the rubber bumper under your seat, go with the black one.

It is a very simple conversion. I spent more time getting the parts (pet store & hardware store) than I did making the swap. The instructions are excellent and very easy to follow.

Note that you may not need to drill the carriage bolt for the retaining pin if there is sufficient clearance between the top of the bolt and the seat bracket to screw a nut onto the carriage bolt. On one setup I had to use the retaining pin due to lack of space; on the other setup I was able to use a nut to secure the Kong to the seat bracket.

The Kong is a KISS solution which will eliminate 5 items (reservoir tank & guage, air bladder, air lines, rear deck platform) with only 1 item (dog chew toy). Far less to go wrong or troubleshoot and extremely reliable.
 
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