December 25, 2009

Classic Harley Christmas Maintenance & Brief Ride

I have been ignoring my 1924 Harley-Davidson V-twin motorcycle for a couple of months and wanted to spend some time going over it in the garage now that we have more than 6 inches of snow on the ground.

I wanted to get it up on my bike stand to look it over a bit and to see if I can mount up the side stand I had recently bought on ebay. These was not real vintage Harley parts but exact copies of real ones. When I bought this old Harley almost 20 years ago it came with a side stand, although I don’t believe Harley offered one until a few years after 1924. The stand was bent in such a way that I was never confident that it would hold up the old Harley if it started to roll back or tip over. So I took off the old one and put it away. I happen to like side stands on my motorcycles as long as I also have a rear or center stand too.

I popped the old Harley up on the motorcycle lift and raised it up so I can study it and not have to bend over to do the work. For comparison I pulled out the old side stand that was on the bike when I bought it. They were similar but with different bend and length of the arm.

Old Stand and Hardware on TOP, Reproduction on BOTTOM

Vintage Harley parts - old side stand and hardware on BOTTOM, Reproduction on TOP. Similar but different!

I know the new reproduction mounting bracket will fit right on because the old one had been there until about a year ago when I removed it from the arm welded to the frame that the front of the floorboard mount to as shown in the photo below.

1924 Harley Before Installing Side Stand

1924 Harley before installing side stand. Notice the original vintage Harley part with the notched plate underneath.

Pulling Away The Front Of The Floorboard On My Vintage Harley

Pulling away the front of the floorboard on my classic Harley

I loosened the two nuts that hold the left side floorboard in place and removed the front one. This allowed me to slide the front of the floorboard off the stud on the front giving me access to slide on the side stand mounting hardware.

Installing The Mounting Hardware For the Harley Side Stand

Installing the new mounting hardware for the side stand

I slid the new mounting hardware into place and then pulled down the side stand to see where it falls and if it lines up properly with the cut-out notch in the old plate already mounted under the floorboards. I don’t know what exact year the old plate is but I am pretty sure it is a genuine vintage Harley part. I then moved slid the hardware in-board and out until I found the best location. Then I rotated it around checking the angles before determining the ideal location. Then I tightened down the 2 set screws, torqued down the nut holding the side stand in place and reattached the floorboard tightening down the two mounting nuts.

New Reproduction Side Stand On My Vintage Harley

New reproduction stand On my classic Harley JD. It tucks up reasonably well.

I took the bike off the lift and rolled it outside to the driveway to see how the bike looked and leaned on the new side stand. It leans the bike at an angle I am much more confidence in than the old one with the shorter and different angled side stand.

1924 Vintage Harley On New Repop Side Stand

1924 vintage Harley on new repop side stand

Side Stand Installed and The Old Harley Looking Good!

Side stand installed and the Old Harley looking good!

After I finished installing the side stand I started the bike and let it idle a little outside in the near freezing temperatures. I was impressed that I got it running in less than a dozen kicks. And it warmed up easily and settled down into a nice easy idle in little time.

There is plenty of snow on the ground but the roads have been cleared for days. So I took her out for a brief Christmas Day ride around the neighborhood.

Left Side Of My Vintage 1924 Harley After My Ride

Left of my vintage 1924 Harley after a ride...

And The Right Side of My 1924 Harley

And the right side.

After the ride I put the Harley back up on the lift to have another look around and that’s when I spotted what looked like the first traces of battery acid build up on a corner of the battery box. More details to follow on this when I get time.

My Old Harley Back Up On The Motorcycle Lift

My old Harley back up on my motorcycle lift

Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog by Buzz_Kanter

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