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Old 03-16-2013, 09:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How long is my front end? How to measure?

I'm hoping somebody can give me some insight on the correct method to measure front ends. I currently have a '95 Softail Custom and want to replace my Wide Glide with a Springer. I want to go 2" longer than what's currently on the bike, but believe the previous owner lowered the front end.

Can anybody tell me what the stock length is? I'm generally hearing 24.5", but the people at DNA Springers say 22" is stock. Also.... how do I measure my current front end? From the top of the tree? Bottom of tree?

This will make a difference on whether I purchase a stock length springer, 2" over, 4" over etc....

I simply need to know the correct way to measure, I don't need a geometry lesson in rake, trail, etc.... Thanks!!!!
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Old 03-16-2013, 10:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 1997 Softail Custom with a stock front end. Bike was wrecked when I bought it, I was going to go with a DNA springer. Found a sight that sells DNA front ends and provides specific measurements- tree to axle (cant remember if its top or bottom of tree). Had the whole swap pretty much figured out but wound up replacing only the wheel.
Anyway give me a day or two and I can probably dig up the info for you.
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Old 03-17-2013, 12:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ramcr913 Thanks for the response.... Yeah I've had my eye on the DNA Springer. I hear mixed reviews about them, but you can't beat the price (provided it stays together at 80mph)!!! I even saw one company who carries a bracket conversion kit to add a gas shock if desired. I need to contact one of their tech reps to find out what type of risers, and other hardware they accept. I'm assuming I cannot use my current risers on a springer??? I really like the Paughco, but at a $1500 price difference....

Whenver I measure anything, for some reason always comes up 2" longer than the actual size!!!

Last edited by samg1965; 03-17-2013 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Typically its from the top of the tree to the C/L of the axle. Stock HD Softail tubes usually go out at 24.5" depending on what model. If you would like the digital HD Manual for your bike PM me, I would be more than willing to pass it on to you.
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Last edited by Rollmeaway; 03-17-2013 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 09:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollmeaway View Post
Typically its from the top of the tree to the C/L of the axle. Stock HD Softail tubes usually go out at 24.5" depending on what model. If you would like the digital HD Manual for your bike PM me, I would be more than willing to pass it on to you.
Agreed, top of tree to C/L of axle. Unfortunately DNA and Paughco and a host of other mainstream front end vendors sell them as stock, x" over, or x" under.

Sam- I found a vendor that will actually measure one prior to shipping it (vendor site is bookmarked on a work PC, give me a day or two).
You might try contacting DNA directly:

http://www.trydna.com/

Customer Service & Sales Hours
Mon-Fri: 8am-5pm, Sat&Sun: Closed
Toll: 1.888.755.4070, Tel: 310.767.4070
E-mail: paul@trydna.com
Address: 200 W Artesia Blvd. Compton CA 90220

I believe they sell replacement parts- rockers, bushings, etc. Talk to DNA and see if you can get measurement info, and check on parts availability.

If you want to make your DNA springer stand out, there is a wishbone conversion kit available:
http://cyrilhuzeblog.com/2012/12/19/...omment-page-1/

Lastly- A lot of DNA complaints seem to center on the chrome. Pitting, peeling, etc. Consider ordering yours in black powdercoat. You can leave it black or disassemble and paint it.

I will find out who that vendor is and let you know.
Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info guys!!! I did find out that what DNA and Paughco etc... call "stock" is actually 22" which was the stock length prior to 1984. So a 2" over would be the equivalent of today's stock length, etc.... Yes I'm going with black. Going for the bobber look. Ill also speak to a rep before purchasing. Thanks for the info.

I'm also looking at black Samson upswept fishtails.... Any experience with Samson exhaust ???
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess another thing to consider is that I believe the oem triple tree has a 3 degree rake in it. The springer is deraked to compensate for the rocker. So an equal length springer will raise the bike a hair. But that's what I'm going for.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg1965 View Post
I guess another thing to consider is that I believe the oem triple tree has a 3 degree rake in it. The springer is deraked to compensate for the rocker. So an equal length springer will raise the bike a hair. But that's what I'm going for.
I wouldnt think that the rake from 3* - 0 will be about an 1'' or under based on the length of the front end.

Up sweep fishtails Huh .... alota Ole' school goin' on which is up my alley. Ya I like older look but I also appreciate the modern day technology. The electrical is far superior today.

I would like to see a few pictures when your done if your up to it.

AS far as Samson exhaust Kenny has been around a long time & builds quality in my experiences.
__________________
We never even said a word,
We just walked out and got on that bike
And we rolled...
And we rolled...... clean out of sight




Dare...

2000 FXST - Carbed
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah going for the old school bobber/frisco chopper look. Springer no fender, upswept, attitude stick tall sissybar (eh maybe). Red rims although my bike is very red already. I have pics of it in my album can't figure out how to post here from my iPhone
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Old 03-19-2013, 02:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Couldn't find the vendor info but....
I called DNA. They said:

Measurement is from "The top of the bottom tree to the center of the axle", and their "stock" front end is 23".

I suspect that the 23" is actually 22" because of the rocker offset. Because a STOCK '95 softail measures 24" (at least my '97 does), I agree that a +2" is probably going to be the correct one.
Regarding the risers, the DNA springer riser spacing is 4 3/4", as opposed to the "normal" HD spacing of 3 1/2". I think you can use any risers as long as the Hbars have enough spread to handle the increased width. DNA makes a HBAR adapter (Part# M-HBC-1000) that allows you to use any conventional HBAR/riser combo you want.
Hope it works out for you, let us know how that DNA performs if you get it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 02:32 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks ramcr913. That's helpful info. I also found a bracket kit for ~$80 that allows you to add a gas shock to the DNA Springer. I think I will go with the DNA. Just waiting on that tax return!!!!
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well.... I just ordered Samson Renegade upswept fishtails in black. Dennis Kirk had a special for $600. $750 elsewhere. Speaking of old school.... 12 years ago or so s&s had a manifold that kicked out the carb at a 45 degree angle. Reminiscent of the old Dell Orto carbs of the 70's. I would live to get that but cannot find it assuming they discontinued it. Ill call s&s but do you know of any such product on the market now? Do you know the Dell Orto look I'm going with???
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:25 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samg1965 View Post
Thanks ramcr913. That's helpful info. I also found a bracket kit for ~$80 that allows you to add a gas shock to the DNA Springer. I think I will go with the DNA. Just waiting on that tax return!!!!
Do you have a link to this shock conversion? Curious to see what it looks like. if could pm it to me
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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DNA Specialty is a Horrible Company. 2008 front end fell apart in a few weeks, took months to get a replacement. Came in with no fork oil and springs shot, got another new one within a year the chrome started peeling off and then 5 years later all the seals were shot and leaking all over. 8 years later ordered a completely new front end from them, wrong size was shipped, took 4 months to get the return auth after dozen of phone calls, messages, etc.. finally shipped back, their pre-paid shipping didn't work, ultimately they got it but then had my money and front end, got run around for another month until I opened a PayPal dispute, we mediated a few times, more or less so they could drag it on some more. Finally I escalated it and PayPal refunded me but I got burnt for 5 months of time, $200 in shipping and import fees. WOULD NEVER DEAL WITH RICK, MOTOTEK AND DNA AGAIN. Avoid like the plaque, junk parts and crooks! 2001 Dyna Lowrider Custom 41mm front end.
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Old 02-17-2017, 06:41 PM   #15 (permalink)
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ban DNA!

straight poop on springers,am long time choper builder and machinist Killer site chopperhandbook.com 22inchs is the moco standard set in the late 30's measured from the axle center at ride height to the bottom of the bottom tree.some say the bearing surface but since alot of aftermarket companies made thicker trees[ lile columbus aluminum] the nearest even number is the call. ONLY Paughco makes in 3 in increments. untill the softial spring cam out in 93[?} this was given. its is now 24. so simply use your app to figure what to order then also consider wheel /tire height as well and the possible use of raked neck cups..As many will tell you, quit smokin to save $ and cut back on the brews to get a quality springer or have one built,if you skills as i do a build is easy, however these day chrome is not however i have heard of a chrome powder coat new, that supposed to be top nothc. i have some vintage models available that you could change the leg length on easily but they are not cheap and most are narrow[ 6in] where the wider 8-9 is probably what you want.. good luck.. use TIMKEN bearings!!
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