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Old 11-07-2012, 02:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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looking at my first harley and want to do it right

hello all
im new to this forum but have been using it alot in my search to buy my first harley and it has been very helpful so far. i am new to harleys but am not new to motorcycles ive ridden sportbikes for the past 6 years and put mine down at the track at the beginning of this year. i put it all back together and sold it and decided to slow it down a little more and enjoy my ride.

i found a seller on craigslist that has a 85 fxrs lowglide that he wants to sell for 4k. its not the cleanest bike ever but it would make a nice project to work on and ride as i go. hes had the bike for 5yrs and hasnt put over 500 miles on it because he doesnt have time to ride it.

the bike is mostly stock he said he put new rings and gaskets in the top end, new tires, brakes, and battery. it does have inner primary leak which i assume would just need to be taken off and regasket and seal the whole thing? he also has had it sitting for a while with half a tank of gas in it i opened up the tank and it looked like there was red gunk in it. im guessing that old seafoam or something? other than the simple fact of being dirty as hell and some knicks in the fender it seemed to ride fine after i got the cob webs knocked out of the carbs. anything else i should be worried about ik im bound to find some secret screw up somewhere but would like to know of any major ones before i shell out the cash

thanks alot for any input
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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all views no response...anyone?
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Forum rules requier you to introduce yourself in the "My Story, The Beginning" thread before you start posting.
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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sorry didnt realize that, i posted on it so hopefully i can get some answers now

thanks
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Old 11-07-2012, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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jammer45u is reading this now saying WTF is this?
You won't find many big twins for less money. Should be a good project that you won't get hurt on if you don't go overboard on your mods.
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Old 11-07-2012, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this? Thermodyne is reading this now saying WTF is this?
We can't really say much, sight unseen.

A few photos might be good.

That year FXR is more or less mainstream early Evo FXR. Basically, if it's un-molested it's worth more than one that has been modded up. A nasty looking but sound scooter is worth $3500ish trade, or 4500ish retail. If it needs tin, deduct about a grand. Trans or primary issues, deduct a grand. Motor with a few issues, deduct a grand. Dead motor, deduct $3500. Dual front brakes are about the only option to look for.

The inner primary leak could be an issue, depending on where the leak is. If it's at the engine interface, then you could be looking at a broken left case. Deduct $3500! If it's at the trans interface, it's more likely to be a trans leak. Without a tear down, deduct $1000. 85 inner primary cases only fit 85's, same for the trans case. So any problems with the castings could be a snipe hunt looking for parts.

Sight unseen, I'm thinking of an ugly old FXR that has issues with leaking and probably has issues on the road too. Less than a 1000 miles a year? Really? If it looked good, then the owner just wasn't a rider. But people who own ugly scooters, or beaters as they are called, usually ride em long and hard.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'd probably jump on it for that kind of money.
I had an '84 Lowglide (FXRS) for 10 years,great bike and I've always regreted ever selling it despite it's having 125,000 miles on the clock when I sold it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 10:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi
At the start of summer I ran into a guy selling a 1985 FXRT and on a whim I bought it. $3500 and I suppose I put about another 1000 into it but I just love that bike. It has been stripped of all the plastic and has Fatboy wheels.
It is just a great handleing bike, go for it.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wfojon View Post
Hi
At the start of summer I ran into a guy selling a 1985 FXRT and on a whim I bought it. $3500 and I suppose I put about another 1000 into it but I just love that bike. It has been stripped of all the plastic and has Fatboy wheels. It is just a great handleing bike, go for it.
Jon
Oh man, now you've done it. Somebody hold back Homesick...
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Old 11-08-2012, 12:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Fullthrotte - search e-bay for 87 fxr. A dealer in NC has a nice one, current bid $3500. I doubt it will sell that low, or you'll want to travel that far for a bike, but it should give you a good idea on comparable bikes/prices.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:20 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Some random thoughts:

1984-1986 were odd years with parts particular to those years. Parts availability can be an issue.

Try to get one newer than about 1990 or so. They have a splined clutch hub rather than taper fit. Splined is stronger.

1987 is when HD went from 35mm to 39mm fork tubes, again -much- better.

The FXR is a good handling bike and can be made a lot better with Racetech or Traxxion Dynamics parts in the front end and better rear shocks. Coming from a sport bike background, you will like this.

Harleys built before about 1996 or so had weak engine cases. Not a big deal at all if you are OK with near stock power. If you want more, look for an FXR with S&S or other good replacement engine. Or a good engine built around Delkron cases.

1999-2000 had the best combination of parts along with good electricals. (IMO) They cost about twice as much as the 1985, though. 1992-1994 is a very close second and you could find stock ones with dual front disk brakes. The 2000 FXR4 also had dual front disks.

You might be happier to get what you want in the first place, rather than to get a lowball price then spend that much more getting it to where you want it. I say this because you said you wanted to do it right. If you are careful, you can put a little bit with the price of the 1985 and get one that is close to where you want it.

There are very good FXRs for sale from time to time with strong aftermarket engines or juiced up HD engines for ~$6k. You just have to keep looking and be in the right place at the right time.

If you are used to sport bikes it is likely you won't be satisfied with stock HD power for long.

Last edited by Bullwinkle; 11-08-2012 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 03:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Catmanzrt View Post
Oh man, now you've done it. Somebody hold back Homesick...
He has already nailed me, no problem...
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