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Old 07-23-2008, 06:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FXR history

Hello everyone......

Since we have a specific forum available to us here at V~Twin for FXR's, I thought I would add some historical perspective which may provide some assistance to those unfamiliar with how the FXR Model came about within Harley Davidson.

My hope is that it will be both enlightening and benefical to any person simply desiring more information about the model.

Instead of reprinting everything again please feel free to simply place your curser over the attached "LINK" then......

SIMPLY, CLICK, VIEW, & READ:

UPDATED 01-23-09:

"FXR HISTORY"

[In order to see all of the photos one must become a member, but there is no charge to be a member.]


I am "FXR2evo99" at the above website....

If anyone desires to add to this thread either through photos or through personal experiences or anything which may be helpful to others please feel free.....

My hope is that this will be a great resource for many!!!

Regards,

"Classic"

Last edited by ClassicRider; 10-28-2009 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
Y2K
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Interesting but I see some miss info right off the bat.

"First it says it was born with a five speed,then later it says it got the five speed in '85 when it became the FLHT.
Confusing at best,what the deal really is,in 1980 the FLH retained the four speed and solid mount engine while the new FLT got the rubber mount and five speed,later the FLH and FLT were merged to form the FLHT for 1985 and from that point on all FLH bikes had a rubber mount and five speed.
More bad info,the beltdrive didn't come along as stated in the 1979 (1980 model year) FLHT,it also wasn't on the first FXRs with the Shovelhead engine '82-'83,in fact it wasn't even on the first Evo FLT or FXRs in 1984 they were all chain drive bikes.
The belt drive was added in 1985 to the five speed bikes,early FLT and FXRT models had an enclosed oil bath chain drive.


In the fall of 1979, Harley Davidson introduced New for the 1980 model year the FLT Tour Glide. This granddaddy of the full dressers had carved itself a dedicated following among Harley-Davidson touring enthusiasts. Until the launch of the Tour Glide, every Electra Glide since the 1963 inaugural year had worn basically the same clothes; the FLT was considered revolutionary for its side-by-side twin headlights in a redesigned frame-mounted fairing. It was born with a 5-speed transmission, hard bolted to the engine.

Also this year, the drive train was replaced with a Kevlar belt. Inside that fiberglass wind-eliminator were new electronic instruments all aimed at allowing the long-distance rider to stay in the saddle for hours on end. Primary among these add-ons was a CB radio that allowed riders to keep in contact with long-haul truckers along the way.

The new frame of the FLT was the first to use the “exclusive” Harley-Davidson Tri-mount chassis with the three-point maintenance-free automotive type elastomer engine mounted system – one in the front and two at the frame junctions to the transmission which eliminated most of the big twin’s characteristic vibration, revised steering geometry and a fully enclosed drive train which meant higher reliability and lower maintenance helped in taking a huge step forward in reclaiming some of the touring riders who had been defecting.

"The Tour Guide’s unique front end arrangement, combined with its remarkable 35 degree lean-angle and computer designed frame, made it the easiest maneuvering, best handling fully dressed tourer currently available at that time.

Also during the advent of the new FLT, in 1981 it should be noted that senior members of Harley-Davidson bought back Harley-Davidson Motor Company from AMF. It was later in 1985, that the FLT became the FLHT and received the Evolution engine and a five-speed transmission. The extra gear felt like an overdrive had been installed and upped the FLT's top speed from 98 to 105 MPH. Not as outright plush as current touring rigs, but timeless and capable in its own way."

Last edited by Y2K; 07-23-2008 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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"First it says it was born with a five speed, then later it says it got the five speed in '85 when it became the FLHT. Confusing at best.
While confusing perhaps grammatically what was communicated was accurate.

What the deal really is, in 1980 the FLH retained the four speed and solid mount engine
My only point here is that it’s only natural that one could go all the way back to the beginning of Harley Davidson motorcycles to arrive at the natural beginning of the FXR, which I feel is really unnecessary so for me the beginning of the FXR story begins at the emergence in the fall of 1979 with the advent of the 1980 FLT Tour Glide and While you are accurate, with your statement above it was beyond the “intended” scope of the History of the FXR for me.

while the new 1980 FLT got the rubber mount and five speed,
Which is what I articulated.


later the FLH and FLT were merged to form the FLHT for 1985 and from that point on all FLH bikes had a rubber mount and five speed.
Which is what I articulated.

More bad info, the belt drive didn't come along as stated in the 1979 (1980 model year) FLHT,
While your critique is a bit harsh, “more bad info” you are and were correct….I made the change, and thank you.

Belt drive wasn't on the first FXRs with the Shovelhead engine '82-'83,
Actually I haven’t articulated that they were, perhaps you were merely making a point.

Belt drive wasn't even on the first Evo FLT or FXRs in 1984 they were all chain drive bikes.
agreed, and I didn’t say they were.

The belt drive was added in 1985 to the five speed bikes,
agreed, thank you for pointing this out.

early FLT and FXRT models had an enclosed oil bath chain drive.
agreed

Regards,

"Classic"

Last edited by ClassicRider; 08-21-2008 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
Y2K
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Didn't realize this was your writing so sorry if my reply seemed a bit harsh,I thought you were quoting another source.
My reply was mainly to see that the information provided was correct,I've seen so much incorrect info stated as fact about Harley Davidson motorcycles posted on the net that it's a wonder anyone knows the true facts.

On a side note it's interesting that H/D had solid mount 4 speed bikes with belt drive as early as 1980 on the FXB Sturgis with twin belts (primary and main drive) and then the limited edition twin belt Wide Glide in '83 (FXDG Disc Glide) but stayed with chain drive on the technically more modern FXR and FLT.
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Old 08-09-2008, 04:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Y2K....
I appreciate your above comments...and your passion for getting the "information" correctly communicated which only helps to create "facts" from "fiction".....


UPDATE:
Well the Thread is coming along nicely.....there has been some further updates provided.....and some great photos as well....

I believe there are a total of 74 models of FXR's inclusive of the 1999 CVO bikes ie: FXR2 and FXR3 and 2000 FXR4. That cover a span from 1982 - 1994 and then again as the first "Custom Vehichle Operations" "CVO" Program which produced the 1999 FXR2, 1999 FXR3 as well as the final FXR, the 2000 FXR4.

Of course I am not referring to color combinations as being a criteria for determing different models. What's also interesting is that in 1981 HD began with two FXR models, ie: the 1982 FXR Super Glide II, and the 1982 FXRS Super Glide II and then in 1994 HD ended the series of FXRs with the 1994 FXR Super Glide and the 1994 FXLR Low Rider Custom. The 1988- 1992 years saw the motor company producing 7 different models each year, inclusive of a FXRP which was a Police Version of an FXRT.

Regards,

"Classic"

Last edited by ClassicRider; 08-21-2008 at 12:30 PM.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well goto Lets see everone's FXR at the top of the page. My 86 is in there and darn near everybodies bikes there.
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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pwmorris is reading this now saying WTF is this?
IMO the FXR is hands down the best bike Harley has ever made.
I have been riding them for over 10 years and love em'.
All these baggers running around are just FXR's with extra luggage and storage space.
Sadly, many of the newest generation of riders that I come across ask "what kind of bike is that?" and don't even know what an FXR is.
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwmorris View Post
All these baggers running around are just FXR's with extra luggage and storage space.
I think that's a bit of a stretch as much as I love the FXR series.
The Tourglide series was out a couple years ahead of the FXRs with the rubbermount/5 speed basic architecture that the touring bikes and FXRs of that vintage share.

Gotta agree with the FXRs being Harleys best all arounder ever built.
I don't think they've built any bike as versatile before or since.
If I wasn't pack'n the O'L around I'd likely still be on one instead of my bagger.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey great to see some dialogue here....I hope it continues.....

The FXR is truly an amazing bike....it's handling capabilities are awesome.....have you guys noticed what is going on with the 2009 Ultra's today they are coming in at a weight of 899 lbs wet, now throw on some clothes and a passenger....and have yourself a ride at over 1,000 lbs....I am reading more and more often about the "older" guys giving more and more consideration to leaving the big bikes home and taking a tryout on an FXR....

I do agree with Y2K while I am only 5' 10" and weigh in at 165 lbs and my wife is 5' 1" and weighs in at just a couple of spuds over a 100lb sack of potatoes......now I am not calling her a sack of potatoes...just for the record she is my bride and best friend....smiles...anyway...then throw on some clothes aprx 60 lbs with saddlebags...and when we have toured on the FXR2 the bike is just a bit shy of being perfect for the event.....BUT going out by myself....with gear....and let's go.....it's more fun than my 2002 RKC and it's more SPECIAL.....

Even if I put more power into my FXR2 it wouldn't be the perfect fit perhaps for a passenger's comfort....but one UP riding is unparalled....

I always say for any rider who is not over 5' 11" with boots on and has an inseam not exceeding 33" you won't find a more comfortable bike....all it takes is being on one for 300 - 400 miles and you will know.....

You know it's tough to have simply ONE bike do it all....there are always sacrifices, there are always + and - to everything....but at the end of the day, If for some reason I am told I can only keep one bike....I am keeping my 1999 FXR2....it only weighs in at 560 lbs....it's wonderfully comfortable, it handles extremely well, I feel as though I can "spin" it on my finger....it cruises the highway as intended by the engineers with it's beautifully designed frame....you can stay on it for hours at a time....it's simply an amazing machine....and you know what...it's special....you just feel special when riding it....the Motor Company thought enough about the FXR to make the FXR in the form of a 1999 FXR2, 1999 FXR3, and 2000 FXR4 as its very first representation and in my opinion very best Custom Vehichle Operations (CVO) Bike....

Regards,

"Classic"

Last edited by ClassicRider; 08-21-2008 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClassicRider View Post

Come on readers....and enthusiasts....post your reflections of your FXR's....your knowledge would and will always be appreciated.....

Regards,

"Classic"
Well I can tell you I spent 10 years with one and never tired of it,I'd still have it had I not caved in under the pressure of making payments on a new bagger for the wife to ride with me more and on longer trips.
I once did 6000 miles (solo) in 9 days on my FXRS sans windshield.
I was tired at the end of the trip but my butt held up pretty well on the stock seat,that bike just me fit like a glove and after over 100K miles it just was comfy like an old pair of sneakers.
Yeah,I miss that bike often,as much as I do love my bagger I'd love another one for a solo ride.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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pwmorris is reading this now saying WTF is this?
Classic Rider,
I spoke in detail about one of my FXR's in a nice 6 page article in the March 06' issue of "American Iron" magazine.
Basically for me I looked at all the Big Twin platforms out of Milwaukee (I like Harley frames for the street-not aftermarket) and the FXR and the sportster were the two bikes I thought would be easily developed toward performance upgrades. I went with the FXR but I've seen some really hot Sportsters with the 4 cam geometry of the valve train.
I wish Harley kept the FXR instead of going to the Dyna platform.
If anyone knows the history behind this I'd sure be interested.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwmorris View Post
I wish Harley kept the FXR instead of going to the Dyna platform.
If anyone knows the history behind this I'd sure be interested.
Several things I've read about it all make sense.
1- it was a hand made frame and much more costly to produce than the Dyna frame.
2- it didn't have as traditional a look and was a slow seller with the old school H'D purists,the Dyna looked much more like the original Superglide.
3- the Twincam 88" motor did not fit in an FXR frame
Bottom line was sales,Harley was more about selling bikes and making a profit than designing a better handling bike.
To bad Erik Buell the FXR's frame designer wasn't still working at Harley,maybe we'd have seen a new and better evolutionized FXR with a big inch twincam engine and six speed.
Instead we got the Rocker Softail....uggg!
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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pwmorris....

Darn it....basically I take my American Iron magazines after a year....and I go through them tearing apart those discussions/tech tips/articles that I like the most....and I keep all FXR articles....and for some reason I missed yours.....so I am thinkin what would it take for you as the "proud" owner of the article to 'perhaps" scan the the 6 page article to me....would love to read it.....dang it....grrrrrrrrr I would love to have it now....

Y2K....pretty much nailed it pwmorris.....

In 1994, Harley Davidson felt it was time to move away from the labor intensive FXR frame knowing too that with the advent of the Twin Cam on the horizon which would result in having to go through a very expensive recertification process with redesigning of the current FXR chassis for the new motor as well as the obvious perceived market resistance to the "triangular" tubing of the chassis it was time to end the run of the "FXR" Harley Davidson. Thus the last two models of the FXR were produced in 1994, the FXR Super Glide and the FXLR Low Rider Custom.

Today however the FXR is enjoying a passionate following....as more and more people learn about the benefits of these bikes....more and more people will give them a try....given that HD has a EVO rebuild program where you can simply send in your old tired and worn out evo back to HD and can acquire one fresh and new...there will be even more of these bikes steadfastly remaining on the road.....

I for one appreciate this Forum's commitment to offer it's readership and participants the ability by the click of one's curser to find quickly a complete FXR Forum Catagory....it's this type of commitment that will continue to strengthen the further understanding and appreciation for such a wonderful machine....and as some say...perhaps Harley Davidson's Best frame ever.....only History will tell.....but I for one would rather get on a bike weighing in at 560 lbs compared to a 2009 Ultra weighing in at 900 lbs.....

Regards,

"Classic"
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I remember when VTF added the FXR section. I was tickled pink.

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Old 08-11-2008, 05:19 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Man, did I get lucky

About 6 weeks ago I was across the street lookin at the niebors sporty and said that with gass so high a bike would be good for me.
He says have I got a deal for you....a guy he has worked with many years offered him a Harley cop bike he had for along time.
Tells me 4K for a late 80's or early 90's FXRP, didnt mean a thang to me, havent been on a bike in 37 years. hell I thought it might br in a basket, but I now own a very nice 94 FXRP with SE heads and pistons at 9.8, big carb and some kind of cam, 2 into 1 BUB pipes.
I could not ride it with the mid foot boards cause of my arthridic hips, had to do some forwards asap, they said you cant have forwards and the engin bar,,, ha, Imade two plates out of some 1/4" aluminum I had saved for something and moved the bottom of the bar forward a few inches and I have both...
I am falling in love with this bike, sitting up high on the cop seat has grown on me and I have decided not to spend money on a new seat just to sit lower, I have long legs...
Did I fall into it or what, needs a new rear tire and windshield plastic is all it needed, even have the keys to those cool black plastic saddle bags.
thebreez
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