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Discussion Starter #1
I have been riding a 1988 Electra Glide Sport FLHS for 19 years. Love the bike, but it is not the greatest in the twisty back roads. I have been thinking of upgrading to a "new" bike like a 2001 Electra Glide Standard or Road Glide.
All of the press on Harleys is always on the improved power train but never mentions much about handling. Has it improved over the years? or does anyone have any suggestions about making my bike more of a back road bike?
I am not expecting it to be a sport tourer like a Kawasaki Concours; I am just wondering if there have been any aftermarket improvements or if the newer bikes handle better.
 

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Personally, I'd dump some money into that old girl of yours. If you want/need to upgrade then MECHANICALLY speaking get ONLY an '02. The bottom end bearings are Timkens, it has the lastest generation of swingarm & pivot shaft bearings, plus the 1" axles and if you go EFI it has the Delpi unit. TK.
 

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I've got a Softail Springer and an Ultra Classic. With the Springer, I have to "keep hold" of the bar at low speed whereas the Ultra has a very light load. The differences are huge in the low speed handling area so I understand what your asking about with the differences in the bikes (Springer front end - Ultra front end). I think the difference comes into play with the degree of rake, all the baggers and dressers should have the same rake. (I give you permission to get the new bike, but keep the old.)
 

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I've got an '05 RK Custom and I consider the suspension upgrades I've done equal to the power upgrades.

I added the Progressive 440 shocks to the rear and the Progressive fork springs to the front... night and day difference in the hills around here.
 

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With that old frame, I would look into a product to keep the swingarm straight. You probaley don't notice it much, but the twisting at the back of the trans and the play in the swingarm, (it's there all right) makes the bike seem kingd of squirrlly. There are a few setups out there, one of which doesn't hang lower than the frame.

You have a great bike, if it is sound, I would build it and ride it. The newer bikes get complicated, and like the man said 02 was the year that HD baggers shone. You have a carbed bike, which is much easier and cheaper to tune. If you put $3000 into that bike, it would be awesome, and selling your bike and $3000 will get you a headache, unless you are lucky.
 

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A good set of rear shocks,progressive springs and good fork oil up front,Metzler or Avon tires all will make differences but together it would be huge.
Then take care of the mushy swingarm with Sta-bo bushings or an extra link set up like truetrack or ride str8.
Do all the above and you won't believe it's the same bike.
 

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Rear end first

I agree with the post that the rear swingarm is most likely the issue. Go with something like a True-Trac and if you bike has the Cleve-Bloc assemblies on the pivot axle, go head and replace those.

I think the Electra Glide Sports really are cool. I have only seen one around my area and saw another at a State HOG rally. The owner of the one at the rally was shocked that I knew the bike's model name.

As far as newer bikes and handling. I have a pal with an 06 and he hates that he cannot adjust the front forks like I can on my 99. With yours being EVO, you should have no problem with finding after market performance out there.

In addition to the True-track and pivot bearings, I added a steering stabilizer to keep wonds from effecting the batwing, but if you do not have a batwing for that bike, then you might not need that.

I vote to keep the bike if it is running fine and go after the handleing issue.
 

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I would keep the ol' Glide and do the suspension mods mentioned.

Afterall, that is the fun part, making your ol' Glide faster, quicker stopping, and better in the curves.

Anybody can tap out and sell the ol' bike and buy a newer one.

But wait, buying a new bike is fun too......

SO, keep the ol' bike and do the mods, AND get a new bike, yeahhhh, that's it!!
 

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I had a 1991 FLHS until just recently. I sold it after I picked up a 2004 model.

Bottom line...if I could do it over again...I would keep the FLHS.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
1988 Flhs

Thanks all for an incredibally helpful set of responses. I am going to keep it and make the modifications-shocks, springs, fork oil , swing arm and tires. Something to do over the winter.
 
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