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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Y'all

I'm a potential first time HD owner (thinking about a RK or RK Custom) and have a few questions. Been researching for several weeks through the forums and I'm somewhat confused by all the options. So ...

1) I am currently riding a Kaw Mean Streak with V&H, Thunder Tornado & TFI. I am concerned about the performance of a stock Twinkie or Stage 1 compared to what I am now riding. Assuming a decent slip on or pipe, good air intake and SERT or TFI to undo the EPA leaness, what kind of HP & Torque could I expect?

2) Assuming I do not go the 95" or cam route, dp the various late model heads make a big difference?

3) I am thinking about either a late model used scooter (02+) with stage1/2 mods or an older EVO (in less than prime condition) with a complete drivetrain swap for S&S/Baker. Is the rebuild/custom route going to even be in the same cost ballpark as a late model stocker?

4) How feasible is it to find a "handyman special" Evo? The on-line classified sites I have looked at only seem to have prime condition late model bikes for sale.

I am a pretty experienced wrench (cars & metric bikes), so ripping into a major project doesn't scare me. I also am going to look into renting a RK for a weekend to try out.

Thanks for any assitance to a FNG :)

Keith (in Florida)
 

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Most people do not buy stock HD's for their performance.
That being said, one of the advantages to a HD are the numerous performance packages that can be put together. You can go SE or aftermarket. Aftermarket leaves you with more opportunities than the limited SE lineup. Take your time, read the literally hundreds of posts here and you will soon have your head spinning. But with patience, you will learn a lot and come up with what you want.

The opportunities are vast. Most of your questions are answered in posts already here.

Read on, and good luck.

YB
 

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Kieth,

1. The "Screaming Eagle" catalogue is online, in it you will see the torque curves for stock & modified engines & can compare them. HDs are better at torque than HP though

2. There are some excellent mechanics here, and I'm not one of them. I would say don't bother replacing heads without doing other major mods though.

3. Cost and hidden cost. The other thing about putting a new engine in an old bike is that the REST of the bike is old as well. Who knows what else will fall off it?

4. You probably can find one in FL, but people with old HDs think they are holding onto diamonds, whether they really are or not. I'd keep looking through the local classifieds, and estate auctions if you aren't in a hurry. When you've got a good idea of the local market, try bidding on one, but remember, the guy who rides it thinks he should be able to trade it in 1:1 on a new bike. As a for instance, when I went to get my rk, a guy here had one that he was trying to get rid of and was asking the same price he paid for it PLUS the cost of chrome he put on!! Why anyone would pay that rather than going out and buying their own new bike is beyond me, but that's how people are. Look around awhile, it's a good time of year to do so (people selling bikes in winter) then either: 1. buy one used or 2. get disgusted hearing guys with 1980 sportsters wanting 10k for their bikes and buy a new one.
 

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khollister said:
Hey Y'all

1) I am currently riding a Kaw Mean Streak with V&H, Thunder Tornado & TFI. I am concerned about the performance of a stock Twinkie or Stage 1 compared to what I am now riding.
Keith I'm a new Harley owner myself after 20 years of riding metric bikes. I went to the dealer to pickup a '05 RK Custom but left with a '06 Street Glide (another story). I rented a RK for a couple of days just as you are planning to do before I decided to buy. My last bike was a Honda VTX 1800. I knew when I bought the Harley that I would be losing a significant amount of power. But that didn't matter to me because at 51 years old, speeding and zipping in and out of traffic no longer appeals to me. You may be able to get a RK to go as fast as your Mean Streak but it will probably cost you a lot of dough. That considering that Harley's are pricey from the jump. Me personally, before I would buy a Harley and hack it up and replace half of the motor for minimal gain, I would go back to a VTX or some other higher performing metric. Good luck with your choice.

eddie
 

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I've been on top of Kaws, Hons, Yams, and a few bastards.... Just two words come to mind..."Road King".... What else to say??????
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it looks like I may a Road King Custom owner shortly. Waiting on a some additional photos to clarify a couple cosmetic blemishes, but I will probably take delivery of a 2004 Real Red FLHRSI this weekend. The bike is a few hours away and the owner is bringing it up to me for inspection & sale (if the eyes on corroborates the condition described). It has SE Stage 1, Samson slip-ons, electronic cruise control, alarm, QD windshield, fog lamps (probably take off & sell), driver & passenger back rests (sell passenger, maybe driver) and QD luggage rack (also take off & sell), grips & cruise pegs. It has 12500 mi with service records & a new rear tire & brake pads. Has 6 mo of warranty left, too.

Two cosmetic items - some corrosion/pitting on lower front of fork legs (good excuse to put the chrome fork tubes on) and a scuff on one of te saddlebags. Syas the leather is not cut, just an abrasion/scuff (waiting on photos tonight of problem areas). Says paint is perfect and chrome is not rusted/discolored. Photos of bike so far support this. Never been dropped.

If it checks out when I lay eyes on it, I will get it for $15,250. Based on what I've seen at dealers, I think I'm getting a pretty good deal.

As far as performance, after examining data and threads here, I think the Stage 1 95" kit (no cams yet) with a TFI/DFO to get the A/F in the ballpark will give me a good boost in torque without spending a lot of cash right now. I'll go to gear-drive Andrews 21 0r 26 cams later. Maybe get a SERT and get Doc to tune it since I'm in Orlando.

First things are Corbin Solo & TFI (Stage 1 flash is too lean by all accounts).

Thanks for the comments. Hard to believe I'm actually going to be riding a HD.

Keith
 

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Keith,

I have the identical bike, down to the color but without FI. I love it but I did not drive it 1 mile stock. I had major work done before delivery. A friend just bought an RK Custom this summer and there is a bit of a difference in power. Now he's got a stage 1 and it runs almost as good as a stock one "should". To answer your first question, it depends a lot on the pipe you use. You could be looking at between about 70-75hp and 70-80+tq. #2, there are some differences in heads between 04, 05 and 06 and, from what I've heard the 06's are the best but if you're looking for serious power the stock heads are going to be thoroughly reworked or changed out. The last two questions will be moot if you buy the 2004, which I highly recommend (with a change to the handlebars). For me, my mods have worked fine and I'm happy with my over 100/100 tq/hp. Now, my friend didn't like the front brakes so he bought PM 6-piston calipers and 13" rotors-it should lift the rear tire now (will find out in the spring) and he is toying with the idea of a 124" engine, which will provide scary power, about 130-140 tq and hp, in a RK chassis.

Also, don't believe those charts in the HD parts book. They seem to be "optimistic" by about 10% or so.

What kind of power are you looking for? If 115/115 will be enough than a very good 95" will get you there. If you want more there are other options: turbo, supercharger, nitrious, cubes or outrageous (read-barely streetable) cams and heads. Keep in mind the RK is 700 lbs so torque is your friend in a contest of speed. If I had to do it over again I would give up 10hp for 10 additional torque which, in my case I could still do with different cams and exhaust.

Also, keep in mind that HD's make a lot of torque so an HD with less HP than your normal *** bike may "feel" faster due to the gobs of torque down low.

Everyone's advice holds true-do some reading and find out what other people have or haven't used to make power. I can tell you that Woods makes some good cams, just don't go overboard with the lift and if you want mega HP then "T-man" does good head work, although expensive. Going from 88" to 95" is relatively cheap HP but the 103" stroker adds considerably to the cost of a build-like $1500 P&L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cfromc - thanks for the info. 90 ftlb & 80-90 HP should do nicely. Not trying to do wheelies or bark the tire in 4th gear. I think I can get there with stock heads (especially the 06 ones).

In a weird twisted turn of events, I didn't end up with the 04. The guy backed out of the deal at the last minute. So I bought a brand new 06 today - the dealer up in Leesburg (about 45 miles from Orlando) gave me the best deal of anyone in central Fl. They are selling bikes at MSRP+$500, no freight, no setup, no dealer prep. This was $400 better than the next best price I could negotiate. Also get 15% off parts for 2 weeks.

I got the Cobalt Blue (very stunning in sunlight) and they are installing the SE Pro (aka SE II) slipons, SE air cleaner (with K&N element, not the crappy paper one) and Techlusion TFI (they said they don't even bother with the HD flash anymore - too lean). Also got highway pegs, grips and the bag locks. I'm picking it up tomorrow afternoon. I'll get some pictures up if I get home before dark.

And before someone starts on the warranty thing, I had a long discussion about that with the service manager. He said while someone could kick back on the slipons & TFI, he has never known it to happen in this area. I was going to put a TFI on anyway.

Chrome forks, chrome switch housings & brake resevoir & a removable windshield is on the short list next. Then the 95" kit

Keith
 

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khollister said:
In a weird twisted turn of events, I didn't end up with the 04. The guy backed out of the deal at the last minute. So I bought a brand new 06 today
Congratulation Keith. The RK Custom was my first choice. I was in the dealers office doing paperwork on a '05 leftover when the dealer told me about the Street Glide that they received with their first shipment of '06 bikes earlier that day. To make a long story short I ended up riding home on a Street Glide instead of the RK. But the Street Glide is a RK Custom with fairing and hard bags. Since the EG Standard was also on my short list, the Street Glide was the perfect middle ground. If that dealer had not mentioned the new bikes I would be the owner of a '05 RK Custom today but I know I would have loved it as I do my StG. Enjoy your ride.

eddie
 
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