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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I can't help myself.

While I don't post a whole lot, I have been a member for several years and I visit this site often. Sometimes to ask a question of those more knowledgeable than I, sometimes to answer a question for those that are going down the road I have already traveled, and of course, for entertainment.

Here's the part where ya'll can start the flame. I see post after post asking "how do I..." or "is this normal?" or some variation of the same theme.

The answers I see usually follow the same trend. There are the folks that say yeah it's normal, or try this, or mine does that so it's ok, or you're going to burn it up, or do this it worked for me. Sometimes a real wrench chimes in and gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to address the issue at hand.

Now I know this is forum, and by it's very nature, is here for a free flow of knowledge and ideas. Hell, I've learned a ton of stuff by asking the same questions. But here's the deal...

We all spend plenty of cash buying our rides, and more on go-fast goodies, look good bits and the rest of the stuff that keeps the MoCo in business. So why not drop another $65.00 and get the By Gawd Harley Davidson Service Manual for your bike?

Hell, it pays for itself several time over at the first 2500 mile service! If you can read at the 8th grade level, and have a set of basic mechanics hand tools, you can accomplish 80% or better of anything the dealer's service department can do...

And there's tons of information in there! Answers to the questions of How, Why and Yes you can do this, and No you can't do that! Torque values, diagrams, photographs, step by step detailed instructions on everything from how to remove your saddle bags to how to do a bottom end overhaul! Answers folks, ANSWERS!

And they are the right answers.

OK, I'm off my soap box, Feel free to flame away...

Dan
 

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As part of the deal when I purchased my bike in March 05, the dealer threw in the first two services. My next purchase was the manual. With exception of the bike, it was the best money spent so far :RTFB: Now I'm just waiting for the 98" parts to get here so I can put it to good use. :cheers:
 

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Not only get THE manual but get the parts book too. The exploded diagrams come in very handy where the repair manual falls short with illustrations. :thumbsup:
 

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Cop_Stanger said:
get the parts book too. The exploded diagrams come in very handy where the repair manual falls short with illustrations. :thumbsup:
You can get by without it fow awhile, but there are times I wish I had it.

Even with the manual theres plenty of opprtunity for dumb questions though.
 

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Restless
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1,672 Posts
A manual should be your first special tool purchase for your bike. IMO, Harley provides some of the most meticulous and detailed step by step manuals out there today. You ought to see the schematics and manuals from the chassis modifier for the fleet of 120k a piece ambulances I maintain. Don't get me started. I'll take a Harley manual any day.
 

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Road Captain
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Good advice! Shop, parts and electrical manual should be on that list right above the hop-up kit and the chrome.
 

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Cop_Stanger said:
Not only get THE manual but get the parts book too. The exploded diagrams come in very handy where the repair manual falls short with illustrations. :thumbsup:

@gree: Between those two books, this and a few other sites -- the info is there.
 

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Ironbutt
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I got the manual but it still didn't tell me what color helmet to buy :(-
 

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ZR1Dan said:
OK, I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I can't help myself.

While I don't post a whole lot, I have been a member for several years and I visit this site often. Sometimes to ask a question of those more knowledgeable than I, sometimes to answer a question for those that are going down the road I have already traveled, and of course, for entertainment.

Here's the part where ya'll can start the flame. I see post after post asking "how do I..." or "is this normal?" or some variation of the same theme.

The answers I see usually follow the same trend. There are the folks that say yeah it's normal, or try this, or mine does that so it's ok, or you're going to burn it up, or do this it worked for me. Sometimes a real wrench chimes in and gives detailed step-by-step instructions on how to address the issue at hand.

Now I know this is forum, and by it's very nature, is here for a free flow of knowledge and ideas. Hell, I've learned a ton of stuff by asking the same questions. But here's the deal...

We all spend plenty of cash buying our rides, and more on go-fast goodies, look good bits and the rest of the stuff that keeps the MoCo in business. So why not drop another $65.00 and get the By Gawd Harley Davidson Service Manual for your bike?

Hell, it pays for itself several time over at the first 2500 mile service! If you can read at the 8th grade level, and have a set of basic mechanics hand tools, you can accomplish 80% or better of anything the dealer's service department can do...

And there's tons of information in there! Answers to the questions of How, Why and Yes you can do this, and No you can't do that! Torque values, diagrams, photographs, step by step detailed instructions on everything from how to remove your saddle bags to how to do a bottom end overhaul! Answers folks, ANSWERS!

And they are the right answers.

OK, I'm off my soap box, Feel free to flame away...

Dan

Ya know, I have the service manual and more often than not I find it wanting. I need to get the parts book next to at least have more information on part numbers and sizes of things. But the manual is a start.
 

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I am not mechanically inclined but my shop manual is a prized possession. When I cracked open the manual for the first time and started looking around I found myself thinking, "I can do this!" And I am still doing it. If I can handle some of the procedures described in the manual then anybody should be able to do it.

I also have a Clymer's Guide as well as the "FixMyHog" DVD. These three resources have not only saved me hundreds of dollars (maybe around $1K?) but the satisfaction of doing it yourself using your own high standards of workmanship is worth it alone.+SMSH+ +SMSH+ +SMSH+
 

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ORIGINAL DOOF BABE
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No reason for a flame - it's a good point. I've learned a lot from just reading through the manual even when I wasn't looking for anything specific. Definitely money well-spent, but it's one of those things that you don't have anything TANGIBLE to show for it (except a big book). Stoopid, because that book will save you money in the long run and be more valuable than some shiny thing, but I think it's true in some cases.

And as far as the posts with questions, sometimes you just can't beat good old fashioned real-life experience from people who have been there and done that. Only bad thing, as you mentioned, is that you get SO much feedback that you may end up even more confused than before! LOL!!
 

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no flame... very common sense. if you don't have the common sense to buy the manual, you probably shouldn't be working on your bike either.

the parts book, though sounding not as important, as stated, is equally important to have.

now go RTFM!!!

:D
 

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Here We Go, Steelers
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I have a comment on this topic and I'm sure you are all dying to hear it. Here goes:

I too have learned a lot of useful info from this forum. I've even laughed a few times. The one thing I see happening alot when someone asks a "will this fit/work" question, is a few cats chiming in with incorrect info. I'm not talking about opinions on oil and crap like that. I'm talking about straight up "I failed to read and comprehend the question" wrong advice.

Almost always, someone who has actual experience will set the guy straight, which is great. But I just don't get dudes that feel they have to provide input based solely on their one experience back in 92 watching their buddy work on a bike. If you don't know for sure, please don't respond. Or maybe you could say "i think it will/won't fit/work, but i'm not certain". That way dumb-asses like me don't waste our time and money.

I will only talk about stuff I KNOW about. (That's why I don't say much). I am an expert in the subjects of dodge ball, kama sutra, and crack cocaine. So if yinz need to know about any of that, let me know. 'Til then I'll continue to absorb the information you put out like a dirty sponge.
 

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Incredible
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3,029 Posts
The Service Manual from HD is by far the best book out. It is not a manual you want to skimp on and get say a "Haynes". While the Haynes manual I have can guide you through basic maintenance it dwarfs in comparison to the HD manual for my bike. It was money well spent.
 

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Get all three

The HD Service Manual, the HD Parts book and the HD Electrical manual. Absolutely necessary.

Also needed are ALL the correct range torque wrenches. Low range and high range inch pound AND foot pound (4 in all). A set of long, socket ball-head Allen wrenches, a set of 1/4" universal-drive sockets and a rail of socket Torx. Oh yeah, and 1/4" to 3/8" (and vice versa) adapters to use the slimmer 1/4" sockets and extensions with 3/8" drive rachets and torque wrenches to fit in tight places like exhaust nuts. All this "special" stuff along with a decent top box of basic automotive tools should see you well on the way to doing most anything on your scoot. :brows:
 
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