Not so much barn find as gar­den find, but Ped’s Hog is get­ting there

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage - ped.baker@mo­tor­cy­cle­


My Har­ley-david­son FXR project has shame­fully just rolled into its third year, but de­spite be­ing nowhere near fin­ished, there has been some progress.

Bought as a ‘run­ning project’ in Novem­ber 2013, the FXR had spent most of its life in a Guild­ford back gar­den. It’d been res­cued by the pre­vi­ous owner and I’d Ini­tially planned to do min­i­mal work to get the bike road­wor­thy, paint over the ‘patina’ and ride it, but af­ter a dis­cus­sion with Har­ley, we de­cided it might be wise to check the in­ter­nals for any po­ten­tial prob­lems be­fore I po­ten­tially made them worse.

Gavin Cupit, a tech­ni­cian from the Har­ley-david­son Euro­pean train­ing cen­tre in Broms­grove was vol­un­teered to help me strip the en­gine, and with Gavin’s en­cy­clopaedic knowl­edge of the Evo­lu­tion model we made short work of breaking the mo­tor down to ev­ery last nut and bolt.

First the good news: the en­gine has been fit­ted with a 93in Stro­ker kit made by S&S Cy­cle. This per­for­mance up­grade in­cludes an S&S crank, bar­rels, con­nect­ing rods and forged pistons. As the name im­plies, the kit in­creases the pis­ton stroke by a quar­ter of an inch rais­ing the ca­pac­ity from 1340 to 1524cc. The en­gine has also been fit­ted with a hot camshaft (An­drews EV5), beefier valve springs and a large bore Screamin’ Eagle Kei­hin carb. When the bike was orig­i­nally mod­i­fied in 1990 this would have cost the owner at least an ex­tra £3-£4k. Re­sult!

Ex­ter­nally it all looks very tatty and cor­roded but in­side the cams and bores aren’t show­ing the usual tell-tale wear pat­terns of a high­mileage en­gine, if fact, it looks like the bike has hardly been rid­den. Even big­ger re­sult!

One blem­ish on the re­port card is some heavy dam­age to the front cylin­der wall. When an en­gine hasn’t run for some time mois­ture can get trapped be­tween the pis­ton rings and the bore, caus­ing cor­ro­sion to the steel liner. On the FXR the cor­ro­sion is deep enough that you can just about feel it with a fin­ger­nail. This is why it’s al­ways a good idea to turn en­gines over reg­u­larly and if your bike isn’t go­ing to be rid­den for a few months squirt a lit­tle oil into spark plug holes.

So it was a smart move to strip and in­spect the en­gine and not just ride it. Our op­tions are to resleeve the front cylin­der and re­fit the orig­i­nal pistons with new rings or re­bore both bar­rels and fit new over­sized pistons. As al­ways it’s go­ing to come down to cost...

Gavin Cul­pit from Har­ley helps strip down the en­gine

Af­ter years lan­guish­ing it could be worse Damp has dam­aged the front cylin­der S&S parts are an un­ex­pected bonus

THE RIDER Ped Baker man­ag­ing edi­tor dig­i­tal and events. ped.baker@ mo­tor­cy­cle­ HEIGHT: 6ft 4in WEIGHT: 90kg

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