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First time forum poster. Need some perspective. I have an 05’ TC88 non-ABS with 40K miles...Fueling Reaper 579 cams...Big Sucker Air...PCIII...2-1 Thunderheader. It was dyno’d with a Pro pipe on it before I swapped out to the TH (I didn’t re-tune since it didn’t seem to skip a beat). My question is, do I look at getting a newer model (still used) with a 103 that has ABS and lower miles while investing for sure in air and exhaust, and cams (eventually), or continue to build out my TC88? I’ I’d look at possibly changing out my apes to a different style and paint my tank if I keep her. She is dialed in...comfortable...and really enjoy the performance and overall ride. I ride 99% solo. Outside of more power being fun in general, I mainly want some more for pulling mountain passes and passing if I do 2up riding. She does fine in the mountains now while solo, but in 5th with increased grades I run out of acceleration and worry about even 4th if I was loaded 2up in the mountains. Going ABS weighs on my mind (as I know too well what locking up a non abs bike is like), plus I hear the newer frame is much better. For the price I could sell my current ride and be close to getting a ‘12 - ‘14 (and I know about the bag upgrades on the ‘14 newer which is awesome; the dash info center I could care less about.) So, any input on if I should look at getting a more recent used ride with lower miles, newer frame, ABS, and 103 vs continuing to do engine mods on my TC88 is appreciated. Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the forums.

I haven't ridden a pre-rushmore glide, but coming off sport touring bikes I will say that the Rushmore frame with properly set up suspension handle very well.


I care more about handling than power.
 

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First off welcome to the forum. If your bike is already dialed in and setup to your liking I’d keep her, at 40k she should have lots of life in her still. If you get something else you’ll probably end up spending some extra $ to get it to where you’d want it. Either way you can’t go wrong as long as your on a shark??
 

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Welcome to the forum, I would go with an 09 up because of the frame and ABS if nothing else, handling and brakes are a lot better than before, but I still have some love for the older bikes
 

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The newer frame is indeed better, especially if you're not tall. The 6 speed gearing is much more comfortable on the highway. The Rushmore saddlebags are nice. A stock cam Rushmore 103 with just exhaust, air cleaner, and tune will get you around 90 HP and have a much better torque curve than the 88. The 14+ bikes are just better all around.
 

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Welcome from Minnesota. When I started shopping I was looking for 11 or 12, but after a good look at the 15 Rushmore I had to spend the extra dollars.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

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Welcome to the forum, good luck in whatever you decide to do.
 
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There is no wrong decision here, you’re already on a real road glide & have love the older originals ?? ?. Lots of guys here have no love for the old ones and came on board only after Rushmore’s AKA Bender came out. Yes the 09 & up changed the frame, has a wider rear wheel & handle better but there are things you can do to increase handling on yours like adding true track stabilizer etc. 40k is nothing on a TC, give that old gal a facelift and ride her with pride
Good luck
 

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I can only speak to the dash.(if you could "care less" about it) I think you'll hate it once it's in your face. I had a '15 RGS, couldn't stand all the electronic crap. As for the ABS,(mine were linked), don't know how much difference that makes) I couldn't stand that either; the one time I got into a panic stop situation I grabbed a hard handful of front brake and tire squeal and burnt rubber smell was all I got. Thankfully a hole opened up and I got out unscathed. I'm very happy to be back on a non abs bike w/o the electronic screen in my face, but I'm an old fart, so keep that in mind. Just my .02
 

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"there's no replacement for displacement"

if you're looking for more torque for those 2-up mountain roads you're gonna need a bigger engine (or a cam with a better torque curve)

peak torque above 4K rpm is fun, but it won't pull the wagon up the hill

my 2¢...
 

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Do you do your own wrenching ? For under 3k you could do a big bore kit and have a powerful paid for bike that's already set up the way you like it. If you don't wrench add a few grand. Still well under the cost of a 11-13 or Rushmore.

Have you rode a stock 103 ? I do like the 09 up frame change ,some dont.
 

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Tough spot to be in. If you want a 103 and you got $ to spare I would suggest the Rushmore bikes (15-16). Mainly because of the better wind management, ABS and upgraded bags.

If you sell your current ride you'll probably get around $7-8k for it. If you do some hunting you should be able to find a '15 or '16 with low miles for around $15k. So your about $8k out of pocket. Hopefully the pipes are what you want or there is another $1k out of pocket for pipes.

You should be able to find a 10-11 for around $10k. This only takes about $2k-$3k out of pocket. Gets you the 103 and better frame. Hopefully you can find one with good service records.

The good thing about putting cash into what you have is you know where the bikes been. Buying used can be a crap shoot.

Good luck on your decision.
Please let us know what you end up with.
 
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The 09's and up definitely handle better and have a wider rear tire. With that said, in my opinion those 88's are pretty stout lil motors. I have one in the super glide that I had. That motor I had built by an old buddy at a local dealer. That was a nice motor that never gave me any issues. As far as the predicament you're in, it kind of depends on what your wallet dictates. Of course you can spend money on a new or newER but you'd still have to dump money into getting it set up how YOU like as apposed to the previous owners comfort. Or you can pull the motor out and build that. After all theres a ron of parts available for the twin cams
 

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in my opinion those 88's are pretty stout lil motors.
I have to agree. I have an 88 CI on a 03 Fatboy that has been stone cold reliable. The only thing that has been done to it is the cam tensioners replaced at 50,000 miles. It also runs smoother and cooler than the 103. I had a 103 on a Softail Slim that had a lot more vibration than my fatboy does. I can only assume that it was the bigger pistons causing more vibration. The rubber mount on my 15 Road Glide makes the 103 worth having. I didn't like it on my Slim.

A few years ago I bought a 999 Ducati off a guy from Maryland. Turns out he was engineer that not only worked on the design of the Ducati 999 that won the 2007 MotoGP he also worked on the development of the Twin Cam. He said that at first the design had some flaws. They would run the TC's in motor chambers at high RPMs until they blew. They would redesign the failed part. Run the motors until something else blew then fix that part. Kept doing this until they had motors that did not grenade. He said they blew a lot of motors up and had fun doing it. And got paid to boot.

Eventually they got a motor that held together and would only blow after they cut the oil off. He said that there is no reason why a twin cam should not go over a 100,000 miles. Stating that the twin cam is one of his proudest achievements, besides the Ducati racing thing, because they took old air cooled push rod motor tech and made it into a very capable long lasting motor.
 

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My two cents, if you're happy with what you have, stick with it. If you want to look, I'd suggest riding both the 103 and M8 see which one strikes your fancy....but there's a warning, don't test ride unless you're ready, willing and able to buy. PS welcome to the forum. PSS this place will help you spend all of your money on bikes with all the cool things the folks here do to their bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do you do your own wrenching ? For under 3k you could do a big bore kit and have a powerful paid for bike that's already set up the way you like it. If you don't wrench add a few grand. Still well under the cost of a 11-13 or Rushmore.

Have you rode a stock 103 ? I do like the 09 up frame change ,some dont.
I don’t do much engine wrenching. Haven’t ridden the new frame as I have limited the possibility of me wanting to upgrade until I was ready ? The price of a big bore kit and some other things I’d want changed, on top of what I could most likely get for my 05’ right now...would be equal to that of getting into a paid for ‘14 with the new frame, lower miles, 103, 6 speed, ABS, newer bags (which are awesome IMO). Then I would probably want to stretch things for a ‘15 Rushmore (which after a few more months could be doable). Im not interested in going M8 at this time. As I plan to do something in the next few months, all the feedback has been very helpful.
 

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As Little Wing stated, the power issue you speak of is IMO cam choice, I have a 2011 with a 96 inch motor and Feuling 525 cams and fully loaded with my old lady and tour Pak on as well have no issue ripping thru the mountains. In a 88 motor the Feulings 525 has a better torque curve for what your looking for. As for the frame yes it's definitely better as well as brakes, but things can be done to upgrade the old frame as well, tuff call, go with your gut instinct, I did and kept my 2011 this year and didn't trade up for a new one. Good luck.
 
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