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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, it's a long winter, and I think about this kinda stuff a lot, so bear with me!

Have any of you folks rode, or maybe even own a Softail with new B series motor with the counterbalancer? If so, how does it compare vibration wise, to a rubbermount? If it compares favorably, it seems to me that it's a better mousetrap. I love the way my 09 handles, don't get me wrong. However, it's just a matter of time before the isolation mounts develop slop, and the bagger wobble returns, at least to some degree. Then it's time to replace all the isolation mounts, and re-align the wheels, and so on. With a B motor fastened directly to the frame, the swingarm could mounted directly to the frame, and nothing but bearings/races to replace, when needed. What say you?

Jeff
 

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I have rode a friend of mines 88B (softtail standard) and also have rented a heritage 88B while in Vegas and they are really smooth even at idle kind of like a rice burner..:D Like you say that rubber won't last forever.
 

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Harley had to do sumthn w/there ridgid mounts. Man I can remember seeing old 70's sportys, sitn at a traffic lite and all the vibration cumn up thru the bars to the rider.
I've owned a 90 "Fatboy" old Evo motor. The vibration you get is different, and over time different things started coming loose, or broke, than I've ever seen on a rubbermount. My Brother bought a 92 Softail Custom. I rode to, and basically the same thing. He also bought a 100th year Anniv. Fatboy. That has the newer counterbalanced twin cam. I couldnt believe the "Improvements".
The real thing "to me" is the swing arm frame, along w/rubbermounted motor is my drug of choice! Theres nothn wrong w/Softails and the newer counterbalanced motors, but I just like the swingarms independent suspension, compared to the "Rigid". I dont think it has to much to do w/the motor, cause they are basically the same. just my 02
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Harley had to do sumthn w/there ridgid mounts. Man I can remember seeing old 70's sportys, sitn at a traffic lite and all the vibration cumn up thru the bars to the rider.
I've owned a 90 "Fatboy" old Evo motor. The vibration you get is different, and over time different things started coming loose, or broke, than I've ever seen on a rubbermount. My Brother bought a 92 Softail Custom. I rode to, and basically the same thing. He also bought a 100th year Anniv. Fatboy. That has the newer counterbalanced twin cam. I couldnt believe the "Improvements".
The real thing "to me" is the swing arm frame, along w/rubbermounted motor is my drug of choice! Theres nothn wrong w/Softails and the newer counterbalanced motors, but I just like the swingarms independent suspension, compared to the "Rigid". I dont think it has to much to do w/the motor, cause they are basically the same. just my 02
I'm talking about putting the B motor in a swingarm bagger frame. No desire here for a Softail frame bagger....not enough rear suspension travel for my tastes. My issue with the rubber mount chassis is, it's complicated, and eventually(and it will happen) the mounts wear out, and replacing them is a fairly costly procedure. With the B motor setup. The rear swingarm would be attached directly to the frame, via axle/bearings. Service would be a simple matter of a few squirts of grease every now and then, and replace the bearings when need be.

One difference in the B motor I have seen, is the redline is a couple hundred RPM lower than the rubber mount. Not really a big deal to me, as I don't run my bike that high anyway.

I gotta rent/test ride a Softail, and see what they really feel like.

Jeff
 

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With the B motor setup. The rear swingarm would be attached directly to the frame, via axle/bearings. Service would be a simple matter of a few squirts of grease every now and then, and replace the bearings when need be.
i must be missing something. isn't the swingarm attached directly to the frame on my bike?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
i must be missing something. isn't the swingarm attached directly to the frame on my bike?
Nope. It's actually attached to the transmission housing. In order for the belt/chain tension to remain constant, the swingarm actually pivots off of the transmission housing. The engine, tranny, swingarm, and exhaust are basically unitized, and "float" inside the frame on rubber bushings. The engine/tranny is also located left/right by heim jointed rods. Most of the shake is limited to fore/aft. The exhaust also has to shake along with the engine. Were it bolted directly to the frame, it would rip itself apart.

Jeff
 

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I had a Softail Deuce for 7 years and loved the counterbalanced "B" motor. You could lay your hand on the engine and it was completely still. Still had that cammed lope to the engine, sounded great, ran like it was on fire, but just didn't shake like it was going to fall apart. I can't figure out why they don't make all Harley's like that. It took a lot to get used to the Road King I had and now the Road Glide will be the same. You do supposedly lose a little horsepower but I never knew, especially after engine work, intake, pipes, etc.
 

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I just traded in my 2010 Deluxe for a FLTRU The softail motor was rock solid at idle and low RPM's but there is some vibration above 60mph in the floorboards and seat. I still haven't gotten used to the rubber mounted motors shake at idle but love the way it smooths out as rpm increases.
 

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I just traded in my 2010 Deluxe for a FLTRU The softail motor was rock solid at idle and low RPM's but there is some vibration above 60mph in the floorboards and seat. I still haven't gotten used to the rubber mounted motors shake at idle but love the way it smooths out as rpm increases.
The first time I road a rubber motor bike I thought it was broke. I was sure that anything that vibrated that hard at idle just had to be broke....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's the kind of info I wanted to get from Softail owners. If the counterbalancer isn't effective at cruising speed, then rubber it is. Still have to ride one, and see what it's like firsthand.

Jeff
 

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I had an 05 Heritage. I think it was the B engine (I can't remember when they changed). I never had an issue with it at any speed. I added Thunderheaders, SE High Flow, Fuel Pack, Cams, and a Corbin seat. I only had it for 1 year but put 25K on it. I did a lot of long distance road trips and I was always comfortable. In fact, I'm considering selling my Big Dog Mastiff and getting another Heritage or Fatboy.
 

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Mounting points are different so you'd have to make up custom
mounts on the "A" frame to fit the "B" engine and trans,

Pretty sure you'd have to have a B trans as well,

Then you'd have to get the pivot (swingarm) linged up..

Might as well put a bolt on faring Front end on a Heritage
and slip on some hard bags, be cheaper and faster....
 

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I wonder if anybody has tried to ridged mount the A motor in the touring frame or if it can even be done..:confused:

I doubt it would vibrate any worse than an EVO..:cool:
 

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I had a 96B Heritage 2010..... smooth idle. I got my 2011 RGU rubber mount 103 and thought something was wrong! The Big V twins were shaking hard on their mounts at idle compared to my Heritage. lol nature of the beast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mounting points are different so you'd have to make up custom
mounts on the "A" frame to fit the "B" engine and trans,

Pretty sure you'd have to have a B trans as well,

Then you'd have to get the pivot (swingarm) linged up..

Might as well put a bolt on faring Front end on a Heritage
and slip on some hard bags, be cheaper and faster....
I don't think there's any practical way to do it. Merely pondering the concept. I believe it would have to be done via a purpose built FLT frame. You would have to use a Softail tranny mated to a B motor. I believe the primary on a Softail is longer than the A motor, so it require such major surgery, that you may as well start from scratch. You can do just about anything with a Harley, all it takes is money, and plenty of it!:)

My main point is, if vibration reduction can be done effectively with internal counterbalancers, why bother with the rubbermount system? Of course, how a bike "feels" is so subjective, we'd never all agree on the idea anyway!

Jeff
 
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