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For me I was a kid in the 60's growing up in Fairfax,Va , first time I ever seen the FLH Electra Glide,1,200 cc , candy apple red with white leather "boat" seat! It was the Pagans MC they road down the street and we were at the light and I fell in the love with that bike , I can still remember it to this day , it was about 1968 i was 7 years old , the sound of that bike and the undenying gorgeous looks of that bike sold me that day!
 

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Ride on a KHK

I was about 7 or 8 and a neighbor took me for a ride on a K Model.
It was such a hoot, I bought a successor to that bike, a 1967 XLCH Sportster.
It was a barn find, and I restored it Old School.
It had a troubled youth. Drilled lifters and a 17 tooth front sprocket and a rewelded bottom of the primary chain case indicated it had been a street fighter and suffered from it. I restored it to stock drive ratio and didn't drag race it after putting in time and money on the rebuild. In the 60s these were bad hombres. After the Asian invasion, not so much.

The XLCH was a kick start bike. The model known for what it DIDN'T have.
No Battery.
No Turn Signals.
Simple Generator for the Headlight / Tail Light / Horn and a Fairbanks Morse Magneto.

When I bought the bike it took about a half hour to start it.
Thus began the rebuild. The Magneto has a "kill wire" terminal that had a heat cracked grommet insulating the screw from the Magneto Body.
I removed the kill terminal and about electrocuted my self first time I spun the Magneto to check the bearing.
Ignition problem solved. I found some similar sized rubber grommets, oversized the terminal screw slightly and made a nice kill terminal.
It was hardwired to a kill button that was the same part number as a horn button.
Harley did that in the old days. They used standard parts everywhere.
Steering Head, Swing Arm, Front and Rear Wheel Bearings were all the same part number.
Ignition Points / Condenser were Chevy 6 Cylinder, Spark Plugs the Champion H10C of Briggs Stratton lawnmower fame.
Set the points with a matchbook and plugs with a dime and it fired right up.

The Bronze Valve Guides hated unleaded gas, ao it developed a periodic smoking habit.
But a shot of Marvel Mystery Oil in the gas tank (advice from a geezer) was the end of that hissy fit.
Old Iron Head motors needed valve stem lubrication that Leaded Gas used to provide in their youth.

The bike had old rusty rims, so I bought a new set and stainless spokes and relaced them myself. I used a junk swap meet swing arm as a truing stand.
I ended up lacing rims for several friends when the story got out. Buy the parts, a case of beer, and I'll "show you" the method. Long spokes cross sides. Short ones don't. Put one set of four spokes in, rotate the rim 180 degrees put in a second set of four. Some folks tried, others just gave up and had me do it.

I rode it down to Dale Walksler's Dale's HD in Mt Vernon IL in the 1990s.
I guess Dale had not seen many kick start bikes come into the parking lot recently. He checked my bike out and gave us a tour of his collection.
 

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yeah being kids of the 60's we all had dirt bikes out in the middle of nowhere . Was my brother and his Dream 160 then Dream 305 and eventually his 650 Bonnie that hooked me ..

My first was a Sprint 350 in 1971 , then a 68 XLCH , then not long after joining the Navy I got a four year old 71 FXE , wish I still had it , been at least one Harley in the family ever since 1971 .. First Shark was a 1984 Tour Glide , on my fourth shark now , is all I have ridden since I got the 84
 

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I remember seeing Harley's when I was a kid and always liking the way the looked and sounded. Then one day When I was 11 or 12 years old I had asked my dad to let me buy a custom bike catalog. There were pictures of bare chested ladies in it on custom bikes so my dad wasn't too sure about it. But he finally did.

I had dirt bikes as a teenager but no one in my family rode bikes. My grandfather didn't like them so that might have had something to do with it. I rode my first street bike when I was stationed in Germany in 1980. I was a sport bike guy for many years and use to give my Harley buddies grief about riding a couch. Before I went to Iraq I was riding a Honda CBR 1000.



When I got home from Iraq and could walk again I traded the Honda in on a 2005 Buell XB9SX in Hero Blue.



When my daughter was getting close to being 5 years old and old enough to ride a motorcycle I knew the Buell wasn't going to work for both of us and I wanted her to enjoy the feeling also so I traded the Buell in on my first Harley. I picked her up from preschool on her birthday on my new Harley. It was her first time on a bike. I had raised the rear pegs so her feet could be on them.



And as they say "That is the rest of the story". I've owned 4 Harley's since.
 

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My mom... she and my step-dad had a softail. don't ask me the model. i wasn't that cool back then to know that. she was the one that loved that bike more and instilled in me a love for the Harley form... the sound... the biker family as a whole. can't be grateful enough for that. to quote Slater from Dazed and Confused, "She was a hip, hip lady". wish she was still around to see the bikes i have now. she would've loved 'em.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I remember seeing Harley's when I was a kid and always liking the way the looked and sounded. Then one day When I was 11 or 12 years old I had asked my dad to let me buy a custom bike catalog. There were pictures of bare chested ladies in it on custom bikes so my dad wasn't too sure about it. But he finally did.

I had dirt bikes as a teenager but no one in my family rode bikes. My grandfather didn't like them so that might have had something to do with it. I rode my first street bike when I was stationed in Germany in 1980. I was a sport bike guy for many years and use to give my Harley buddies grief about riding a couch. Before I went to Iraq I was riding a Honda CBR 1000.



When I got home from Iraq and could walk again I traded the Honda in on a 2005 Buell XB9SX in Hero Blue.



When my daughter was getting close to being 5 years old and old enough to ride a motorcycle I knew the Buell wasn't going to work for both of us and I wanted her to enjoy the feeling also so I traded the Buell in on my first Harley. I picked her up from preschool on her birthday on my new Harley. It was her first time on a bike. I had raised the rear pegs so her feet could be on them.



And as they say "That is the rest of the story". I've owned 4 Harley's since.
think i wouldve kept the cbr over the buell!
 

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Never even really gave Harley's a thought - Growing up in Central CA...it was all Dirt Bikes and UJMs (Think CB750s and KZ1000s) and in all honesty, I watched "Mask" with Cher and saw the Bikes the characters rode in that movie........was in love at that point but was still too into speed and HDs did not fit the bill - Was not until I borrowed a buddies Soft Tail (See Pic #1) for a Charity Ride as my KTM Superduke was in the shop.......then I went the next week and bought my '99 FXDX (Pic #2, Day I rode it home from Heritage Harley) and have never looked back

This is a clip from the Movie I referenced above and still hold a spot for the stripped down, Chops of the 70s and 80s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0OI6qoRML4&frags=pl,wn
 

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I'd never in my life owned a Harley-Davidson, or even considered one seriously until I went to work for the company last year. Even then, had it not been for stumbling into the right deal at the right time, it probably wouldn't have happened.

Some back story....I've been on motorcycles since my cousins rebuilt a Honda trail 70 in my back yard when I was 9 years old. I grew up through various dirt bikes and atv's, go karts, you name it....kind of fell out of riding for a while when I was in the military moving around all the time and going overseas a lot. Finally came back to the states and got somewhat stable in the early 2010's, and got back into street bikes. I'd owned a couple of Yamaha's and was on a Victory Magnum when I retired, and had to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up again. Bikes are the only thing I really enjoy as much as airplanes, and thus I decided to try to make a living out of a perfectly good hobby. From the standpoint of trying to make myself as marketable as possible, I took Harley's Tech Certfication course at MMI Orlando, and afterward came to work here. Still riding the Victory lol. I helped sell a white road glide special to a gal who put 74 miles on it and traded it in on a Sport Glide, because it was much more similar to the Wide Glide she came off of. The 19's had just been released, and it didn't take me long to figure out that they were a little out of my price range, but this newly traded '18 might just work. She rolled out of the dealership on her Sport Glide, and I went to my GSM and told him that he needed to sell me that Road Glide Special, and here we are.

Similar to SteadyEddie's experience, I can remember being a little kid in the car with my Mom, and we were out in East NC visiting some family. We were in the left lane, and she saw group of bikers on Harley's approaching in the rearview mirror, and she moved over to let them by. What a sight! With the sound to match. I realized that these guys got respect based on who they were and what they rode. Definitely shaped my outlook on bikers growing up.
 

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think i wouldve kept the cbr over the buell!
I couldn't ride the CBR after I came home from Iraq. My right foot/ankle didn't move and I couldn't sit in that sportbike position. I sat and test rode a ton of bikes before I found a bike I could sit on. The picture of me on the CBR was about 20 days before I took a 7.62 round thru my leg. I was home on leave in that picture.
 

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For me it was seeing the King on his dresser. Thought that looks bad-ass. Elvis plays guitar, sings, rides a Harley and thousands of chicks throw themselves at him... I am in baby!!! Fast forward 40 years.... I have a Harley, can't sing, just finally learning to play and have only had 2 chicks throw themselves at me... I say throw, but the girls were too heavy to throw themselves anywhere>:)>:)But I do have my Harley!!:nerd:
 

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I couldn't ride the CBR after I came home from Iraq. My right foot/ankle didn't move and I couldn't sit in that sportbike position. I sat and test rode a ton of bikes before I found a bike I could sit on. The picture of me on the CBR was about 20 days before I took a 7.62 round thru my leg. I was home on leave in that picture.
Thanks for your service and sacrifice sir!
 

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FLH Electra Glide,1,200 cc , candy apple red with white leather "boat" seat!
That's me on the back of my dads 1960 Pan. FLH. Had my first Harley at 17 years old. 1984 Lowrider. Last of the Shovels.


Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk
 

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Had an early 70s Honda 750. It was great from one traffic light to the next, cruising and twisties - it sucked. My riding friend was on a 62 Duo Glide, laid back relaxing and talking to me while i'm squeezing the tank between my knees. I'm sure there was stuff wrong with that bike but that harley was low and cool. March of 83 I bought a new WideGlide, still have it and still ride it. 2017 I bought the Roadglide.
Was working 3rd shift when I was purchasing the 83. I would stop at the dealer in the morning after work and there would be someone mopping the oil off the showroom floor from the used bikes.
 

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What got me interested in Harley’s, just motorcycles in general and before I was old enough to to sit on a terrible seat and reach the handlebars.
 

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Not sure why I ended up on Harley's.

Prolly a combination of things. The pussy magnet thing was a big part of it. Farm raised red neck had some to do with it too. But I think it was mostly because in the early 70's buying American still meant something.

I started out on rice diggers, but never gave a rice burning street bike a second thought. Some of my friends rode them, and a few rode Triumphs, but mostly we rode Harleys.

Besides, back then rice bikes were all goofy foot.
 

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I was always interested in motorcycles. All my birthday cakes had to have them on em when I was little. Bought my first one at 18 yrs old. Was my high school teachers 89 sporster with 2000 miles on it. Had a 1500$ truck, haha. Since that one I’ve had 2 softails, a dyna, a road king, now the glide. I think there’s something a guy can’t explain about wanting a motorcycle. It seems it’s just always been there....the want and need to have one.
 
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