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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,
I have a line on a 1982 FXR. Original owner, 4000 miles, stone stock for $7000.00. The price seems reasonable but I have a few questions and am looking for some sage advice. It's a 1340 shovel head...were these the HD frankenstein motors? Build from an assortment of parts laying around the factory? I'm pretty sure this was a new model at the time and I'm aware it ran for several years with the evo engine...should I be concerned about the early design of the frame, drivetrain, suspension, etc.? I already have unhealthy relationships with a wife, a girlfriend, lucas electrics and several amal carbs, I'm looking for a solid bike not another love affair with a difficult personality. I check in on this board alot and I would trust and appreciate any feedback......Johnny O
 

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John O said:
Gentlemen,
I have a line on a 1982 FXR. Original owner, 4000 miles, stone stock for $7000.00. The price seems reasonable but I have a few questions and am looking for some sage advice. It's a 1340 shovel head...were these the HD frankenstein motors? Build from an assortment of parts laying around the factory? I'm pretty sure this was a new model at the time and I'm aware it ran for several years with the evo engine...should I be concerned about the early design of the frame, drivetrain, suspension, etc.? I already have unhealthy relationships with a wife, a girlfriend, lucas electrics and several amal carbs, I'm looking for a solid bike not another love affair with a difficult personality. I check in on this board alot and I would trust and appreciate any feedback......Johnny O
old shovels are pretty reliable if they're not just totally worn out. they ride kinda rough, handle sluggishly, have tempermental clutches and so-so brakes but for a 50 year old design they do all right. compared to more modern designs they are hard to defend. imho the only redeeming feature they have is a soul. a ducati, gsxr, v star etc. beat it out in every catagory but i wouldn't want to ride anything else. if ya don't get it, i can't explain it.
 

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I've got a 91 FXR with an evo, so i can't speak to the shovel, but the FXR setup itself is a great ride. If thats 4k original miles and 1 owner for $7k, i would probably do it. I'd feel better paying $6k, but its still a good ride for the money. Rubber-mount, handles killer and one of the smoothest rides HD made. Not the "coolest" thing to look at, but i've noticed a lot more interest in them over the last few years. Probably because they're rare. Get it, freshen up the motor and ride it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys...I guess my biggest concern is the time frame of when it was built. AMF/Harley transition. I've heard stories of the factory building engines with various pieces as opposed to a standard production line...sort of like what Triumph did towards the end. I got no problem working on a bike that's a 82 as long as it's all an 82 and not a pieced together machine of various years.
 

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My uncle has a 79 or 80 FX that he bought during the AMF years. One of the baddest bikes i've ever ridden. It's set up for grudge matches, and he's got a couple of motors for it but runs a 103" shovel most of the time. I asked him about the AMF bikes and he said he got one of the good ones. He ran the shit out of his for years without any issues. He was saying it was just a gamble. Two of his buddies bought similar bikes. One never worked right and the other one fell apart. His seemed like it was always right on.
I guess it helped that he took great care of it.

John O said:
Thanks guys...I guess my biggest concern is the time frame of when it was built. AMF/Harley transition. I've heard stories of the factory building engines with various pieces as opposed to a standard production line...sort of like what Triumph did towards the end. I got no problem working on a bike that's a 82 as long as it's all an 82 and not a pieced together machine of various years.
 

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i had an 82 FXRS. first year for 5 speed and rubber mount engine. mine had like 40K on it and ran great. never a lick of trouble.
 

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i bought a new amf superglide in '73. the only problem i ever had with that bike was the rear sprocket shelling teeth. busted two in a row under warranty but the third held up for years. i hear a lot of bitching about the "amf years" but imho amf was the best thing that ever happened to hd.
amf engineers drug that old fucking tractor plant kicking and screaming into the 20th century. they improved engine and transmission design, switched over to disc brakes and vastly improved the suspension. all this dreamy eyed nostalgia for "the good old days" of panheads, flattys and knucks is a bunch of crap. i've owned multiple examples of all of them and they were all evil handling, bad braking, underpowered lumps of iron.
i just happen to have a soft spot in my head for cantankorous machinery so i still ride the damn things but in the great scheme of motorcycles they're vastly over rated. :D
 

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In '82, The Shovelhead was at it's zenith.

All the problems with the compression ratios, valve guides, valves, and valve seats were over with from the '78-'81 timeframe of trying to get the engines to live on unleaded gas with the Shovel's "hemi" combustion chamber.

All the rest of the problems from the early '70's were fixed and gone, and Harley had bought themselves back from AMF by the '82 models.

The FXR was probably the best handling big twin Harley ever built. Eric Buell designed the FXR frame, as well as the FLT.

If I were you, I'd go out and put a lot of miles on your bike, and not worry about anything except remembering to come home once and awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Gentlemen,
Thank you. I've had quite a few unit triumphs over the years and can appreciate the constant fiddling involved. I have an evo harley and it's dependable but cookie cutter. I'm looking for something a little different but well built. Thanks for the sage advice...this is a great board, props.
Johnny O
 

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Ryno said:
My uncle has a 79 or 80 FX that he bought during the AMF years. One of the baddest bikes i've ever ridden. It's set up for grudge matches, and he's got a couple of motors for it but runs a 103" shovel most of the time. I asked him about the AMF bikes and he said he got one of the good ones. He ran the shit out of his for years without any issues. He was saying it was just a gamble. Two of his buddies bought similar bikes. One never worked right and the other one fell apart. His seemed like it was always right on.
I guess it helped that he took great care of it.
Like it or not, if it wasn't for AMF , H-D wouldn't be around today.
 

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bustedlifter said:
Like it or not, if it wasn't for AMF , H-D wouldn't be around today.
I guess it's kinda off topic, but I REALLY get tired of hearing the AMF bashing. I owned 2 AMF scooters and didn't have any more trouble with them than any other bike. And if they had problems with them, surely they're fixed or junked by now.

To keep the post on topic, I've got a FXR now and it rides and handles better than any scooter I've ever owned. I've never ridden anything but Harleys though. I've always heard that the last shovelheads were the besdt ones.

Man I need some coffee.
 

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I have had a few shovelheads and they are tempermental. the best motor to come out of HD in my book.Cammed and dual plugged, they are more motor than you really need.Big bonus on the five speed.If you don't pick it up, lemme know and I'll ride it back home.
 

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shovels will treat you like you treat them
if you take care of the engine it wil love you and last forever.
dont take care and it will curse you to curse the rest of your life.

they can be tempermental at times but for the most part are forgiving.. a good engine to start harleys on
the big plus...

nothing sounds better than a good loaping shovel.


my 2 cents.


butche
 

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I have a '78 FXE 88" stroker, goes like stink. Only Prob was the Italian gears AMF put in tranny. Good Price, go for it Jersey. I grew-up in Wildwood, NJ
 
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