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Pull the handlebars back so they are straight in line with the front end. Take it for a spin. I'm thinking you will be surprised at the difference.
 

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Pull the handlebars back so they are straight in line with the front end. Take it for a spin. I'm thinking you will be surprised at the difference.
Yep what he said. You have NO leverage with them up like that. That's why I don't like high apes. They are for flatlanders.
 

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What is a flatlander? I dig the apes! Especially if you intend to throw a twisted springer on there. As far as comfort and rideability, I say as long as it looks cool who cares. Since when have choppers been built for comfort. I'm reminded on a daily basis that my back doesn't like a hardtail, but that's why they invented ibproferin. Learn to ride it, and you'll only hone your riding skills, plus none of your buddies will want to ride it.
 

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I have no idea what Tattoo Apes are. These are only 10-12 inch high. Around here Flatlanders are what the U.P.er's call Wisconsinites. Or maybe it's what the Wisconsinites call Illinois people. :)
I know you have seen them? Guys with there arms as high as they can reach? Those kind of apes.
 

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Two things come to my mind. If the springer stem is chewed up in the middle shouldn't there be evidence of the chewing inside the neck?
The stem only has to be 1" where the bearings sit. You can safely file, sand, grind down the middle of the stem until it binds no more.
Second is that on stock Harley trees the lower bearing is a press fit while the upper bearing slides easy on and off.
 

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I would definitely look into the neck of the frame rubbing the stem. Sounds like someone burned thru with weld and it is hitting in there. Pull the top race out of the frame and slip the bottom tree in with the stem and check the clearance. Hey at least it's a family affair! LOL! Nice Ironhead man.
 
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