Instructions in Japanese, some parts need to be
painted to match the decals.
Harley-Davidson, often abbreviated simply as Harley, is an American motorcycle manufacturer. Founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, during the first decade of the 20th century, it was one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression. Harley-Davidson also survived a period of poor quality control and competition from Japanese manufacturers.
The company sells today only heavyweight motorcycles with over 700 cc, designed for cruising on highways. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are noted for the tradition of heavy customization that gave rise to the chopper style of motorcycle. Except for the modern VRSC model family, current Harley-Davidson motorcycles reflect the styles of classic Harley designs. Harley-Davidson's attempts to establish itself in the light motorcycle market have met little success and have largely been abandoned since the 1978 sale of its Italian Aermacchi subsidiary.
The first "real" Harley-Davidson motorcycle had an engine of 24.74 cubic inches (405 cc) with 9.75 inches (25 cm) flywheels weighing 28 lb (13 kg). The machine's advanced loop-frame pattern was similar to the 1903 Milwaukee Merkel motorcycle (designed by Joseph Merkel, later of Flying Merkel fame). The bigger engine and loop-frame design took it out of the motorized-bicycle category and marked the path to future motorcycle designs. They also received help with their bigger engine from outboard motor pioneer Ole Evinrude, who was then building gas engines of his own design for automotive use on Milwaukee's Lake Street. The prototype of the new loop-frame Harley-Davidson was assembled in a shed in the Davidson family backyard. Most of the major parts, however, were made elsewhere, including some probably fabricated at the West Milwaukee railshops where oldest brother William A. Davidson was then toolroom foreman. This prototype machine was functional by September 8, 1904, when it competed in a Milwaukee motorcycle race held at State Fair Park. It was ridden by Edward Hildebrand and placed fourth. This is the first documented appearance of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle in the historical record.
The FLT Tour Glide was introduced in 1979 as a 1980 model. Sold alongside the existing FLH Electra Glide, the FLT had a larger frame with rubber engine mounts, a five-speed transmission, the 80 cu in (1,300 cc) engine, and a frame-mounted fairing. In order that the FLT frame, which was larger and heavier than the large and heavy FLH frame, would handle acceptably, the front forks were given radical steering geometry which had them mounted behind the steering head, with the frame behind the steering head being recessed to allow adequate steering lock.
The FLHT was introduced in 1983. This was an Electra Glide based on the FLT Tour Glide frame, but using the Electra Glide "batwing" fairing instead of the Tour Glide frame-mounted fairing.
Except for the base FLH, all 1984 FLs were equipped with the new rubber-mounted Evolution engine and a five-speed transmission.
All "Shovelhead" engines were discontinued by the 1985 model year. In that year, the four-speed solid-engine-mount FLH was modified to accept rubber mounting and the Evolution engine. The FLH was discontinued in 1986; all Touring models thereafter used the FLT/FLHT frame. Ironically, the FLT Tour Glide, which introduced the current Touring frame, was dropped from the lineup in 1996. A smaller version of the frame-mounted Tour fairing would return with the FLTR Road Glide in 1998.
The Evolution engine was replaced by the Twin Cam 88 engine on all large-framed Harley-Davidson motorcycles in 1999. The Twin Cam engine was enlarged from 88 cu.in. to 96 cu.in. in 2007.
Opening the box one is greeted by a large number of parts, most of them in chrome. The other parts are molded in black, gray and tan, plus there is a rather large clear sprue. The part are nicely molded and I didn't notice any flash of ejector marks. The huge amount of chrome parts will be a hassle to deal with as there is always a mark where they attach to the sprues. Two rubber tires are also included. Also included are various hoses and some screws that will be used to attach the wheels.
Generally the build went pretty well. I was surprised to find the engine and wheels were not on the chrome sprue, but are molded in gray. I followed the instructions until I got to step 17. I skipped this step as I wanted to leave the front fairing off until the model was done. Less apt to break it that way.
I will give one recommendation... in step 12 the kickstand in installed. Replace it with a piece of wire, it's very flimsy. Mine broke before I could take photos and I had to use a spare from another bike model.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
I didn't really care for the scheme shown on the box, and since I had to paint some of the colors to match the decals, I decided to paint it blue on white instead. It would make for some inventive decaling, but I think it looks good when finished.
Wikipedia for the history.
Internet for reference photos.
Thanks to for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer.
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