Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

Final installment: No More Forking Around

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Race Tech recommends using heavier 15-weight fork oil with its gold emulator kits. We chose to use Bel-Ray 15-weight.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Using a Ratio Rite, the forks were filled to the required amounts as per the Race Tech instructions. It recommends 160mm of fork fluid for this particular model year.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Install the washer that goes on the top of the spring but under the PVC spacer you just cu

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. We replace the upper washer from the Race Tech kit with the solid washer that is included with the Speed Merchant preload adjuster kit.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. The Speed Merchant adjuster sits on the solid washer so it can adjust the fork spring tension via its adjuster post

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Using some strength, install the Speed Merchant preload adjusters. This can be a dangerous task if the adjuster pops free and hits you in the face, so wear eye protection!

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Once you have the preload adjusters installed, take a wrench and snug the adjuster until it’s secure. Be careful not to scratch the adjuster when snugging. Once the fork is installed in the triple tree, you can do a final torque to assure it won’t come loose.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Once you’re done, your forks should look similar to these. Once installed, you will need to test ride and see how you like the way it feels. You can adjust the Race Tech gold emulators to your riding style. It may take a few times to get it dialed in the way you want, but once it is you’ll be a very happy rider.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. At this point we install the fork legs back into the new Chassis Design triple trees, set the for height, and install the handlebars as per the factory service manual.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Blue Loctite is used on all triple tree pinch bolts.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Use a 3/8-inch Allen socket to snug the triple tree pinch bolts then torque to a torque spec of 30 to 35 foot-pounds as per the service manual.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End

Upgrading Harley’s 39mm Front End, Pt 5

  1. Here is our new front end complete with black powdercoated lowers, Chassis Design Company triple trees, and a Race Tech gold emulator kit inside the fork tubes.

Words and Photos: Jeff Leighton

The stock production 39mm front ends on Dynas, FXRs, and Sportys need a little help if you want to get some better performance out of them. Hell, even changing the weight of the oil used internally can help with getting them to react better on the road. Luckily for us (and you) there are a ton of performance goodies on the market, and taking advantage of some such items will make your Harley ride much better and look good while doing so. We are building a stiffer and better 39mm front end with the help of a set of Chassis Design Company triple trees, Gold Valve emulators and a spring kit from Race Tech, a set of The Speed Merchant’s preload adjusters, and some oil from Bel-Ray. We will be putting it all together with the right tools for the job thanks to Jims USA and its line of specialty tools. Here’s how we did it.

Sources:

Bel-Ray

Chassis Design Co.

JIMS USA

Race Tech

The Speed Merchant