1982 flt riders or similar

Discussion in 'Other Harley Davidson Models' started by hillcountryflt, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    Took my 1982 flt out for its first ride this weekend. This was my first ever ride with a Harley.
    My miles have all been on metrics, but my first impression was lots of power but lots or shake, rattle and roll. If there is anyone out there still riding this model or similar can you tell me what your experience is like.
    I have my share of oil leaks, that I expected.
    On nice smooth roads, she was pleasant. But hitting rough roads, she, well, bounced and vibrated a lot. Can anyone suggest some mods that would improve rideability. She has new tires. We pulled the chain oiler and I am still going to have to get a lowering kit for her, but I would really like to improve the comfort factor.
  2. walleye

    walleye Junior Member Contributor

    Sorry I can't offer any suggestions, but it is a 28 year old bike, old school. Love it for what it is, or buy a newer model. I am sure some here can help you with some suggestions. Welcome.:p
  3. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    If you have ridden fairly modern metric bikes then im sure your current ride may be a bit of change
    yes the do vibrate and if pushed on a twisty road then they can get a wee bit out of hand
    so you may need to tailor your riding style to suit your current ride
    Although my main bike is some 10 years younger than yours it does vibrate the mirrors only give a vague idea of whats behind i have changed the grips and pegs to iso which dampen some of the vibration but still after a couple of hours riding my body knows ive been riding (its all part of the fun)
    Although it handles ok on most a class roads here if i have a couple of direction changes and some undulation on the road the suspension tends not to keep up with it all and it can get a wee bit out of hand
    However i do have a sportster for that type of riding
    Get to know your bike and enjoy it for what it is

  4. hillcountryflt

    hillcountryflt Member

    Don't get me wrong. I am not complaining as much as I am curious as to what I should be experiencing from this older bike. She already has made me realize how much I have been missing riding.
    I am just curious what others with bikes from this era have done to "improve" the ride or general operations.
    I suspect somewhere down the road, I will acquire a newer bike. But so far this has been a relatively inexpensive re-entry into riding and more importantly a starting point in Harleys.
    In the meantime I have lots of chrome to clean-up, some leaks to work on and some paint to touch up. Who knows, somewhere down the line I might actually learn something about bikes other than just starting them and riding them.
  5. ultrat

    ultrat Senior Member Contributor

    I have had a 83 flt -75-77-73-flh. Your 83 has the redesigned frame of the time, came out in 80 i believe more tour oriented. after that i got a wrecked 93 evo flhtcu witch gave me something to build over the winter . I found the 83 close to the 93 ,,both 5 speeds both fun bikes..get a manual if u don't have one. good solid bike.......Ride on.,.,.,,.
  6. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    As you have said a good place to start and learn
    almost every time you go near the bike with a set of tools you will learn something new
    a service manual that covers your model is a must have its the best tool in the toolbox
    Remember the thing that makes bikes like yours special is they have character and each bike is different and has different moods get to know yours and it will be a joy to spend time with
    most modern bikes are built by robots and are as such exact clones of each other older bikes were built by craftsmen and each craftsman was different

  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Older FL series had a lot of problems with loose upper motor mounts, check and tighten them try some better rear shocks and maybe a better seat
  8. maine-e-axe

    maine-e-axe Junior Member

    The motor mount's rubber may be getting hard from age for one and the handle bar to the top triple tree rubber mounts may be getting hard or warn out and the shocks I think are air so may need to be checked for PSI.
  9. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    Hill Country. Texas?

    I trust that since this is a new bike to you, you have gone through it checking all the fasteners are tight on things like motor mounts, stabilizers, shocks, etc. Just run through every fastener making sure it is "one grunt" tight.

    You should have changed all your fluids, and I mean ALL. Engine motor oil, tranny gear lube, primary fluid, brake fluid (flush and bleed), and fork oil.

    Oil Suggestions For Harleys - Harley Davidson Community

    Look at the rear shocks carefully to see if they are OK.

    You may have to rebuild the swingarm bushings and isolators.

    Swing arm bushings -Bagger - Harley Davidson Community

    Check the front motor mount.

    Improved Rubber Motor Mount - Harley Davidson Community

    Might want to consider a "missing link".

    Bagger brace( info only) - Harley Davidson Community

    True Track Installation - Harley Davidson Community

    Bike sway. - Harley Davidson Community

    See how all that does.

  10. Crocker

    Crocker Active Member

    all good advice here , just would like to add I would also look in to the swing arm put a new swing arm mounting kit in, this kit would include new hardware for your trans bracket also ,basicly you will obtain a smoother ride by replacing all the rubber mounting points on the bike and go over the tq values for each point on the bike.although you did not state the miles on your tour glide or was detailed in your description on shaking condition . I would think it would be more then one thing from normal wear for the age of your new tour glide. thats a real nice bike and Im sure you will enjoy it .