Ernie's Piglet - 1994 XLH1200
Harley-Davidson Sportster
  This is the past incarnation of my Piglet as of August 1998.  New photos will be coming soon!  I bought the bike in January 1998 in the midst of a very bad El Nino winter. Good thing too, since the bike was pretty beat up when I got it. So I did a few things to it to make it run right and look righteous.
 

Listed below are the "had to do" and "wanted to do" things I did to the bike.

  Chrome, chrome, chrome. Had to get old chrome polished and install new chrome primary cover.

  Both base gaskets replaced with the new and better gaskets. She was literally bleeding oil.

   Cracked rear cylinder head replaced. Yikes!

   Jiffy stand screw hole to the frame was stripped so placed insert.

   Replaced 2.25 Gal. Peanut Tank for a Harley 3.3 Gal. tank. Getting more miles riding before gassing up.

   Wouldn't you just know it... The seat no longer fit with the 3.3 Gal tank installed so got a new Harley Slammer Seat. Very comfortable....

   Replaced coil since one terminal was oxidized to oblivion. New Screamin' Eagle coil installed.

   Replaced stock ignition module with programmable Screamin' Eagle module with higher rev limit.

   Installed DynoJet Thunderslide kit for better throttle response and higher performance from the CV carb through jetting.

   Replaced stock fuel petcock since it was not working properly. Found this out when I could not get rid of the incessant carb farts and noticed that the bike ran better with the petcock in reserve mode. I understand that this is a problem with pre-1995 petcocks. Installed new Pingel petcock and the bike ran much better.

   Well, the Pingel petcock caused some routing problems with the fuel line. Solution: New center engine bracket. I did consider machining the old one but the bracket was a relatively inexpensive Harley Tax. So I just replaced the old bracket with the 1998 bracket. The nice thing with the new bracket is that it has an opening to run the fuel line straight down from the petcock.

   OK, now my horn bracket does not attach properly to the engine bracket. Replaced with a universal Chrome Specialties horn which promptly broke at the point where it attached to the engine bracket.  So I installed the new, shiny, and aggressive custom Harley horn cover.

   Installed KuryAkyn forward controls. They are just great! Main drawback: I drag pegs once in a while. Solution: Don't ride the bike like a Buell.

   Had to replace my turn-out mufflers due to a brake stop that is part of the muffler. Installed Screamin' Eagle Baloney Cut mufflers. Real happy with them. Still setting off car alarms, though.

   Installed a KuryAkyn Hypercharger. Seems to be able to push a lot of air and is fun. Regardless of whether it has any performance advantage, it's got lots of poseur points and I like the breather on the Hypercharger over the stock/SE breather.  And Bikers:  If you like it, just do it and forget about what others may think!

   Installed a Screamin' Eagle fork brace. I'm noticing less wobble at highway speeds and better handling in turns - see peg dragging above.

   Weird but true. Having been terribly unsuccessful at completely getting rid of carb coughing, I finally resorted to reading everything I could on the subject. Lo and Behold! In the XL List (Home of the Sportster) I ran across a series of submissions that culminated in eliminating the carb farts by fixing a loose battery connection to the starter. Well, the connections on my bike were fine so I decided to replace the old cruddy battery with a new HD battery. Mostly fixed the problem.

   Replaced the cheap throw-over saddle bags with the LeatherLyke bags.  Love them!  However, to relocate the directional lights, I required twice the length of electrical wire and twice the number of butt-splices provided in the relocated kit.  I ran the directional light wires under the right (starboard) side of the rear fender with those for the tail-light.

   Well, okay.  I was still not satisfied with the performance of the bike below about 3000 rpm.  So I decided to kick around the XL-List some more and viola!  There was a posting about problems with the DynoJet Thunderslide: The suggested fix (L. Maurice Riggins) was to increase to a 45 slow jet.  The 94 factory service manual specs a 40 slow jet.  Replaced the 40 with the 45 pilot jet and adjusted the idle mixture screw (about 2.5 turns out).  Main jet is 180.  The Piglet has much more get-up-and-go now below 3000 rpms.  For more info on increasing the performance through carb mods, select the Technical Stuff in the XL List.  Hint: Turn idle mixture screw 0.25 turn at a time and ride the bike to see how it runs - Experiment!  It's fun!  I might change the main jet to 185 - not sure that the transition from slow to main jet circuit is as smooth as I'd like.

   Gas leak!  Yow!  Found that the plastic part of the fuel inlet fitting to the CV carb was cracked.  Felt and smelled fuel leaking from it.  So like an idiot, I tried gingerly tapping on the inlet fitting with a rubber mallet.  The result:  It cracked wide open and gushed fuel since I forgot to turn off the Pingel fuel valve.  After clean-up, I bought a new fuel inlet fitting and tried to remove the broken one.  No dice.  So to the dealer again 30 minutes before closing to talk to the service guys for an appointment later in the week.  They took my carb, removed the old and inserted the new fitting at NO CHARGE!  BIG HAND FOR SAN DIEGO HARLEY DAVIDSON!  No leaks now and bike runs better.

   Chased a vacuum problem for two days.  Found a tear in the vacuum line from the carb to the Tee to the Hypercharger and the VOES.  Being a bit stupid and cheap, replace the torn vacuum line with fuel hose. Didn't work too well.  So got a bona fide vacuum hose and got the vacuum right.  Also found out that wetting the inside of the vacuum hose with spit sometimes has the effect of restricting the vacuum.  Learned something about the VOES in the process, though.

   Installed the Badlands "Illuminator" module to turn my rear directional lights to include running and brake lights.  Works Great!!

   The dreaded Thunderslide hesitation at 3k rpms....  XL Gester Timbo suggested a fix:  Move the e-clip on the needle down one notch to the fourth position from the top of the carb.  No more hesitation!

    The really big mechanical job: Thunderstorm Cylinder Heads, Wiseco Buell Pistons, and Andrews N8 Cam upgrade.  All I can say about this is:  YEEEE-HAAAA!  Dyno run at Larry Hardy's Performance Techniques!

   Other stuff: Installed flush-mount KuryAkyn fuel cap, Magnum mirrors, points cover, trigger-type hand levers (which is great on the clutch side!).

Now for future work: Koni or Progressive shocks? Don't know yet but working on it. I'm a heavy guy (185 lbs.) so maybe the Koni's are better? I constantly try new things out on my bike. BTW, I graduated from the MSF Rider Safety Course. Believe it or not, I ride with a full-faced helmet and wear Cordura jacket and pants with integrated armor. So have mercy and please wave back, fellow Harley riders!
Never Say Die
The Harley-Davidson Company: Mecca of American Motorcycles

Buell Motorcycles: Where's the wishing well?

San Diego Harley Davidson:  My dealer - great parts guys.

San Diego County HOG Chapters can be found here.

San Diego HOG: Harley Owners Group - San Diego Chapter

San Diego Motorcyclists: Independent Biker Group for all makes of motorcycles

Ronnie Cramer's Motorcycle Web Index: The ultimate site for info

Home of the Sportster: A super site for all kinds of Sportster info. Check out the XL mail list and tech sections for nuts & bolts

V-Twin Cafe, High Performance Motorcycle Technical Guide, and Bartel's HD: The performance musts for Harleys

World-Wide Glide: Oldest and very useful site. Especially for wrenching

Johankin's Harley for 883-1200 conversion YELRAH.

Parts, Parts, Parts! Can be found at J&P Cycles (really great folks), KuryAkyn, Cyborg Cycles, Andrews Products, DynoJet, and of course Flaming Pig Cycles.  Hey, 20% discounts on H-D items at FastHOG and  Chicago Harley !

Great luggage from Leatherlyke Bags and LazyRider. I use the LazyRider bag for carrying work stuff, groceries, and beer.

Fun and wrenching sites: Harley Riders' Webring, Rickko's, Webchopper with lotsa links, Beauti's Harley Bar, Harley Zug (Switzerland), and Born to Ride

Harley-Davidson, Harley, H-D, H.O.G., Sportster, and the Harley-Davidson logo are registered trademarks of the Harley-Davidson Motor Company.

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