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Touring Model Oil Cooler Installation

A Swing Arm Stabilization Device

Photos and text by Rogue


There are definitely advantages to signing on to Bikernet.com. I was checking out the site when I noticed a device named True-Track, designed by Wil Phillips of RubberTail fame. I contacted Bandit about it, and he arranged for me to receive one for technical analysis.

I have customers and brothers who complain that their Harley- Davidson rubber-mounted models such as Dressers and Road Kings experience handling problems at high speeds.

Many bikes check out fine or need minor adjustments, which are well within factory specifications, but they still don't handle securely.

These riders spend a lot of money, yet were still not satisfied with the ride. The speed limit in most places is 70 Miles Per Hour and most riders push the limit on a motorcycle not designed to go over 100 MPH. Stability problems can also occur at slower speeds of around 60-65 MPH when traveling on curved or sweeping roads.

One of the causes of this is problem is called "Rearsteer" and happens when the swing arm rubber mounts compress. This situation allows the rear wheel to change direction slightly and actually pushes the motorcycle on a separate tack from the front end. I call that "walking" when the scoot seems to drift back and forth. An uneasy feeling, especially when passing 18-wheelers at 90 mph.

When aligning a rubber mounted drive train, I start by insuring the rear axle and swingarm shaft are exactly the "Same Distance" apart on both sides of the motorcycle. Then I use two 8-ft fluorescent light bulbs for wheel alignment. I secure one on each side of the rear wheel. They run the length of the motorcycle and end up on either side of the front wheel. Using the front stabilizer link, I adjust it until the front wheel is exactly in the center of the light bulbs. The rear wheel is now set to push the motorcycle in a straight line, that is until the rear fork moves in the rubber bushings. When the force moves the bushing right to left, or left to right, instead of just up and down, it causes the rear wheel to change direction. No longer is the bike rolling in a straight line.

There is a kit available, now, that addresses this problem, for 1994-2003 Dressers and Road Kings EVO/TC 88 with Oil Pan Transmissions. The True-Track is easy to install. You can handle it at home, with a few basic tools. You don't need to jack the bike up, although we did for photographic purposes. A Torque Wrench is a must. If you do not have one, buy or borrow one.

Dennis Mitchel of Mid Florida Cycle. The scientist behind this report.

I did not have one of those model available, but as it turned out my friend Dennis Mitchel who owns Mid Florida Cycle, in Palm Bay Florida, did. As a matter of fact he had just dropped his in some curves so he was ready to try the "True-Track".

motorcycle raised
Dennis raised the dresser for photographic access.

The Truetrack is made from 6061 T6 Billet Aluminum and I was very impressed with the workmanship. Total installation time was approximately 15 minutes.

mounting cups in frame
The two mounting cups in place.

We started off by cleaning and straightening the rear cross member and then installed the two plugs from the top and attached the Dog Bone into place from the bottom. We used blue Loctite on the 3/8-16 flat head Allen bolts. We bolted them in and torqued them to 30-foot pounds. Be sure to use a torque wrench.

loctite on threads
Don't forget Permatex Blue Loctite.

mounting dogbone in frame
Mounting the dogbone to the frame.

We decided to disconnect the stabilizer link to double check the adjustment. Next, the five bolts at the rear of the oil pan were removed. Blue Loctite was added to the (5) 1/4-20 long stainless steel Allen bolts that come with the kit. The True-Track bracket was installed and torqued to factory specifications.

install truetrack bracket
Installing the True-Track bracket to the oil pan.

The stabilizer link was checked to make sure it was adjusted correctly and blue Locktite used on threads.

adjusting stabiliser link
Adjusting the Stabilizer link for final alignment.

tight stabiliser link
Make sure to torque the bolts properly.

That's it. It is almost too simple.

truetrack in place
The True-Track in place and ready to rock.

Dennis took the bike for a ride and came back smiling. I knew that the True-Track had worked.

The True-Track works just like the front and top stabilizer links to keep the engine centered in the frame. With the TrueTrack installed, the rubber mounts can not compress or move from the left to right, by the force of the rear tire. They can only flex up and down like they were designed.

For more information or purchase one of these units contact Devin at 818-445-6204, or True-Track.com. Tell him you heard about it from Bikernet.com

truetrack to frame clearance
Shows the clearance from the joint to the frame.


Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member 2005



This article is from BikerNet.com





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Last Modified: 07/22/10