Be warned… – column

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There classics purchasing (copy)

Everything used to be… well, never mind. But if you score a user manual for the 1 Sportsters for 2007 euro on King's Day, a whole new world will open up for you. The short 200-page volume is full of 'Warning' and 'Caution', and limiting liabilities. And how retarded today's motorcyclist is judged is unbelievable. It really says:

gas trade

The throttle is located on the right handlebar and is operated with the right hand. To prevent operator fatigue on long journeys, a spring loaded friction screw (10) is fitted to the underside of the throttle lever on non-cruise control engines.

  1. Slowly turn the throttle clockwise (towards the front of the engine) to close the throttle (brake).
  2. Slowly turn the throttle counterclockwise (towards the rear of the engine) to open (accelerate) the throttle.

Also good to know: Do not put your fingers between the hand lever and the handle. If you place your hand incorrectly, you may not be able to operate the lever properly. This means that you could lose control of the engine, which could result in serious injury or death.

And if you lose the fuel cap there is also a 'Warning'

Do not use other brands of fuel caps. Other brands of fuel caps do not always fit properly and can leak, possibly resulting in death or serious injury. Contact a Harley-Davidson dealer for approved fuel caps (00034a).

The use of genuine parts and visiting Authorized Harley-Davidson dealers is the guideline in this booklet.

All that plus the limited warranty terms, of course, has to do with US law and liability rules. They have also ensured that there is a sticker on microwaves that you cannot use the things to dry freshly washed pets.

Let's go to practice…

If we go back a generation in the Harley story you will understand the caution a bit. This high-performance Sportster in the photos was once made at a large HD dealer in 020. A lot of time and money was spent on the conversion and the result was impressive. Except the same thing had happened to more local genius custom Harleys. The practical side of the whole was not thought through optimally.

The high step is something we still know with allroads and adventure bikes. For us classic drivers it might take some getting used to to pull the pants up extra high in the crotch to get on, but it's no different. Another approach to make the ex-883 and illegally grown to 1200 cc Harley more impressive was to put the twin high on the legs. The center of gravity of the block has now moved far above the centerline between the axles. The once proud owner noticed this already in the unique top weight when manoeuvring. But that was something to live with. However, when the high-legged Harley had fallen over once, it turned out that he simply could not be raised again with less than three men. That frightened the owner so much that he put the machine in the shed and didn't take it out until he could get some money for it.

Somewhere such a modern user manual is not so simple

But if you've been riding a (reasonably) classic motorcycle for years without any problems, then you can feel quite a bitch compared to the level at which buyers of - in this case a 2007 Harley - are addressed.  

By the way, the book belongs to the Sportster with the registration number MV-FF-54. If you own that machine, we have that booklet for you.


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  1. Everything was better in the past , now we have computer - controlled controls in the headlight display , all kinds of buttons and choices in the LED display , only when you have graduated and know all the possibilities that you will never use is it time to start the engine . trade because of old age , you used to have to put out your arm when you turned , yes ?? Earlier

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