I LIKE TAKING my Softail to Central Coast Harley-Davidson for a service. I live in Sydney and, yes, it’s a bit of a slow-go getting through the suburbs to the old Pacific Highway, but that’s when the fun starts — a brisk, hour-and-a-half’s ride up the old road to Gosford. I arrive at Central Coast Harley-Davidson invigorated, the adrenaline still fresh in the body. This is what motorcycling is all about.
A service only takes a couple of hours and then it’s back on the bike for another invigorating ride back to Sydney. Can life get any better?
There’s another reason I like going to Central Coast Harley-Davidson. I have a Softail Slim with an Indian sidecar attached and just about every other Harley dealer I spoke to didn’t want to know about it. Seems they wouldn’t be able to get it up on a bike-lift for the mechanics to work on it. When I spoke to Jamie in the workshop at Central Coast, he said it’d be no worries, and it wasn’t — he simply pushed two bike-lifts together, one for the bike and one for the sidecar, and jacked them up simultaneously. Too easy.
The Harley catalogue lists a multitude of black replacement parts for anyone wanting the blacked-out bobber look — except oil lines for Softails. You black out everything on your bike but you still have these chrome-plated oil lines sticking out like sore thumbs. My solution was to buy another set of oil lines, take them to Hi Octane Performance Coatings in Rydalmere (02-9638-4643) to have them powder-coated satin black, and ask Jamie to install them while he was doing the service.
I’d recommend anyone with a Softail to replace their stock cams with Screamin’ Eagle 255 high torque cams. I’ve tried other cams before and, without a doubt, these are the best I’ve used. They increase your torque from 80 to 93 ft-lbs (horsepower is increased by a similar amount), but more importantly, you get maximum torque at 2500 rpm! Having maximum torque at very low revs means your Harley will pull like a train at cruising speeds. Very, very, nice.
I replaced the original pushrods with Screamin’ Eagle adjustable pushrods only because it worked out cheaper. The cost of labour to pull the fuel tanks and all the rocker gear so you can get the old pushrods out is greater than the cost of adjustable pushrods. Jamie cut the stock pushrods with a set of bolt-cutters to get them out; all the top end rocker gear was left untouched.
Also, while Jamie had the cams out, I had him replace the stock inner needle rollers for the cams with high performance Screamin’ Eagle replacements. The cost of the rollers is quite cheap so it’s a worthwhile upgrade.
He also had to re-calibrate the Screamin’ Eagle Tuner for the new cams.
Even though my bike service included a couple of extra jobs — replacing the oil lines and changing the cams — I was back on the road just after lunch and managed to make it home before the peak-hour Sydney traffic, something I try to avoid at all costs.
My Softail sidecar was running new oil, everything had been adjusted back to specs, she was looking cool with her new black oil lines, and she was chomping at the bit with her new cams — can’t wait for another excuse to visit Central Coast Harley-Davidson — a ride up and down the old Pacific Highway through the mountains is not to be sneezed at. Maybe I should change the handlebars or something next…
Central Coast Harley-Davidson, 210 Manns Road, West Gosford NSW 2250; 02-4322-3331.