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Old 08-19-2012, 09:27 AM   #1
Subutai OP
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Laugh So I want a springer front on my Fat Boy

I acquired a '07 Harley Fat Boy in the spring and have put quite a few miles on it. I wanted the bike for it's easy maintainability and legend image. However I juggled about between the Boy and a Cross Bones, which I could have had for a bit less. I'm still put off by the spoked rims on the Bones and all the black.

Suddenly it hit me, that maybe I could have the Springer look on my Boy? I still want to keep the stock setup what it comes to measurements and wheels, so I'm looking for a sort of a bolt on solution.

Problem is finding a sturdy and wide enough springer fork that will accept the stock caliper and wheel. Are there any out there and has someone done something similar?

I tried browsing the various HD forums for a while but found nothing of interest. Some talk about the subject but no results or suggestions which fork would do the job, if any. The price seemed to be the major issue, but maybe I could swindle it, because it would be a winter project for me.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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I will not be surprised if the average morons on the HD forums couldn't answer this but, the collective here can. That's the magic of this place.

My limited knowledge is that the springer front ends were very expensive and not very popular; a steady but, limited seller. Not even sure if they sell the springer anymore. It was last seen on the Crossbones and I don't see that in their lineup for 2012.

Since the Fatboy is part of the Softail family, I don't see what the challenge is. The whole factory front end off of any springer should bolt up with existing factory parts. Looking at Ebay, I'm going to guess that a factory fork with the hardware bits is likely to run north of $2500-3000.

If you wanted a springer, why didn't you just buy a springer...especially if you were considering a Crossbones?
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Old 08-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey View Post
Since the Fatboy is part of the Softail family, I don't see what the challenge is. The whole factory front end off of any springer should bolt up with existing factory parts. Looking at Ebay, I'm going to guess that a factory fork with the hardware bits is likely to run north of $2500-3000.
The Fat Boy front is quite a bit wider than what you have on the Softail Springer. Also the Springer has different geometry and a different size front wheel, so it's not just a bolt on job.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:51 PM   #4
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Haven't paid attention to their lineup, but the Heritage springer should do the trick.
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Old 08-19-2012, 11:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subutai View Post
The Fat Boy front is quite a bit wider than what you have on the Softail Springer. Also the Springer has different geometry and a different size front wheel, so it's not just a bolt on job.
You sure about that? They're both 16" tires and I'd have bet they were the same size. Rake numbers are so close that the ride height change may be the cause.

This front fork and fender and you're saying the Fatboy is different width?
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:23 AM   #6
Subutai OP
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The Heritage Springer front end might work, at least it looks beefy enough. Softail Springer has a narrower wheel by the pictures, I thought you were talking about that.
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:47 AM   #7
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Yes, the wheel is narrower on the FXSTS vs the FLSTS but, I don't think the forks are different. I'm pretty sure they just went with the skinny wheel and spacers from hell. That was the whole look of the originals that they were going after in the first place.

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:06 AM   #8
Subutai OP
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Any idea if the axle diameter is the same between models?

Fender mounts will be a problem and let's not forget about the brake caliper mount. With the Heritage fork I could probably use the fender from a Heritage and would have the caliper mounted on the left as on my Fat Boy.

Have to start browsing eBay for a Heritage springer fork if there's any. Crazy expensive, I bet.
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:16 AM   #9
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You can not use the FX springer front if you want to re-use your Fat Boy wheels. The caliper and it's fittings are on the wrong side and you can't move them over.

The FL springer front should be no problem. There is a guy on the HDforums that put Fat Boy wheels on his Heritage Springer, so your wheel should fit.

You will also need to buy the caliper that comes with the Springer as your Fat Boy one won't fit.

Just have to be careful with the axle. The springers have .75 inch axles in all production years, and I know that HD been messing with the front axle size of the other bikes starting in 2007 or 2008 and going to 1 inch or 25 mm ... Not sure.

If your bike doesn't have the .75 inch axle you will need to get a wheel from an older Fat Boy, otherwise it will be a mess as you will have to change bearings etc.

You will also need to find the right spacers for the job.

The only fender you can use is the one from the Heritage Springer or a CrossBones (if you go for a Cross Bones fender you will need a new right hand side rocker as they made a change to fit that particular fender) ... fender has to move up/down with the wheel.

Almost forgot, you will also need a new handlebar and light. The ones from your bike won't fit.

Easiest and cheapest would be to just sell your Fat Boy and buy a Springer.

You can bolt up a Fat Boy rear fender to the springer no problem. Same frame anyway.

HD springer are bloody expensive, even second hand. You can no longer buy them as one finished unit anymore either. Only as a bunch of individual parts. You will need a service manual just to bolt it all together.

Probably one of the reasons they don't carry them anymore is that they are so labor intensive (read expensive) to put together.

Rakthi screwed with this post 08-20-2012 at 02:37 AM
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Old 08-20-2012, 02:58 AM   #10
Subutai OP
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Thank you Rakthi, lots of useful information there.

There are used Heritage front ends from crash bikes and salvage jobs in good condition, with everything but the wheel. I managed to find a couple with a asking price in excess of 3000 dollars.

Besides the axle and the spacers there's no guarantee that there won't be any problems mating the fork with the head stock. Also the Fat Boy wheel is different from '07 onwards with the finger size holes, so I would pretty much have to change both if I'd have to use ones from an older bike. Locating the problems and the parts will be such a time consuming hassle with no guarantees of success, that maybe it's better to find an easier custom job to do. Building a new bike altogether seems easier at this point!
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Old 08-20-2012, 07:47 PM   #11
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Why not just get a paughco or some other well known aftermarket front end? A new Harley front end has to be bought in pieces and is going to set you back close to $4000.00. A Paughco would cost you about half as much brand new, and you get to choose the length.
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Old 08-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #12
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You will need an entire front end. Almost everything on your Fatboy CANNOT be used on the springer. Repeating what Rakthi, the entire front can only be ordered as parts and assembled together manually. Last time I got a quote for the CrossBone front end, it was north of $6000.
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