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Thread: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

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    Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    I've had a look on the net and the cruising speed for Shovels and also Pans varies a lot. Some of the Yanks quote speeds of 80 mph with the right gearing. With the main point being you have to really know the bike. Of course this take years to achieve and I'm interested to know what speeds members are finding ideal for a balance of reliability and distance covered over long periods.

    My sweet spot with comparatively low vibration is about 60 mph on the 24/48 gearing. Although she will sit at 70, but the vibes creep up significantly.
    Time out of mind

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Ride it at 60. What's the big rush? Take in the countryside around you, smell the roses. Nobody will throw a laurel wreath over your head if you get there first. Ride fast & things happen fast, ride a bit slower & it may give you time to think if summat goes wrong. Going on a rideout? They almost always end up being a pissing contest. If you don't know where you are, use a sat nav in case you get split up & by the time you get there, the queue for the bar will be gone.

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. pitts View Post
    Ride it at 60. What's the big rush? Take in the countryside around you, smell the roses. Nobody will throw a laurel wreath over your head if you get there first. Ride fast & things happen fast, ride a bit slower & it may give you time to think if summat goes wrong.
    That's a very sound life philosophy, Rob - I agree entirely!

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Mine feels just right at 65mph. I take it to almost 60mph in 3rd then into 4th - can almost feel the motor relax into the ride. Avoid lugging as much as over revving. Same gearing as yours Rod. Let your motor decide.
    "My sweet spot with comparatively low vibration is about 60 mph on the 24/48 gearing. Although she will sit at 70, but the vibes creep up significantly".
    Hodgie.

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    agree with Mr Hodge there 65 seem good for me and plenty left to overtake if needed

    if you push on the MPG will drop ,,, enjoy your ride ,,

    i will be taking the pan to Keslo and towing a mono trailer i will be at around 60,65mph

    looking forward to seeing your bike after following the rebuild

    john
    (old iron ass)

    BMW R80GS winter hack
    1978 FLH80 SHOVELHEAD
    1950 EL hydra glide PANHEAD

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Thanks for the feedback lads, my feelings are the same.

    Yes John, if I make it up there I'll be looking forward to a cuppa and a good look at your Panhead.

    Rod
    Time out of mind

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. pitts View Post
    Ride it at 60. What's the big rush? Take in the countryside around you, smell the roses.
    All the above applies equally well to my '89 Evo Softail...

    Wise words... and good advice!

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    And surely all of the above applies to a twin cam too.

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    60-65mph.

    Anything faster and it is a big effort on an FX, on my part - that's what I find at least.

    AND you know that at 70mph-plus stuff will vibrate loose sooner rather than later.

    Some Shovel guys I know down here who love to blast ahead at 80mph-plus, then spend pub time talking about it, always seem to have ''reliability issues''.

    They actually often comment on how reliable my FXWG is.

    There is a link.


    PS: I have never rushed, I concur with the ''go slower and smell the roses'' remarks above. BUT.....on my new 2019 Road Glide with screen, upgraded shocks and seat, it is SCARY how all-day comfortable 80-90mph is. Only speed cameras and the highway patrol are holding me back on my big green touring machine, on which 60mph feels like standing still.

    After 27 years and around 110,000 miles on 'em, I cannot see myself doing big highway-speed miles on a kickstart Big Twin ever again. So sue me
    Last edited by kiwidave; 23-05-2019 at 05:34 AM.

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac1 View Post
    And surely all of the above applies to a twin cam too.
    no a twin can will cruse at 90-100 if you want to ,,,

    i did the first 600mls in 7,1/2hrs on a ironbutt ride ,,all recorded ,, for my 60th birthday

    a 1000mls in 16hrs

    john
    (old iron ass)

    BMW R80GS winter hack
    1978 FLH80 SHOVELHEAD
    1950 EL hydra glide PANHEAD

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