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Thread: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

  1. #11
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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Quote Originally Posted by devon.john View Post
    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

    i know it will, but ......

    mr pitts comments still apply imo

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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.
    Not on a six speed transmission. Doing 60 in sixth gear for very long is asking for crank trouble. Twin Cams like to rev ...

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    All I can offer is my own experiences. 1979 1/2 FLH 1200, when it was at its best I made my first ride to Italy two up on standard FXE gearing (23T gearbox, 51T rear) and it happily cruised at 75, occaisionally 80 BUT while it also seemed fine at 85 the fuel economy dropped noticably. My pillion, with a far more numericallly agile mind than I, did the numbers and we soon "set our default" at 75 for the greatest miles covered at best economy. 75 was a good speed back home because you had a fair chance of only getting a warning if you failed to spot the cops (bear in mind these are HD speedo numbers, they very likely fall below the true speed?). I recall a late night ride home from somewhere at a time when I felt the bike didn't seem quite right and I was intending to hold her at 65. Well I'd had the speedo light drop down (as they often did) so once I was on an unlit stretch I rode by feel, I was surprised to see when I hit a lighted bit that I was back at 75!
    I had been quite thorough in running her in, regularly cleaned the tappet filter (am shocked at how many don't seem to bother with that!), didn't use to arrive with numb hands, didn't have feet shaking off the boards, I'm not a rufty-tufty hardass (apart from when my quail's eggs have been clumsily scrambled) but every other month I'd check chain adjustments etc and general tightness. (back then the bike was used almost every day on a 32mile return commute in all weathers and it did suffer cosmetically)

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Over the years the way I remember things, when the shovel was the latest engine people who came from pans thundered along on them (shovels) and the pans got pampered. The pan owners who'd had knuckles did much the same when the pan was new and pampered their knucks. When the Evo came along folks thundered them and pampered the shovels, now I hear of Evos being used as sunny day bikes with a Twin Cam for hard riding.
    (Then of course you have Ken Lee who thunders all his bikes from 1904 to 1941!)

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    My stock fully dressed 72 FLH seems to like 65 mph cruising, with a bit of extra blast before long climbs.

    My rebuilt 77 FXS seems happiest around 75 mph, and only seems to start getting a bit bothered above 90.....which with no windshield, and stock brakes is not a great option anyway
    Boris

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    I'm a back roads boy m'self. 55-65 on uphill or the level. 75-95 downhill if the coast is clear. Depends on where you go really. On a medium loaded Shovel the 24-24-48 will do for most anywhere in the States, interstate or back roads. Personally, I find latter to be, by far, the more interesting of the twain.
    Example; Ohio back roads are a hazard because the weather tears them up; Mississippi , the most backwards and poor of the States seemingly fills in their potholes with little more than air and good wishes (Ya'll come on back now, yuh'hear?......and you survive it) Florida, other-wise, having enough convicts on hand, sees a proper job is kept up on the back roads. The other criminal element on Florida roads stays busy setting up new squeez'em speed-traps just outside their po-dunk villages because them convicts keep cutting down their hiding place shrubbery.

    the o.t. part
    Going fast is fun. No breeze like a ton up breeze. And few things beat rolling a long-legged Shovel all the way out in 4th on a downhill grade. But speed makes your vision tunnel, i.e. the faster you go the more you have to focus on the road to your immediate front. But on the interstates over here, having to go 75 or faster just to keep out of the obits becomes problematic when mindful towards the longevity of ones Shovel.
    I've had quite enough of dodging the interstate users who insist on doing anything but paying attention to the task of driving on a high-speed interstate; you know who I mean, the thumb people, drunks, the put-on-make-up-while-eating-breakfast-while-driving-at-75mph sort, the 'it's my road 'cause I pay taxes' sort, the game-players, the illegal aliens who practice the bad driving habits in place at what ever bung-hole they crawled out of. The driverless cages (my latest idea for a [motorcycle slanted] slogan-on-a-T-shirt is, " I mag-dump on driver-less cages ")
    i.m.o. the irresponsible selfishness practiced on the nations highways is a direct consequence of the me!-me! attitude that murked its way, one mind at a time, in to society.

    b.o.t.
    but I LIKE going at the slower rate on 2-lane black-top because I cannot, and, to make the point, would not, separate the pleasure of the sight-seeing in traveling from the pleasure of the destination.
    And there's always the opportunity along the way to suddenly say Hey, I gotta have a picture of that! because you were going slow enough to spot it....
    and, ho hum...... it's safer. ;-)
    Last edited by last shovel; 23-05-2019 at 06:38 PM.

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    Re: Shovelhead Cruising Speed?

    Reading all these posts, it seems that most have different experiences and ways of riding in their own comfort zone with the bikes gearing and state of tune wear being a factor also. So I can only add my own slant on this unanswerable question. I set up my generator Shovel into its current gearing and state of tune (lately slack and knackered) which is while its off the road getting a new crank. Mind you thats after 90,000 odd miles of hard riding and continental runs so I am not complaining. The original flywheels gave up after only 50 years (checking the warranty). With a 25 tooth gearbox sprocket for relaxed motorway work it has been running regularly at 75 plus with no dramas. Yes I do also like checking out the scenery much of the time as well at steadier rates ask the other region 7 members.
    Barrie Reid

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