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Author Topic: Electra  (Read 7273 times)

looking

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Electra
« on: July 18, 2007, 02:30:04 AM »
     I have been looking at both the Electra and a Bonnie.   Love the classic looks of both bikes.  Some of what I have read on-line suggests that the Electra may require more tinkering than most other bikes.  I am not very mechanically inclined and I am concerned that the Electra may require more maintenance than I can provide and will therefor be spending a lot of time (and money) in the shop.
     Can current Electra owners let me know what I can expect? 
     I am also tall (6'3") and 270 lbs.   Are there any other large riders out there that can let me know how the Electra rides?
     Sold my last bike (Honda CB450) in 1980 and have recently gotten the itch for another bike.  The Electra looks like a great choice for an old rider like me but I am concerned about the maintenance.
PJB





rpnix

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Re: Electra
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2007, 01:49:20 PM »
On the size issue; I'm 6'6" tall, and over 300 lbs. The bike rides like it's supposed to. I could use a slightly higher seat, but it's not uncomfortable.
Bob Nix -- '06 Ural Tourist, '07 Royal Enfield Electra  <-- Click on the bike to see photos!

looking

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Re: Electra
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2007, 12:21:06 AM »
That's great to hear.  I haven't found many bikes with a seat height over 30". 
How about the maintenance issue?  What can I expect?

Thumper

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Re: Electra
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2007, 11:38:55 AM »
     I have been looking at both the Electra and a Bonnie.   Love the classic looks of both bikes.  Some of what I have read on-line suggests that the Electra may require more tinkering than most other bikes.  I am not very mechanically inclined and I am concerned that the Electra may require more maintenance than I can provide and will therefor be spending a lot of time (and money) in the shop.
     Can current Electra owners let me know what I can expect? 
     I am also tall (6'3") and 270 lbs.   Are there any other large riders out there that can let me know how the Electra rides?
     Sold my last bike (Honda CB450) in 1980 and have recently gotten the itch for another bike.  The Electra looks like a great choice for an old rider like me but I am concerned about the maintenance.
PJB

Not many CB450 referenced these days!

The Electra in stock form will feel more like a Honda CB250 or Twinstar. With a performance kit to open the intake and exhaust and provide the correct carburation it will feel like a nimble CB450.

To your questions:
The Electra X requires relatively frequent maintenance at 2000 mile intervals. During that period additional checks and adjustments might be necessary: drive chain tension, air in tires, cluctch (cable) adjustment, valves, engine oil level, etc. So far my bike is reliable, but with its old design it does want TLC.
If you intend to leave all maintenance to a dealer, then the Electra might not be a good fit for you.

I'm 5' 7" at 175 lbs and feel almost right for the bike. If I could shed 20 more pounds it would be a perfect match. IMO, I think 200 lbs+ is a bit much for the Electra if you intend to run it at the upper limits of its speed range. If you're going to thump along at 45 and 50 it shouldn't be a problem.

As you know, the Bonnie will be the CB450's great grandfather. Stone cold reliable, fast, refined, competent, almost-maintenance-free. By comparison, it will also be expensive, heavy, gas-guzzling, and boring Boring BORING!

Matt

looking

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Re: Electra
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2007, 11:19:47 PM »
     Thanks for the great feedback.  Still not sure which way to go.  The Bonnie does sound like a better fit for me, but I can't stop thinking about the Electra.  I find the unique styling and characteristics very appealing.  Will post my decision if I can ever make one.  Thanks again!

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Re: Electra
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2007, 12:36:06 AM »
Be rash, impulsive, and extravagant.. Buy both.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
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Re: Electra
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2007, 02:29:46 AM »
Be rash, impulsive, and extravagant.. Buy both.

Agree, Agree.  We've got one of each.

« Last Edit: July 20, 2007, 02:31:18 AM by Robb »

wordherder62

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Re: Electra
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2007, 02:35:51 AM »
God this turns into a sad prospect for me as I'm considering which of these bikes to buy and have now come to the firm conclusion that having one of each is nigh on to inevitable. Now the question is (as a single dad with limited funds) the choice of which one to buy first. The price and simplicity of the RE is dragging me toward that side of the process now. The Electras are starting to look like the place to go ...

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Re: Electra
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2007, 03:09:20 AM »
That really is the way to go.  I intend to get a few more Enfields, old and new, and then go on to replace the long ago sold Triumphs.
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
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Re: Electra
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2007, 02:26:08 PM »
Buy the Enfield first, you won't be disappointed. Anyways the more bikes the better, until you can't decide which one to ride. I'm 6'-0' and 230lbs I currently have both a Harley Electra Glide Classic and a Electra-X. I use the Harley for long distance (over 200 miles), and when I need to carry a large amount of items like groceries. I always take the Electra for fun rides. It's very easy to handle and compared to the Harley it's a sports car. I ride mine at 70mph without problems and at 60mph it just purrrrrr's. I'm very happy with it but I have to admit the break in was sort of a pain, but better than the Bullet Classic which I also have owned.
The Electra-X is a easy bike to work on, and a lot less work than the Classic.
Have Fun!
Greg

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Re: Electra
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2007, 05:50:22 PM »
I had the same problem. I could not decide between the Bonnie and the RE. The more I thought about it, the more I was drawn to the RE. I wanted a real classic bike, not just a modern one that looked the part. Don't worry too much about the maintenance. I have done very little to my 2006 Electra besides changing the oil and checking for loose nuts and bolts (very few actually). I did adjust the valves. They didn't need it, just wanted to teach myself how.
The more I ride, the happier I am with my choice. People throw numbers around all the time: horsepower, top speed, etc. But we ride for the viceral feel of motorcycling, and the RE provides that better than any bike I have ever owned. It's not the biggest or the fastest bike I've had, but for some reason I can't stop thinking about it, and when I ride, I don't want to stop. I can't say that about anything else I've ridden.

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Re: Electra
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2007, 02:16:12 AM »
amen Brother.. I have owned several  BMW's for over 30 years.. I have put 100's of thousands of miles on them.. My last one I bought in 98 and only put 20ooo miles on it where the last one be4 that one 120000 miles..

I would like to have a Bonnie,, yet I will stick with the X ..It's been a long time since I've enjoyed riding for the sake of riding..

thumbs up to the RE's ;D

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Re: Electra
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2007, 04:14:50 AM »
I have never managed to own a BMW.. Maybe someday..
aka Indiana Bulleteer.
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deejay

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Re: Electra
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2007, 01:09:10 PM »
I owned a new Bonnie before I owned the RE. I've expressed my opinion about the new Bonnie here before, but here goes again... The Bonneville was the 1st bike I ever owned (that wasn't a scooter or moped). At 6' tall 160lbs, it still felt too big for me. While it's looks are good, it is anything BUT an old bike. It is a riding appliance, like all other modern bikes out there. For some people this is a great thing, classic styling without the "trouble" of an old bike (Kawasaki did it better with the W650 though). But I found out quickly that I wanted more. Tinkering with the RE allows me to get to know it better, and if she ever breaks down I will know how to fix her on the side of the road, instead of having to call AAA like with a modern bike. Simply pushing a button and riding around got boring real fast with the Bonnie, and I looked to add on new parts. After market goodies for the Bonnie are expensive to say the least. I've added 10 times more parts to my RE and have spent less money doing it.

If you've owned bikes in the past, then you know how you feel about maintenance, if you hate it, you will find yourself cursing at the RE. If you don't mind it, then you will get to know your bike better than any other, which is a satisfying feeling.

I found out the hard way and took a $2000 hit on the Bonnie so I could get the bike I never knew I wanted. Don't tell my wife, but it was worth it!

Id also like to add that I own the Classic Bullet, the Electra is less maintenance.


hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2007, 03:04:47 PM »
IFor some people this is a great thing, classic styling without the "trouble" of an old bike (Kawasaki did it better with the W650 though).


I just bought a 2000 W650. It was involved in a tip over accident in a dealer parking lot. Someone bumped it with a car and off the center stand she went. I have wanted one since they were introduced. Since you can't get one in the US anymore I figured I better jump on this one. I found several in the UK, but man they want a lot. Found 4 in the states, but the one I bought was closest to my state. It's been repainted, all broken parts replaced accept the banged up right muffler and left head pipe.. The left case cover is scratched but it only has 6800miles in it, and I got a pretty good deal. I saw ones with less mileage for a little more, but they were way to far away. I like taking in bikes that need a little TLC to bring them back to their glory. I figure the W650 will solve the problem of being pushed aroud so much by the wind, and running the super slab if I need to get somewhere fast, but still have that British look and sound I love, even if it isn't the real McCoy. Now all I have to do is go get it from the dealer, about a 14 hour round trip will be coming up in a week or two. One story about to be formed. That always seems to bring you closer to a bike too. Don't worry, my Bullet will still be my "all smiles" bike. It's the real thing.   Hutch
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Re: Electra
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2007, 03:52:53 PM »
I just bought a 2000 W650.

The Royal Enfield/W650 combo seems to be popular duo.  I have a 2001 Dubya that had 1732 miles on it when I got it.  It is my ride when I travel longer distances with other people.  If I'm alone or with someone that isn't in a hurry it's the REB (Royal Enfiled Bullet).
  Any other REB/Dubya owners out there?
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
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luoma

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Re: Electra
« Reply #16 on: August 18, 2007, 03:56:21 PM »
I know what you mean. I have ridden larger and faster bikes over the years, but my RE gives me more smiles than anything else I have owned. We don't ride for the numbers on the speck sheet, but for the feel of motorcycling. Even while I sit at the kitchen table writing this blog, I am thinking about the Enfield getting lonely in the garage.

hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #17 on: August 18, 2007, 05:10:31 PM »
I just bought a 2000 W650.

The Royal Enfield/W650 combo seems to be popular duo.  I have a 2001 Dubya that had 1732 miles on it when I got it.  It is my ride when I travel longer distances with other people.  If I'm alone or with someone that isn't in a hurry it's the REB (Royal Enfiled Bullet).
  Any other REB/Dubya owners out there?
Leonard, how do you like the W650. I Have never rode one, only window shopped in 2000. I have rode a lot of different bikes in 40+ years. It seems it would be about the same as a original stock 60-70's Triumph, but slightly heavier. Over the years I have also heard all different mpg reports. What are your likes and dislikes? Once I get mine I will be able to compare your answers with my experience.    Hutch   

Luoma, I know what you mean. I have to run up town and get pack of smokes and I would love to take the Bullet, but I won't get my pushrod adjuster until next week(I hope), so its take the 550 lb.120 hp bike. I would rather ride the RE. It's only been a week it's been down and I think I am going through withdrawls. That never happened with any of the other bikes I have ever owned in 40yrs.    Hutch
« Last Edit: August 18, 2007, 05:24:25 PM by hutch »
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Re: Electra (going off topic)
« Reply #18 on: August 18, 2007, 07:00:30 PM »
Leonard, how do you like the W650. I Have never rode one, only window shopped in 2000. I have rode a lot of different bikes in 40+ years. It seems it would be about the same as a original stock 60-70's Triumph, but slightly heavier. Over the years I have also heard all different mpg reports. What are your likes and dislikes? Once I get mine I will be able to compare your answers with my experience.    Hutch   

Luoma, I know what you mean. I have to run up town and get pack of smokes and I would love to take the Bullet, but I won't get my pushrod adjuster until next week(I hope), so its take the 550 lb.120 hp bike. I would rather ride the RE. It's only been a week it's been down and I think I am going through withdrawls. That never happened with any of the other bikes I have ever owned in 40yrs.    Hutch

Hutch,
  I like the W very much, especially since I put on a set of Royal Enfield handle bars and changed the tires.  The stock buckhorn bars made me  lean back too much.  I went with a slightly smaller rear tire and it seems to have improved slow speed handling.  If you get on Yahoo Groups "wriders" there is a ton of info in the files. 
  The W draws almost as much attention as the Royal Enfield, most folks of course think it is a Triumph Bonnie until you point out the Kawasaki logos.  Fun bike, I think I have the two coolest bikes non vintage bikes available. 
--Leonard
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

Leonard

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Re: Electra (going off topic)
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2007, 07:04:23 PM »
Leonard, how do you like the W650. I Have never rode one, only window shopped in 2000. I have rode a lot of different bikes in 40+ years. It seems it would be about the same as a original stock 60-70's Triumph, but slightly heavier. Over the years I have also heard all different mpg reports. What are your likes and dislikes? Once I get mine I will be able to compare your answers with my experience.    Hutch   

Luoma, I know what you mean. I have to run up town and get pack of smokes and I would love to take the Bullet, but I won't get my pushrod adjuster until next week(I hope), so its take the 550 lb.120 hp bike. I would rather ride the RE. It's only been a week it's been down and I think I am going through withdrawls. That never happened with any of the other bikes I have ever owned in 40yrs.    Hutch

Hutch,
  I was going to ask about the pushrod adjuster.  What is that?  Does the Electra's pushrod adjust differently than the Classic?
Leonard
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

hutch

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Re: Electra (going off topic)
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2007, 08:59:36 PM »

[/quote]

Hutch,
  I was going to ask about the pushrod adjuster.  What is that?  Does the Electra's pushrod adjust differently than the Classic?
Leonard
[/quote] I'm not sure on the Electra, I think it is the same as the Bullet Classic, due to the same cover on the right side of the motor. The one the Decomp cable goes to on the Electra. Under that cover(on the Bullet) is where you adjust the length of the pushrod for the correct valve clearance. It probably is called the tappet adjuster, but since it screws into the pushrod I always called them pushrod adjusters, even on Harley's they are the same, at least the old Harleys. I always called tappet adjusters the ones that are right on the rocker arm.   Hutch
You learn from your mistakes, and I have LEARNED a lot.

scoTTy

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Re: Electra
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2007, 10:29:30 PM »
pushrod adjuster?

er. I used my fingers and 3 wrenches.. and am going to make something so I only have to use two

Leonard

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Re: Electra (going off topic)
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2007, 11:01:55 PM »


Hutch,
  I was going to ask about the pushrod adjuster.  What is that?  Does the Electra's pushrod adjust differently than the Classic?
Leonard
[/quote] I'm not sure on the Electra, I think it is the same as the Bullet Classic, due to the same cover on the right side of the motor. The one the Decomp cable goes to on the Electra. Under that cover(on the Bullet) is where you adjust the length of the pushrod for the correct valve clearance. It probably is called the tappet adjuster, but since it screws into the pushrod I always called them pushrod adjusters, even on Harley's they are the same, at least the old Harleys. I always called tappet adjusters the ones that are right on the rocker arm.   Hutch
[/quote]

Oh OK, I thought you were talking about some kind of tool.
2009 Triumph Bonneville T100
2004 Royal Enfield Sixty-5 (RIP)
2001 Kawasaki W650 (going, going...gone)
http://www.romeoriders.com

hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2007, 12:56:32 PM »
pushrod adjuster?

er. I used my fingers and 3 wrenches.. and am going to make something so I only have to use two
Scotty, aint that fun though? It works the same on the older Harley's, plus you have to keep the pushrod covers from falling back down into your wrenches . I cheat, I hold the bottom 13mm wrench with my foot against the motor, and use my left hand and 13mm wrench to turn pushrod to make it longer or shorter for proper tightness, then lock it down with the 10mm in my right hand. Had plenty of practice on Harleys over the years. Hutch
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Re: Electra
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2007, 02:44:49 PM »
I'm still getting the hang of it, but I'm getting better at trusting the feel of it. The book says to remove the tappet covers from the top of the motor, but never says why, since the adjusting is done at the side.

Thumper

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Re: Electra
« Reply #25 on: August 19, 2007, 05:06:42 PM »
I'm still getting the hang of it, but I'm getting better at trusting the feel of it. The book says to remove the tappet covers from the top of the motor, but never says why, since the adjusting is done at the side.

Page 03-15 of the Electra Service Manual details how to set the valve tappet clearance to .1mm using a feeler guage at the valve stem.

Matt

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Re: Electra
« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2007, 12:11:40 AM »
Tried that. Didn't work. The valves were so noisy it almost deafened me. After talking to my dealer, and making a call to CMW, I was advised to adjust by feel just like the older REs. That seems to work better for me. I also found out that I could make the valves quieter by adjusting a bit snug, but it didn't run as well. I'm learning what the right amount of valve noise is. I guess a happy RE is supposed to chatter a bit.

Thumper

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Re: Electra
« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2007, 12:26:22 AM »
Tried that. Didn't work. The valves were so noisy it almost deafened me. After talking to my dealer, and making a call to CMW, I was advised to adjust by feel just like the older REs. That seems to work better for me. I also found out that I could make the valves quieter by adjusting a bit snug, but it didn't run as well. I'm learning what the right amount of valve noise is. I guess a happy RE is supposed to chatter a bit.

Both ways are correct. The Owner's Manual only provides the twirl method.

scoTTy

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Re: Electra
« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2007, 12:30:14 AM »
Quote
I cheat, I hold the bottom 13mm wrench with my foot against the motor, and use my left hand and 13mm wrench to turn pushrod to make it longer or shorter for proper tightness, then lock it down with the 10mm in my right hand.

hmmmm_____ motorcycle aerobics :D

hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2007, 01:37:00 AM »
Quote
I cheat, I hold the bottom 13mm wrench with my foot against the motor, and use my left hand and 13mm wrench to turn pushrod to make it longer or shorter for proper tightness, then lock it down with the 10mm in my right hand.

hmmmm_____ motorcycle aerobics :D
Scotty, I know it sounds weird, but it beats trying to hold both 13mm wrenches in one hand and the 10mm in your right. Just about the time you get the lock nut almost tight, one of the wrenchs in your left moves and the ajustment moves ,making it to tight or loose. Start over. It just seems the easiest way. It just carried over from my Harley days.   Hutch
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Re: Electra
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2007, 01:53:27 AM »
hee. hee,, yep two wrenches in one hand and one in the other..  slippage abundent..

 hmmm. but I wear a size 12 shoe.. my foot would get in the way.. ;D

hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2007, 02:09:46 AM »
hee. hee,, yep two wrenches in one hand and one in the other..  slippage abundent..

 hmmm. but I wear a size 12 shoe.. my foot would get in the way.. ;D
LOL Sounds like you are lucky in one department but messes you up in another. Bummer, I think.    Hutch
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hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #32 on: August 28, 2007, 10:43:08 PM »
I just bought a 2000 W650.

The Royal Enfield/W650 combo seems to be popular duo.  I have a 2001 Dubya that had 1732 miles on it when I got it.  It is my ride when I travel longer distances with other people.  If I'm alone or with someone that isn't in a hurry it's the REB (Royal Enfiled Bullet).
  Any other REB/Dubya owners out there?
Leonard, how do you like the W650. I Have never rode one, only window shopped in 2000. I have rode a lot of different bikes in 40+ years. It seems it would be about the same as a original stock 60-70's Triumph, but slightly heavier. Over the years I have also heard all different mpg reports. What are your likes and dislikes? Once I get mine I will be able to compare your answers with my experience.    Hutch   

Luoma, I know what you mean. I have to run up town and get pack of smokes and I would love to take the Bullet, but I won't get my pushrod adjuster until next week(I hope), so its take the 550 lb.120 hp bike. I would rather ride the RE. It's only been a week it's been down and I think I am going through withdrawls. That never happened with any of the other bikes I have ever owned in 40yrs.    Hutch
   Finaly, I got my pushrod adjuster installed and took SNKIZ(Green classic) for a ride. I have plenty of other bikes, including the Kawasaki W650 I just picked up in WI, but I sure did miss my RE. No more withdrawls.     Hutch
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luoma

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Re: Electra
« Reply #33 on: August 29, 2007, 01:45:35 AM »
Hutch, what is a pushrod adjuster? I have an Electra and adjust them with a couple wrenches. Is there a better way?

hutch

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Re: Electra
« Reply #34 on: August 29, 2007, 02:00:57 AM »
Hutch, what is a pushrod adjuster? I have an Electra and adjust them with a couple wrenches. Is there a better way?
The pusgrod adjuster is the part on the pushrod that you adjust with the wrenches to make the pushrod longer or shorter to adjust the valve clearance. I don't know if that is what RE calls them, but Harley does, cause they are exactly the same set up on the older Harleys.   Hutch
You learn from your mistakes, and I have LEARNED a lot.