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Softail Models Standard, Custom, Night Train, Deuce, Springer, Heritage, Fatboy, Deluxe, Rocker and Cross Bones.

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  #11  
Old 06-03-2007, 11:52 PM
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JBaker421 JBaker421 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

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ORIGINAL: mopar440

Trail, as best as I can determine- 6 1/8


What do you think? Thanks

Butch
Road Kings, Ultra Classics etc. have 6.2 inches of trail. The Springer Classic (Heritage) has 6.1.

I don't think that excessive trail alone is your issue. That much trail just makes a bike more stable on the highway. (Tougher in parking lots, but oh well.)

Remember, you measure rake by continuing a straight line down through your neck pivot bolt to the floor and then comparing that line to a vertical line. The line that's described by your forks is irrelevant to rake unless you know for sure there is no variance between fork angle and neck angle (No rake angle in the triple trees) and you know that the forks are even forward to back with the pivot point. Most Harleys except the touring bikes have the forks well ahead of the neck. Just look from the side. It's the pivot point (neck) alone that counts here.

Raked forks change only trail, not rake in the true sense. To change true rake you'd have to cut the frame and re-weld the neck. Please don't misunderstand that. Raked trees can kill. You lose trail and the wheel can "wobble 'til you die."

Wanna see some excessive negative trail? Turn the front wheels on a shopping cart forward. Now you just "raked the trees." You didn't change the pivot point, you just pushed the axle forward of the pivot point and created "negative trail." Try riding that down the freeway at 80 mph while keeping the front wheels pointed where you want them.

Trail is measured by dropping a straight, vertical line through the center of the front axle bolt to the floor. Next you measure the distance from that point on the floor to where the line touches the floor that was a continuation of the pivot bolt center to the floor. (The mark you made when you marked down through the neck's pivot bolt.)

Trail is the distance in inches that the line downward from the axle center is trailing (is behind) the line on the floor from the center of, and at the angle of the pivot bolt.

Don't forget to have representative weight on the bike when you measure trail. (a rider about your weight.) That will change everything "measurably."

If that bike is threatening to dump you, have a pro look at it. You could have any number of problems including a misaligned rear wheel, loose spokes, you name it.

Live to Ride, Brother.

JB
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  #12  
Old 06-04-2007, 02:50 PM
reh13 reh13 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

JB, all the specs you have listed are correct, but for one problem, they're for current models. In 07 harley started listing neck rake and trail only, not total rake. Even in 06 they were listing both, but they went back and changed those as well. If you looked at harley's web site last year, they listed neck rake,total rake, and in some instances tree rake,along with trail. Prior to 06, they listed total rake and trail.That brings us to where harley changed the dyna frames. Harley currently (06 and later),offers two dyna frames, with neck rakes of 29* and 34*. Thewide glide comes with the 34* frame, along with 2* trees, for a total of 36* rake. Other dyna models use the 29* frame, with various degree trees, depending on model. Thats why thestreet bob and the low rider, both using the 29* frame, have different trail figures.Prior to 06,harley manufactured two dyna frames 28* and 32*, withno rake in the trees. The wide glide and the low rider used the 32* frame, with0* trees, and the other models used the 28* frame, with 0* trees. If your 96 wide glide is stock, it would have 32* total rake.

Now the softail std, custom, nite train and deuce have 32* frames, with 2* trees, for a total of 34* rake. The fat boy uses the same frame, with 0* trees, for a total of 32* rake.

All that trailyou see listed for the touring models, ismade possibleusing reversed crowns, something the old bikersreferred to as self-center steering. It was done to achievelow speed handling, and a lighter feel, on a much heavier bike.

Mopar, I don't know if this will help, or confuse you, but it's a post where I tried to help someone else with rake and trail.

http://www.hdforums.com/m_1209095/tm.htm

I'm just guessing here, but 3* trees would be one more than you currently have, and would reduce the trail a little. Lowering the front of the bike to offset the lowered rear would probably help a little as well.
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  #13  
Old 06-04-2007, 06:03 PM
jimb jimb is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

I've never had a problem with "front end flop".In fact, I looked at raked trees about 4 years ago and got reprimanded thoroughly by just about everyone I talked to.My stock rake is fine.However I did see a Duece that had the neck raked to 40 degrees and it looked killer.

[IMG]local://upfiles/11733/DFC6D5462AF242B9BED0394E73266C83.jpg[/IMG]
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  #14  
Old 06-04-2007, 09:53 PM
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

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ORIGINAL: reh13

JB, all the specs you have listed are correct, but for one problem, they're for current models. In 07 harley started listing neck rake and trail only, not total rake. Even in 06 they were listing both, but they went back and changed those as well.
Thanks for chiming in. I didn't know that. But all the principles of rake, trail, and the dangers lurking therin hold. I hope everyone is careful.

Also, I didn't start about the touring bikes, but the pull back on the trees increases trail and makes the bikes steadier on the highway where they were designed to be. I think if you'll double-check, less trail is better for slow speed (parking lot) handling and more trail is better (up to a point of course) on the highway.

Have a great day. [sm=icon_cheers.gif]

JB
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  #15  
Old 06-04-2007, 10:27 PM
mopar440 mopar440 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

JBaker421, Thanks for your input, I did not have a person sit on hte bike when I took all the measurements. So with that, the rear would sit even lower and wouls actually add more trail to the bike. And I wouldnt consider the feeling of the front end wanting to flop at low speed turns dangerous, just will take some time to get used to, but it could be better. I'm not looking to add rake for sake of looks, I'm looking to use raked tripple trees to correct the trail and get it into the safe zone, which according to some of the calculators is between 3.5 and 5. I know HD has it set at 5.1 for my bike.

Reh13,
Thanks for the info, now that you mention it, I've always thought the trees has the slightest rake to them, comparing the neck angle to the forks, but it seems so slight, I figured its just an optical illusion, I guess maybe not.

Using the Perce calcu;ator, 3 degree trees would yeild aroung a 5"trail and 5 degree trees would give a 3.68 trail. Of cource they dont have an option for 2 degree trees is that is what the stockers are so I'll have to look into other calculators to see what they figure. Thanks guys for taking the time to give me all this great advice and info, I'll absorb all I can before making my decision.

Butch
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  #16  
Old 06-04-2007, 11:00 PM
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JBaker421 JBaker421 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?


I might have mentioned that I know a guy who put 5 degree raked trees on a Deuce. He got sudden, violent wheel wobble at about 75 mph.

He literally bent his handlebars keeping that sucker up while he braked hard with the back wheel.

He says he still can't believe he didn't go down in a bad high-side crash.

Sobers a guy up, huh? [&:]

JB
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  #17  
Old 06-04-2007, 11:10 PM
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

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ORIGINAL: jimb
I did see a Duece that had the neck raked to 40 degrees and it looked killer.

[IMG]local://upfiles/11733/DFC6D5462AF242B9BED0394E73266C83.jpg[/IMG]
Well, if the Deuce is stock with 34 total rake, then you could get 40 easily enough.

Use 3 degree neck cups which give you an effective 3 degrees of additional neck rake. (Pivot bolt angle.)

Now you have too much trail at 37 degrees total rake. So, you add back 3 degrees of additional rake with raked triple trees. If the stock trees have 2 degrees, you get 5 degree trees.

You use a calculator to find the additional fork length you need to keep the bike near stock level.

If all is done correctly, you don't change the trail enough to harm anything.

I believe that's the only "safe" way to do that...?? [:@]

Please anybody, don't listen to me! [] This stuff can kill. Get some pro help with this?

JB
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  #18  
Old 06-04-2007, 11:19 PM
20NightTrain03 20NightTrain03 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

yeah i have seen those kits to add massive rake

saw one in person the other night at a cruise night

its weird, the steering stem is sort of repositioned to maintain correct trail

weird but it works
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  #19  
Old 06-04-2007, 11:28 PM
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

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ORIGINAL: mopar440

JBaker421, Thanks for your input,

Butch
Welcome. It's worth what you paid.

You know Butch, the more I think about it, the more I question whether trail has much to do with the wheel flopping over at low speed. I think that absent the rake number, it isn't "everything." Give it some more thought?

Think of chopper builders. They weld the neck in at a wild rake angle and get far too much trail. That's what raked trees were really designed for; to give the opportunity to do that and still bring the trail back in line. So they use both to get that far-out rake.

Now, they have the trail under control, but the total rake is still so great that it seems to me that the front wheel is resting on it's back side. Can you picture it?

So if a wheel is raked out that far, I know from experience that it's hard to turn sharply because the wheel lays over about as much as it turns when you turn the handlebars. (Or at least it looks and feels that way.)

From my experience, I don't have a picture of how any combination of neck and/or tree rake (or just one) that's way out there could do anything but sit on the back of the tire and flop over, so to speak, when turned. I believe I see them do that even with pro-built bikes. I hear they are hard to maneuver at slow speeds.

Hmmm....

Don't listen to me - get yourself killed. [:@]

JB
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  #20  
Old 06-05-2007, 01:49 PM
mopar440 mopar440 is offline
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Default RE: Raked Trees on Softail to fix trail?

JB,
Thanks, thats some food for thought. I know what you mean about a raked out chopper and how the front end would want to flop no mater what the trail. I'm gonna wait till I get the fenders painted and do some good road testing of the bike to see how it handles at all speeds and conditions and then make my decision. If the handleing is acceptable, I'll leave well enough alon, if not I'll get the trees to get the trail back in the safe zone, 3.5-5.5".

Anyone have experience with 3 degree trees on a Softail? I'm thinking if in fact the stocks are 2 degrees, how much would an extra degree effect the trail. If I use the stock length forks and rakes trees, it would lower the front of the bike, even if slightly, so maybe the 1 degree added rake plus the slight lowering of the front end would bring the trail down just enough. Any thoughts?

Anyone with 3 degree trees? Did it lower the front at all and looking at them is there a noticeable difference between 3 degree trees and the stock Softail trees ?Thanks again guys.

Butch
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Old 06-05-2007, 01:49 PM
 
 
 
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1991, deuce, front, harley, night, pro, rake, raked, sinister, softail, springer, stock, train, trees, wheel


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