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  1. #1
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    Help with donor bike identity

    Hi,
    I bought a custom Harley softail recently which was reportedly built by Battistinis of Bournemouth back in 91. The bike has been stood in a garage for the last 9 years so i am going through it to get it roadworthy.

    The problem I have, not having owned a Harley before, is that I don't know what the donor bike was, other than it was one of the softail models. The logbook just has it as a Harley and a historic vehicle. This causes me problems when I come to buy any of the standard Harley parts that are still on the bike. The engine I know is an Evo 1340 but that's about all I know. Can anyone give me any idea what the donor bike might be and what year range that would be too?

    One issue I'm trying to solve is concerning the headstock bearings/forks. I can't seem to identify whether the forks and yokes are from a stock Harley model or are custom items. Anyone got any idea?

    I ask because the top yoke pivot bolt, which looks to be a strange looking stubby 5/8" Allen bolt, seems to be missing a washer on which to bear down on, in order to torque the top yoke down onto the castle nut that adjusts the bearing play. At least thats how I presume the top yoke set up should work in order to prevent the castle nut undoing, which is what has happened. On most bikes the yoke stem tube is a hollow tube pressed into the bottom yoke but on my setup the stem 'tube' is a solid turned bar with a round boss at the bottom end that sits snugly in a pocket underneath the bottom yoke (and free to spin round in the yoke). The stem boss has a hex socket in it presumably to hold the stem still while tightening the big short allen bolt in the top yoke. So effectively the only thing preventing the forks twisting is the axle and the two pinch bolts in both yokes. The top yoke does not pinch up onto the stem. Again, is this how some Harley forks are engineered?

    Any thoughts would be welcomed.
    1.jpg3.jpg2.jpg

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Face's Avatar
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    Chassis and engine numbers would be a good place to start if you havn’t already. Might be worth getting a owners manual or Clymer workshop manual. Also if you go on H-D dealership website and enter your bike details on the parts catalogue, all the parts you’re after will be shown broken down into individual items for each assembly.

    Nice bike, I’m very jealous.
    Last edited by Face; 07-10-2018 at 11:29 PM.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Very nice bike. Battistinis, built top notch bikes
    FTW )

  5. #4
    Senior Member K9F's Avatar
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    Their showroom is now a Shabby Shit (Chic) salesroom with a tea room. Not quite as interesting as it was when they were there. VIN number is a great way of finding out.

    IF YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITH YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.....ALL PEOPLE WILL SEE IS AN ARSE!!
    TREAT EVERY DAY AS YOUR LAST.....ONE DAY YOU WILL BE RIGHT!!

  6. #5
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    Thanks for your comments guys. The VIN number on the frame is 4AZZ997H0 but I can't figure out what this means and this combination of letters and numbers bears no relation to any typical combination of letters and numbers explained on any web page I've gone on. So the VIN isn't much help. And I haven't had much help with the engine number either, as the number stamped on the left side of the crankcase starts BMLS with 6 numerical digits following.

    I suspect the forks/yokes are totally custom, as are many of the bits on the bike, but stuff like steering head bearings, brake parts, swing arm, rear suspension, handlebar levers etc. are all Harley, but I've no idea how to figure out which model, so its hard to order bits without knowing this.

    Got the bike for buttons, so was prepared to put up with some of these frustrations, but its becomming a tad annoying to say the least. And dealers aren't that helpful when you can't tell them which model it is. It's obviously a softail model, but which?
    Last edited by Mannyroad; 07-11-2018 at 02:25 PM.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Face's Avatar
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    VIN should be 17 characters long, numbers and letters. Softail is in the same family, so shouldn’t be hard to figure out. The bike will need to be stripped and rebuilt, if you ask me.

  8. #7
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    Harley-Davidson VIN Number Explained

    https://www.tabperformance.com/harle...uide-s/224.htm

    edit: sorry, now read your post you had searched web, but in case you didnt see this one, i wont delete the post
    Last edited by rosswg; 07-12-2018 at 12:09 AM.

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  10. #8
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    Cheers rosswg. Yes, I've seen that page & others and none of the VIN formats look like the one on my bike.#

    Face: Can't see any point in stripping the bike down and rebuilding it. How's that gonna solve anything?

    The problem of getting the correct parts due to this issue has occurred once again. I sent photos of the clutch & throttle controls to a parts supplier as I needed new pivot pins for both levers. The guy said he had the correct ones for the levers in the photos but they turned out to be the correct length (1.5") but too small a diameter; I need 3/8" diameter. But I don't know which model of Harley will have the pins I need.
    Last edited by Mannyroad; 07-13-2018 at 04:17 PM.

  11. #9
    Senior Member Face's Avatar
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    Hi Mannyroad, I really like the bike you’ve got, so am drawn to try and help. You still haven’t addressed rosswg’s link properly or even provided any information about whether the engine starts or if the bike rides through all the gears.

    My assumption, from the info you provided, was that the bike started and run but was in need of refurbishment considering it was stood for 9 years. That’s why I suggested stripping and rebuilding the bike. It’s better to strip down and replace a full assembly (i,e.forks, swingarm, engine mounts, brake lines and pads, steering and wheel bearings etc) than replace one part of said assembly only to find out later that another part needs replacing, then you have to do the job again.

    Working on and cleaning Harley’s is all part of the fun of owning one.
    Last edited by Face; 07-13-2018 at 10:31 PM.

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  13. #10
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    Manny, wouldn't the VIN also be on the V5? (or is that the same as the frame)

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