Beantown Baggers

First Thoughts: 120R HD Crate Motor


Taking the bike on the road after this install is like the first cycle of andro…not that I’d know!  Inside you’re amazed and maybe a bit shocked, but to the outside world you’re confident as hell, so much so that it wouldn’t be weird at all to have steam firing out your nose.  It’s an experience – the new motor that is.  I’d need a dual degree in art history and literature as well as a soap box to properly describe it – generous tones of newfound strength and power and aggression with a touch of confidence come to mind.  But, as is with many things anew they must be taken on systematically with care and patience.  You may feel like you can clean and press 550 lbs when yesterday you could do just half that, but you can’t.  Not yet, can I ride like a bat out of hell.  I’m working it through the gears consistently, have changed out the oil at the 250, 500 mile mark and need to once more at 1,000 until it is considered officially broken in. We’re getting close, but ain’t there yet.

Harley talks about the potential output at 135+ hp and 137 lb-ft of torque from the 4.06-inch bore x 4-5/8-inch stroke motor.  Whether this particular bike gets to the max isn’t important though what is, is that it’s broken in and jetted properly.  There will be plenty of power.  For the first 600+ miles I have stayed below 4,000 rpm and generally don’t go above 3,500 and have done my best to stay under 60 – 70 mph.  Hard to do when it just pulls and pulls and keeps pulling with each upshift.

Now, could I have put in a Stage IV kit in my 103?  Sure, and I could also ride that thing right on over to commission myself into the Air Force reserves while I was at it.  But, why would I do such a thing!?  It just wouldn’t be the same!  Yeah, the difference between the two isn’t huge (from having spoken to those familiar), but definitely noticeable and I understand that the cost is disproportionate.  There is something to be said about the real deal.  Your choice – you could be Usain Bolt with a 9.63 s 100m or Jason Stoucher, a fictitious D1 college athlete with a 9.98 s 100m.  Close in absolute terms, but miles apart in reality.  And that’s the point.

Side note: all joking aside – unwavering respect for those who serve.

It’s going to be a treat to free the 120 into the wild while on the Tail of the Dragon.  Will report back.

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