True-Track Stabilizer

Very soon now the weather will be warming up and it will be time to ride again.  Can’t wait!  This winter I have been working on a few improvement projects for the ’08 Ultra Classic.   The biggest problem I have seen with the ’08 has been poor handling.  The bike feels squirrelly in the corners, feels like the rear tire is going down.

This is my third Harley Electraglide.  I started with a ’96 Classic with an 80 C.I. EVO.  In ’05 I upgraded to a Twin-Cam 88 C.I. Classic.  Both of these bikes handled fine and showed no signs of the wobbly rear end.  The ’08 was different.  From almost day one I noticed the funny wobbly feeling of the rear end when cornering.    I kept checking the rear tire thinking it was loosing air and getting soft.  However, it wasn’t.  I did some reading on the H-D forum sights on the Internet.  I found that I was not the only person having this problem.  Apparently many people do, but not everyone.

The Electraglide has a rubber mounted engine.   The engine is attached to the frame in the rear at the swing arm and at the front with a single motor mount attaching the front of the motor to a cross member in the frame.  Both of these attachment points are rubber isolated.  Since the vibration of the V-Twin engine is mostly up and down this causes the engine to shake up and down pivoting on the rear attachment at the swing arm.   Harley also uses a couple of adjustable links that go between the engine and the frame to help stabilize the engine and also allow for alignment of the drive train.  These links allow the engine to move up and down but not from side to side.  The only thing that holds the rear of the engine and the cornering stresses of the swing arm are two rubber bushings.

Having read up on this problem it seems that the cure is to add an additional adjustable link at the rear of the engine.  There are several of these devices available.  Shopping around I found that the True-Track device seemed to be of high quality, good workmanship, and easy to install.  I ordered one and installed it.

The True-Track Stabilizer attaches to the oil pan and to the frame cross member under the oil pan with the adjustable link between the two brackets.
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The installation takes about 15-30 minutes. In my case it took the full 30 minutes. The directions make a big point of making sure the cross member is straight before you try to mount the dog bone attaching bracket. My cross member needed some straightening before the dog bone would fit properly. So after about 30 minutes I was ready for a test ride.

Took the bike out for a short test ride and it certainly seemed better, much better. The next day Barb and I took a short ride since the temperature had gotten up to 64 degrees. I worked my way over to GA 108, a curvy road that has pretty nice 60 MPH sweeper turns and a great place to try out the True-Track. It worked great. The bike tracks nicely though the curves with no wobble in the rear. You can put it into a constant radius curve and it will just about go through on its own! Very nice.

One thing I did have a small problem with is ground clearance.  On my first solo test ride I had no problem with the True-Track dragging.  On our Sunday ride when I went out of the driveway riding two up, the dog bone bracket hit the pavement.  I have a small gutter along the street at the bottom of the driveway and when I leaned the bike over turning out of the driveway, the bracket hit the edge of the driveway.  I had no problems on the road.  On several of the turns I leaned the bike pretty far over but nothing dragged the pavement.

Combined with the new Progressive Suspension air shocks, I think we are ready for riding season!

For more information on the True-Track Stabilizer visit www.true-track.com

2 Comments so far

  1. Phil on March 8th, 2009

    Hi,

    How did you straighten your crossmember?

    Thanks,

    Phil

  2. admin on March 9th, 2009

    Phil,

    I used a pair of channel locks and a body hammer. The front lip of the cross member was bent backwards. I didn’t remember hitting anything but something sure hit it and bent it back. It wasn’t bent much, in fact, I didn’t even notice it until I tried to fit the dog bone bracket and it didn’t fit. A little work with the channel locks and the body hammer got the lip bent back so the dog bone would fit.

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