This is the first part in a multi-part series about converting a 2014+ (Rushmore and M8) Street Glide to a Road Glide. I could not find anybody online that had posted a howto or any examples of doing this before which surprised me, so I went on the road to a very expensive science experiment and succeeded.
First off many people immediately discount this wondering why. The reason is simple and the reason behind lots of things: money.
I hated the low speed handling of my Ultra and started looking at swapping it for a Road Glide of similar years. The problem I ran into was greed at both independent and Harley dealerships in Dallas-Fort Worth. Long story short it would have costs me minimum $8k to swap to a Road Glide of the same year with more miles, this was not even the Ultra this was the normal or special which are worth less than an Ultra. After being told that this was how it was and they won’t be reasonable on the price I made a wager with the manager of a local dealership I could convert it for under $3k which I did. Unfortunately, the manager was fired during this endeavor so I can’t collect. Rumor on the Facebook has it was that he was skimming cash or something along those lines.
The entire project costs me about $1500 before painting the fairing (have a two-tone paint job only offered on the Ultras during one year). This was partially because I found someone trying to do the same thing that gave up and he sold me a bulk of what was needed for a very good price. The rest I sourced from some salvage bike sellers on eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and for some of the harder to find items I had to go to the dealership.
In this series of write-ups I will be posting a parts list, a teardown, and a rebuild with the Road Glide fairing. All with complete pictures and commentary showing the gotchas and what to not do, that I did, on each part.
I will update this with a link to each page once I post it. As of 1/20/2018 the bike is completely converted and I am just working on these pages explaining each step of the way.
I am writing this more of sharing an experience and as a brutal reminder to others as anything on why it is best to be prepared.
A few weeks ago on the way back from a nice weekend of riding in the Texas Hill Country one of the bikes in our group went down (wrecked). I have not pulled a faster U-turn on a bike before to rush to aid the couple involved. Neither were wearing helmets during the crash and coming up on it was a sight that might look like the aftermath of a chase scene in an action movie with parts of a bike everywhere then trails of blood leading up to a couple laying in the road severely hurt.
Backing up a bit in time about 3 years ago a good friend of mine was working for an outdoors activity supply company. During this time she had quite an obsession with safety and being prepared for the worst which was about the same time I started riding a motorcycle again after a nasty wreck I was involved in. She hounded me for a few months about making sure I carry first aid supplies and these things she called “trauma packs,” which are to help blood clotting happen faster, with me in case something happened. After quite a bit of this I finally broke down and bought a set of two of them along with an outdoors activity first aid kit which I carry in my saddlebags to this day.
Fast forwarding back to a few weeks ago the moment I had feared and hoped never would had occurred in which it was necessary to use these. As I pulled to a stop I screamed at my passenger open the right saddlebag now and grab the items in there. She grabbed my first aid kit and the trauma packs then rushed up to the scene as I was putting the kickstand down and dismounting the bike. Thankfully an ER nurse witnessed this and stopped to render aid whom was able to use the trauma packs better than any of us ever could have.
Both involved were airlifted to the nearest hospital trauma unit and will recover fully in time according to the doctors.
The aftermath showed all of us present one thing: these trauma packs and the first aid kit were used to stem a severe head wound on one of the two involved and might have saved her life. It was a very traumatic experience to all of us, and it is one that has me beyond thankful to my friend whom years before hounded me enough to become prepared for such a situation. Had she not then a young woman very well might not have made it alive to a hospital years later.
With that said I urge all of my fellow riders to be prepared for such an incident as you never know when they might occur unfortunately and sadly they can happen in a blink of an eye where seconds count. I know we hear this all the time riding from people that do not ride, but this is coming from one of your own as a warning and asking a favor in case one day that is myself or one of your loved ones needing it.
Postmortem I would say a more “trauma oriented” first aid kit would have been a better choice than the outdoors one I had chosen, but the trauma packs were the star of the day and should be standard issue for every riding group in case of an accident as they really do work. Another note would be to know how to use them and do not wait for an accident to follow instructions. They are easy to use, but require knowledge to use in a moment’s notice and had a nurse not been present using them would have taken much longer.
Links to my recommendations on Amazon:
First Aid Kit