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Bike of the Month
July 2022
1974 Harley-Davidson FLH
By David Funk

On a recent trip I took with Rodd Lighthouse, I realized that I was done kicking motorcycles, time to find an old bike with a push button. Rodd knew a past club member, Mike Leukauf, who had a push button Harley-Davidson for sale. Apparently, Mike lost interest in the bike and wanted to get it out of his garage.


Arrangements were made to check out the bike and Mike informed that he needed more room for his new interest, three wheelers set up for riding the dunes. Upon inspection, the shovel head had a push button and the proper patina to pique my interest. A deal was struck and we pushed the bike onto a U-Haul trailer to take it home.


The old shovel had been sitting around for some time because the spark plug threads were cross threaded and top needed some attention. After disregarding Rodd’s advice to fix the cylinder heads, I purchased a new top end from S&S Cycle. S&S makes their own parts in Viola, Wisconsin and they provide great service.


Upon receipt of the new parts, I installed new pistons, cylinders, and cylinder heads on the old ’74 motor. This procedure was repeated three times before I got it right. In addition to the top end, I also installed a new charging system, primary drive belt, clutch, brakes, tires, battery, control cables, and rebuilt the carburetor. 


I have ridden the bike over 2,000 fun miles and am ready to take it for a ride across America. It now runs like a Honda and leaks like an old Harley, AKA The Valdez.

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