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True-Track Installation In 15 Minutes

Life Saving Missing Link--Handling Cure

By Wrench with photos by Sin Wu
6/10/2010 7:14:41 PM


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3 truetrak on table

This is wild and incredible. I’ve known Will Phillips of True Track, Inc. for twenty years. He’s a meticulous mad scientist who loves motorcycles. He’s a sharp engineer/designer type who doesn’t do anything without extensive research and testing. He designed one of the first rubbermounted Softail frames, currently being manufactured by KuryAkin, the Rubbertail.

When he developed the True Track system I knew he was on the right track and Bikernet Reporter, Roque, installed one of the first models, on his new dresser. It met with wild positive reviews. Anyone who has every ridden a touring Harley- Davidson has experienced mild sways, insecure handling or even high-speed wobbles. Will’s product was the missing element— the cure.

I knew, from the start, that he would investigate, test, research and nail the problem, like no-other engineer-type would. He discovered that all H-Ds with rubbermounted systems should have more stabilizer links to control the unruly highway sway. He studied systems and how to mount another link in the most appropriate and efficient manner. He succeeded. This installation shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes and make all the difference in the world of touring handling.

10 pivot arm
The rear black anodized True-Track bracket in place under the tranny.

Before I jump into the simple installation, Cycle World performed a product evaluation and here’s a couple of quotes:

When an FL is banking though a turn, the normal lateral forces of cornering try to push the rear wheel out of line with the front. On other motorcycles, the swingarm pivot is solidly mounted, thereby preventing any significant lateral rear-wheel movement. But on an FL, the rubber swingarm-pivot bushings will easily deform under such loads.

The True Track allows the entire rubber-mounted drivetrain to move freely in a longitudinal plane but not side-to- side.

(After installation) On the same bumpy curves that had the rear of the stock FL oscillating like a high-speed hula dancer, the bike tracked accurately and steadily with the True- Track installed. Even when going straight, the chassis seemed to react less noticeably to smaller road features such as pavement transitions and off-camber surfaces.

At $395, the True-Track isn’t cheap, and tack on another $40 if you need to have a mechanic install it. But for riders who experience the occasional cornering “moment” on their 1994-2005 FLs, the peace of mind the True-Track provides could qualify it as one of he best investments they’ve ever made.

I couldn’t have said it better. I’ll point out that this part is precision manufactured, anodized billet aluminum with all stainless fasteners. It’s very well built.

2 under bike
Here’s where you’re working, behind and below the transmission.

So let’s mount the sucker. First we cleaned off the frame cross member under the transmission. We needed to remove any grit and grime from the bottom and the top. Will also requested that we check if for straightness. It’s the first frame component to suffer damage while rolling off a curb. Our King felt such pain and a corner of the 90 degree lip was smacked. With a screwdrive and pressure we were able to slip the True-Track in place. Will warned that using the dog bone bracket to straighten the frame member may damage the bracket—straighten it first.

4 bolting on unit
We used a 1/8-inch drive ratchet, and extension and ball-point Allens to reach under the bike.

The unit comes with tight, but complete instructions and diagrams. Next, we cleaned off the oil bag and removed the three Allens off the back and two more off the sides. There are plenty of Allens still supporting the container, so it wasn’t going to leak, be damaged or need a new gasket during this operation.

5 loctite on instructions
I have a couple of Loctite opening tools. If you use the caps, the fluid often dries in the tip. I sharpened a couple of pieces of brass rod and placed them around the shop.

We cleaned around the Allen holes, put some blue Loctite on the new ¼-20, 3.75-inch long stainless Allens and replaced them with the True-Track large cage bracket, starting with the rear center stainless Allen and washer. Without tightening any of the bolts we ran them all up into place.

6 loctitie on bolt

Once all the Allens were in place we tightened them and Will recommends that you torque them to 7-9 foot pounds of torque. We had a tough time fitting the torque wrench with all the links to run the final Allen, so we twisted them snug.

8 installing screws
Black Market John installing the screws.

Next, we made sure the Heim joint was loose. In bold type in the instructions Will pointed out that the True-track was assembled at the plant and doesn’t need disassembly for installation. So we left the pieces linked together. We slipped the disc plugs between the tranny and the frame rail with the smaller diameter down. They slipped right into place. The instructions told us to watch for a pin that was notched into the disc, but we didn’t run across one.

7 screws n plug on 
instructions
Here’s the disc plug for the top of the frame member, on Will’s instructions.

We started with the counter-sunk stainless 3/8-16 Allen on the right side first. Once it was started we threaded the fastener on the left into place with Loctite. While they were still loose we check the rear stablizer link to make sure there wouldn’t be any strain on it while we tightened the Allens. Once we determined that it was in a neutral position, the Allens pulled the dog bone bracket securely into place. They could be tightened to 30 pounds of Torque.

9 installing pivot arm

The final touch was to tighten the left and right jam nuts on the stabilizer link against the turnbuckles. They are left and right-handed threads and we used a 9/16 open-end wrench. Done deal. As Will said, “The power train can move up and down, the way it was designed to do, no more rearsteer.”

11 pivot arm close
There’s that Stabilizer link in place. The adjuster is in the center, with the jam nuts on the outside. For tech questions call (818) 623-0697

king left

True-Track, Inc.
11490 Burbank Blvd. #6E
North Hollywood, CA 91601
http://WWW.true- track.com

Ture girl
This part could save your ass and hers.

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Reader Comments


Very well edited article. Great pictures. The article convinced me to purchase the true-track

Chris Wicker
White Sands Missile range, NM
Friday, November 26, 2010
Editor Response You can't go wrong.
--Wrench

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