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The Rebuilding of the Softail

By Mark Stewart


6 Bozzie CustomsI have had this bike since 2001 and for the most part, I love it. It has a look that I like though it is far from a show bike.  The bike is a sleeper. It is losing paint in some places and the chrome is peeling off, but it runs strong….or it at least did. Months ago I lost a lifter. Since it had been a display bike at many shows and had really been abused on an off the road, I decided to take it apart and make sure everything was good.

Originally, it was an 88 inch motor with a free-flow air cleaner and an aftermarket header exhaust system.  I had a local shop shortly after I bought the bike put a 95 kit in it. At the time, twin cam motors were new, this year being the first year of the twin cams with a chain balancer to remove vibration. The bike was built into a 95 inch twin cam, a VERY common configuration on the road today.

Once the motor was done, I had a little head work (very little), new 10:1 pistons, an S&S .570 gear drive cam, single fire ignition and a new Mikuni 42mm carb. This package put some significant horses to the rear wheel which lead me to a new clutch very soon after.

With the bad lifter and the decision to take a peek into the cylinders to make sure there was no wear, I discovered that the heads were not ported and polished like they were supposed to be. Also, the valves remained stock, another item that was supposed to be changed. At that point I decided that I should just go ahead and have the motor built like it was originally supposed to be done.

For more than two years now, I have been friends with Dave Bozzie of Bozzie Custom Performance and Big Inch Racing out in Stockton, California. In seeing some of the bikes and motors that he has built, there was no question that Bozzie was going to get my motor. Though it is a couple of hours away from me, there was never any doubt that the travel was going to be worth it. 

Prior to the tear down, Bozzie had run my bike on HIS dyno. His machine has fairly conservative horsepower rating but we are going to do the before and after on the same machine to see what the new build has really accomplished. My bike had come in at 89 horses and 98 pounds of torque, way lower than the rated 95 kit package that I had installed. 

In the next few articles, I am going to provide a laundry list of the new parts that I am putting in the motor and I will also provide new pictures of head work and valve jobs done by a professional. By flowing the heads, slightly increasing the compression and adding a higher lift, longer duration cam, I should see some pretty significant gains. This article will really highlight what a professional motor builder and machinist can do to an already powerful motor.

Stay with me and check it out! I am very excited to see the before and after and really start to embarrass the larger displacement motors light to light.

If you have any questions throughout the build process please feel free to contact Mark: mark@outlawcommuniations.com

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