August 2001 Safety Thoughts

Parts & Keeping Them

by Dave Hansen, Safety Officer

From time to time, many of us do a bit of work on our bikes. We mostly just can't help ourselves.

Whether it's adding a new bit of chrome that you just gotta have, changing shocks, or performing a full-fledged service/maintenance, we all seem to do something ourselves.

When you do decide it's time for you to put a wrench on your bike, keep this thought in mind: your V-Twin vibrates (even the smooth running 88B chassis has vibration through the suspension/road). Things tend to work loose with vibration unless properly tightened/secured/installed.

Harley-Davidson has done a good job of keeping everything together, but when we change things, loosen & re-tighten, etc. we must be aware of how to do this consistent within the engineering design provided. Many of the original fasteners are secured with a chemical thread-locking product.

While there are several brands & formulas of chemical thread-locking products on the market, the most commonly recognizable is Loctite. Even within the Loctite brand of thread-lockers, there are multiple products available, color coded to indicate product strength (red is strongest, blue is moderate strength, purple is lower strength), and numbered to differentiate applications (high temp vs low temp applications, oil tolerant vs non oil tolerant, etc). As an example, type 242 is a general purpose medium strength product, while type 243 is an oil resistant medium strength product, both removable with hand tools.

The points to be considered in this month's thoughts are:

Hopefully these tips will point you in the right direction to keep your parts on your bike, and not bouncing off the bikes behind you!

Words of Safety