How to Install Sportster Forward Controlsby Don Davis
Harley motorcycles are usually designed to let you ride with your hands up and feet stretched out in front. One exception is the Sportster, which was born as a dirt track bike, and still usually locates the foot pedals, rear brake and shift lever right under the rider’s knees. However, most Harley riders think the feet forward, lay back position is a more comfortable position to ride in for long distances. The usual way to achieve that lay back position on a Sportster is with a forward control kit. Numerous vendors sell these and installation is straightforward.
Remove the shift lever retaining screw on the left side of the bike with an Allen wrench and pull the shift lever off the shifter shaft. Unscrew the shifter peg from the lifter and save.
Remove the two socket head screws that hold the footrest bracket to the frame with an Allen socket and a socket wrench and remove the footrest. Plug the two screw holes with the plugs in the forward control kit.
Pull the retaining ring from the footrest clevis with a pair of pliers. Remove the clevis pin and the footrest from the footrest support. Save the footrest.
Remove the right footrest retaining ring with a pair of pliers. Remove the clevis pin, footrest and the spring washer. Save the footrest.
Remove the brake rod cotter pin from the brake rod clevis with a pair of pliers. Pull the brake rod out of the clevis and unscrew it from the rear master cylinder with your hands.
Unscrew the two right footrest/brake pedal screws with an Allen wrench. Pull the support bracket with attached brake assembly off the motorcycle.
Plug both of these screw holes with plugs from the forward control kit. Unscrew the J-clip from the bottom of the right front down tube with an Allen socket and socket wrench and save the J-clip and the two J-clip mounting screws.
Slide the new brake pedal assembly onto the footrest mount clevis. Insert the clevis into the footrest/brake pedal support bracket.
Align the holes in the clevis and support bracket tighten the locking screw with an Allen socket and a torque wrench to 20 foot pounds of torque. Reinstall the J-clip with two the mounting screws and an Allen socket and socket wrench.
Thread one end of the new, longer, rear brake rod into the rear master cylinder. Slip the other end of the brake rod into the clevis on the brake pedal support bracket and secure the connection with a new cotter pin from the kit.
Insert the male mount of the old foot peg and a new spring washer from the kit into the female mount of the brake pedal assembly. Push the clevis pin from the top down through the hole in female clevis mount. Lock the clevis pin in place with a new retaining ring from the kit.
Mount footrest/shifter pedal support bracket to the frame on the left side of the bike with an Allen socket, socket wrench and the screws included in your kit. Tighten the screws to 50 foot pounds of torque with an Allen socket and a torque wrench.
Slide left foot pedal onto the shifter side clevis. Mount the clevis on the footrest/shifter pedal support bracket.
Align the holes in the clevis and the support bracket. Thread the locking screw through the hole and tighten the screw to 20 foot pounds of torque with an Allen socket and a torque wrench. Push the retaining ring included with the kit onto the end of the clevis.
Screw the far end of the shifter rod to the shifter shaft with the Allen screw included in the kit. Screw the opposite end of the shifter to the shifter arm. Tighten both screws to 150 inch pounds of torque with an Allen socket and a torque wrench.
Spin the shifter peg into the new shift lever and tighten by hand. Insert the male end of the left foot peg and a new spring washer in the left female clevis.
Align the holes and push the clevis pin from the top down through the clevis hole. Lock the clevis pin in place with a new retaining ring
Things You'll Need
- Allen wrenches
- Allen sockets
- Socket wrench
- Torque wrench
Don Davis has been a professional writer since 1977. He has had numerous writing jobs, including writing news and features for the "Metrowest Daily News" and "Los Angeles Herald-Examiner." Davis has a Bachelor of Arts in English and history from Indiana State University.