First, Donny Petersen takes the reader through an entertaining look at these hard core years when “men were men and women double breasted”. The Shovelhead years are filled with real life stories about the Wild One, the one percenters, Easyriders, Born to be Wild, Elvis Presley, Evil Knevil, HOG, Willie G., AMF as well as “meeting the nicest people on a Honda”.
Donny gets serious and outlines the Shovelhead’s teething problems and how they were sometimes resolved. He examines ongoing problematic aspects of the engine, discussing Harley’s responses and the aftermarket’s cures. He then moves onto describing the various Shovelhead models, 3-speed, 3-speed/reverse, 4-speed and the rubbermount 5-speed transmissions. The 1966 to 1984 dry hand-shift foot clutch and lever clutch with a footshift and the new late-1984 to 1985 wet clutch follows. Donny describes their workings from the clutch lever/foot pedal to the actual clutch plates in delightful detail. He then leads the reader on an easy journey through the much misunderstood topics of gear ratios and torque multiplication. Donny then describes the H-D and aftermarket tools of the day along with a few he invented himself to make the mechanic’s life easier. With tools come the specifications for tightening all the Shovelhead fasteners and adjustments to the various bike’s mechanisms.
You’ll be surprised by what Donny has to say – in his usual forthright manner.
Donny Petersen’s years of experience and insight make complicated subject matter easy to grasp.