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From the Owner

The ups and downs of owning a classic motorcycle


Harley-Davidson FL in Rough Shape

Rider: Mike Toth, Binbrook, Ontario, CanadaHarley Davidson FL
Age:
59
Occupation: Firefighter
Rides: 1947 Indian Chief, 1958 Harley-Davidson FL

Mike’s story: “I bought this 1958 Harley-Davidson FL in 1979, after having returned from a trip down to California on a Harley FX. The FL was in rough shape, but 1958 was the first year of the swinging-arm frame, and I decided to buy it. I brought it home and disassembled the entire thing. It was a mess, but at that time new-old-stock parts were more available for these, so I began searching for everything that needed to be replaced. I would say the bike is comprised of about 70-75 percent new-old-stock parts, so much so that it is almost a ‘new’ bike built from parts.”

After collecting the majority of the parts he needed, the project was shelved as Mike spent time raising his family. He picked up occasional pieces at various AMCA meets over the years, but there was no real forward motion on the project. “It became a joke among my friends,” Mike says. “Some of them didn’t think I actually had the bike. It was probably the longest restoration project ever. But my goal was to use as many new-old-stock Harley-Davidson parts as possible. There are a few reproduction pieces on it, but not many.” About three years ago, Mike got serious and finished the restoration. He’s put a small amount of miles on it since then, and though he’s enjoyed the process, it’s for sale to fund his next project — restoring a 1947 Indian Chief. MC