A commentary on iron Sportsters
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Garage OSARM Repair Smörg

Building out the site

Its been a year and a half since I got Movable Type installed as the CMS (content management system) for the site. Like all software, there has been a lot of pain making things work. 

By SportsterPaul on January 1, 2013 10:35 PM

Still, now that I have suffered through the worst of it I have to say Movable Type is doing everything I need. Unlike my foray into Wordpress, where I spent a ton of time on page style, this time I just left the default simple, ugly, and plain style and instead worked on content.

I got the section of Sportster pictures filled out. I call this the Sportster Smörg, as in smörgasbord. It now has an entry for iron Sportsters of every year. All I am missing are 1954 and 1955 K-models, which I consider a pre-Sportster that belongs on the site. Now I hope to solicit photos of your bikes so we can add them to this section.

I added a restoration category to the Repair section. That was to chronicle the work on the 1952 K-model I bought on eBay this spring. Although you can't see it yet, I also organized the thousands of pictures I have taken over the years as I fixed my Sportsters over the years. Those will be going up as articles over the next year or two.

The effort to show repair work was aided when I broke a chain on my 1962. It broke the right case out where the speedometer drive goes into the transmission. I fixed it, and will post the pictures soon. Then I started work on my 1977 that was popping out of first gear. I thought it was the simple failure of the gear dogs getting rounded off by use. Turns out the countershaft needle bearing had disintegrated, including the closed end cup. I knew there was something seriously wrong when I could see light through the side of the tranny case. Its a miracle I didn't blow the cases in half. Oh yeah, I drove it for months like that. I just took off in second gear, it is a Harley after all. The '77 is my old faithful, the Sportster I have driven for decades, the first one I ever bought.

The biggest progress has been on the part of the site that will display the aftermarket Sportster engine I have designed over the last 10 years. I call the motor HARM, for Harley aftermarket replacement motor. It took months of suffering with movable Types scripting software, but I think I have a great way to describe and display the design. I designed the engine in SolidWorks, a popular CAD (computer aided design) program. I am hoping to get the SolidWorks company to support the site. There is stll a ton of work to get the HARM section filled out, but the challenging part is over.

The great thing about figuring out how to organize and display the HARM in an automated fashion is that will also apply to the BOM section of the website. BOM stands for "bill of material". In this section I will have tables that show the part numbers for every iron Sportster model from 1957 to 1984. A table showing the parts are OK, but I want tho make it so you can hover your mouse over any part number and a picture of the part pops up. If you click on the number, it will take you to a page that explains the theory and function of the part and what changed over the years. I am hoping to get some support from Harley for this section. Not only a few bucks to pay for the web servers, but I am also hoping the are wiling to let me see the actual bills of material of the old iron Sportsters. It woulds also be great to see the old ECOs (engineering change orders) that describe all the changes from year to year.

Now that I have some "meat" in most of the sections, I started to worry about the site style. So I have done the following:
It is good to see that after a year of wrangling, most of the basic architecture of the site is working. Now its going to be a ton of work to fill things out. Its a ton of work, but work with immediate success and reward, so it will be fun, unlike writing software scripts day after day.

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