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Gaijin Bikers in Japan
The continuing adventures of a couple of American bikers
in the Land of the Rising Sun

1995 Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom


This is my 1995 Harley-Davidson FXSTC Softail Custom. It features Harley's sound 80 cubic inch (1338cc) Evolution engine, which is rigid mounted, and a hidden rear suspension that gives the bike the appearance of a classic hard-tail frame. Theft insurance I received when my Honda Steed was stolen helped me pay for her. This is the baby I take on most of our long trips. I have ridden this beast for nearly four years now and she has really become my partner. The rigid mount has never really caused discomfort (except during the insane Akita 1000 SPLENDOR touring) and the bike has never seriously broken down.

I haven't really gone hog wild (no pun intended) with customizing the Harley. Cosmetically, it has a slightly raked 3° triple tree, wide semi-buckhorn style handlebars, and a rear suspension that is lowered 2 inches. Mechanically as well I have been rather conservative. The ignition system now consists of a Dyna-S ignition (no ignition module) and a Crane Cams high intensity single-fire coil. The mufflers are genuine Harley-Davidson slash cut slip-ons and are quite loud. This is good when you want taxis and German sports cars and other nefarious drivers to know when you are coming, but not so useful when trying not to annoy the neighbors. I have not made any of the other obvious stage one hop-ups like carburettor modifications. The main reason for this is that I like the kind of fuel economy I have now. On long, seldom-interrupted tours, I can get as much as 400 km to a tank-full, which is fantastic for my kind of riding: touring, an advantage that's difficult to part with.