American frames are typically made of heavy wall, low carbon steel tubing. Early examples used cast steel fittings with the tubing brazed in. Later models are of the same design but of welded construction. The latest models have done away with castings and substituted pressed steel reinforcements. All are repairable within limits. Knucklehead/Panhead/Shovelhead frames are of cast steel and tubing construction. The rigid frames are often cracked through the seat post at the bottom engine mount. Often there have been many attempts to make repairs with arc welds and gussets. Careful inspection will invariably find cracks in the welds. The only repair that works is to install a tube inside the seat post and secure it with rosette welds using nickel- silver rod. This runs $200 on top of straightening. Many frames of this era have been modified. It is often feasible to return them to stock. Each case is unique so we are unable to give an estimate without seeing the frame. Very often the steering head bearings are loose in the steering head. We check all frames for this and repair as necessary. Early swingarm frames tended to crack at the swingarm pivot on the left side. Later frames have a plate installed by the factory to strengthen the joint. We can install this plate on early models. Most frames from this era run from $150-$250. Swingarm frames should be shipped with the arm included. With U.P.S. the arm puts the frame in a higher weight class, so it is cheaper to send the arm separately, be sure to include the pivot bolt. K model and early Sportsters are very repairable and do not have many problems other than loose head bearings. The average frame runs $150. They should be shipped with the swingarm installed. Later Sportsters and Big Twins have a variety of frames often including square tubing and metal pressings. These frames can be repaired as long as the sheet metal is not buckled. They cannot absorb the same amount of damage as the early frames. Most late model frames run $150-$250.
Early Big Twins were fitted with spring forks. We can straighten any component but prefer to do them in sets. Main legs run $150, and spring legs $50. Telescopic forks are repairable, check stanchions for wrinkles where they are clamped. Stanchions are $25 each. Triple clamps are often bent, they should be sent in sets only. If fitted with tapered roller bearings the bearing does not have to be removed. We charge $50/set. Late hydraulic spring forks are repairable in complete sets only. These forks can suffer an incredible amount of bending and survive. We flat-rate these forks at $250.Back to GTE Homepage