The most recent accessory purchased for the 2008 Street Glide is a billet aluminum shift linkage to replace the stock setup from Harley-Davidson. Being of Scottish decent, naturally I shopped around the internet to find the best deal possible before making my purchase. I originally settled on a polished billet aluminum shift linkage that is offered on eBay by several different sellers. It is also offered by several US retailers at only a slightly higher price. The unit I ordered on eBay was only priced at $19.95, and included free shipping to Canada. I decided that for 20 bucks, I would give the “Made in China” shift linkage a try, as it is really a small investment, only about the cost of a case of beer up here. Later in this post, I will explain why I think I made the wrong choice, and what I am going to replace this billet shift linkage with.
Harley-Davidson also sells custom several shift linkages for about $149.00 (actually $206.95 if you live in Canada), a lot more money for basically the same thing. That is a substantial difference in cost, and if you are Canadian, a complete rip-off, as at the time of writing this post, $149 USD is equivalent to $153 CAD. The additional taxes that are charged by the Canadian Government are nowhere near the additional $53. I guess Harley-Davidson Canada (read Deeley Canada) needs to make a much higher profit margin.
Chinese Made Billet Aluminum Shift Linkage – The Wrong Choice
After receiving the shift linkage from the eBay seller, who was easy to deal with and shipped the item air mail at now charge, I now feel that I made the wrong choice. The shift linkage was as the seller described, but it is not the best quality in my opinion. It is billet aluminum, but the edges are not as smooth as they could be, and I think they could have done a bit better job on the machining. One of the threaded adjustment rods seems to be drilled at slightly the wrong angle, but I could be wrong. For 20 bucks you can’t expect perfection I suppose.
The biggest problem with the Chinese made shift linkage is that it did not come with the two bolts and acorn nuts that are required to install the linkage. The stock Harley-Davidson shift linkage uses a completely different type of hardware, and to install the aftermarket linkage, the special nuts and bolts are required. I have hunted around the net for the correct bolts and nuts to use for the installation, and so far have only been able to source them from Harley-Davidson for an additional outlay of about $46 CAD. They would probably be much less expensive if I was able to order them from Harley-Davidson USA, but the freight charges would most likely make the cost savings next to nothing. This is still makes the Chinese billet aluminum shift linkage a substantial savings over the cost of the Harley-Davidson offerings.
I have since ordered a Kuryakin Flames Shift Linkage to replace the Chinese linkage. This shift linkage does come with the attachment hardware, and as it is sold by Kuryakin, it is bound to be good quality. You can tell by the photos on this page, that there is a huge difference in quality, and the design of the Kuryakin unit is much nicer. I ordered mine from Cruiser Customizing for $107.00 plus shipping. I also ordered the flame shift arm cover at the same time.