Mark Plummer’s Harley Story


I started my love for Harley Davidsons and motorcycles when I was just a young boy. My dad said I always loved his motorcycles. I would sneak out to the garage at night and sit on it and pretend to be riding. My father and uncle would take off every week when they could and just ride somewhere. My family grew up fairly poor dad was a Vietnam veteran from the marines he left the corps to give momma the family she wanted.

Dad became a truck driver to try to make ends meet. Then my brothers and I came along. Dad’s motorcycle broke down and things in life came along where dad had to sell it. Now that I became an adult I followed dads footsteps to the marines. I ended up serving 10 1/2 yrs and was injured in Iraq. During that time I met my wife. Her dad was a Harley rider and got in some trouble. While he was away I keep his 94 evo springer on the road and running great. He then came back and took the bike with him. For taking care of his love, he gifted me a 1972 shovelhead hydro glide. I have the engine, transmission all rebuilt. It has a kick start on it and no matter how hard I try I can not get the patterns or process down to kick start it every time I try to ride. Not sure what’s going on with it but would love to get it and keep it on the road. Hoping to pass the love of riding and tradition between father and son in the family like my grandfather and my father and father in law did with me.


Mark Plummer

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5 Responses to “Mark Plummer’s Harley Story”
  1. BILL

    get rid of the points and condenser, anything electronic single fire will start on 2 wet kicks 1 with ignition on. away you will go!

    • Robert

      First get the HD manual for your year and model. Learn how to set the timing on either electronic or points/condenser system, good or fresh battery is essential, even with a kicker. Keep the kicker, it can save you grief when the battery lets you down. Good luck, I had a cone/shovel when they were new and others.

  2. Mike

    I agree with Bill. I installed on my 1987 evo an electronic single fire and it all fit into where the points and condenser used to go, the unit has a built in static light which makes the timing a breeze. Not had one problem with it, been riding ever since I bought the bike several years ago. I also replaced my friends ignition system on his 1978 fx as well and he always had some problem with it until I came along and set him straight. For my bike I still keep the old mechanical points and condenser setup just in case I have a burnout on the road and in a pinch I can get myself back on the road and home. Spend the dough, you won’t regret it. FYI, I used to work as a mc tech back in the day when points were the norm, a well tuned and built HD always started with no more than 2 kicks. Hope that helps.

  3. Scott Pinney
    Scott Pinney

    Check the compression. Poor ring seal from wear makes kickstarting a chore, especially when cold.

  4. Frances Peterson
    Frances Peterson

    I have a 72 Shovelhead also. The stock carbureator is a Bendix. Orifices, passages, accelerator pump. A difficult bike to start with this Bendix. What made the bike easier for me to start was replacing the Bendix with a Mikuni setup. I used a 38mm one, smallish but good for easier starting, idling, and tractability. Bendix, leg got sore from kicking, Mikuni three kicks max. Good luck!