Rivera Primo transmission kit breathes new life into old Shovelheads

Publish Date: 
Jan 25, 2014
By Bruce Steever

WHITTIER, Calif. - Classic bikes, when kept in good shape, can be objects of justifiable moto-envy. But more often than not, the march of time, combined with a lack of TLC, means that “classic” is nothing more than just old. Especially when you’re looking at something like a four-speed Harley-Davidson Shovelhead.

Rivera Primo is offering a complete conversion kit to add a modern six-speed transmission.

The kit replaces the clunky four-speed drive with Rivera’s PowerDrive close-ratio splined shaft transmission designed for a swingarm-style frame configuration. Also included in the kit is the Primo Brute IV Extreme three-inch Open Belt Drive System, a new Monster torque chrome starter, transmission mounting plates and all required hardware.

While the complete kit rings in around $3,200, the system massively updates a Shovelhead to more modern driveability standards.

According to Rivera Primo, the converted Shovelhead “ends up with a late model starter motor to replace the stock unit that was more trouble then it should have been, an open belt drive to replace the leaky chain drive primary, a new clutch that really works and gets rid of the old ‘stud and spring thing,’ and finally an extra two gears for that highway driving you've been wanting to do.”

To further improve an older H-D, Rivera Primo offers mid-mount controls designed to bolt directly to the Brute IV transmission set to offer improved ergonomics and style. And perhaps more importantly, a rider can better protect their revitalized machine with bolt-on oil filtration systems that make use of modern spin-on oil filter cartridges to keep the older bike running cleanly.