With all the hulla-balloo lately on The Road Star Riders Forum about the issues involved mounting a stock airbox with K&N BAK and Nemesis Racing manifold, I decided to write a document to show ya’ll how easy it is to not only install the manifold but to make it work without a big deal using your stock airbox. The included parts list allowed for a perfect fit on my personal 2002 Road Star and should fit yours too. This document assumes you already have your bike stripped down to the point you are ready to install the Nemesis manifold. If your carb is still on the bike, refer to either Hellrisers page on carb removal or Tidy’s page for the same.
  1. When Greg says “it take a little finessing but it will fit” about the manifold he is talking about getting it past the fins of the cylinder heads --- do this from the right side of the engine (ALWAYS viewed as sitting in the drivers seat) and gently manipulate it into the manifold area. It **should** fit WITHOUT grinding although I’ve had reports that the only way to get the damn thing in is to grind a bit off the top of the flange to clear the cyl fins. Once there it will slide around rather nicely. Make SURE the “O” ring seals are FULLY seated in the manifold flange groove --- take your fingernail and press it in the groove and then look at it with a magnifying glass if you have to in order to make sure it is totally seated evenly all the way around --- make sure O-ring groove is dry when you do this. I used brake parts cleaner to make sure surface was clean as it leaves no residue and then pressed in O-rings with my finger.
  2. Smear face of manifold, O-rings, and manifold mounting flange on cylinder head with Vaseline --- YES, the old standby known by the old-timers up here as “Viener Schlider”. Make the coat even and don’t goober it all up, a thin coat will work just fine. Do not use permatex, or any other sealer on the manifold!
  3. It may take some light pressure but get both the bolts on the right hand side started and screwed in as far as you can by hand. This will take light hand pressure but it will work. You should be able to get both the screws almost all the way in if you are doing this right and it is lined up correctly. DO NOT TIGHTEN THESE BOLTS DOWN, LEAVE THEM LOOSE. This is what it should look like:

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  1. At this point make sure you have loosened all the bolts from the left side head-stay. These are the two bolts that come off of the bracket the fuel pump mounts to and they need to be loose, just don’t forget to tighten them.
  2. This will leave the left side bolts in a position that looks to be impossible to get started but it’s not so. If you’ve been gentle and done things properly it’ll go fine. Here’s the fun part. I found on my install that a hammer I had with a clean shop rag wrapped around the handle made a nice tight fit in the intake throat as seen here:

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  1. Get your two left side bolts ready and then **gently** start pulling up on the hammer handle until at least one of them is aligned. When one is aligned screw it as far as you can get it in by hand. The other bolt is liable to take considerable pressure on the hammer handle to get it to line up but it can be done! The manifold is VERY durable and will not break. If you’ve got a three-foot long sledgehammer handle in there and can’t get it lined up, something isn’t right – back off and start again. An extra pair of hands comes in real handy now. This is what the left side will end up looking like:

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  1. At this point you are all set. Tighten all bolts evenly in a round about fashion and you are done with this part!

Now for the Airbox Mount

Once you’ve gotten the carburetor mounted and your hoses/cables all hooked back up and are 100% sure you’ve got the carb fully seated to the boot and the boot seated and clamped to the manifold you’re going to notice that the carb sticks out a little further (about 5/8” overall) and the stock airbox doesn’t want to fit. Here’s the easy cure for that!

You’ll need surprisingly few parts to make this a professional, neat looking installation and I have done the homework for you. I had to improvise on the parts I used in order to do the install the first time but have a list of the correct parts so you don’t have to mess with them. This makes for a “bolt-on” installation. Here are the parts you need and where you can get them from:

Parts Needed for install


20083 ---- 1/4 X 7/16 X 5/8 SPACER CHROME (2 each needed)

20094 --- 1/4 X 7/16 X 7/8 SPACER CHROME (1 each needed)

12744 --- 6 X 45 ALLEN SCREW CHROME (3 needed)

12745 --- 6 X 50 ALLEN SCREW CHROME ( 1 just in case needed…)

23987 --- M6 FLATWASHER CHROME (3 needed --- optional)

Gardner-Westcott Company
10110 Six Mile Road

Northville, Michigan 48167 USA
Phone (248) 305-5100

Fax (248) 305-5110
Call us toll-free at 1-800-897-5025


Since the manifold shoves the carburetor out approximately 5/8” you’ll need to move the airbox out that far also. What I did was get the above 5/8” spacers from Gardner above and use them. One of them I had to cut down to add to another spacer to get the 7/8” spacer I needed. I simply cut it apart and super-glued it together. Instead of fumbling around with the bolts and spacers driving me nuts falling all over I super glued them to the airbox itself before installation too (stock airboxes are a dime a dozen on ebay or the forum…get a spare and keep your original). Here’s a good shot of what it looks like.

Here’s how I made the 7/8” spacer by cutting and gluing a piece onto one of the 5/8” spacers:

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Here’s the airbox with two spacers in place --- NOTE the long (7/8” spacer) is the Top Rear spacer:

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The airbox itself can now be bolted on and will make for a nice clean install and will look like it was made to be there! I’ll include some shots so you can see it really doesn’t stick out that far (Try a Kury TV if want one really hanging in the breeze….). Here is box mounted:

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You can see here the rear spacer is just a tad longer than the front but everything lines up just perfect! Here is manifold, airbox, and filter installed on bike and running. As you can see, it really is a comfortable fit:

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What the Nemesis manifold is going to do for you is give you a MUCH improved idle quality, smoother power delivery throughout the power band and will add some ponies too. So twist it up and go Fat Boy hunting!

****************ADDENDUM 2004**********************

Be sure you REMOVE the head stay from the left hand side of engine (the part that bolts to the frame and then to each cylinder head) This will make install much easier.

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Ride Safe and Ride what you like!


Art Armfield

Alanson, MI.

©Arthur K. Armfield 2003

Free for personal use and for ALL members of the Road Star Riders Forum and Readers of The Road Star Clinic web page.