Features Maintenance Common Problems With Harley-Davidson Motorcycles (Part 1)

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Common Problems With Harley-Davidson Motorcycles (Part 1) Hot

The 2003 Harley-Davidson FLHRCI Road King Classic was among the many motorcycles recalled by Harley-Davidson in 2003.

Motorcycles

Manufacturer

Despite Harley-Davidson’s iron-clad image in American culture, numerous flaws have been exposed over the years. Recalls have been somewhat regular, including some with hundreds of thousands of bikes needing repairs. Below, we’ll examine a few major problems that have occurred over the past decade with Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

Tail Light

Multiple 2003 Harley models suffered from a defect in the tail light. Although it seemed minor, the tail light bulb was susceptible to falling out of it’s socket, rendering the tail light and brake light inoperative. This posed a risk of a crash, given that a driver wouldn’t have a clear indication that the biker was slowing down and a lack of lighting at night.

Harley recalled nearly 36,000 bikes in mid-2004. These included the following models:

  • FLHPI 2003
  • FLHPEI 2003
  • FLHR 2003
  • FLHRCI 2003
  • FLHT 2003
  • FLHTC 2003
  • FLHTCI 2003
  • FLHTI 2003
  • FLHTPI 2003
  • FLTR 2003
  • FLTRI 2003
  • FXD 2003
  • FXDI 2003
  • FXDL 2003
  • FLHT 2003
  • FXDP 2003
  • FXDWG 2003
  • FXDWGI 2003
  • FXDX 2003
  • FXDXI 2003
  • FXDXT 2003
  • XL1200 2003
  • XL1200C 2003
  • XL1200R 2003
  • XL1200S 2003
  • XL883 2003
  • XL883C 2003
  • XL883R 2003
  • XL883 HUGGER 2003

To correct this problem, Harley simply replaced the bulbs.

Fuel Tank

In 2009, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the front-end mounts on Harley touring bikes could distort in a front-end crash. Such a crash could have resulted in a fuel leak, which could then ignite and injure or kill the rider.

As a result, Harley-Davidson recalled nearly 112,000 motorcycles in December of 2009. These included the following models:

  • FLHP 2009-2010
  • FLHPE 2009-2010
  • FLHR 2009-2010
  • FLHR SHRINE 2009-2010
  • FLHRC 2009-2010
  • FLHT 2009-2010
  • FLHTC 2009-2010
  • FLHTCU 2009-2010
  • FLHTCU SHRINE 2009-2010
  • FLHTCU W/SC black porn 2009-2010
  • FLHTCU4-CVO 2009
  • FLHTCUSE4 2009
  • FLHTCUSE5 2010
  • FLHTCUTG 2010
  • FLHTK 2010
  • FLHTP 2009-2010
  • FLHX 2009-2011
  • FLHXXX 2010
  • FLTR 2009
  • FLTR3-CVO 2009
  • FLTRSE3 2009

To correct this problem, Harley-Davidson installed a left and right brace on the mentioned models. The upgrade was free of charge.

Brake Light and Fluid

Two issues with the braking system occurred on numerous 2009 to 2012 models. First, the rear brake light switch was exposed to excessive exhaust heat, which could cause it to activate the brake light without the brakes being applied or fail to do so altogether. Second, the exposure to excessive heat could have lead to a leak of brake fluid, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.

As a result, Harley recalled approximately 300,000 motorcycles in October of 2011, nearly 251,000 of which were in the United States. These included the following models:

  • FLHP 2009-2012
  • FLHPE 2009-2011
  • FLHR 2009-2012
  • FLHRC 2009-2012
  • FLHT 2009-2010
  • FLHTC 2009-2012
  • FLHTCU 2009-2012
  • FLHTCUSE4 2009
  • FLHTCUSE5 2010
  • FLHTCUSE6 2011
  • FLHTCUSE7 2012
  • FLHTCUTG 2009-2012
  • FLHTK 2010-2012
  • FLHTP 2009-2012
  • FLHX 2009-2012
  • FLHXSE 2010
  • FLHXSE2 2011
  • FLHXSE3 2012
  • FLHXXX 2011
  • FLTR 2009
  • FLTRSE3 2009
  • FLTRU 2010-2012
  • FLTRUSE 2011
  • FLTRX 2010-2012
  • FLTRXSE 2012

To correct this problem, Harley installed a kit for the rear brake light. This was done free of charge.

Conclusion

Despite numerous recalls and safety issues, Harley-Davidson’s iconic status lives on in the modern world. Performance and safety issues with Harley bikes have been well-publicized and have helped fuel a debate as to the quality of the brand.

Some can’t get enough of the Harley brand while others believe it represents image, not quality. Just ask a few bikers or search a few biker forums to get an idea of the varied opinions on the quality of Harley bikes. In any event, be sure to keep safety issues in mind if you own one of the mentioned models and, of course, ride safely!

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Comments  

 
-2 # Garret 2012-08-04 12:50
Yes, and H-D heeded fedral laws by notifying the owners and repairing these things free of charge, that is if the owner was responsible and followed up on it. So the point of this "article" is?
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0 # John Vick 2013-09-06 18:21
I had my rear brake lock up from a light touch to slow the bike. 2012 Ultra Classic. It caused the bike to slide out from under me. Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem..
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