I would like to question this "rider" when the last time he performed a visual inspection of his bike or did a "bolt check". Or if ever. My guess is never, My guess is he doesn't even change his own oil. My guess is his 6 year old bike has never been attended to since it was made. Anyone with any common senese knows that even the most refined motorcycle vibrates things loose. Anyone with the least amount of experience knows that MC's regardless of suspension takes the road conditions harder than a car. THINGS COME LOOSE and it's our job to keep an eye on them. PERIOD. Made by Monkees? More like ridden by an idiot and published by same?
Thanks for sending it to HD, Matt. Surprisingly, many of the products discussed in these comments do make it to the manufacturer. I often receive requests from manufacturers asking for the email address for the person who sent in the story for posting. In that case, I just forward the manufacturer's request to the person who posted.
Like others, I'm really surprised that a company associated for so long with high quality, especially having to do with bike and biker safety, would make such an oversight. Is HD starting to source their designs differently? Is offshoring of design, as well as materials and parts, becoming a trend in motorcycles?
I hear rattles on my Sportster all the time (although with a lot less torque ... I probably have fewer dangers. Your article has me determined to do a head to toe inspection this weekEnd. I think my Sportee is fine, but it's a 2003 ... so if yours was fixed after the fact, mine won't be fixed. And issues on 2 wheels can be much more dangerous. Thanks for the reminder and reality check.
Some biker a few years back defined "a real motorcycle" as one where you could not remove any one part and still ride it safely.
Where this fits with your tale of woe is that you should have investigated that rattle as soon as you heard it, because all parts of a "real" motorcycle are critical.
I had a more exciting version of that experience happen to me many years ago. I had my bike with a freshly rebuilt engine just bolted in place and hooked up. I started the engine and started out to see how it ran. I was just coming off the line, and had only gone about five feet or so when the connecting rod disconnected from the crank and the engine locked. The clutch did not slip at all, and the chain did not break. Verly fortunately I had a good grip, and so I was up on the bars looking down at the front tire. It slid to a stop, and then I rcovered. I was uninjured, but the engine lower casting and the connecting rod were "all used up". The bad news is that the replacement engine never put out as much power or ran as good, not for quite a few thousand miles.
No, that bike was not a Harley. IT had neither an upper or lower chain guard.
This is still a fairly recent occurance. I did discuss this problem with the dealership as I purchased replacement parts. I still plan to follow-up with a formal letter to the factory.
This is not typical of my experience with Harley products. I currently own two Harleys and ride with many friends on various brands including many Harleys. This entry was not intended to slam Harley, but rather to highlight how small an oversight could have such hazardous potential. I guess I'm still a little shaken about it, and wanting others to take rattles (from any vehicle) with similar seriousness.
It could be this lack of appearance on discussion boards is related to the fact that this chrome belt guard is only a CVO part so the standard V-rods have a plastic belt guard. There are fewer CVOs on the road. I am also embarassed that I didn't catch this loosening hardware upon examination, when it was giving a telltale rattle. Perhaps, most CVO owners are more attentive to these details?
How small a screw? I'm not sure the exact metric size, but I believe it is 4mm x 13mm long fully threaded. Pretty small.
Uh, guys... This is an EXTREMELY dangerous possible failure! As noted, the rear tire locking at speed is a potentially LETHAL situation! "Hopefully someone from Harley is reading this..." HUH? How about one of YOU highly educated engineer types actually CONTACTING HD and suggesting a safety upgrade here? Blogging and laughing at HD for a safety oversight as dangerous as this is hardly a constructive exercise. Come on, let's move into the realm of real life. The possibility of dead riders over this is not a joke!
I for one will be sending HD a letter with this posting attached. They need to know about this issue, prevalent or not.
PS. Having been an avid Harley rider for decades, I can tell you that the first thing you do with a new bike is locate, torque and Loctite all of the critical screws and bolts. I prefer Afterloc myself. Vibration is an evil and capricious mistress baby.
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