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Old 10-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #1
concours OP
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2012 Harley Softail spoke wheel LOOSE!

So, my Sister is headed to the dealer for the 1000 mile service on her new bike, expressway for 30 of the 35 miles. She feels it getting mushy, thinks she has a flat, pulls over, checks tires, look as expected, not flat. Can't figure out what's wrong, she continues on, at a reduced speed, gets to the dealer. "All the spokes were loose in your front wheel, we've seen quite a few of them like that" Are you effing KIDDING ME? No safety recall? So they tighten them up, did the service, sent her on her way. Front end shakes, front brake is soft as shit, goes to the bar. WHAT IN THE FLYING HELL does it take to get good service? Look closely at the wheel images, the spokes for one side of the wheel have several threads showing, while the others are buried in the nipples. The WANKERS tightened all one side! WTF?

That's me taking the brake to the bar, with FINGERTIPS!




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Old 10-21-2012, 05:37 PM   #2
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And labor unions wonder why modern educated people call them dinosaurs.

Harley died in 2003. Almost everything is outsourced to the lowest vendor these days. I had problems with a $1000 Harley chrome wheel. The chrome started bubbling off in less than a year. Harley said F-U, only covered for 90 days! Now the rest of the chrome on my garaged 2003 is starting to bubble. I'm probably going to have to spend upwards of $2000 to get stuff re-chromed.

I would take that bike back and demand my money back. Hire an attorney if necessary or stand outside the dealership with the lemon in question and a sign on your back and chest. Kill their sales till they make it right!
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Old 10-22-2012, 03:22 AM   #3
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Please let us know how or if this was resolved by HD.

Having built about 20 pairs of bicycle wheels over the years,
I will note that fronts do not have an offset/dish and all ft. spoke nipples should have the same thread engagement.
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:30 AM   #4
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If they did in fact tighten just one side of the spokes the rim should be off-set in the forks. Measure the distance from the lip of the rim to the inner side of the fork tube. It SHOULD be EVEN with a properly built wheel.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcma111 View Post
If they did in fact tighten just one side of the spokes the rim should be off-set in the forks. Measure the distance from the lip of the rim to the inner side of the fork tube. It SHOULD be EVEN with a properly built wheel.
Thanks My bionic eye tells me we're .100" different side to side
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedracertdi View Post
And labor unions wonder why modern educated people call them dinosaurs.

Harley died in 2003. Almost everything is outsourced to the lowest vendor these days. I had problems with a $1000 Harley chrome wheel. The chrome started bubbling off in less than a year. Harley said F-U, only covered for 90 days! Now the rest of the chrome on my garaged 2003 is starting to bubble. I'm probably going to have to spend upwards of $2000 to get stuff re-chromed.

I would take that bike back and demand my money back. Hire an attorney if necessary or stand outside the dealership with the lemon in question and a sign on your back and chest. Kill their sales till they make it right!
It's one thing to pay all the money for the finer things in life, it's quite another to pay all the money and get something that looks like, but really isn't. The MoCo isn't the only one either.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:19 PM   #7
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"I was chatting with a guy at the gas pumps yesterday? he said he had a new bike same as mine. he mentioned that he had the brake issue too...said they replaced the black box on the handlebar (Not sure what it's called) "

Anyone know of a TSB about the master cyl?
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:34 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concours View Post

Anyone know of a TSB about the master cyl?

I'll check today.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:51 AM   #9
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Glad she didn't get in a wreck over this and can appreciate all the concerns as to quality and competency with the build as well as with the shop's work. Obviously spoke/laced wheels can get loose and require some attention that a cast wheel does not need, but HD has had this type of wheel on bikes for ever so it's not like a certified HD mechanic should not be aware of proper maintenance and care procedures, etc. Are these the new tubeless rims or the "old" tube type? Shouldn't matter, just curious and the brakes getting soft after a few miles would indicate an ongoing loss of fluid or soft hose (ballooning) so there should be a very noticeable leak at a loose fitting or swelling/damage in a line, etc.

Good luck!
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:53 AM   #10
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Those 28 spoke mag wheels never come lose....
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Old 10-23-2012, 08:06 AM   #11
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Back in the day... when I had Harleys, my 750GT Ducati, etc. I ALWAYS had a spoke wrench in the tool kit. Laced a couple of wheels myself and, as someone pointed out, it's no BFD. But they do get loose. Once a month me and my pals would sit out in the driveway and tap each spoke until one went "clunk" instead of "bing!". "Clunk" mean loose. Not very scientific but it worked. If you insist on having spoked wheels in the 21st Century on a street bike than I suggest you think retro, not just look it.
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Old 10-23-2012, 10:37 AM   #12
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Not to rain on your sis's troubles, but the problem will not go away. 2013 Harleys have a rash of spoke wheel problem that they will no recall or address. My local dealer, after fixing my loose spokes, now cannot get the motor company to warrant a second repair...

We ended up taking off the wheels ourselves and sending them off to our wheel shop to have them tigheten properly before someone gets killed.

FWIW, 2013 Harleys are the biggest trash made by the motor company in recent years.
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Old 10-23-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
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I'd be looking for a new place to get my HD serviced
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Old 10-22-2012, 04:51 AM   #14
CycleDoc59
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It's not unusual to have spokes get loose; I've seen it happen on metric cruisers too.
When antique-type wheels are used on modern bikes, frequent pre-flight checks
are wise. Be happy the wheels are new, after a few months the spoke nipples rust
and no adjustment is possible.... Spoke wheels are best left to dirt bikes where their
flexibility is an asset.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:08 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CycleDoc59 View Post
It's not unusual to have spokes get loose; I've seen it happen on metric cruisers too.
When antique-type wheels are used on modern bikes, frequent pre-flight checks
are wise. Be happy the wheels are new, after a few months the spoke nipples rust
and no adjustment is possible.... Spoke wheels are best left to dirt bikes where their
flexibility is an asset.

Thanks for the tip. I've been riding 41 years, a mechanic for decades. I STRONGLY DISAGREE that loose spokes are not uncommon. Maybe the steaming piles that get dragged into a repair shop, but not without GOOD REASON.
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