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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, 04:51 AM   #5
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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, 04:55 AM   #6
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It's one reason I cringe when anything needs service. These days, seems like a lot of people are so busy talking about how much they know there is no time to actually learn anything.

Wheel building is an artform of sorts,imo.

It's also a safety issue. Even if the fool who did that knew nothing about the art of it, common sense would dictate that all systems, notably brakes, would be checked before it was returned to the owner.

Unfortunately, you'll be dealing with this dealer more this week.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Wheel building is easy. Tedious but easy. Maintaining a laced wheel is not difficult either. If it got so bad the rider could feel it perhaps a little education is in order. The spokes will bed in after a session or two of tightening/truing.
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Old 10-22-2012, 06:04 AM   #8
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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, 06:08 AM   #9
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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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Old 10-22-2012, 06:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotherguy View Post
Wheel building is easy. Tedious but easy. Maintaining a laced wheel is not difficult either. If it got so bad the rider could feel it perhaps a little education is in order. The spokes will bed in after a session or two of tightening/truing.
I think education at the MoCo should be done on THEIR NICKLE, not someone else's hide. Quality must be built into the process. Then there is the laissez fair attitude toward TWO SAFETY items at the dealer. I found the almost non-existant brake by simply rolling the bike out of the garage!
TWO consecutive chances for them TWO failures. And we're not talking about a cosmetic blemish here...
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:02 AM   #11
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The brake is mushy because the rotor is now not centered in the caliper requiring more piston travel to activate the brakes. There also more than likely going to drag and wear one side faster than the other.
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Old 10-22-2012, 08:42 AM   #12
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Loose spokes will not relocate the rotor. It is fixed to the hub.

And loose spokes are very common.
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Old 10-22-2012, 12:06 PM   #13
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The brake aspect of this is puzzling.

Concours, did your sister notice the brake problem before the dealer "serviced" (I won't say "fixed") the wheel? I would understand if she didn't given the excitement of riding the bike with the wheel trying to go to pieces. There must be air in there - maybe they did some bozo move when the wheel was off - what's the brake fluid level look like?

The only time I've had spokes loosen is on dirt bikes. I've had many street bikes with wire spoke wheels also, but none of the street bikes were new when I got them.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baloneyskin daddy View Post
The brake is mushy because the rotor is now not centered in the caliper requiring more piston travel to activate the brakes. There also more than likely going to drag and wear one side faster than the other.

AAAAAAANNNNNNNNNTTTTTT!!!!. Game show buzzer. Thanks for playing, next caller please.
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Old 10-22-2012, 05:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
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The brake aspect of this is puzzling.

Concours, did your sister notice the brake problem before the dealer "serviced" (I won't say "fixed") the wheel? I would understand if she didn't given the excitement of riding the bike with the wheel trying to go to pieces. There must be air in there - maybe they did some bozo move when the wheel was off - what's the brake fluid level look like?

The only time I've had spokes loosen is on dirt bikes. I've had many street bikes with wire spoke wheels also, but none of the street bikes were new when I got them.
Yeah, she's been riding 43 years, said the brake was firm, as expected before the debacle began. They must have, for some unknown reason, opened the line and not properly bled it.
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