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Old 10-11-2014, 06:45 PM   #1
tundra61 OP
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What's considered high miles on a 09+ roadglide

I have been looking at 09+ roadglides and was wondering

1. What's considered high miles? Assume a responsible rider who takes reasonable care of a bike.
2. With high miles - what are the key high wear / maintenance parts?
3. What are the key things to be checking for?
4. For 09 - 12 model years, are there any know/common problems?
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Old 10-11-2014, 07:22 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by tundra61 View Post
I have been looking at 09+ roadglides and was wondering

1. What's considered high miles? Assume a responsible rider who takes reasonable care of a bike.
2. With high miles - what are the key high wear / maintenance parts?
3. What are the key things to be checking for?
4. For 09 - 12 model years, are there any know/common problems?


Don't know high miles. 70,000? 80,000? I have a bit under 30,000 on a 2011 Road Glide and have had zero issues.

I did get my steering head bearings tightened at 12,000. If I rode no-handed the front would shake on deceleration at lower speeds (like 30 mph). Once the bearings were snugged up theres no shake anywhere.

For me, no leaks, no problems, no nothing. I've only done one front and back tire so far. No belt. Just oil changes. I really enjoy the bike. Great traveling machine.

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Old 10-11-2014, 07:28 PM   #3
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Cam shoe croaks at about 30,000...that's high mileage for a Twin Cam, replace them and do another 30k, it can make a huge mess, don't ignore it.


This guy ain't happy about it:


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Old 10-11-2014, 08:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by larryboy View Post
Cam shoe croaks at about 30,000...that's high mileage for a Twin Cam, replace them and do another 30k, it can make a huge mess, don't ignore it.


This guy ain't happy about it:
2009 has hydraulic tensioners not the spring type like grampa's in the video.
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Old 10-11-2014, 08:17 PM   #5
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What video? I don't see anything posted.
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:23 PM   #6
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2009 has hydraulic tensioners not the spring type like grampa's in the video.

When do they fail?
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Old 10-11-2014, 09:53 PM   #7
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When do they fail?
When do what fail? You posted a video showing a cam chain tensioning system that doesn't apply to 2007 and later Twin Cam engines.
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:49 AM   #8
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When do they fail?
How long is a piece of string?
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:56 AM   #9
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With the lack of dual timkens on the crank pin, cast iron pressed together crank with run outs as high as .015, I'd say anything nearing 30k would be high mileage for a later twinkie. 99-02, despite the tensioner issues, were probably the best years for the Twin Cam motor. The tensioner issue on the earlier twin cams is an easy fix for anyone with a little wrench turning know how.

Evo or early Twin Cam for me.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:28 PM   #10
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And yet there are countless '03 and later engines out there approaching and exceeding 100,000 miles without issue.

I agree that the changes they've made serve only to reduce manufacturing costs, but that doesn't mean the engines age/wear more quickly. It only means when they build one on the edge of tolerance (or worse) they have a slightly higher incidence of catastrophic failure. If that's going to happen it's usually early in the life of the motor. In my near decade with H-D I never saw an engine with shifted flywheels that had more than a few hundred miles on it, though I'm sure it has happened somewhere. Crank bearing failures of any kind were extremely rare at any mileage. I consider these engines much more reliable than, say, input shaft splines or final drive crown bearings on oilhead BMW's. And yet I ride an oilhead. Count me among those who refuses to let the internet scare them off of any one particular motorcycle or design, be it Harley, BMW, or anything else.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:47 PM   #11
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My friend's '09 Ultra just turned over 100K miles on his way home from the Festival today with no issues. I wouldn't buy his though....
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Old 10-13-2014, 04:16 PM   #12
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My friend's '09 Ultra just turned over 100K miles on his way home from the Festival today with no issues. I wouldn't buy his though....
I would, especially if I know the owner and the bike. How a bike is used and maintained can be much more important than mileage. Also one great thing about HD is the support they give their bikes. How much would a factory rebuild be? If you know what a comparable bike with lower miles is worth; subtract the cost of a factory rebuild, and that would be a good place to start.

Throw in an extra $1000 just to be fair and it could be a fair deal for everyone.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:26 PM   #13
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Thx for all your input. Help me with a reality check - is an 09 in good condition for around $10k realistic?
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:31 PM   #14
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My friend's '09 Ultra just turned over 100K miles on his way home from the Festival today with no issues. I wouldn't buy his though....
You've hit on the real issue.
There are so many low mileage used Harleys out there that there's really no reason to buy one with 80-100k miles, so resale value for those is quite low.
My Dyna has 65,000 and I intend to put quite a lot more on it.
But I don't expect to get the traditional high Harley resale value for it whenever I do sell it.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:40 PM   #15
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So many modify harley for increased power. Stage one kits are fine, do not shorten engine life. Building to over 90 horsepower does start to shorten engine life, and other than bragging rights, does not really ride any better. The higher you go, the less they last.

If it is at 30 to 40K miles, it is time to open the timing case and take a look. If it is already gear drive converted then good. If not and it is one of the ones that is wearing cam shoes, check the run out and consider installing gear drive. Yes, it IS expensive. Not all of them wear. If yours is good, smile and ride on. They are still iron bore, so the engine will start to get tired at 70k and up. Most do 100K. Some do even more. If you have to have some cool looking air filter that does not filter well, 50K can be refresh time.

Be kind and let it warm up a minute in the summer and a few minutes in the winter. They need to expand a bit for the cylinder base gaskets. No floggin it with cold oil. Ride it easy for a mile or 2.

Other than that, if Dot 3 or 4 brake fluid, flush it. Change the fork oil, and the other fluids. Check your wheel bearings every time they are off.

A top end refresh really does not cost that much either, and the rest of the bike will last as long as any.

Now that Harley resale is falling, they are great bikes used.

Rod
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