2012 Harley Softail spoke wheel LOOSE!

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by concours, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    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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    #1
  2. speedracertdi

    speedracertdi Been here awhile

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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!
    #2
  3. OldPete

    OldPete Be aware

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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.
    #3
  4. mcma111

    mcma111 Long timer

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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.
    #4
  5. CycleDoc59

    CycleDoc59 Wrench Rider

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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.
    #5
  6. ozmoses

    ozmoses Ride On

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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.
    #6
  7. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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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.
    #7
  8. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    Thanks My bionic eye tells me we're .100" different side to side:eek1
    #8
  9. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    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.
    #9
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    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...
    #10
  11. baloneyskin daddy

    baloneyskin daddy bikaholic

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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.
    #11
  12. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    Loose spokes will not relocate the rotor. It is fixed to the hub.

    And loose spokes are very common.
    #12
  13. HapHazard

    HapHazard Waiting for Gudenov

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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?:dunno

    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.:lol3
    #13
  14. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    AAAAAAANNNNNNNNNTTTTTT!!!!. Game show buzzer. Thanks for playing, next caller please.
    #14
  15. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    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.
    #15
  16. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    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.
    #16
  17. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    " Spoke wheels are best left to dirt bikes where their
    flexibility is an asset. "

    I agree, I had invader steel fabricated wheels in '78, alloy wheels ever since, except on dirt bikes. Selfish reasons. MY time cleaning, MY time fixing a flat with a plug kit in ten minutes. An 800 lb. cruiser with inner tubes is fine for being 30 minutes from home, but if your time is worth anything at all, a flat can really monkey up the works.
    #17
  18. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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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?
    #18
  19. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Have them move the caliper over :rofl
    #19
  20. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    I'll check today.
    #20