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View Full Version : Do New H-Ds Leak Oil???



ThinBlueLine
03-27-2005, 11:45 PM
<_<

Hi,

I have wanted to buy a H-D since I was a kid. I'm now 36 and am seriously in the market for an '05 FXDLI Dyna Low Rider. I rode a Suzuki Volusia for a while and sold it. It was a great bike, but now I'm ready to step up to my dream bike. I am looking to make a purchase within a month or so.

The problem I'm facing is that I have friends who have both metric and American bikes, and I never hear about any real problems with the metric bikes at all. If I buy my dream bike, and drop all that cash, should I expect problems with it, or should I expect years of trouble free riding?

As much as I want a Harley, I'd sooner buy a VTX or something like that if I'm going to end up having my bike in the shop all the time. A $17,000 bike should not leak any oil at all as far as I'm concerned. Don't let it sound like I'm against H-Ds in any way! I did everything I could to my Volusia to make it look like one, and I can't wait to own my own. I'm just looking for some reassurance from folks that have newer models about their experiences.

Please let me know your experiences and what I should expect. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

Also, I'm glad I found this site. It looks like a great place and I plan to visit here often!

Thanks

Buster
03-28-2005, 12:10 AM
I own a 2004 Low Rider and a 2003 Wide Glide. Never seen a drop of oil leak from em cept when I change the oil. :lol:

Harley makes a quality engine these days. You won't find an oil leak on a Harley any more often than you do on a metric. There are always going to be exceptions to the rule and a bike will have a bad gasket or something. If thats the only thing holding you back from buying a Harley, your fears are unfounded.

Catfish
03-28-2005, 12:11 AM
Hi and welcome to the great biker site in the world.

As far as the newer bikes having alot of problems - No they do not. I'm not saying that you won't get a lemmon cause there are a few that get by and out on the market. I have an 01 Road King Classic that has over 25,000 miles on it and the only problem I've had with it was a broken drive belt (took a rock in it from a gravel truck one night). While we had the primary case off, we went ahead and changed 2 seals that were seeping a little bit. I change my oil every 3,000 miles and during that time I don't have to add any at all. Hope that helps with your concerns about oil leaks.

Whatever you do make sure that you keep up with your maintenance and check things like primary chain and drive belt tensions among a few other items which are all spelled out in the owners manual.

Good luck.

hogwylde
03-28-2005, 12:16 AM
Gotta '99 and never an "ounce" of problems. HeHe......"ounce" - get it?......LOL......I crack me up :lol: :P ^_^

Growlpipe
03-28-2005, 12:55 AM
<_<

Hi,

I have wanted to buy a H-D since I was a kid. I'm now 36 and am seriously in the market for an '05 FXDLI Dyna Low Rider. I rode a Suzuki Volusia for a while and sold it. It was a great bike, but now I'm ready to step up to my dream bike. I am looking to make a purchase within a month or so.

The problem I'm facing is that I have friends who have both metric and American bikes, and I never hear about any real problems with the metric bikes at all. If I buy my dream bike, and drop all that cash, should I expect problems with it, or should I expect years of trouble free riding?

As much as I want a Harley, I'd sooner buy a VTX or something like that if I'm going to end up having my bike in the shop all the time. A $17,000 bike should not leak any oil at all as far as I'm concerned.

Please let me know your experiences and what I should expect. Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks

You're stuck in the AMF days. Your dream bike (the FXDLI) is an excellent choice. If properly taken care of, your grandson could take ownership of that bike one day...............while the VTX becomes a pile of scrap metal.

ThinBlueLine
03-28-2005, 12:55 AM
Sounds great so far. I didn't think new H-Ds had the problems that older H-Ds had, I just wanted to hear it from some owners. None of my friends who have newer bikes have had any real problems. But you do read or hear about those lemons that slide through that create a lot of grief. I'm not much of a wrench, but I did learn more than expected on my last bike and plan to try and learn a whole lot more when I buy this one.

savantage
03-28-2005, 01:07 AM
I was in the same perdicament last year. It came down to a Sportster 883 or a Suzuki V-strom 650. The thing that tipped the scales was the resale value. Look at it this way--if you buy the Harley and don't like it, you can always sell it and get your money back out of it. If you buy the metric, two years from now it won't be worth half what you paid for it. And to think, I came within $300 of buying the zuki...(shudder)
:blink2:

03-28-2005, 01:22 AM
My '02 Road King started leaking at about 40K miles -- value cover and interprimary

My '04 Road King started leaking at about 9K miles -- interprimary

I don't care what anybody else thinks -- Harleys are not low maintenance bikes by modern standards. Plus, if you go to the dealer for regular service -- Harley maintenance is plenty expensive.

A Harley will continue to have much better resale value than a metric bike. But, I disagree that a metric bike will be "scrap metal" after a while. My friend's 1976 Gold Wing ain't worth much, and it doesn't look all that great, but I runs like a top with over 160K miles on it.

ThinBlueLine
03-28-2005, 02:49 AM
I can't believe 89 people have looked at this post, but only 7 have replied. What's up with that??? <_<

MLC
03-28-2005, 03:13 AM
dont worry about the number of posts, lots of lurkers. if it helps any, my 99 wg hasnt leaked a drop. it's still stock so i cant say whats gonna happen if ya start wrenching on it a bunch and going crazy with mods. so far you've had answers from a lot of the senior members and i have come to trust them and their opinions.

dynaRide
03-28-2005, 03:18 AM
Not so far... We have two 05's

xxxflhrci
03-28-2005, 06:48 AM
My '00 RKC has 52k. It does not leak or use oil between changes. It has only had two problems. 1.) a speedo sensor died. 2.) a fast idle acutator died. Both were replaced under warranty. Neither were something that would leave you stranded. It has been a very low cost to operate machine. I do all the maintainence myself. I can't complain.

Jamorris
03-28-2005, 11:39 AM
04 XL1200C, 3,000 miles and not a bit of trouble and not one oil stain on the garage floor.

Jerry

old-n-slow
03-28-2005, 03:22 PM
I have a '94 sportster and it don't leak a drop of oil. I also have a '81 650 yamaha and I alsolutely have to park that thing over a sheet of plastic. Mind you much of the oil thats drips from it is from the chain, but not all.. Btw, it can get a bit hairy stepping off your bike onto a sheet of plastic that might have oil on it . :wacko:

03-28-2005, 03:37 PM
Mind you much of the oil thats drips from it is from the chain...

Ever hear of "Chain Wax" and "O-Ring Chain". If you think a plastic sheet is any kind of solution to the problem, I can understand why your bike leaks oil. :P

Stoney
03-28-2005, 03:53 PM
My 67 FL leaks like a SOB & parked next to it is my 97 FLHT that doesnt loose a drop. These newer motors dont leak unless you dont warm them up good before you blast off. bottomsup

gdkenoyer
03-28-2005, 03:58 PM
You're stuck in the AMF days.
Unfortunately, that sums up the majority of non-Harley folk.

My (now gone) 84 FLH-80 (shovel) didn't leak. I've always thought that a Bigtwin presents more opportunity to leak with 3 separate sources of oil: engine, primary and tranny. The metric bikes with unitized engine/tranny oil have fewer 'sources' to leak from.

Old_Evo
03-28-2005, 04:24 PM
I have a '94 sportster and it don't leak a drop of oil. I also have a '81 650 yamaha and I alsolutely have to park that thing over a sheet of plastic. Mind you much of the oil thats drips from it is from the chain, but not all.. Btw, it can get a bit hairy stepping off your bike onto a sheet of plastic that might have oil on it . :wacko:

Hey old-n-slow, go out and get yourself and nice old ugly piece of carpeting and park your bike on that. Your biike will always now were to lay down and sleep when coming home. :D

macsRKC
03-28-2005, 04:37 PM
I can't believe 89 people have looked at this post, but only 7 have replied. What's up with that??? <_<

I'll respond, but with no helpful info since its my first Harley and its an '05. I think your concerns are unfounded. Go for it.

Jamorris
03-28-2005, 08:46 PM
Mind you much of the oil thats drips from it is from the chain...

Ever hear of "Chain Wax" and "O-Ring Chain". If you think a plastic sheet is any kind of solution to the problem, I can understand why your bike leaks oil. :P

I use good chain and a homemade mixture of beeswax and vasoline on my bicycles. In the winter you gotta boost the ratio of vasoline in the mix to keep the chain flexible. I have never worn a chain out, since I started using this stuff. Nice aspect is the mix is dry enough to not attract dirt and grit. Plus, the normal prevention of rust.

The belt on the Sportster caused me to never consider this mix on a motorcycle. Wonder if it would be up to the job on motorcycle O-ring chain?

With the new high quality laminated gaskets and sealers like Yamabond, there is no excuse for a bike to leak oil. Even the old AMFs can be fixed during normal servicing, so they don't leak in the normal places. Cracked, chipped, or dinged up covers and parts just gotta be replaced.

Back in the old AMF days, I knew a guy who made his own gaskets from copper sheet and used some good gasket compound. His bike never leaked.

Jerry

dynaRide
03-28-2005, 09:05 PM
You'll love this one....

My son was standing near me when I posted that we had two 05's with no leaks.

The little shit went out and dribbled oil on the ground under my bike and pointed it out to my wife.....

Smart Ass...


:lol:

Tony
03-28-2005, 09:06 PM
No leaks with my King yet... My TC is doing well so far, no oil leaks and no oil burning either.

johnnyb57
03-28-2005, 09:33 PM
i don't know how something that minute could enter the discussion, shit and i thought wrenching was part of the enjoyment...oh yea and i have a 200 road king with only slight seepage from the primary cover which i will replace this week when she comes out of winter hibernation..

ThinBlueLine
03-28-2005, 09:52 PM
Wrenching is part of the enjoyment. However, I wouldn't buy a house with a leaky roof. A $20,000 toy shouldn't leak either if it's made right. I know it's a mechanical device, but come on... juker

johnnyb57
03-28-2005, 10:09 PM
no all i was sayin, was that i havn't had anything to really talk about with my bike was shits going to happen and usally due to ones own fault...

Jamorris
03-28-2005, 10:27 PM
i don't know how something that minute could enter the discussion, shit and i thought wrenching was part of the enjoyment...oh yea and i have a 200 road king with only slight seepage from the primary cover which i will replace this week when she comes out of winter hibernation..

BOY!, that is one old Road King. Is that AD, or BC?

:huh:

Jerry

fnzen
03-28-2005, 10:34 PM
NO LEAKS on my 2002 FXST

Keep the bike in the living room on hardwood floor when I am not riding. Wife would kill me if it had a leak.

Willy
03-28-2005, 10:47 PM
oops

Willy
03-28-2005, 10:48 PM
Got an 04 Sporty and an 05 Road King Classic neither has a leak...on the other hand I had a 1974 FXE and that thing leaked everywhere as did my 54 Pan (the Pan had Seniority, it could do what ever it wanted) although it never leaked as bad that AMF FX did.
There's a lot of improvements on these new Harleys and most are very good cept the fact that they lean them out so much and choke'm down with catalytic blockages

Willy

CurryBob
03-29-2005, 07:56 PM
I had a tiny and I do mean tiny oil seepage on the top of one of my heads, took it to the dealer and 2 hours later got it back. They said the head bolt had not been tighten to specks. Because oil had worked it's way out, they went ahead and replace the gasket and have had nothing since. My wife's Deluxe has had nothing show up. My buddy's 04 Sporty has had nothing. My Boss's Low Rider has had nothing. Another buddy's 04 Heritage has had nothing. Another riding buddy's 05 Sporty has had nothing. A work buddy's V-Rod has had nothing, I think I see a trend here.

I do my own maintenance and some of the add on's. One thing I have found is, Harley's are much easier to work on and add stuff to than metrics.

Re-sale and Head turning is much better on Harley's

Good Luck

Bob

daharleyrdr@hotmail.com
03-30-2005, 12:31 AM
Dear Thin Blue Line
First of all Welcome. I have to say that I've been riding since 77 and my first HD wasn't until 1984 when I bought a brand new Superglide last of the shovelheads and that never leaked oil or had any problems. I have since then owned the following new Harley Davidsons 1984 Superglide, 1988 Dresser FLHT Electra Glide, 1992 Heritage Softtail, 1997 FLHS Electra Glide Sport , 2002 FLHTCI Electra Glide Classic, and presently a 2005 FLHTI Electra Glide Standard. All have never given me problems leaked anything let alone oil, and never left me stranded on the side if the road.For that kind of money for new bikes Harleys they had better not shoot!!. In the years prior to the 70's HD had some quality control issues like when AMF took over and made better bowling balls then Harleys. Now its a product they we all can be proud of and all ya have to do is maintain them and gas up and ride. You made the right decision Harley is the way to go, and if you ever decide to sell you will never lose money trust me. Good Luck Ride Safe Brother!!! groucho

aegis
04-06-2005, 08:32 PM
Bought a new Sporty in '83. Didn't leak. New FXDL in 2002 and it's been tight as a drum. Not one spot of oil. Got a new FLHTCU/I coming this weekend and the jury's out! :D

tradrockrat
04-06-2005, 09:16 PM
My sporty blows (a tiny bit of) oil by the air filter. Turns out the previous owner jury-rigged the airfilter to run a K&N highflow filter. I bought the kit and am replacing the jury-rigged stuff. I have no doubt that it will end my oil situation.

Dr.Bob
04-21-2005, 04:48 AM
I have given my bike ample opportunity to leak from every orifice. It still refuses to do so. I put the oil filter on too tight the other week and it started to dribble. But even that has stopped now.
Tip: Do not clean rubber O ring type gaskets with a rag. The action will stretch them. Instead pat them dry between two pieces of kitchen towel.

gunny54
04-22-2005, 02:26 AM
880 miles on my '05 FXDLI and not a drop yet.

wreckerman
04-22-2005, 08:31 PM
the only thing i can add to all of this , is if you are worryed about leaking oil , dont put any in and for sure it wont leak :lol: i am on my 3rd road king and have never leaked a drop

ThinBlueLine
04-24-2005, 04:22 PM
Ok, ok, ok

Thanks for all the feedback. I should have posted sooner, but I haven't had a chance. I went in a few weeks back and put my money down on a new '05 black, FXDLI. It should be here this week! I can't wait! Years and years of being a Harley poser (you know, t-shirts, hats, etc., but no bike), is finally over. Now all my tats, bad attitude, total disreguard for human nature, etc., can be used for a good thing; being a biker! Woo huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

freakin

TexasFatBoy
04-25-2005, 04:20 PM
ThinBlueLine - I run a '99 Fatboy with about 35,000 on the clock and have never seen a drop - I also looked at the VTX before I bought the Fatboy and was very tempted (nice ride) until I saw all these less than a year old VTX 1800's that sold for about $13,000 new selling for about $7500-8000 on eBay and cycle trader - why would I dish out that kind of coin only to see a third of it gone just by driving off the lot? Also the reason I tend to not buy new cars or trucks.

And BTW, welcome to another Texan! Check out the Tales of the Road and Events section for lots of upcoming Texas HCG events.

Look forward to meeting ya and tipping back a cold one or 12! drunks

TFB

ThinBlueLine
04-25-2005, 10:11 PM
TXFatboy -

Sounds great! Thanks for the info. I look forward to meeting you too. Do you belong to any local ride groups/clubs? I'm thinking about joining Alamo City HOG, but haven't decided yet. If all goes well I'll make it to the ROT ralley. If not, I'll still try to make it to 6th street one of those nights. I'll let you know.

What's the best way to get to 6th street from 35-North coming out of SA.

Thanks bro! And I'm looking forward to throwin' back some cold ones with ya! Just make sure I got a floor to crash on...

juker

TexasFatBoy
04-25-2005, 11:02 PM
TXFatboy -

Sounds great! Thanks for the info. I look forward to meeting you too. Do you belong to any local ride groups/clubs? I'm thinking about joining Alamo City HOG, but haven't decided yet. If all goes well I'll make it to the ROT ralley. If not, I'll still try to make it to 6th street one of those nights. I'll let you know.

What's the best way to get to 6th street from 35-North coming out of SA.

Thanks bro! And I'm looking forward to throwin' back some cold ones with ya! Just make sure I got a floor to crash on...

juker

Always room on the floor for the drunks! :lol: Best way to Austin and 6th street is to avoid I-35 at all costs, but if you must take I-35 due to time constraints, or whatever, just take the 6th street exit, turn left onto 6th street and start looking for parking! drunks

ThinBlueLine
04-26-2005, 10:00 PM
TXFatboy -

Sounds great! Thanks for the info. I look forward to meeting you too. Do you belong to any local ride groups/clubs? I'm thinking about joining Alamo City HOG, but haven't decided yet. If all goes well I'll make it to the ROT ralley. If not, I'll still try to make it to 6th street one of those nights. I'll let you know.

What's the best way to get to 6th street from 35-North coming out of SA.

Thanks bro! And I'm looking forward to throwin' back some cold ones with ya! Just make sure I got a floor to crash on...

juker

Always room on the floor for the drunks! :lol: Best way to Austin and 6th street is to avoid I-35 at all costs, but if you must take I-35 due to time constraints, or whatever, just take the 6th street exit, turn left onto 6th street and start looking for parking! drunks

What's the best way there if I don't want to take I-35? I live on the NE side off of 1604 (Converse).

TexasFatBoy
04-26-2005, 11:59 PM
How much time do ya wanna take gettin' here? :lol: The trip from San Anton to Austin can go through some of the prettiest parts of the Hill Country. I can get ya here more scenically quickly (about 2 1/2 to 3 hours) or takin' ya damn near all day!

Shoot me a PM and I'll start putting together some ideas for ya. B)

Relic
05-15-2005, 11:59 AM
Gotta '99 and never an "ounce" of problems. HeHe......"ounce" - get it?......LOL......I crack me up :lol: :P ^_^

Don't quit the day job, Bro. :lol: :lol: B)