snapped sprocket bolts

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Dswartz, May 6, 2011.

  1. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    A buddy of mine from work rides an '08 Crossbones. The other day he mentioned that while enroute to bike week his bike broke down and had snapped all five of the bolts holding on the rear wheel drive sprocket. Fortunately, the mechanic was able to get the other half of the bolts out of the wheel so he didn't have to replace the whole wheel. Has anybody ever heard of a problem like this? I was just wondering if this is an issolated freak incident or something to be concerned about. Is it recommended to replace those bolts every few years as a safety precaution? The only thing I can think of that might have caused this is if the bolts weren't torqued down properly or the wrong loc-tite was used. Any thoughts?
  2. Cyclops

    Cyclops Active Member

    You didn't mention if your buddy's sprocket was the original sprocket and original bolts or if the bike had been modified/upgraded or if the sprocket/bolts had ever been worked on.
  3. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Well here we go again on this issue. Someone help me out, does a Crossbones have the IDS rubber damper in the hub or is just like a Dyna with the bolts going thru the sprocket into the wheel ?

    Either way YES I have heard of it happening at least 4 times and at least one of them on this forum (both IDS and non IDS).

    If it's not an IDS drive then it should be a pre-ride item. If it's an IDS there is no way to inspect it.
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

    IDS is only on touring bikes.:s
  5. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Ok if it's non IDS you can inspect them on a pre-ride since they have got to come loose and then back out far enough to snap off on the swingarm.

    Make sure you replace them EVERY time you remove them with GRADE 8 bolts and torgue to spec. I personally would not use any chromed bolts on this, I have heard of this happening too many times.
  6. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    This is a problem The MOCO knows about it and has chosen to side step it for now and say it is the owners problem, we should check them, This is what the local dealer is saying here in Jacksonville
  7. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Actually Tbones in my HD 2007 Dyna Manual it does state NOT to reuse the sprocket bolts upon removal and futher states that Reuse can result in torque loss and damage. This is listed under a big CAUTION heading on Dyna Chassis page 2-13

    They don't cover it under warranty so they have no legal motivation to step up. Rider be AWARE. This things can be dangerous.

    Also grade 8 is OEM on these I'm pretty sure, either that or my bike's previous owner replaced them with 8's cause that's what on mine, 6 marks.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 8, 2011
  8. R_W_B

    R_W_B Senior Member

    Well your first paragraph does make sense, since I also have reused bolts many many times on cars and trucks for all my life and never thought twice about it and don't recall one ever breaking. But from what I have read about this I would have to admit I fall into your second paragraph category and do plan on using new bolts for the sprocket and risers (since I've heard too many of them breaking also).

    Do I think I am being too paranoid or unrealistic, probably I admit it, but until I start hearing less reports of this the bolts ain't gonna cost me much for my neurotic satisfaction. Do I think the problem may be just using poor grade bolts or incorrect torque spec or no recommended loctite, ... probably.

    As to whether they are breaking on the swing arm or just shearing as the sprocket starts to move out, I have never actually seen one myself only what I read. Addtionally from what I've read I would never put chromed bolts in the sprocket. Grade 8 only, that's just me. I do a lot of things on 2 wheels I don't worry about on 4.

    But one thing I thing we all agree on is these should be on a pre-ride inspection (least I do). If they are tight when you start out, then that says alot about the safety of that current ride. If they come out at some time in the future, there is a big chance you are gonna see them loose one morning on a pre-ride.
  9. ProF

    ProF Junior Member

    If they backed out and sheared off against the swing arm, shouldn't there be a large deformation on the swing arm from the bolts wacking against it?