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High Mileage Harley's

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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 07:28 AM     #1
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High Mileage Harley's

Ok, guys, quick question before I go to work. I read alot on other biker forums about guys getting 200k 250k outta there bikes (japanese scoots) to read their posts, the bikes are bullet proof AND they really trash Harley's. Seems their opinion is that by 70k a stock Harley engine needs an overhaul. I don't believe that. Question: What is the average life of a stock Harley engine AND does modifying the engine effect the life span ( isuspect it does). Would like some replies so that I can counter some of the negativity on the other website. thanx. by the way, I guess I could have posted this in "off topic" so feel free to move it need be. thank you.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 07:34 AM     #2
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

Just smile, and nod your head, cause it's evident that they don't understand why it is that folks buy....and continue to stick with their HD's
Like the old saying goes, "if you gotta ask".......
Seriously though, there are many HD's out there, running on a daily basis, with well over 100k on them.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:22 AM     #3
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

The moral of the story. Keep your bike serviced and it will continue to perform!!!
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 01:49 PM     #4
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

30,500 miles on my 03 EGC and a cam failed (see post under engines) due to the factory not heat treating it. The bike is very well maintained and nothing but AMSOIL ever touched it. This is the kind of thing the metric crowd points out - with good reason. $20K+ for a bike and it craps out.

Seriously thinking of replacing the bike with a 09 Ultra or something else (won't mention them here out of respect) but waiting to see what problems the new touring class bike have (excessive heat, tranny noise, etc).
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 02:04 PM     #5
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

As I've noted in this forum before, I've got over 200k on my '86 FXRS. Had 2 top end jobs and a complete top and bottom rebuild in its lifetime, and I was out riding it two days ago. Can't beat that with a stick!
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:13 PM     #6
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

I have an 07 streetglide with 18k on it. It runs very well...this summer I went on an Extended Ride (4000 MI) with my 4 brothers all of whom ride metric crusers and swear by them. I live in Texas and they live in Utah so I rode up to meet them. When I got to Utah I had to work on 3 of the 4 metrics before we left (I once was a metric mechanic when I was young and foolish, it paid for college) It was minor tune up items but I am proud to report that My Harley always led the pack, got all the attention when we stopped and the only work my bike required on the trip was a little wash and wax.
p.s One of my brothers even told me confidentially his next bike will be a Harley.
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 09:47 PM     #7
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

Well the way I see it is you can still find Harleys out there from the 30's, 40's,50's, 60's, etc...So that should say something..
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Old Sep 5th, 2008, 10:49 PM     #8
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

When the EVO came out in 1984 the reliability of Harleys went out of sight. My 1988 FLHS has just over 100k. The only time the jugs were off was to fix the notorious early EVO base gasket leak. Ol Blue has only been taken home on a trailer three times: Interstate battery blew up, broken drive belt 65K, Charging system burned up. I have put in a performance cam, mufflers and an S&S carb. Runs great and I love it.
I have heard the bs about Jap over Harley for decades. How many 20 year old Jap bikes do you see on the road? How many 10 year old? You can rebuild a Harley from now on. Ever hear of a Jap bike being rebuilt? I will stick with the Harley. Of course I won't be happy until the BSA comes back. I have a '56 in the garage now. Fossil
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 01:36 PM     #9
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

Anything mechanical can be re-built whether it be a Japanese bike or a Harley Davidson motorcycle.

The devil is in the details.

Japanese bikes tend to be throw-away bikes and their manufacturers provide very little support as far as replacement parts go. If the replacement parts are actually still available for an older Japanese bike (more that two years old), the price for those parts are usually somewhere between the cost of a new kidney and the stratosphere...

A Harley Davidson motorcycle on the other hand, has huge support from both the dealers and the after-market. Any and all parts are readily available, you have a choice of going with stock parts or a huge selection of high performance replacement parts, and usually for very reasonable prices.

As a professoinal mechanic who worked for years in the automotive trade, I find the Harley Davidson motorcycle to be an absolute joy to work on and maintain compared to previous Japanese bikes I have owned.

I owned many smaller displacement Japanese bikes in my younger days then in 1984 I purchased a brand new V-45 Magna. What a piece of junk! After all I had heard about great Japanese quality, this thing spent more time in the shop than it did on the road. It was poorly engineered and poorly built. I have since owned four different Harley Davidsons since 1998, all purchased new, and each one absolutely trouble free.

A properly maintained modern Harley Davidson is every bit as well made, if not better, as any other motorcycle on the market but the difference is, it will still be going down the road long after many modern Japanese bikes have been recycled back into Tupperware or Fisher Price toys.

At the end of the day, you can re-build any Japanese bike if cost is no object but when all is said and done, you still end up with a Japanese bike.

Just my .02 cents
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Old Sep 6th, 2008, 02:50 PM     #10
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Re: High Mileage Harley's

well ive owned metrics and all i can say is put 100,000 or so on a metric ..a bike you paid 9 grand for thats now worth 400.00 .and the parts to rebuild it cost about 4x's that so who gonna do that .. put 100,000 on your harley rebuild it ride one more year then sell it for 7000.00 or so and youve got your down payment on your next hog weeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!
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