View Full Version : 10k maintenance surprises

Black OPS
08-04-2005, 12:26 AM
Just curious if anyone noticed the same things I did when performing maintenance on your bike.

Completed my 10k maintenance and I'd swear the dealer had never changed my transmission, or primary oil, just engine oil when they did my 1k and 5k maintenance. Also when I greased my steering head zerk, it took almost 1/3 of standard sized tube of lube. I'd bet the steering neck hadn't been lubed even at the factory except for the bearings. The owners manual says to fill it until the grease comes out of the top and bottom. I use a red colored lube (got it at NAPA, its suppose to be good at hight temps and low temps, use it on my snowmobile suspension). It makes it easy to see when it finally fills the space. Also (NAPA part) bought a side fit zerk attachment for my grease gun. Real easy to get at the fitting since I have a bat wing fairing.

Before I did my maintance on my bike I talked to the mech. at the dealership about greasing the neck bearing, and he said they get a lot of bikes with low mileage with shot steering neck bearing because they have been ignored. "No kidding!"

Good grief, makes you wonder if thats where some part of the complaints about high speed wobble come from. If your riding in hot climates especially, and the top bearing is dry, how long could they possibly last?

Anyway I am hoping that by passing this "find" I might save ya all some grief. So you might want to check your steering neck bearings, unless you greased em as scheduled. They could be drying out and heading south even if your bike is new. Good luck.

Bottom line I guess, unless you do your own maintenance you don't know if your bike is being properly taken care of. And in this part of the country, that fales security of having a genuine Harley shop do your maintenance costs you about $400. By doing the work my self I spent less than fifty bucks including some parts that only have to be bought once, but will be used many times. Like the belt tension gauge, side mount zirk fitting for my grease gun and oil filter wrench.

Hope this is good info for someone.

08-04-2005, 02:26 AM
If you just take your bike in for routine maintenance (oil change, etc), they won't look at the top bearings. You have to specifically ask for that service. If you don't have the tools, ask your maintenance guy to do it for you. It won't be cheap though... pulling the forks is a J.O.B. (I hate to swear on this board, but sometimes it's necessary)

Black OPS
08-04-2005, 02:48 AM
Sure seems like something that important would be part of "routine" maintenance. Guess I'd be wrong. lol


08-04-2005, 05:53 AM
My dealer does it religiously , they have an excellent service dept. I know folks that are in other chapters that bring thier bikes over for service.

08-04-2005, 08:19 AM
nidan, are you talking about just putting the bike on a lift and twisting the bars to see if it the front end moves freely, or are you talking about dropping the forks and triple trees to visually inspect the bearings.

If you're service guy does that as part of a routine maintenance, please PM me with his phone number and address. I'll quit doing my own maintenence if he's close enough.

08-04-2005, 02:10 PM
Thanks Black OPS, I bought my 1st Harley this year and I try to do all my maint. myself recently did the 5,000 maint. and I did not get to the bearings yet I have to get more grease. But I won't put it off to long.

Black OPS
08-05-2005, 03:52 AM
If you just take your bike in for routine maintenance (oil change, etc), they won't look at the top bearings. You have to specifically ask for that service. If you don't have the tools, ask your maintenance guy to do it for you. It won't be cheap though... pulling the forks is a J.O.B. (I hate to swear on this board, but sometimes it's necessary)

I found your reply interesting for two reasons, first lubeing the neck bearings is part of the scheduled routine maintenace in the shop manual. And can be easily done with any grease gun, as shown in the shop manual. Second your statement implies this is "selective" practice is standard in all the Harley shops.

You confirm my fear as to what else is not performed in the "10k maintenance" the dealers charge us $400 for?

And why and how can they sell service plans they are so proud of claiming to do "ALL" our maintenance if they are'nt going to do "ALL" the maintenance items listed in their own offical shop manual?

The word fraud come to mind....

I am not a mech. or a tech. and don't claim to be the sharpest tool in the shed, but I sure as heck can do my own mainteance. So for me I didn't buy their service plan when I bought my bike. Mostly because I didn't want my bike to be part an assembly line maintence check, or a training ground for new techs. I'm more discriminating cause its my bike and I don't have to make an appointment at the shops convience. lol

When Iam done, I have complete confidence on my long haul ride all the maintenance has been done according to the Harley shop manual. Which should keep mechcanical problems on the road down to a minimum.

Unfortunately the side effect of my discovery is that now I'm concerned about the same folks putting in a 95 or 103 kit in my bike. So until I find a shop I trust, I am sticking with my stock engine. I would like to do the engine build myself but I don't have the speciality tools or skills. (yet!)

Bigwater, I want to apologize to you in advance if I mis-undestood you...Ive been known to do that.

I just wanted to clearify (is that a word?) my position. Maybe the difference is: I'm talking about scheduled mainteance, vs your "routine mainteance."

Just wanted to share what I found to be surprising in my quest to keep my bike in top form.

As I said before I found the maitenance isn't expensive at all when you do it yourself, and it dosent take all that long to perform. I saved over $300.

Ya I might take longer than the shop cause of my learning curve. But I do it in sections, stopping occasionally to have my favorite drink, etc. Its especially convient on a rainy day. lol

Take care my friend....

08-05-2005, 07:22 AM
No, Black Ops, I can't speak for all Harley Shops. It sounds like nidan has a good shop that treats bikes the way they're supposed to be treated, or at least they've fooled him into thinking that.

My experience has not been as good.

I quit letting the Harley dealer do the service work on my bike years ago when I busted them cheating me on service. I was suspicious that they weren't doing proper maintenance and I did a little test. I etched a tiny, almost imperceivable scratch in the side of my oil filter with my pocket knife before I dropped the bike off. When I picked the bike up... guess what. It had the oil filter with the mark on it. It was nice and shiny, at least they polished it up for me, but it was the same oil filter. They didn't even change the friggin OIL FILTER!!!

I confronted the manager of the shop, and he turned red in the face. You could tell it was from embarrasment and not from anger. He called the tech who had "serviced" my bike and proceded to meakly chew him out in front of me. The manager offered to do a complete service again for free, but by this point I knew better than to trust the shop, so I insisted on getting the "oil change" for free, and took it home and did the rest of the stuff myself, including changing the oil filter. I have done the maintenance ever since. At least if the damn bikes fall apart I'll know why and who's responsible.

I guess it's wrong of me to paint the entire network of dealerships with a broad brush, but as many stories as I've heard when talking about maintenance, it seems that more dealers than not try to get by with as little as they can and still rake in the $$$.

It's always my opinion to either do your own maintenance or find a good independent maintenance guy who makes his living on HIS reputation and not on the reputation of Harley Davidson.