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2012 H-D FLTRU
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've now had my Road Glide for about a month. First off, I still absolutely love it. There are a few things that could be improved, and there are a few repairs that should probably happen, but there are no major issues. The bike starts everytime, it has plenty of power, and the problems I'm pointing out below are part of the tradeoff for getting a killer deal on a used bike rather than shelling out for a brand new one. So I'm not complaining, just looking for some advice:

Mechanical: Everything seems to work, but I am noticing a slight burnt-oil smell when the bike is warm. I don't see any visible leaks, nor any blue smoke from the exhaust, but it SMELLS like a little oil is being burned...somewhere. I'd appreciate advice on where to look

Brake fluid: I had my mechanic look over this motorcycle before I bought it, and the first thing he advised me to do was to change the brake fluid. Is this a reasonably easy DIY job?

Compensator: This is the second thing my mechanic suggested would need changing eventually. On an engine with 70K miles, should I just have this done and get it over with? Replacement Harley part or aftermarket?

Exhaust pops: I really like the sound of the Rinehart slip-ons my bike came with, but there is a little bit of popping on downshifts. I've read that the fix for this is a tune, even though conventional wisdom is that with slip-ons as the only modification, a tune isn't necessary. (I'm not looking for additional power; I'm quite happy with what I'm getting from the stock 103.)

Infotainment: I rented a 2022 Road Glide from Eagle Rider this summer, and other than less vibration at idle (not a concern,) the biggest difference I noticed is the vastly improved Infotainment. In particular, I'd like to have navigation via CarPlay. There seem to be several more-or-less plug-and-play head units on the market for this, but I'd like to hear about experiences anyone here on the forum have had. I'd want something that can be installed non-destructively so that I can reinstall the factory head unit in the future.


Seat: I'm 6'2", and the stock saddle is too low to the ground for me. I'd like to find a saddle that is either taller, further back or both for better legroom. I see Harley has some options, but they seem pricey. Any recommendations for aftermarket? 1Up is fine; I don't plan on carrying passengers.

Grips: My bike came with aftermarket handlebars that are pretty comfortable, but the grips are the stock foam grips and are a pretty worn. I'd like to find some grips that look a little nicer while being similar in size and comfort to the stock grips. Or perhaps just a replacement set of stock grips.

Battery charger: I found an outlet towards the rear of the saddle on the right side of the bike that looks like it would hook up to a battery charger, but I'm not measuring any voltage from it, so it seems appearances can be deceiving. Can I simply add leads to a maintenance charger plug directly from the battery terminals, or are there any gotchas?

Taillights: This bike has the clear taillights with red LEDs inside. Is that stock, or did the stock ones have a red lens? I'm not a huge fan of the "clear" look.


I realize I'm asking a lot of questions that have probably been asked before, and I promise I'll be searching the forum for threads on this. Absolutely feel free to link me to old threads. But I wanted to do a writeup of the things I'd like to do to the bike.
 

· Shark of the Month October 13
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1. I would think if it was leaking enough that you can smell it burning, it would be leaving a few tell-tale drops on the garage floor. If concerned have your indie wrench give it a once over

2. The entire system should be drained, flushed, and replaced. DIY? Depends on your abilities and if you have the tools. Since one drop of brake fluid can/will ruin a paint job, I pay to have it done but my wrenching skills are probably less than yours.

3. At 70+k miles, it may have already been done. If not you can wait until you need to have it done. From my experience, it gives you fair warning as it'll sound like it's got marbles inside the primary case before it becomes critical. If it suddenly makes that sound, don't keep riding it much or else you can do further damage - just ride it to your indie shop. My 2011 103TC needed it around 40k miles.

4. Hard to say without actually hearing what you're describing, but generally I'd say no - unless it bothers you

5. Your call. I bought a $125 Garmin unit and a Klock Werks magnetic disc mount and am happy with it for basic nav. I keep a plastic baggie in the glove box to throw over it when it rains as the waterproof Garmins are $700+ Depends on the level of sophistication you're looking for and how much $ you're willing to spend.

6. Any decent seat is going to be a bit pricey, and you never know if they fit you well and solve your issues until you've bought and paid for a new one and put on some miles. Which is why a lot of guys on here have 1-2 (or more) failed attempts on a shelf in the garage. Most HD dealers have a loaner program, where they let you try one of theirs for free for a few days or a week. Might be the least expensive option for finding one that fits you well. Don't just try one by riding it around town for a day. Go put 300 miles on one for a reasonable sampling. Some seats (Corbin for example) take a couple thousand miles of use to break in. They are about as comfortable as a granite slab when new - but long term give you the support you need on long days in the saddle.

7. Avon makes excellent grips in many styles,

8. Can't help you there as I've never used a tender and routinely get 5+ years out of a battery.

9. Description says 'aftermarket'. Is it just a regular functioning unit or does it flash/strobe, etc.? Options are available.

Just one guy's thoughts - your experiences may vary!
 

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2011 Road Glide Ultra
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253 Posts
For leaks, double-check your rear cylinder. I know mine has a small leak from the lower rocker box gasket.

Brake fluid.... Definitely change ASAP, if you don't know how I'd pay for the service. JMO.

Compensator... I wouldn't change it until it needs it, but I personally plan on a Man-O-War unit on mine when it's time.

Grips... I believe I have a stock set you can have for the price of shipping, if you're interested I can send pics.

Sent from my SM-G991U using Tapatalk
 

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brake fluid- does your bike have abs? if so, it's not as easy to diy. if no abs, not too bad a job.

infotainment-you are pre gt radio. you aren't going to have many options for apple car play. the screen just isn't big enough for onboard nav. if you don't want to spend the money on motorcycle specific nav, there are some videos on youtube on how to 'waterproof' an inexpensive car gps.

grips-stock are cheap. i would recommend spending the extra $ and get a set of heated grips. the stock look work the best, though some have had good luck with the kahuna ones as well.

seat-i got nothing for you. i'm nowhere near what anyone would call tall. probably on par with a hobbit ;)

exhaust pops-a lot of that is down to the large opening of the baffles. rineharts are notorious for it. unless it's super excessive. lollipop inserts are supposed to work well for that.

tender-if you've got wiring that is already hooked up, but does not show any voltage, i would definitely trace that out first. you could have a bad wire that has metal exposed and could cause problems in the future. once that is taken care of, hooking up a tender pigtail to the battery is no problem.

taillights-depending on how bright the leds are, you could replace the lens with a red lens. your bike definitely came new from the factory with incandescent bulbs.

enjoy the bike. while it isn't the 'latest and greatest', it is still a fine machine. if mine hadn't got totaled, my wife and i would still be riding our 2012 and 2013.
 

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My '11 has 85000 +/- on it ..

1) sometimes mine has the smell , but I haven't found any obvious leaks

2) Brake fluid is sposed to be changed every two years , you can do a normal flush or take it to someone to do it that can cycle the abs valves when it's flushed or you can buy a tablet and do your own abs cycle flushes , my abs unit just crapped out a couple months ago and I have bypassed it until I can see if it's good or not ..

3) Follow all answers above , mine is the original OEM

4) exhaust pops are caused by a too lean condition when you decelerate , not a big issue for most folks , some tuners allow you to add a little fuel to eliminate the pop

5) No help here , I rarely listen to the radio , if I want music I BT my phone and wireless headset . I nav through my phone when I need it .

6) All seats are spendy , as has been said above , try the Harley demo seats for starters ..

7) I have Avons , forget the model but they are one of the air models , love them

8) Answered already make sure the lines are not broken or frayed , Harley tenders will plug right in ..

9) Already answered , red is stock .

I've gotten a couple bikes years ago that were a few years old with low miles and I replaced a lot of stuff , but yours has been ridden a lot , so thats a good thing .. regulators and stators can be an issue , but with those miles , if they were issues , they've been repaired , after two VR failures and one stator failure , I went aftermarket ..

JtB
 

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1.) I get the same burnt oil smell with mine and have for a long time. It's likely from the oil that pukes from your air cleaner and likely burns from hitting the exhaust. It's not that much oil so not noticeable as a leak would be. You can also get this after an oil change do to the oil filter replacement.

2.) Unless you have the right equipment the brake fluid should be done by a pro if you have ABS.

3.) Check out the Corbin Solo Tour seat. A little pricey but worth it.
 

· Administrator
2008 FLTRU 105th Anniversary w/ 110"
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4) exhaust pops are caused by a too lean condition when you decelerate , not a big issue for most folks , some tuners allow you to add a little fuel to eliminate the pop


JtB
Decel popping on fuel injected bikes is actually unburnt fuel in the exhaust system, happens more on bikes that aren't tuned to stop spraying fuel on decel.

OP - you have a lot of good advice here already, I have nothing to add that hasn't already been mentioned other than: welcome to owning a Harley; where buying the bike is just the downpayment for ongoing mods and maintenance.
 

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My other wife loves my '17 FLTRU too!
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The only thing I have any knowledge or opinion on is a seat. The Saddlemen Road Sofa. Mine actually sits me a little more than an inch higher that my stock seat (Note: stock seat has 60k miles so it may have been squished a bit).
They have an LS version that has an extra 2" of leg room though I'm not sure of the ride height compared to stock.
Had mine for a couple of weeks so far and I'll be using this brand from now on. New are starting about $600 depending on the reseller and options. Or go to Saddlemen directly and have one custom made.
Might be worth a look?
Just my $0.02

oh yeah, +1 on the Avon grips. 50k on mine so far with minimal wear.
 

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Its pricey, but this head unit is coming, with carplay, I have the HDHU14+

 

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Bastardized 2011 FLTRU
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Mechanical: It’s probably blow-by your smelling

Brake fluid: Not DIY if you have ABS.

Compensator: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it I say. My ‘11 with 50,000 is still on the original. If it goes south you’ll know it.

Exhaust pops: bike is factory lean and a more free-flowing exhaust exacerbates that problem. I had Reinhardt duals on my street glide and they popped even after I tuned it.

Infotainment: Not a lot out there for our older bikes if you’re wanting a nav display. Soundstream is releasing one at the end of the month but it’s $1,000.

Seat: Many out there and everyone’s ass is different. What works for Joe doesn’t work for John. Along the lines of handlebars, oil, and tires. I bought two saddles off Amazon for $150 each intending them as tests before I pulled the trigger on a name brand for $700+. Ended up with one of them that I liked and sent the other one back for a full refund. 5000 miles later I’m still happy with it and have no need to try a more expensive one.

Grips: I bought a throttle tube from Lowbrow Customs and run ODI Vans grips. Super comfy and they’re real grips not decorations.

Battery charger: All my bikes for the last 20 years have lived on a tender when in the garage. It’s cheap insurance your bikes gotta start when you are ready to ride. And my batteries last 5+ years….. If the pigtail you found isn’t hot, trace it back as it should be hooked directly to the battery terminals.

Taillights: The taillights lens you describe is not OEM for your bike. Below is the style that came on your bike:
 

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Bastardized 2011 FLTRU
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That soundstream looks the tits

JtB
Yeah, my brain has been digesting it for the last month in an attempt to justify spending $1000 on something I’m able to accomplish currently with my phone and a handlebar mount. Especially since I already spent $200 adding wireless Bluetooth to my HK head unit a couple months back……. But fuck, it sure would be sweet……
 

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2011 Road Glide Ultra
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253 Posts
Yeah, my brain has been digesting it for the last month in an attempt to justify spending $1000 on something I’m able to accomplish currently with my phone and a handlebar mount. Especially since I already spent $200 adding wireless Bluetooth to my HK head unit a couple months back……. But fuck, it sure would be sweet……
For real. It's 2x+ the price of all the other head units out there.
 

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For real. It's 2x+ the price of all the other head units out there.
Yes, it’s stupid. But Soundstream basically has the market cornered on a head unit with these features so you either pay it or you don’t. I definitely can’t swing it now right before the holidays, but knowing me I’ll probably pull the trigger come spring….
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm back after a long absence -- I wound up on a somewhat unplanned vacation in Hawaii, thanks to a good friend! But I'm back, and I really do appreciate everyone's feedback! I was already planning to have my mechanic do fluid changes for me, including brake fluid, and there's other good advice here I'll be taking as well. Some responses to specific replies:

9. Description says 'aftermarket'. Is it just a regular functioning unit or does it flash/strobe, etc.? Options are available.
They're just regular functioning units, I just happen to prefer the stock look with colored lenses. I do like having LEDs, though. I won't go back to incandescents.

For leaks, double-check your rear cylinder. I know mine has a small leak from the lower rocker box gasket.
Grips... I believe I have a stock set you can have for the price of shipping, if you're interested I can send pics.
I'd be curious to see the grips. I'll double-check the rear cylinder. Wherever it is, it seems slight, because the oil level has not dropped at all in about five hundred miles of riding so far, and no visible drops have appeared on the floor.

brake fluid- does your bike have abs? if so, it's not as easy to diy. if no abs, not too bad a job.
<snip>
exhaust pops-a lot of that is down to the large opening of the baffles. rineharts are notorious for it. unless it's super excessive. lollipop inserts are supposed to work well for that.
<snip>
enjoy the bike. while it isn't the 'latest and greatest', it is still a fine machine. if mine hadn't got totaled, my wife and i would still be riding our 2012 and 2013.
I do have ABS, and I will be having my mechanic do that. I did try searching for"lollipop inserts" but I'm not finding any information, including on Revzilla's "Harley baffles and inserts" page. Can you point me in the right direction to find those?
And yes, I'm very much enjoying the bike. I've ridden a 2022 Road Glide, and the ride was not that different from my 2012. Honestly, the only thing I really wish I had is navigation and CarPlay, and there may be a drop-in option for that per some other replies here..

My '11 has 85000 +/- on it ..

1) sometimes mine has the smell , but I haven't found any obvious leaks
4) exhaust pops are caused by a too lean condition when you decelerate , not a big issue for most folks , some tuners allow you to add a little fuel to eliminate the pop
5) No help here , I rarely listen to the radio , if I want music I BT my phone and wireless headset . I nav through my phone when I need it .
7) I have Avons , forget the model but they are one of the air models , love them
<remaining items snipped>
I've gotten a couple bikes years ago that were a few years old with low miles and I replaced a lot of stuff , but yours has been ridden a lot , so thats a good thing .. regulators and stators can be an issue , but with those miles , if they were issues , they've been repaired , after two VR failures and one stator failure , I went aftermarket ..

JtB
Burned oil smell: Good to know I'm not the only one! And on the brake fluid, I'll be scheduling that with my mechanic this month.
Exhaust pops: Sounds like there are available inserts that may be worth trying first. I'm not understanding how more fuel would help; aren't the pops basically tiny amounts of unburned fuel detonating in the muffler, like a minor backfire? It's not a big issue either way, just a minor thing I'd like to improve if I can do so without too much trouble or expense.
Seats and grips: I'll definitely look at a Harley loaner seat for testing, and I'll check out the Avons
Radio: Navigation is actually bigger for me. For just music, I could wire something like an old iPod to the factor aux input, but I really like the idea of having navigation apps that don't require mounting my phone to my handlebars. And it sounds like Soundstream is making exactly what I want, I just have to decide whether it's worth the stiff price tag.

My bike has definitely been broken in, but it looks like the previous owners took very good care of it. I've put about 500 miles on it so far, and for the most part, it rides like a dream.

1.) I get the same burnt oil smell with mine and have for a long time. It's likely from the oil that pukes from your air cleaner and likely burns from hitting the exhaust. It's not that much oil so not noticeable as a leak would be. You can also get this after an oil change do to the oil filter replacement.
2.) Unless you have the right equipment the brake fluid should be done by a pro if you have ABS.
3.) Check out the Corbin Solo Tour seat. A little pricey but worth it.
It seems a few people in the thread have this experience, so I'm just going to keep an eye on the oil level and not worry about it too much. Perhaps my mechanic can get to the bottom of it when I bring it in for fluid changes later this month. I'll definitely be having him do the brake fluid, as I do have ABS. And I'll take a look at the Corbin Solo Tour seat.

Decel popping on fuel injected bikes is actually unburnt fuel in the exhaust system, happens more on bikes that aren't tuned to stop spraying fuel on decel.
OP - you have a lot of good advice here already, I have nothing to add that hasn't already been mentioned other than: welcome to owning a Harley; where buying the bike is just the downpayment for ongoing mods and maintenance.
I'm curious why stopping fuel on decel wouldn't be part of the stock fuel map? But not sure it's worth getting a tune just for that. I have no shortage of horsepower, by the way. For all I know, this could have had a tune done already. The seller wasn't aware of one, but he was the second owner.

The only thing I have any knowledge or opinion on is a seat. The Saddlemen Road Sofa. Mine actually sits me a little more than an inch higher that my stock seat (Note: stock seat has 60k miles so it may have been squished a bit).
They have an LS version that has an extra 2" of leg room though I'm not sure of the ride height compared to stock.
Had mine for a couple of weeks so far and I'll be using this brand from now on. New are starting about $600 depending on the reseller and options. Or go to Saddlemen directly and have one custom made.
Might be worth a look?
Just my $0.02

oh yeah, +1 on the Avon grips. 50k on mine so far with minimal wear.
I'll be checking out both the Saddlemen Road Sofa and the Avon grips. Gaining an inch or two either on seat height or leg room would help a lot.
Its pricey, but this head unit is coming, with carplay, I have the HDHU14+

I had seen the Soundstream unit before, but I'd be curious to hear about your experiences, even though I realize your model is slightly different and for a newer bike. How do you like it?

Mechanical: It’s probably blow-by your smelling
Brake fluid: Not DIY if you have ABS.
Compensator: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it I say. My ‘11 with 50,000 is still on the original. If it goes south you’ll know it.
Exhaust pops: bike is factory lean and a more free-flowing exhaust exacerbates that problem. I had Reinhardt duals on my street glide and they popped even after I tuned it.
Infotainment: Not a lot out there for our older bikes if you’re wanting a nav display. Soundstream is releasing one at the end of the month but it’s $1,000.
Seat: Many out there and everyone’s ass is different. What works for Joe doesn’t work for John. Along the lines of handlebars, oil, and tires. I bought two saddles off Amazon for $150 each intending them as tests before I pulled the trigger on a name brand for $700+. Ended up with one of them that I liked and sent the other one back for a full refund. 5000 miles later I’m still happy with it and have no need to try a more expensive one.
Grips: I bought a throttle tube from Lowbrow Customs and run ODI Vans grips. Super comfy and they’re real grips not decorations.
Battery charger: All my bikes for the last 20 years have lived on a tender when in the garage. It’s cheap insurance your bikes gotta start when you are ready to ride. And my batteries last 5+ years….. If the pigtail you found isn’t hot, trace it back as it should be hooked directly to the battery terminals.
Taillights: The taillights lens you describe is not OEM for your bike. Below is the style that came on your bike:
<snip>
Lots of great advice here.
Mechanical: It may well just be blowby I'm smelling. Brake fluid is definitely getting done professionally. The battery charger I plan to go trace out myself.
Exhaust pops: Makes sense; I may try some baffle inserts to tame the Rineharts just a tad.
Infotainment: I am pretty much drooling over the Soundstream. That may well wind up being my solution.
Seat and grips: I'll start at the dealer with some loaner seat test rides and go from there. The Amazon route may be worth a shot too.
Taillights: I won't be going back to OEM as I like having LEDs, but I may try to find aftermarket LEDs with colored lenses. I just like the classic red taillight lenses better than the clear ones.

That soundstream looks the tits
To quote Gollum: "I wants it. My precioussss."

Yeah, my brain has been digesting it for the last month in an attempt to justify spending $1000 on something I’m able to accomplish currently with my phone and a handlebar mount. Especially since I already spent $200 adding wireless Bluetooth to my HK head unit a couple months back……. But fuck, it sure would be sweet……
I'm facing the same conundrum, but I have absolutely fallen in love with CarPlay in my car, and I'd love to have my choice of Apple Maps, Google Maps, Waze etc right on the bike. And with what I saved buying a used bike, that extra $1K may just be worth it.
 

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I did try searching for"lollipop inserts" but I'm not finding any information, including on Revzilla's "Harley baffles and inserts" page. Can you point me in the right direction to find those?
And yes, I'm very much enjoying the bike. I've ridden a 2022 Road Glide, and the ride was not that different from my 2012. Honestly, the only thing I really wish I had is navigation and CarPlay, and there may be a drop-in option for that per some other replies here..

something like this:

there are homemade versions up to professional versions, all based on the same principle, and how much you can do yourself.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Automotive lighting Vehicle
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
something like this:

there are homemade versions up to professional versions, all based on the same principle, and how much you can do yourself.

View attachment 452366
Yikes. I think I'd rather live with the pops than do that to my beautiful Rineharts. I was hoping there'd be an internal baffle or insert of some sort that wouldn't be visible from outside. I may reach to Rinehart to see if they have any solutions.
 

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I really like the Soundstream headunit, I did lose a couple of things like Temp, and it doesn't have its own navigation, but I rarely used the HD navi that was in the stock head unit. I am thinking of adding a matched set of upgraded speakers and a single amp, although it already sounds better with just the radio upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I really like the Soundstream headunit, I did lose a couple of things like Temp, and it doesn't have its own navigation, but I rarely used the HD navi that was in the stock head unit. I am thinking of adding a matched set of upgraded speakers and a single amp, although it already sounds better with just the radio upgrade.
Sounds good. I see no need for built-in Navigation with CarPlay, as my phone has better navigation than any standalone GPS or car/motorcycle OEM navigation system I've ever used. For sound, I wear a full-face (modular) helmet, so I think I'll try to find some decent-quality helmet audio and use Bluetooth for that.
 
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