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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OKAY, I have been having problems with slippage, for several weeks now, progressively getting worse. Bike: 2012 Ultra, 15K, nothing too special, 103, with stage 1. After repeatedly adjusting and being fine for about a hour, it begins to slip at 3200 and up, only when trying to pass, or getting on the throttle hard. I have seen several other people here having the same issues. After looking into this further and talking to several other guys, this is what I found. This applies to the newer models including all touring models. It is NOT the clutch being out of adjustment or the cable, or the clutch spring. What I found is that there is a bearing in the tranny that cannot take the forces exerted on it during hard acceleration. It apparently can handle the front to back force, but cannot handle the side to side forces. When it has serious side pull exerted on the bearing it flexes just enough to inadvertently engage the clutch, causing it to slip. The normal person will assume this is an adjustment issue or a clutch problem and get very frustrated, like me! After talking with my local dealer he had explained to me that he has had "many" guys complaining of the same issue. Harley has manufactured a replacement bearing to correct the problem. in order to fix it take your bike to the dealer explain the issue as I did. All the parts have been ordered and when they come in I will get a call to take it in. Because it is a "manufacturing defect" the repairs will be no cost. Since this seems to be isolated to 2011 and newer most people will still have warranty and it will cover the needed repairs, even if the warranty it out. I have talked to a couple of people that have had the bearing replaced and since then have had ZERO issues. I am not big on Dealer service shops, but the one I went to, and after talking with other people that have had the same problem this seems to be the fix. Of course it won't be advertised, because just the parts alone are in excess of 450.00 then a whole day or so of labor, your looking at over 1000.00 in repairs Harley has to eat. I hope this info helps anyone having the same problems. If you go to the dealer and they act stupid, go to a different one. The Service Manager that I spoke with was VERY forthcoming regarding the problem and said Harley is aware and that ALL the DEALERS SHOPS are too. Don't let them black ball you into thinking it's a "wear item" and you have to pay for it. It's a HARLEY problem and they WILL fix it. At least the Dealer I went to seemed up front and honest about it, and more than willing to help. When I have the repairs completed I will update the post to let everyone know how it went. Hope this information helps...
 

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Well HOLY SHIT you are believing this bullshit story from your dealer. Your 2012 has the same tranny bearings as my 08 has, both bikes have 6 speed transmissions and all the same internal components are the same. The problem is in the clutch assembly, the only thing that will slip on a manual transmission is the clutch assembly. The HD transmissions are gear driven transmissions not automatic transmissions so a gear driven transmission will not slip like a automatic transmission.
 

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Thanks for the info. I just noticed mine doing that. But only from shifting into 5th under heavy load. I have an appointment tomorrow morning. I'll see how this works out & post how they handle it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well HOLY SHIT you are believing this bullshit story from your dealer. Your 2012 has the same tranny bearings as my 08 has, both bikes have 6 speed transmissions and all the same internal components are the same. The problem is in the clutch assembly, the only thing that will slip on a manual transmission is the clutch assembly. The HD transmissions are gear driven transmissions not automatic transmissions so a gear driven transmission will not slip like a automatic transmission.
"Well HOLY SHIT!" I never said the "transmission was slipping". I said it was some sort of defect in a bearing causing the CLUTCH to engage under a heavy load. If it's a bullshit story, then I guess it's a bullshit story. I am in no way a mechanic, don't pretend to be, but if when the bike comes out of the shop and the problem is fixed then I guess the bullshit story will be right. If not then they're gonna fix it either way, and I'll update the post to let anyone else that may be having the same issues know what the fix is. If you're so sure it's the "clutch assembly" it would be appreciated if you share your knowledge with the rest of us here, and maybe fix the issue.
 

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Problem here is, take all the parts involved, transmission, clutch, primary drive etc and lay them out on the table. Now look at how they all fit together and function together. Motorcycle clutches, no matter if they're made by in the USA, Europe, Japan or anywhere else are really all very closely related in their function, the parts are slightly different, but the principles of the clutch and it's release mechanism are virtually the same in all of them. Given this, once you look at it all and understand how it works you'll see that there's not really any way that the dealer's explanation works. The mechanics of the release mechanism would mean something really funky would have to be happening for a bad bearing anywhere in the system to cause the clutch to start slipping.
Simple fact is the clutches started having some issues back when the 103" motors first came out. The stock clutch simply isn't really up to the task. Several things have been changed to compensate, but unless the owners want gorilla arms from squeezing the clutch lever there's not alot of fixes to teh problem. If everything is working as it was designed it will work just fine, however if the adjustment is out of whack or if the clutch disks and plates have been glazed by an inexperienced or careless rider, the clutch will slip, and it will get worse over time.

So, either you're not fully understanding exactly what they're telling you, or the dealer is just blowin' smoke, but it doesn't appear that too many people are believing this.

BTW, there has been soem issues with the inner primary bearing on some of the late model bikes, a couple people here have had them replaced, but they don't cause issues with the clutch slipping.
 

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When I had the 103 stage II kit put in in 2008 the SE clutch spring was installed I now have a 103 Stage IV and the same clutch assembly (with stock clutch plates) and it was installed in the bike in 2008 and there is no slippage. No hard clutch pull either.
 

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OK I had the HD Tech check out my clutch, it was slipping going into 5th gear. He drained the oil, which was Redline Primary oil. He said it was black & very thin. Replaced it with HD Formula Primary fluid & readjusted at clutch basket & cable. It did not do any damage to the discs. He took it for a ride & had no problems. I have 15k on the bike & have been running Redline since 5k service & changed it every 5k & never had a problem. I run Redline engine & Trans ShoockProof. I plan on calling Redline & talk to them about issue. I just want to let them know. I will continue to use Redline engine & Shockproof. I have run Redline engine oil for years with no issues.
 

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Please let us know how the people @ Redline respond. I been using it in my bikes for 10 years with no issues at all. That stuff is blended about 10 miles from me, used to go to the same taco truck as their employees.
 

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I don't think RL Shook proof has anything to do with it. I and many others I know have been using it for years with no problems. I even use it in my differentials in my truck.
 

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OK I had the HD Tech check out my clutch, it was slipping going into 5th gear. He drained the oil, which was Redline Primary oil. He said it was black & very thin. Replaced it with HD Formula Primary fluid & readjusted at clutch basket & cable. It did not do any damage to the discs. He took it for a ride & had no problems. I have 15k on the bike & have been running Redline since 5k service & changed it every 5k & never had a problem. I run Redline engine & Trans ShoockProof. I plan on calling Redline & talk to them about issue. I just want to let them know. I will continue to use Redline engine & Shockproof. I have run Redline engine oil for years with no issues.


This brings up an important point. Too much oil in the primary will cause more clutch issues than it solves. It's been long recommended by many to fill the primary only to the very bottom of the diaphragm spring with the bike upright. In my experience, getting the oil to this level in the primary requires only 32oz on a "wet"(drain and refill) oil change.
The HD clutch is a "semi-wet" design, which means it likes a SMALL amount of oil on the clutch plates, not a bath of oil. Using more oil than required can cause issues with both slippage and difficulty getting adjusted properly to easily find neutral.
 

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This brings up an important point. Too much oil in the primary will cause more clutch issues than it solves. It's been long recommended by many to fill the primary only to the very bottom of the diaphragm spring with the bike upright. In my experience, getting the oil to this level in the primary requires only 32oz on a "wet"(drain and refill) oil change.
The HD clutch is a "semi-wet" design, which means it likes a SMALL amount of oil on the clutch plates, not a bath of oil. Using more oil than required can cause issues with both slippage and difficulty getting adjusted properly to easily find neutral.
That's a good point. I never measure . I just fill until it hits the bottom of the diaphragm.
 

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Big_gary, thanks for the reply. But please go back & read my thread. I'm talking about the PRIMARY. Not the ShockProof in the trans. Maybe you just typed in the wrong Redline product. Also, I will be talking the bike back to the dealership in about 1,500 for the next service. I will post any news after talking to Redline on Monday. Thank you.
 

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Big_gary, thanks for the reply. But please go back & read my thread. I'm talking about the PRIMARY. Not the ShockProof in the trans. Maybe you just typed in the wrong Redline product. Also, I will be talking the bike back to the dealership in about 1,500 for the next service. I will post any news after talking to Redline on Monday. Thank you.
You are right. In my first post I thought you were talking about your tranny, using shock proof. Some time reading off my phone screen I miss stuff. getting old I guess. :)

Just be aware a lot of shops only push what they sell even if there's something better out there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Update.....

Okay, Got the bike in the shop on Monday and just picked it up today. The trap door bearings were replaced, along with various other gaskets, orings ect...I had a little over a hour ride to the house so I put it through it's paces and it performed better than when I bought it. The clutch pull is now considerably stiffer and engages very quickly and smooth. I guess that tells me that it was on it's way out when I bought it. It had only 6K on it when I picked it up. It was a rental so I suspect that had something to do with it. maybe abuse and the fact that the bearings were already wore so I never knew the difference. Now it feels as though it's different ride entirely. Pulls very hard through all the gears, shifts nice and smooth, no slippage, no lag on take off. Hopefully this will be a permanent fix. So far I am happy with the repairs, and was told that if I have anymore issues to bring it in and they will take care of it. I was going to have the SE clutch spring put in too while it was apart, but decided not to. I wanted to see if this was in fact the issue, and so far it seems to be the case. Crossing my fingers...Until I get some miles on it and really put it through the ringer..If anything changes or stays the same I'll update again after a few weeks of real world riding. God it feels good to hit the throttle and feel it go...
 
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