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Discussion Starter #1
I am seeing these threads about engine issues at relatively low miles and am getting nervous about leaving the ultra reliable Japanese drive trains for this Road Glide.

The technician who showed me the bike after purchase said that I should never engine brake with this bike. He said that I should just use the brakes and pull in the clutch lever. This is totally foreign to how I have always ridden. I've never had to change brake pads on any bikes I have owned.

So, what are the rules of riding that will keep this engine going until I get bored with this bike?
 

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What year of bike are you referring to?
The reason he is telling you not to engine brake is because it can beat the crank up, especially if doing it from a high rpm. It can cause the crank to twist. The earlier tc's (like around 2002) were a bit more beefy in that department.
I think we all engine brake to a certain extent, but it's easier for the tech to tell you not to do it, instead of him taking the time to explain why.
Lil Chief
 

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Just ride it.
For every 1 person that jumps on a forum with untold numbers of problems, there are hundreds of owners out there running
thousands of miles completely oblivious to all the problems that they are supposed to be having.

I'm on my 4th Twin cam engine ranging from 2001 to 2015. Besides all the other "problems" that I've never
had surface, I engine brake as hard and religiously as anyone and have yet to have an issue with a shifted crankshaft.
 

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Just ride it.
For every 1 person that jumps on a forum with untold numbers of problems, there are hundreds of owners out there running
thousands of miles completely oblivious to all the problems that they are supposed to be having.

I'm on my 4th Twin cam engine ranging from 2001 to 2015. Besides all the other "problems" that I've never
had surface, I engine brake as hard and religiously as anyone and have yet to have an issue with a shifted crankshaft.
Same here with the same outcome. I engine brake all the time coming to a stop. The main thing is to not slam on the brakes at any rpm with out pulling the clutch in and also not dropping the hammer from dead stop at higher rpm. It seems these are the main culprits of twisting a crank. I've redline shifted thru the gears on every bike I've owned with high horsepower motors and never had a problem. You hear stories, but not near as many happen as you would think. That's a big debate over on Harley Tech Talk. The consensus seems to be the same. Don't be an idiot and ride it like you stole it.
 

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I've also had a tech tell me that engine breaking to save breaks just caused you to spend more money on tires because it wears out the tires quicker. :confused: He said he would rather spend less money on brakes than have to replace tires more frequently. I have to admit that I bit on this for a little while until I thought about why it might do this. Then I thought; doesn't braking put the same amount of friction on the tires against the road to slow the bike down? Hmmmmm...

Have yet to hear anyone else make that claim. I could buy the crank issue but not so sure about wearing out the tires faster unless I saw a conclusive test that proved it.
 

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I dunno... I've always just ridden the damn thing and fixed it if something broke. I know if I'm riding like an idiot, something could break... I beat on my bike pretty hard, pretty regularly. Much more so than the average joe, and she takes it in stride and keeps right on going.

If something does break, I just consider it finding the weak point and try to find a way to make it better when I fix it... lol
 

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Discussion Starter #8
you claim you never changed brake pads on any bike you owned, so based on this info your road glide will stay in the garage a lot to worry about engine braking.
I average 25,000 miles a year on two wheels. I have not exceeded 55,000 miles on any one bike though. I am always looking for the next bike. I generally part with a bike at around 40,000 miles, but some of the specific purpose bikes are hard to rack up the miles on.

I have never seen the need to race up to a red light and then hit the brakes, or race up to a curve and hit the brakes. I ride 'the pace'.
The Pace | Nick Ienatsch | Motorcyclist magazine
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've also had a tech tell me that engine breaking to save breaks just caused you to spend more money on tires because it wears out the tires quicker. :confused: He said he would rather spend less money on brakes than have to replace tires more frequently. I have to admit that I bit on this for a little while until I thought about why it might do this. Then I thought; doesn't braking put the same amount of friction on the tires against the road to slow the bike down? Hmmmmm...

Have yet to hear anyone else make that claim. I could buy the crank issue but not so sure about wearing out the tires faster unless I saw a conclusive test that proved it.
The tech told me that the engine could reverse direction or something like that. He also said engine braking wears the clutch plates.
 

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The tech told me that the engine could reverse direction or something like that. He also said engine braking wears the clutch plates.
Find a better tech.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I dunno... I've always just ridden the damn thing and fixed it if something broke. I know if I'm riding like an idiot, something could break... I beat on my bike pretty hard, pretty regularly. Much more so than the average joe, and she takes it in stride and keeps right on going.

If something does break, I just consider it finding the weak point and try to find a way to make it better when I fix it... lol
I don't think you and I will ever ride together. :wink:

Something breaking when I am 3000 miles from home would not make me very happy. I take care of my rides, and so far they have taken care of me.
 

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I don't think you and I will ever ride together. :wink:

Something breaking when I am 3000 miles from home would not make me very happy. I take care of my rides, and so far they have taken care of me.
Lol fair enough. I am more reserved on trips and the bikes gets a VERY thorough check off before I go. I ride most every day though and a lot of it is in town, to and from work. I ride because I enjoy it and it's fun. Most of my in town riding is "spirited". It's fun and just how I enjoy riding.

Don't mistake me "beating" on my bike as not taking care of it though. I take very good care of my bike and am meticulous with my maintenance, both routine and preventative. Specifically because of my riding style. I just like to have fun while riding.:grin:
 

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I average 25,000 miles a year on two wheels. I have not exceeded 55,000 miles on any one bike though. I am always looking for the next bike. I generally part with a bike at around 40,000 miles, but some of the specific purpose bikes are hard to rack up the miles on.

I have never seen the need to race up to a red light and then hit the brakes, or race up to a curve and hit the brakes. I ride 'the pace'.
The Pace | Nick Ienatsch | Motorcyclist magazine
I'm a certified motorcycle riding instructor and know all about "The Pace"....OEM brake pads don't offer much wear life...everyday riding does require braking at some point.
 

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As others have said dont ride it like its made of egg shells,my 12 has 30,000 miles on it.I dont do burn outs but i'm not afraid to take it to redline thru out the gears.I use engine break to help slow dont i just dont get aggressive with the down shift.Make sure to keep a quality oil and filter in and on the engine there are many on here who have near 60,000 miles plus on their factory engine.If mine does take a crap a S&S 124 will slide right in its place.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I'm a certified motorcycle riding instructor and know all about "The Pace"....OEM brake pads don't offer much wear life...everyday riding does require braking at some point.
What can I say, I am gentle on brakes and don't have to stop very often where I ride. Beautiful country two lanes.
My 2000 GMC truck was at 50% pad when I sold it with 185,000 miles on it.
My 2010 Vulcan Voyager only had one pad that looked like any wear, but I replaced them all at 50,000 miles because I had the wheels off to service the steering and swingarm bearings.
My 2012 Concours 1400 didn't have much engine braking and a lot of power so the brakes only lasted 30,000 miles.
 

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The technician who showed me the bike after purchase said that I should never engine brake with this bike. He said that I should just use the brakes and pull in the clutch lever. This is totally foreign to how I have always ridden. I've never had to change brake pads on any bikes I have owned.
What the technician told you is the correct way to stop your bike. That doesn't mean you cannot engine brake, but I would advise against hard engine braking. Most HD riders like the rumble of engine braking, but it's not the correct way to stop your bike and does add wear and tear to internal components like the compensator which is a well known weak link.

Most of the crankshaft issues since the 2002 models come from modified engines where increased compression, cubic inches, and cams are added. I am one of those people who had the crank problem after modding my engine.
 

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It sounds like you know how to ride and shift. I've read and learned from one of those books and enjoy the pace. I have ridden my bike and always blip the throttle like he teaches and have my bike close to 50k miles now. Stop worrying and go ride! :)
 
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What the technician told you is the correct way to stop your bike. That doesn't mean you cannot engine brake, but I would advise against hard engine braking. Most HD riders like the rumble of engine braking, but it's not the correct way to stop your bike and does add wear and tear to internal components like the compensator which is a well known weak link.

Most of the crankshaft issues since the 2002 models come from modified engines where increased compression, cubic inches, and cams are added. I am one of those people who had the crank problem after modding my engine.
I would bet dollars to doughnuts that most flywheels that scissor are on bikes with modified engines and or hotrod riders.
 

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I am seeing these threads about engine issues at relatively low miles and am getting nervous about leaving the ultra reliable Japanese drive trains for this Road Glide.



The technician who showed me the bike after purchase said that I should never engine brake with this bike. He said that I should just use the brakes and pull in the clutch lever. This is totally foreign to how I have always ridden. I've never had to change brake pads on any bikes I have owned.



So, what are the rules of riding that will keep this engine going until I get bored with this bike?

#1-these bikes, Harleys in general, and air cooled Harleys in particular, are NOT going to be as reliable as the other bikes you mentioned.

With that in mind, look up the mileage thread and you'll see plenty of guys riding these bikes well into the six figure range when maintained properly. That's saying a LOT for an air cooled, vtwin engine. Ride it and maintain it, it'll take care of you for a looooong time. In addition to that, none of those other bikes can match the reliability of the brotherhood associated with riding these Harleys! Hands down! Ride it hard, ride it soft, it's gonna break, get it fixed, ride it some more!


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