View Full Version : So I had my first brush with H-D service today

3rd December 2004, 23:06
Stopped by Killer Creek in Atl to do some Xmas shopping. Had my brandy new motorcycle, and a question. When I check the oil it is is all foamed (seems areated) so I asked the service writer about the oil. He insisted that they take it back and look at it -- so far I am impressed. So a few minutes later they wheel it back out and tell me that the oil seemed a little over filled and that they had removed some. All well and good. He went on to tell me that they had checked the tires and filled them to the proper pressure -- 40 PSI just like it says on the carcas -- Whoa back up the bus here -- the pressure H-D reccomends is 30/34 (from a feeble memory) not 40. I was told that Harley knows motor cylcles but Dunlop knows tires and it says 40 PSI. So that is the pressure that should be used.

When didthis thing about tire presures slip into the common knowledge -- the tire says it will carry a maximum of 1700 lbs at 40 PSI not that it should be inflated to 40 PSI (I may be a big guy but me and the bike are not even close to 1700 lbs (actually 3400 lbs for both wheels)) I am beginning to think that this is a common assumption being made by mechanics. My wife has a Toyota Spyder 2200 lbs all up (approx 500 lbs/wheel) -- every time we have taken it to the dealer and every time we have had new tires put on -- it has come back inflated to 40lbs. The Spyder is an incrdibly well balanced car (Im afraid the sport bikes get in its way at the Dragon :) ) but put that much air in the tires and it gets really skeey.

How can I trust someone to work on this stuff if the mechanics don't quite understand the concept of inflating tires. This new bike (its yellow I call it buttercup) will go to the dealer for the 1k check -- then it will never see the dealer again -- ever.

Am I missing something here???

3rd December 2004, 23:30
From the Dulop website,

Make: Harley-Davidson | Model: XL 1200 C (04) - Sportster Custom

Tire : D402F | Size : MH90-21 | Loaded PSI : 30
Tire : D401 | Size : 150/80B06 | Loaded PSI : 36/40

3rd December 2004, 23:31
Well there's a pickle -- H-D says 30/36 or 30/40.. I realy wasn't able to tell much difference -- It's not like H-D has just started using Dunlops --

I know Sports car -- I'm learning motorcyle --

3rd December 2004, 23:33
Just picked my bike up from having it spend over a MONTH there for a repair that could've been done much sooner. Also didn't even bother telling me the thing is ready- only found out a week later when I called THEM. Don't worry- they will manage to screw up your 1K somehow, best is just to allow extra time for it, & expect them to under-deliver. That way you'll be pleasantly surprised when they don't. I'm not naturally this cynical, just bumped my head on the dealer-trap, one too many times...! :headbang

As far as your tyre pressure goes- just go by the manual & forget this 40psi malarky!

3rd December 2004, 23:42
I agree start with the factory pressure them tweak a little to suit -- I haven't reached the skill level to do my own tweaking -- it takes a while to hone the ole seat "o" pants

3rd December 2004, 23:56
I run 36 f and 42 rear on my Dunlops or Bridgestones

Same on my GSXR unless I'm playin up the mountains on the gixxer, in which case I usually drop it a bit so the tire heats up as I was gettin some cold tearin at those pressures due to not enough heat in the tire...good thing on the open road but NOT in the mountains

3rd December 2004, 23:59
This is why my bike will NOT be going to ANY dealer, save for obvious warranty work! I have 'rolled my own' for years and am not about to stop. Spent too much time in the past trying to explain, to 'factory trained' techs, what actually was going on and needed to be fixed. As witnessed above, the responses sometimes makes one wonder if the question was even heard, much less understood.


4th December 2004, 00:06
what do you mean -- cold tearin (maybe a typo)

4th December 2004, 00:13
Cold tearin' where I come from is when the rubber starts to 'break away' (lose traction, especially on curves) under acceleration- is this right Stevo?

4th December 2004, 01:28
Somewhere on some web site is a replay of a service advise by an HD tech. HD will tell you 30#'s in the front and they (the shop) recommend 36#'s. The extra pressure helps keep your rim from getting dents in it when you hit pot holes.

I believe it was on Surdyke HD web site but don't hold me to that.

I am a fat boy and I just split the different for the rear and run 38#'s.

4th December 2004, 03:25
I had HD service do my first service at 1,000 miles. Cost me $280 for oil change and to "check things out", and it took 4 hours to complete. Did it because it was the first service. I've done my own work since then, except for having different handle bars put on because of the custom cables....HD service did that. Anything I have a problem I can't handle, I go to a friend named Mike, or his Dad, or a shop owned by a man named Zoomy. They don't give a HD warranty, but these guys eat, sleep, screw and crap Harleys. I don't need a warranty if one of them work on the bike, because I know it's done right. These are the type of guys to search out if you want your ride treated with the respect it deserves.

4th December 2004, 04:21
Doing it yourself is part of the pleasure --

4th December 2004, 05:09
Doesn't the scheduled service have to be done by HD to keep the warranty in effect?

4th December 2004, 05:36

Yes, the services need to be done. But the Stealer doesn't have to do them, keep receipts for oil, filters and such and note the mileage when you do them.

4th December 2004, 05:37
I think the lower pressures are a bit more advisable and you'll appreciate that in the turns. Good luck!

4th December 2004, 05:42
Thanks Mike, good to know :D

4th December 2004, 08:50
When ya got the tire pressure right and ya hittin the twisties HARD, the tire will ball up.

ie: the wear area of the tire loses heaps of rubber and this rubber ends up like rolled up balls of chewing gum.
These bits that fall off are what's refered to as "the marbles" on the outside of the racin line on a race track

Cold tearing is where the temp of the tire is not high enough and the tire actually "tears", lots of small cracks apear where the tire is being torn apart because it isn't flexible enough for the job.

Ya mainly see it on race bikes...that's why they have tire warmers and do a warm up lap first.

Not many people will see it on the street and even less HD riders

Guess I just ride a bit harder than most :D

4th December 2004, 09:10
My UK manual recommends 30psi front & 40psi rear, presumably for the higher road speed traffic here in Europe (most motorway / autobahn traffic is between 80-100mph.).

Not all dealers are bad and sometimes it pays to learn something about your bike yourself as it helps their confidence in you as well!

I constantly arrange training courses on oil for car & bike dealers as the manufacurers neglect this side of things, I presume it's the same for tyres.

4th December 2004, 14:40
Doesn't the scheduled service have to be done by HD to keep the warranty in effect?

It is actuall against the law for the manufactuer to REQUIRE you to go to the dealer -- keep the receipts -- or even better a written log of the major services. The manufacturer also has to show that the aftermarket parrs caused the damage -- for instance the addition of an aftermarket muffler, shouldn't be grounds for denying a warranty claim.

4th December 2004, 14:44
When ya got the tire pressure right and ya hittin the twisties HARD, the tire will ball up.

Cold tearing is where the temp of the tire is not high enough and the tire actually "tears", lots of small cracks apear where the tire is being torn apart because it isn't flexible enough for the job.


Seen lots of balling but never the tearing -- interesting.