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  1. #1
    Member DanR's Avatar
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    For those of you with great HD knowledge, please step in.

    Fall is pretty much here, so now people will be unloading bikes they don't want to store and I'm shopping! I currently ride a v-star and looking to make the move to an HD Road King. Are there any years or engines I should stay away from? I am looking for a very well priced bike, so I'm probably in the 2002 - 2005 area with less than 50k miles. Just wondering if there's any models I should completely avoid. As an example, pretty much every 2000 and 2001 V-Star 650 classic has a serious issue with inferior metal and severe pitting on the 5th gear cog.

    Anyhow, any tips or things I should be aware of would be really appreciated! And feel free to chime in if you have a bike for sale :D
    "Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell and make up lies!"

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  3. Member Skeet'r89's Avatar
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    #2
    Early model twin cam 99-2006 (I believe) have an issue with cam chain tensioners wearing out possible as early as about 25K miles. The fix is to install the newer version hydraulic tensioners. Maybe less than $1000 installed at the dealer. Haven't heard of many issues with those years other than that. When you get to model year 2009 they went to the wider rear tire, which costs more but also lasts near twice as long as the 150 size tire on the '08 and earlier models. The frames are also stiffer on the 09 and up bikes and helps eliminate the so called Harley wobble. I believe some of the early models had carbs and around 05 they went to fuel injection I believe. Choose your poison!!!! Some people LOVE Carbs. Fuelies run pretty good at any altitude.

  4. Member DanR's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Skeet'r89 View Post
    Early model twin cam 99-2006 (I believe) have an issue with cam chain tensioners wearing out possible as early as about 25K miles. The fix is to install the newer version hydraulic tensioners. Maybe less than $1000 installed at the dealer. Haven't heard of many issues with those years other than that. When you get to model year 2009 they went to the wider rear tire, which costs more but also lasts near twice as long as the 150 size tire on the '08 and earlier models. The frames are also stiffer on the 09 and up bikes and helps eliminate the so called Harley wobble. I believe some of the early models had carbs and around 05 they went to fuel injection I believe. Choose your poison!!!! Some people LOVE Carbs. Fuelies run pretty good at any altitude.
    Awesome thank you! My current bike is carbed and haven't had any issues, just gotta keep em tidy ;)
    "Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell and make up lies!"

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    #4
    I've had 15.....the Road King and Road King Classic were among my favorites. If you like a fairing the Street Glide is a good choice. I would definitely try to get a fuel injected bike. Good luck and safe riding.

  6. BBC SPONSOR
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    #5
    As an owner of a bike shop, I would highly recommend you get something above the year 2007. Think you will be much happier in the long run

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    #6
    The '06s had issues with the valve seals that caused oil to get passed them and into the combustion chamber. The '07s and '08s had issues with the transmission's Main Drive Gear Bearing. Even though the bearing is a double row bearing they were chewing themselves up at a startling frequency.

    If any 2002-2005 Twin Cam you look at has more than 20K miles on it ask whether the cam chain tensioners were inspected and/or replaced. The tensioner material was inferior and would start to disintegrate leaving the metal frame running on the chain. They sound like a Singer Sewing Machine when that happens.

    If it is a fairing model grab the fairing and give some good tugs. Broken fairing mounts are quite common and are generally caused by broken/torn motor mounts (look under the frame below the oil filter. It is a black, round cushion between the engine mount plate and frame).
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  8. Member DanR's Avatar
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    #7
    Hey guys, just wanted to follow up with a thank you for the folks that chimed in with advice or PMd me. I ended up pulling the trigger on a gorgeous 2003 Heritage Softail 100th Anniversary bike that was just a few blocks from my place... total fluke. Saw it on Kijiji, made a lowball offer as it was all I could really afford and he accepted! So now I have two bikes in the garage and a less than impressed wife

    But I do have a Harley
    "Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell and make up lies!"

  9. Member
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    #8
    You also have the best looking bike ever built. If not already done, you might want to put a tuner on it (piggybacks factory system). Makes them run much better and cooler.

  10. Kansas Bass Club Moderator
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    #9
    Do away with the chain tensioners for the cam and install S&S 510 gear drive cams. Best upgrade you can do. You will think you have a new bike. Did mine at 23k and has close to 30k on it now and I love the power they make. 88 can pull on a stock 103 no problem.

  11. Blanco Basura Alan S's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Fowl View Post
    Do away with the chain tensioners for the cam and install S&S 510 gear drive cams.
    Depends if the runout on the crank is within spec for the gears. Harley's spec was a LOT looser than S&S's.
    Alan
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  12. Kansas Bass Club Moderator
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    #11
    Correct Alan. I shoulda included that.

  13. Member DanR's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by H2O_Fowl View Post
    Do away with the chain tensioners for the cam and install S&S 510 gear drive cams. Best upgrade you can do. You will think you have a new bike. Did mine at 23k and has close to 30k on it now and I love the power they make. 88 can pull on a stock 103 no problem.
    The bike I bought had it already done, have the receipts and everything from when they installed it at a bike shop. :) Glad he paid the $1000 instead of me :D
    "Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell and make up lies!"

  14. Member DanR's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by John Jackson View Post
    You also have the best looking bike ever built. If not already done, you might want to put a tuner on it (piggybacks factory system). Makes them run much better and cooler.
    Can you give me more details on this? Is there a particular brand I should be looking for? And will it run OK with the stock exhaust? It's illegal here to play with your exhaust, cops spend all summer pulling over and fining bikes that are not stock.
    "Early to bed, early to rise, fish like hell and make up lies!"

  15. Member
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by DanR View Post
    Can you give me more details on this? Is there a particular brand I should be looking for? And will it run OK with the stock exhaust? It's illegal here to play with your exhaust, cops spend all summer pulling over and fining bikes that are not stock.
    I have the Commander III and like it. Mainly because I am used to it and it is easy to get and download tunes. You can download a tune for pretty much any combination of exhaust, cams, intakes etc...