Motorcycle Forums » Harley Davidson

My Switchback

    • 1855 posts
    May 7, 2012 12:12 PM PDT
    I have a vibration issue.  From day one.  It got worse from no miles to a thousand miles when I took it in for service and had to have the front motor mount (isolator) replaced.  It made a difference for awhile but after two weeks ridinng Alabama's Gulf coast and beautiful interior roads it seems to be getting bad again.   I'm pissed.  Riding back to Ohio kept me on edge wonderingn if the thing was going to fall apart underneath me.  Yes, I visited a couple dealers during the trip but ya can't get them to admit anything is wrong.   I'm gonna have to force somebody's hand when all is said and done.  I'm pretty sure this bike has to go.  

    Peace
  • May 7, 2012 12:30 PM PDT
    Doesn't sound like a happy ending...is this bike new to you? I 'm new to the board so I don 't know how long you 've had this bike.
  • May 7, 2012 2:26 PM PDT
    That's a relatively new model HD put out, or so I think. I'd make them get it right.
    • 1855 posts
    May 7, 2012 3:06 PM PDT
    Yes Blacktop, I got the bike this year. I know the dyna chassis. I have a '98 WideGlide as well. The SB shouldn't behave this badly. As for them "making it right".....I don't know what's going to happen.

    Peace
    • Moderator
    • 16972 posts
    May 8, 2012 1:01 AM PDT
    Certainly hoping that the dealer will do the right thing. Keep us informed Jimmy.
  • May 9, 2012 2:38 AM PDT
    Yeah I have to agree, I'm getting some really odd vibratioin out of mine now too! I'm taking it to the dealer on Thursday and having them look it over, it rattles the shit outta the front end, and it IS a warranty issue so I'm not touching it, I'm going to make them fix it!
    • 1855 posts
    May 9, 2012 7:50 AM PDT
    I received pretty significant input from a couple of dealers who never liked dynas. They don't like the rubber mounts and they don't like the angle of the shocks. They say the Dynas feel like they're lunging forward and the front end takes a beating. They all agree that the catalytic converter reallly screws up the comfort level but getting rid of it won't eliminate the problem. Now,, I never had a helluva lot of problems with my '98 until the past couple of years. However, I'm convinced that no matter what I do to the SB the vibration isn't going to go away and, personally I wouldn't recommend a SB to anyone. I do however, now have both bikes for sale. I'm leaning towards the Heritage which I will be test riding tomorrow.

    Peace
  • May 9, 2012 12:28 PM PDT
    Jimmy I also own an FLD, thus far I haven't had this vibration problem. From some other forums even our switchback owners forum this has been discussed to death. A couple of things that we have found is 1 the exhaust is part of the problem, 2 happens ar rpm range of 3000 to 3400, 3 the front motor mount needs to be shimmed, as far as the vibration felt in the hands, the riser bushings need to be changed from rubber to the poly bushings. Hope that gives you an idea of what we have come up with and also might want to check the mounting bolts for the tank. Another owner found that the steering head was loose which after he took it back to the dealer they had to change the race and bearings. So all this is possible causes but so far no real cures
    • 1855 posts
    May 9, 2012 1:19 PM PDT
    LugoffSCFLD wrote...
    Jimmy I also own an FLD, thus far I haven't had this vibration problem. From some other forums even our switchback owners forum this has been discussed to death. A couple of things that we have found is 1 the exhaust is part of the problem, 2 happens ar rpm range of 3000 to 3400, 3 the front motor mount needs to be shimmed, as far as the vibration felt in the hands, the riser bushings need to be changed from rubber to the poly bushings. Hope that gives you an idea of what we have come up with and also might want to check the mounting bolts for the tank. Another owner found that the steering head was loose which after he took it back to the dealer they had to change the race and bearings. So all this is possible causes but so far no real cures

    Appreciate the response.  I've been aware of that which is associated with my Dyna Wideglide.  I agree that the exhaust on the SB is a "real" problem; excessive back pressure, RPM drag is what I call it, the vibes(in my feet and arse)  telling you when to shift instead the actual/normal  RPM, etc., but I've experienced nothing out of the ordinary in the hands or anything that would suggest particular front end problems in the SB.  The Wideglide is a different story.

    However, in my Wideglide I did shim the front isolator, I changed the riser bushings but I disagree that the poly is better than the old rubber bushings. Poly just made it worse.   Poly, unlike rubber,  does not absorb the natural vibrations but disperses them. The bike is falling apart as though glass is shattering.  In that regard, I went (searched high and low) for rubber bushings and put them back in.  I also changed the bushings in the swingarm.  I went with heavier fork springs.  There's a rough history with my WideGlide and it took a good deal of abuse because the real problem, a bad front motor mount, was taken care of with a new motor mount which turned out to be bad as well.  In that regard, I kept searching for and fixing problems that didn't exist.  In the end, the "new" mount and my continueing to ride did a number on my crankshaft.  Had I not foolishly believed that the "new" motor mount was a good one I may not have had the problems I had.

    Also, the vibration issue with all the Dynas, but more particularly the WideGllide, is in the overall design.  The exaggerated angle of the shocks has always been questionable as everything is pushed foward putting far too much stress on the front motor mount.  The front motor mount is the most replaced part in a Dyna.  Shimming, understandably follows the notion of isolation but only gives the front motor mount a bit more life but doesn't cure/fix the design flaw.  The shock angles forward push creates stress on the front end and neck bearings are the next most replaced items in the Wideglide, followed by tube springs.   As for other Dynas well, I owned an '87 FXRS and it my way of thinking Harley should've stopped right then and there messing with the Dynas because that bike was wonderful.

    I'm selling the Switchback; no doubt about it. It's just not worth the agonizing uncertainty of its reliability in all the miles the OL and I travel. And I refuse to endure those vibrations 30K-50K miles a year. I'm 64 years old now and I confess, "I ain't as rugged and stubborn as I use to be".   As for my Wideglide, I love it, it has wonderful stories it could tell; but it's spent the past couple of years hangin' out in the garage.  Someone else should enjoy it.  It's for sale but I won't be upset if it doesn't sell.


    Peace
  • May 11, 2012 3:49 AM PDT
    Fixed my problem! The clutch was way out of adjustment, readjusted it and VIOLA! Thing runs smooth as silk again!!! Wow, what a simple fix! Had nothing to do with the isolators on my end. Back to loving my Switchback!
  • May 11, 2012 3:56 AM PDT
    The FXR was a great design and I was sad the year that I saw it not in their line up, 1995 model year had replaced all the low riders with Dynas! The ONLY thing about the FXRs that I didn't like was that front center engine isolator, that was THEE most replaced part on that bike for me! GRRR!
  • May 13, 2012 2:38 AM PDT
    Black09 does that take care of the vibe issue?
  • May 13, 2012 7:09 AM PDT
    Took care of it for me, but then it vibrated some when I first bought it, but it IS a Harley and if they DON'T vibrate then there's something wrong with it... I have no real issues, every Dyna I have ever owned has been a rattle trap compared to my FXR... if they ever go back to the FXR I'm dumping this one and getting a new FXR!
    • 1855 posts
    May 13, 2012 10:19 AM PDT
    It's just a thing. I know that B9; typical of the dynas. But the SB is a lot worse than my WG.

    Peace
  • May 14, 2012 7:15 PM PDT
    Well I had a 94 wide glide that I dearly loved but I'll take the SB over it any day.
  • May 19, 2012 9:34 AM PDT
    Jimmy I just recieved a message from the dealer that a service bulletin has been issued to resolve the issue
    • 1161 posts
    May 19, 2012 2:28 PM PDT
    Wow I was looking at a SB this makes me think twice. May be I'll stick with a fatboy or a fatbob.
    • 1855 posts
    May 20, 2012 11:47 AM PDT
    I wouldn't buy one. Anyone who has ever ridden a Dyna knows the difference. Any hype about the SB is just that. It sucks. Dynas ya get what ya expect but the SB is a suck a@@ machine. Sorry B9 but that's the way it is. When ya think about it y've wasted your money, AND ya wouldn't take a SB over a Wideglide any day.


    Peace
  • May 20, 2012 3:50 PM PDT
    Ya know, my Switchback DOESN'T suck and I'll tell ya why, that's pretty much all I ride... I've owned Softails HATED them all... I've owned Sportster fun to blast around town on and a RK (that tub couldn't even get out of its own way and vibrates worse than the Switchback.
    I disagree with you because the Switchback was Harley hitting it outta the park, they redesigned a bike that out performs all the touring bikes... but ALL Dyna vibrate, always have... I have found that if you want to get rid of the vibration on ANY of the new Harleys GET RID OF THE CAT CONVERTER... completely changes the bike...

    Again, put it like this: difference between a Softail and Dyna is that Softail have a counter balance system... kills performance, Dynas you can go as far as technology and your imagination can take you. The Switchback is a bike that I will be keeping, vibration don't bother me none, it's a Harley, it should vibrate! PERIOD! :-)
    • 1855 posts
    May 21, 2012 12:41 AM PDT
    I agree with you B9 for the most part. The idea of the SB was a homerun and maybe, just maybe it is suppose to out perfom the rest of the touring line. I wish mine did. My problem, real problem, is that NO bike should come off the assembly line these days with the vibration issues the SB has; issues that truly far exceeds what we've come to know and understand about the Dynas. I know Dynas vibrate. I accept that. I agree, the cat converter is a piece of crap, causing the majority of problems. However, HD knows this and yet consumers are forced to pay for a better performance exhaust.

    I'm glad you like your SB. However, mine had to have a new front motor mount at the 1,000 mile service. Why? Any excuse is BS as far as I'm concerned. There's the possibility that the first 1k miles running with a bad motor mount really screwed up the bike because the new motor mount in no way cured anything. So, will Harley refund my money or give me a new bike? Hardly. Let me be a bit clearer in my assessment: MY Switchback sucks!!!! MINE!!! And I'm thrilled that yours isn't like MINE.
  • May 21, 2012 5:31 AM PDT
    I agree with that, you shouldn't have to completely replace everything after you buy it... that is unacceptable! I'm just so used to stripping the bikes down when I buy them that I think I have just accepted that their new line of bikes just aren't up to snuff like many of their Evo models were. Used to be you could buy a brand new Evo and it just sounded great and ran damn nice off the showroom floor!
    Then the aftermarket exhaust companies cash in by jacking up the prices on pipes! Vance and Hines can forever kiss my ass, $1200 for a set of pipes? A set of pipes they don't even have in the line up yet too! Assholes! Hell even the $630 from Samson is ridiculous but I am no pipe builder and that's my option right now plus I do love their stuff! But as soon as I get the new pipes I'll have to put the bike back on a Dyno and have it retuned... so there goes another $250!
  • May 21, 2012 8:41 AM PDT
    I contacted my dealer about the vibration issue. prior to leaving for the Spring Rally and was told that he had a service rep coming i from the factory. I was contacted Saturday and was told that a Service Bulletin was issued to deal with the problem. And by the way it turns out that the front motor mount IS THE PROBLEM.
  • May 21, 2012 8:45 AM PDT
    Well that's good news then... but I aint noticed it none.
    • 5417 posts
    May 29, 2012 6:05 AM PDT
    See Black9's Update here with a Service Bulletin from Harley-Davidson...

    http://www.cyclefish.com/forum/The-Garage/Harley-Davidson/Switchback-owners-with-vibration-issues-121696-1.html />
  • May 29, 2012 7:29 AM PDT
    The whole front motor mount complaint is an easy fix, you just have to file it down some as per the Service Bulletin... but that is NO guaranty. Have any of you ever ridden a Shovel Head super glide? Trust me, this thing don't vibrate nearly as bad! :-)