Last Updated on July 28, 2023 by Chase Manhattan
Step into the world of biking and you’ll find that Harley Davidson Street 500 is a name that pops up frequently.
This motorcycle, revered for its gritty performance and timelessly cool aesthetic, is a popular choice among biking enthusiasts globally. However, even the most revered brands are not without their flaws.
This article pulls back the curtain and takes a closer look at the common problems faced by Harley Davidson Street 500 riders.
From mechanical hiccups to design drawbacks, we’ll delve into the issues that sometimes sour this ride’s sweet allure. So, buckle up and let’s embark on this journey of understanding the challenges that come with owning and riding a Harley Davidson Street 500.
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I’ll go into more detail on each issue below, but first I recommend checking out this overview table:
|Hard Starting||Difficulty in starting the Harley Davidson Street 500 engine.|
|Engine Overheating||The engine temperature rises excessively during operation.|
|Oil Leaks||Oil leaking from various engine components or gaskets.|
|Vibrations||Excessive vibrations felt while riding the motorcycle.|
|Electrical Problems||Issues with lights, battery, or other electrical components.|
|Clutch Slipping||Clutch fails to engage properly, resulting in power loss.|
|Brake Problems||Brake performance issues, such as sponginess or squealing.|
|Gear Shifting Issues||Difficulty in shifting gears smoothly.|
|Suspension Troubles||Problems with the bike’s suspension system.|
|Poor Fuel Efficiency||Low mileage and excessive fuel consumption.|
Mechanically Related Issues
Mechanically related issues are problems that directly affect the performance and functionality of the bike. These are often the most serious issues and often result in the bike being taken off the road until they can be fixed. Let’s explore some of these problems.
One of the primary mechanical issues with the Harley Davidson Street 500 is clutch-related. The clutch mechanism is essential, allowing the engine to be disengaged from the powertrain and transmission system, which in turn grants increased control over the rear wheel and facilitates gear shifting.
However, some riders have reported issues with the clutch, such as gas-like bubbles forming when the clutch is pushed. This issue can be detrimental to the clutch and can prevent the engine from disconnecting from the transmission, leading to gear shifting problems.
Early detection and consultation with a professional mechanic or the manufacturer can alleviate these issues. The manufacturer would handle this if it’s a production fault, but if the issue is detected late, it’s advisable to call a technician.
Brake failure is another significant mechanical concern with the Harley Davidson Street 500. This problem arises due to the corrosion of the caliper piston, causing the brake pads to stick to the disc and wear out prematurely. In severe cases, the brake pads may continue to contact the disc after the brake lever has been released, posing a safety threat.
In such cases, it’s recommended to consult a mechanic who can troubleshoot the brake problems and carry out necessary repairs. Regularly flushing the old DOT 4 brake fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid can also help fix this issue.
Fuel Pump Problems
Fuel pump issues can also arise in the Harley Davidson Street 500, especially when the fuel level remains low, and the fuel pump sealant becomes loose. This can cause resistance to fuel delivery during acceleration, which could potentially lead to hazardous situations if not addressed promptly.
In such scenarios, it’s best to consult a technician. However, you can also mitigate this problem by driving with a full tank of gas and not exceeding 160 km per tank.
Harley Davidson Street 500 Ownership Problems Video
Quality of Life Issues
Quality of life issues are those that may not directly impact the bike’s performance but can still affect the overall riding experience. These include problems with the bike’s design, accessories, or additional features.
Side Mirrors Unavailable
One of the quality of life issues with the Harley Davidson Street 500 is the unavailability of side mirrors. Side mirrors are crucial for the rider’s safety as they provide visibility of vehicles approaching from behind. Unfortunately, some models of the Street 500 were produced without side mirrors, increasing the risk of accidents.
Exhaust Pipe Mis-Aligned
Another common issue with the Street 500 is the misalignment of the exhaust pipe. The continuous combustion in the engine produces heat, which the pipe absorbs, causing it to become excessively hot during extended rides. The mis-alignment can create unexpected contacts with the exhaust pipe, which can result in burns or injuries to the rider’s legs.
Installing an external forward control can help resolve this problem. Forward controls replace the original pedals and lever, shifting them forward and allowing riders to extend their legs without coming into contact with the hot exhaust pipe.
Front Fender Mounting Issues
Some riders have reported issues with the front fender’s mounting in the Harley Davidson Street 500. The problem arises due to the voltage regulator’s position, which comes into contact with the fender during operation. This issue can limit the bike’s steering ability and can pose safety concerns.
Beyond mechanical and quality of life issues, there are a few other problems that have been reported by the biking community. These include:
Saddlebag detachment is a common issue reported by Harley Davidson Street 500 riders. The saddlebags are secured with a spring wire, which over time can weaken and fail to hold the saddlebag securely, causing it to detach unexpectedly while riding.
Riders can mitigate this issue by reducing the items carried in the saddlebag or riding without a saddlebag when it’s not necessary. If the bike is still under warranty, the dealer might provide a free repair.
Front Tire Problems
Many riders have reported front tire problems with the Harley Davidson Street 500. The front tires can wear out prematurely or become damaged due to improper inflation or alignment.
Regular inspection and maintenance can help prevent these issues. If required, replacing the old front tire with a new one can also resolve this problem.
Street 500 Recalls
In addition to individual problems faced by riders, there have also been recalls of the Harley Davidson Street 500. These recalls were primarily due to issues such as a lack of rear reflectors and clutch and transmission problems. It’s advisable for all Street 500 owners to stay updated with these recalls to ensure their bikes remain safe and operational.
FAQs and Related Questions
In this section, we’ll address some frequently asked questions and other concerns related to the Harley Davidson Street 500.
How can I fix the brake problems in my Harley Davidson Street 500?
Regularly flushing the old DOT 4 brake fluid and replacing it with fresh fluid can help fix brake problems. If the problem persists, consult a mechanic.
How can I prevent saddlebag detachment?
Reducing the items carried in the saddlebag or riding without a saddlebag when not necessary can help prevent detachment.
My Harley Davidson Street 500 doesn’t have side mirrors. What should I do?
If your bike lacks side mirrors, it’s advisable to get them installed by a certified mechanic.
Are there any recalls for the Harley Davidson Street 500?
Yes, there have been recalls due to issues such as a lack of rear reflectors and clutch and transmission problems.
While the Harley Davidson Street 500 is a popular choice for riders due to its accessibility and unique blend of classic Harley design with modern performance, it isn’t without its share of problems. From mechanical issues like clutch and fuel pump problems to quality of life concerns such as the absence of side mirrors, several issues can affect the riding experience.