Would a mechanic's inspection be a good idea?

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by steve57, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. steve57

    steve57 Member

    I'm no mechanic - I can change oil and light bulbs and that's about it. I'm willing to get my hands dirty and to learn more.

    I just bought my first HD - it's been a life-long desire and I'm thrilled. I got a used bike - a '97 Electra Glide Classic (private seller - out of state). It's in great shape, and was well taken care of.

    Here is my question. Since I'm no mechanic, should I take it to a HD mechanic and have him inspect it or would that just be throwing money away? I've only heard good things about the local HD dealership.

    I would like to know if anything is on the verge of going bad.
  2. Webbtron

    Webbtron Banned

    Did the seller give you his manual? Did he note the mileage where he did maintenance? My manual has a cool section that tells you what to check at each 5000 mile interval. Then you just go and learn how to do that specific task.
    Obviously change the fluids and if you want measure the oil that comes out. Other than that if the brakes and tires are good just start with 50 to 100 mile runs and build up the relationship and trust in your ride. JMO
  3. Scrappy

    Scrappy Active Member

    Welcome Steve57, I like Webbtrons approach. If previous owner did give you a manual, I like flipping through the pages and finding the dirty ones :) gives you a Idea what they were wrenching on. The care of the scooter will determine if your on the verge of things going bad. I'm nearing 75k on same motor (I assume).. all is well (knock knock) change fluids, tires, breaks, add gas and enjoy. I keep a eye and ear out for leaks and strange sounds.... so far so good.

    p.s. A wise man told me when your HD stops making strange noises, that is when you worry.
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Welcome to The Forum, With a Factory manual, the self help section here and all of the members can walk you through your problems:s
  5. steve57

    steve57 Member

    Thanks for the advice. The previous owner gave me the manuals. I've put 500 miles on it this first week and everything seems fine.
  6. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    I second the idea of getting the HD Factory Service Manual for your bike and start doing stuff yourself.

    Having said that, I think it would not hurt to go in to the local HD shop and have a frank talk with the Service Manager. Tell him you want the bike checked out by one of his best senior guys looking for the hidden stuff. Follow your gut on this. If the guy seems to be trying to slime you, walk away and either find another shop and try again (including an indy shop), or just decide to do stuff yourself.

    If you are lucky enough to find a shop that you get good vibes about, great!! If not, you always have this site.

  7. Dswartz

    Dswartz Active Member

    I bought my bike used from a private seller and had no knowledge of its maintenance history when I purchased it. Like you, it was my first Harley and I didn't know how to take care of it so I decided to take it to the dealer for a service. I walked out of there $800 poorer and determined to learn how to do the work myself. Turns out my bike had a bad stator and they replaced it which is what costs so much. Over the last year and a half I have become incredibly familiar with nearly every aspect of my ride inside and out. I would strongly encourage you to get a manual and study it. Nobody cares about your bike more than you do.
    1 person likes this.
  8. garystrat

    garystrat Banned

    The manual will have a list of Critical Fasteners, with your torque and the torque spec page, set your torque wrench 10% below the spec and gently try to break it loose, if it does not move your good, remember blue threadlock into aluminum ("engine" covers, wheel hubs) red threadlock for the steel on steel fasteners, if you have spokes and a spoke wrenck, tap the spoke, if it is tight it'll ring like a bell, if it's a thunk tighten until it feels snug, only 5# torque is required on spokes, to much you'll be looking for a truing stand...if you have any questions send me a PM I'll be happy to give any extra advise you need...take your time, as you go you will be amazed at the amount of HD service knowledge you'll absorb...
  9. AFBoomer

    AFBoomer New Member

    For my money I'd find a good Indy in the area to do the work. And yes it would be a good idea to have it checked top to bottom,front to back.