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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New guy here. Last bike owned was a 1983 Honda CB 1000 Custom, sold it in 1989 and haven't owned a bike again until now. Have always liked the looks of the Harley Fatboy. Just bought a 2010 Fatboy Lo with 3000 miles on it.
If owning the coolest looking bike but having it vibrate my fillings out, I am not so sure it's for me. Dealer first told me I was not running high enough rpm's and that I would find the sweet spot. There is no sweet spot and through every gear, rpm and speed the vibration is there. Matter of fact the faster you go the worse it gets. I hit 70 and It feels like the engine is going to come apart. Once you hit 70 it isn't long before I look down at the speedo and I am at 60 because it just feels like you are forcing the bike to go. Very disappointed and just hoping something is wrong that can be fixed. I wouldn't live with this, I'd have to sell. Any insight is appreciated.
 

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Could be there's a crank issue, all H-D's have some vibration but all the Softails have counterbalanced engines and generally speaking are quite smooth for a Harley, especially at lower speeds.
Have someone other than the dealer that knows Harleys take it for a spin to get an unbiased opinion on your particular bike.
Maybe there's a problem or maybe you should look into a Gold Wing or something.
 

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look at all the motor/tranny bolts for proper torque, then check the primary chain/shoe. harley's vibrate, just a fact of life, yours sounds excessive. If all is well with the mounts and chain, there may be an issue with the counter balancers, it's internal engine, i 6 feet of bicycle chain, a couple hydraulic tensioners a couple guides and 2 balancers that weigh about 1# each spinning in time to the piston motion. Flht & FXD series do not have this system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the input. I am disappointed and surprised that riders would tolerate this kind of vibration just to look cool. I drove to Medford and back, about 6 hours round trip. I am still recovering. I get it, I hear it, Harley's vibrate. I can tolerate some, but this is ridiculous.
Again, being my first Harley I don't know what is acceptable.
 

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For a bike with 3000 miles, it shouldnt be that bad unless the motor was mounted directly to the frame. I have 50k miles on a Dyna and it doesnt vibrate that bad.

Also sounds like your dealer doesnt know squat. Doesnt matter if you lug the motor or not its not going to make it vibrate that bad.
 

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For a bike with 3000 miles, it shouldnt be that bad unless the motor was mounted directly to the frame. I have 50k miles on a Dyna and it doesnt vibrate that bad.

Also sounds like your dealer doesnt know squat. Doesnt matter if you lug the motor or not its not going to make it vibrate that bad.
Actually Softail motors are mounted directly to the frame but the 2000 and later bikes with the Twincam motor are counterbalanced internally and much smoother than the earlier Evo powered softys.
Your Dyna and all touring models have rubber mounted engines and no counterbalancer, generally they shake more at idle but are smoother at highway speeds.

Again to the OP, have someone else who knows Softails ride it and or go test ride some other bikes to compare yours.
Sounds like something is either wrong with the bike our your expectations of what a Harley is are not realistic.
Know this though, a Fatboy is a Softail and a very different animal than a Dyna a Sportster or a touring bike or a V-rod, different models have different characteristics so not all Harleys are alike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, appreciate all the comments. Anyone know what would cause the counter weights to go out of balance, if that's what it is. Just to add, road signs seen to vibrate, mirrors are useless, hands almost go numb. What should my cruising rpm's be? Dealer says I am lugging when in fact that's when the vibration is almost tolerable.
Again thanks for the input.
 

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I'm thinking there may be a crankshaft run-out issue, do some searching and you'll find that there have been some bikes in recent years with this issue.
Most Harleys run smoothest around 3000rpm or about 70mph cruising and will pull well from about 1500-4500 rpms going through the gears.
 

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Your comparison from 1K on four lungs to 1.68K on two may be a little far reaching. Twice the power on two lungs as opposed to four is going to generate a lot more engine noise and a whole lot more vibration. The next time you may want to test drive one before you buy one. If this is your first HOG I wouldn't try to overthink and most of all keep in mind your not sitting on a rice burner anymore. Take another one for a test ride and make your comparison; then ask the service department if the SM or one of the techs would take her for a spin. I found for the most part if you do in fact have a legitimate issue they will be pretty supportive. Identify by taking note and letting them know the RPM, torque level, gear, speed, and road surface so they can simulate the same condition. Hard mounted engines are exactly what it implies, they are hard mounted to the frame and if their is a problem your going to feel it in the seat of your pants. Hey, if you do have a legitimate issue, it will eventually find it's way to the crankcase. Just make sure you have it serviced as required and leave the diagnostics part to the Service department. BTW your dealer is correct, DON'T LUG IT! Mine runs best around 2.5K RPM (70mph in sixth gear on a flat) and I try to shift between 2.75 and 3K. Dude, It's a HOG not a pussycat.
 

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Cruising speed I stay between 2-3K. I usually shift somewhere around 3-4K (depending on where I gotta go and how fast I want to get there)
 

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Yours is rubber mounted and counterbalanced. It will vibrate harder than dyna's and dressers but shouldn't be as bad as you describe. Yours sounds like an older solid mount shovelhead vibration level. My advice would be to ride another bike like yours, if possible and compare
 

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2010 one would guess has been on the road for 4 years and 3k is not allot of mileage by any stretch. By comparison I have over 2k on my 2014 and it's only 4 months old. I would get a light, spend a half hour and inspect every inch of the frame for signs of distortion. It doesn't take much to knock the alignment out of whack. Depending on the purchase details and it's no different than buying a car, used is used. Dude, it may be a little far reaching but you may have a very rare dog.:whistle:
 

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New guy here. Last bike owned was a 1983 Honda CB 1000 Custom, sold it in 1989 and haven't owned a bike again until now. Have always liked the looks of the Harley Fatboy. Just bought a 2010 Fatboy Lo with 3000 miles on it.
If owning the coolest looking bike but having it vibrate my fillings out, I am not so sure it's for me. Dealer first told me I was not running high enough rpm's and that I would find the sweet spot. There is no sweet spot and through every gear, rpm and speed the vibration is there. Matter of fact the faster you go the worse it gets. I hit 70 and It feels like the engine is going to come apart. Once you hit 70 it isn't long before I look down at the speedo and I am at 60 because it just feels like you are forcing the bike to go. Very disappointed and just hoping something is wrong that can be fixed. I wouldn't live with this, I'd have to sell. Any insight is appreciated.
I went, am still going through, the change to Harley, from owning 10 metric bikes over the years. Every time I turn around there is some new issue I learn about that I have to watch for. You definitely don't run high rpm's like metric bikes. You will shake the engine apart. You need to watch for frequent wear of primary and cam chain tensioners. The plastic pads wear. Flywheel/crank is a split assembly held together buy a big pin. It is rare, but both halves can get misaligned, slip to cause havoc on the internals. If your thing is to do hole shots of the stop sign, I would go back to metric. Harley is a couch cruising ride, not a rice rocket. I do like take on cross country touring rides. I have a 2003 100th Anniversary Heritage. Does the trips well and rides smooth in the 2000 rpm area. You really do have to ride it like 100 year old motorcycle.
 

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Aw Man, you scared him off.
I've had 2 different beemers, Z1, Yammer, Suzuki and a Goldwing all within a few years of manufacture. Bought a 01 Harley in 10 rode her for 10 more years then the crank sensor wire crapped out. The part was only 19 years old. Yep metrics are more reliable.
 

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You might be right. After being here for a whole week 7 1/2 years ago, he was just waiting for the right people to put it into perspective for him. It's all clear now.
 

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You might be right. After being here for a whole week 7 1/2 years ago, he was just waiting for the right people to put it into perspective for him. It's all clear now.
I have a 01 Silverado with 378,000 miles have replaced the worn parts in transmission twice with a Corvette sensor. Never say rebuild it and save $3500. I'm looking for a Corvette engine and drivetrain that my race truck drag racing neighbor mechanic will shoehorn it under the hood AC and all. A couple friends and relatives have remarked why do it you 68. I tell them I have the bucks it just a phone call away. Effin em I'm going to save the money so they can get a 5th of the estate lol. They going to have a surprise they get 20 bucks each.

Anyways I'm rambling on, but there aren't any fun threads here anymore always someone crying it won't start, it sounds like a trash can full of raccoons at 6,000 rpm in 2nd why is that, oil threads eff em, batteries and tires can kiss my grits too. Someone tried to start a winter weather thread didn't last long this forum is clogged up with fixit forums. I accidentally stuck my house key in the ignition now it won't start. Why is that? Duh.

Sorry to ramble on like this, but I had the new covid since last Sunday and had oxygen machine on 5L a minute mixing Enroten with a bottle of water. By the way this is animal antibiotics sold 100 grams $24.95 on eBay. If it was labeled for human consumption probably be about 600 bucks. I have had the the vaccine and had a 78% chance of it lasting 4 days instead of 2 months. Well it is time to eat and maybe I will ramble later. Here is one of my toys.
 

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Aw Man, you scared him off.
Just honest. I have never had one concern, mechanically, of a metric bike. Been riding 54 years. Tried riding a Harley to buy one 2 - 3 times over the years. Just never felt secure or safe riding one. Why. The clutch, vibration, balance, frame flex and lately, death wobble.
My wife likes Harleys. So a few years ago I bought a 2012 Harley Street Bob with 1800 miles on it. Riding home I ended up in death wobble three times. Right at about 60 mph. I am a career engineer. My inspection found the handlebar bolts torque weren't to specifications. The handle bars were off center. The front forks were misaligned by 3/8 inch in height with each side. The clamp bolts on the forks were way under spec. Had they vibrated loose? I don't know. But that is a scary thought in itself. Once I corrected those items, the wobble went away. I have seen videos of people going into a death wobble, but did not fair as well as I did.
I was suppose to go on a trip to South Dakota with 6 other friends. So I took a test ride on the Bobber on the expressway two days before the trip. The stability of the Bobber around cars and semis was not at all. So I cancelled trip.
I have taken metric bikes from 400cc to 1500cc on the expressway. The lighter ones would get blown, but still balanced enough to keep control.
So I traded the 2012 Harley Bobber in for a beautiful 2003 Harley Heritage 100th Anniversary. This would be my last shot at riding Harleys. Been on multiple 3 - 4 day trips with it since bought. The bike cruises beautifully. Suspension is better for long ride. Fits my 5'-6" height perfectly.
 

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Would it have been too hard to ride the owner on the B seat so you could see how the bike performed? So many here buy a bike that was started in the driveway, but not ridden anywhere. Then they find this forum and ask for advice. I have some sell it to some other sucker even if you lose a few hundred bucks. Fixing all the problems can cost thousands of dollars and you still have an old bike.2¢
 
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