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  1. #1
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    Unhappy JUST JOINED had teething problem

    Hi, all, I’m the proud owner of a 2018 Fat Bob 114 (financed from the compensation of a no blame RTA if you’re asking!) Well, that was until it was delivered, garaged for two days and started, sort of, as there was no headlight activation and the alarm went off and stayed on (yes I had fobs).
    The battery was down to 5.6V (flat) so fully charged and alarm did reset. Harley Assist took the bike to be checked over at dealers and the battery checked out 100% on an Harley tester.
    So what discharged the super Harley battery in two days?
    It was intimated that I’d “left something on” – it was down to me - really?
    (Is it possible to do this? I thought the lights had an auto switch off and the alarm has a separate battery) so as far as I can see there is no way that this can happen given a full battery to start with.
    Oh, another bit is that the alarm ran at seven flashes then a long gap and repeat after I charged the battery but returned to the normal every three second flash after battery tested.
    Any clarification appreciated as my faith in my Fat Bob's reliability has taken a knock.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. There's a few on the forum with electrical knowledge that should be able to help. I wouldn't let your faith get knocked so soon into ownership, Harleys are very characterful bikes and can be glitchy from time to time.
    FTW )

  3. #3
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    Harleys are very characterful bikes and can be glitchy from time to time.

    Words fail me. They shouldn't have a better build quality?

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    BuckhornBud (06-08-2018)

  5. #4
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    +1

    This shouldn't happen on any new bike that has so-say passed QC checks and been supposedly tested. For a dealership to then blame the customer on no evidence at all would be like a red rag to a bull for me. I had similar issues (one electrical issue the rest as a result of dealer incompetence) and the dealer's performance was woeful.

    In your shoes, I'd insist on a full electrical check under warranty as obviously there's something that caused this....these things don't happen by chance or all by themselves.

    Consumer rights are clear...it is not for you to prove that it wasn't something you did but for the dealer to PROVE that there's nothing wrong with the bike. I'd be taking it back and leaving it there until I had a properly diagnosed response and not a fob-off.

    People (and especially Harley owners) are far too quick and far too defensive to dismiss faults as "character". They're nothing of the sort. When these things happens, it's not "character building", it's a right pain in the arse. Harley still have QC issues and much of what I've read points towards big discrepancies between UK dealerships....some ought to have their franchises taken away frankly, given the poor levels of customer service on offer. Harley couldn't give a toss about the UK market as they have a massive captive audience in the US of A. The fact that they're closing down factories and losing money hand over fist at the moment points to something somewhere not being well within their ranks and business strategy.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-18/harley-davidson-is-losing-its-cool

    and an even better article here:

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/03/07/ha

    Usually when revenues drop so quickly, something has to give and QC is an easy target to cut back on....not that there's any hard evidence in this case, but it happens.

    They're great bikes, but only when properly sorted and fettled and if you stick with it Gerontius I'm sure it'll work out fine in the end....but a cheap or easy way into new bike ownership, they are not and not by a long shot. Far too many issues.
    Last edited by BuckhornBud; 06-08-2018 at 07:09 PM.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnythefox View Post
    Harleys are very characterful bikes and can be glitchy from time to time.

    Words fail me. They shouldn't have a better build quality?
    Words fail you, why ?
    Last edited by Whistler; 06-08-2018 at 10:27 PM.
    FTW )

  7. #6
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckhornBud View Post
    +1

    This shouldn't happen on any new bike that has so-say passed QC checks and been supposedly tested. For a dealership to then blame the customer on no evidence at all would be like a red rag to a bull for me. I had similar issues (one electrical issue the rest as a result of dealer incompetence) and the dealer's performance was woeful.

    In your shoes, I'd insist on a full electrical check under warranty as obviously there's something that caused this....these things don't happen by chance or all by themselves.

    Consumer rights are clear...it is not for you to prove that it wasn't something you did but for the dealer to PROVE that there's nothing wrong with the bike. I'd be taking it back and leaving it there until I had a properly diagnosed response and not a fob-off.

    People (and especially Harley owners) are far too quick and far too defensive to dismiss faults as "character". They're nothing of the sort. When these things happens, it's not "character building", it's a right pain in the arse. Harley still have QC issues and much of what I've read points towards big discrepancies between UK dealerships....some ought to have their franchises taken away frankly, given the poor levels of customer service on offer. Harley couldn't give a toss about the UK market as they have a massive captive audience in the US of A. The fact that they're closing down factories and losing money hand over fist at the moment points to something somewhere not being well within their ranks and business strategy.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-18/harley-davidson-is-losing-its-cool

    and an even better article here:

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2018/03/07/ha

    Usually when revenues drop so quickly, something has to give and QC is an easy target to cut back on....not that there's any hard evidence in this case, but it happens.

    They're great bikes, but only when properly sorted and fettled and if you stick with it Gerontius I'm sure it'll work out fine in the end....but a cheap or easy way into new bike ownership, they are not and not by a long shot. Far too many issues.
    I overheard a conversation early on when I got my bike, between the dealer principal and a customer. He basically said that if the PDI is done right, there will be much fewer warranty claims. Edinburgh HD as far as I'm aware, has very little in terms of warranty claims. Other than a puncture I've only had a speed sensor/ wiring to Speedo issue. it was a factory fault, that would have only come to light over time. The issues was diagnosed, explained to me fully and It was sorted. My bike was fixed, loaner bike supplied, bike was dropped off. Seamless service, which resolved the issue. In the 21yrs I had my Honda NTV, it never broke down, need very little parts replaced, but compared to my Iron, it was boring. I agree on this case, it's poor service from the dealer, and their attitude is going along way to affecting customer confidence
    FTW )

  8. #7
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    Words fail me that you excuse poor quality as being 'characterful' - building characterful bikes was what killed off the British Bike industry. Bad design, bad workmanship and poor service are not characterful they are inexcusable.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Whistler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnythefox View Post
    Words fail me that you excuse poor quality as being 'characterful' - building characterful bikes was what killed off the British Bike industry. Bad design, bad workmanship and poor service are not characterful they are inexcusable.
    Oh is that what I meant. Thanks for enlightening me. Not what I meant. It's always been that Japanese motorcycles have been mega reliable, but a bit on the bland side. Harleys, Ducatis, Enfields etc, whilst being reliable are not quite the same. These bikes are more organic, full of character and at times glitchy, usually down to all the tech stuff that is in incorporated nowadays. A lot of modern bikes are becoming glitchy (BMW anyone) Generally mechanically there's nowt wrong with these bikes, if there was, they wouldn't sell. For every bike that breaks, there will be 10 that dont. Poor dealer PDIs, advice, service are a reflection on the dealer, not specifically the bikes.
    Last edited by Whistler; 06-09-2018 at 07:23 AM.
    FTW )

  10. #9
    Senior Member K9F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Whistler View Post
    ..... There's a few on the forum with electrical knowledge that should be able to help......
    Harley-Davidsons are renowned to be 'warts 'n' all' type vehicles but this in no way excuses poor reliability, breakdowns or warranty claims etc. Basically if you expect a silky smooth gear change, no vibration and all bells and whistles with regards to electronic gadgetry and a 0-60 or 1/4 mile under 15 minutes go buy a rice maker.

    Also forums by nature are festooned with doom, gloom and issues, people will register and vent their spleens about a particular issue seeking a resolution. Once satisfied they will no longer contribute but disappear until their next problem, whereupon up they'll pop up once again bumping gums about their next conundrum. Good news and positivity invariably are not the foundations that underpin any forum. "Bad design, bad workmanship and poor service are not characterful they are inexcusable" they are indeed inexcusable but fundamentally none of those traits appear to be under question here!

    Back on topic and in response to Gerontius:

    You mentioned 'super Harley battery?' Unless it is calcium enriched there'll be nothing 'super' about the standard battery fitted. I am an electrical engineer and one could theorise all day about what it was exactly that drained your battery. This would be counter productive and it is understandable that your confidence in your recent expensive outlay on your Harley-Davidson has taken a battering.

    It is a very simple process to check with an ammeter if there is any draw on your battery with everything switched off. The dealership would have undoubtedly carried that out along with other basic checks. Also leaving/abandoning the bike at the dealers whilst insisting your demands be met with regards to a full check can also be counterproductive in my opinion. Your Harley-Davidson has quite a comprehensive warranty in the event something goes wrong as you have found out. Ride the hell out of it, enjoy it and as time passes without issues your confidence in the brand will undoubtedly grow. I know how you feel and sympathise. Ride safe!

    IF YOU GO THROUGH LIFE WITH YOUR HEAD IN THE SAND.....ALL PEOPLE WILL SEE IS AN ARSE!!
    TREAT EVERY DAY AS YOUR LAST.....ONE DAY YOU WILL BE RIGHT!!

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    Whistler (06-09-2018)

  12. #10
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    I would generally agree with you K9F except that as I understand it (unless reading it wrong), the issues haven't been resolved and the dealership's attitude seemed far from that expected for a customer of a new bike with quite clearly a fault, so it's perfectly reasonable in such cases to leave the bike there until they sort it...simple as. That after all is what the warranty is for. As with Whistler's comments, this seems primarily to be a customer service issue.

    The more general point, whether it be "gloom and doom" or not is that such occurrences with Harleys are more prevalent than with many other brands. A chat with other customers in our local showroom points towards many with issues on new bikes so clearly Harley seem to be falling a little short and have current internal issues which may explain (partly) why there seem to be so many faults on new bikes reported? I'm sure part of it is the PDI and I wish I could share your confidence that "these things would be picked up" because clearly, they're not being picked up. I remember my ride home on mine....how could I forget as the left side foot controls came loose and almost fell off! A plug then failed within 30 miles, headlamp was not adjusted properly (miles off), careless staff had scratched (badly) the tank and damaged the screen then ordered the wrong parts for accessories. Evidently I am not alone in receiving such awful service. Whisltler and others report only good things about their local HD dealer which is great. A lot boils down to customer service at the end of the day, and the bare facts are that some dealerships are great (and help the brand) and some are awful (which can give a falsely gloomy picture as in my own case).

    One thing we can agree on is that generally such things are simply resolved and the bikes are a great riding experience and generally pretty reliable if properly looked after.

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