5 Electra Glide Years to Avoid [Worst Experiments]

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If you are thinking of buying an Electra Glide and need to learn more about the models of Electra Glide, then don’t worry because you are not alone.

Choosing one model that could be best for you is challenging, and researching which models you should avoid requires hard work. 

But your problem is solved because I have worked harder and found 5 models of Electra Glide which you should not buy due to their problems and recalls. 

Let’s go through with me till the end of this guide article. I will explain why to avoid Electra Glide and give possible solutions for these models if you already own them. 

Let’s dive into:

Worst Years for Harley Electra Glide

Harley Electra Glide was first famous in 1965 due to some features that were first introduced in Electra Glide. The main feature introduced in Electra Glide was the electric starter, which came with both hand and foot shifting. 

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

Over time, it has improved and become more iconic. However, some models still need help that must be considered before buying these models. 

Related: Best and Worst Years for Harley Sportster

1. Electra Glide Model 1999

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

There could be several problems with the 1999 model as a machine. Still, here we will explain the most prominent issues reported by Harley Electra Glide 1999 users. 

Voltage Regulator Issues

The Electra Glide has had issues with the voltage regulator. This can cause battery charging problems and electrical system malfunctions.

You must regularly take care of your bike maintenance to avoid these issues. Moreover, you also have to check the voltage regularly, once a week. 

Cam Chain Tensioners

One more noted issue in Electra Glide 1999 is the inner cam chain tensioner wearing out. This can cause metal shavings to enter the oil and damage the engine.

Regular maintenance and care prevent these issues. 

Starter Issues

Some owners have reported problems with the starter, requiring replacements earlier than anticipated. You must go with the aftermarket to fix the issue because that starter will be better than the original. 

Oil Leaks

Oil leaks, particularly around the rocker box gaskets, have been an occasional complaint. It is uncommon, but some users complain that oil leaks from the box gaskets. In this situation, you must consult a Harley expert mechanic


Some riders have felt the braking on the heavier Electra Glide could be better, especially when fully loaded or with a passenger. There have been aftermarket solutions and upgrades to improve braking performance.

Heat Dispersion

Due to the large V-twin engine’s nature, the heat dispersion, especially in traffic or during hot days, can be uncomfortable for some riders.

Related: Which Years To Avoid Harley Fat Boy

2. Electra Glide Model 2005

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

Like all vehicles, the 2005 Electra Glide is famous for its comfortable ride and iconic style, but it also has some problems.

Some of the reported issues with the 2005 Electra Glide include:

Cam Chain Tensioner Wear

The original cam chain tensioners can wear out on the Twin Cam engines. If they fail, this wear can result in engine noise, reduced performance, and potential catastrophic engine damage.

Starter Issues

Some users have reported starter issues, which may cause the bike not to start. This can be due to various reasons, including solenoid problems, starter motor problems, or battery or electrical system issues.

Oil Leaks

Older Harley models, including the 2005 Electra Glide, can sometimes develop oil leaks. These can originate from various areas, such as the rocker boxes, primary cases, or transmission seals.

Voltage Regulator Failures

A common issue with some Harley models, including the Electra Glide, is the failure of the voltage regulator. If it fails, it can lead to overcharging or undercharging of the battery.

This can result in battery damage or other electrical issues.

Wiring Issues

Over time, vibrations and wear can lead to problems with the bike’s wiring, causing electrical components to malfunction.

Transmission Issues

Some reports of transmission issues have been reported, including hard shifting or the transmission slipping out of gear.

Reasons for the issues of Electra Glide 2005:

  • The 2005 Electra Glide is an older model, and with time, components wear out and may need replacement.
  • Some parts, like the original cam chain tensioners, have known design issues that can lead to premature failure.
  • Riding in harsh conditions or storing the bike in unfavourable conditions can lead to problems like corrosion or wear.
  • If regular maintenance schedules are followed, it could prevent premature wear or failure of components.

3. Electra Glide Model 2007

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

The Electra Glide 2007 version has had specific issues reported by some owners.

Here are some known problems or complaints associated with the 2007 Electra Glide.

Wobble Issues

There were reports of a “death wobble” or instability in the bike’s front end, especially at higher speeds. It can be caused by various reasons, such as worn-out steering head bearings, improperly aligned wheels, worn-out tires, or other suspension issues.

Compensator Problems

The compensator, part of the primary drive, can become noisy or fail prematurely. It can cause a clunking noise on startup or when shutting off the engine.

Heat Management

The 2007 Electra Glide riders have occasionally reported excessive heat coming from the engine, especially in stop-and-go traffic. This is partly due to the air-cooled nature of the Harley V-twin, but some felt it was more pronounced in specific model years.

Oil Consumption

Some owners reported higher-than-expected oil consumption. While air-cooled V-twins can consume some oil, especially in hot weather, excessive consumption might indicate a problem.

Electrical Issues

Given the complexity of modern motorcycles, occasional electrical gremlins can arise, which might manifest as malfunctioning lights, instruments, or other electrical components.

4. Electra Glide Model 2012

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

Below are some common issues reported or observed on Electra Glides 2012.

Compensator Issues

The compensator, which helps in smoothing out the engine pulses before power gets delivered to the rest of the drivetrain, can wear out and become noisy.

So make sure regular maintenance of the engine to avoid the compensator issues.

ABS Brake Module

Some owners have faced issues with the ABS brake system module. If the module fails, it could compromise the ABS functionality, a safety concern. 

Oil Pump

There were reports of oil pump issues, leading to inadequate lubrication. This can lead to more significant engine problems if not addressed.

You must take care of the oil pump and maintain it regularly. It would be best to consult a certified Harley mechanic for regular maintenance. 

Heat on the right leg

This is more of a design feedback than a defect. Some riders feel excessive heat on their right leg, especially during slow-moving traffic or hot days. The issue could not be rectified due to the design of Electra Glide.

Infotainment glitches

Electra Glide 2012 infotainment system on some bikes was known to occasionally have glitches or become non-responsive.

You must ensure that you are using an updated version of the software. These glitches may occur due to outdated software; you should know how to update firmware.

Contact an authorized dealer if you still need to learn how to do it. 

Clutch Issues

Some riders have reported issues related to the hydraulic clutch system, leading to recalls in this model. These issues could occur due to low-quality lubricants. 

Vibration Issues

Some riders have reported excessive vibration at certain RPMs, leading to discomfort during longer rides.

Suppose you’re looking into a specific 2012 Electra Glide. In that case, it’s always recommended to have the bike thoroughly checked by a professional, especially if it’s used. 

5. Electra Glide Model 2015

Electra Glide Years to Avoid

Infotainment System Glitches

The Boom! Box infotainment system sometimes has software glitches or firmware incompatibilities.

Regularly updating the system software can fix many of these issues. If the problem persists, consider resetting the system to factory settings or seeking help from a Harley-Davidson dealership.

Clutch Issues

Some owners have reported clutch malfunctions due to manufacturing defects or wear over time. Harley-Davidson issued recalls for specific models due to clutch issues. 

Checking if your motorcycle is covered under any recalls is a good idea. If not, a mechanic can inspect and replace the clutch assembly.

Vibration and Wobble at High Speeds

This can be caused by factors like unbalanced tires, loose steering components, or misalignment. 

Ensure the tires are balanced correctly, inspect the steering for any signs of wear or looseness, and get the motorcycle aligned if necessary.

Braking Concerns

Some riders noticed reduced braking efficiency or unusual brake behaviour. This can often be resolved by bleeding the brake lines, replacing the brake fluid, and inspecting the brake pads and rotors for wear. 

In some cases, there were recalls related to the braking system, so owners should check if their model is affected.

Heat Management

Riders often report excessive heat coming from the engine, especially during slow rides or in traffic. Using synthetic oil can help reduce engine heat. 

Consider installing a heat deflector or aftermarket exhaust system designed to dissipate heat more effectively.

Battery Issues

The battery may drain quickly or not hold a charge. Regularly inspect the battery terminals for corrosion. Ensure that there are no parasitic drains when the motorcycle is off. If the battery is old, consider replacing it.

Transmission Problems

Some riders experience difficulty in shifting or hear unusual noises from the transmission.

Regular transmission fluid changes and ensuring the correct fluid level can prevent many transmission-related issues. 

If problems persist, a thorough inspection by a mechanic is recommended.


Suppose you are thinking of buying a used Haley Electra Glide for yourself. In that case, you must consider the features before buying.

Because Electra Glide 1999, 2005, 2007, 2012, and 2015 are known for their manufacturing defects.

I suggest you buy a model other than these because you will spend a lot of money on maintenance if you purchase the models mentioned in this article guide. 

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