Harley Tri Glide Owners Wish To Know 9 Problems Before

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The Harley-Davidson Tri Glide is a popular and iconic three-wheeled motorcycle known for its roaring engine and smooth ride. 

Harley Tri Glide Problems

However, like any mechanical vehicle, it’s not without its potential issues. In this article, we will explore the common problems that may arise with the Harley Tri Glide.

Let’s dive in!

Harley Tri Glide Problems

The Harley Tri Glide, while a popular choice among trike riders, has its share of reported problems. 

Some of them are mentioned below.

1. Steering Damper Leakage

One of the most common issues faced by Harley Tri Glide riders is the leakage of the steering damper. 

The steering damper is a critical component designed to reduce handlebar vibrations and provide stability during high-speed rides. 

However, an issue arises when the damper starts to leak, which often implies a failing seal. 

Harley Tri Glide Problems

This problem can result in diminished steering control, creating a riskier riding environment. 

Most of the riders notice more handlebar vibrations or a less responsive steering system due to the leakage. 

If your tri glide has also encountered this issue, it’s advisable to get the damper inspected and repaired by a professional to ensure safety and optimal performance.

2. Brakes Malfunctioned 

Most of the riders reported the malfunctioning brakes on their tri-glides. 

This problem can present itself in various ways, such as weakened braking power, unusually loud squeaking or grinding noises, or a spongy feeling in the brake pedal. 

Brake malfunctions can significantly compromise the safety of the rider, making it a critical issue that should be addressed promptly. 

Regular checks and maintenance can help mitigate this problem, but if these symptoms persist, it is advisable to seek professional help.

3. EHCU Failure 

The Electro-Hydraulic Control Unit (EHCU) failure is a notable concern for many Harley Tri Glide owners. 

EHCU is responsible for managing the braking system, which can malfunction, leading to serious safety issues. 

Harley Tri Glide Problems

In particular, the failure can result in an unexpected change in brake performance, causing the bike to pull to one side or resulting in an abrupt halt. 

This is especially hazardous at high speeds or in heavy traffic conditions. 

4. Unexpectedly takes a Turn 

One of the biggest issues that many owners report is the tri-glide makes unexpected turns that predominantly affect stability and handling. 

This issue surfaces when the motorcycle veers in unexpected directions during a ride, posing significant safety risks to the rider. 

It’s been associated with misalignment in the steering geometry or the rear axle, causing the bike to pull to one side. 

This problem not only undermines the bike’s performance and comfort but also demands immediate attention to prevent potential accidents.

5. Excessive Engine Heat 

A common issue reported by Harley Tri Glide riders is the excessive heat emitted from the engine. 

This can be particularly noticeable when stuck in traffic or during long-distance rides in hot weather. 

Harley Tri Glide Problems

Excessive heat can cause discomfort to the rider and, in worst cases, can even cause burns if protective gear is inadequate. 

Excessive heat not only presents a safety concern but also implies a potential problem with the motorcycle’s cooling system.

6. Loosening Transmission Shift Arm 

A common issue experienced by Harley Tri Glide owners pertains to the loosening of the transmission shift arm. 

This problem can lead to difficulties in gear shifting, thus negatively impacting the overall riding experience. 

The shift arm might loosen due to the constant vibrations during rides or due to wear and tear over time. If it’s left unchecked, this could lead to more serious transmission problems. 

It’s recommended to regularly inspect the shift arm for any signs of looseness and to tighten it as needed. 

7. Loosen Oil Cooler Mount 

A common issue that riders may encounter with the Harley Tri Glide is a loose oil cooler mount. 

Increased engine temperatures often indicate this problem and reduced engine performance.

If the oil cooler mount becomes loose, it can cause the oil cooler to shift position or even detach completely, disrupting the cooling function and potentially leading to engine overheating. 

It’s crucial to maintain regular inspections and tighten the oil cooler mount as needed to avoid this issue.

8. Loosen Transmission Trap Bolts 

One common problem Harley Tri Glide riders frequently encounter is the loosening of transmission trap bolts. 

These bolts are essential for maintaining the stability and proper functioning of the transmission system. 

This issue often leads to transmission leaks and, if left unchecked, can cause substantial damage to the transmission system. 

Therefore, regular inspection and timely tightening of these bolts are crucial in maintaining the performance and longevity of motorcycles.

9. Bike Consumes Too Much Oil 

A common problem faced by many owners is that the bike consumes too much oil. 

This phenomenon is often referred to as “oil blowback”, and it can lead to a multitude of other issues, including engine damage and decreased fuel efficiency. 

The problem can stem from various sources, such as worn piston rings, valve guides, or even poor-quality oil. 

It’s important for you to monitor oil levels regularly and consult with a trusted mechanic if excessive oil consumption is noticed. 

Wrapping Up 

While the Harley Tri Glide is an impressive model with a robust design and remarkable performance, it does not come without its challenges.

These issues range from mechanical aspects, such as problematic steering and cooling systems, to comfort concerns, such as heat generation. 

Nonetheless, many of these problems can be mitigated with timely maintenance, proper handling, and appropriate aftermarket upgrades.


Are Harley-Davidson trikes any good?

Harley-Davidson trikes are often known for their unique blend of comfort, stability, and iconic style.

With a wider base, they offer a stable ride, making them a good choice for those who have balance concerns or prefer the added steadiness of a three-wheeled motorcycle. 

Their spaciousness and comfortable seating also make them ideal for long rides. 

Are Harley trikes hard to ride?

Harley trikes are not particularly hard to ride, though they do present a unique set of challenges. 

Unlike two-wheeled motorcycles, trikes are more stable and do not require the rider to balance, making them a viable option for those with physical limitations. 

However, they do have a wider turning radius and can be trickier to manoeuvre in tight spaces. 

Are trikes fuel efficient?

Trikes, or three-wheeled motorcycles, are often perceived as more fuel-efficient than their four-wheeled counterparts. 

The trikes are generally lighter and less complicated mechanically, which can translate into better fuel economy.

However, the actual fuel efficiency of a trike depends on several factors, such as its engine size, weight, aerodynamics, and how it’s ridden. 

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