12 Electra Glide Years to Avoid (For Your Sanity’s Sake)

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Mr. Chase Manhattan

If you’re in the market for a Harley Davidson Electra Glide, it’s important to know which years to avoid. While the Electra Glide is a beloved model among Harley fans, there are certain years that are prone to issues and problems that can be costly to repair. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the Electra Glide years to avoid, so you can make an informed decision when purchasing a used bike.

One of the main reasons to avoid certain years of the Electra Glide is due to issues with the cam chain tensioners in the Twin Cam engines. This can lead to engine noise and potential damage, which can be expensive to repair. Starter issues and oil leaks are also common complaints among certain years of the Electra Glide.

By knowing which years to avoid, you can save yourself time, money, and frustration in the long run. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a beginner, it’s important to do your research before purchasing any motorcycle, and the Electra Glide is no exception. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Electra Glide years to avoid.

Related read: Round ‘Em Up: What Year Harleys To Avoid? (Full Overview)

If you’re looking for a comfortable, stylish, and powerful touring motorcycle, the Harley Electra Glide (EG) is an excellent option. This model has been around for decades and has undergone several updates and redesigns over the years. The Electra Glide is known for its classic style, excellent comfort, and robust performance.

The Electra Glide is part of Harley Davidson’s Touring Motorcycle series, which means it is designed for long-distance travel, comfort, and convenience. The EG is equipped with a range of features that make it perfect for extended trips, including a large fuel tank, spacious saddlebags, and a comfortable seat.

The Electra Glide is available in several different models, each with its own unique features and specifications. Some of the most popular models include the Standard, Classic, Ultra Classic, and Limited. Each model has its own set of features, so it’s important to choose the one that best meets your needs.

One of the standout features of the Electra Glide is its style. The classic design of the EG exudes a timeless elegance that is sure to turn heads wherever you go. The large front fairing and full-size saddlebags give the bike a distinctive look and make it easy to store your gear and luggage.

In terms of comfort, the Electra Glide is hard to beat. The bike is designed with long-distance travel in mind, so it’s equipped with a range of features that make it comfortable for hours on end. The seat is plush and supportive, and the suspension system is designed to absorb bumps and vibrations on the road.

Overall, the Electra Glide is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a stylish, comfortable, and powerful touring motorcycle. With its classic style, robust performance, and range of features, the EG is sure to provide you with an unforgettable riding experience.

Custom infographic highlighting two problematic years for the Electra Glide

If you’re in the market for an Electra Glide, it’s important to know which model years to avoid. Here, we’ll highlight some of the problematic model years and the common issues associated with them.

Problematic Model Years

According to research, some of the model years that you should avoid include 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017. These years have been reported to have reliability issues based on user feedback and recall data.

Common Issues by Year

Here are some of the common issues reported for each of the problematic model years:

  • 1999-2010: issues with the camshaft chain tensioner and oil pump
  • 2012-2013: issues with the oil cooler and voltage regulator
  • 2015-2017: more issues with the camshaft chain tensioner and oil pump

It’s important to note that not all bikes from these model years will have issues, but it’s good to be aware of the potential problems before making a purchase. Be sure to inspect any used bike thoroughly and ask the seller about any maintenance or repairs that have been done.

In summary, if you’re looking to purchase an Electra Glide, it’s best to avoid the model years mentioned above. By doing so, you can save yourself from potential headaches and costly repairs down the road.

Read more:
8 Dreaded Years of Harley Davidson Ultra Limited Problems
13 Painful Years of Harley Davidson Ultra Classic Problems

A black Electra Glide Ultra Limited in a custom infographic introducing the specific problems found in the bike

If you are considering purchasing an Electra Glide, it is important to be aware of the mechanical and performance issues that may arise. In this section, we will discuss two common areas of concern: engine and transmission issues, as well as electrical and battery problems.

Engine and Transmission Concerns

One of the most significant mechanical issues on the Electra Glide is the cam chain tensioner. Over time, the cam chain tensioner can wear down, causing metal shavings to enter the oil and potentially damaging the engine. This issue is most common in older models, particularly those from the 1990s and early 2000s.

Another common issue is transmission problems. Some riders have reported difficulty shifting gears or experiencing a grinding noise when shifting. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including low transmission fluid, worn clutch plates, or a damaged clutch master cylinder.

Electrical and Battery Problems

Electrical and battery problems are also common on the Electra Glide. One issue is the voltage regulator, which can malfunction and cause battery and electrical system problems. This is most common on older models, particularly those from the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Another issue is battery life. Some riders have reported that their batteries do not last as long as they should, requiring frequent replacements. This can be caused by a variety of factors, including electrical system issues, leaks, or overheating.

Overall, it is important to be aware of these mechanical and performance issues when considering an Electra Glide. Regular maintenance and careful monitoring of your bike’s performance can help prevent many of these problems from occurring.

If you’re in the market for a Harley-Davidson Electra Glide, it’s important to know which specific models to avoid. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at the Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited, as well as the Street Glide and Road King.

Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited

The Ultra Classic and Ultra Limited are popular models, but there are some things to be aware of before making a purchase. The 2010 Electra Glide Ultra Classic, for example, has had some reported issues with its ABS system. While this is not a widespread problem, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re considering this particular model.

The 2017 Electra Glide Ultra Limited, on the other hand, has been cited as a model year to avoid due to multiple reasons. This model has had issues with its infotainment system, as well as problems with the clutch master cylinder that could potentially lead to accidents.

Maintenance and Care

Maintaining your Electra Glide is essential to ensure that it runs smoothly and lasts for years to come. Regular maintenance can also help you save money in the long run by preventing costly repairs.

One of the most important aspects of maintenance is changing the oil regularly. The recommended interval for oil changes is every 5,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. Be sure to use high-quality oil that meets the manufacturer’s specifications.

In addition to oil changes, it’s important to keep an eye on wear and tear. Check your tires regularly for signs of wear and replace them as needed. Lubricate the chain and other moving parts regularly to prevent excessive wear and tear.

It’s also a good idea to have a pre-purchase inspection done before buying a used Electra Glide. This can help you identify any potential issues before you make a purchase.

Finally, be aware of any recalls that may affect your Electra Glide. Keep up to date with any recall notices and take your bike to the dealership for any necessary repairs.

By following these maintenance tips and staying on top of regular care, you can keep your Electra Glide running smoothly and avoid costly repairs down the road.

Which model years of the Electra Glide are considered less reliable?

According to our research, some Electra Glide models are less reliable than others. The 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014, and 2015 models are known to have issues with chain tensioners, cam bearing failure, and wear and tear. It’s best to avoid these model years if you’re looking for a reliable motorcycle.

What are the most desirable model years of the Harley Electra Glide to purchase?

The most desirable model years of the Harley Electra Glide are generally considered to be the newer ones, such as 2018 and later. These models have been refined and improved over time and offer the latest technology and features. However, some riders prefer the classic style of the older models, such as the 1997 Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

What common issues should I look out for when purchasing a used Electra Glide?

When purchasing a used Electra Glide, it’s important to look out for common issues such as chain tensioner wear, cam bearing failure, and oil leaks. You should also check for any signs of damage or wear and tear, and make sure that the bike has been properly maintained.

How does the Electra Glide’s reliability compare across different production years?

The Electra Glide’s reliability can vary depending on the production year. Some models, such as the 1997 Ultra Classic Electra Glide, are known for their reliability and simpler design. Other models, such as the 2005 Electra Glide, have had issues with chain tensioners and other mechanical problems. It’s important to do your research and choose a model that has a good reputation for reliability.

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Hey y’all! It’s Chase Manhattan, a life-long gearhead, tinkerer, and adrenaline junky. I like to write about all things technical in the Harley Davidson and motorcycling space.