When bikers cruise into a rally like Sturgis, Hogrock River Rally or Daytona Beach Bike Week, the Harley Davidson riders naturally gather to talk biking among friends. Topics range from best places to eat, where to find good live music on the road and, of course, how to keep one’s Harley in tip-top shape. Related to maintenance, many Harley riders often like to share tips on how to save money on maintaining their bikes.
Harley Davidson motorcycles have become an icon in motorcycle culture, which is why Harley owners feel a unique bond with one another. The bikes known as HOGS have cultivated a unique community among admirers. That’s why helping fellow Harley riders out with shared insights has become part of the tradition of the Harley culture.. In that spirit, here are some ways to keep your Harley Davidson bike in prime cruising condition without breaking the bank.
Ways to save money when fixing a Harley bike
When you need to replace a part, you might first think to shop at a Harley Davidson dealer. If you do, you’ll get a high-quality part, but you may find yourself paying a premium price. Dealer prices for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts tend to run high. Instead, you might want to consider a good quality aftermarket part that is priced more affordably. You can find parts that will fit and perform just like the original part you’re replacing through aftermarket sellers.
7 common parts in which aftermarket often beats OEM on price
If your bike isn’t starting as quickly as it once did, you might want to replace the starter. Whenever you experience diminished performance of the starter, you want to replace it on your schedule. The worst outcome is for a total failure on the road. You can often save over $200 when buying an aftermarket starter compared to an OEM counterpart. As an example, to illustrate the savings, if you were looking for a starter for a 2013 Switchback, you’d pay over $400 for a starter on the official Harley Davidson shopping website, but less than $200 on DB Electrical, a popular aftermarket site in business for more than 40 years.
2) Starter Clutch Assemblies
These assemblies are essential components in your bike’s starting system. In addition to a good price, be sure to choose a starter clutch assembly made with bearing steel that has been been hardened, precision ground and plated. You can expect to pay somewhere in the range of $60 to $100 for a good aftermarket starter clutch assembly, but much more for an OEM one.
3) Voltage Regulators
These components are often the unsung heroes of your bike’s electrical system. Voltage regulators do exactly what the name suggests. They control the flow of voltage through the electrical system, preventing surges that otherwise could damage the battery, starter or electrical accessories. You can often get an aftermarket voltage regulator for approximately half the price of one sold through a dealer.
The solenoid is an essential component that acts like an electromagnet switch in your motorcycle’s electrical system. You should be able to find a good quality aftermarket solenoid for approximately $30, but an OEM counterpart might be double that price.
5) Battery Cables
Simple as they seem, battery cables carry out a vital task on your Harley bike. Old cables occasionally need replacement due to corrosion at contact points. You can often get new cables at a discount through aftermarket sellers.
6) Wheel Bearings
You can purchase wheel bearings less expensively through aftermarket sellers, too. Good quality wheel bearings allow for smoother riding on your bike and improve safety on the road. The All Balls brand is a popular choice for aftermarket bearings that many Harley owners use. All Balls bearings are known for being a long-lasting product that delivers high value.
A Harley is all about power, and these essential components play an important role in transferring rotational force to keep your bike moving smoothly. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay a premium price to get jackshafts that perform as well as the originals.
Save Money on Harley Davidson Maintenance
When you take to the road on your Harley Davidson, you are part of a tradition that started in 1903 when the company was founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Harley Davidson is one of America’s most recognized brands, and its place in motorcycle history is rooted deeply in the culture of biking. With your savings from buying value priced replacement parts, you’ll have more money left over for biking journeys on the road.
These few examples of parts you can buy more affordably just scratch the surface of the savings you can realize, but they show an important pattern. Whenever you need to replace a part on your Harley, it pays to comparison shop before you get the item at the dealer. Your wallet will be glad you took the time to search for the best deal.