Which Harley Davidson Years to Avoid and Why? (Reasons)

There is a strong and devoted fan base for Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Known for their affordability and ease of use, Harley-Davidson began their production on 1903.

While no one can argue that Harley Davidson motorcycles are of the highest quality, the firm has created a few duds in the past. Aside from the iconic models they’ve created, they’ve also produced some mediocre models and those models should be steer clear off.

I’m going to list the years of Harleys to avoid, along with legitimate reasons why, and the safest years, so that you may purchase the finest one available.

Harleys Years to Avoid (List of Years)

It’s a good idea to avoid certain models of Harley-Davidson if you’re looking to buy a used one. I’m adding a list of years to stay away from as they are plagued with issues.

  • 1999 Harley-Davidson FXSTB Night Train
  • 2001 Harley Sportster
  • 2004 Harley Sportster
  • 2014 Electra Glide
  • 2019 Harley Sportster

The AMF period, which lasted from 1969 to 1980, should be avoided, as should the next decade. Avoid these years at all costs, since they are the most problematic.

In the 1970s, the quality of these motor built in the United States was generally poor, particularly when compared to those made in Japan. After HD was sold, AMF’s quality control was extremely poor, and it took almost a decade for the company to recover.

Sportster bikes were manufactured during the dark years of Harley-motorcycle Davidson’s production. The Sportster was reinvented after Harley-split Davidson’s from AMF.

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What Makes These Harleys Years Worth Avoiding?

In researching various websites, internet platforms, and forums, I’ve uncovered reasons to avoid the Harley years I’d previously put. Let’s get to know them.

2001 Harley Davidson Problems:

2001 Sportster seem to be affected by the technical issue.

It also been recorded to have gearbox issues. Although there isn’t a definite pattern, this happens more often at various seasons of the year.

The greatest and most significant issue is with the cam chain tensioners. The tensioners might wear prematurely.

2004 Harley Davidson Problems:

The Dyna has the same Twin Cam engine, and plagued with issues.

The most probable cause of the Twin Cam engine’s problems is its cam chain system design. The product itself has a poor design.

 Prior to 2004, the engines of both Sportster models were not rubber-mounted, making for a bumpy ride.

After a few minutes of riding, a 2004 Harley-Davidson was seen to stall. The problem was not resolved by swapping out the batteries and plugs.

Read Also: Which Harley Shovelhead Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

2014 Harley Davidson Problems:

In all honesty, Harley’s Electra Glide may out to be completely useless.  However, there seem to be a number of problems with various models.

2014 model, which has been recalled five times in total. Because of disengagement, clutch failure, and a faulty master cylinder, the recalls were issued

2019 Harley Davidson Problems:

People who ride classic V-twin motorbikes are not the same as those who ride LiveWire bikes.

There are several electrical and shifting difficulties this year. Several forums and Reddit users have discussed a host of issues they’ve encountered and how they’ve been dissatisfied with their purchases.

Harley-electric Davidson’s Livewire electric motorbike was marketed as a high-quality product. This specific model’s flaws may be quite expensive to resolve.

Problems with the wheel bearings, gearbox, and loud sounds while shifting gears are all regular occurrences.

Read Also: Which Harley Sportster Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)


Even while some bikers refuse to ride anything but a Harley, others aren’t interested in purchasing one because of the many issues that have been linked with Harley ownership.

Read this article attentively to learn which Harley years to avoid and what issues may develop. If you’re looking for the greatest years to invest, I’ve included the finest years as well.

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