Skip to comments.Biker says Harley-Davidson rejected warranty claim for riding with flags
Posted on 05/29/2014 1:29:39 AM PDT by kingattax
As a former politician, Dave Zien has built a reputation for defending motorcyclists' rights as well as cruising the country with patriotic flags hanging off the back of his Harley-Davidson motorcycle for millions of miles.
So it came as something of a shock when Harley rejected a warranty repair Zien sought for a broken clutch on a new Harley trike citing his flags as the real cause. Zien, who bought the bike new in March, has voiced his displeasure throughout the biker community, telling Fox News that Harley-Davidson informed him he was "blocked" because of his flag displays, and can "never get any warranty work" for seven years.
Harley-Davidson responded to the Journal Sentinel of Milwaukee, stating that Zien's warranty is still valid, but that it denied this claim due to the the "terrific drag (the flags create) on the engine and transmission." The company also says that the flag mounts used were not Harley products, which played a part in the claim's denial, despite Zien arguing that a registered Harley dealer installed the mounts.
Zien, aged 64, served as a U.S. marine in Vietnam in the late '60s, prior to joining the Wisconsin State Senate between 1993 and 2006. His stint in the senate brought him some local recognition, but it was his full-size flags including a 3-foot-by-5-foot American flag waving proudly from behind his Harley that ensured an avid following of bikers.
(Excerpt) Read more at autos.yahoo.com ...
Stupid. The bad publicity will cost Harley a lot more than fixing the guys clutch.
Anyhow, I heard about this on Facebook earlier.
Seems to me that if the drag were bad enough, it would tip the cycle back on its rear wheels. I’d like to see some engineering figures. Where else was a flag mount supposed to GO?
On Facebook there were a lot of folks swearing they’d go for some other brand, including the still-American Polaris which makes both Victory and the recently resurrected Indian.
First, if he really put “millions” of miles on that trike, then it’s almost certainly not a Harley factory trike. I’m pretty sure Harley only recently started offering trike conversions from the factory. The strain of turning all the extra metal to drive the rear axle, and push all that extra weight from the wheels and frame of the trike conversion, would have to be at least as much as those flags would cause. If they have no problem with the load caused by a trike conversion, or a sidecar or similar, then there should be zero issue with a couple of flags.
Second, Harleys are so agricultural, I have a hard time believing that something so trivial could cause a clutch to fail unless there was legitimately something wrong with the clutch in the first place.
This is almost to BMW-dealership levels of “f$%&-you” customer-blaming.
I’d want to see the engineering calculations. Some rectangles of cloth following the wind are probably not going to have as much impact as the rider’s and bike’s own broadside.
Then it would be logical to deny claims if you ride on a road with 1% positive slope. It would create even larger drag, thanks to gravity and the mass of the vehicle.
Actually, an uphill road would be worse than flags. Flags are within the slipstream, they aren't always exposed to the full speed of the vehicle.
Regardless of any of that, what a burned out clutch has to do with drag? Was it slipping when fully engaged? That would be ... unwelcome.
Witness the worst PR move of the week - Ping.
Correcting myself. I see that this is indeed a new factory trike. I misallocated his “millions of miles” to this one bike, instead of his past activities.
That makes it worse. There’s no way a new trike would somehow burn a clutch just because of those flags, especially given the added weight of the trike frame. And I’d be really interested to hear how “Harley” flag mounts would have made the situation better, particularly since both would result in the same final configuration.
I think the “official” mounts are tilted back more.
There is going to be “some” drag.
Here’s an engineering paper. The squarer the flag, the more drag it has.
Actually, I’m guessing the clutch cage broke. Bikes generally have wet clutches, so it’s incredibly hard to actually burn the clutch plate. Putting too much strain on the driveline could conceivably cause the cage to fail, but there’s no way the drag of just two flags would do it, especially since (as others have pointed out already), just the strain of pushing the bike up a hill would easily exceed that.
Definitely gonna bite HD in the backside about this, its all over the biker community.
Our local American Legion and VFW riuder groups have several guys with both trikes and bikes sporting similar flag displays as the ones pictured. I’ve never heard any of them voice any problems with their rides because of it.
After all, they’re following in the wind - it’s not like they’re sails or something.
The body of the bike and the biker will be shielding the flags from most of the wind they would otherwise get.
That’s Punky and a boo chit excuse.
The flags created undo and excess drag?
What would they say if bis girl was a heffer? But, he loves her, taking wherever their interests lie?
ThatZ Kuh Ray Zee.
They must honor their warranty.
I haven't looked at the PDF, but the abstract says that they were using laminar flow in a wind tunnel for all their testing. This is not what you will find behind the back of the vehicle with a rider on it. This problem would be fun to model one day in a CFD package - if the solution ever converges :-)
These trikes and other Harley models can pull small trailers but a couple flags are too much?
Not to mention, have you seen some of the women these guys put on the back of their bikes? Talk about a strain on The drive train.
Harley pulled a similar stunt with me on a minor repair I needed on my 2009 Heritage. Needless to say, I don’t own a Harley anymore. BMW hasn’t been much better. I’m liking the new Indian models. Especially since I learned of EBR’s involvement in their rebirth.
Not saying the HD dealer is right, but the matter reminds me of Glock owners running hot hand-loads through their Tupperware and breaking something.
Then they are outraged when they find that Glock meant it when it said their warranty was voided by shooting hand-loads.
You build something and guarantee it as is.
A trike festooned with flags and other add-ons—it’s also something like a guy taking a chainsaw boxed, in pieces, to a saw dealer and asking for advice and some parts.
So he takes it home and assembles it, but it doesn’t work and returns unhappy and wants the dealer to fix it.
How is this the dealer’s fault?
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