Are you a Harley owner who is considering a tank lift for your motorcycle? Well, let’s talk about it! Tank lifts can be a popular modification for many riders, as they can give your bike a sleek and aggressive look. However, as with any modification, there are always potential problems that you should be aware of. In this article, we will discuss some common issues that Harley owners may encounter when installing a tank lift. So buckle up and get ready to learn more!
One of the main challenges with tank lifts is that they can interfere with the functionality of certain components on your Harley. For example, the lift may cause clearance issues with your handlebars or wiring, which can affect the turning radius or cause electrical problems. Additionally, the higher position of the tank can alter the center of gravity of the bike, potentially impacting its stability and handling. These issues can be especially problematic if not addressed properly during installation. Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate these problems, such as choosing a reputable kit and seeking professional help if needed. In the upcoming article, we will delve deeper into these issues and provide tips for a successful tank lift installation. So stay tuned for more information on how to avoid potential headaches and ensure a smoother ride with your Harley tank lift!
Harley Tank Lift Problems
When it comes to customizing your Harley motorcycle, tank lifts have become a popular modification. Not only do they add a unique aesthetic appeal, but they also provide additional clearance for the handlebars and give your bike a more aggressive stance. However, like any modification, there are common issues that can arise with Harley tank lifts. In this article, we will explore these problems and provide solutions to help you enjoy the benefits of a tank lift without any headaches.
Loose Fittings and Leaks
One of the most common issues with Harley tank lifts is loose fittings and leaks. As the tank is raised, it can put stress on the mounting bolts, causing them to loosen over time. This can lead to fuel leaks and potential damage to the surrounding area. To prevent this problem, it’s important to regularly check and tighten the tank mounting bolts.
Tightening Tank Mounting Bolts
To tighten the tank mounting bolts, you will need a torque wrench and the appropriate socket size. Begin by locating the bolts underneath your tank. Use the torque wrench to tighten each bolt to the manufacturer’s recommended torque specification. Be careful not to overtighten, as this can cause damage to the bolts or the tank itself. Double-check that all bolts are securely fastened before moving on.
Addressing Fuel Line Leaks
Another issue that can occur with tank lifts is fuel line leaks. When the tank is lifted, it can put additional stress on the fuel lines, causing them to become loose or develop cracks. If you notice any fuel leaks, it’s crucial to address them immediately to prevent any safety hazards.
To address fuel line leaks, start by inspecting the lines for any visible damage or loose connections. If you find any issues, you may need to replace the affected parts or tighten the connections. It’s also a good idea to use hose clamps to secure the fuel lines and prevent them from coming loose. Finally, make sure to check for any leaks or fuel odor after making these adjustments to ensure everything is secure.
Dealing with Fuel Pump Alignment
In some cases, a tank lift can cause the fuel pump to become misaligned. This can result in poor performance or even complete failure of the fuel system. If you notice any issues with fuel delivery or fuel pump operation after a tank lift, it’s essential to address the problem promptly.
To realign the fuel pump, you will need to remove the tank and access the fuel pump assembly. Carefully inspect the mounting points and make adjustments as needed to ensure proper alignment. It may also be necessary to replace any damaged or worn parts during this process. Once everything is properly aligned, reinstall the tank and test the fuel system to ensure it is functioning correctly.
Interference with Controls
Another common problem with tank lifts is interference with the handlebar controls. When the tank is raised, it can reduce the clearance between the tank and the handlebars, making it difficult to turn, operate the throttle, or use the front brake. This can be both frustrating and dangerous, so it’s important to address any interference issues.
Adjusting Handlebar Clearance
To address interference with the handlebar controls, you will need to adjust the clearance between the tank and the handlebars. This can usually be done by repositioning the handlebars or adjusting the risers. Begin by loosening the necessary bolts and making small adjustments to create additional clearance. It may take some trial and error to find the optimal position, so be patient and test the controls after each adjustment. Once you have achieved the desired clearance, securely tighten all bolts to ensure the handlebars and risers are properly secured.
Modifying Wiring and Brake Lines
In some cases, tank lifts may require modifications to the wiring and brake lines to avoid interference. This should only be attempted by those with experience and knowledge of motorcycle wiring and brake systems. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is recommended to seek assistance from a professional mechanic or experienced rider.
When modifying wiring and brake lines, it’s essential to ensure that all connections are secure and properly insulated. Make sure to use the correct size wiring and appropriate connectors to maintain the integrity of the electrical system. Additionally, take care to route the modified wiring and brake lines in a way that avoids any potential abrasion or damage from contact with the tank or other components.
Ensuring Safe Maneuverability
After making any adjustments to address interference with controls, it’s crucial to test the bike’s maneuverability. Take it for a short ride and ensure that you can turn smoothly, operate the throttle and front brake without any hindrance, and comfortably reach all necessary controls. If you notice any issues, reassess the clearance between the tank and the handlebars or consult a professional for further assistance.
Aside from functional issues, some aesthetic concerns may arise when installing a tank lift. These can include paint and finish issues and ensuring that the tank lift matches the overall design of your motorcycle. However, with proper attention to detail, these concerns can be easily addressed.
Resolving Paint and Finish Issues
If your tank lift has caused any paint or finish issues, such as scratches or chips, there are several solutions available. For minor imperfections, touch-up paint or a clear coat can be applied to restore the finish. If the damage is more significant, it may be necessary to have the tank professionally repainted or replaced. Keep in mind that matching the exact color and finish of your motorcycle can be challenging, so consult with a professional to ensure the best results.
Matching Tank Lift with Overall Design
When customizing your motorcycle, it’s important to consider how the tank lift fits into the overall design. You want the modification to enhance the appearance of your bike, rather than detract from it. This can be achieved by choosing a tank lift design and finish that complements the style of your motorcycle. Additionally, consider any other modifications or accessories you have made and ensure they work harmoniously with the tank lift. Engaging with online forums or seeking advice from experienced riders and mechanics can provide valuable insights and suggestions for achieving the desired aesthetic result.
Customizing with Accessories
To further enhance the appearance of your tank lift, consider customizing with accessories. There are a variety of options available, such as tank lift extensions, badges, emblems, or decorative covers. These accessories can not only add a personalized touch to your bike but also help to address any aesthetic concerns you may have. When selecting accessories, ensure they are compatible with your tank lift and properly installed to maintain structural integrity and functionality.
Proper Installation and Maintenance Practices
To avoid or mitigate the issues mentioned above, it is crucial to follow proper installation and maintenance practices when installing a tank lift on your Harley motorcycle.
Following Manufacturer’s Instructions
Before starting the installation process, carefully review the manufacturer’s instructions for the tank lift kit you are using. The instructions will provide step-by-step guidance on installing the lift, including torque specifications and any specific considerations for your model of Harley. Following these instructions will ensure proper installation and minimize the risk of any issues occurring.
Using Appropriate Tools and Techniques
When installing a tank lift, it is important to use the appropriate tools and techniques. Investing in high-quality tools specifically designed for motorcycle maintenance will make the installation process easier and help prevent any damage to the bike or its components. Additionally, following proper techniques, such as using a torque wrench to tighten bolts to the manufacturer’s specifications, will ensure that everything is securely fastened.
Routine Inspection and Troubleshooting
Once you have installed the tank lift, it is essential to perform routine inspections and troubleshooting. Regularly check for any signs of leaks, loose fittings, or interference with controls. If you notice any issues, address them promptly to prevent further damage or safety hazards. Additionally, stay up to date with any recalls, service bulletins, or maintenance recommendations from the tank lift manufacturer to ensure continued safe and reliable operation.
Alternative Solutions and Workarounds
If you are encountering persistent issues with your tank lift, there are alternative solutions and workarounds you can consider to achieve the desired results.
Considering Different Tank Lift Designs
If your current tank lift is causing ongoing problems, it may be worth exploring alternative designs. Different tank lifts have varying styles and specifications, so finding one that better suits your motorcycle and addresses any issues you are experiencing is a possibility. Consult with experienced riders, online forums, or seek advice from motorcycle mechanics to find the best tank lift option for your specific Harley model.
Consulting Experienced Riders and Mechanics
Experienced riders and mechanics can offer valuable insights and advice regarding tank lift problems. They may have encountered and resolved similar issues in the past and can provide guidance on potential solutions or workarounds. Engaging with the motorcycle community through online forums or local riding groups can provide access to a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Exploring Aftermarket Modifications
If you are unable to find a satisfactory solution with traditional tank lifts, exploring aftermarket modifications may be an option. There are companies that specialize in custom tank lifts or alternative methods of achieving the desired aesthetic appeal and functionality. However, be sure to thoroughly research any aftermarket modifications and consult with professionals to ensure they are safe, reliable, and compatible with your Harley motorcycle.
Potential Risks and Precautions
While tank lifts can enhance the appearance and functionality of your Harley motorcycle, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions.
Ensuring Structural Integrity
When installing a tank lift, it’s crucial to ensure the structural integrity of your motorcycle is not compromised. The tank lift and associated components should be securely fastened and compatible with your Harley model. Any modifications or adjustments should be made with careful consideration for the overall safety and stability of the bike. Regularly inspect the tank lift and associated components for any signs of wear, damage, or loosening to maintain the structural integrity of your motorcycle.
Addressing Fuel System Safety
Modifying the fuel system, as is often required with tank lifts, presents certain safety considerations. It’s important to ensure that all fuel connections are properly secured and free from leaks. Fuel lines should be properly routed, avoiding contact with any sharp or abrasive surfaces that could cause damage. Regularly inspect the fuel system for any signs of issues, such as leaks or improper operation. If you have any concerns regarding the safety of your fuel system, consult with a professional mechanic to address them promptly.
Avoiding Compromised Handling
Improper installation or adjustments of a tank lift can affect the handling and maneuverability of your motorcycle. It’s essential to address any interference with controls, ensure proper clearance between the tank and handlebars, and test the bike’s maneuverability after making any modifications. If you notice any handling issues, such as difficulty turning or operating the throttle and brakes, reevaluate the tank lift installation and seek professional assistance if necessary.
Dealing with Warranty and Customer Support
If you encounter any issues or problems with your tank lift, it’s important to take advantage of any applicable warranty or customer support provided by the manufacturer.
Notifying Manufacturer of Issues
If you experience significant problems or defects with your tank lift, gather all relevant information and notify the manufacturer as soon as possible. Provide them with a detailed description of the issue, including any photos or videos that can help illustrate the problem. The manufacturer may provide guidance, offer a replacement or refund, or assist you in resolving the issue.
Understanding Warranty Terms and Conditions
Before installing a tank lift, review the warranty terms and conditions provided by the manufacturer. Understand what is covered under the warranty, any maintenance or installation requirements, and any limitations or exclusions. Adhering to the warranty terms can help protect your investment and ensure that you receive the necessary support in the event of any problems.
Seeking Expert Help and Advice
If you are unable to resolve tank lift problems on your own, don’t hesitate to seek expert help and advice. Professional motorcycle mechanics, experienced riders, or specialty shops may have the knowledge and experience to diagnose and address any issues you are facing. While it may come with a cost, expert assistance can save you time, frustration, and potentially prevent further damage.
Proper installation and maintenance practices are crucial for avoiding Harley tank lift problems. By following manufacturer instructions, using appropriate tools and techniques, and performing routine inspections, you can enjoy the benefits of a tank lift without encountering common issues. Additionally, considering alternative solutions, addressing any aesthetic concerns, and seeking expert help when needed will enhance both the aesthetic appeal and functionality of your Harley motorcycle. Remember that safety should always be a top priority, so take necessary precautions and address any potential risks promptly. With proper attention and care, you can confidently enjoy the unique customization that a tank lift brings to your ride.