6 Common Harley Davidson Switchback Problems (With Fixes)

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Harley Davidson Switchback is a popular motorcycle that offers the freedom of a cruiser and the practicality of a touring bike. However, like any motorcycle, it’s not immune to issues that can crop up over time.

So, if you’re riding a Switchback, it’s extremely important to be aware of these problems and ready with the solutions for a smooth journey.

In this article, we’ll look into six common Harley-Davidson Switchback problems and provide you with insights on how to address them effectively.

Harley Davidson Switchback

Common Harley Davidson Switchback Problems

I talked to over fifty Harley Switchback owners to find out what issues they usually face with the motorcycle. Their answers are different, but some issues were common that everybody reported.

Here are six common problems that every Harley Switchback owner faces-

1. No Pressure On Front Brake Lever

While compiling the list of reported problems, I noticed that many people were experiencing problems with the front brake lever.

26 out of 50 riders reported that their Harley Davidson Switchback front lever loses pressure, and they often have to go to the mechanic shop to fix this issue.

The brake lever loses power or feels spongy because air bubbles are trapped in the brake line. Low or contaminated brake fluid, brake hose leakage, or loose bleeding nuts are the most common causes of this problem.

This problem also occurs when air is trapped while changing brake pads or swapping the hydraulic lines. The easiest way to fix this problem is brake bleeding.

I have already written a detailed guide on this topic. You can discover the causes of spongy brake levers and the step-by-step process to fix them. Click here to read that article.

2. Bad Vibrations

The most common problem that Harley Davidson Switchback owners reported is the vibrations.

Engine vibrations ruin the riding experience and reduce the motorcycle’s lifespan.

Due to high vibrations, the motorcycle chain often loses its tension, and you must get it tightened frequently.

Many Switchback owners swapped the stock exhaust pipe with an aftermarket exhaust pipe, and vibrations were reduced dramatically.

Dirty engine oil and incorrectly adjusted valve tappets also cause engine vibrations. So, you must regularly change the engine oil to increase the lubrication efficiency.

Click here to read the motorcycle oil change frequency and how much the Harely oil change costs.

3. Rattle Floorboard

Nobody likes the rattling noise on their motorcycle, but floorboard rattling is a common problem on Harley Davidson.

It is mostly caused by worn-out nuts and screws that hold the floorboard. If your Harley Switchback floorboard is rattling, buy a sturdy floorboard from Amazon.

Replacing the Harley floorboard is quite easy, and you can do it yourself. Check this video on YouTube to get ideas about floorboard replacement.

4. Oil Leakage

When I asked Harley Switchback owners about what problems they usually face. 7 out of 50 users reported oil leakage on their motorcycles.

Interestingly, this problem is noticed in older Switchbacks that have crossed over 100,000 miles. So, we can say that the oil leakage problem occurs on older motorcycles.

The main cause of oil leakage is bad seals and gaskets preventing oil flow outside the engine case.

Sometimes, loose nuts and screws, improper installation, and seal wear and tear with time also cause oil leakage between the heads and cylinders.

If you notice any signs of oil leakage on your motorcycle, the best is to take it to the nearest Harley Davidson dealer to fix this problem.

Don’t ignore it because leakage will decrease the engine oil level, which increases wear and tear, and your motorcycle engine parts will be damaged.

5. Electronic Control Module Beep

Unlike older motorcycles, the Harley Davidson Switchback model has a fuel injector instead of a carburetor.

An electronic control module (ECM) is installed to control the fuel injector, which decides the correct air-fuel ratio for efficient and better power output.

The ECM, aka ECU (Electronic Control Unit), collects data from various sensors and adjusts the fuel supply as per your throttle position.

If any sensor fails to send accurate data, the ECM triggers the Check Engine Light and creates beeping sounds.

Many Switchback owners reported ECM beeping sound problems. To fix this, you need an OBD2 scanner to read the trouble code and fix the parts that were causing the issue.

6. Engine Misfire

Engine misfire is the worst thing ever, and some Harley Davidson Switchback owners face this problem.

When the air-fuel mixture fails to burn in the combustion chamber completely, it causes the engine to misfire, and the motorcycle seems to lose power while accelerating.

An incorrect air-fuel ratio or a bad ignition system commonly causes this problem. To fix this, you must thoroughly investigate the various parts, such as the air filter, oxygen sensor, camshaft position sensor, and spark plug.

This is a complicated process, and I would advise you to take your bike to the nearest mechanic shop to fix the issue.


These are six common problems that many Switchback owners reported. Other problems like a noisy chain, saddleback coming off, hard water spots on chrome, and engine overheating are also noticed on this bike. So, if you plan to purchase a pre-owned Harley Davidson Switchback, ask for these problems.

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