5 Electra Glide Years To Avoid (Must Read Before Buying)

We, American motorcyclists, don’t preferably ride anything but a Harley Davidson machine.

Harley does know this, and they keep producing impressive motorcycles all the time.

The Electra Glide is one of those amazing machines that we purchase without thinking for a second because Electra Glide offers top-class performance and feel.

But, there are certain Electra Glide Years to avoid due to problems and issues in them.

Now, what are those years to avoid? 

Electra Glide Years To Avoid

If you prefer and are looking to buy an Electra Glide, you better avoid the years 1999, 2003, 2007, 2009, and 2014 Electra Glides. You should avoid them because these years Electra Glide are full of problems and you will end up in frustration.

The problems include chain tensioner issues, cam bearing failure, wear and tear, a bad ignition module, clutch basket issues, leaks, and brake problems.


1. 1999 Electra Glide

The 1999 Electra Glide should be the first model year to be avoided.

Statistically, it’s not the very first “bad Electra Glide year” because almost all AMF year Electra Glides are pretty compromised on performance factors.

The AMF period was a downfall for Harley, ranging between 1969 to 1981. So, you should avoid the AMF year Electra Glide, too. 

The 1999 Electra Glide has a lot of troubles, but its chain tensioner issues and cam bearing failure due to wear and tear are the major highlights. 

The other problems for this year include idling, engine stalling, fuel problems, vacuum issues, and braking issues.

Also, electrical issues are there, too, and the list is never-ending.

You must be wondering why there are such problems even if the 1999 Electra is not AMF.

Why Should You Avoid?

It’s because 1999 was the first year for Electra Glide to have a twin-cam engine in it.

Prior to this, Electra Glide used to have 45° V-twin engines, and Harley decided to upgrade.

Now, it does not mean the twin-cam engine is bad.

 In fact, it’s one of the greatest Harley motors

The reason for so much trouble in 1999 is that Harley was testing it, and the motor was new in it. In the later years, the engine got better and more promising with fewer issues.

So, due to these facts, you should avoid getting a 1999 Electra Glide.

If you are seeing a 1999 model and it’s pretty cheap, you can make a deal, knowing that you will need to put the money you saved into its repair and maintenance.

Is there Any Exception?

1999 Electra Glide is not a stubborn model. You can still model it to make things better.

The very first thing you need is to replace the cam chain tensioners and bearings because they are already worn out. So, keeping them intact does not make any sense.

Once done, it’s time for you to focus on lubricating its components and replacing any damaged parts ASAP.
Then, do some valves balancing and the engine will be smooth enough to be on the roads.

2. 2003 Electra Glide

Due to increasing criticism of 1999 EG, the Harley improved a few things, and it got better for a while. Better enough to yield fewer problems in the next 2 or 3 years.

However, the tables turned with the 2003 Electra Glide because it had many more problems that people forgot to talk about in 1999.

2003 Electra Glide was so troublesome that the sales for Electra Glide decreased the following year. It all happened due to Harly Davidson’s 100th anniversary.

On this occasion, Harley planned to make as many Electra Glides as possible.

To achieve that, Harley boosted production and manufacturing, but the built quality and Quality Control were compromised.

Of course, Harley achieved the sales target, and the number of sales for this model varies from report to report. However, Harley had to face recalls very soon.

2003 Electra Glide had multiple recalls, and Harley handled the electrical issues mainly

But, The sales and issues were endless so HD couldn’t entertain and fix every bit of the issue.

Why Should You Avoid?

Owners had to look for a solution on their own.

Out of its many issues, three were electrical problems, a bad ignition module, and clutch basket issues on prominence.

The problems were not just limited to these three, there are a lot more to come.

Its list of issues contains power loss, engine running problems, false check engine warnings, cam chain tensioner problems, and battery issues in the batch first.

Later, it rose to circuit breakers, throttle position sensors, ECU, ignition issues, ABS, oil leaks, transmission, overheating, and engine noise.

The list of issues does not end because if you had to fix one issue, two more will be born.

Due to this reason, it’s better if you avoid the 2003 Electra Glide at any cost unless you are happy to spend half of your days calling a mechanic and the rest trying to fix it yourself.

Is there Any Exception?

You might find the 2003 Electra Glide cheaper, but the money you need to spend on its maintenance and repair will be more than its capital cost. 

Or, if you are lucky enough to find a flawless Electra Glide 2003 with fewer problems, you can have it and enjoy it, though it’s unlikely.

3. 2007 Electra Glide

2007 is the next Electra Glide year you should be avoiding if you don’t want to end up in trouble.

The Electra Glide between the years 2004 and 2006 also had problems, but the scale was much lower. 

Lower enough, especially if we look into the 2003 Electra Glide, which was loaded with every goddamn problem and issue on the planet, so 2004-2006 was a breath of fresh air, indeed.

But, the peace was never long lasting because 2007 had yielded more issues. Of course, the issues are not a lot, but it still was enough to put its owner in immense frustration.

Why Should You Avoid?

You should avoid the 2007 Electra Glide if you don’t want to be annoyed with transmission and leakage issues. If that’s the case, this particular model is not for you.

Now, this year is not just limited to these two problems. Of course, there are a lot more.

For example, there are overheating problems, too, since it has leakage issues. The exhaust system is also prone to problems and how can you not expect the engine to have lean running?

Our investigation also shows crankshaft and fuel problems in this year’s Electra Glide.

There are a few more problems, too, but all of them lead to a vulnerable performance which you never want to experience.

Is there Any Exception?

Yes, exceptions are there. Not every unit of 2007 EG that Harley produced is compromised.

The 2007 Electra Glide is a bad boy, not the worst boy of all.

It does have problems, but they do have a fix. But, a few of its problems cost more to fix and they can happen again, anytime, as per our experience and research.

You can fix overheating, leakages, electrical, fuel, and stalling problems.

For overheating, you need to replace the gaskets and seals since they are compromised.

The radiator should be unclogged, the cooling fan should get better, as well as its fuel lines.

However, transmission problems and issues with the crankshaft are too costly to replace.

Fixing them, too, does not guarantee flawless running afterward. So, a replacement is left.

4. 2009 And 2014 Electra Glide 

The list of Electra Glide years to avoid would be incomplete without the year 2014 for EG.

You must notice that we mentioned 2009 and 2014 together instead of separately.

The reason is; that 2009 is a highly debated model year for Electra Glide amongst Harley fans.

Some say not to avoid it, and some say it’s better to avoid it due to their bad experience.

So, according to our analysis and investigation, you should avoid 2009 as well if you can’t compromise on anything for your potential motorcycle.

The number of issues for 2009 Electra Glide is less.

But, whatever it has, it might be worse and pretty much frustrating due to a couple of reasons that we’ll discuss soon.

Why Should You Avoid?

You should avoid the year 2009 for Electra Glide due to its problems with wheel bearings, whining noise in the 5th gear, and cam chain tensioners (according to some).

Also, there are ABS pump problems, oil leaks, stator problems, and connector issues.

Not every of the 2009 Electra Glide owners will face every bit of this problem in their unit.

But these problems are definitely frustrating and hard to fix.

There wasn’t any recall of any of these issues, which means not every single unit is plagued.

So, considering that, if you can manage to fix these problems, you can get it.

But, if you think it’s too much to handle, you should avoid getting the 2009 Electra Glide.

Now, what you can’t wait to avoid is the 2014 model because this one has been recalled five times in total, primarily due to brakes and transmission problems.

There are overheating problems, too, which leads the motorcycle to underperform.

Is there Any Exception?

2009 EG is a great bike, in general, but having problems in it can’t withstand this statement.

For the 2014 Electra Glide, you need to figure it out on your own. In fact, in the 2009 EG too.

You can expect a good performance out of the 2009 model if you can manage to find a less problematic unit in the market.

The chances of finding a better 2009 Electra Glide are higher than finding a 2014 Electra Glide with fewer problems.

In both models, the problems are fixable and would be enough to make them great again.

But, only if you are willing to, you have the budget to do that, and you can put your time into it.

But, if the issues are a lot in your unit and it’s costly to fix, you should avoid 2014 EG, too.

Harley Davidson Electra Glide Reliability

The Harley Electra Glide is a reliable and worthwhile motorcycle due to its impressive build quality, supersonic performance, and comfortable feel which you get on it. 

Electra Glide Ultra Classic has been in service for many decades. 

Due to its magnificent rideability and enormous power, it’s a must-have motorcycle for Harley lovers, making it more reliable and trustworthy.

However, the older the Electra Glide year is, the less reliable it becomes.

Not all its models are safe and free of problems.

But, if you avoid these 4 Electra Glide years, you can increase the reliability and long-lasting experience with an Electra Glide.

Harley Davidson Electra Glide User Reviews:

“The best features are a good sat nav, and the radio is good as well. It looks amazing and handles far better than it has any right to at that size and weight, plus storage. Downside? The headsets that came with it are corded and plugged into the bike.” Source: motorcyclenews.com

“The 5-gallon tank is handy, giving real-life 190-mile refill to refill, and the seat is the best in the business. 200 miles at a time without squirming is a real plus for a superbunter!” Source: motorcyclenews.com


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