Armed with nothing but my usual limited budget and a $100 gift card, I entered my local Harley Dealer with the intent on purchasing parts to repair the Heritage. Now before you spout “You should know better than go to a Harley dealer for any part that can be had cheaper somewhere else”, let it be known that I plan on repairing this bike with all Harley Parts, that is to say, I am keeping it all HD. Why?
Because, I have a thing about that.
Sure, sure, sure…. cheaper, equal and/or better parts can be purchased elsewhere, I know and I get it. But my thought process has always been, if a manufacturer designed and built <insert item here>, doesn’t it make complete sense to replace wear item parts with their manufactured part since they were designed for that item to start with? At least to me it does.
Cheaper doesn’t always mean better. Such as that which falls within the ballpark specs of Chinese reverse engineered parts. Or the loosely descripted part on Amazon that says “may fit with alterations” or “Additional parts required to fit your bike”. Or the aftermarket part distributor who has a part that kinda sorta looks like the one you need but looks different than the one you need. Therefore, I buy the part that IS from the manufacturer of the bike I own. Then there is no question that the part will fit, without additional parts or alterations needed.
That is not to say that guys like S&S, Fueling or Hard Drive don’t have good stuff, they do. Cheaper? Not so much. The push rods I may need to replace are the same price from S&S as they are from Harley, so why buy from S&S? The Cam Chain Tensioners I need are $30 each from Hard Drive. They are $70 each from Harley. So why won’t I get them from Hard Drive? Well, I’m on the fence about that particular wear-item part. The original part lasted 52,000 miles, will the next set last that long? I don’t know. Will the Hard Drive part last 52,000 miles? I don’t know. Do I take the chance? I don’t know, but I’m leaning towards “No”. Now I know that the 52,000 miles that I got on the original cam chain tensioners is slightly less than a miracle I’m told. Usually, it is said, they only last about 20,000 miles. It may take me 3 or 4 years to put on that many miles again, maybe less. But it’s the affordability of the parts that directs me at the moment.
Finances dictate actions.
On this trip, I was able to secure the necessary O-rings and retention clips needed and ordered new cam bearings. Leaving me with $50 left on my HD gift card. With any luck and a lot of Uber miles, I should be able to order the remaining needed parts in the next couple of weeks.
In the meantime…. parts.
2 thoughts on “Parts….. sort of.”
How far do you take standard parts..? What about consumables like oil, brake pads, and tyres?
I think it is also fair to say that often a manufacturer thinks about price and keeping it down so not everything is top shelf but a compromise.
Fluids and such I usually go with what ever they have in the Harley dealer. HD primary and crankcase oil. But I’ll use Redline Transmission fluid. I will do aftermarket add-ons but the majority of the time it’s HD all the way.