Harley-Davidson’s Limited Warranty Is On Par With Other Manufacturers
Everything you need to know about Harley-Davidson’s factory warranty
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Whether you're a new biker or an experienced rider, there's something about a Harley-Davidson and its American iron image that makes it so appealing. The company has been around since 1903, and it’s an iconic brand that is instantly recognizable by those who ride as well as those who don't.
If you're in the market for a new motorcycle, a Harley is a great option. You can get everything from a stripped-down bike from its Street line to a touring model that you can comfortably take across the country. Since all new bikes are backed by a factory warranty, you're protected if something goes wrong within the first couple years of ownership.
Read all the details about Harley-Davidson’s limited warranty in our guide below.
The Harley-Davidson limited warranty has a coverage period of two years, unlimited mileage. That means you can drive 100,000 miles and still have warranty protection as long as it's within 24 months of the original purchase date.
The warranty covers nearly everything fender-to-fender, but once the warranty expires, you're responsible for repairs and service. The factory warranty is valid at any authorized Harley-Davidson dealership, not just the location in which you purchased the bike.
Motorcycle and sidecar warranty repairs must be carried out at an authorized Harley-Davidson dealership. The motorcycle manufacturer will replace or repair any parts that are defective in materials or workmanship. This warranty work is done free of charge without any cost accrued by the owner.
Also, should you decide to sell your Harley before the warranty expires, the remaining portion is transferable to a new owner.
Harley-Davidson and its dealers are not responsible for the "loss of use, inconvenience, lost time, commercial loss, or other incidental or consequential damages" related to warranty repair. For example, if you use your bike to commute to work and it breaks down, HD is under no obligation to compensate you for lost wages, etc.
Limitations can also vary from state to state, so it's important you understand that specific warranty conditions may not apply to you based on where you live.
The HD limited warranty covers a lot of items, but not everything. It doesn't cover bikes that are improperly operated or maintained. It doesn't cover bikes that are abused, misused, stored incorrectly, or used off-road or for racing/competition.
The warranty also doesn't cover damage caused by war, riots, acts of God, and natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, hail storms, lightning, and nuclear contamination.
In addition, the warranty does not cover the following:
- Normal maintenance, such as oil and filter changes, engine tune-ups, and chain/belt adjustment
- Wear and tear on items such as tires and brake pads
- Cosmetic issues caused by environmental conditions, lack of proper maintenance, etc.
A Harley warranty is also voided if you install off-road or performance-enhancing parts, such as an aftermarket exhaust or an electronic fuel injection (EFI) tuner. Technically, you can void the warranty if you or an unauthorized entity (instead of a Harley dealership) installs Screamin' Eagle parts or other performance parts.
However, it often comes down to the individual dealership. Many service writers and mechanics look the other way if you change the pipes or intake or add slip-on mufflers, but don’t take this as carte blanche to change your bike without fear of any repercussions. To be on the safe side, you should wait for the warranty to expire before you start to customize it.
H.O.G. and Roadside Assistance
When you purchase a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle, you receive a one-year membership to H.O.G. (Harley Owners Group). Included in this membership are benefits such as roadside assistance.
Should you experience a mechanical or electrical breakdown, you can call a technician to get you back on the road or to the nearest Harley-Davidson dealership for repairs. However, you’re only entitled to one service each calendar year through the H.O.G. standard package. H.O.G. membership expires after 12 months, but you can renew it and also purchase additional coverage.
The Deluxe roadside assistance package includes coverage on up to two bikes, and it fully covers towing and roadside costs. The Ultra package offers the same coverage and also includes emergency travel reimbursement, while the Ultra Plus package covers up to three vehicles, including cars and trucks.
You also have the option of being either a full H.O.G. member, an associate member, or a life member. You can convert to a full or life member at any time either online or by contacting HD.
What We Like
The Harley-Davidson limited warranty has a lot of advantages. Should your motorcycle experience a factory-related defect within two years of ownership, the company will repair it and cover the costs of both parts and labor. This provides peace of mind as you ride your new bike off the dealership lot. Plus, the coverage is fairly comprehensive and involves unlimited mileage.
While many Harley enthusiasts purchase used bikes from private parties, there's no guarantee that the bike is in tip-top condition. Should something go wrong, it's the responsibility of the new owner to make the repairs, which could be costly.
Another benefit of the HD warranty is that it comes with a one-year membership to H.O.G., which includes roadside assistance. Whether you're traveling around town or on a trip out of state, if your bike breaks down, assistance is only a phone call away. Servicemen will either get your bike running again or transport it to the nearest authorized dealership for repairs.
Finally, the limited warranty is transferable to another owner. If you decide to sell your new bike within 24 months, the warranty stays with it. This can be a good selling point.
What We Don’t Like
The biggest downside with Harley-Davidson's limited warranty is its duration. The company only covers defects in materials and workmanship for two years. If a part prematurely breaks down after the warranty has expired, the owner is responsible for the repairs. This can be very expensive, depending on which part of the bike needs servicing.
However, the two-year duration is pretty standard in the industry. While automakers typically offer a three-year warranty (or significantly longer) for their vehicles, motorcycle manufacturers do not provide such lengthy coverage. Harley does not set itself apart in this regard.
Another downside is that the limited warranty has several exclusions. For example, it doesn't cover wear and tear, such as new brake pads. In addition, all repairs must be carried out at an authorized dealership, so you can't bring your motorcycle to a local bike shop for warranty work, even if it's more conveniently located.
In addition, if you modify the bike (i.e., add performance parts), you technically void the warranty on that particular component. While some dealerships may not enforce this requirement, it's probably not worth testing.
Bikers, particularly those who ride Harley-Davidsons, love customizing their motorcycles. It's common to add aftermarket components to boost the bike's performance and style. But can these modifications affect the motorcycle's warranty? And what exactly does the warranty cover? We answer these two popular questions in our FAQs below.
Q. What does a Harley-Davidson warranty cover?
A. A Harley-Davidson warranty on a new motorcycle covers most parts fender-to-fender that are defective in materials or workmanship. The warranty coverage is for two years/unlimited miles.
Q. Does an aftermarket exhaust void a Harley warranty?
A. Yes. You would lose the part of the warranty that is related to the exhaust. However, the rest of the warranty would stay in effect.
Is Harley-Davidson’s Warranty Worth It?
Harley-Davidson's limited warranty covers defects that surface within two years of bike ownership. This includes both the parts that need to be replaced as well as the labor costs. Generally, defects manifest early on in a bike's road life, so if there's a factory-related problem, there's a good chance it will occur sooner rather than later.
Should you decide to purchase a new Harley-Davidson, the limited warranty will do a good job of protecting you, so you shouldn't experience any unexpected costs. However, you're still responsible for regular maintenance costs, and should you decide to modify your bike, you risk voiding part of the warranty in the process.
Here are a few more resources you can use: