Harley Davidson Rocker Problems: That You Must Know

Harley Davidson rocker is a Softail motorcycle model. Harley Davidson introduced the model in the early 2000s to celebrate its entry into the 21st century. Plus, the motorcycle was a great hit among the youth and middle-aged people. 

However, as the day advanced, the Softail Rocker model started showing a few problems. Finally, Harley had to abandon the project and discontinue manufacturing the model after 2011. So, you should realize the Harley Davidson Rocker problems if you want to purchase an impressive and powerful motorcycle for highway adventures. 

The Rocker motorcycle has seating system problems that force you to stretch your body. Plus, you will lack proper support around the rear fender. Plus, the gasket box leaks to pour oil while you are on long rides. It can burn your feet with warmer oil which can be seriously problematic. 

Thus, we will look for ways to solve the problems with a quick fix. Stay with us and continue reading the article on the Rocker problem if you want to enjoy smoother and better performance from it. 

Harley Davidson Rocker Problems

A Key Insight On Harley Davidson Rocker Motorcycle:

A Key Insight On Harley Davidson Rocker Motorcycle

Over the past 100 years, Harley has introduced many iconic and stylish motorcycles for its users. One of the latest editions in their long line of stylish, reliable, and high-performing motorcycles is the Harley Davidson Rocker. 

It is a Softail version but looks identical to the famous Hardtail version because of its design. Harley introduced it in 2008 with quite a deceptive look. The design targeted the youth, and it was a brilliant one. 

One of the key features was its low slamming of the rear fender. It would be used with the 240mm rear tire with swingarm mounting. It had no visible support making it look like the Hardtail version. 

The seat is made for those who love sitting as low as possible. Thus, taller people will find it great for their easy and quick uses. Although it improved riding comfort, many people said it caused back pain on long rides. 

Finally, the Rocker model came with two variants:

  1. The standard Rocker version had one seat only. So, it only had space for the rider, and you couldn’t take any passengers with it. The key is to allow you to enjoy your adventures to the fullest. 
  2. The Rocker C version had a pillow pad. It is just underneath the solo seat. You can stretch and expand the pillow pad to carry a passenger. Although not highly suitable, it is still a good choice during emergencies. 

You should now have a clear idea of the Rocker and Rocker C models of Harley Davidson. So, it’s time to identify its problem and ways to fix them for safer and smother rides. 

One Clarification About Rocker Problem:

Before we head to finding and solving the problems of the Harley Rocker model, we must clarify one crucial issue here. In this article, we discuss the problems of the Harley Davidson Rocker motorcycle. We aren’t discussing the rocker part and arm you find in many motorcycles. That is a different segment that we will discuss in another article. 

Usually, the rocker arm of a motorcycle connects the intake and exhaust valves. It transfers the movement of the camshaft and helps the engine function properly. The part is further linked with the tappets and propels the engine. It functions according to the movement of the shaft. 

Nonetheless, we will discuss specifically the Harley Rocker model here. It won’t include the rocker and the arm of the motorcycle. So, be aware of it. You will need better choices if you are looking for the rocker arm noise and oil leak problem. 

Harley Davidson Rocker Problems & Solution:

Harley Davidson Rocker Problems & Solution

The Rocker motorcycle, disguised more like a Hardtail version, is a three-year venture of Harley. It was a powerful and impressive motorcycle but didn’t perform well in the market. It happened mainly because of its few key problems. 


What Happens 

Possible Solution 

Lacking support on the rear fender 

The rear fender vibrates and wears out soon without proper support 

You can modify the rear fender and add proper support to it. 

The seating system is made too low 

People with short stature will find it inappropriate to sit and control the bike 

You may use a pad to uplift the height and reach the handlebar easily 

The pillow pad on the Rocker C isn’t comfortable 

The passenger may suffer from back pain on long rides. 

You may try changing the pillow pad or using better material 

Oil leakage around the gasket 

The oil leaks because the gasket box of the rocker is leaky 

You need to stop the leakage through welding 

We have described the problems in short. Now we take the discussion further and see them in detail. 

Problem: Lacks Support On The Rear Fender 

Harley Davidson has introduced the Rocker as a Softail version that looks more like an aggressive hardtail. Thus, its rear fender has been entirely redesigned. It sits lower than the regular ones and lacks any visible support. 

Of course, it is mounted with a strongly built swingarm. Yet, it vibrates when you ride at high-speed. Although the vibration isn’t high, it is still disturbing. Furthermore, with improper support, the rear fender tends to become loose too soon. Thus, it might fall from the swingarm connection, and it can be a costly change. 

The lack of support also causes the rear fender to wear out sooner than anticipated. So, it isn’t a pleasing sight for Harley fans. 


You may try adding strong support to the rear fender. Usually, you can weld a small metal part right underneath it and stop its vibration. The welding should be accessible without any major technicality. You may use stainless steel for the welding and support. 

Problem: The Seating Is Too Low

The Seating Is Too Low

Many riders found that the solo seat of the Rocker is too low. Of course, taller people will love the design as they can quickly stretch their hands to reach the handlebar. However, shorter people will find it a wrong choice. 

Furthermore, a low seating system isn’t ideal for long-distance rides. When you can’t sit in an upright position on long rides, it can be fatal for you. Riding on such a low seat with stretching your hands to reach the handlebar will cause back pain in the long run. Plus, the necessity to stretch your hand too long affects your overall motorcycle control. So, be aware of the controls more than you need in general conditions. 

Henceforth, the seating design isn’t palpable, although not a significant problem for all. Plus, many riders complained that the seat was too cushy. So, it squeezes and sometimes causes little discomfort. 


You may think of changing the seat, but that’s not a great choice. Instead, we recommend you adjust your seating position as upright as possible. Also, take breaks during long rides to reduce the effect on your back. 

Problem: Discomforting Pillow Pad

This problem is only seen in the Rocker C version, not the Rocker model. The Rocker C version has a pillow pad to allow seating arrangement for the passenger at the back. However, the pillow pad isn’t too comfortable at all. It isn’t like the regular passenger seat you will see on motorcycles. It comes out from the rider’s seat and is congested. 

Thus, the passenger will find it utterly discomforting. The problem becomes more severe in long-distance rides. Plus, it wears out soon, which is another concerning issue. Henceforth, the pillow pad on Rocker C is pretty useless, according to experts. 


You should try to modify the motorcycle seat and make it as comfortable as possible. You will find many aftermarket Rocker seats you can try out for your passenger seat. You should try to make the seat a little harder and ensure better support. 

Problem: Oil Leaks Around The Gasket 

Oil Leaks Around The Gasket 

The oil leak from the gasket of the engine is a common issue for many Harley Softail models. The Rocker and Rocker aren’t any exceptions. The gasket of the motorcycle is made of two pieces. Thus, the connection becomes loose and leaky. On top of it, the material of the gasket isn’t great either. So, over time it becomes brittle, that further boosts the leak. 

When it happens, you will see oil coming from the engine gasket. It is quite worrisome as the hot oil or lubricant may spill through the gasket to your feet. It can cause scalding or burn your feet or your riding boots. 


Fixing the leaky oil gasket is a challenging task. You first need to remove the gas tank from your Harley. Then, one after another, you have to remove the bolts and different parts of the gasket system. For a complete guide, you can see the below videos. 


Rocker C was a short-lived motorcycle from Harley. It existed only for four years in the market from 2008 to 2011. As Harley Davidson Rocker problems kept increasing, the company finally had to discontinue its production. It was a rare event for Harley where they completely disbanded one of their entire line-ups in just four years. 

Yes, people admire the motorcycle for its refreshing and fantastic design. Also, it delivers remarkable riding performance. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1.When Did Harley Stop Making The Rocker?

Ans: Harley discounted the production of their Rocker series in 2011. The production stopped mainly because it wasn’t popular among Harley lovers, and the company didn’t achieve its sales target. 

2.What’s The Difference Between A Rocker And A Rocker C?

Ans: The main difference between Rocker C and standard Rocker is their finish and seat. The standard one has a solo seat, while the Rocker C features a pillow pad along with the seat. Also, Rocker C has a satin finish, while the standard one has a beautiful chrome finish. 

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