Harley Davidson Street 500 Problems: How to Fix Them

Are you in the market for a new motorcycle? You may check out the Harley Davidson Street 500. It is not as large and intimidating as a full-size motorcycle though it can generate high power. Moreover, riders can easily handle it for its small and lightweight design. 

It is powered by a 494cc 60° SOHC, water-cooled V-twin engine, sufficient power for city riding. And at just under $7,000, it is much more affordable than most other Harley models. However, Harley Davidson Street 500 problems are also important if you decide to but this bike. 

So, lets move to the important problem of this bike. Being so good, the bike started having multiple issues like other Street models of Harley. These faults made Harley recall all the Street series bikes in 2021. So, I am here to talk about Street 500 problems. 

Harley Davidson Street 500 Problems

List Of Harley Davidson Street 500 Problems


Harley Street 500 is an outstanding bike. Yet, it showcases a few problems. It includes, defective clutch, faulty brakes, error prone exhaust system and transparency problem of the mirror. 

Problem Name

What Happens

Possible Solution

Defective Clutch

Pressing the clutch releases gas bubbles 

Claim a bike warranty or call mechanic

Absence of Rear Reflectors

Breaks federal law as motorbikes must have rear reflectors

Buy and install rear reflectors 

Saddlebags Detachments

Unexpected separation from bike

Repair saddlebags or reduce items from it

Faulty Brake

DOT 4 brake fluid requires periodical flushes

Flush the fluid

Faulty Exhaust System

Exhaust pipe becomes hot

Installation of external forward controls

Front Fender Troubles

Voltage regulator comes close to the front fender

Contact your dealer 

Mirror Transparency 

Rear mirrors fail to reflect things clearly

Purchase new and effective mirrors

Defective Front Tire

Not good in wet surface

Tire replacement 

Loose Sealing of Fuel Pump

Fuel supply irregularity causes bike hard to control

Limit rides to 160km with a full tank

So, this was the basic concept of Harley Davidson Street 500 problems. Most of these problems appeared after biking took it on the road for several miles. Again, some appeared due to faulty design, which Harley fixed or was about to fix later before they discontinued production.

The biker’s community has discussed the above issues and found possible solutions. In this part, I will discuss them in detail after accumulating ideas from the community. 

Problem – 1: Defective Clutch

Who doesn’t know the importance of a healthy clutch in motorbikes? Yes, it can help disconnect the engine from the bike drivetrain and transmission system. As a result, you can control the rear wheel of the bike. But the problem with Harley Street 500 is that the bike releases gas-like bubbles when you press the clutch. 

It can be pretty destructive to the clutch system. You cannot disconnect the engine from the transmission when this problem continues. Then, you may need to leave the bike garage for a long duration. Due to the severity of the issue, Harley recalled around 45K Street 500 motorcycles.

Possible Solutions

A defective clutch is a manufacturing defect that most Street 500 have had. Check if your bike is still under the coverage of the warranty. If you find it valid, meet the dealer and claim the warranty. Otherwise, you may need to call the mechanic and fix the problem. 

Problem – 2: Absence Of Rear Reflectors

Absence Of Rear Reflectors

Motorbikes have built-in reflectors at the front and rear ends. But Harley didn’t think about it while making certain Harley Street 500. It produced this bike without any rear reflector. On the other hand, US federal law is concerned about having mandatory rear reflectors.

This absence of reflectors gradually took Harley to recall 9285 models of Street 500 and Street 750 models. Usually, the problem persisted in bike models of 2014-15. 

Possible Solutions

You may already know those rear reflectors are connected to the rider’s safety and the passersby. Maybe you can ignore it as it is not a performance-related issue. But there is an increased chance of getting fined as the bike’s rider. To solve the problem, meet the dealer for a recall. Alternatively, you can order a rear reflector and have a DIY task to install that on your bike. 

Problem – 3: Saddlebags Detachments

Many Street 500 owners have reported several difficulties with the saddlebags detachments. Sometimes the saddlebag is unexpectedly estranged from the bike. When the issue was investigated, the reason for it was revealed. 

The spring wire of the receptacle couldn’t handle to maintain sufficient tension. As a result, it couldn’t prevent the mounting stud from disengaging. Around 25 motorbike owners have reported this specific problem.

Possible Solutions

You can avail of a free repair from the dealer for a 2014 or 2015 model with a saddlebags detachment problem. Point out that this problem is another manufacturing defect available in many Street 500 bikes. An alternative solution can be reducing the items you want to fit in the saddlebag. Another solution can be riding a bike without a saddlebag if there is no emergency. 

Problem – 4: Faulty Brake

Faulty Brake

Harley Davidson Street 500 brakes are relatively weak compared to other Harley bikes. Around 174k units of these bikes had faced this problem. 

Investigation reveals that the riders need to flush the DOT 4 brake fluid quite often. But the owners faced brake problems as they forgot to flush it periodically. As a result, the problem led to deposit buildups on the valve of the ABS Hydraulic unit. 

Possible Solutions

You can solve the problem by flushing the DOT 4 brake fluid. Call the mechanic and let him clean the buildups and flush the fluid.

Problem – 5: Faulty Exhaust System

The exhaust pipe can absorb heat. So, continuous combustion makes the pipe extremely hot when you continue riding the bike for a long time. It is another manufacturing defect, as it wouldn’t be so if the company avoided keeping the rider’s legs close to the pipe. 

This defective design can harm the rider’s body if he unconsciously touches the hot pipe with his legs. So, the long tourers always need to stay aware of it. Otherwise, they may burn their legs. 

Possible Solutions

Installing external forward controls can solve the problem. It gives the rider sufficient legroom while protecting the legs from remaining close to the exhaust pipe. However, you can call the dealer to sort out the problem.

Problem – 6: Front Fender Troubles

Front Fender Troubles

Typically, the voltage regulator of a bike does not meet the front fender. But in Street 500, it is a common problem. There is a reason behind this fault. Earlier manufactured models of Harley were fabricated with relatively larger measurements depending on the thickness. 

It led the company to produce thicker and less fragile-looking bikes. This thickness allows the voltage regulator’s top side to touch the front fender when you are riding the bike. Overall, the problem limits the freedom to steer the bike properly. 

Possible Solutions

You can consider it a manufacturing defect. You may contact the dealer if you are riding a relatively newer model of Street 500 Harley bikes. 

Problem – 7: Mirror Transparency

Many riders of HD Street 500 motorbikes have reported that their rear mirrors were not capable enough to clarify what’s behind them. Mainly, it appeared hard to see the rear things when the rider was on the move. 

The problem is a representation of safety requirements violation for a bike. You may think of it as a less severe issue. But I can assure you that it can be dangerous when you need to change lanes and hear a noise from behind without seeing them. 

Possible Solutions

You can easily solve the mystery by buying good (yet pricey) mirrors and installing them on your bike. Usually, a quality mirror for Harley may cost you around $200. You may look over the internet or meet the nearby certified store. 

Problem – 8: Defective Front Tire

Defective Front Tire

One motive for bringing Street 500 to the market was selling it at affordable rates. Unfortunately, the affordability could not avoid a problem like defective front tires. Many riders reported that they could comfortably ride on dry surfaces like roads or pavements. But they could not find it suitable on muddy or wet surfaces. 

Hence, you can consider it as a safety defect which was reported in around 615 units of Street 500 from Harley. Investigating the issue revealed that the wrong front tire installation caused the problem. This model has been fitted with 90190-19 front tires. But the recommended tires are 100190-19. As a result, the rider cannot get the expected performance. 

Possible Solutions

You can replace the front tire to solve the problem. Do it yourself or ask the dealer to face and solve the problem. 

Problem – 9: Loose Sealing Of Fuel Pump

HD Street 500 has another problem: the loose sealing at the fuel pump inlet. If the fuel remains low, it triggers resistance to the fuel supply under acceleration. Usually, it happens before you see the low fuel indicator showing up. 

It can be a significant issue if you fail to detect the problem. Think about a rider accelerating the bike below 3.2 liters of fuel. Then, the bike hesitates briefly, restores the engine power quickly, and the rider loses control over the bike. 

Possible Solutions

If you want a unique idea, I can suggest you ride below 160km when you have made a bike tank full of fuel. Again, you may get a free repair from the dealer. 

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How To Find Cheap Repair Services For Harley Davidson Street 500?

How To Find Cheap Repair Services For Harley Davidson Street 500

Harley Davidson is a top-class motorcycle brand in the world. However, like any other motorcycle, it will eventually need repairs. When this time comes, you may wonder how to find cheap repair services for Harley Davidson Street 500. 

Some tips are here to help you find the best repair deal for your motorcycle. Firstly, you can search online for independent motorcycle mechanics in your area. They may offer lower rates than the dealership. It can also provide an idea of the quality of service you can expect.

Secondly, you can ask over your friends and family for endorsements. If someone you know has had their Harley Davidson repaired, they may be able to give you the name of a good repair shop. Thirdly, you can check the repair shop reviews to see if any complaints have been filed against your preferred one. 

Lastly, you can check with your local Harley Davidson dealer. Many dealerships offer repair services for Harley Davidson motorcycles. You may get a repair discount if you purchase your motorcycle from the dealership. By following these above instructions, you should be able to find a great deal on repairs for your Street 500.

Final Words

The Harley Davidson Street 500 is a brilliant motorcycle for riders looking for power and affordability. However, the bike has had its share of problems since it was first released. The most common problems include the defective clutch, absence of rear reflectors, saddlebags detachments, faulty brake, and faulty exhaust system.

Luckily, there are solutions available for these problems. So, riders can still enjoy their Harley Davidson Street 500s. I hope you acknowledge some major Harley Davidson Street 500 problems from this article. Thanks for reading it. 

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