Avoiding Potential Risks: Understanding Harley Tank Lift Problems

Harley-Davidson motorcycles have been a symbol of American craftsmanship and freedom for over a century. However, even the most iconic and well-known brands can encounter issues with their products.

One such problem that has been plaguing Harley owners is the tank lift problem. This issue arises when aftermarket tank lift kits are installed. Causing the fuel tank to lift and tilt forward, leading to potential safety hazards and damage to the bike.

While tank lifts are a popular customization option for Harley owners looking to enhance the aesthetics of their bikes, it is crucial to be aware of the potential problems that may arise from this modification.
Here we will delve into the details of the Harley tank lift problems, its causes, and the potential consequences for Harley-Davidson owners. We will also discuss possible solutions and offer advice on how to avoid this issue altogether.

Understanding Harley Tank Lift Problems

What Is A Harley Tank Lift?

What Is A Harley Tank Lift

A Harley tank lift is a modification made to a Harley-Davidson motorcycle that involves raising the position of the fuel tank. This can be done for aesthetic purposes, as it can give the bike a more aggressive and custom look. However, there can some potential problems associate with a tank lift.

One common issue is that it can interfere with the bike’s functionality, such as limiting the range of motion of the handlebars or causing clearance issues with other components. Additionally, a tank lift can also affect the balance and stability of the motorcycle, especially if it is not done properly.

It is important to carefully consider these factors and consult with a professional before deciding to perform a tank lift on your Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Common Issues And Challenges With Harley Tank Lifts

Common Issues And Challenges With Harley Tank Lifts

The tank on a Harley-Davidson is one of the most important components for a rider and has to be in an optimum position to give a good feel of the road. A front or rear-mounted lift can help but will also require proper maintenance. If you are unaware of how to care for your motorcycle, it may develop issues with its tank over time. Additionally, a poorly designed lift can cause mechanical problems with your bike.

  • Fitment: Ensuring that the tank lift kit is compatible with your specific Harley model can be a challenge. It’s important to do thorough research and consult with experts or fellow riders to ensure proper fitment.
  • Wiring and Cable Management: Tank lifts can sometimes interfere with the wiring and cables that run underneath the tank. Proper routing and management of these components is crucial to avoid any electrical issues or damage.
  • Clearance: Tank lifts can affect the clearance between the tank and other components, such as handlebars or seat. It’s important to consider these factors and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a comfortable and safe riding experience.
  • Fuel Capacity: Some tank lift kits may reduce the overall fuel capacity of the bike. This can be an inconvenience, especially for long rides. Riders should consider this factor before installing a tank lift.

The paint job on the tank lift could be more professional and look more neat compared to other Hogs in your area. A well-crafted paint job is essential for any modification project. Still, some shops cut corners on this aspect by using cheap materials and artificial colors instead of spraying paint directly onto metal parts like they would with a car body kit or motorcycle frame wrap.

Harley Tank Lift Problems Fixing Guideline

Harley Tank Lift Problems Fixing Guideline

If you are experiencing problems with your Harley tank lift, there are several steps you can take to fix the issue. Here is a guideline to help you troubleshoot and resolve Harley tank lift problems. By following these guidelines, you should be able to address common problems associated with Harley tank lifts and get your motorcycle back on track.

  • Check for Loose or Damaged Connections: Inspect the connections between the tank lift brackets and the bike frame. Tighten any loose bolts or screws, and replace any damaged or worn-out parts.
  • Ensure Proper Alignment: Make sure that the tank lift brackets are properly aligned with the bike frame. If they are misaligned, adjust them accordingly to ensure a secure fit.
  • Verify Clearance: Check for any interference between the tank lift brackets and other bike components, such as cables, wires, or hoses. If there is any contact or rubbing, make adjustments to create sufficient clearance.
  • Test for Stability: Once you have addressed any loose connections, alignment issues, and clearance problems, test the stability of the tank lift. Gently rock the tank back and forth to ensure that it is securely mounted and does not move excessively.

Tips For Avoiding Tank Lift Problems On Your Harley

Tips For Avoiding Tank Lift Problems On Your Harley

To avoid tank lift issues on your Harley, you should check the steering head bearings to ensure they are correctly adjusted. This helps to avoid wobble and ensures the motorcycle can track properly and balance. You should regularly lubricate the bearings and inspect them for signs of wear and tear. Here are some tips for avoiding tank lift problems on your Harley:

  • Look for a pre-wired harness or aftermarket wiring kit to add accessories such as heated grips, LED lighting, and GPS units. These kits simplify the installation process and can save money by eliminating the need to purchase additional wires and connectors.
  • Clean out debris around the air filter and intake manifold area. This helps prevent air turbulence that can lead to a tank lift problem.
  • Keep the fuel system debris-free by regularly cleaning the sediment bowl and hoses. A clogged fuel filter can also lead to a tank lift problem.
  • Perform regular maintenance on your motorcycle, including checking the spark plug, airflow, oil and grease levels, coolant level, and other essential parts. Proper maintenance helps keep your machine running smoothly and prevents unexpected issues that could lead to a tank lift problem.

Potential Risks and Challenges of a Tank Lift

When considering a tank lift for your Harley, it is important to be aware of the potential risks and challenges that may arise. One of the main concerns is the impact on the bike’s balance and stability. Lifting the tank can alter the center of gravity, which can affect how the bike handles and maneuvers. Additionally, a tank lift can also impact the functionality of certain components, such as fuel lines and wiring.

It is crucial to ensure that these elements are properly adjusted and secured to prevent any issues or malfunctions. Lastly, it is important to note that modifying your Harley in any way may void warranties or insurance coverage. Before proceeding with a tank lift, it is recommended to consult with a professional or experienced mechanic who can provide guidance and assistance in addressing these potential risks and challenges.

Proper Installation Techniques And Considerations

Proper installation techniques and considerations are crucial regarding lifting the tank on a Harley. Fuel line interference is one of the main problems that can arise from a tank lift. It is important to ensure the fuel lines are properly rerouted and secured to prevent leaks or damage. Another consideration is the clearance between the tank and other components, such as the handlebars or seat.

Checking for proper clearance and adjusting is essential to ensure a safe and comfortable ride. Additionally, it is recommended to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult with a professional if you are unsure about the installation process. These precautions can help prevent potential problems and ensure a successful tank lift on your Harley.

Tips for Maintaining Your Harley After a Tank Lift

Tips for Maintaining Your Harley After a Tank Lift

Maintaining your Harley after a tank lift is crucial to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are some tips to help you keep your bike in top shape. By following these maintenance tips, you can enjoy a well-maintained Harley even after a tank lift, ensuring a smooth ride and optimal performance for years to come.

  1. Check the Tank Mounts: After a tank lift, it’s important to regularly inspect the tank mounts to ensure they are secure and properly aligned. Any signs of looseness or misalignment should be addressed promptly.
  2. Monitor Fuel Lines: With the tank lifted, the fuel lines may be under increased stress. Regularly inspect them for any signs of wear, leaks, or blockages. Replace any damaged or worn-out fuel lines immediately.
  3. Maintain Proper Fuel Levels: Make sure to keep an eye on the fuel level in the tank. Avoid running on low fuel as it can cause damage to the fuel pump and injectors. Refuel before reaching critically low levels.
  4. Lubricate Moving Parts: Pay extra attention to lubricating any moving parts near the tank area, such as hinges, clamps, and brackets. This will help prevent rusting and ensure smooth operation.
  5. Clean the Tank: Regularly clean the tank to remove any dirt, debris, or road grime that may accumulate over time. Use a mild detergent and water solution along with a soft cloth or sponge. Avoid using abrasive cleaners that can scratch the surface.

Consultation With Experienced Professionals Or Mechanics

Consultation With Experienced Professionals Or Mechanics

When dealing with Harley-tank lift problems, consulting with experience professionals or mechanics is always recommende. While numerous DIY tutorials and guides are available online, seeking expert advice can help ensure that the tank lift is done correctly and without causing any further issues.

Experienced professionals have the knowledge and expertise to assess the situation, identify potential problems, and provide the best solutions. They can also offer valuable insights and recommendations based on their years of experience working with Harley motorcycles.

So, before attempting a tank lift yourself, reaching out to professionals who can guide you through the process and help avoid potential complications is wise. During the consultation with experienced professionals or mechanics, they discussed the importance of monitoring engine temps, ensuring proper airflow, and stopping at the nearest gas station for refuelling.


There is no denying the fact that Harley-Davidson has become one of the most popular motorcycle brands in the country. They designed their motorcycles for road and off-road use. However, this means the vehicles require regular maintenance to stay in top condition. So, get familiar with these problems and solutions to keep your vehicle running smoothly. Besides, it helps if you know how to maintain your vehicle as well properly.

Understanding Harley tank lift problems and taking proper precautions can help avoid potential risks and ensure a safe and enjoyable ride. It is essential to be aware of the potential issues that can arise from installing a tank lift kit and ensure that a qualified professional does the installation. By doing so, riders can enjoy the aesthetic benefits of a tank lift without compromising the safety and functionality of their Harley Davidson motorcycle.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Does Harley Reserve Tank Work?

The reserve tank on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle works by providing an additional fuel supply when the main fuel tank is running low. When the fuel level in the main tank drops below a certain point, the rider can switch to the reserve tank to continue riding.

Why Is It Important To Lift The Vehicle Level?

Lifting a vehicle level is important because it ensures that the weight evenly distribute. Preventing any potential damage to the vehicle or injury to the person working underneath it.

Why Do I Need A Motorcycle Lift?

A motorcycle lift is essential for several reasons. Firstly, it provides a safe and convenient way to lift and support your motorcycle for maintenance, repairs, or storage. It allows you to access hard-to-reach areas of your bike and work comfortably without straining your back.

What Is A Motorcycle Lift Use For?

A motorcycle lift raises a motorcycle off the ground, allowing easier access to its underside for maintenance, repairs, or cleaning. It provides stability and support to the bike while elevated, making it safer and more convenient to work on.

Does Lift Increase Fuel Consumption?

No, lift does not directly increase fuel consumption. Lift is necessary for an aircraft to achieve and maintain level flight. The drag force, not lift, directly affects fuel consumption.

Leave a Comment