Harley Davidson Touring: Top 5 Regrettable Modifications

There are some modifications that add to the Harley Davidson Touring, and some that don't. We gathered the top five regrettable mods for you.

By Bassem Girgis - December 30, 2015

This article applies to the Harley Davidson Touring.

Modifications are supposed to make your Harley Davidson Touring bike better, whether you do it to make it look unique, make it run faster, or you do it to make it more comfortable. We surfed the forums looking for the modifications enthusiasts agreed to be the worst for them and their bikes. This guide should save you some money and headache. If you're in the market for upgrades and modifications, read on to learn the worst and most regretful modifications you can do for your Harley Davidson Touring.

Top 5 Regrettable Modifications

Harley Davidson Touring
Figure 1. Harley Davidson Touring.

#1 Push Button Fuel Release Door

Push button fuel cap release

DIY Cost – $30-40

Professional Cost – $100

Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires the removal of various stock components.

It seems rather nice as well as convenient to have a button that you can press and release the gas cap without needing a key. The Harley Davidson's stock gas cap door requires the key to remove it, and you can't take the key out until you close the door. The inexpensive aftermarket push button latch seems great, but many riders complained it goes bad very quickly and can leave them stranded at the gas station and not able to pump gas. Some styles are nearly impossible to push while wearing riding gloves, too. If you do want an easier to open fuel door, make sure to only use a quality brand part. It is obviously a good idea, and so the most recent Project Rushmore bikes come with it as a standard feature.

#2 Leather Bag Lid Protector

Saddlebag Lid Protectors

DIY Cost – $70-90

Professional Cost – $100

Skill Level – Easy; this job requires no special tools or experience.

You may think you can protect your saddlebags with these awesome covers, but experienced riders are here to crush your dreams. Not only have these covers have been known to fly off as you ride, but even worse, they have been known to trap water underneath them, which causes a smell you don't want to smell. Maybe the worse though, is that the lid protectors can rub against the bags and cause more damage than boots, legs and weather ever would have. In other words, most saddlebag manufacturers knew saddlebags would get wet, bumped and stepped on and they designed them to take it. These protectors won't do much protecting. You would be lucky to have them just sit there; however, you will most likely have to pull over and explain to the driver behind you about your bad upgrade.

#3 Lowering Shocks

Low profile shocks

DIY Cost – $100-300

Professional Cost – $400-700

Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires the removal of various components.

Nothing usually looks slicker than a Harley with a low stance. Unfortunately, for Harley Davidson Touring owners, the manufacturer spent a lot of time making it as comfortable as possible, especially for such heavy bike with a lot of features. Shorter, low profile shocks completely change the feel of your Touring, and it goes from riding like a dream, to hoping your stereo won't fly away as you hit bumps. If you want to sacrifice comfort and hear a lot more rattling noises when riding, these may be for you. However, if you're like anybody else that bought a Touring bike and want to be comfortable while enjoying the cruise, stay far away from them.

#4 Fairing Mounted Mirrors

Fairing mounted mirrors

DIY Cost – $60-150

Professional Cost – $200-350

Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires the removal and replacement of stock components.

A lot of people don't like that the Touring's side mirrors stick out like a "regular" motorcycle. They think the company that brought them a stereo that changes volume as you speed up, a bike specific GPS navigation, and an easy to use cruise control should be able to make the mirrors look a bit slicker. Parts' manufacturers heard those screams and created fairing mounted mirrors. Unfortunately, buyers soon found that though they look good, they are rather useless at seeing behind you. You also typically have to put holes in the fairing to mount them, which makes it much harder to go back to the original style. With a big motorcycle like the Touring, stock mirrors or mirrors that stick out and are easily adjustable are the safest and most practical choice.

#5 Short Windshield

4" tall windshield

DIY Cost – $190-500

Professional Cost – $300-750

Skill Level – Moderate; this job requires the removal of various parts.

The idea of having a small windshield sounds nice. You are on a motorcycle, so you might as well get more wind in your face. On sport bikes, the tiny windshield is strictly designed to push the wind up and off of you when you're leaning forward. However, when installed on the Harley Davidson Touring, it pushes the wind right into your face due to the fact that you're sitting up straight. Even though this sounds like fun, if you do this for more than 10 minutes, you would realized that wind concentrated on your face is not good. Either stick with the factory high windshield, or test fit smaller screens before committing to them to avoid one that will concentrate all the wind right in your eyeballs.

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