Our mission in developing the CompenSaver Oiler System was to restore reliability to the primary drive of our Harleys. To accomplish this through our Oiler and for the long term to encourage the Motor Company to manufacture a reliable compensator.
At this time we have suspended production and sales of the CompenSaver.
With Harley using their dumbed down version of our oil intake and centrifugal oil pump released in 2014 we have seen the failures extended to over 20,000 miles before needing replacement. Then in the 2017 forward models Harley has incorporated their abbreviated version of each and every one of our developed functions and features. This has made the 2017 forward assemblies quiet and reliable for the long haul.
This Also has eased the need for the CompenSaver allowing us to put this adventure in the history books and move on to new adventures.
A heart filled Thank You to everyone.
In this path we have walked with the owners and the Motor Company we have been surprised, shocked and amazed at what have seen, heard and discovered.
We all thought with the introduction of the 2007 models with the new 6-speed transmission and new primary drive assembly and compensator along with the primary drive ratio changes issues could arise.
In 2007 myself and anyone else taking a test ride when these models were released immediately realized the rattle and clanking was not good. In 2009 I purchased a new Ultra Classic assuming the issues were resolved. After 7 compensator failures and replacements in about 18 months it was clear nothing had been or was going to be done. We got no help from the corporate guys and listened to the dealers say “it is normal” until our patience was exhausted. Thus CompenSaver was born. And along came many questions.
Why did Harley so badly engineer this assembly?
Why would Harley put it into production knowing it was a inadequate and failing assembly?
Why would they pressure all the dealers to support the position “it is normal”?
Why did it take 5 years for a change in design making the new SE version a standard production assembly. Knowing it too was a failed design?
Why did it take another 3 years, now 8 years of premature failures, to come up with a partial fix?
Why did it take another 3 years, now totaling 11 years of premature failures, to finally produce a quiet and reliable assembly?
All one needs do is follow the money. Then it becomes clear the motivation to not fix the long term failures. It also is a symptom of why Harley is losing customers and market percentage.
In that 11 years of replacing compensator failure after failure Harley produced over 2 million motorcycles with this compensator assembly. When you consider the profits on all those replacements after expired warranties the Motor Company and dealers made hundreds of millions in profits . Not much more to say about what went on.
If it were not for the CompenSaver coming to the scene in 2013 exposing that a permanent fix was not a difficult thing, Harleys would not be where they are with reliability today.
This profit model seems to be utilized with other areas of Harley’s motorcycles such as the two fairing braces in the dressers. These are stamped from very light duty sheet material thus they fracture apart very frequently allowing the fairing to shake excessively. These could easily be stamped from much heavier material making it a once and done part. That would add a few cents to the production costs to be passed on to the buyers. However they have chosen to save those few cents and just keep making a ton of replacement parts and make a few dollars each. You can do the math, lots of zeros in that total. I know many of you can add to the list so let’s leave it at that. Now consider the SE tuner that failed EPA standards. Harley knew it all along but rode that horse as far as they could. Harley was fined 13 million and likely spent several million in attorneys fees. In the end they were out about 15 million but profits were in excess of 40 million. Again that says it all.
With the compensator there was no government arm reaching out to correct. That was up to us owners. Let me share what I told Harley’s attorney assigned to deal with us;
“Let me get this straight. Harley has the finest advanced cutting edge equipment, research and development facilities and testing grounds. Top that off with having some of the sharpest engineering minds available and it took 11 years to come up with a fix. Now here we are to old guys fed up with the whole thing so in our garages between our wives cars and the lawn mowers we pull off the fix in a few months. Smell test failed”!
We offered several times to work with Harley and make available our work. Harley declined every time. So we learned the importance of two words “Efficient Infringement”. That means take it use it and bet you are so big that nothing is done about it.
Folks we are about 70 years old and will be in our graves well before a court determination would be made and it would exhaust every penny of our retirement to fight them.
The real winners are Harley and the lawyers. We have learned the hard way how worthless a Patent is without very deep pockets to back it up. Also life teaches us that we must choose our battles wisely.
You see for Harley to openly admit they could have fixed the compensator from the get go is an open invitation for a class action lawsuit. That is not to say that with enough complaints filed that could eventually occur anyway. We showed that it could be easily fixed and for Harley to work with us did not fit their defense.
So yes they did not have our consent and refused to pay us for the work they took.
The old David and Goliath thing!
At this point my advice to anyone that has been caused financial loss due to this designed defective assembly, you need to file a complaint with your states Attorney General Office. Also you can file a complaint with the Wisconsin Attorney General office. All the complaints will go into a pot and once enough complaints have filled the pots it is possible this could be looked into. Again an eye opening education on how the system works and has been manipulated by the attorneys to benefit the corporations much more than protect the consumer.
In the end however;
I am seeing that the Motor Company is falling away from its special connection with its owners, the Harley owner family. I remember the AMF days and it was all about build them as cheaply as possible and pocket ever dollar possible. The motorcycles were oil dripping problem plagued piles of nuts, bolts and metal. I have met Willie G Davidson on several occasions and we have talked and I have expressed my appreciation and gratitude for taking Harley back. For being part of restoring the relationship between the Motor company and the Harley owner family. It seems those days are again passing and we appear to be heading back to the corporate guys squeezing every dollar and the lawyers complicating things. Then there are the bean counters, accountants. Put that all together and you get where we are today. The Motor Company down double digit in sales, devoted and loyal employees being let go, production of parts and assemblies not American made. Now talk of shipping more production to the UK.
Most outfits that have reviewed and tested Harley’s rate them low when compared to the competition and investment firms seem to be more and more shying away from Harley stock. There was even a buyout discussed a few years ago. I am seeing visions of the AMF days returning. We owners are seeing our beloved American Made Motorcycle being transformed into a stranger to us.
The leadership of Harley is not seeing that they are severely damaging the Harley brand and more importantly their relationship, their connection with the devoted and loyal Harley owner family. In my option, in order for Harley to survive into the future and once again prosper two things must happen;
Put the owner family your highest priority.
Put American Made and the highest quality into every Motorcycle and accessory. If Harley’s name is on it, it is made in America with American workers skilled, devoted and caring hands. It has the highest standards of quality and proven reliability. The leaders at the Motor Company can continue their business model of shortsighted profits over the owners and quality and see profit projections continue to fall by staying their current course. The best option is become much more farsighted and make the American Made investment and have the opportunity to grow the brand even larger in the future.
For now Harley commands about 50% of the domestic motorcycle market however that is declining. Their new and rising rival Indian is rapidly growing with about 10% of the market. If this trajectory were to continue Indian could overtake Harley in market share in only a few years. Visit a few Indian dealers and search out a dozen or so owners and have a conversation and you will see for yourselves why.
For me my age has seen me buy my last new Harley in 2013 and I have my other old and trusted Harley’s to see me to my end of riding.
For now I am truly fearful for the future of this American icon that we love.
What it is
The CompenSaver is an oil delivery system to prevent premature failure of the Harley Davidson compensator #42200064A on the Twin Cam engines produced starting in 2014. The compensator is retro fit-able from 2007 through current model years. Cast in high quality steel.
What it does
The CompenSaver redistributes lubrication to the working surfaces of the compensator that has been thrown out due to centrifugal forces. It supports and enhances the capillary action created by the Harley compensator by providing a generous oil supply to the interior of the assembly that otherwise is receiving an inadequate supply of oil to properly protect the spokes, cam and cam splines plus increases the oil supply to the oil intake at the end of the retainer providing a consistant oil flow to the sprocket bore and thrust areas.
What it prevents
- Excessive wear of the contact surfaces
- The composite thrust washer reduces noise produced by the metal on metal roll thrust bearing
- greatly reduces damaging metal debris in primary assembly
- Unnecessary costly repairs