Harley 131 Problems: What You Need To Know!

The Harley 131 has a number of issues that have been reported, including tuning issues, delayed throttle response, backfire or after-fire issues, heating issues, and engine failure. 

To deal with them, you need to find out the root cause, applying the right troubleshooting steps, and the best course of action. We have tried to cover all the relevant information to help you fix these issues. Keep reading to find out more!

Troubleshooting And Fix For Harley 131 Problems

Screamin Eagle 131 is one of the most powerful engines from Harley-Davidson. Unfortunately, Just like other engines, it runs into issues that show up over time.

Don’t worry; with proper identification, these issues can be solved. Here are some common Harley 131 engine problems and their possible solutions:

1- Engine Failure

Many riders have reported premature falling of the Harley 131 engines. Often this happened within the first few thousand miles and the break-in period.

This serious issue has affected several riders which we have found in various discussions. When this happens, it may stop working during the ride.

The most common cause of engine failure might be a cracked or broken connecting rod, which happens for several reasons, such as riding in hot weather, riding in stop-and-go traffic, and carrying a heavy load. Sometimes this can happen because of a manufacturing defect.

If you face an engine failure issue, it’s best to take the motorcycle to a qualified Harley-Davidson mechanic. If the reason is a cracked connecting rod, it should be welded or replaced.

The cost of fixing the engine failure problem will depend on the specific cause of the failure.

Read Also: 5 Common Harley Davidson Evolution Engine Problems & Solutions

2- Delayed Throttle Problem

The delayed throttle problem has been noticed in the Harley 131 since its introduction in 2021. The delayed throttle is the cause of any differences or delays you notice between twisting the throttle and the engine’s response.

It can last for only 1 second but can be dangerous when the rider needs to accelerate quickly to pass another vehicle.

The delayed throttle problem mostly happens due to software problems. Other reasons could be a stuck throttle position sensor (TPS) or maybe the throttle cable is not properly adjusted.

If you suddenly face the issue and the engine cuts out, you can manually restart the engine cable anticlockwise. To solve the problem completely, diagnose your motorcycle and check the software.

If it’s because of faulty tuning, avoid generic tuning and rather do a custom Dyno tune. But most of the time, cleaning the throttle body and adjusting the throttle cable can solve the issue.

If you need to do the dyno tuning, you may have to spend somewhere around 400$-500$. It may sound like a lot, but this tuning will eliminate some other issues as well.

Read Also: Harley Davidson 103 Compensator Problems: Causes And Solutions

3- Overheating

It’s natural for larger and more powerful engines like Screamin Eagle 131 to overheat. Some cases reported that 131 engine oil heated up to 310F after riding for about 250 miles.

The heat that exits from the radiator can be very high and make your feet a little uncomfortable.

Low coolant level is one of the common causes of why a Harley 131 can overheat. Replacing the coolant can solve the problem. 

If the cooling system of your motorcycle has air in it, it can cause overheating. 

In that case, take your motorcycle to a mechanic and he will bleed the cooling system to fix the issue.

If you have a warranty left for your Harley 131 engine, you may have done it from a dealer without any cost. 

If you don’t have a warranty, the labor cost may vary from place to place. You can expect to spend somewhere between $50-$100 to bleed the cooling system.

Replacing the coolant may cost between $20- $50, depending on the type of coolant you use.

4- After-Fire Issue

Many Harley 131 users claimed that they heard a loud popping noise coming out of their exhaust. It’s called after-fire. It can damage the exhaust and it’s a potential fire hazard.

If your Harley 131 is not tuned properly, it can cause an after-fire. A lean air-fuel mixture can also cause the issue. 

When there is too much air and less fuel in the combustion chamber, it can cause unburned fuel to escape into the exhaust system. The unburnt fuel ignites there in the exhaust and causes the after-fire.

Proper tuning like Dyno tuning can solve the after-fire issue. When you experience an after-fire problem, let an experienced mechanic diagnose the problem. If you have to re-tune the Harley 131, you already know the cost.

Read Also: Harley 6 Speed Transmission Problems: Diagnose And Easy Fixes

Tips To Prevent Harley Davidson 131 Problems

We have already discussed the problems that usually happen to this engine. Here are some tips that could prevent these problems:

  • Properly tune your Harley 131 from the beginning. It will eliminate several problems.
  • Replace the exhaust system if there’s any defect in it.
  • Always try to keep the air filter clean for restriction-free airflow to the engine.
  • Avoid running in extremely hot weather for a longer time to prevent overheating.
  • Take your motorcycle for regular maintenance like changing the air filter, changing the oil, and checking spark plugs.

Read Also: Solving Harley Freewheeler Problems: An Ultimate Guide!

Should You Buy a Used Harley 131?

It seems like buying a used Harley 131 is not a great idea. Though many Harley users look for a used Harley 131, here are some reasons why it doesn’t seem like the right decision:

  • Cost: Harley 131 is a costly engine. Even a used one is more costly than some of the new Harley engines.
  • Maintenance cost: The Harley 131 needs regular maintenance, which can be costly as well. A new engine will cost less as it will need less maintenance.
  • Repairs: Harley 131 is a powerful, advanced, and complex machine. Older 131 engines will need repairs which can be expensive.
  • Warranty: A used Harley 131 typically doesn’t come with a warranty. That means you are responsible for any needed repairs.
  • Decreased performance and mileage: The performance and mileage of any engine decrease with time. That’s true for Harley 131 also. It won’t be wise to have a less-performing bike after spending so much on it.

Read Also: Harley Davidson 1200 Sportster Common Problems


The Harley 131 problems may have left you with some more questions and confusion. Let’s try to get their answers here:

What Should You Do If You Experience A Problem With A Harley 131 Engine?

Any problem with the Harley 131 engine should be diagnosed by an experienced mechanic. You can take your motorcycle to the Harley-Davidson authorized dealer point for troubleshooting the problem.

Is Harley 131 The Most Powerful Harley Engine?

It is one of the most powerful Harley engines, but not the most powerful one. The Screamin Eagle 135ci Stage 4 is the most powerful engine from Harley. However, 131 was the most powerful one when it was introduced first.

Can Any Of The Problems Permanently Damage The Harley 131 Engine?

Yes, when 131 gets overheated, it can lead to permanent damage. Also, an After-fire or misfire can damage the pistons, valves, or other components that could also seize the engine.

Final Words

We have discussed the problems of a Harley 131 engine, and they could occur due to various reasons including manufacturer defects and improper use. 

No matter what the reasons are, you must treat the issue as early as possible to keep the engine in good shape.

Take proper care and do regular maintenance to keep the problems away. Even minor issues with a Harley 131 engine should be treated seriously, though.

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