9 times out of 10 the astuteness why your bike won’t alpha is usually as of the battery condition or loose connections. A charging system failure is less likely but is still possible.
I will speak about both of them here.
Aboriginal attending at your battery connections. Check for accessible and easiest to fix problems aboriginal. A loose connection, bad off ground etc. will likely statement intermittent operation of the starting and charging systems. If you acquisition a loose connection and/or corrosion, clean the connections with a wire brush.
Before re-attaching apply a babyish grease to the contact points. The grease helps to prevent any of the achromatic corrosion residues building up around the battery terminals.
Ace shot and alpha her up any more. You still accept a botheration? Action down to the mall and buy yourself a baby electronic multimeter. (Accomplish sure it has both AC and DC volt functions, as able-bodied as a continuity (or OHMS)function. Pull out the battery and set it on a counter. Set your multimeter to DC volts. Measure the Battery voltage by placing the bittersweet advance on the absolute and the Atramentous on the abrogating.
The voltage peruse should be around 12.5 volts (higher is OK) If the voltage is less than this it may indicate a bad off battery. Apprehension I add, “may” here as the bike’s charging system might be at defect. In this position the battery will most likely be OK.
Confirm that the electrolyte akin in each cell of the battery is acceptable. Add distilled baptize alone to cell’s with a low akin. (Obviously you cannot add baptize to a continuation chargeless battery) Charge the battery overnight with a slow charger alone. Motorcycle batteries cannot arm a accelerated charge. Accomplish sure the charger alone charges at a percentage of 2 amps or less.
Install the battery and ace shot and alpha her again. If she still won’t action buy a advanced battery and your botheration will likely be fixed. If she starts and runs according to a charm, then you accept to acquisition out why the battery went dead. You charge to check the charging system.
With the engine running, abode the multimeter leads on the battery. Rev the engine a babyish. The system voltage should rise with engine RPM. A voltage of around 13.5 to about 14.5 should be displayed. If the voltage stays constant and/or is slowly decreasing, or if the voltage rises above 14.7 volts the charging system is not functioning.
What accomplish you accomplish any more? You accept to check two things. The Stator and the Regulator. The stator creates an AC voltage. The regulator changes the AC to DC voltage and again maintains that voltage at the proper akin.
The Stator can be checked with the Ohms function on your meter. Locate and remove the plug for the stator on the front of the engine block. You will beam two or three pins inside.
Set the meter for low Ohms, and measure the continuity between these pins. 5 Ohms or less is what you are looking for here. Set the meter to the highest setting. With 1 advance attached to a metal allotment of bike check for continuity to each pin. You meter should peruse infinite, or no continuity. If these tests check out then your stator is fine. If there is a defect in any of these tests, then beam your dealer
The regulator is the easiest of all to check. The regulator is fabricated of solid state electronics and can’t be opened. Replace the regulator if everything else on the charging system checks out or if there is an overcharging bearings.
On most Harley’s you will not apperceive if the charging system is alpha to fail. The evidence shows up when you accept dim lights or she aloof won’t alpha. There are aftermarket accessories that you can install on your bike that will acquaint you the current state of the charging system.
Save yourself some bucks here!! With a child’s play multimeter available from any Electronics parts store you can troubleshoot your charging system and check your battery and most likely repair any problems yourself.
About the author:
Keith Nivon is an avid Harley Davidson Motorcycle Enthusiast! His website contains advice on all things Harley Davidson. is a abundant resource for anyone who shares a affection for Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Accept a attending at for added advice.
Originall posted January 11, 2012