harley davidson not starting

Harley Davidson Not Starting – Common Causes and Solutions

Don’t let a Harley Davidson motorcycle’s refusal to start frustrate you, especially when you’re already out on the road. Since there are various possible reasons why your Harley won’t turn over, including a dead battery, faulty wiring connections, an inefficient fuel pump or clogged carburetor; this article will guide and provide tips for getting it back up and running again.

Dead Battery

If your Harley Davidson not starting, the culprit is likely a drained battery. Parasitic drain occurs when power continues to be drawn from the battery even after it has been switched off. To determine if this is indeed why your bike isn’t starting, you can use a multimeter to test its voltage; readings just under 12V signify that charging of the battery will get it running again.

On the other hand, if you read a reading of anything lower than 9V on your multimeter, it’s time for a battery replacement. To prevent this from occurring again in the future, use a smart battery tender that charges only when needed and during periods where your motorcycle is not being used.

Kill Switch Set to OFF

Setting the Harley’s Kill Switch to RUN is essential for the bike to begin, but it can be easy to accidentally switch the rocker into OFF while getting on. To avoid this problem and make sure your Harley starts effortlessly each time, remember to check that you have placed the Kill Switch in its proper position before starting up.


If you own a carbureted Harley bike, the petcock switch offers an invaluable function for riders in allowing them to easily transition between the main fuel tank and its reserve. However, if this toggle is set to either OFF or ON while there remains only gasoline in the auxiliary tank, it will make sure your is Harley Davidson not starting at all.

Side Stand Extended

The Harley-Davidson’s side stand safety switch is designed to not allow the bike to start with its kickstand down, except when it’s in neutral. Consequently, turning on your engine with the stand still put down will instantly result in a halt — no exceptions. Unfortunately for some riders, this seemingly small oversight of forgetting to move up their side stands can lead them right into an embarrassing situation where Harley Davidson not starting at all.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

If your Harley-Davidson motorcycle clicks but won’t start, then you may have a malfunctioning component in its starter system or a bad battery. Though rarer than the two aforementioned issues, it could potentially be due to an engine seizure as well.

If your bike attempts to start but only emits a clicking sound, the issue is most likely with one of three main starter parts: starter relay, solenoid or motor. This could be due to a low-charge battery that does not generate enough energy for the magnet in the starter to activate, resulting in an unsuccessful attempt at ignition.

Harley Won’t Start in Gear

When it comes to a Harley Davidson not starting, if the clutch lever is pulled and disengaged but your bike won’t start, you may require a few safety checks. It’s possible that one of the sensors either got damaged or corroded due to rough terrain conditions – in which case they need an update from any dealership. Of course, this also depends on how well-functioning your Electronic Computer Unit (ECU) is too. So make sure both are covered before revving up your engine again.

Harley Won’t Crank

If a Harley-Davidson motorcycle won’t crank, it may be due to an issue with the fuel injector, starter relay or battery. If the battery has no charge at all or can’t hold one, and if the starter relay isn’t working correctly thus not supplying power to the rest of its system – then your bike will remain stationary. A defective fuel injector is also another frequent culprit for crank failure on contemporary HDs.

Harley Won’t Start In Cold

Is your Harley Davidson motorcycle having difficulty starting in the chilled temperatures? If so, there are numerous potential causes that you should be aware of. In this section, we’ll talk about some typical reasons why a Harley may not start in cold weather and what steps can be taken to fix it.

Battery issues

Battling the cold? Your Harley’s battery may be feeling it too. If you’re having difficulties starting your motorcycle, it could either be due to a faulty battery or electrical system. To combat this issue and ensure your engine is running smoothly, consider replacing the existing battery with one that has superior power and temperature resistance. Additionally, make sure all of the terminals are clear of debris so there’s no disruption in connection quality.

Fuel issues

If your Harley is having trouble starting in the cold, it could be a fuel issue. Gasoline can thicken when temperatures drop, making it difficult for engines to start. To prevent this from happening, use a fuel stabilizer and always follow the recommended type of fuel for your motorcycle. This will ensure your engine has an easier time firing up during colder weather conditions.

Oil issues

During frigid temperatures, the oil within your Harley can become so thick that it is unable to properly lubricate its engine. To avoid this undesirable outcome and keep your beloved bike running optimally, invest in an oil with a lower viscosity rating specifically designed for colder climates.

Spark plug issues

If your spark plugs are no longer working as they should, it may be difficult to get your Harley started during the chillier months. Make sure you examine and replace them if necessary for optimal performance in cold weather.

Carburetor issues

Battling with a Harley that won’t start in cold weather? The problem might be your carburetor, since it can become blocked and prevent fuel from reaching the engine. Don’t let this minor issue stop you – just remember to clean or replace the carburetor as necessary for smooth riding ahead.

Other factors

Along with any of the difficulties mentioned, there are other elements that could impede your Harley’s ability to kickstart in colder temperatures. For instance, a feeble starter motor or a broken solenoid can make it more difficult for you motorcycle to fire up. It is also plausible there may be an issue within the ignition system or related components preventing your Harley from beginning altogether.

Ignoring issues with starting your Harley in cold conditions can worsen the problem and make it difficult to start up when you need it most. Therefore, staying proactive is essential for keeping your motorcycle running smoothly regardless of how chilly the temperature gets. By acknowledging any starters’ difficulties and tending to them quickly, you are guaranteed an effortless experience whenever hopping on your bike.

Harley Davidson Not Starting After Laying Down

If your Harley Davidson not starting and is stuck, the cause may be its bank-angle or lean-angle sensor. Many Harleys are equipped with this safety switch that senses when it’s leaning at a dangerous angle in case of an accident and shuts off the motor to prevent injury or damage.

Once the sensor is activated, your Harley won’t start until it’s uprighted, shut off and the key removed with kill switch flipped off then on. On rare occasions however, some sensors may not be reset after you’ve corrected and rebooted the bike; if this happens try disconnecting and reconnecting both battery terminals to force a reset of ECU as well as all its sensors.

Harley Davidson Not Starting After Winter

After a long, dormant winter season in storage, starting an older Harley Softail can be challenging due to the amount of oil that has pooled inside its sump. This happens because when the bike is out of use for months at a time and rests on one side; gravity pulls excess oil into the sump from its tank located above it.

If your Harley doesn’t start up due to an excess amount of oil, it’s likely because the sump oil has mixed into the flow and was forced out during starting. Fortunately, avoiding this problem is relatively easy with proper winterization preparations as instructed by Harley-Davidson for fuel-injected models. This will also help maintain a healthy oil level so that you won’t needlessly add more.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Oil Light On

Struggling with your Harley Davidson not starting and noticing the oil light is on? It might be due to several possible explanations. Check if your spark plugs are in good condition, replacing them where necessary. If this doesn’t put a stop to it, you may need look into the issue being caused by either oil pressure or temperature instead.

If you have a Harley model and the oil pressure sensor seems to be malfunctioning, it could cause an ECU override that will stop your bike from starting. To reset the system, try disconnecting then reattaching the battery terminals. Yet if this doesn’t work, leave it alone for a while until it cools down before taking it in for diagnostics as soon as possible.

Harley Davidson Not Starting When Hot

If you’re having trouble kick-starting your Harley-Davidson when the temperature’s high, it could be due to an electrical system malfunction. Your bike’s wiring harness tends to heat up as time passes, resulting in a buildup of resistance within its circuitry.

If you own a Harley, it can be frustrating trying to start it when the weather is hot. To prevent this from happening again in the future, check all of your starter wires and battery relays for signs of wear or damage as these could be contributing factors. With a thorough inspection, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your bike will fire up each time.

It could be a few different issues if your Harley Davidson not starting in the hot weather, such as wearing of spark plugs, battery failure or an overheated slipper spring that is grounding out your bike’s ignition points.

Harley Davidson Not Starting After Changing Handlebars

If your Harley Davidson not starting even after resetting the battery, you may need to reprogram its security system. This service is typically available at an authorized Harley-Davidson dealership. However, if it turns out that the wiring harness has been damaged during a handlebar change, then you will require a more comprehensive review and repair job – something best left to certified mechanics or dealerships.

To ensure success with your Harley’s maintenance needs, trust only professionals who can provide effective assistance and reliable results.

Harley Davidson Not Starting With Key Fob

To avoid any issues with your Harley Davidson not starting, it is essential to inspect the key fob’s range, battery life and possibly interference from other electronics. To make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future, we strongly suggest always carrying a spare fob battery around.

Installing the motorcycle fob battery properly is essential to ensure that your bike will start without fail. Additionally, Harley models typically come with a factory code that can override the safety protocol and be utilized in case one’s key fob experiences damage or loss.

Nevertheless, previous Harley owners may not have provided the reset code to new users. To prevent any future issues related to this code, it is a wise idea for current and prospective owners alike to store this information in a secure location.

Harley Davidson Not Starting With New Battery

Once you have inspected the battery terminals and ground, it is important to ensure that your battery has been fully charged. Even a brand new one can be partially drained of its power, making it unable to start up your engine. Make sure to give your vehicle’s battery an extra boost before taking off.

If your bike’s battery is not charging, you can start with a simple motorcycle battery charger. Alternatively, by taking the bike out for an extended ride, it should recharge itself. If these steps don’t work to resolve the issue then further investigation may be necessary– such as examining the starter motor or ignition switch and perhaps even consulting a mechanic to diagnose any underlying problems that are causing the Harley Davidson not starting

Harley Davidson Not Starting With Clutch Pulled

If your Harley refuses to fire up with the clutch pulled, it is likely caused by a starter or solenoid malfunction. If you hear only a click when attempting to start the motorcycle, this signals an issue within these components and should be looked at immediately.

Before attempting anything else, make sure your battery has enough power to spin the engine. If it does, use a multimeter on the starter and solenoid to confirm that they are in working order. Otherwise, you may need to switch them out for new components if you want your Harley back up and running again.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Lights Flashing

If your Harley Davidson motorcycle is displaying flashing lights but the fob and battery are both fine, you may be facing a more severe issue with its security system. You could require an error code reset or experience difficulties with wiring, sensors, or even the control module that prevents it from starting properly.

If you are uncertain of the underlying problem with your Harley, getting it serviced by a qualified mechanic is highly recommended. Do not try to tackle electrical or security system problems yourself as this can be dangerous and may worsen the issue even further.

Quick Troubleshooting Guide – When Your Harley Davidson Not Starting

If you find yourself struggling with your Harley Davidson not starting and running, here is a list of potential solutions that may help pinpoint the issue. Follow these steps for optimal success:

Step 1 – Attempt to jump start/push start Try jump starting the motorcycle or push starting it to see if it will start. Refer to the articles on how to jump start a battery or push start a Harley Davidson for more information.

Step 2 – Assess your battery and cables to determine if they are the cause of improper charging or power delivery. To get started, take a look at Step 2 in our Electrical Diagnostic Guide article for instructions on how to assess the charge state and connection condition of your battery. If there is not enough amperage supplied by your battery, visit an auto parts store where you can have it tested under load. Additionally, make sure to clean any connections as well as inspect them for signs of corrosion or damage before proceeding with further diagnosis.

Step 3 – Ensure the starter and system relays are working properly by referring to the Fuse Box Information article for help in finding and testing your relays.

Step 4 – Test your bike’s run/kill switches. Detach the switch from the right handlebar grip and analyze its conductivity with a multimeter. Test both resistance levels of the ‘run’ switch when pressed, and those of the ‘kill’ switch when not engaged or pushed on. In case you observe any discrepancies in these measures, replace them promptly.

Step 5 – In order to determine the efficacy of your starter, turn to Step 4 in the Electrical Diagnostic Guide article. Additionally, you can measure the voltage at the wire connected from your ignition switch directly to your starter solenoid. Testing both avenues will ensure that you have an accurate assessment of its efficiency.

Step 6 – Ensure an optimal fuel supply by opening the cap and verifying you have enough gas in the tank. Additionally, open up your air filter to check for a gasoline scent at the throttle body. Lastly, listen carefully; when turning on your key there should be audible clicking and whirring of the fuel pump resonating for several seconds.

Step 7 – To diagnose any potential ignition issues, start by inspecting the spark plugs to see if they are loose or misconnected. Then check that your sensors and wires have proper voltage while in Run mode with the key on. If no trouble codes are detected, these steps should help you identify any problems quickly and easily.

Troubleshooting and repairing your Harley Davidson not starting is as easy as 1-2-3. Follow these steps to diagnose the problem keeping it from starting up.

Final Verdict – Harley Davidson not starting

In summary, the most frequent causes of a Harley Davidson not starting can include battery issues, electrical components that are malfunctioning, fuel supply challenges and ignition system problems.

By adhering to the easy-to-follow troubleshooting steps delineated in this guide, Harley Davidson motorcycle owners can quickly detect and resolve any problems stopping their bike from starting. With consistent caretaking and periodic inspections, many of these predicaments can be circumvented for an enjoyable ride on a dependable Harley Davidson.

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