harley lost all electrical power

Harley Lost All Electrical Power – Troubleshooting and Solutions

Greetings. During my ride today, I noticed the speedometer and odometer on my Harley had stopped working, with the check engine light coming on. Fortunately I made it home safely but now have some concerns about what could be wrong with my bike. If you ever encountered a similar incident and/or your Harley lost all electrical power, stay tuned as we explore potential causes and solutions here.

Check the Basics

Before proceeding with more complicated troubleshooting, begin by inspecting the basics. For instance, check to ensure that your battery is up-to-date and that you have good connections and adequate water levels. Doing so will save time as these are essential steps before delving into further analysis of any issue.

Inspect the Battery Terminals

Not sure how old your battery is? Start by examining the terminals for any corrosion or buildup. If they seem healthy, use a wrench to make certain that connections are secure; loose ones can cause difficulties even if they don’t look problematic. This could easily be why your Harley lost all electrical power, sometimes it’s the simplest causes.

Check Your Ground Connections

After taking a look at your battery to verify that everything is in order, it’s time to inspect the ground connections. Utilize a multimeter while starting up the engine to test out the battery. Even if you experience illuminated lights, an unbalanced cell in your battery may still prevent the engine from initiating.

Look for Loose Wires or Burnt Fuses

At times, a worn-out wire or burnt fuse can be the reason that your Harley lost all electrical power. Be sure to examine any loose links or broken fuses. This basic task might save you from both hassle and time wasted.

Examine the Ignition Switch

Detach the dash from your motorcycle and assess for any severed or slack wires near the ignition switch. While having it running, experiment with jostling the cables to detect if there are difficulties present. For those who own an older Harley model, this is a typical area of inspection that must be conducted.

Check the Stator and Voltage Regulator

If you were riding your bike at a fast speed when the power was abruptly lost, it is not likely due to an issue with the battery. Instead, examine the stator and voltage regulator since they are responsible for keeping your bike running quickly.

Inspect the Battery Tender Pigtail

If your bike has a battery tender pigtail installed, make sure it is properly attached. Loose connections can result in arcing and ultimately cause power loss. To prevent this problem from occurring, securely fit the battery cable beside the battery before connecting the tender pigtail.

Check for Blown Auxiliary Fuses

If your speedometer, odometer, brake lights and turn signals have suddenly stopped working, it could mean you’ve blown a single fuse. Although difficult to find, tracking down the chafed wire causing the issue is absolutely essential – this might take some time and patience but will surely be worth it in the end.

Ensure Ground Wires are Secure

If your engine cuts out while riding, you’ll need to check the battery’s positive and negative connections as well as its ground connection to the frame. Incorrect grounding could be causing other issues such as a broken clutch cable, so it is imperative that proper grounding be secured.

Consider Heat-Related Issues

Oftentimes, when electricity is lost due to heat, the main circuit breaker trips. Thankfully though, this issue can usually be resolved by moving the circuit breaker to a cooler section of your bike. This will stop it from tripping and eliminate any power loss you may have been experiencing.

The Verdict – Harley Lost All Electrical Power

Experiencing a power outage on your Harley can be extremely disheartening, yet by being patient and utilizing an investigative approach you’ll soon identify the cause of the disruption. Start with basics steps and progress towards more complicated troubleshooting techniques. Safe travels. Hopefully this article will assist you in getting back out there as quickly as possible.


Below are some FAQs on the issue when a Harley lost all electrical power:

What are some common causes when a Harley lost all electrical power?

Loose battery terminals, bad ground connections, loose wires or burnt fuses can all be potential culprits behind an engine not turning over. Other issues that may arise include problems with the ignition switch, stator and voltage regulator troubleshooting as well as incorrect battery tender pigtail installations.
Blown auxiliary fuses and insecure ground wires aren’t out of the question either when it comes to a vehicle not starting up properly – heat-related components should also be examined for any possible malfunctions.

How can I check if my battery terminals are tight and secure?

Carefully observe the battery terminals to spot any erosion or accumulation. If they appear alright, utilize a wrench to ensure the connections are firmly fastened. Even if it doesn’t seem like it, loose attachments can cause issues down the line.

What should I do if I suspect a bad ground connection?

Utilizing a multimeter, analyze the battery when commencing your engine. If there is no electrical power from the battery to begin the motor while lights still switch on, you may have a bad cell in your battery.

How do I identify and fix a loose wire or burnt fuse?

Prior to riding, assess your motorcycle for any shaky connectors and blown out fuses. If you come across a frayed cable, ensure it is properly fixed into place. Should you discover a burned-out fuse, replace it with an up-to-date one.

Can heat cause electrical power loss in my Harley?

Absolutely, if your main circuit breaker is being activated due to soaring temperatures, you can move it to a cooler location on the bike as a means of avoiding trips and reinstating power.

How do I check the stator and voltage regulator on my Harley?

To assess the stator and voltage regulator, use a multimeter to measure the voltage production from these parts as your bike is working. If you find that readings differ from what’s expected, it might be time for a new component.

What is a battery tender pigtail, and how can it cause electrical power loss?

To ensure uninterrupted power flow, it is essential to attach your battery tender pigtail correctly. Install the cable alongside the battery and then plug in the tender – this will help prevent arcing caused by connecting it between the battery and its lead. Taking these simple steps can save you time, money and headaches down the line.

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