Harley-Davidson is an American motorcycle manufacturer founded in Wisconsin in 1903. Although Harley-Davidson's are known for being well-engineered, like any machine they can still occasionally have mechanical problems. It is recommended that a certified mechanic conduct any extensive machinery work on the motorcycle for safety reasons. However, any Harley rider can pursue a brief troubleshooting and repair session at home with ease.
Things You'll Need
- Oil (optional)
- Replacement parts (optional)
- Battery (optional)
Check the fluids in the upper portion of the front forks and the shocks. They must be topped off and fully-sealed. An oil leak can cause loss of control, reduce contact patch integrity, and force tires to bounce on rough pavement.
Adjust the carburetor to lessen a rough idle or to eliminate sputtering when starting. To do so, turn the carburetor screw with a wrench until you get a desired fuel flow to run the motor smoothly.
Test the battery to ensure maximum power. An auto supply store will usually test the battery for free. Batteries generally fail in three ways: not charging; not holding the charge; or not releasing a charge under load. The headlights won't work with one of the first two problems. If the battery isn't releasing the charge, the headlights can still work but the engine won't turn over. Replace the battery if needed.
Inspect the bike for any visible damage. Harley-Davidson recalled many 2008 models for cracks in the fuel filter shell, and they recalled several 2009 and 2010 models to reinforce the front fuel tank mounts. A crack in this area can result in a loss of fuel pressure, which causes frequent stalls and loss of performance.
Ensure that air pressure is at an appropriate level. Allow the bike to remain stationary few hours, then test again. Low air pressure can indicate a leak in the air tubing extending from each shock, or fork tube, to the Schrader valve. Be sure to also inspect the tubing for kinks, cracks or leaks. Replace any tubing, or fittings, that are damaged.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
Harley-Davidson Electrical Problems
Throughout the years, Harley-Davidson motorcycles have become notorious for having wiring and electrical problems. Engine vibration, exposure to the elements, and sometimes...
Harley Davidson Oil Problems
There's a lot of allure to a Harley Davidson motorcycle, for bike enthusiasts and non-bikers. But like any bike or motor vehicle,...
How to Troubleshoot a Harley Davidson Security System
The security system installed in a Harley Davidson motorcycle protects against intruders by sounding an alarm if disturbed. You can troubleshoot common...
How to Troubleshoot a Harley Alternator
The charging system on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle consists of the battery, the voltage regulator and the alternator. The alternator, in turn, is...
How to Troubleshoot a Harley
Harley-Davidson was founded by Bill Harley and Arthur Walter Davidson in 1903 when they developed a one-cylinder motorcycle. They expanded to 20...
How Do I Troubleshoot a Coughing Harley 883?
Coughing in an 883 Sportster has several crude names and can be symptomatic of several minor problems, all of which are easily...
How to Troubleshoot the Fuel System on a Harley-Davidson
In a carbureted Harley, gasoline flows from the gas station, to the gas tank, by gravity through the petcock to the carburetor,...
About Slobbering Oil Problems in a Harley Davidson
In a Harley Davidson motorcycle, slobbering oil, also known as oil carryover, is a common problem caused by deteriorated, cracked or improperly...