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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1997 Sportster 1200C
On a long road trip when the bike died. Battery was dead and would not recharge. Bought a new battery and the bike started right up and was able to take a couple of rides. However, after setting for a week the new battery the dead. Charged it over night and have the same issues. Not enough juice to start the bike. Where do i start looking to fix this issues.
 

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Wayward Son
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Thoroughly checking all connections for dirt, corrosion, tightness.
In particular the gnd. to chassis.

When you installed the new battery did you follow the correct procedure on connecting the gnd. cable?
Did you fully charge and have the old battery load tested before announcing it DOA? Most auto parts stores offer it as a free service.
Do you have a Shop Manual and a VOM?
 

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The next time you get the bike running, you need to put a meter on the battery and see what the voltage going in is. At high idle it should be 13 + volts, anything less means there's a problem with the alternator and/or voltage regulator. If you don't have a volt meter, any of the big chain auto parts will check it for free. Hint, have your seat loose and the battery terminals readily accessable when you get there.
 

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I would bet the regulator is bad or you have bad grounds or a loose wire or corroded connection on the fuse
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Battery is fully charged. When i turn the key on to acc. only the speedometer light comes on. When i turn the to the on position NOTHING. If i hook up the charger then the the tach goes all the way over and if i try to start it it clicks. Is this still the regulator?
 

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How are you charging the battery?

If you are charging with a battery charger or tender, then the problem is with either the battery charger / tender or the battery itself.
 

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Check the positive lead at both ends. Make sure it is tight on the starter and battery. Pull the connector from the voltage Regulator and make sure it is clean of crud. Look at your main fuse and pull it. Be sure the connection inside that main fuse holder is clean and free of corrosion. My son-in-law had that be his problem and the dealer couldn't find it. He brings it to me after spending tons of money and I found it within 30 minutes. He bought me a beer.
 

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Harley Rider
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Everything they all said and make sure you are keeping it on a tender when not in use.
 

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Battery is fully charged. When i turn the key on to acc. only the speedometer light comes on. When i turn the to the on position NOTHING. If i hook up the charger then the the tach goes all the way over and if i try to start it it clicks. Is this still the regulator?
The regulator takes over after starting the bike and puts out the proper amount of juice to work the lights and keep the battery charged. If there is a problem with the regulator then you will be running on just the battery wearing it down until it goes dead. If you start the bike and disconnect the battery and the bike dies the regulator is more than likely to blame or it could lie in the stator which produces the current for the regulator. Again check all positive and negative cables at both ends Battery Lead to the starter and battery Neg the frame ground before assuming it is the more costly items. You should loosen the wire from the battery to the fuse at the fuse and retighten it or replace it it may be blown. You can test it with a meter.That would be the smaller red wire running from the battery positive side to the fuse. I had an issue when I bought my bike I purchased a new fuse off ebay. Make sure it is the correct ampage they have different ones. As said fully charge the battery before doing any testing. I would disconnect it until it is charged then connect it for testing. You can also use a meter to touch the battery terminals and should get about 13 to 14 volts when giving it a little throttle. If you only get 12 it would suggest the charging system is the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Changed the regulator and still having the same issue. There is no small red wire coming from the battery. I am lost. Please help.
 

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Changed the regulator and still having the same issue. There is no small red wire coming from the battery. I am lost. Please help.
How about reading the replies, and answering the questions already asked?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Okay.
I have check and rechecked all connection. Battery is fully charged. both ends of postive connections are tight. Both ends of negative connections are tight. Have pulled the main fuse and check to make sure it is clean and it is clean.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Again have check everything i know to check. Still when i turn the key to ACC. only the speedometer lights up and the mileage will display as well. The tach will not light up. put the key in the start position and NOTHING the speedometer goes out and the whole bike is dead. Battery is reading 12.83 when checked. If i put a charger on the battery the lights will come on and i can get a clicking noise if a try to start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
oh yes my auto cancel turn single did stop working a few months ago. Dont know if if means anything or not.
 

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Again have check everything i know to check. Still when i turn the key to ACC. only the speedometer lights up and the mileage will display as well. The tach will not light up. put the key in the start position and NOTHING the speedometer goes out and the whole bike is dead. Battery is reading 12.83 when checked. If i put a charger on the battery the lights will come on and i can get a clicking noise if a try to start.
Sounds like a faulty battery connection.
 

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Sounds for all the world, that you need to start from the beginning. First, bench charge the battery to full charge.( Not with a tender, use a real charger) Have it load tested. If good, remove all battery cables and check for bad ends and dirty connections. Pull the ends and make sure the wire itself is good,(sometimes they fail inside the connectors). Clean and reinstall battery leads, paying attention to the tightness of all connections. If you do all this the bike should start, then you can check the charging system. With the engine at about 2-3000 rpm the voltage,on a fully charged battery should be about 14 volts, if much lower the charging system is faulty. Don't try running the bike with the battery unhooked... it will fry the regulator. If the voltage is low, read the sticky about charging system tests, and do the tests.
 

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Retired citizen
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This kinda sounds like ignition switch gone bad symptom. Older Sportsters are notorious for ignition switch failures.
Try wiggling the ignition switch wires when starting the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The battery has been benched charged. I am going to replace the negative wire today. Will \be back later.
 

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Try jumping the starter at the solenoid It may be bad. The washers that jumps out and creates the contact in some starters gets so corroded it will loose connectivity like sparking a wire against a piece of metal it gets raise welded spots and will not make contact. I would bet 50 % it may be the problem. Lights not working on the dash may or may not have anything to do with why it won't turn over. A New or used solenoid may be in order starters are not that expensive on Ebay
 
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