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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys!

I was hoping to get some insight from all you Harley experts out there...
I'm new to Harley Davidson bikes. Coming from previous owner of Honda's and Yamaha's.. yesterday I decided to make the switch since I've always wanted a Harley. So I bought a used 2014 Iron 883 sportster.. with 7K miles. Seemed to be in great condition.

So test drove the bike, everything seem to work fine. Only thing the guy has been out of town and bike hasn't been riding regularly and sitting a bit.

Anyway, so battery was a little weak so the seller had to jump it with cables and she started right up! No issues. So I took it for a test ride.. worked fine! She kept running, no issues, no check engine lights, nothing! Then I make the deal, take off on the freeway for a 2 hr ride to get home (bought the bike out of town). And it road with NO ISSUES for about 1 hr... then literally ALL OF A SUDDEN.. the bike's speedometer drops and dies from 70 to zero and the check engine light comes on (yellowish green color, don't know if that makes a difference but it wasn't red). and so I sort of freak out and just pull the clutch in to see if I need to stop, and as I release it back, the bike picks back up again, speedometer goes back to normal speeds and check engine light turns off.. everything fine again.

Long story short, it kept doing this back and forth.. it didn't happen at all until 1 hr on the bike.. then it did it once, then again around 3 mins later, then got worst to a point of every 10 seconds or so... and the bike was jumping and hesitating. and after a while.. more lights came on, like the battery light would stay on with the little red round dot next to the needle.. and then I had to pull over and the bike just died on me.. and I haven't been able to start it up again... it shows neutral light and oil light now. (Bike has oil).. so I had booster cables.. and even that didn't work now. It clicks hard.. but nothing. So i had to get it towed home for the other hour left.

Anyway, sorry for the lengthy message.. I just totally new to Harley's and I'm not the most mechanically inclined guy. I just though it would be a battery issue.. now after it not starting.. I don't know.. Any advice or ideas what could be the problem?? Otherwise I'll have to tow it again to Harley dealership.

I would really appreciate any advice from all you experts!
Thanks!!
 

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Check diagnostic codes.

Sounds like it isn't charging.
 

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Just Ride
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Change the battery. Probably has the original in it. Makes it over 5 years old.
 
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I would definitely change the battery . . . with it's age, it's not going to be very dependable and as you just experienced, it's not fun being stranded.
 
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Welcome from NY!

I'm a '19 Iron 883 owner and that "yellow" check engine color is normal, it doesn't turn red. I will say that my check engine light came on the other day for a bit (bike had ~40 miles on it at the time), and went off on its own. Going to be at the dealer on Thursday for HOG meeting, so I'll see if any codes are coming up at that time (none since the light went out). It could just be from my engine breaking in, who knows. It's still under warranty, so...

It may be a "broken in" bike, but it's been sitting, kinda. Spark/battery, fuel, and fluids would always be my first thoughts. New to bikes and HD, but been around muscle cars my whole life. Almost everything translates.

+1 about SCHMIDTY's point to do everything by the book.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow guys! Tons of great insight here! Really, really appreciate the feedback!!

Im glad to hear that it could just be the battery.. because if it something simple I could do on my own.. I'd much rather!

Is it a simple enough job like a car?

I went to the Harley dealer yesterday and they told me it could be the potentially the fuel pump or battery. And told me they charge $120/hr plus parts. I had my doubts that may maybe looking to makes some money.. not sure but again I have my doubts.

@SCHMIDTY is there somewhere where I that online? I didn't get an owner's manual or anything.. I definitely want to do it by the book!

THANKS A TON GUYS!! Really helpful and give me confidence that it could very well be the battery. I checked and its at 11.50 volts as is.
 

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Only slightly more difficult than a car, but still easy enough.

You will want to get the factory service manual 99484-14A

https://www.surdyke.com/PartsMain.aspx?PartNumber=99484-14A

The first hour of shop labor will pay for that manual.

As far as batteries go, I prefer Yuasa GYZ series. You need GYZ16HL
 

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Harley-Davidson has access to Owner's Manuals via their website: www.harley-davidson.com


Click on "Owners" (Top of page) then "Owner's Manuals". You will then have to enter your V.I.N. to access the electronic version of your bike's owner's manual. Not sure if it goes back to 2014, but it's worth a shot. While you're at Harley-Davidson's webpage, run your V.I.N. through the recall notice and see if there are any recalls out on you bike.
 
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I saved the electronic version of the Owner's Manual to my computer and now I have access to it. I keep the actual book in my Tour Pak.
 

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The service manual is worth its weight in gold.

Start simple. Most likely it is the battery. I mean, it had to be jump started and sat for a while. Batteries not only lose charge over time, but lose the ability to hold a charge or be recharged as well, which also gets reduced by duty cycles.

It probably needs a new battery anyway. So start with that and some fresh gas and see if that resolves the issue before worring about a fuel pump or anything else. That is the most likely cause (battery).

And when you put gas in it (I know you said you don't even have the owners manual), remember the 883 has a slightly higher compression engine (9.0:1 I think) that requires gas with a minimum 91 octane rating. Don't put 87 in it. I'm pretty sure that goes for all Sportsters, though I am not a Sportster guy. Maybe a 9.0:1 compression ratio could run 89 octane, but I dunno. Just put 91-93 octane to be safe.

A good idea is to go ahead and change all the fluids (engine, transmission and primary oils) too as someone else mentioned.

Also, here's a direct link to where you can put your VIN# in and find any manual (owners manual, service manual, parts manual, etc) or instruction sheet (Harley/Screamin Eagle upgrades, etc) for your bike:
https://serviceinfo.harley-davidson.com/sip/vehicle/lookupForm
 

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While changing the fluids, I would add a brake fluid flush and refill with fresh brake fluid.
 

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Oh and about the oil light, that's gonna come on whenever ignition is on and the engine isn't running.
To add to Brian, it is an oil pressure light light. It will always be on when the bike is not running.
 

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most dealers, at least mine does, just do wham bam thank ya ma'am prep job on a used bike. Our dealer charges almost 700$ set up fee, and they don't do much more than change oil and clean the bike up good. So, when you leave the dealer with a new to you bike, take whatever they do with a grain of salt and have whomever you deal with to go through the bike and then you will know what you have.
 
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