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I have a 76 xlh 1000 sportster and just put a starter on it. It ran like a scolded dog and after a couple of stops it still fired great then all of a sudden it wouldn't start and was sputtering after I finally got it started and running down the road. At higher speeds going down the road it sounding as if it was only running on 1 plug but I changed the plugs and still didn't help. Someone mentioned it could be the coil because my battery had drained down one night when the key was left on (accidently). There is no visual crack in the coil, but how can I check the coil? THe plugs are getting spark, but I'm not sure if it's enough ohms to fire the gas. The plugs smelled of gas. Points are set at .0017 and I've checked everything - new points, gapped the plugs, new spark plug wires. Any suggestions, I got a poker run this weekend and want to make it! If not the coil what else can it be? I'm a first time user at this site and heard it was really good, please help.
 

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If you have an Ohm meter, check the windings. Primary should be ~3 Ohms, Secondaries should be ~13K Ohm.

When you replaced the points, did you also change out the condenser?
 

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When checking the Ohms the wire leading from the points to the back jug should be the primary. Also I get 4 Oms from there, but when when taking the lead from other stud on the coil to the other output to the front jug nothing. Also i did not replace the condenser.
 

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+1 on coil and condenser. Points should be at .020, (You have an extra zero in there with the .0017)

Does it fire back up after letting it sit?
does not even want to start at this point but if i keep throttling it it does back fire.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
checked the compression rear cylinder had no compression tried the oil still no compression upon investation the exhust valve appeared to be stuck open re gapped the tappet/rod she fired right up. thank for all the help dave63 another true oldtimer back on the road (the bike or me dont know)?
 
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