Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLS 1000

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I have an 84 sportster and i just replaced regulator generator and battery but the bike still wont stay charged i started the bike by jumping it and ran it around the block and when i shut the bike off it wouldnt start back up what do i do now?

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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You have a bad stator.

Posted on Apr 17, 2009


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1 Answer

New battery wont stay charged

Hi Anonymous, perform the following tests:
1. Fill acid type batteries to proper levels.
2. Charge battery overnight at 1-2 amps you need 12.5 volts or better after charging.
3. Hook up battery positive cable, then with your multimeter on the milliamp scale connect one lead to the negative battery post and the other lead to the ground cable. Meter should read 3 milliamps or less, 10 milliamps with a radio, 15 milliamps with radio and CB. If your meter reads higher you need to isolate the circuit by pulling fuses and circuit breakers one at a time and observe meter for drop in aprerage then get out your test light and track down the short in that circuit.
3. Make sure all connections are clean and tight especially the negative cable at both ends.
4. Hook up volt meter to battery and start engine, if meter falls below 9.5 v while cranking replace battery.
5. With engine running at 3600 RPM battery should read 14.3-14.7 volts if not continue tests.
6. Unplug voltage regulator from alternator at crankcase by front of primary cover.
7. To test voltage regulator go to:
8. With ohm meter, one lead grounded, touch alternator pin meter should read infinity, if not replace stator.
9. With ohm meter, both leads touching alternator pins meter should read 0.1 to 0.2 ohms on 1989 and later models. 0.2 to 0.4 ohms 1988 and earlier models, if not replace stator.
10. With volt meter set on AC scale, both leads touching alternator pins meter should read
16 to 20 volts AC for every 1000 RPM'S 1989 and later and 19 to 26 volts AC for every 1000 RPMS. If not replace rotor.
17. For a free wiring diagram please visit the website below and good luck.
Harley Davidson Wiring Diagrams and Schematics

Jul 05, 2012 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

1 Answer

I have a 1984 sportster dont know were the long blue and white wire go in headlight housing

On a 1984 Sportster, nearly all the wires go into the headlight housing. I can send you a schematic but I need to know if your bike has a alternator or does it have a generator on it. The early 84 model was a generator bike, the late 84 was an alternator bike. Contact me directly at and I'll send you a schematic. I need to know which bike you have, alternator or generator.

Good Luck

Apr 14, 2011 | Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster...

2 Answers

My bike only runs when being jumped off. when you take the jumpers off the bike quits running. I dont believe its the battery because I have charged it and it started the bike, Then died. What can I do so...

Hello, you will find that your battery is the problem. While it is starting your bike, it is not holding its charge, very common with batteries. Have it checked out with a load tester, this will tell you if it is holding voltage under load. You can also give it a quick test with a normal multi meter, select volts on the multi meter, check the voltage on your battery before you start, it should be in the mid 12s, start your bike with the bikes battery (do not jump start), as soon as the bike starts check the voltage again, it should be in the high 13s or 14s, if it is lower than your first reading (12s) than your charging system is faulty, stator, voltage regulator etc. It the reading is in the high 13s or 14 than your charging system is ok (it is telling you its charging), when the bike cuts out check the battery again, you will find the reading is lower than 10v (if the battery is faulty) good luck.

Feb 17, 2011 | 1985 Honda VT 500 C Shadow

1 Answer

1993 Harley Sportster 883 Batt. is tested and good, generator tested and good, regulator is tested and good, no drwa on batt with ignition off, Charging system putting out 13.5 VDC at 2000 rpm. At idle...

You've already spotted the problem. 13.5 volts is not enough to keep the battery charged. It will slowly lose it's charge. You should be charging at 14.5-15.0 volts.

Check your regulator output. Look just behind the base of the rear cylinder and you'll see the wires coming out of the primary that go to the regulator. There's a plug in the line somewhere. Unplug it. You'll be measuring the output of the alternator so you'll be dealing with the wire on the alternator end of the plug. There are two metal contacts in the plug. You'll need a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter) to do this test. Set the meter's function selector switch to AC VOLTS, 50 VOLTS or greater. Start the engine and bring it to a high idle. Insert one meter lead into each metal contact. It make no difference which lead goes where as you're measuring AC voltage. Your meter should read at least 25 volts or higher. If not, your stator is bad.

If you read 25 volts or more, your regulator needs replacing.

Good Luck

BTW: Early 1984 was the last year for a generator on the Sportster. Late 1984 to present, the bikes have alternators on them. Much better than the old generators. Much better.

Sep 13, 2010 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

2 Answers

I have a 1979 XLH 1000 sportster and I having a charging issue.I replaced the battery and the voltage regulator and had the generator rebuilt and still it will not charge the battery.Ive checked the...

Did you charge the new battery? Did you check the new batteries electrolyte? I have seen many a new battery come off the shelf, dead! Get one of those floaty ball things and check the electrolytes in the battery, every cell, if one cell is dead, it is no good. The voltage sounds a little low but it should charge up. I don't know what size your battery is, but my old sportster had a car battery in it. Never had a problem. But never left the house without a screwdriver either.

Mar 10, 2010 | 1979 Harley Davidson XLH 1000 Sportster

2 Answers

I have a 71 sportster 900 that battery keeps running down

try replacing your regulator as the diodes may be stuffed or on way out

Jul 09, 2009 | Harley Davidson FLSTS Heritage Springer...

2 Answers

I have an 84 sportster and i just replaced regulator generator and battery but the bike still wont stay charged i started the bike by jumping it and ran it around the block and when i shut the bike off it...

DId you check or rather take the charging rate, how do you know if its charging or not?
You may have to replace the rectifier.
But first test its charging rate.

Knight (yamaha XJ750 A 1981)

Apr 17, 2009 | Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883...

2 Answers

The bike wont run unless you charge the battery first


Take a look on the generator, thats the one charging the battery, the coals in the generator might be needed to be replaced, there are two of them, Also check the two cables from the generator so they arent dameged or broken.
You can take the bike to a repaire shop and ask them to help you measure if the generator gives enough power to charge the battery or on, the can measure the power on the generator and they can measure the power coming to the battery.

Im sure the the problem is the generator or the cables from the generator

Good luck

Apr 03, 2009 | 1989 Honda CB 1

2 Answers

Bike cranks and wont start

Hi .... Sounds like regulator/rectifier is defective. Fully charge battery and try starting again, place multi-meter across battery and it should show 12.8-14 volts. If it doesn't replace reg/rec unit.

Jan 04, 2009 | 2000 Harley Davidson FLHTCUI Electra Glide...

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