Question about 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster Custom

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Harley sportster headlight and brake light work but not the turn signals. Engine lights does not come on and bike wont start

When turning the ignition, engine light does not come on and bike wont start. Headlight and brakelight come on. The turn signals are dead. Replaced battery in key-FOB - nothing changed. Pressing the ignition switch there is a soft 'click' in the general area of the battery

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  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 3,506 Answers

The soft click sounds like the starter relay. Check that out first and see that current is getting through when it soft clicks. ARE there any codes set??? What led up to this???

Posted on Oct 18, 2014


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 1993 harley sportster 1200 headlight quit working

could be a bad ground in the head light bucket or the jumper from frame to the triple tree

Posted on Aug 24, 2009

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SOURCE: Harley won't start ... starter not working

That clicking sound you are hearing may be a circuit breaker tripping indicating a short circuit somewhere. I think the starter circuit is powered by the ignition circuit. If you have a short circuit in your ignition system the breaker will trip killing power to your ignition, thus the engine dying, and preventing power for the starter circuit preventing the bike from being restarted.

On your bike, I believe there is a chrome coil cover over the coil on the left side of the bike. Check and see if this cover has come loose. I've seen them come loose and fall down on the coil connector on top of the coil shorting it out. If that ain't it, just keep looking, there's a short somewhere. Good Luck

Posted on Mar 30, 2010

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SOURCE: 2006 harley 883 wont start acts like battery is

Take the triangular cover off the left side of the frame. Behind it, you'll find a circuit breaker. This is the main circuit breaker. Is this what is clicking? If so, you've got a short somewhere if it clicks the entire time you've got the switch in the on position. If the clicking only occurs when you attempt to start the bike, it could still be your battery.

Anytime you have a problem starting a bike, the first thing to check is the battery. A battery must be checked under a load. A prime example of this is you have a flashlight that shines very dimly. Yet if you use a meter to check the battery, it shows 1.5 volts but when you put it back in the flashlight, the flashlight shines dimly. This is because a battery will sometimes show full voltage until a load is put on it. In a multicell battery like an automotive battery or motorcycle battery, you can have one cell shorting out on you when you apply a load to the battery. Each cell produces two volts. So when one cell shorts, you battery voltage drops to 10 volts. Your bike may still crank over because in DC circuitry, if the voltage fall low, the device will simply draw more current in an attempt to run. This heavy current draw from the battery under low voltage conditions is what causes battery cables to get extremely hot and smoke. Once the battery cable smokes, the starter has been ruined.

So, my advice is to take the battery to an automotive parts house and have it load tested. If it test good, reconnect it and turn on the switch. If the circuit breaker is clicking when the switch is on, you've got a short somewhere that is tripping out the circuit breaker. The circuit breakers Harley uses are self-resetting. This mean that it will sense a high current draw and break with a click. After a few minutes, it will cool and reset itself. If the high current load is still present, it'll trip again with a click. It'll continue this until you remove the load or turn off the switch.

Good Luck

Posted on Jun 02, 2010

  • 4565 Answers

SOURCE: harley 1998 ultra wiring schematic

Sorry but I don't have a wiring diagram that I can send you but I may can offer a bit of help.

Your passing lamps are simply wired into a hot circuit somewhere. A lot of schematics don't show them because they are considered "add ons". They also may have a fuse inline with the "hot" wire. They have only one wire that connects them to the bike with the rest being inside the "light bar" itself. Find the wire coming out of the center of the "light bar" and trace it back to where it hooks up. Sorry but that's the best I can do on this one.

On your front brake light, there is a switch located inside your right hand switch housing where your throttle is located. It is a plunger type switch that is activated when you pull the front brake lever. A simple test of the switch is to loosen the bolts of the master cylinder and slide it towards the center of the handlebars. If the switch is good, the brake light will come on. If the switch is bad, it will not.

To get to the switch, you'll have to take the right hand switch housing apart. First, loosen the throttle cables at the adjusters and then remove the two bolts that hold the switch housing halves together. Carefully open up the switch housing. You will see the small switch in the front of the housing. You'll have to desolder the wires, replace the switch with a new one, and resolder the wires to the new switch.

Reassembly is the reverse of the disassembly. Make sure you slide the master cylinder all the way back against the switch housing or the brake light will stay on constantly. Readjust the throttle cables and check for proper operation. You don't want your throttle sticking.

Good Luck

Posted on Jun 15, 2010

  • 3 Answers

SOURCE: 1991 harley sportster turn signal and brake light wont work

A couple of bad bulbs or bad ground

Posted on Jun 26, 2012

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1 Answer

Diagram sportster wiring

More information would be helpful.

Do any lights work, ie signals, four ways. Does rear brake light work and just not light when front brake is applied.

If all lights are dead did you check the lighting fuse?

Fuse panel is under the left side cover.

Jun 07, 2014 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 S Sportster...

1 Answer

Taillight and blinkers don't turn on but brake light and blinkers work

Hi Rcarp125, sounds like you have a rear fender tail light wiring harness issue. Check that harness connection for corroded, broken or loose connector pins, repair as necessary using a dab of dielectric grease. For a free wiring diagram please visit the website below: Harley Davidson Wiring Diagrams and Schematics
Good luck

Jul 30, 2012 | 2004 Harley Davidson XL 883C Sportster...

1 Answer

Changed the handlebars and now the bike wont start. Makes a clicking sound like turn signals and the brake lights and headlights blink at the same time. Any suggestions

It sounds like you've gto a short somewhere and what you're hearing is a circuit breaker tripping. Recheck your wiring.

Good Luck

Aug 05, 2011 | 1993 Harley Davidson XLH Sportster 883

2 Answers

My tail lights/brake lights wont come on and the signal lights either. But the turn signal will light up when activated. Whats wrong? Its not the fuse. Should i just bring it to the dealership?

Taking your bike to a dealership might be the best choice. If you can't troubleshoot it, I certainly have a time trying to locate a problem without the benefit of being at the bike myself.


Sep 06, 2010 | 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Headlights and tail lights will not come on but the bike will start as well as turn signals and horn works on my 2003 sportster

Has to be a bad connection, pull the headlight out and check the plug (or wires) in and around the headlight.

Oct 31, 2009 | 2003 Harley Davidson XLH 883 Sportster

2 Answers

Electrical issue on 2005 Sportster 883

chec fuses-test them even tho they may look good-inspec starter relay-think there was a current overload -look over wireing for burns etc

Sep 08, 2009 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883L Sportster

1 Answer

Bike ran and washed it now i dont have a headlight and the electric start wont work but i do have turn signals and brake lights

Check your fuses. Water can get into a loose connection and cause an amperage draw enough to blow a fuse. Can also be a faulty light switch. Test with a multimeter.

Jul 05, 2009 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

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