Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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Starter and possible wiring issues with custom bike

Have a custom motorcycle runing a harley davidson evo engine and transmission and enclosed primary. had the bike running one day, then went to start it the next day, and the starter just clunks one time, but doesn't turn the engine over. battery is showing full charge (even put it on charer overnight) and is new. connections look good, but when i try to start, wire from start switch to starter gets REALLY hot. like i said, the motor doesn't turn over...just "clunks" one time. the guy that built the bike is 5 hours away and not available to help. any ideas on what i can try?

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Did you try removing the starter and testing it on a "bench"? Sounds like it might be "jammin" up. Loose, misalignment, it's worth a try and doesn't cost anything. good luck

Posted on Jun 23, 2009

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I have a 2004 harley sporster 1200 customs that will only start when I jump it. What do I need to do to resolve the issue?


Hi Robert, it should be noted that in order to "PROPERLY" diagnosis any electric starter issue it is "IMPERATIVE" that you begin with a fully charged battery 12.5 volts or better and be able to pass a proper load test, and the usual suspects are:
1. Battery terminals have loose or corroded connections.
2. Battery cables faulty due corroded or broken internal wiring at the cable connector especially the "NEGATIVE" cable which needs to be checked at "BOTH" ends.
3. Battery voltage, 12.5 volts or better,to the main circuit breaker to the ignition switch to the security/ignition fuse to the TSM/TSSM module to the engine stop/run switch to the starter button to the starter relay to the green wire that connects to the starter solenoid has dropped more than 1/2 volt.
4. With a voltmeter connected to the battery, the ignition switch in the on position, the kill switch in the run position, the starter button depressed, starter engagement should not bring voltage below 8-9 volts.
If a lower voltage is produced a proper battery load test should be performed with a load tester to validate battery integrity or battery replacement.
5. Faulty starter relay, check continuity.
6. Faulty starter solenoid, check contact plate and shoes for excessive electrical erosion/etching, refurbish as necessary or invert contact plate and use the virgin backside. Check contact shoes for being loose. Replace solenoid if the negative function is still a final outcome.
7. Faulty starter, bench test starter with a 12-volt battery if negative function check, decontaminate and undercut armature commutator segments as necessary, check segments with an ohm-meter probe each one and the segment next to it for shorts. Have the armature tested with a growler and field coils, and brush plate with an ohm-meter for opens, shorts or grounds. Replace brushes if less than .438" It is generally cheaper to overhaul/refurbish a starter motor than buy a new one.
For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, please feel free to contact me at xlch@mail.com. Good luck and have a nice day.
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How to remove the starter motor on 2005 Harley sportster


Hi Hubert, I am sorry you can't find the first and best tool you ever bought for your Harley Davidson but despair not for a mere $6.50 you can download another one. For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, please feel free to contact me at xlch@mail.com. Good luck and have a nice day.
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How to replace a starter on a 92 evo softtail heritage


Disconnect the Battery, so theres no power. Find the replacement starter, remove the bad starter(remembering the wiring) and replace with new starter. You can also check youtube channels for DIYers, and most harleys are about the same. Thats what i do when i have trouble on my bike. or just take it to a local HD mechanic.

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I have a 1200 sportster 1200 carborated evo and the speedo quit working . Do I need to replace the ecm or is there a fuse for it????


Hi Anonymous, try cleaning your speed sensor located on top of the transmissions right side between the top cover and the chrome starter end cap on Twin Cams and on top of the engine case between the rear cylinder and the starter motor for Sportsters. Remove the the bolt that secures the sensor and pull it out of the transmission. Inspect sensor for obvious damage and repace if necessary. If sensor has no damage then wipe clean any obvious contamination like micro fiberous material with a clean rag and reinstall, torque bolt to 8 ft lbs. Please visit the website below for more information and good luck. Harley Davidson Sportster error codes and how to access them

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I own a custom built motorbike (from tyres up) with a Harley Davidson 1340 Evo stock unit engine. It is kick start and I want to convert it to electric start. I have been told that I would require a 5...


Yes, you can put an electric start on the bike. I've seen plenty of customs with Evo engines, four speed transmissions and electric start. You'll have to change the primary setup of the bike. Does your outer clutch basket have a ring gear on it for a starter to turn? If not, you may have to change your clutch as well. The starter bolts to the primary plate. Even the 1965 Panhead with four speed transmission had an electric starter. I'm sure you can do it.

Good Luck
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try tapping on the starter motor/solenoid, it sounds like the solenoind is engaging(the clunk you hear) but the starter is not turning if the wire is getting hot it could be the starter is frozen up.

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Custom bike....starter "clunks" and does not turn over


Sounds like your jack shaft isnt engaging into the bushing in your outer primary... you should pull off the outer primary and try carefully filing the edges off the bushing... Also check that the jack shaft has been properly installed.... This problem is common on customs

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Harley davidson evo motor wont turn over...just clicks


Pull the spark plugs out and hit the starter. This will make sure that the engine is not locked up. If the starter does not turn the engine, put the bike in first gear and have someone push you, making sure the engine is free. If the engine is OK, your starter is probably jammed and needs replaced. That wire getting hot is a dead giveaway something is locked up tight...starter or engine. If ya have a large hi-performance engine in the bike, chances are your stock starter won't do the job.

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