Question about 2000 Harley Davidson XL Sportster 883

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I need to know how to polarize a generator for a 1969 HD sportser

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To polarize the generator you must make sure you have a fully charged battery first. Then make sure the regulator is correctly connected to the generator. Then take a heavy gauge wire and momentarily connect it between the positive side of the battery and the “A” post of the generator. The “A” is the post is the left/front post if you are looking at the installed generator from the left side of the bike.

Posted on Jun 29, 2009


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79 sportster charging system voltreg and generater keep going out with new battery

This is unusual since the generator is usually pretty tough. I've got one question. Are you properly "polarizing" the generator? To "polarize" the generator, you need a piece of wire that will reach from the battery to the generator.

"With the generator on motorcycle and connected to regulator, connect one end of a jumper wire to the generator armature terminal. Momentarily touch the other end of the jumper wire to the positive terminal of the battery. This restores the magnetism, Remove the jumper."

This is directly out of an H-D service manual. The 'polarizing" procedure should be done anytime any part of the charging system is removed from the bike. Since a generator produces a DC current, this insures that the current is of the correct polarity.

Also, make sure that the voltage regulator that is bolted to the frame is well grounded. It depends on this ground to regulate the voltage. We usually put one of the "star" type lock washers between the regulator and the frame on each of the mounting bolts. The teeth on the washer dig into the frame and the body of the regulator providing a good ground. And, make sure that you've got the wires properly connected. The green wire goes to the "Field" terminal and the two tan wires go to the 'Armature" terminal. If you need a complete schematic, contact me directly at

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