Question about 2006 Harley Davidson XL 883 Sportster

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2006 harley 883 wont start acts like battery is dead but has a charge. when bike is turned on you can hear a clicking noise and the speedo needle shakes but no lights or ignition.

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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
Steve

Posted on Jun 02, 2010

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