Question about 2006 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster Custom

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I have the same problem as robarcese: when I try to start, engages then all you hear is tic tic tic,,like starter not... But my lights and horn are working fine. Would it still be the battery that is the problem?

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Yes, it could be the battery. You can have what we call an intermittant shorted cell in the battery. The battery seems fine with either no load or a very light load on it. But, put the load of starting the engine on the battery and one or more of the cells shorts out and the battery voltage drops down to 10 volts or lower. You can see this if you put a volt meter across the battery and press the starter button.

Take your battery out of the bike and take it to an automotive parts house, Ask them to load test the battery for you. Most will do this test at no charge. If the battery is over two years old, it's highly likely that this could be the problem.

Now with that being said, there are other things that can cause this. There is a starter relay, a small black plastic cube about one inch dimensionally, on left side of your bike that engages the starter. When you press the start button, you could be hearing this click and the relay is bad. Look on the side of the starter and you'll see a plate roughly in the shape of a pentagon. There is a single wire going to a connector at the top of this plate. Unplug this wire and using a voltmeter or a test light, press the start button and see if you get voltage on this wire. If not, replace the relay.

Or, you could be hearing a loud "clacking" noise coming from the starter. If the battery is good and this is what you're hearing. It could be that the contacts inside you starter solenoid are in need of replacing.

On the end of the starter you'll see a plate shaped roughly like a pentagon held on by three small bolts. Remove the bolts and the plate will come off. Behind this plate is a plunger and a spring. Remove the plunger and spring. You'll see two large copper contacts on either side of the solenoid on the inside. If they are burned real badly you may want to replace them. There are aftermarket kits available to rebuild the starters with. They're simple to replace just disconnect the battery before starting the job.

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Jun 06, 2010

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