Question about 2008 Harley Davidson FLHR Road king

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My 08 Road King throttle feels as if there is a broken spring inside and will not return to the forward position. this causes it to idle too high. Is there a "home repair" for this

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  • Master
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It's probably one of the cables, probably the idle cable, has a broken strand in the braided cable. Loosen the two bolts that hold the front brake master cylinder onto the handlebars and slide it towards the center of the handlebar and temporarily tighten it there.

Now take the two bolts that hold the right handlebar switch housing together. Carefully lift the top of the of the switch housing up. There's some wiring in there and it won't come completely off. You can check your cables from here but you may have to loosen the cable adjusters a bit. Carefully roll the throttle to the open position and the idle cable end will roll up into view. Look for broken strands of cable. If you find any, replace the cable.

Replace the cable by loosening the adjuster to get as much slack as you can. Disconnect the cable from the throttle sleeve. Remove the ferrell from the end of the cable and work the cable out of the lower switch housing. Sometimes this can be difficult because the cable has a spring clip that holds it in. Just spray the inside of the hole on the bottom were the cable goes in and keep wiggling it. Take the air cleaner cover, air filter element, and air filter backing plate off and you''ll see where the cables connect on that end. The idle cable is the one with the spring on that end and it will be loose. Replace the cable and reassembly is the reverse of disassembly.

Be careful not to pinch any wires when reassembling the switch halves. Make sure you get the throttle cables installed and adjusted correctly. Adjust each cable to where they have just a small amount of slack in EACH cable. When you twist the throttle and release it, it should snap closed. Failure to insure proper throttle operation could cause lose of control of the vehicle causing severe injury or death to the rider.

Good Luck

Posted on Oct 07, 2010

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  • Harley Davidson Master
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Nice try, but starting in 2008, all touring models are THROTTLE-BY-WIRE, and DO NOT have throttle cables!

Posted on Nov 15, 2012


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1 Answer

2001 Harley Davidson FLHRCI Road King Classic how to adjust the throttle cables

Hi, Eddie throttle cable adjustment is fairly simple but before making any adjustments you should disassemble the throttle control housing allowing access to the inner cable for lubrication. I highly recommend "DRY SLIDE" then reassemble the throttle control housing and proceed as follows:
1. Back off the jam nuts on the pull and return cable.
2. Screw the cable adjusters all the way in.
3. Back out the pull cable adjuster enough to open the butterfly plate to maximum horizontal position ie. straight across.
4. Back out the pull cable adjuster until the carburetor piston or slide is all the way up.
5. Lock down the pull cable jam nut.
6. Back out the return/idle cable adjuster until there is 1/8th" free play on the throttle grip while pulling moderately on the return cable.
7. Lock down the return/idle cable jam nut.
8. Snap the throttle several times to ensure integrity.
9. If the bike rpm's are too low and the engine does not idle, adjust throttle stop screw as required.
For more information about your issue and valuable "FREE" downloads that you will need for viewing or printing please click on the blue links below and for more specific information or questions at no charge please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a wonderful day.
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1 Answer

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Hi Anymous, first make sure you have free play on the throttle pull cable, then squirt brake kleen or WD-40 around intake manifold to head area, if idle goes up then you have an intake leak and seals need to be replaced. If every thing is ok then the idle set screw is a brass knurled screw with a spring behind it on the right hand side of carbureator just above the float bowl. Adust RPM to 950-1,000 Good luck

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Hi Anonymous, insert end of cable ferrell into wheel and pull up enough to insert spring and cable into cable guide. Good luck

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If you have had a stealer reflash the ecm I would check the throttle position sensor or air temp sensor. both have been known to keep the bike in high (warm up) idle.

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High idle on HD, 08 Road King Classic

For fast RPM's at start that doesn't go down shortly after starting.
1) Put bike in neutral
2) Push to ON the first switch to right of starter switch next to throttle.
3) turn dial on gas tank to the On position for 5 seconds then off wait 2-3 seconds and repeat 3 more times total of 4 times
4)then Turn everything to off positions
5) wait a few seconds and start normally

I found that if you shut down the bike with rpms up a bit, it will start the next time with a faster than normal idle.

If you do this technique when the bike is cold, it will run a little fast til it warms up. Don't ask me why this works.

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1 Answer

08 flhr idling high

If your bike is stock, the dealer should be able to fix your idle speed problem. Maybe an independent shop might be able to help but call first. Harley is very protective of their computer controlled systems information. That's why I don't know much about them, finding the information is difficult to say the least. Motorcycles are getting just like the automobiles, everything is going computer control and the average rider cannot make any adjustments on the bike. It's a shame too. I'm sticking with my old Shovelhead and Evo powered bikes. Good luck

Apr 14, 2010 | 2008 Harley Davidson FLHR Road king

1 Answer

Idle to high

Hello john... the 08 has Electronic Throttle Control (ETC)...before you turn the engine off, let it idle down a minute, then turn it off with the key...not the kill switch. make sure you dont roll the throttle any after you shut it off, or before you hit the starter..this is easy to do, specially if you move the bike before/after you start it...The ETC memory will retain the last position.
Heres a tip for ya and something else to be aware of that the 08 FLHX has is Engine Idle Temperature Management System.
The shop manual states:
If you are twisting the throttle forward (roll-off) for 3 seconds or longer it could be activating this.
you can do this while going down the road and it will change it while running.:
For those riders who frequently find themselves in riding conditions where the vehicle is subjected to prolonged idle conditions or traffic congestion, the motorcycle is equipped with an (EITMS) to provide limited cooling of the rear cylinder.

When the engine is in EITMS operation, you may notice a difference in idle cadence. Additionally, there may be a unique exhaust odor. These are both considered to be normal conditions.

Vehicles are delivered from the factory with EITMS disabled. EITMS can be enabled or disabled by the rider using the following procedure.

1. Turn the ignition switch to the ON position (do not start the motorcycle)

2. Push the throttle to roll-off position and hold.

3. After approximately 3 seconds, the cruise indicator lamp will either flash green (EITMS enabled) or red (EITMS disabled).

4. Repeat the procedure as needed to enable or disable EITMS

There ya have it, hope this helps and good luck with your bike..please rate me a fixya.

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1 Answer

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Switch to Mobil 1 Syn gear lube 75w90 in the tranny.
Works very well in HD sure to drain and flush...a little water does a lot of harm.
Good luck with your bike...i hope this helps.

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