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2001 Road King battery low after long ride.

Battery old so picked up a new one and installed . Turned on ignition and hit starter everything went dead. All fuses check ok. When i turn on the ignition the panel lights don't light up and nothing lights check run /off switch it ok.

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First things first - obtain a factory repair manual for this bike.

So, the new battery became weak after a long ride? The first thing I would check is a small component that causes nagging problems with older bikes - the rubber socket connector that connects the stator to the voltage rectificer/regulator. At the bottom of the frame tubes just in front of the crankcase you will see your voltage rectifier/regulalator. From it you will see a pair of wires that connect to the outer primary with a rubber socket. Note, if you are looking at the front shifting peg this rubber socket is immediately behind it and pointing towards the front wheel.

These sockets loosen with age and oil contamination. They can pop off while riding, and unless you have a voltmeter (such as the FLHTC does) you will not know that you are losing a battery charge until the lights go dim and the bike begins to run poorly. If this plug has popped off, do the following:

Disconnect the battery ground cable so there is no current flowing. Use some spray brake (or electronic component) cleaner to wash any oil from the rubber socket, and the short rubber plug that protrudes from the primary. Gently blow them dry with some compressed air and allow both to dry thoroughly. Reconnect the socket to the plug and make sure there is a positive connection.

This will happen again in time, and a decent and inexpensive repair is to use a piece of heavy preformed stainless-steel wire that is fastened to the primary and bent until it presses the socket securely in place. These are available from aftermarket suppliers.

Now, if this is not the problem, then a deeper investigation is needed. For this, you will need a simple voltmeter that can measure AC and DC volts.

If the socket is intact, it should be carefully removed in order to visually inspect the terminals. If there has been any arcing berween the terminals it will be quite apparent.

If the terminals appear good, then either the voltage regulator or the stator has a malfunction. The good news? The testing of both items is relatively easy but it involves a bit of technical know-how and access to a voltmeter that can measure both AC and DC volts.

Make sure the battery of the bike is fully charged and has 13.2 volts DC present at the battery posts. Connect the battery to the cables; positive first and negative last.

To test the stator - disconnect the rubber socket and and start the bike. The voltmeter should be set to AC volts for this test. Be very careful and touch each lead of the voltmeter to the terminals of the protruding rubber plug. There should be at least 14 -30 volts AC present at idle. Note - this test should not require the engine to be operated for more than one (1) minute. Prolonged operation with the socket disconnected can damage the stator! Let's say that the stator passes the test.

Turn off the bike and reconnect the rubber socket to the plug. Start the bike and take it for a ride, and take the voltmeter with you. After riding for thirty (30) minutes or so, make sure that you are again home before you stop the bike. Keep the bike running and set the voltmeter to DC volts. Test the voltage at the battery terminals. The voltage shown should be a minimum of 13.2 volts and a maximum of 14.6 volts. If these values are correct, then the voltage regulator and the stator are functioning correctly.

Finally, if the stator is faulty it must be replaced. This is not a task for a novice as it requires a couple of special tools and the ability to safely generate a lot of wrench torque. If the voltage rectifier/regulator is faulty is is quite easy to replace be merely disconnecting it and unbolting it from the bike.

The problem with the rubber socket and plug is well-known. The inability of this conector to "stay put" can ruin the terminals inside the socket and plug, and short-circuit the stator. This will kill a stator, so it must be taken seriously.

Good Luck, and Best Regards,
J. Forbus

Posted on Oct 18, 2009


That sounds like a bad connection. follow the positive and negative cables around and insure good connections. lack of lights and dash panel info is a sign of bad connection or hate to say bad battery. if you had lights and dash lit up i would start at the starter area next.

Posted on Oct 06, 2009


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