Why Won’t My Harley Davidson Start? [Explained]

Why Won't My Harley Davidson Start

A biker will never expect starting problems on his motorcycle. This problem may occur in Harley Davidson as well. Do you know why won’t a Harley Davidson start?

A Harley Davidson may not start if it doesn’t receive enough electrical power from the battery. This may happen because of a dead battery or a faulty ignition system as well. Bad fuel also prevents the Harley Davidson from a smooth start.

To find the exact reason, you need to inspect other parts as well. Check the article to get a better idea about the problem and the solutions.

5 Reasons Why Harley Davidson Won’t Start: With Solutions

As a rider, you will definitely look to avoid such situations. Here are the top 5 typical causes for the start problem with Harley Davidson, each with a suggested fix. 

1. Dead Battery

If your Harley Davidson is not starting, a dead battery can be the main reason for that. When there is a dead or worn battery in the motorbike, it won’t start and will only click. There won’t be enough power on a dead battery to start the bike. 


First, make sure the connections of the battery are tight and clean. A dead battery needs to get a jumpstart from another motorcycle. If the battery is too weak or old, replace the battery with a new one.

2. Ignition System

This is another common reason why your Harley Davidson is not starting. An ignition system is responsible for creating the spark that ignites the fuel within the motorcycle engine. So, if there is any problem with the ignition system, the motorcycle won’t start.


Check the spark plugs of the ignition system to ensure they are working properly. You may remove the spark plugs and check if there is any sign of wear or damage. Sometimes, the spark plug cracks if they are too old. In this case, you need to replace the plug.

You may also check the ignition coil and the switch. If something is faulty, replace them with a new one. 

3. Bad Fuel

Bad Fuel can also prevent the Harley Davidson from starting. This is because bad fuel contains contaminants like water, dirt, and debris. When these contaminants get into the engine, they may clog fuel lines or any other components. If there is fuel system damage, the fuel may leak out and not get delivered properly.


Well, the solution to this problem is pretty easy. You will need to drain the fuel system and replace it with fresh and high-quality fuel. Sometimes, you may need to replace the whole fuel system components. Conduct a professional car mechanic to get a better solution to this problem. 

4. Electrical Control Module(ECM)

The engine management system of a motorcycle is controlled by the electrical control module. If there is any problem with this system, the bike won’t start or won’t run properly. Any electrical problem such as a blown fuse or faulty wiring will prevent your Harley Davidson from starting. 


To check or solve any problem with the ECM, you need to check all the electrical components to make sure they are working properly. ECM is a combination of complex elements that need to be checked by a professional motorcycle mechanic.

5. Starter Motor Issues

There can be so many possible reasons why the Harley Davidson isn’t starting. Starter motor issues can also prevent the motorcycle from starting. If the solenoid or the starter motor of the bike is faulty, it won’t be able to supply power to the starter motor. 


This problem can be solved by checking the solenoid of the motorcycle. Use a multimeter to check if there is continuity on the solenoid and replace it if there is no solenoid. You may conduct a professional if you’re not familiar with the parts.

These are among the main reasons you are having issues with your Harley Davidson motorcycle. If you are unable to find the exact reason, it’s recommended to hire a professional to find the solution.


Why Does Harley Davidson Just Click When You Try To Start It?

If the Harley Davidson just clicks when you try to start it, it’s because of the faulty battery. There may be sufficient power in the battery to turn on the starter solenoid, but not enough to start the engine. 

Make sure the battery is charged and it’s working properly. You may check the battery connections as they are quite easy to check and fix. Otherwise, it’s recommended to hire a motorcycle professional. 

Why Is Harley Davidson Engine Making A Strange Noise?

Harley Davidson bikes are usually famous for their unique noise. The bike makes this unique noise because of the different engine shapes and unique spark plug installation. If the sound is a bit different or strange, there can be a faulty component on the bike.

The noise changes if the valves are worn or not adjusted properly. Sometimes, loose bearings also generate strange noise from the engine. Conduct a professional to get the smooth sound back on your Harley Davidson.

How To Know If The Harley Starter Is Bad?

A bad starter of a Harley Davidson bike will prevent you from starting the bike. There will be further issues with a bad starter. There are a few signs that indicate problems in the starter. 

A bad starter is responsible if the engine is making a grinding noise when you try to start the motorcycle. Another common sign is there will be no reaction when you try to turn the engine on with the ignition key even if the battery is fully recharged. 

Can You Push Start Harley Davidson?

Push start means starting a bike by pushing it when it is in gear. Push starting is a solution if you’re having trouble starting your bike since it can help you start the engine. This strategy is only recommended in emergency situations.

If you don’t know the procedures of push starting a motorcycle, it’s not recommended to try it by yourself. Push starting in the wrong way can damage your Harley Davidson.

Final Words

I guess now you know why a Harley Davidson won’t start and what’s the solution for that. If you have ideas about motorcycle parts, the problem can be fixed by yourself. Otherwise, it’s recommended to conduct a professional to avoid further damage to any components.


Colvin, J., & Tucker, E. (n.d.). What gives Harley-Davidsons their distinctive sound? Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/what-gives-harley-davidsons-their-distinctive-sound/#

fast clicking sounds when trying to start. (2019, June 6). Harley Davidson Forums. Retrieved April 7, 2023, from https://www.hdforums.com/forum/sportster-models/1287206-fast-clicking-sounds-when-trying-to-start.html

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