2003 Road King HPI start/run issues

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by 03RKP, Jan 24, 2011.

  1. 03RKP

    03RKP New Member

    Hello to all,
    I finally (after 40+ years of wanting one) was able to get my first Harley. I just picked up the bike this weekend but had to trailer it home due to ice and snow on the roads. When I loaded the bike it started on its own battery power but it seemed like the starter was sluggish. After a 5 hour trip home in the cold I tried to start it to unload it. The solenoid would click but the starter would just barley engage and make a partial revolution before stopping. After charging the battery and using cables to jump it from my truck I was able to get the bike started. after running a couple of minutes the check engine light came on. If I tried to throttle the bike up it would cut out and backfire as it reached 2000 rpm or so. A load test on the battery shows it is bad under load although it holds 12.6 volts when not cranking. I have ordered a new battery but I am curious as to the battery causing the misfires and check engine light. Is this a possibility? BTW the bike has 32K original miles and has had very good care. Any ideas? Thanks
  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    If that is the original battery or even the second one, it is probably shot as you suggest. As a general warning, please take care when jumping your motorcycle. Read the Owner's Manual if you have one or check here:

    Jump Starting - Harley Davidson Community

    Jump Starting a Dead Battery - Harley Davidson Community

    If the battery was not putting out sufficient voltage, then you will get irratic running from the ignition system.

    You might think about getting a battery tender for your bike. I have one and keep the battery plugged into the tender whenever the bike is in the garage (i.e., I am not riding it!!)

    You can check the codes that have been stored like this:

    00-03 HD Codes And Activation - Harley Davidson Community

  3. Crocker

    Crocker Active Member

    T Q has given you great advice do the reading, Congrats on your new ride an welcome, also you should never jumpstart your bike with a car/truck reason being that your trucks battery (charging system) puts out wey more power then a motorcycle charging system can handle and could cause damage to your bikes charging system , If anyone ever has no other means of jumpstarting there bike , the wey to use a car/truck is by Not starting the car/truck turn on the headlights also to take some draw from the battery hook up jumping cables ,(leave the bike in the off position) wait a few min disconnect jumping cables then try to start bike ,repeat sequence till bike starts.but do not run the car/truck the altenator has wey to much power,dont ever turn on key of bike till jumping cables are disconnected.this processes will give you isolation from possibly burning ut somthing in your charginging system on your bike ,but remember this is a last resort mesure to start a bike with a badly charged battery.
  4. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    A weak battery can cause a lot of problems including back firing and a strain on your charging system, may want to take off inspection cover or derby cover and give a good smell inside the primary should not smell like burned electrical Good luck and Welcome to The Forum and your first post, Capital Jack
  5. Bud White

    Bud White Well-Known Member Retired Moderators

    Dont jump start them off the truck not good.. I agree with jack remove the derby cover have a smell smells like burning brakes plan for a stator also when the voltage drops to 9-10 volts the fuel injected bikes will do all kinds of funny things as the ecm isnt getting enough power
  6. 03RKP

    03RKP New Member

    Thanks to all who answered. I hope I haven't damaged anything further. I have always had Hondas before and never had an issue with jump starting them. I never even gave it a thought, but I will from now on. I should have my new battery in the morning and will install it and see what happens. I do have a battery tender and a regular charger but no joy after trying those the first night. I figured the battery was a goner when I saw the install date was May 2006.....I hope the replacement lasts as long. Thanks again for all the input. I am truly glad I found this forum with so many willing to help.
  7. Breeze3at

    Breeze3at Well-Known Member

    Even a brand new battery will benefit from a good charge before using it. Never know how long it's been on the shelf. And if it's a wet cell (I hope not) that you add acid to, it requires charging before use.
    Don't forget to let us know if the new battery was the fix. We all benefit when we know the solution.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  8. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Good luck to you and let us know what you find, this is the best place to learn and share bar none, Capital Jack:s
  9. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    Any new battery even a dry charge one will only be about 75% charged when you get it by fully charging using a tender or trickle charger prior to fitting should assist in getting maximum life out of the battery
    And reduce the initial load on the charging system

  10. 03RKP

    03RKP New Member

    I installed the new battery this morning, held my breath and pressed the start button.....without hesitation the motor turned over and I was listening to the steady potato potato potato.....what a wonderful sound...haha. It was the battery all along. That is the good news. I got the bike out, put on the leathers and pushed, pulled, coaxed it though the snow to the clean pavement of the county road and it was off to the shop for an inspection. The bike passed with no problem. I fired it up to leave and tried to put it into first gear....no such luck. The shift lever stripped. :shock It is now in the shop for replacement of a 21 dollar part and a couple hundred labor.....but at least it broke at the shop. BTW - the check engine light and rough run issues disappeared with the new battery too. Thanks once more to all. :D