How bad is this?

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by injunwil, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. injunwil

    injunwil Member

    hey all, i'm switching from sport bikes (Japanese) to a Sportster. a friend's family member is selling off a 2005 1200 Custom. it's doing some weird things and i was hoping to get an opinion on how bad this sounds because i'm supposed to pick it up in a couple days.

    the bike hasn't been run since mid 2008. they attempted to jump it with a car. now the bike will run, but idles poorly. when i rode it, it kept trying to die as i accelerated until i got the RPM's to what sounded like over 3 or 4K. i had assumed this was just a carburation issue and no biggy. but there's some weird electric things going on that have me concerned. the neutral and oil light work, but the speedo doesn't and the odo isn't coming on. i was told that when the fuse for the speedo is replaced, it will blow again. also, when you turn the ignition on and wait a few seconds, the hazards start to flash.

    one person theorized that by jump starting, they had triggered some anti-theft feature, but no one remembers if the bike originally had a FOB with the key.

    i really like this bike and am hoping there isn't too much involved in getting it straightened out. it's a friend putting the deal together and it's being sold due to a break up. so, i know it's not a case of someone trying to sell off their problem bike.

    does it sound like i'm buying something that just needs a little tweaking or does it sound like i'm about to get in WAY OVER my head?

    thank in advance for any input.
  2. Safehaven

    Safehaven Active Member

    Hey injunwil,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Now I am no guru on these things like many other on the forum but I would like to ask you a non technical question:

    Have you considered buying an inspected second hand Sportster of the same year? I assume that possibly the price of your friend's family member will beat the 2nd hand price on the same bike by some margin, but judging from your post the bike will require a substantial amount of work (sounds both mechanical and elektrical in nature from what you wrote) to get everything sorted out.

    If it were me, I would ask if I could take it into the dealer's or someone you know and thrust who can give you an honest opinion about the work and cash required to get the bike in great shape again.

    Worst thing that can happen is that you spend money on a bike which you can't ride (unless its a project off course, then it might be lots of fun to restore it.)

    I'm sure someone else might have an idea on where to start technically.

    Take care,
  3. glyd-n

    glyd-n Junior Member

    Before purchasing the bike, and before thinking the worst, get a new fully charged battery for the bike. It is not going to run properly with a bad battery and this will cause all sorts of symptoms of electrical issues. Get a new battery and clean the carbs, this should make the bike run better. If it does not, there may be more serious issues. I wouldn't think the worst until you know for certain.
  4. injunwil

    injunwil Member

    thanks for the replies, guys. i'm trying to call him, now, and see if they'd be OK with me taking it to the dealership to get a real estimate. i had talked to a tech, there, and he said it didn't sound too bad, but he's not putting up the coin either.

    as long as it's something that can be taken care of, for less than a grand, i'd still be getting a decent deal. if it goes over that, i'm gonna have too much into the bike :(

    hopefully they'll let me take it up to the shop for a deposit or something.
  5. awall

    awall Member

    There's not too much that I could add except with my experience, not too bad in a Harley shop can still be a 1000 bucks
  6. harley@16

    harley@16 Junior Member

    They may have damaged something in the Electronic Computer Control by jumping with a car, the amperage is too high in a car battery and charging system. I would think a fuse would have protected it though.
  7. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member

    Electricity is a funny animal, jumping a dead battery is never a good idea on newer bikes, that being said I would try a new battery and have the charging system checked, Nuff said hope this helps, Jack
  8. hollywood59

    hollywood59 Member

    First I would never stop anyone from getting his or her's HD. But, understand to buy it used could be the wrong way to go to start. Jumping it with a car battery was not a good idea to start with. It can lead to all kind's of problems. Since it sat for so long the fuel in the tank and carb are worthless. Clean or replace it to start. Next, yea, get a new battery, it may or may not fix the electric issue's. Check all the fuses, and rattle all the clips you can reach. If all else fails, haul it to the stealer and let them look at it. If you got a good price on the bike the extra money you spend will be worth it. Let us know what happens, we all do care. HOLLYWOOD....................
  9. injunwil

    injunwil Member

    well, it's at the shop, now. my buddy called me and told me he had just put it on the truck and was headin up there to drop it off. down side is - he called me back and said they told him it would be Wednesday or Thursday, before they could diagnose it.

    i've told him that if the bill is in the low to mid 3's, i'll take it. i'm really hoping it's nothing serious, i really like this bike and am excited about owning it.
  10. Iceman24

    Iceman24 Well-Known Member

    Good move w/having HD check the bike. As others indicate - hard to diagnose over the PC. Sounds like most of the symptoms are related to being in storage for quite awhile so once they clean the fuel system & check electrical things should come back to norm. IRT the security system - HD can run the VIN & also see if this back has the option. If so, you'll need to get a FOB to make it work. I really loved my 05 XL1200C & hated parting w/it, but the 09 SG was calling my name. You definitely will like the bike & hope everything works out...keep us posted. Cheers!