Starting problems 2003 Sportster

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by oichigui, Jan 23, 2009.

  1. oichigui

    oichigui New Member

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    I have a 2003 1200 Sportster that I just bought in August.I enjoy the bike a lot but I have run into an issue.
    I parked the bike for the winter in my garage, in October. and last week I wanted to ride it, however I can't get my engine to start.

    The lights come on when I turn the Key, when I press the starter the engine turns over, but for some reason its not sparking or something.

    I am non technical, and have a lot to learn.

    Does anyone have any tips on what I can try?

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    What did you do to winterize it for storage. Also give the battery a full charge and try it again.
     
  3. oichigui

    oichigui New Member

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    Unfortunately I didn't know to do anything, so I just parked the Bike in the Garage with a full tank of gas

    What kind of Battery Charger should I buy?
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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  5. NEWHD74FAN

    NEWHD74FAN Experienced Member Retired Moderators

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    Did you shut the fuel petcock OFF? You might want to do the "winterizing" procedure, but "post"...once you get the battery sorted out. Get the owners manual out, look over our maintenance section to find general info on changing oil, look into the post showing the 2005 Sportster manual there to get details. Just drain the oil out and hopefully it comes out dark and not laden with fuel or carmel colored (indicating water). Replace it with regular dino oil, in preparation to "flush" the system with clean lube. Remove the oil filter (use a diagonally cut plastic liter bottle to catch oil so it doesn't spill all over the bike)...pour out the oil filter contents, partially fill with dino oil and reinstall, refill with 2.5qts of oil.

    May want to pull the plugs, (be careful to not damage the wires) and spray a little WD-40 to lube cylinders. May want to drain the carb (small screwdriver brass plug on bottom) and see if any debris/water comes out with the fuel.

    You may want to inspect the fuel in the tank (possibly drain a little out the petcock outlet) to ensure internal screen is not plugged or "varnish" smelling. If all is done...and no real bad stuff was found, try starting the bike. Run the bike for about 10-15 minutes, do not idle only, but do not rev beyond 1/8 throttle or 2000 RPM.

    Finally, drain oil, put in new 100% Synthetic (2.5 qts) VTwin motor oil, replace oil filter with NEW Harley OEM one by filling 3/4 full, let element soak and fill 1/2 full installing quickly by hand firmly. There may be something I forgot, but you should wait and read a few more threads from your pals here as well. We have all been there once, don't beat yourself up on this. :newsmile017:
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2009
  6. SportyHawg

    SportyHawg Active Member

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    I just traded my 2003 883 -- but it took a while for the delivery guy to get her started. And that's with having been on a battery tender for the winter. She did turn over eventually, but if the battery hadn't been charged, he would have coasted down the driveway and pushed it up into the trailer.

    I was told, no trickle charger -- battery tender only. FYI -- its a 10 mm wrench for the posts on the battery... found that out the long way...

    Good luck.
     
  7. otter1958

    otter1958 Member

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    My wifes 2003 Fatboy did the same thing as it was only 25 degrees outside. I put a regular 12 volt car charger on her and she fired right up. I just installed a heater in my garage that should help. I always try and run both of our Harley's at least once a month.
     
  8. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    i found with the sportys if it was cold they didnt like to start up
    ive got 2 different things to try
    1 snap the throtle open a few times before you try to start it this will cause the accelerator pump to push some extra fuel into the carb
    2 heat the engine up before trying to start up gas blowlamp works for me check to make sure no fuel leeks before trying this as the lot could go up but hot air gun may also work or the old time favorite of hot water bottle
    using the blowlamp on the cyliders on the primary side for about 2 mins seems to work well for me for the 93 sporty the 94 sporty and the honda always got a good cold start
    as yours is similar to the 94 think this may work for you