Reasons Why Your Harley Isn’t Starting

June 1, 2018

One of the most common calls we get at our Harley shop in Hendersonville, NC is from motorcycle owners saying, “My bike won’t start!”

There are, of course, a wide variety of reasons why you might have problems getting your bike started up. Even motorcycles within the same make and model can vary widely based on their usage and care, so the cause won’t always be the same.

However, here are a few of the most common reasons why you might have problems getting your motorcycle to start up properly:

  • Your bike has been neglected: Motorcycles are usually seasonal vehicles, which means they go through some long winter months without being started up or ridden at all. Some of the most common symptoms of a deprived vehicle include batteries draining until they die out, fuel going bad (which can clog your fuel lines or carburetors), moisture inside the gas tank, problems with disk or drum brakes, flat spots on tires, rusting chains or other exposed metal and other similar problems. To avoid motorcycle neglect, make sure you keep your battery on a battery tender during the offseason, use a fuel stabilizer to prevent clogs and fill your tank before you put the bike away for the season. You might need to take some additional maintenance steps when starting up your bike for the first time each spring.
  • Your own user error is preventing it from starting up: There’s a chance you tried to make your own repair to your bike, which actually made matters worse. If your bike isn’t starting up and you recently attempted a fix of your own, that fix is probably the cause of the problem. The best way to prevent such an issue is to take your bike in to a professional mechanic if you are at all uncomfortable with doing the work yourself. Otherwise, if you intend to do the work on your own, make sure you have thoroughly researched the job you need to do, and watch videos on YouTube. Take pictures during the job so you can refer back to how the bike looked before you started taking it apart.
  • Your bike has been subject to general wear and tear: General wear and tear shouldn’t prevent your bike from starting up entirely, but if you have not kept up with maintenance over the years, it could certainly happen. Therefore, you need to prioritize regular maintenance appointments with your service technician to ensure your bike continues operating well long into the future. This will also save you money by avoiding potential major repairs that would have been unnecessary had you just kept up with your maintenance in the first place.

These are far and away the three most common causes of startup problems in motorcycles, but there’s always the chance you have a different issue causing your problems. For more information from R & P Cycle Supply about some of the most common problems associated with motorcycles, contact our Harley shop in Hendersonville, NC today.

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