Getting the Shaft or Is It the Battery?

Q: Have a problem; its been awhile since I had my bike out. Started last wk., all was fine, yesterday, I started an starter stuck, shut down 5 sec. then noticed fuel on ground, figure came from oil discharge, what is usually oil.Last wk. about a pt. discharged from sitting. Do you have a tape that will help, or can you advise what I might expect in order to get riding. I have a 81′ Wideglide 1340 eng. Thanks ahead for any info that might help.


A: The most common reason for a starter shaft to stick on your model/year bike is a weak battery. Make sure you have a good battery. H.D. battery’s are best. They usually are good for 4-5 yrs. If you test your battery with a volt meter, you may have a good voltage reading, but may be lacking amperage. Your local garage should have a load tester to determine your battery’s overall health. If the bike has not been ridden in a while, there is a good chance that the fuel left on the ground is is from the carb’s needle valve sticking. The fuel probably came thru the carb’s overflow tube. You can clean and rebuild your carb. If it is a stock carb, use only a H.D. 4 sided needle valve. If the carb is S&S or Mikuni, there are also rebuild kits. If you replace the needle valve, be sure to also clean the needle seat. You can do this with a small piece of scotch pad. It is normal for a bottom breathing bike to “sump” oil after sitting. If you are planing on starting a bottom breathing bike after a long period of sitting, be prepared to collect oil from the bottom breather with some kind of container. You can pour it right back into the bike if it needs to be topped off.

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One Response to “Getting the Shaft or Is It the Battery?”
  1. Cory
    Cory

    2012 limited rode about 40 miles stopped for 20 minuets bike would not start. all power goes on fuel pump runs but at starter button no reaction. tried also with charger on same thing. switched starter relay from other bike no change. battery is good, starter relay good, fuse good. ?????????

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