Harley Throttle Control

Question for Fix My Hog 2009 Harley Ultra Classic w/25K no past problems in the past, but on 07-12-14. I had a problem with what I found out and is called “Limp Mode”! no throttle response at all other than running at idle. Error codes I found on the bike were; P1511 & P2135. all having to do with the Harley throttle control. I did some looking on the WWW and found most who had this problem removed the connector “pin” plug from the throttle body, cleaned out with cleaner and added “die electrical grease” and the problem went away.
It’s running great now.
Just asking if this is “The Cure”?
Thanks Harold D

Via Email

Fix My Hog Answers Yes, We have come across this problem a few times and that seems to be the fix. Other times, however, guys make a mess of their harness when attempting to install a set of handlebars and the Harley throttle control. That can also cause that problem.

Question for Fix My Hog I recently changed my battery and when I connected the new one and start the bike I cannot throttle over 2000 rpms I turn the throttle and 2000 is as high as it will go. I was told to reset the ECM is that true and if so, How do you do it?

Fix My Hog Answers Sounds like the motorcycle is in limited performance mode, or “limp mode”.
Start by checking for possible stored diagnostic trouble codes that may help steer you in the right direction.
Related Videos:

Handlebars 101
Troubleshoot with Harley Error Codes

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45 Responses to “Harley Throttle Control”
  1. Ricky

    I heard the same,the die electrcal grease solves the problem but the perrmanent fix is replacing the pins. I’ve got 09 street glide with 3 codes coming up -P1511, P2101, and U1040 . The P1511 and P2101 involves the throttle actuator and i’m going to try the grease and see if codes come back, but the U1040 comes up being lose of ABS serial data so looking far any solutions. The problem is it’s running better than it ever has.Good luck with yours.

    • Dave Pearson
      Dave Pearson

      had trouble with the ABS and it turned out to be a bad wire under the fuel tank 2008 Ultra seams HD used some bad wire

      • Dale Gibson
        Dale Gibson

        What is the little push button on the back side of my throttle control for? I cant post a picture of it to show you. It is covered by a small boot, and the boot is cracked. I think water got in and is causing a code of P2103 now.

      • Joe Quitugua
        Joe Quitugua

        Im having issues with my 09 road glide.. There is limited throttle response. Im assuming that it is in Limp Mode.. Where can i find these replacement pins..pls im open to any all suggestions on how to repair this

    • Dale Gibson
      Dale Gibson

      What is the little push button on the back side of my throttle control for? I cant post a picture of it to show you. It is covered by a small boot, and the boot is cracked. I think water got in and is causing a code of P2103 now.

  2. scott

    My 09 flhtcu lost throttle control going into idle/limp mode at approx 12k miles ,removed TB connector ,cleaned with elec contact cleaner & reassembled with dialectric grease. Thats lasted approx 3,500 miles till it did the same thing again almost getting me killed in hvy 75mph freeway traffic. Took to HD dealer and they installed the HD’s fix which was to install new gold pins in TB connector.Well guess what,that also lasted approx 4k m iles till it did the same thing again in fast 74mph freeway traffic again almost getting me killed!

    To get going again all i had to do was remove connector and reinstall it to scratch pins to regain decent connection to get home to reclean connector pins again. I took bike back to HD and they said there is nothing more they can do about it and cvalled main HD factory tech line and they said hD has no fix past the connectors and could give no more help leaving me with a serious safety issue where wife wont get on the bike anymore. HD has yet again turned a blind eye to their customers on a serious safety issue thats common to many of their bikes. IMH HD should have used stainless steel pins & contacts in both sides of ther TB connector because that are more resistant to corrosion and are harder material that are more resistant to wear/fretting issue too. Scott

    • Jim

      Having same problem..is it possible to get rid of connecter and soider and wrap all wires?

      • Justin sterzik
        Justin sterzik

        I am going go out on a limb here and say has anyone convert it back to throttle cable

      • Dave

        08 ultra classic 51k on her and have same problems I was just thinking the same thing lose the connector and solder the wires together????

  3. larry estes
    larry estes

    people I don’t think its the pins my when 2010 Ultra goes in limp mode I wait about 15 min. & it cools down &it starts back up limp mode needs to be eliminated from the computer completely

    • Tony varga
      Tony varga

      I have a 2012 ultra limited had the limp mode for the first time this year and some said it was the twist grip sensor so I replaced it and low and behold it happened again in October after I put another 5000 km on it. Now everyone says it’s the wires to the TCA and then I read it happened to a lot of people and they had the pins redone but still didn’t fix the problem, it looks like h-d doesn’t care to much about the lives of the people who keep them in business, thinking about dumping my bike and buying from a different company. It looks like they don’t care anymore.


        2009 FLHTCU same problem. Replaced Twist Grip Sensor (Throttle assembly) . Had HD Dealer replace pin connectors to TPS. Guess what same problem. Runs fine then engine light comes on and throttle response is dangerous. I shut her down and wait and it goes away for awhile. It keeps rearing its ugly head. Also it disables the cruise control when it acts up. So fed up!!!!!!!!!! Will update if I find a fix.

      • BRIAN

        they never did except when they were buying it back from AddeOse Murtha F…… lol there actually a good Bike if ya tear it all down and put quality parts hell there quality control must have went on a clicker cuz machined parts aren’t even within tolerances . With the manual that they wrote. Lmao .. it really is sad I’ve been riding Harley Davidson for 42 years I’ve owned at least 25 of them and 12 of them went threw total engine tranny parts clutches bearings you know the drill. Had a lot of fun riding them and got into my share of Mitchief also. If I had the money that I spent on parts and initial purchases and invested in HD Stocks from about 1985 till 2010 Heck I’d go and buy a new Indian chiefton for every day riding and not have to worry about cam tensioners crankshafts out around or if its oil is lubricating properly cuz Indian had Amsoil develop specific oil just for them Apparently they care . HD dealerships have that attitude when you ask them about a problem they refer you to the rule of thumb in ur bung if you cant fix it with a screw driver & a Hammer And a gross of rubbers just F…. it. they have made so much money from hard workin Americans and others and don’t stand behind there product but there hopin to lurre folks again as there advertising comercials seem to be on 24 times a day showing them riding Sportsters wich in my appinion they don’t break down as much and have enough power to pass someone if need be. thinkin I need a shovelhead atleast you can workn on them without an overly priced tool forevery little thing needed to make a reliable Bike with some horse power or Torque that you can Dino in on a good blacktop road yourself with a few sets of spark plugs jets or thunderjets that done properly doesn’t cost ya for tuner , Dino time and a months wages lol..That’s my 2 .5 Cents worth on the subject.

    • Tony R
      Tony R

      The “drive-by-wire” system looks at variance in resistance in the loop from the TPS. Ohms resistance can be caused by corrosion, water, vibration, heat, bad quality wiring, damaged wiring (caused during Handel bar changes for one).
      If your “limp-mode” can be fixed by unplugging and then plugging it back in then you have corrosion issues. Take caution when you unplug and plug the TPS connector because you can damage the pins, the wiring, and or the connector.
      The use of dielectric grease can affect the resistance of the connection as it degrades over time.
      A tech tip to keep moisture out of open environment connectors followed by several auto manufactures is to apply silicon to the external side of the connector. (Where the wires are inserted into the connector).
      Let the silicon dry before reconnecting the connector to the TPS, this prevents the silicon from POSSIBLY running to the pin, preventing pin to pin contact. (Silicon on the TPS pins is a very bad thing = permanent limp mode until you remove all silicon from the pins and TPS plug.) Remember you are doing this to keep moisture out.
      Another reason other than moisture for this to occur is “heat” breaks down the wiring changing the resistance of the wire to the TPS in the 2-3 inches of wire leading into the TPS connector. I’m testing this theory by lengthening the harness by four inches to reroute the harness to lay on the outside of the TPS behind/under the air cleaner. I am not certain this will keep this from happening again, only a few miles will tell if it does.

    • Robert Coulman
      Robert Coulman

      Ya’ll just need to go backward in time, a time when things were simpler-go find ya a nice Evolution powered bike with a CV carburetor !! Don’t worry about what they think down at ” bike night”-heh heh, best to all-nothin but love !

  4. Bob Hrifko
    Bob Hrifko

    I just paid my ‘11 ultra off. It looks like it may be time to sell it if HD doesn’t care anymore!

  5. David Baker
    David Baker

    I have a 09 Road Glide that had the throttle problem I also removed the connector cleaned it and put electrical grease in it. no problems for at least a year. I used to have problems at least once a month. I think it’s cured.

  6. Mike

    I know about this. My 2008 Roadglide did it on Hiway 89 on the way to Tahoe. I got it home and went to Sacramento Harley and bought a bag of the connectors that go into the connector that plugs into the throttle body. Replace every connector with the special crimping tool I borrowed from a friend. That was two years ago and it’s still running great. Make sure you don’t get any water in the connector when washing the bike or it will happen again. Also check the electronic throttle actuiator that slides into the handlebar and plugs in to the harness. These can fail but not very common. There’s also a green connector inside the fairing so you will need to remove outer fairing skin to find it and check for corrosion. I took the connector apart and inspected it it looked good but cleaned it out with some spray and added dielectric before snapping it back together. Some guys solder this connection. Same with the connecting wires to the throttle actuator inside the right side handle bar you can solder the wires for good measure. All I ended up doing was replace the connector pins at the throttle body connector and it’s been running great since. I don’t get the hose anywhere near that connector when washing either.

  7. Mike

    My did the same thing but I was in the middle of the downtown tunnel between Norfolk and Portsmouth and I was lucky enough to to limp through the tunnel.After shutting it off , I restarted it and thankfully it reset. Did same thing pulled plug and clean it whit some CRC AND APPLYED GREASE no problems since. 2008 Cvo roadking.

  8. Joe

    Hey I have a 2009 FLTR with 30k that gave me the same problem . Found out that the wiring harness was damaged right where it makes the bend and goes into the throttle body sensor. Happened when I was in Missouri on my way to sturgiss. It got kinda hairy going into limp mode on the highway when traffic is doing 75-80 mph. I checked fuses and did the dielectric grease but it wasn’t until I got it to a dealer in Indianapolis that they showed me the frayed and broken wiring inside the harness. Turns out that if the motor co. would have made the harness 3” longer It wouldn’t have been pulled so taught making the bend. Dealer installed new pins and pigtails in the throttle body sensor connector and they got me back on the road. I highly recommend anyone with a touring bike to check for this issue. Especially if you plan on a long ride across country! Hope this helps. Ride safe brother.

  9. Mike D.
    Mike D.

    Related issue: anyone experiencing flat spot upon acceleration from a stop?
    I understand 2008 was the 1st year, my ’08 Road King has this issue. Anyone had luck with the Vance & Hines Throttle pack management system?

    • Tim Geary
      Tim Geary

      I installed the Vance and Hines Throttle Pak on my 2008 Electraglide a month after I bought it new. Took the delay out of the throttle and never had any problems.

    • Keith.

      I had a V&H tuner and had tons of issues. The dealer that put it in said they were having lots of problems with them. Changed mine out to a Sceaming Eagle Tuner and now she runs like a wild hog. 2016 ultra CVO, 117 street performance kit, free flow Rhinehart duel exhaust no cats,

  10. Lee

    2009 CVO Ultra. Same issue with limp mode. Pull over, disconnect throttle body connector, and reconnect. Starts and runs fine. My fix is to use a tuner cleaner to clean the pins. Then I use NYEGel 760G to coat the pins. This is an anti-corrosive gel and seems to work for about a year. I check my FOB batteries every year, and when I do, I clean the throttle body connector, and recoat with NyeGel. Harley should stop the limp mode from happening on a bike. Throw an engine code is fine, but limp mode can get somebody killed.

    • Sean P Wright
      Sean P Wright

      Without limp mode you could get the following..FULL ACCELERATION..when the computer sees there is a problem with the TPS. Would you rather have full out uncontrollable acceleration at a time that you were not expecting it?

  11. Phil Scasserra
    Phil Scasserra

    2008 ultra classic. HD suggested I sell the bike. Finally good with both throttle harness replacement and pin replacement. The MoCo assumes no responsibility. Now I get random high rpm (4K-4500) starts when bike is not cold. Changing induction module ($500).

  12. Lance

    I have a 2009 Street Glide, same problem as most of you here. On the Highway goes into Limp Mode, No Throttle and high idled it to next exit and parking lot, shut it down for a few minutes, was alright for short trip then it happened again a few days later, same – same. Disconnected the Throttle Control Actuator Plug, cleaned it with CRC QD Electronic Cleaner and then put a good dose of CRC Dielectric Grease on both sides of the plug (Male & Female ends). After, both sides of the plug seem to fit back together just fine and the pins seem to be going into their respective holes just fine, but I can’t seem to get the Female side of the plug to seat completely into the Male side. It doesn’t want to seem to clip in and stay. If I pull on it, it will come back out. The clip doesn’t seem to be seating or clipping over the small nub that is on the backside of the Male plug that’s part of the Throttle Actuator Housing. Any thoughts of how I can get this to seat solidly so it doesn’t vibrate off after a certain amount of miles. Appreciate any comments on this. Thanks.

    • kevin

      2008 Road Glide. 55000 miles. I had the same thing happen, cleaned and greased all the connectors, still happened on random occasions, finale fix was replaced the air filter, 10,000 miles later and not a problem.

    • CHrys

      I just went through this a few days ago… You need to disassemble the male connector and clean the grease out. Also clean the grease out from the Female side. Dont use as much grease when you reinstall the connector. A dab el do ya

      • Duane

        So are you meaning the plug where the tuner is plugged into the other part that sits on top of the battery?

  13. CREG

    2018 flhr, I got 18 miles out of it before it quit. Now has 54 miles on the odometer, has “limped” 4 times. Now it will not come out. Dealer has it, replacing throttle grip sensor. Haven’t owned it a week yet. A little more than disappointed.

    • Jimmy

      I am sitting on the side of the road as I type this, having been nearly creamed at 60 mph, when my 09 FLHRC Road King Classic went into limp mode. This has been an intermittent problem for the past five years. There is no rhyme or reason to when this happens, and two trips to the dealer with no permanent fix says to me this is a design flaw, and a serious safety risk. HD apparently doesn’t give a good G*dda*mn about this situation, and we all put up with it because we love Harleys. I love my bike, but I love life better.

  14. Duane

    I had a similar problem when returning from a rally last week, I hit a small pot hole and my cruise kicked off and I had no throttle, I coasted to a stop on the shoulder the bike still idling bit no response of throttle. Engine light was also on. I shut the bike off, waited a minute and started it back up and all was normal I finished my ride home. This morning on my was to work I changed lanes at an uneven lane area and the same thing happened, I pulled over shit it off the restarted it seemed like I only had half throttle. Limped to work, came back out started it and all was normal again. This is on a 2013 CVO Ultra.

  15. mike

    got the same thing going on here too 1510 pn 2138 2012 tri glide..bone stock. ck light comes on an no cruise. a couple times into limp mode …to old to be pushing this heavy breast!
    any help out there ?

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

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  16. Steve

    i understand the throttle ride by wire configuration is designed to be a dry condition. After reading lots of forums and asking local techs, the grease option appears to be a big no-no. Would you explain why you agree with dielectric grease being a fix. HD says no.

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Steve,

      Here is what Mark had to say regarding your question:

      “If a bike with throttle by wire is assembled correctly and properly maintained, there should not be any need to lubricate this area of the motorcycle. In fact, it should be avoided. If a twist grip sensor is not turning or returning correctly, there is likely another issue that should be addressed.
      Grease & dielectric grease will attract & hold dust and debris.

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      • Anthony Rivas
        Anthony Rivas

        Hi Julia – sounds like Mark wasn’t given enough info to respond to the question.
        Looks like Steve was asking about dielectric grease on the TPS connector pins which has been beaten to death here.