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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Erikdowney18 Erikdowney18 is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1973
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Default 73 XLH Total Power Loss

I was out for a 4th ride with my buddy today, Got about 20-25 miles in and suddenly had no power at all, All electrical on the bike cut out and I stalled in 4th gear, Pulled off checked the terminals and they were alright, no Oil light or headlight tho. Thought maybe something caused the battery to short but I put a wrench to the solenoid and it spun no problem.

Any suggestions on how to track the issue? I’m thinking maybe something in the ignition or the power supply wire coming down
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  #2  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is online now
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1973
Other Motorcycle Model: Electraglide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
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My 79 did this to me and it turned out to be the ignition switch. I was able to get it home after jiggling it around and keeping the key in just the right spot, and thankfully not a problem once since I replaced it.
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  #3  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Erikdowney18 Erikdowney18 is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1000
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How’d you determine it was the switch for sure? No power coming off? And I wish I was that lucky to get it lol, Stalled out and rolled off the road, my buddy pulled in behind me and the lights were was flickering A little as I tried getting it to fire and just wouldn’t come back, ended up having my dad run me some jumper cables to see if the battery gave out but ended up getting my truck and just loading it up and driving it back home
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  #4  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is online now
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1979
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1973
Other Motorcycle Model: Electraglide
Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
Reputation: 5254
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For me it was jiggling the key and having the lights come back on.
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: xlch
Sportster/Buell Year: 1971
Sportster/Buell Model #2: xlh
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1974
Other Motorcycle Model: xl1200cp
Other Motorcycle Year: 2011
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Default

Let's face it, it could be anything.

To find the root cause, you'll need to get your multi-meter out and work the problem.

You can read about some of the carnage others (me included) have experienced over here:

http://sportsterpedia.com/doku.php/techtalk:ref:elec30
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  #6  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Tipofthelake Tipofthelake is online now
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLS 1000
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Other Motorcycle Year: 2007
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Yeah, my experience with it literally being the first thing I tried is probably not one to base your hopes on. I was really just throwing it out there as an easy place to start. Good luck.
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  #7  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
Erikdowney18 Erikdowney18 is offline
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That was actually the first thing I did this morning after asking that question while I was still half asleep, I’m getting 14 volts off my battery and off the lug on the starter solenoid right now, nothing off the Ignition switch wire running to the starter relay. I’m gonna pull the oil tank and see if maybe the wire that sits on the solenoid with the positive battery cable is shot and go from there
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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sleighcrane sleighcrane is offline
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Check for power at the BATT terminal on the regulator which goes through a circuit breaker from the top or battery post on the starter solenoid
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
Erikdowney18 Erikdowney18 is offline
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Figured it out, I got lucky. My power supply for all the electronics was connected to the top lug on the solenoid instead of wired directly to the battery. The connector for it broke off and caused me to lose all power, put a New connector on and put it directly to the battery instead and now we’re back up and riding again. Amazing how a stupid 10 cent piece can be so critical to operation
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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sleighcrane sleighcrane is offline
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Your power wire is still supposed to be off the solenoid stud through circuit breaker to Batt terminal on regulator
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