Bike won't start

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by adamk, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. adamk

    adamk Member

    I'm having a problem with my bike not starting, and could use some advice on tracking down the problem.

    I didn't ride my bike for a couple of weeks in the rain, and generally haven't been riding much through our untypically wet winter.

    Then I took a short trip (1mi) over to the hardware store. When I was ready to leave the bike wouldn't start. It would turn over, but not start. I figured the battery might be low (and old) so I pushed it across the street to the gas station and had them jump start it. Bam. Started up instantly.

    The battery didn't have a date marked on it, and seemed like it was slowly getting weaker, so I decided to replace it.

    Two days later, I'm riding the bike around. I ride over and fill up the gas tank. Then it's a short ride (1/2 mi) over to the Chinese takeout place. After I grab my food, the bike won't start again. With a brand new battery it's turning over very strongly, but won't start. I let it sit for 5 minutes, and tried one last time, and it started up.

    One friend thought the bike might be running rich, and on short trips it's getting flooded. Another friend thought it might be something electrical.

    I thought I'd get some more opinions before I started tearing the bike apart looking for the problem.


    P.S. It's a 2000 883xlh with a custom air intake and screaming eagle pipes.
  2. Hoople

    Hoople Account Removed

  3. Dr.Evil

    Dr.Evil Junior Member

    I don't always think clearly when I get stuck like that. But the next time it happens, pull the plug wire and check for spark. If you have spark, all you need is the proper ammount of fuel. The fuel thing you can check by pulling plug and checking it's condition. Go for a ride and bring back to the garage.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    I'd almost bet this will solve your start problem.. Next time it won't start, OR Better Yet, when you start it Next time after a similar Stop...... Pull out the enricher all the way,,, I think it may be TOO lean HAVE you RE-Jetted a little bigger??? bet not.

    IF it fires right off it is because of the colder temps out and the sporty Might be running Lean.. Give me a shout back to let me know How This Works..

    If this Doesn't work, Id be looking at the amount of Juice that guy puts out, Back into the battery.....

  5. RANGER73

    RANGER73 Member

    I've read somewhere about an over heat sensor someplace. Keeps the bike from starting if it's to hot.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    These sport bikes Take a long time to get up to the Heated State they need to run PROPERLY...BUT COOL very Fast...

    I don't think the Proper Method is being used to start the bike.

    Example from me,

    I know on My 06 1200 R, It takes a little More than Just hitting the starter..... I MUST some times Twist Throttle (SQUIRT) a little Raw Gas into the carb Especially on a COLD day.... It is Hard to start IF I don't... Most of the time EVEN After a Short Stop On a Cold day, SPECIAL things NEED to be done on "MY BIKE" to start it. I Use the ENRICHER Out and Presto,,,,,,, It fires right off.. ONE or the Other method Usually works Wonders.....

    One MUST become "ONE" with their bikes...EVERY BIKE IS DIFFERENT....... Making their bike a "Part of Them" necessary, It's Not just a piece of Steel that transports you about..... or is it?

    I think ALL riders get to know Their bikes Somewhat but some never Grasp the needed FEEL.

    It comes Easy for some and a Little Harder for others....

    You Know,, It is like watching that little old lady drive a car.. GEeeeeesse

    I Laughed at a few Old gals on a BIG bike UNTIL they Fired it OFF and Speed off in a HUFF......
    WOW,,,, Blew My Image I had in my mind....
    So IT can be done....

    NOT Suggesting this is the case Here.....

    Just a Rant on How I Feel about these things.....:newsmile026:

  7. JBC2565

    JBC2565 Junior Member

    I agree with Bubbie as being lean. If I do a short drive and shut it down, I have to pull enrichener knob out and give the throttle a twist as I'm starting her.
  8. drbillk

    drbillk Banned

    I'd be willing to bet it's a lean condition... I've seen this before on other bikes I've owned. Also, Bubbie hit it on the head with becoming "one with your bike". They truly are all unique.
  9. Mad Dog Jim

    Mad Dog Jim Banned

    Sounds to me like low volts and not running long enough to charge up.
  10. BUBBIE

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member

    I'm waiting for adamk to respond,,

    If the above modifications were done while He owned the bike Did any carb/jet work get done to Match the modifications?

    this will tell a lot,,,, and if the bike ran good before these last runs outs he took?
    Is this a New problem with Nothing changed on bike from running good before.

    if the carb work was done , what changes were made? these 883 sporty's need fuel changes with their modifications just as the bigger engines do..

    Running Too rich would show up on the plugs and looking at the exhaust end tips for Type of Black there... Sooty Soft ,accumulated, or smooth black accepted..

    Rich also would probably start Cold Easier than Lean....

    Hopefully back soon to answer..


    ps. Thanks for some agreement with my Rant statements above, It kinda makes it worth while posting here.. Hope we can do well to Solve his problem.. Love them 883's:D