need some brainstorming

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by titan307, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. titan307

    titan307 Member

    as i have stated before this is my first Harley. I ride pretty much year round until the temps are going to get below about 25* and never had a problem with my other bikes. Well the other night i rode to work because it was about 50* and said low should be somewhere aroun40*. it got a bit colder down to about 30* by morning and when i tried to start the bike all it would do is crank over. i crank it enough to run down the battery. had to get a boost but before cranking again i did a small shot of starting fluid and she fired right up. ran fine all the way home,not a miss,hesitation or anything. after waking up that afternoon went out the the garage and it fired up as soon as i hit the starter.

    the bike was very hard to start one time before a couple days ago when temps got cold. It seems as long as the temps are fairly warm the bike is fine but get it cold and it wont star.

    Anyone else had this problem?
    What could i be looking for?
    Thought maybe bad gas but it has been 3 tanks since first time it hesitated.

    rememeber it only does it when its cold outside.
  2. titan307

    titan307 Member

    forgot to mention that on my last fill up a accidentally filled it with regular unleaded. not thinking, just habit from filling truck. could this be a culprit?
  3. Midnight Reign

    Midnight Reign Active Member

    My softail is cold blooded too. If I dont get the starting procedure exactly right the first time during cold weather it wont start with out a jump. But as for your bike you need to make sure every component of the starting system is clean , well connected and functioning properly. You want to pay special attention to the battery cables, for clean tight connections, as they are subject to thermal ratcheting more than any other connection. Dont forget the other end of the cables though. Also have your battery load tested, it could be weak and on its way out. As a last resort you can try taking a little advance out of the timing, a degree or two will help it start a bit easier, but like everything there is a trade off, you will lose a LITTLE performance. Do the simple stuff first,load test the battery, and make sure ALL connections are clean and tight.
  4. 2000classic

    2000classic Active Member

    Carb or F.I.?
  5. The Prophet

    The Prophet Member

    Agree that you need to check all cable connections, make sure the cables are clean... and tight.

    My guess would be that the battery is too old, and it is past it's "Due Date".

    Battery's only last about 3-5 years anymore, less in the colder states. less with a bike with mucho electrical accessories. I figure it's cheap insurance to just go ahead and buy a new one at least every 4 years, and use a Battery Tender if she sits more than a week, or it's colder (<35 F) outside.

    It's extremely hard to diagnose stuff without seeing it, but hope this maybe helps.:eam

  6. titan307

    titan307 Member

    it is FI.

    the problem doesnt seem to be the battery the only reason i had to jump it was because i ran it down trying to start. as soon as i gave it a shot of starting fluid it fired right up and it has fired right up every time since.i have not had anymore trouble but the temp has not dropped that low since. thank you for the suggestions.
  7. Rydit

    Rydit Member

    Try some Heet or Sea Foam...or better yet, drain the fuel tank and start with fresh fuel. I've had my tank off a couple times, and the amount of water in the bottom when you dump it is amazing. i try to run good Fuel, no ethonal, but the poor fuel quality is just a fact of life today.

    This issue has been fairly commom, at least to me, in all the toys and old tractors the last few years.
  8. Webbtron

    Webbtron Banned

    Spark plugs come to a new set of plugs
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    How many miles? Have you run a compression test?
  10. cdyoung29

    cdyoung29 Member

    Battery tender!!!!! Prob solved