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Harley Davidson Is Not Starting, Just Makes Clicking Noise – What Could Be Wrong?

For over 100 years, Harley Davidson has been a love for many bike riders. However, what bike riders don't love is when their motorcycle won't start and only clicks. To help them out, we have listed the possible reasons and solutions to this problem.

If your Harley Davidson is not starting but only clicking, then it could be due to the following:

  • Dead/worn battery
  • Bad fuel
  • Bad solenoid
  • Blown fuse
  • Clogged/failed fuel injector
  • Worn spark plugs
  • Clogged fuel control valve
  • Clogged muffler
  • Seized engine

While there are several possible reasons why your Harley Davidson is not starting but only clicking, there are also several possible solutions. So don't worry; in this article, we will go over the signs and solutions for each problem. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about Harley Davidsons, so read on!

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Black Harley Davidson motorcycle with chromed details stands parked, Harley Davidson Is Not Starting, Just Makes Clicking Noise - What Could Be Wrong?

Why Is My Harley Davidson Clicking And Won't Start?

It doesn't matter if it is a car, truck, or motorcycle; over time, vehicles will need maintenance and can experience problems. The same goes for the Harley Davidson, a popular motorcycle among many bike riders.

One of those issues is when the Harley Davidson is not starting but only clicking. This can be a frustrating problem because it can mean that the bike rider has to take their Harley Davidson to the mechanic.

Before doing that, it is important to first understand what could be causing the problem. Sometimes if you can pinpoint the issue on your own, you might be able to save money by not having to go to the mechanic.

Nonetheless, some problems require the expertise of a mechanic, and we will let you know when that is the case. Now, let's take a look at the reasons why your Harley Davidson is not starting but only clicking.

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883 Low. Harley-Davidson sustains a large brand community which keeps active through clubs, events, and a museum.

Dead/Worn Battery

A dead battery is one of the most common reasons why a Harley Davidson won't start but only clicks. This is because the battery is responsible for supplying power to the engine starter.

If the battery is weak or dead, then it won't have enough power to start the engine. In addition, if the battery terminals are corroded, then that can also prevent the flow of electricity and cause the Harley Davidson to click but not start.

First, check the battery cables and ensure that they are tight. Then, check for corrosion on the battery terminals. If they are dirty, clean them with baking soda and a wire brush.

Lastly, check the battery voltage with a voltmeter. If it is 12.6 volts or less, then the battery will need to be charged. However, if your battery is more than three years old, then it may be time for a replacement. 

Click here to see this voltmeter on Amazon.

Bad Fuel

If the Harley Davidson has bad fuel, then that can also cause the motorcycle to not start but only click. This is because the bad fuel will prevent the engine from getting the spark it needs to ignite.

In this case, you should have your bike towed to a mechanic to drain the fuel.

Bad Solenoid

Another common reason why a Harley Davidson won't start but only clicks is because of a bad solenoid. The solenoid is responsible for supplying power to the starter motor.

If the solenoid is bad, it won't be able to provide power to the starter, and the engine won't start. In this case, you will need to take your Harley Davidson to a mechanic to have the solenoid replaced.

If you are handy, you can check the solenoid yourself. You can do this by using a multimeter to test the continuity of the solenoid. If there is no continuity, then the solenoid will need to be replaced.

Blown Fuse

You should also check for any blown fuses. This is because if there is a blown fuse, then that will prevent power from reaching the starter motor.

To check for a blown fuse, simply remove the fuse and hold it up to a light. If the wire that powers the starter is blown, then you will need to replace the fuse.

Clogged Fuel Control Valve

The fuel control valve is responsible for supplying fuel to the engine. If it is clogged, that can cause the Harley Davidson to click but not start.

There is typically a screen on the fuel control valve that can become clogged with dirt and debris. You can remove the screen and clean it with a wire brush. You can also have a mechanic clean the fuel control valve for you.

Professional mechanic change the oil in a motorcycle. The sports bike is on the lift.

Clogged/Failed Fuel Injector

If your Harley was in storage or you didn't ride it for a while, then that could cause the fuel injector to become clogged. When this happens, it won't be able to supply the engine with enough fuel, and that can prevent the engine from starting.

If you think this might be the problem, then you should take your Harley Davidson to a mechanic and have them cleaned. You can also try a motorcycle fuel injector formula to clean the injectors yourself.

This inexpensive troubleshooting method is definitely worth trying before taking your Harley Davidson to the mechanic.

Worn Spark Plugs

Typically, spark plugs on a Harley Davidson should be changed after every season. If you ride year round, they should be changed every 10,000-15,000 miles.

If one or more spark plugs are worn, then that can cause the engine to misfire. This can prevent the engine from starting, or it can make the Harley Davidson click but not start.

In this case, you will need to take your Harley Davidson to a mechanic or do it yourself if you know how.

Clogged Muffler

It's not common, but clogged mufflers can also prevent the Harley Davidson from starting. This is because the back pressure caused by the clogged muffler can cause the engine to stall.

If your bike was in storage or you didn't ride it for a while, then that could cause the muffler to become clogged. You can remove the muffler and have it cleaned by a professional, or you can clean it yourself.

Seized Engine

Last but not least, if you have been driving your Harley Davidson and it suddenly stopped working, then the engine could be seized. This is because when an engine seizes, it can cause the starter motor to fail.

Typically, this is related to the bike overheating. This can be due to driving it hard for long periods in hot weather. It can also be due to low fluid levels.

Check your oil and coolant levels to see if they are low. If they are, then you will need to add more. You will also need to take your Harley Davidson to the mechanic so they can check the engine.

Back view of motorcycle driver driving in beautiful sunset

How Long Does A Harley Davidson Last?

Depending on how you take care of it, a Harley Davidson can last anywhere from 20 years to forever. This is because they are built to last.

From a mileage point, on average, a Harley Davidson will last 100,000 or more. Therefore, it's vital to keep on top of regular maintenance to prevent any issues.

This includes things like changing the oil, checking the fluids, and regularly cleaning the bike. In addition, doing a full inspection frequently can help to identify any potential issues before they become a bigger problem.

How Often Do Harley Davidson Motorcycles Need To Be Serviced?

According to Harley Davidson, your bike should come in for its first service at 1,000 miles. After that, you should bring your bike in every 5,000 miles. The service includes checking all mechanical aspects of the bike to ensure there are no problems.

Of course, if something is weird or not working right, you should take it in sooner. This is just the general maintenance schedule that Harley Davidson recommends.

Remember that these are just estimates, and your mileage may vary. Therefore, it's always best to err on the side of caution and bring your bike in sooner rather than later if something doesn't seem right.

How Often Should I Change The Oil In My Harley Davidson?

Harley Davidson recommends changing the oil in your bike every 5,000 miles or every two years for synthetic oil. However, if you use mineral oil, then you should change it more frequently, at 2,000 miles or every two years.

It's always best to check your owner's manual for specific recommendations. This is because the type of oil you use and how you ride your bike can affect how often you need to change the oil.

The technician repair and customize on the Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Final Thoughts

Overall, by doing frequent inspections and keeping on top of regular maintenance, you can ensure that your Harley Davidson lasts for years to come. Nonetheless, things happen, so hopefully, this article has helped you troubleshoot some of the most common reasons why your Harley Davidson might not start.

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