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Motorcycle Repair/Harley startup


QUESTION: When I turn the key on my 96 Sportster 1200 Custom, the headlights intermittently flicker off every couple of seconds. What is the reason?

ANSWER: You need to check your wiring for the headlight. You have a short.
Good luck and happy riding

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QUESTION: Thanks. The flicker seemed like it was on a timer, as if it was trying to point out a specific issue. The problem went away when I went to demonstrate it. I started it a few times and turned it off, asked the question here and a guy showed up to the shop about an hour later. I turned the key on and there was no more blinking.

Got the bike riding and there is a whining noise when coasting in gear. The noise goes away in neutral. This leads me to a new question.

ANSWER: Is this a new noise? Did it make the noise anytime before this? What gear does it seem to be in?

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QUESTION: I believe this is a new noise. The bike was sitting for a month or so. I picked it up from my brother-in-law who got it from his dad in showroom condition and left it out in the weather for a year. I've got it in a buddy's shop 80 miles away and haven't heard back from the brother in law since we did the oil, spark, air and carb clean. Also replaced primary drive oil.There was water in the carb and gas and the machine was shutting power when we hit the starter. Oddly enough, this tune-up seemed to make the problem go away and it would start, but the lights did that flicker thing for a few startups and went away as well.

I believe the noise is in first and second, but not neutral. Will be headed down there soon to check the tension on the primary drive chain and probably crack that side open.

Without hearing the noise its tough to diagnose a problem. It might be gear lash or even a bearing going out. If it were my bike I would ride it and see if it gets louder. If it does then you would have to pull the tranny and do an inspection to see what the problem is.

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Mike Wells


PLEASE READ BEFORE ASKING A QUESTION!!! I CAN ONLY ANSWER QUESTIONS ABOUT HARLEYS !!! I DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT OTHER MODELS!!! IF YOU ASK A QUESTION ABOUT A NON HARLEY BIKE IT WILL GET REJECTED!!!I have a Harley only shop with 30 years experience located in Ohio. We specialize in complete and total repair, restoration, hi-performance, and custom bike building. I can work on Flat Heads to Twin Cams. Please, dont ask how much somthing is going to cost to fix. Labor prices differ all over te country as well as shop to shop!


If its broke on a harley we can repair it. We do complete restoration from the frame up, engine and trans rebuilding, remapping and custom bike building

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