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Iron Cowboy

Harley Stator?

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Hey guys I need a little help. Its a 1990 Heritage and I cant get my battery to hold a charge. Got the brand new harley gel one. If I put it on the charger it will be enough to start the bike and can ride for a while but go to restart it an nothing but clicks. I have checked and cleaned the ground a few times so I dont think thats it. The only other thing I can think it would be is the stator but if that goes doesnt the bike quit running on you on the spot going down the road?

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Maybe this will help.

The charging system is what replenishes used or depleted voltage at the battery.

Most automobiles use a battery to operate electrical components when the engine is not running and to start the engine. After the engine is started the electrical components and systems operate using power from the charging system or alternator. Therefore, if you disconnect a battery cable from an automobile while the engine is running, the engine and electrical systems will continue to operate.

Harley-Davidsons operate completely off of the battery and the charging system simply replaces the voltage at the battery as it is used. If you disconnect a battery cable while a Harley is running - everything stops!

For a quick check to see if your charging system is working correctly, simply connect a volt meter to the positive and negative posts on the battery. With the engine running at 2000RPM you should read more than 14 VDC and not more than 14.5 VDC.

In General, a Harley-Davidson's charging system is made up of only three components (not counting wires). The Stator, Regulator/Rectifier and the Battery.


Several windings of copper wire coiled around an iron core mounted to the engine case (left side) with a magnetic 'Rotor' splined to the sprocket shaft. The plug exits at the left front of the engine case.

Test the stator for continuity, check to be sure it's not grounded, test A/C voltage and amperage output. Inspect the rotor for signs of rubbing on the engine case or stator wiring and for any loose, cracked or broken magnets. When replacing the stator, the four mounting bolts should always be replaced. If that is not possible be sure to clean and loctite the four bolts holding it to the engine case.


A solid state unit (mid 1970s and later) with cooling fins on the top. It is Usually mounted near the front of the frame or engine. Grounded to the frame or engine, plugged in to the Stator plug at the left front of the engine case with a long wire to the 'Main' breaker or the battery.

There is no true way of testing the regulator other than replacement. Plugging or unplugging the regulator while the motor is running can cause an electrical spike and short out the regulator.

These things are easy to smoke. Just a little too much amperage and that's all she wrote.

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Good explanation!, I will add that the wires will sometimes rub through and ground where they enter the case. Sometimes it's on the out side sometimes it's right inside the case. Thats what happened to mine it shorted out and took out the stator cheap part labor intensive. that in turn shorted out the rectifier ( small black box in front of engine) expensive part 2 minutes to replace. How ever if you replace one and it's not the problem you will fry it again. Cowboy I will get you that number today.

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Bandit, Thanks for the great reply and info. Sorry for not getting back sooner, been away from p.c. After cleaning all connections real good again and charging overnight its ran and started fine now for a few it has before. the usual deal now is if it sits for a week or so it will be dead when trying to start again.(I know I know dont let it sit a week or so) Im thinking I know now why they sell those battery tenders. just never had this issue with the old battery.

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