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Discussion Starter #1
hi - i've got a 1992 1200 Sportster - original owner

bike battery seemed shot after the winter - bought new battery - same trouble

turn the ignition key - nothing - no click when i try to start - NADA! If ignition switch is left on for 15 seconds, headlight will glow very dimly - like a dead battery

i'm suspecting a ground somewhere - but can't find one

circuit breaker?

any help please!

thanks
 

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Battery problem

I'd first check the battery itself. Even though it's new, it could be bad. I've had that happen. I bought a sealed battery from a small local battery shop. The first one was bad and I had to take it back and get another ont. If you're sure it's not the battery, check the cables and connections. Sportsters DO vibrate, and you could have a broken or damaged cable. Check the battery, then get new cables. I'll bet it's one or the other that's causing your problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!

I'm going crazy

Got yet another new battery

All charged to the max!

No lights (headlight glows very dimly)

Starter won't turn - no click

No Nothing!!!

It's got to be a major league short circuit somewhere or perhaps a fried main circuit breaker?

any advice?
 

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Turn everything off and check for a draw. If you don't have an ammeter use a test lite between one of the battery posts and the disconnected battery cable that goes to it. If it lites up bright you have either a draw or a short. Disconnect the regulator. Still there? Check the wiring from the main breaker back to the battery and disconnect stuff temporarily starting the furthest away from the battery until it goes away. Then you know what it is and you can fix it.

If there is no draw.
Do a voltage drop test from the negative post (not the terminal) to a good engine ground and a good chassis ground with everything connected. If there is a reading of more then 1V when you turn the ignition on and or crank it you have a bad cable or connection.

Do the same from the positive battery terminal to the bolt on the starter (not the terminal) and to the main breaker. Same thing, more then 1V and you have a bad cable or connection.

You can narrow it down to one side of the circuit and by testing at different points you narrow it down to the specific cable or connection in a few minutes. Not uncommon for cables to look good and be either burned, broken or corroded inside the insulation next to the connector.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks!

Thanks to all that posted replies to my plea for help!

Indeed - I did a thorough electrical test of the battery cables and starter/solenoid!

Freaking solenoid bolt - was a bit corroded - not really bad - bad bad enough to cause a voltage drop of 2 volts (as measured at the end of the positive battery cable, etc)

Cleaned up and tightened up - and seems to start and run well now

Thanks again
 
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