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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The other day the outside temperature was close to 100. I believe I experienced my bike (2005 883C) overheating for the first time. I'm not sure, what are the symptoms of a sportster overheating? I can't seem to find any information on the symptoms of overheating. Does a sportster go into engine protection mode like the bigger fuel injected models do? I did find information on the bigger bikes and overheating, but not the sportster.

My symptoms were low idling, the engine staggering/stalling when trying to accerlate from stand still. Once running, everything seemed fine. I don't have a thermometer so I don't know how hot the oil was. The engine light did flash on and off a couple times briefly.

If someone could explain this to me, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

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You don't have the option of the 'skip-fire' mode on your Sporty, cuz it isn't fuel injected. Sound possibly like a plugged fuel filter. Or a plugged circuit in the carb. Does it smoke when running bad? Is your air cleaner media relatively clean????
Twirl out the plugs and see how they look. If you haven't had the bike 'staged oned' it's running lean. Good luck and if all else fails, ride it into a 'stealer' while it's running poorly and see what they have to say. If the scoot isn't throwing any codes, it's something to do with the fuel.
And you've been a member here since '04 and only 5 posts???
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Krayven..Thanks for the reply. I'm already scheduled with the dealer for inspection and the 15,000 mile service. I'm going to have them look at my bike while I'm there, but I wanted to be as informed as possible before talking to them. I didn't want them telling me I need this and that. When the problem was only heat related and the bike was acting as designed.

As far as the 5 posts. This is the first I've had any trouble with my bike since getting it in '04 and haven't needed the help. Awesome bike, I'm impressed with the Harley product. I'm not the mechanical type, so I don't have a lot of advice to offer. I do enjoy reading what is posted by everyone else though. You learn a lot from the knowledgeable posters.
 

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voltage interuption

take out the battery and clean and retighten the terminals before u waste money on a dealer. more than likely, a sportster doesn't overheat unless u made some wholesale changes, which u didn.t mention.
 

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I have a 92 1200 sportster & it sat in a cold garage for two years ! About a week ago I drained the gas & fluids & put on a new filter, it ran fine for about a hundred miles , then a couple days ago me & my girl were riding in hot weather & it keeps on over heating! Now it won't start & the oil light won't shut off! It's got a fully charged new battery , so I think it might have some sludge in it clogging something! What would it be the oil pump or jets or lines or something else?
 

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What happened in between "riding in hot weather & it keeps on over heating! " and "Now it won't start & the oil light won't shut off! "?
 

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YES , BUT NOW IT FIRES UP & JUST GETS HOT REALLY FAST
I'M WONDERING SHOULD I USE A THICKER OIL SEEING THE TEMPS OUTSIDE ARE 90+ DEGREES? AND IF SO ,WHAT TYPE OIL? I'M CURRENTLY RUNNING 20W-50.
Is the oil pressure light still on? All the time? How "hot" is "hot weather"? While the newer H-Ds have a standard answer of running 20W-50 oil, the straight weight oils are recommended depending on the ambient air temperature. Straight 50W, 60W, and 70W are available, and are recommended for different ambient air conditions. If I remember correctly, 70W oil is recommended over 90 degrees. But don't go by my memory, find the proper recommendation in an H-D manual or service bulletin.
If the oil pressure light is staying on, get that bike to someone very knowledgeable (a genuine professional) about H-Ds, and plan on repairs. Trailer or push the bike, don't try to ride it. If you are extremely lucky, perhaps you have something restricting oil flow that can be cleaned up/repaired easily and relatively inexpensively. Perhaps there is a fault in the oil pressure warning light circuit, but don't risk the possible damage to your' bike hoping that this is the case. Have a knowledgeable professional check out your' problem. While pros are expensive, severe engine damage is extremely expensive to repair.
The load on your' bike can also make a big difference in how hard it works, and in how hot it gets. Not to be too personal (but it is a personal thing), my Ironhead Sportsters say that maximum load is 250 lbs. According to H-D, a Sportster rider weighs only 160 lbs. and the passenger (must be a "spinner"!) weighs only 90 lbs. Combined total, 250 lbs. I weigh in at over 255 lbs by myself, so my Sportsters are overloaded by H-D standards as soon as my fat body hits the seat. My bikes are all equipped with aftermarket oil coolers. I have no issues with overheating, but here in "Little Siberia" (AKA Vermont), we have very few days of truly high heat. Nothing to compare with what I experienced in TX, OK, or LA when I lived there. This is something to consider, as is the possibility of adding an oil cooler.
I hope that your' bike is undamaged, and that you have good luck sorting out the issue.
Best Regards, Dean
 

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Now the oil light is on when i turn the key but it starts on the first try & the oil light shuts off! I have been monitoring the tempature & anytime it gets over 150 oil temp i pull out the dipstick & let it cool off!
What is the normal operating oil temp? I haven't read that in the owners manual or service manual & nobody has ever mentioned what the oil temp should be at the most either!
 

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Why would pulling the dip stick cool the oil?
When I had a Sportster years back it ran 180, 205 on a hot day,, my big twin is about the same.
It needs some heat to evaporate any water in the oil from condensation.
 

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I agree with HDfatbagger. The oil needs to reach what appears to be a relatively high temperature to aid in getting any condensation (water) out of it. Pulling the cap/dipstick won't help much (perhaps a negligible amount) with cooling the oil, it will allow water vapor to escape from your' oil tank but that should happen within seconds.
Glad to hear the oil pressure light isn't staying on! The oil pressure light should come on when you turn the key to "on/run", then go out when you start the engine and the oil pressure comes up.
I don't believe that I've ever seen an official statement on what the oil temperature should be when an air/oil cooled engine is running, but I do know it can get pretty high. The 180 mentioned by HDfatbagger is often seen and exceeded in cars, which are cooled by water, not air/oil cooled like most motorcycles. In laboratory tests that I've seen, oil is heated to 450 F or more to make it break down. Cylinder head temperatures can reach this vicinity, but the cooling fins and the oil (motorcycles are in fact actually air/oil cooled) helps prevent bad things from happening. So, I have no definitive answer for this question, but I believe that you can safely operate your' bike with oil temperatures in the vicinity of 210/220 degrees. Perhaps someone with actual technical knowledge (Thermodyne? Tall Terry?) can step in here and give you a definitive answer. I'd be interested to know this myself.
Again, I'm pleased to hear that you have no oil pressure/circulation issues, congrats. From early posts I was afraid you had "lunched" your' motor. Consider looking into heavier oil, and possibly an oil cooler.
Best Regards, Dean
 
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