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Sportster Models 883, 883 Custom, 1200 Custom, 883L, 1200L, 1200S, 1200 Roadster, XR1200, and the Nightster.
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  #1  
Old 09-03-2006, 06:08 PM
Gary C. Gary C. is offline
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Default Sportster occasionally dies while riding

My 2003 Sportster has developed a little problem.
Some background-it is an 883.
For a while,I rode it with a Screamin' Eagle air cleaner,and Paughco drag pipes.
Then I put the original pipes back on.
Then the other day,I put the original air cleaner back on,and got the bike a fresh inspection sticker.
It died on me as I was driving away.Had to get my truck and pick it up.
Pulled the air cleaner off,tried it again,and it fired right up.
Put the Screamin' Eagle back on,and some fresh gas in the tank.Just rode it around,and it died again,but I managed to fire it right back up before I even rolled to a stop.
For a while now,it has acted a bit funny.What happens is that it sometimes just seems to cut out for an instant while riding.And now it sometimes just dies.
I'm wondering if this is an electrical problem?
Kinda don't think it is gas or carb-related,though it could be.
Where would be a likely place to start investigating?
Thanks for any help.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2006, 08:40 PM
olesalt olesalt is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

I think electrical....I would get access to the fuse panel, Ignition Control Module, take the seat off. Look for loose connections at the battery cables, wiring connectors, ICM..or anywhere you may have exposed wiring while doing modifications. Look for pinched wires (flattened) Start the bike at idle and work the harnesses and connections to see if it dies. If you don't have any luck...put everything back together, take a ride and see if the problem comes back. Intermittent electrical problems sometimes clear themselves while troubleshooting but have been known to bite one in the *** at the most inopportune moment.

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  #3  
Old 09-03-2006, 09:14 PM
diablo666 diablo666 is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

When you put the pipes and SE air cleaner on did you rejet?If you did and went back to stock it could be flooding.If it's electrical it may be a crank sensor.I don't know about bikes but thats what a bad crank sensor on a car does.
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  #4  
Old 09-03-2006, 11:47 PM
SportyBoiler SportyBoiler is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

[IMG]Like others I suspect it is an electrical issue. In addition to the items listed above to check, make certain the negative ground (screwed to the frame beolw the battery, just behind the starter) is tight. A loose connection there will cause intermittent mis-fires, tach jumps, even sparks as it shorts. Good luck.[/IMG]
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2006, 02:49 AM
Gary C. Gary C. is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

Thanks for the replies and advice.
Haven't had a chance to look into it yet,but I'll get with it soon.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2006, 07:17 PM
Gary C. Gary C. is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

Well,I started investigating the problem today.
Don't think too much of this Clymer manual.It doesn't even tell you how to take the seat off.It wasn't hard to figure out,but still...
Anyway,I looked as best I could at all the wiring I could see.Didn't see any obvious problems.
The negative ground to the frame appears to be plenty tight.
Tried shaking wires around,and starting it several times,and all appeared fine.
Then I took the seat off,and moved the wires around.It still didn't keep it from starting.
After getting the seat reinstalled,NOW it won't start up!!
Are there fuses in that triangular cover thing?
What to look at next?
Oh,one thing I thought was odd,was that there is a line coming out of what appears to be the carburetor base.It goes forward across the cylinder head,then goes to the front of the bike and routes underneath the oil filter.It isn't attached to anything.Is that just a vent or drain?
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2006, 10:40 PM
Gary C. Gary C. is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

Let it sit for a while,watched some football,then went out and started it right up.
I wonder if it could be as simple as needing a new battery?
How long do batteries last,anyway?
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  #8  
Old 09-11-2006, 01:05 AM
GothMetalGuitarist GothMetalGuitarist is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

Does your headlight go out when it dies? If it doesnt...it is most likely not electrical unless is a coil wire (to your spark plugs) Doesnt sound like that to me because of the way you are describing the problem. ie; let it sit for a bit and it starts right up.

If not, have you checked your fuel screen lately? Its inside your tank attached to your petcock. You have to drain the tank. Unscrew the petcock and pull the filter out. It could be restricting fuel flow enough to stall and kill the motor. Then after a while the float bowl fills back up and it will start again. Just a thought.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2006, 01:11 AM
GothMetalGuitarist GothMetalGuitarist is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding


Quote:
ORIGINAL: Gary C.

Oh,one thing I thought was odd,was that there is a line coming out of what appears to be the carburetor base.It goes forward across the cylinder head,then goes to the front of the bike and routes underneath the oil filter.It isn't attached to anything.Is that just a vent or drain?
That is your carb drain. There is a screw on the back of the carb. You can see it from the CHOKE side. If you are doing carb work and need to drain fuel out of the fuel line and the carb, you turn your petcock to OFF and turn that screw and it will drain the remaining gas out that hose. Once the flow stops, close the screw and now your carb will be...mostly empty of fuel. More importantly your fuel hose will be empty so you can remove it from the petcock and remove the tank if needed.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2006, 01:30 AM
Gary C. Gary C. is offline
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Default RE: Sporster occasionally dies while riding

Thanks,gothmetalguitarist.
By the way,I'm a blues guitarist.
One of the first things I attempted to look up in the Clymer manual was "fuel filter".No such entry.
Figured it HAD to have some sort of a fuel filter,somewhere.
I'll try what you suggested.Hope that is all that it is.
Thanks again.
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Old 09-11-2006, 01:30 AM
 
 
 
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bike, davidson, drain, electrical, engine, evolution, fuel, gas, hard, harley, intermittent, riding, screen, sportster, stalls, start, turned, worked


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