Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise (6 Proven Fixes)

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If you own a Harley Davidson and are facing some troubles in starting the bike, don’t worry because it is a common problem, and many other users are also experiencing this issue. 

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

Before going to the mechanic, you should check some basic things that may create trouble starting.

Don’t worry; I am with you to tell you about the reasons for starting problems and also give you a better solution to fix the problem.

Let’s dive into:

6 Reasons Why Your Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise?

Before doing anything, you should check the batteries are doing well and the starter relay is not worn out. It would help if you also had to make sure that the connections of your batteries are tightly fitted and not loose.

If you are still confused about what to do with your bike for starting, then read every step carefully. 

1. Low Battery Voltage

With time, batteries lose their ability to hold a charge. It is the most common motorcycle battery that lasts about 3-5 years. Still, it could vary based on usage and maintenance.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

The motorcycle’s alternator or charging system may not be working correctly, not charging the battery.

Sometimes, the motorcycle may draw power even when off, leading to a drained battery. It can be due to a malfunctioning component or a light being left on.

In the context of other reasons, cold temperatures can affect battery performance. If the battery is old or weak, cold weather can exacerbate starting problems.


If you know about the life of your Harley batteries and find that these batteries may be expired, replace the battery to eliminate this frustration. 

Check the charging system of your Harley. If you find that it is worn out or faulty, then you should have to replace the charging system.

Always turn off all the lights and indicators while parking your Harley to save the battery from draining out. 

If you live in a freezing climate, park your bike at room temperature and try to start it. 

2. Bad Starter Relay

The most common cause is the relay’s age and the wear and tear from regular use. Due to the passage of time, the internal contacts of the relay can wear out, which causes a poor connection.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

It is also possible that water and moisture penetrate the relay, which causes internal corrosion.

Harley is exposed to the elements like all bikes, and if rode in the rain or parked outdoors, the chance of moisture-related problems increases.

One of the common causes of lousy starter relays is electrical surges, which can damage the relay. It could be due to an electrical system, faulty wiring, or using non-standard equipment or accessories with your bike.

If you replaced the relay and it was working recently, it could have been installed incorrectly. Premature failure of the relay could occur due to exposure to high temperatures


To fix the lousy relay issues, you should have to check the physical condition of the relay, and if you think it is worn out, replace it to fix the issues.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

If you observe the moisture effect on the relay, then you should have to maintain the starter relay.

Again, you should check once the electric wiring is connected with the starter relay to ensure no loose connections or damaged wires. 

3. Faulty Starter Motor

Like any other mechanical component, the starter motor could eventually wear out with time and usage. 

The starter motor could also fail due to solenoid malfunction because it transmits electrical power from the battery to the starter.

This could also happen due to loose or corroded connections that can prevent them from receiving adequate power. Loose connections could occur due to exposure to the elements and vibrations from the engine.

If the ignition switch malfunctions, it may not signal the starter motor to initiate the starting process.

The starter motor is connected to the flywheel to turn over the engine. If the teeth on the flywheel are damaged, the starter motor might not engage properly.

The starter motor could also be damaged if oil or grease leaks into the starter.

Sometimes, short circuits within the starter could also cause it to malfunction, leading to issues like excessive current draw, overheating, or even burning smells.


If you find that the starter motor is worn out, you should hire a technician for repair/ replacement of the starter motor. If the solenoid is malfunctioning, you could replace the solenoid to fix the starting problems.

If the ignition switch is faulty, you should replace it to eliminate this trouble. 

4. Poor Ground or Electrical Connections

There could be several reasons for poor ground or electrical connections. One of the main reasons is corrosion, which could occur with time, especially in humid climates or when the bike is exposed to road salt.

Harley-Davidson, especially the models with big V-twin engines, produces significant vibrations. Due to prolonged vibration, connections could be loose.

Sometimes, the aftermarket parts not designed with the same quality standards and specifications as the original can lead to bad electrical connections.

If your bike has been dropped or got into an accident, even a minor one, connectors can come loose, or wires can become damaged.

If you do not regularly inspect, clean, and tighten electrical connections, it could cause problems over time.

Excessive heat, whether this heat comes from the bike engine or any external source, could damage wires and connectors over time.


You should regularly inspect and maintain the connection to prevent poor ground and electrical connections.

Please don’t park your bike outdoors in a moist climate because it could cause corrosion and may lead to problems like not starting the bike.

5. Engine Mechanical Issue

Engine mechanical issues could occur due to wear and tear from regular use. Common wear parts include piston rings, valve seals, and gaskets.

Related: How to Check Primary Oil on Harley Davidson?

You can also face these issues if you do not change the engine oil or use the wrong type of oil. Ensure that the air filter is when required and adhere to the recommended service.

Harley Davidson Not Starting Clicking Noise

The engine may overheat if you ride your Harley-Davidson (air-cooled model) in challenging and hot conditions. This overheating can cause extreme damage to the engine components.

Some older Harley models could experience cam chain tensioner failure, leading to engine problems.


To prevent the risk of mechanical issues, you should follow these steps:

  • Always adhere to the recommended service intervals
  • Use the right type and grade of fluids
  • Inspect your bike regularly for signs of damage or unusual noises
  • Address any issues or concerns promptly

6. Safety Switch Issue

If your Harley Davidson’s safety switch becomes faulty, it may hinder your bike from starting.

There are various reasons for malfunctioning the safety switch; the most common issue is physical damage, which could be due to accidents, mishandling, or environmental factors.

The kickstand safety switch might be faulty if your motorcycle does not start when in gear. This switch prevents the motorcycle from starting when the kickstand is down and the bike is in gear.

Sometimes, the contacts within the switch can become dirty or corroded, which may lead to inconsistent operation or complete failure.

It could also be possible that the Engine Control Unit (ECU) or the Turn Signal Module (TSM) / Turn Signal Security Module (TSSM) are the reason for your problem. 

If they are not communicating correctly with the safety switches, it can cause starting problems.

Check the fuses related to the safety system. A blown fuse can lead to the switch not functioning.


If the safety switch is worn out, then you should have to replace the switch to fix your starting problem. Ensure the kickstand switch works well; otherwise, replace it to start your bike.

It would be best to keep cleaning and maintaining the safety switch regularly. 


If your Harley Davidson is Not Starting Clicking Noise, you should have a battery because the battery may be dead, so you cannot start your bike.

Ensure the starter relay is working well and there is no issue because it could also cause starting problems. 

Ensure the starting motor works well and your bike has no loose connection. 

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