The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is a stripped-down bagger, or touring motorcycle, with a distinct American hot rod style.
It requires occasional maintenance, routine upkeep, and troubleshooting to keep it running efficiently – although problems can still arise.
We’ve put together this solution guide to help those who are experiencing issues.
Table of Contents
1. Harley Street Glide Won’t Start
A Harley-Davidson Street Glide that won’t start can manifest its faulty or hard starts in different ways. In some cases, riders report their Street Glide cranks but won’t turn over, while others claim that when they fire up their HD Street Glide, nothing happens at all.
There are several reasons why your Harley Street Glide won’t start. Some of the most common causes include:
If the battery is dead or weak, your HD won’t start. This can happen if the battery is old, hasn’t been charged correctly, or has been drained by accessories left on.
Charge the battery using a charger or replace it if it’s old. Turn off all accessories when the bike is not in use.
Faulty Fuel System:
A problem with the fuel system can prevent your Street Glide from firing up. This can happen if the fuel pump is faulty, the fuel filter is clogged, or there’s water in the fuel.
Inspect your fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel lines for any damage or clogs. Drain the fuel tank and refill it with fresh fuel.
“Ignition off, remove the fuel pump fuse from its socket. Use a jumper with gator clips on both ends. Clip a safety pin into one gator, and the other jumper gator attaches to the battery positive. Now, probe both fuse socket terminals with the safety pin; the pump should run when one of the socket terminals is probed. Probe just long enough to verify that the pump runs. If the pump doesn’t run, the problem is upstream between the fuse socket and the pump or pump harness. If the pump runs, the problem is downstream and more difficult to diagnose.” – harley-davidsonforums.com
Ignition System Issues:
If there’s a problem with the ignition system, your Street Glide won’t turn over. This can happen if the spark plugs are fouled, the ignition coil is faulty, or the wiring is damaged.
Check the spark plugs, fuses, ignition coil, and wiring for any damage or wear. Replace any faulty parts.
“Did you check for fuses under the right-side cover? … earlier models had the engine and fuel pump fuses on the right side. Otherwise, check the wiring connectors at all the sensors.” – harley-davidsonforums.com
Worn Starter Motor:
A faulty, worn, or temperamental starter motor, the bike won’t start. This can happen if the starter motor is defective, the starter relay is bad, or the wiring is damaged.
Inspect the starter motor, starter relay, and wiring for any damage or wear. Replace your starter system if any of these components turn out to be faulty.
2. Harley Street Glide Keeps Cutting Out
If your Harley-Street Glide keeps cutting out or sputtering, whether while riding, including, or during start-ups, it could indicate a severe failure that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to keep your HD running as it should.
There are several reasons why your Harley Street Glide can sputter and cut out, including:
Fuel System Issues:
If there’s a problem with the fuel system, your Street Glide may cut out or sputter while riding or idling. This can happen if the fuel pump is faulty, the fuel filter is clogged, or there’s water, rust, or contamination in the fuel supply.
Check the fuel pump, fuel filter, and fuel lines for any damage or clogs, replacing impaired parts as needed. Empty the fuel tank and refill it with fresh fuel.
Ignition System Failure:
Ignition system failure can cause your bike to cut out at start-up or while riding. This can happen if the spark plugs are fouled, the ignition coil is faulty, or the wiring is damaged.
Inspect the spark plugs, ignition coil, and wiring for any damage or wear. Replace any problematic parts.
If there’s an issue with your Street Glide’s battery, the bike may cut out. This can happen if the battery is old, hasn’t been charged correctly, or has been drained by accessories left on.
Charge the battery using a charger or replace it if it’s old. Make sure to turn off all accessories when your Street Glide isn’t in use or trickle charging.
Starter Motor Issues:
If there’s a problem with the starter motor, the bike may cut out during start-up. This can happen if the starter motor is faulty, the starter relay is bad, or the wiring is damaged.
Check the starter motor, starter relay, and wiring for any damage or wear. Replace the starter system if you find it to be at fault.
3. Harley Street Glide Throttle Not Working
In other scenarios, your Harley Street Glide throttle isn’t working, causing no throttle response, a reduced acceleration rate, or a dip in performance.
Here are a few reasons why your Harley-Davidson Street Glide throttle won’t work, or your throttle response and acceleration might lag.
If there’s a problem with the throttle-by-wire system, your HD Street Glide may not respond to throttle inputs. This can happen if the twist grip sensor is faulty, the electronic throttle control actuator (throttle body) is damaged, or the engine computer is malfunctioning.
Check the twist grip sensor, electronic throttle control actuator, and engine computer for any damage or wear. Replace any faulty parts.
Corroded Connections or Throttle Cable:
On older models, corrosion can cause your throttle cable to give faulty input and, therefore, elicit a weak throttle response. Damaged connections between the throttle control actuator and the engine computer lead to throttle response issues.
Clean the connections between the throttle control actuator and the engine computer using dielectric grease. Replace any corroded components.
If there’s a problem with the wiring, the bike may not respond to throttle inputs. This can happen if the wiring is damaged, loose, or disconnected.
Check the wiring for any damage, loose connections, or disconnections. Repair or replace any faulty wiring.
4. Harley Street Glide Battery Not Charging
If your Street Glide’s battery won’t charge, start by checking the stator, regulator/rectifier, or the battery’s condition.
Some of the most common causes behind a Street glide battery that won’t charge include:
If the stator is damaged, worn, or has poor connections, your HD’s battery won’t charge.
Check the stator for damage, wear, or poor connections. Test the stator with a voltmeter; replace it if it’s faulty.
If there’s a failure with the voltage regulator, or if your R’R’s been damaged by heat or poor electrical current, your Street Glide’s battery won’t charge. This can happen if the voltage regulator is faulty, damaged, or has poor connections.
Inspect your Street Glide’s R/R for any damage, wear, or poor connections. Inspect your R/R with a voltmeter—replace as needed.
If there’s a problem with the battery—if the battery is old, damaged, fried, or has poor connections—it may no longer have the capacity to hold a charge.
Check the battery for damage, wear, or poor connections. Test your battery with a voltmeter or take it to an auto parts store for quick testing and, if applicable, recharging. If the battery fails to hold a charge even when charged by an external device, it’s bad and needs to be replaced.
“First, check the cable connections and check the fuse in the tender pigtail. Tenders are not designed to charge batteries; just maintain batteries that are already charged.
Second, test the battery with a [Voltmeter]. Should be 12.6 or a little more. If not, charge it on a real charger, not a tender. Once it’s charged, start the scooter and check the voltage again. Should be 14-14.5 or thereabout. That tells you it’s charging. Loose cables and/or the need for reconditioning are the two most common issues. But there are other things that could be the root cause. You’ll need a fully charged battery to diagnose them.
If the battery checks out fine and still loses charge when sitting, then you could have a key off draw on the battery. This can be as simple as the key fob being stored too close to the bike, or it can be as difficult as an intermittent issue with the electronics.” -roadglide.org
5. Harley Street Glide Throttle Sticking
If your HD Street Glide’s throttle sticks, it won’t return to its original position smoothly or feels “caught” or “sticky” during operation.
Here are potential reasons for a sticking throttle and how you can address them:
Cable Contamination or Damage:
Over time, the throttle cable can accumulate dirt, become frayed, or get kinked, leading to a sticking sensation.
Clean and lubricate the throttle cable regularly. If damaged, consider replacing it.
Corrosion at the throttle control actuator’s connectors can interfere with smooth throttle operation.
Clean corroded connections and consider using dielectric grease for protection. Replace parts if the corrosion is severe.
Throttle Tube Issues:
Damage or wear to the throttle tube or debris caught between the handlebar and the tube can result in sticking.
Ensure the throttle tube is free from damage and debris. Cleaning and occasionally lubricating the area between the tube and handlebar can prevent sticking.
Throttle by Wire System Malfunctions:
In more recent Street Glide models with electronic throttle systems, issues might arise from:
- Faulty twist grip sensors
- Damaged electronic throttle control actuators.
- Malfunctioning engine computers.
Inspect the electronic components like the twist grip sensor, throttle control actuator, and engine computer. Replace any faulty parts.
Gummed-up Throttle Body:
Carbon deposits or contaminants might accumulate in the throttle body, causing sticking.
Regularly clean the throttle body to remove deposits or contaminants.
6. Harley Street Glide Keeps Stalling
The Harley Street Glide sometimes faces stalling issues while riding or starting the bike. Common culprits include a dirty or clogged air filter preventing optimal airflow, fuel system problems like a malfunctioning fuel pump or dirty injectors, and electrical issues such as a weak battery or faulty spark plugs.
Dirty or Clogged Air Filter: If your Street Glide’s air filter is dirty or clogged, it prevents optimal airflow to the engine, hindering the bike’s performance.
Solution: Regular maintenance and inspections can prevent or solve airflow issues due to clogged filters. Replace the air filter if necessary.
Fuel System Issues: Malfunctions in the fuel pump or dirty injectors can result in the engine not receiving the necessary fuel.
Solution: Inspect and clean fuel injectors and test the fuel pump’s operation. Replace parts as necessary.
Electrical Issues: A weak battery can hinder starting or maintaining its operation.
Solution: Test the battery’s strength, voltage, and storage capacity. Replace it if necessary.
Faulty Spark Plugs:
Faulty spark plugs might be impacting the Street Glide’s ignition cycle, causing frequent stall outs.
Solution: Inspect your spark plugs to see if their worn or fouled, replacing them as needed.
7. Harley Street Glide Fork Leaking
A fork leak in the Street Glide is not just a messy problem; it can compromise your bike’s handling and safety. Leaking fork seals are often the primary culprits.
Leaking Fork Seals:
These are often the primary culprits for fork leaks, resulting from wear and tear, debris, or severe jolts.
Solution: If you notice oil residue on the forks or if your bike’s front suspension feels unresponsive, inspect for leaks. Address them promptly to maintain ride quality and prevent leaking oil from compromising your braking system.
Loose or Damaged Fork Caps:
An often-overlooked component, the fork caps seal the top of the Street Glide’s fork tubes. Loose or cracked caps can compromise this seal, causing oil leaks and an imbalance in fork air pressure.
NOTE: You may need to remove the fairing from the front of your Street Glide, depending on the year model. Consult a pro for help with this.
Solution: Direct your attention to the fork caps, inspecting for any signs of damage or looseness. If you come across any damaged caps, it’s best to replace them promptly. Any caps that appear loose can be tightened using a wrench for a secure fit.
Issues with the Fork Tubes:
The fork tubes are vital for the seamless operation of your bike’s suspension. However, if they’re bent or have jagged scratches, they might damage the seals, resulting in an oil leak.
Solution: Detach the forks from their clamps.
Give them a thorough inspection, looking for any signs of bending or abrasion.
In the case of severe deformities or damage, consider replacing the tubes.
8. Harley Street Glide Death Wobble
A motorcycle “death wobble,” or speed wobble, refers to a rapid front wheel vibration, which can be terrifying and dangerous. While not common on this HD model, a few Street Glide riders have reported the speed wobble phenomenon in severe situations.
Causes of front-end shaking include worn-out steering components, imbalanced tires, or misalignment.
The swingarm of the Street Glide connects the rear wheel to the bike’s frame, facilitating its vertical movement. If this component is either loose or worn out, it can cause the rear wheel to wobble, potentially leading to instability issues, such as the dreaded “death wobble.”
Solution: Elevate the rear wheel off the ground. Carefully inspect the swingarm bearings and bushings, looking for any signs of wear, damage, or play.
Should you discover any damage, replace the bearings and bushings before you ride your Street Glide again.
If there’s noticeable play in the swingarm, use a wrench to snugly tighten the swingarm pivot shaft.
Worn-out Steering Components:
If your Street Glide’s steering stabilizer and bearings are in poor condition, it can induce a speed wobble.
Solution: Regularly inspect and ensure all steering components are in good shape and properly torqued.
Imbalanced Tires or Misalignment:
This can be another reason for front-end shaking.
Solution: Check tire pressures, wheel alignments, and bearing conditions regularly. Should you experience a wobble, stop riding and consult a technician before hopping back on.
9. Harley Street Glide Rough Idle
Rough idling on a Street Glide manifests as irregular engine rhythm, vibrations, or inconsistent RPMs when the motorcycle is stationary with the engine running. Instead of a smooth and steady hum, the bike might sound uneven or “lumpy.”
Rough idling detracts from the rider’s comfort and the ride experience and may signal underlying mechanical or fuel system issues.
Common causes include dirty fuel injectors, clogged air filters, malfunctioning spark plugs, or problems with the bike’s Electronic Control Module (ECM).
Dirty Fuel Injectors:
These can result in irregular fuel supply leading to inconsistent idling.
Solution: Clean the fuel injectors regularly to ensure a consistent fuel supply.
Clogged Air Filters or Malfunctioning Spark Plugs:
Issues with either can disrupt the regular rhythm of the engine.
Solution: Regular air and ignition maintenance can often prevent or remedy these issues. Consider replacements if necessary.
Electronic Control Module (ECM) Issues:
Problems with the ECM can cause inconsistent RPMs or other idle irregularities.
Solution: Use high-quality fuel and periodically inspect the ECM for pot