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Dead Battery on 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic

dead battery problem on 2015 Ultra Classic FLHTCU

Dead Battery Problem on 2017 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic FLHTCU

Last week, I went outside to start my Ultra. When I reached for the ignition switch, I realized it was already in the ON position. Damnit! I haven't been on it for about two months so the battery was completely drained. I wasn't sure if the battery cells were damaged from being drained and sitting for two months.

Find Your Integrated Trickle Charge Cable

I think the owners manual stated the trickle charge cable was behind the left side cover but, I never removed the side cover. It was clearly visible once I removed the saddle bag. It was coming from behind the side cover but, accessible without removing it. 

I plugged the battery tender (trickle charger) into my Ultra's cable. The indicator on my battery tender showed a red LED light, indicating the battery was not defective and was charging. The battery tender owner's manual states that it may take several days to charge a dead battery. The owner's manual didn't give a specific amount of time or days.

Trickle Charger Not Doing the Job

I left the trickle charger on for 5 days. It still showed red, meaning still charging. I was convinced the battery was not going to be charged by this trickle charger. The battery was less than a year old so it was still under HD warranty.

HD Battery Under Warranty?

I took it to Stampede Harley Davidson in Burleson, Texas. Before going up there, I let them know I purchased my Ultra from a different dealership. They said it was fine, they will still honor Harley-Davidson's warranty. The Service Advisor took my battery and told me "It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours to test it". I left my phone number with the Service Advisor and decided to go about my day.

The Service Advisor never called but, I drove back before the close of business and met with the Service Advisor. He apologized for taking too long and not calling me. He let me know my battery was fully charged and gave me a printed readout of the battery's health. He further explained that if a battery is "below a certain level" a trickle charger will not charge it. It must be put on a traditional (larger) battery charger.


If your motorcycle battery is fairly new but, seems totally dead, a trickle charger isn't going to do the trick. Take it to your HD dealer and have them test and charge it. If by chance the battery is dead, you may still be covered by the HD factory warranty.

December 28, 2016 by Ralph Rodriguez
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