How to Remove the Battery From a Sportster 1200 Low

by Samuel Hamilton
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socket wrench image by Jim Mills from

Without a fully functional battery, no motorcycle is operational. As goes the battery, so goes a bike's performance. While removing the battery from most motorcycles requires you to simply access the battery compartment below the bike's seat and disconnect the terminal wires, Harley Sportster 1200s designed the battery compartment such that the negative terminal is directly connected to the bike's frame. Consequently, removing the battery from a Sportster 1200 Low is a slightly more complicated procedure than it is with most other motorcycles.

Step 1

Remove the black plastic cover for the battery compartment. The cover is located underneath the seat on the left side of the bike. Remove it by gently pulling on the top of the cover to unsnap its top clip. This should allow you to easily remove the entire cover and set it aside.

Step 2

Slide the plastic electronic battery harness to the right of the battery to access the negative terminal.

Step 3

Remove the bracket connecting the negative ("-") terminal to the frame of your Sportster with a socket wrench. The negative terminal grounds the battery. Removing it first will allow you to remove the wires connecting the positive ("+") terminal without shocking yourself.

Step 4

Pull the wires connected to the positive terminal off by hand.

Step 5

Cover the negative terminal with black electrical tape. This will protect you against accidentally touching the terminal to the frame, thereby grounding the battery and potentially shocking yourself.

Step 6

Slide the battery out of the compartment.

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