How to Remove the Ignition Switch on a Harley

by Kyle McBride
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Harley-Davidson ignition switches control the battery voltage going to the starter relay switch and the other 12 volt systems of the bike. Mounted in a bracket on the left side of the bike under the fuel tank and between the heads, the switch is typically operated with the left hand from a seated position. Turning the switch to the "On" position electrifies the ignition circuit and enables the rider to then start the engine from the handlebar-mounted starter button.

Step 1

Remove the battery cover strap wing nut by hand. Remove the battery cover. Remove the battery negative cable with a 10 mm wrench.

Step 2

Remove the large retainer nut from the backside of the ignition switch bracket with the crescent wrench. Pull the switch out of the bracket and down slightly to gain access to the backside of the ignition switch.

Remove the screws holding the small ring terminals and wires into the back of the switch. Allow the terminals and wires to hang there but insure that they do not contact one another even though the battery is disconnected. Screw the small screws back into their places in the back of the switch for safe keeping.

Items you will need

  • 10 mm wrench
  • Adjustable wrench (crescent)
  • #2 Phillips screwdriver

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