How to Replace a Harley Battery

by Emilia Lamberto

Harley-Davidson is a well-known American motorcycle manufacturer. Harley owners tend to take care of their bikes as if they were family. Unfortunately, all battery-powered vehicles will need a replacement battery eventually. Like all electrical devices, not all Harley-Davidson motorcycles use the same kind of battery to run. This makes it very important to pay attention when replacing a Harley-Davidson battery. Fortunately, Harley-Davidson makes it simple to replace the battery in a bike when the old one gives out.

Protect yourself with gloves and eye protection before beginning. This will protect you from the battery acid you will be dealing with.

Take a look at the battery you want to replace. Make a note of the brand and code number. Use this when searching for a new battery. Not all Harley motorcycles take the same battery. If you're unsure, disconnect the positive (red) and negative (black) terminals from the battery posts using a wrench or Phillips-head (some batteries require different removal methods) and bring the battery with you to the store.

Remove any corrosion on the ends of the wires that connect to the battery. Corrosion causes problems with the flow of electricity. Any corrosion may be sanded down with steel wool.

Purchase the battery that matches your brand and code number. Depending on the type of battery you purchased, you may need to fill the battery yourself with an electrolyte solution. Some batteries are pre-filled. If yours is not, it will come with the chemical solution. To fill it, look for a plastic cap on top of the battery. Remove this cap. Push the bottle of clear or yellowish liquid onto the plastic post on the battery. Put the cap back on.

Charge the battery on a battery charger for 3 to 5 hours (based on what the instructions that came with the battery suggest).

Place the battery back onto it's post. Use a wrench (or screwdriver, whichever is needed) and connect the positive cable (red) to the positive post (+) on the battery. Connect the negative cable (black) to the negative post (-) on the battery.


  • close Always charge your battery for the recommended duration. If the battery is not charged fully after you purchase it, it will not function properly.
  • close Connecting the wrong terminal (i.e., positive to negative) can cause serious electrical damage to the motorcycle and/or cause the battery to explode.
  • close Battery acid contains sulfuric acid which can cause serious damage to the skin and eyes. If battery acid gets on your skin, add a paste of baking soda and water to the acid in order to neutralize the burning.

Items you will need

About the Author

Since 2007, Emilia Lamberto has been a professional writer specializing in home and garden, beauty, interior decorating and personal relationships. Her work has appeared in various online publications. Lamberto owns two blogs, one which provides readers with freelance job opportunities and one which covers beauty advice and product reviews.

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