Harley Key Fob Not Working: Possible Solutions


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Harley Key Fob Not Working

Are you having trouble getting your Harley-Davidson bike to start, and you feel it could be due to the key fob not working? If so, then you’ve found yourself on the right page.

Key fob not working properly can happen sometimes in Harley-Davidson bikes. Sometimes, the key fob battery might be down, or you might be entering the wrong PIN on your key fob. The key fob won’t work if it isn’t in close proximity to the bike, either.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about Harley-Davidson bike key fobs, why Harley key fob nor working properly, how to reset the key fob if it isn’t working properly, how to troubleshoot the security process of your Harley-Davidson bike, and more. Stick around to know all the answers that you’re looking for.

Why your Harley-Davidson bike won’t start?

Whether you’re on a road trip, cruising in your neighborhood, going to a nearby supermarket, or commuting to work, it’s very inconvenient if your bike doesn’t start. In fact, it’s a total buzzkill if you want to take your Harley-Davidson bike out for a drive and the bike just won’t start. These days, well-maintained and responsibly owned Harley-Davidson bikes aren’t known for their starting issues any more than any other modern motorcycle models. There are a multitude of reasons why your Harley-Davidson bike won’t start. 

The most common reasons why a modern, fuel-injected Harley-Davidson bike won’t start are a dead or expired bike or key fob batteries. Some other issues include a bad fuel pump or faulty wire connections, kill switch set to off, issues with the fuel injector or starter relay, and more. In older Harley-Davidson models, clogged fuel tank reverse switches and carburetors that got switched off accidentally were the biggest culprits.

Bike doesn’t start due to the Harley key fob not working?

Modern Harley-Davidson bikes come stocked with keyless ignitions that start with the press of the ignition switch. All that sounds easy, doesn’t it? However, for it to work, the key fob associated with the specific Harley-Davidson model needs to be within close proximity. In case the key fob is out of range or your key fob’s battery is low, your motorcycle won’t start. Additionally, if your key fob is in the same pocket as a metal or an electrical object, the resulting interference could prevent the Harley-Davidson bike from starting.

It is suggested that you should carry along a spare key fob battery with you at all times. This way, you’ll have a backup in case your key fob unexpectedly stops working in the middle of the journey. If your bike doesn’t start even with the key fob present, be sure that the key fob battery gets installed according to the owner manual’s instructions. 

There will be a label present inside your Harley-Davidson bike’s key fob. That label will dictate the direction of the positive and negative polarities should be facing when they’re installed correctly. In case the key fob’s battery is installed incorrectly, your Harley-Davidson bike is unlikely to start. Most modern Harley-Davidson bikes come with a factory code that is capable of overriding the safety feature.

Once they’re entered, the bike will be able to fire up whether the Harley key fob is present. As the bypass code gets set at the dealership, many Harley-Davidson bike owners aren’t present at the time of programming. Sometimes, the bike owners might not be given the reset code from the previous owner, which only adds to the confusion. It is believed that only 50% of Harley-Davidson bike owners know their safe start override codes. While it cannot be said if this number is accurate, it’s important that you should know your security PIN code. You can also save the reset code in your phone so that you don’t end up getting stranded because your bike won’t start.

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How to program your Harley-Davidson bike key fob?

If you’ve got a security-equipped Harley-Davidson bike, you’ll know that your bike won’t start without the key fob. Your key fob must be in decent working condition and be in close proximity to your Harley-Davidson bike. Aside from the key fob, what you’ll also need to know is the security PIN. It’ll be useful in case you end up losing your key fob mid-ride. If you’ve purchased your Harley-Davidson bike from the dealer, this information will be given to you. However, this isn’t necessarily the case all the time. If your Harley-Davidson bike has security and the key fob, it can have a backup PIN. The PIN will be a 5-digit number that your local dealer could change or set for you via the Digital Tech System. Once you know the security PIN of your Harley-Davidson bike, you can easily change it yourself at any time, any place. All you’ll need to do is follow the instructions mentioned in the owner’s manual.

Harley Key Fob Not Working - Programming Harley Davidson Key Fob

Programming a remote for your Harley-Davidson bike’s alarm remote doesn’t require a trip to your local technician or to the nearest Harley-Davidson dealer. As long as you’ve got the key fob, you’ll be able to do the remote’s programming on your own. Programming a key fob involves a combination of setting the ignition bezel in the correct positions back and forth. Moreover, you should be pressing the turn signals and then pushing the remote’s buttons at the right time. In case you haven’t attempted to program your Harley-Davidson bike’s key fob yourself before, you shouldn’t panic. Once you know the proper instructions, your key fob can be easily programmed within 5 minutes.

Step One – Turn the bike’s key in the ignition to “Off”. Then, complete the given steps with under 10-second pauses in between each step. Your Harley-Davidson bike needs to be disarmed, which will be verified by the fact that there isn’t any blinking lights.

Step Two – Turn your key in the ignition to the following positions – “On”, “Off”, “On”, “Off”, and back to “On”.

Step Three – Then, press the turn left signal switch a couple of times. Now, wait for the lights to blink 1-3 times in response. This will depend on the configuration of your bike’s system.

Step Four – Press the right turn signal and then release it. After that, wait for the indicators and signals to flash once.

Step Five – Now, press the left turn signal switch before releasing it. You will notice two flashes from the indicators and signals.

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Step Six – Hold down the button on the remote that you want to program to the transceiver until a couple of flashes are seen from the bike’s signal and indicator lights. You’ll be getting the confirmation within 10-25 seconds. Now, you should repeat it for any additional buttons at this time too.

Turn the key back to the “Off” position and take it out of the bezel. Your key fob remote will now be synced to the Harley-Davidson bike’s transceiver system.

How to troubleshoot the security system of your Harley-Davidson bike?

Before you get on with the troubleshooting process, there are a couple of things to check? Check the condition of your bike before you start working on troubleshooting. Moreover, take time to check the lights, horns, signals, sparks, tires, and brakes. Ensure that your engine is in prime condition. This way, any steps that are taken during troubleshooting will not affect you later.

To troubleshoot the Harley-Davidson security system, you should follow these instructions –

Step 1: Remove the bike’s battery

Open up the lid of your bike’s battery compartment and then take the battery out. You’ll have to clean the hollow of the compartment. Make use of a Contact Cleaner Spray for a few seconds. Then, insert a new set of batteries and close the lid of the battery compartment.

Step 2: Reach the bike’s alarm sensor module

Lift the back end of your bike’s seat and place a spirit level on the sensor module. You’ll have to adjust the sensor module in a way the bubble stays in place between the imprinted lines. 

You’ll need to press the module down for reattaching it with the hooking pad such that it sticks to it. Then, you should set the back end of the bike’s seat back to its place.

Step 3: Trace the wiring

The sensor module will be mounted underneath the seat. Once you reach the alarm system near the handlebar, you’ll have to realign the loose wires by making use of the locking clamps for holding their position.

You can even use the tip of a flat-edged screwdriver or a spatula or a similar kind for that. Then, you’ll need to repeat this procedure on the alarm siren placed at the back of the bike.

Bypass the Harley-Davidson key fob

Harley-Davidson’s security systems come with a key fob and a 5-digit security PIN.  Sometimes, the PIN might not be provided to the customers. If you haven’t got the PIN, visit or call your local Harley-Davidson dealer and ask for the PIN. They can easily trace it by digital interfaces. You will also have the option to change the PIN according to your preferences once you know it.

Harley Key Fob Not Working - Bypass Harley Davidson

When you don’t have the Harley key fob, but you know the PIN, you can easily start your bike using the following procedure. 

  • You’ll have to turn on the ignition and the security light will flash after that
  • Press and hold the left-turn signal until you get “Enter PIN” on the speedometer
  • Input the PIN through the left-turn signal for choosing and the right-turn signal for selecting digits
  • Your Harley-Davidson bike will start once you’ve entered the PIN
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Can you disarm your Harley-Davidson security system?

Yes, it is possible to disable the security system of your Harley-Davidson bike. You’ll be able to do it by using a PIN code. To start off, you’ll need to keep the ignition on and hold down both the turn signal buttons simultaneously. 

The LCD of the screen will show five empty windows where you’ll have to enter the digital security code. For entering the first digit, you should use the left turn signal key for selecting the value. Then, press the right signal key to move on to the next code cell.

Keep doing so until the security code has been entered entirely. Once the whole code appears on the screen, just press the turn signal on the right-hand remote control. This is all that you need to do for disarming your smart security system.

How to change the Harley-Davidson factory PIN to your desired number?

To do so, first, you’ll need to keep the security key tag with you. It should be near the smart security system module for adapting to the change of codes. Then, you’ll have to do a set of 5-step repeated actions on the ignition button in the pattern – on-off-on-off-on.

Then, you should press the left-turn signal thrice and the right-turn signal once. The turn indicators blink multiple times and the current PIN code will display on the LCD window. It will then promptly flash and ask you to enter the new code.

Then, you’ll have to input your desired code before pressing the right-turn button. After doing so, there, this will be the most important part – saving the new code in the security system. For doing so, you will have to turn the ignition off. The smart security system would save the new security code once the system has been shut down.

What to do if your key fob gets lost?

A new Harley-Davidson key fob can be ordered if your existing one is damaged or lost. You’ll be able to program it from the dealer by setting the frequency with the smart security module.

It is recommended that you must replace the entire system if the battery is dead. It’ll be much easier that way. You can even remove the security protection and then reset it at a local Harley-Davidson dealer if you haven’t got a spare key or a new battery.


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know a lot more about Harley-Davidson bike key fobs, why Harley key fob nor working properly, how to reset the key fob if it isn’t working properly, how to troubleshoot the security process of your Harley-Davidson bike, and more. Your Harley-Davidson Key fob not working properly can happen sometimes in Harley-Davidson bikes. Sometimes, the key fob battery might be down, or you might be entering the wrong PIN on your key fob. The key fob won’t work if it isn’t in close proximity to the bike, either.

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