How To Reset Tip-Over Sensor On Your Harley-Davidson Motorcycle?


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How To Reset Tip Over Sensor

Has your Harley-Davidson bike tipped-over, and now you’re scrambling for answers to how to reset the tip-over sensor? If yes, then you’ll find all the answers you need and so much more.

Resetting the tip-over sensor on your bike is very simple and involves the use of the kill button and ignition.

In this article, you’ll get to know all about how to reset a tip-over sensor, why the sensor might have tipped-over, and more. Continue reading to find all the answers.

Resetting the tip-over sensor on a Harley-Davidson bike

You would have come across someone who is riding their Harley-Davidson bike and it falls over. After the bike falls over, it might not start again. If something like this has happened to you, then know there are multiple ways why your bike might not star. If your Harley-Davidson bike isn’t starting after falling over, it’s likely due to a tip-over sensor or a flooded carburetor. You can always reset the sensor by using the ignition or let it stand until the fuel is drained out. In certain cases, oil might enter the air filter housing or in the combustion chamber. 

If you’ve clicked on this article, then you’ve probably dropped your Harley-Davidson bike and it isn’t starting now. And you’re thinking that the culprit is the tip-over sensor. If that’s the case, you shouldn’t panic or beat yourself up. This is actually more common than you may think. Sometimes, even the most experienced Harley-Davidson riders might struggle with this issue. You will need to take a deep breath and go through this article. You will be able to find out how to reset the tip-over sensor and get your Harley-Davidson bike running again.

How to reset tip-over sensor on your Harley-Davidson bike?

The tip-over sensor is designed to shut the Harley-Davidson bike off during events of an accident or tip-over. Over time, the sensor can start failing and ultimately cause the motorcycle to shut off under aggressive lean angles or hard acceleration. 

The tip-over sensor resides underneath the bike’s seat. It features foul bolts. After removing the four bolts, you’ll be able to see what’s inside it. It will have a little brass ring that is held in place by gravity. If the bike tips over, the brass ring will shift to the extreme right or extreme left. If the Harley-Davidson bike tips over, the brass ring will shift to the right or left. By shifting, the brass ring will open the circuit and stop the power from going to the ignition. Moreover, this will shut down the bike and everything will come to a halt.

By resetting the tip-over sensor on your Harley-Davidson bike, you’ll be able to ensure that your bike is safe. You can reset the tip-over sensor by setting the kill button in the run position and then switch off the engine, then on, and then off again. In some bikes, you might have to repeat this a couple of times until it is reset.

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Why isn’t the Harley-Davidson starting after tipping over?

There are multiple reasons why a Harley-Davidson won’t start after it has tipped-over. You must take time to assess the situation instead of rushing to pick up the bike and firing it up. Here are some of the reasons why your bike isn’t starting after it tipped-over.

No sound when you’re pressing the starter

Many modern Harley-Davidson motorcycles come with a tip-over sensor. If the tip-over sensor senses that the motorcycle is on its side, it’ll cut the power to the ignition. If you don’t get any sound when pressing the starter button, then it means the tip-over sensor must be reset. On Harley-Davidson motorcycles, it can be done by simply switching off the ignition using a key and then turning it back on. You will have to repeat this a couple of times. 

If this trick doesn’t work, then you might have caused damage to the kick-stand cut-out switch. On some bikes, you won’t be able to start the engine if the kick-stand is out. If the switch or wiring gets damaged, then there cannot be any power provided to the ignition.

Another issue might be the clutch cut-out switch. It can happen that the engine wouldn’t start if you’re not pulling in the clutch. A simple by-pass of the switch will easily resolve this issue.

If neither of these issues bring power to the ignition and your bike is tipped to the right, you should check the kill switch wiring. If you still get nothing, the only option left is to head over to a service center.

Harley Davidson Motorcycle

Engine turns over but doesn’t start

In some cases, there’s power in the ignition and the engine is turning over, but the bike isn’t starting. Then it is likely that you’ve accidentally flooded the carburetor. This happens because of the bike lying on one side and the fuel flowing out of the tank. The fuel that flows out of the tank will go into the carburetor. In rare situations, the float could even get stuck at the bottom. This way, the float needle isn’t closed and the reservoir overfills.

In some situations, the opposite can happen. The carb can drain and the system has gotten starved of fuel. If your bike is laying on its side for long enough or if the engine wasn’t immediately killed, oil might have entered the air filter housing. In case the oil filter gets clogged, the engine won’t have enough air to ignite.

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Another possibility could be that the exhaust was pinched shut due to the impact. You can notice this visibly if the exhaust is damaged from the outside.

Engine turns over and then suddenly stops

Sometimes, after the bike tipped over, you might’ve left the engine running too long while it was on its side. Oil might have seeped into the air box and gotten into the combustion chamber. This could easily foul the spark plugs, which will prevent the engine from starting. There may even be too much oil in the cylinders for any ignition to be possible.

If you’re suspecting that is the case, then you should check the air filter and see if it is dry. If there is ample oil in the cylinder, it might cause damage because of hydro lock. Oil isn’t compressible and in case the combustion chamber gets filled with oil, the piston wouldn’t be able to rotate. It cannot rotate through the compression stroke without stalling or causing serious damage to the combustion chamber.

How to pick up a tipped-over Harley-Davidson bike?

Many novice Harley-Davidson riders will likely tip their motorcycles at least a couple of times. However, you shouldn’t panic or be too hard on yourself. Things like this happen to everyone, even to expert riders. You should remember that you stop somewhere where you’re able to put your feet on level ground. If you’ve to move your motorcycle at a walking pace, you should get off it and push it while walking. You shouldn’t be looking to go too fast or you’ll fall over. Most motorcycles are well-balanced around the midpoint. You shouldn’t lean it too far. When you’re putting your motorcycle on the side stand, ensure that it is all the way out.

If your Harley-Davidson bike tips over, the first thing that you should do is flip the kill switch. This must be done when the engine is still running. Pause for a brief moment. You should ensure that you’re not accidentally injured and then try to pick over your tipped bike. Never be shy to ask for additional help from by-standers.

If you have to pick up a tipped-over bike, it would be smart to lay down your bike some place it wouldn’t get damaged. Try to pick it up on your own. If you’re not able to, you can always ask for help.

Now comes the bit about picking up a tipped-over Harley-Davidson bike. Firstly, you’ll need to ensure that the engine is switched off. This might seem obvious, but this is necessary and can be missed. When the bike gets tipped over, the driver is often disoriented and might not think of switching off the engine. If your Harley-Davidson motorcycle has fallen on the right side, you should put the kickstand down. It might look silly like you’ve just put up an antenna on a tipped-over might. However, it’ll save you in case the bike tips too far the other way once you’ve picked it up.

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Similarly, you must ensure that the Harley-Davidson motorcycle is in gear such that it will not roll away. It can easily happen if you don’t have it in gear once it is back on its wheels. Not following either of these steps could tip over your motorcycle for a second time. This wouldn’t just be harmful to your bike, it’ll also look silly on your part.

Now, sit on the edge of your Harley-Davidson bike’s seat. Try to sit as far forward as possible. Tightly grip the handlebar in your left hand while holding onto something solid with your right. Now, try to walk your motorcycle backward. At no point should you lift with your back or your arms. You don’t actually need brute strength to pick it up. You’re simply levering up the bike and you’re using your legs, the strongest muscles in your body to do it. You must keep walking your motorcycle backward until both of the wheels have touched the ground. Your motorcycle will still be at an angle when this happens, which means you aren’t done yet.

Now, you should slide your posterior onto the bike’s seat. You can readjust your right hand if you feel like changing the grip. Then, you should push some more with your legs. If you have a tall bike, you might have to slide your butt off the seat and to the near side. This can then be used for pushing the bike up. You should continue walking backward with a firm grip. Before you even realize it, your tipped-over Harley-Davidson bike will be in an upright position.


Thank you for reading. Hopefully, now you know more about the tip-over sensor, how to reset tip-over sensor, and how to pick up a tipped-over bike. A bike tipping over is something very common, even expert Harley-Davidson riders face such situations. For picking up the bike, you’ll need to reset the tip-over sensor. This can be done by setting the kill button in the run position and then switch off the engine, then on, and then off again. When you’re picking up the bike, never hesitate in asking for assistance. It is better to have an upright bike than struggle and fail to pick it up.

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