How to Start a Harley-Davidson Street Glide


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How To Start A Harley Davidson Street Glide

Are you a Harley-Davidson biker looking to find out how to start a Harley-Davidson Street Glide, but don’t know how to? If so, then you are definitely in the right place.

Starting a Harley-Davidson Street Glide is quite easy, and it involves the use of a key fob. All you’ll need to do is squeeze the front brake as you’re climbing on the bike, unlock the ignition by inserting the key and then turning it to the left, raise the Harley off the side stand, and reach a secure position. After that, you will need to turn on the Run/Stop switch on the handlebars, pull in the clutch lever, and hit the Start button. You can also start your Street Glide using a key fob.

In this article, you will get to know all about starting a Harley-Davidson Street Glide, how to start a Harley-Davidson Street Glide, how to start a Street Glide with a key fob, how to reset the key fob PIN, and more. Stick around to get all the answers that you are looking for.

Starting a Harley Street Glide

Riding a Harley-Davidson bike is always fun because you’ll get to enjoy its massive presence on the road while also feeling like the king of the road. It is even better if you are riding a Harley-Davidson Street Glide. This Harley-Davidson model will offer you the experience of owning the road while also providing an incredibly comfortable ride. This bike is massive, which allows it to be one of the most comfortable bike seats in the world, while also providing a wide array of features that put most cars to shame.

Most Harley-Davidson motorcycles, including Harley-Davidson Street Glide, make use of a key fob security system. This allows the key fob to function as a proximity key, such that you can start the engine without needing to place the key in the ignition. So, how does the key fob system work? 

The key fob’s smart security system essentially senses when you are near the bike and automatically deactivates the security system. This makes your bike ready to start riding as soon as you reach the proximity of the bike.

How to Start a Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Of course, you can easily start your engine the old-fashioned way if you prefer things this way. If you have never ridden a Harley-Davidson Street Glide before, you may be wondering if starting a Street Glide differs from starting a car and if there are any crucial steps that you should be aware of. Here are the steps that you need to follow if you want to follow your Harley-Davidson Street Glide or any fuel-injected bike – 

  1. Suit up and wear your Harley-Davidson riding gear, gloves, helmet, and other gear 
  2. You should ensure that the fork lock is unlocked 
  3. Reach across and then squeeze the front brake as you’re climbing on the bike 
  4. Unlock the ignition by inserting the key in the ignition and then turning it to the left
  5. After that, turn the ignition to the middle position 
  6. Raise your Street Glide off the side stand 
  7. Once you are securely positioned, you should lift up the side stand with your foot
  8. After that, turn on the Run/Stop switch present on the handlebars on the right
  9. This will help you engage the bike’s electrical system
  10. Pull in the clutch lever on the left side before hitting the Start button
  11. Your bike will be started, and you’d be ready to ride
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How to Start Your Street Glide with the Key Fob

Once the electrical system is activated with either the starter switch or the power switch, the key fob needs to be within range. Generally, the usual range of the key fob is within 3 feet of your bike. If the key fob is not detected, the security light and/or power switch will start flashing. The electrical system of your Road Glide will shut down automatically. The starter motor will not engage during this time. If the key fob isn’t available, your Personal Identification Number can be entered via the turn signal switches for unlocking the security system and starting the motorcycle.

After you have started the engine, the electrical system of the bike will verify that the key fob is within the range when shifting from neutral into gear. The security light might turn on during the check. The system won’t search for the key fob again once the vehicle has been moved. If the key fob gets lost during riding, the PIN would be required to restart the vehicle.

If the key fob doesn’t get detected when shifting into gear, you will notice these things –

  • The horn will start sounding while the security light and/or power switch will start flashing 
  • The electrical system will automatically shut down
  • The engine will turn off

How to Reset the Key Fob PIN Number

What can you do once you have misplaced or lost the key fob while you are riding your Street Glide? In case you have lost the key fob, you shouldn’t worry as you can still start your bike without the key fob as long as you remember the PIN. If you don’t, here is how you can set or reset the Key Fob PIN-

  1. Turn the key to IGNITION and then hold both turn signal indicators until you get five dashes on the odometer gauge 
  2. Press the left turn signal button for selecting the 1st digit of the PIN
  3. Move on to the next digit by pressing the right turn signal switch 
  4. Press the left turn signal button for selecting the 2nd digit of the PIN
  5. Move on to the next digit by pressing the right turn signal switch 
  6. Press the left turn signal button for selecting the 3rd digit of the PIN
  7. Move on to the next digit by pressing the right turn signal switch 
  8. Press the left turn signal button for selecting the 4th digit of the PIN
  9. Move on to the next digit by pressing the right turn signal switch 
  10. Press the left turn signal button for selecting the 5th digit of the PIN
  11. Move on to the next digit by pressing the right turn signal switch 
  12. To finish, you’ll need to press the right turn indicator once and your Street Glide’s security system alarm will now be off

Street Glide Not Starting with the Key Fob

Modern Harley-Davidson bikes come stocked with keyless ignitions that start with the press of the ignition switch as long as the key fob associated with the specific bike is within close proximity.

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If the key fob is out of range or if your key fob’s battery is low, your bike will not start. Additionally, if your key fob is in the same pocket as a metal or electronic object, the resulting interference could prevent the bike from starting. Lastly, you should always carry a spare key fob battery.

If your Harley-Davidson bike doesn’t start even with the key fob present, make sure that the key fob’s battery is installed as per the owner manual’s instructions.

There will be a label inside your Street Glide’s key fob dictating which direction the positive and negative battery polarities need to be facing when installed correctly. In case the key fob’s battery is installed incorrectly, your motorcycle won’t start. Most modern Harley-Davidson bikes have a factory code that can override the safety feature. Once it is entered, your motorcycle will fire up whether the key fob is present or not.

Since the key fob bypass code has been set at the dealership, many used Harley-Davidson bike owners might not be there at the time of programming. Sometimes, new bikers might not get the reset code from the previous owner after buying a used bike.

How to Bump Start Your Harley-Davidson Street Glide

Harley-Davidson bikes tend to be pretty tough on batteries. If you are able to get 5+ years out of the battery, you are going great. You never know when the battery is going to start your bike for the last time. Older carbureted Harley-Davidson bikes can easily be jump-started as long as the problem is that the battery has lost its charge. Coming to newer fuel-injected motorcycles, they will require at least 9V in order to run the fuel system. Otherwise, you could push your bike all you want, and it still won’t start.

If you believe that a low battery might be the reason your Street Glide isn’t firing up, you could try to bump start your bike. This will get your bike up and running if the starter has died.

1. Find a hill or a couple of friends

Professional Rider Driving His Harley-Davidson Street Glide Fast On Hills Highway

One way that Harley-Davidson bikes differ from other bikes is their weight and sheer size. These bike are quite heavy. Unlike a lightweight sport bike, running alongside your Harley-Davidson bike and hopping on to bump start the bike is much more difficult.

A slight downhill slope could make life much easier when you are trying to gain enough momentum for push starting your Harley-Davidson bike. Even a smaller motorcycle can weigh almost 600-700 lbs., so you should know that it’ll take serious physical effort. If you are riding a bigger touring motorcycle, your chances of jump-starting the bike will be much lower.

If you cannot find a hill, you will need a couple of friends to help push the bike. With a bike so heavy, it’ll be safer to be straddling the motorcycle for this, and you likely will not be able to gain enough speed going with only your own legs.

2. Turn on the ignition

This might seem obvious, but if you are already flustered with why your motorcycle has left you stranded, you might forget this step. Turn on the ignition and do not forget to put the kill switch in the “Run” position.

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3. Shift the Street Glide into 2nd or 3rd gear

You shouldn’t bother trying to start your bike in 1st gear. In most cases, your bike will just lock up the rear tire (or send you over the bars). Use second or third gears while holding the clutch in.

4. Start pushing

This step will take a lot out of you. If you are able to find a hill, you should roll down the slope with the ignition turned on, the bike should be in 2nd gear, and the clutch must be in. Once you feel that you have built enough speed, you should pop the clutch quickly. You should not let it out slowly, it will simply act as a gentle brake then.

5. Pull the clutch back in

If your motorcycle doesn’t start on the first try, ensure that you are pulling the clutch back in as soon as possible. You have taken all this effort to build speed up, so it’ll be great if you are getting a few attempts in before needing to start all over again.

6. Keep the bike running

If you are fortunate enough to have started your Street Glide this way, you shouldn’t let the bike die, or you will be doing this all over again. Make sure that you are giving it some gas if it is stumbling when you’re trying to idle.

If you are back to riding again, you should ensure that you clutch in way before you come to a stop. This will give the RPMs enough time for dropping to idle and if it stalls, at least you’ll be able to use your own momentum to bump start it again while riding.


How long can you leave your bike without starting it?

Most new bikes won’t have any issues even if they aren’t used for up to a month. However, older bikes will likely face some maintenance issues. It isn’t just with the batteries, but also with fungus and rust issues if your bike lives in a high-humidity or coastal region or places with a lot of rainfall.

Why do Harley-Davidson motorcycles struggle to start?

Most of the time, if your motorcycle won’t start, it could be something as simple as ensuring that the fuel control valve isn’t clogged with rust. Moreover, ensure that corrosion has not built up within the valve as it could cause dry rot, leaking, or cracking.

What happens if you haven’t used your bike for over 2 years?

If your motorcycle hasn’t been used for a long time and there are humid weather conditions at the time, your motorcycle can easily rust. Rusting is a major issue when it comes to Harley-Davidson bikes, especially the engine, fuel tank, and more. Rusting is not just superficial, it can also happen on the inside.

How long can you leave petrol sitting on your motorcycle?

You can leave petrol sitting in your bike for up to 6 months, and it’ll be fine for use, although you should exercise caution if it has been left longer than that. However, if you go more than that, it is likely that you could encounter problems if you have less than half a tank.

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