On one beautiful, sunny day as we prepared for an enjoyable ride from the coast into the local mountains, our steel steed picked up a gremlin. After riding to a friend’s house to meet up, our ’04 Fat Boy suffered a sudden starting issue. A quick diagnosis was performed and the cables, battery, switch, and relay were tested and cleared mechanically. After doing the dreaded running bump start and finding the engine lighting off without a hitch, we relegated ourselves to requiring a new starter. That fact was compounded as the machine was bump started at every stop along the way. Shoving a 700-pound Harley down the street is no picnic.
Upon returning home, a call was placed to our local shop and they ordered us a shiny new 1.4kw chrome starter from Drag Specialties. Drag’s starters are brand new and feature upgrades over the stocker for better power delivery and longevity. Our chrome starter ($346.95) featured a 1.4kw rating that is designed especially for stock to lightly modified engines. It fit the bill perfectly for this bike. Upon opening the package, a complete spec runsheet was included along with an extended jackshaft bolt.
Instead of taking it to someone else for the labor portion of the swap, we decided to do the job ourselves. The swap requires fairly basic handtools that most anyone would have if they work on their own motorcycle. A Torx and Allen set being as exotic as it gets. Removing and replacing the starter does require removing the Softail’s oil tank and outer primary, so be prepared with the necessary drain pan, gaskets, and replacement fluids. Refer to a factory service manual for proper torque settings and sequences on the fasteners. HB