With shop rates at a local Harley Dealership starting at around $70 an hour, and that’s if you are lucky, it pays to learn how to do some things yourself for your Harley.
Sure, with the complex jobs, you’ll need a competent shop, either independent or an official one of Harley, but because you frequently need to fine-tune the Harley idle controlling the air and fuel mixture, it pays to learn how to adjust idle on fuel injected Harley Davidson yourself.
Step 1 – Know where’s the idle adjustment screw or knob
For most modern fuel-injected Harley, there’s usually a knob that you turn to adjust the idle. This knob can be located on either side of the bike. And if no knob, there should be a Phillips head screw to turn.
Step 2 – Know what the proper idle should be
Harley’s idle is faster than you think. So to get the proper settings for your idle, consult your manual. You don’t want to turn it too low.
Step 3 – Use your tach whenever possible
Most Harleys come with a tach, which is of great help in setting your Harley to the proper idle. Just connect it with the idle cable. If you don’t have a tach, you’ll need to go by sound and the bike’s feel. A properly tuned Harley should make a gentle thud while running.
Step 4 – Start your Harley and let it run for a few minutes
If you have a tach, carefully watch the tach as the bike warms up. Then, comfortably sitting on the bike, gently let the bike go forward a few feet and watch that tach. It should tell you pretty much all you need.
If you think the idle needs further adjusting, make no more than 1 or 2 turns on the idle and test it again. In most cases, 1 or 2 turns is all that you need to put your bike into the proper idle. But if it still sounds out of tune, then a couple of more turns may be required.
Two reminders at the end –
Remember, you do not want your Harley adjusted too low, which is the major problem with most do-it-your-selfers. But, conversely, if you adjust idle on fuel injected Harley Davidson less carefully and rev the idle up too high, you can actually do damage to the engine.
Further remember, it’s idle speed alone that counts and the oil pressure going through the engine, which is why Harley does not encourage you to make your own adjustments. But if you know what you are doing, you can save a lot of money and get a better ride in the process.