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While riding the Natchez Trace Parkway through Alabama and Mississippi, my Roadmaster died. Wouldn't start, and this was in the midst of a torrential thunderstorm. Had to get it towed to the nearest dealer (Jackson, MS) but it was Sunday and they didn't open until Tuesday, so I was laid up in Jackson for two days. $400 in hotel costs for the new room and for cancelling the rooms in Natchez where I was supposed to be those days. Another $160 at the dealer in Jackson to find and fix the problem. The culprit was a loose battery cable on the positive terminal. Something really simple and stupid! But it had a catastrophic effect on the bike, killing it until the connection was tightened. Let me tell you that being stranded and having to get the bike towed is an extremely unpleasant experience. When I returned home, I informed my regular Indian dealer about this experience, and he stated that he believed that Indian was aware of this problem and that he had seen bikes where this was happening. I've owned the bike for two years and have had it serviced regularly and according to schedule. So a word to all here -- anytime your bike is in for service, insist that your dealer check the cables and tighten them as necessary. And even then it's a good idea to ride with the tools you need to fix this problem should it arise. I know that I will in the future.
 

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that seems to be a common theme... should be the first thing anyone checks... but I don't think it's Indians problem... it happens to any vehicle... just part of PM and should be done...
 

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that seems to be a common theme... should be the first thing anyone checks... but I don't think it's Indians problem... it happens to any vehicle... just part of PM and should be done...

Yep the way batteries are connected in motorcycles make this very prone to happen. A flat terminal screwed down with a screw will always come loose.

Cars by utilizing the tapered post, even if the clamp loosens, have better and more contact areas, thus fewer problems with them.
 

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I check mine at the beginning of every ridding season. Or before a long trip. My wife has a VTX 1300 that I check also.
 

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that seems to be a common theme... should be the first thing anyone checks... but I don't think it's Indians problem... it happens to any vehicle... just part of PM and should be done...
It IS a dealership problem when they charge $160 to find and fix it and when they charge you for service and fail to tighten said connections.
 

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I was so afraid this would before our last big trip — had the original battery replaced early this summer after four perfect years of reliable service. I knew that these connections vibrate loose (exact same thing happened on my Goldwing). My mistake was that I waited until 48hrs before we left to pull the seat (a hassle) only to discover that my 2015 RM required not just the standard release screw but two adjacent screws which in turn require a long extension (which I did not have and had no time to purchase before the trip). So I kinda held my breath hoping that what happened to OP did not happen to us.

Next time: I will just have the service guys tighten it down when I do my final pre-trip oil change. Or I will do it a week before and make sure I’ve got the proper tools. Holding your breath every time you turn the switch destroys your peace of mind — particularly on a road trip.
 

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Someone needs to invent/design a system that involves a tensioing spring between the nut bolt, so the connections always have some pressure applied. Just thinking out loud.
 

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It IS a dealership problem when they charge $160 to find and fix it and

when they charge you for service and fail to tighten said connections.
That's the rub :mad:
 
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I just wish there was an easier way to check besides having to remove the trunk, seat, and move the VCU out of the way.
 
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Thank you for the reminder,i havent done anything to this bike,same battery since 2015.think this is a wake up call for me as im allways far from home.i dont usually carry tools ,my shovelhead is home and i didnt think i needed them.lol
 

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Had battery cables loosen once on our '97 Valkyrie. Added stainless steel star washers between the cable and the post and between bolt head and cable. No problem since in 22 years.

I need to do the same on our RM.
 

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I've never bothered to even look at my battery. For racing and in aviation maintenance, if you're concerned with something coming loose, you safety wire it. Is there not a way to tighten and then safety wire the bolts to the battery terminals?
 

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I've never bothered to even look at my battery. For racing and in aviation maintenance, if you're concerned with something coming loose, you safety wire it. Is there not a way to tighten and then safety wire the bolts to the battery terminals?
Safety wire in this instance won't work, since the problem is the lead the nut and bolt tighten against tends to compress over time.
 
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I've never bothered to even look at my battery. For racing and in aviation maintenance, if you're concerned with something coming loose, you safety wire it. Is there not a way to tighten and then safety wire the bolts to the battery terminals?
Stainless steel hardware on a soft lead terminal post. dissimilar metals, and also just simply how soft the lead tends to be. You cannot expect to put a lot of torque onto the fastener and expect it to stay put 100%. I suspect that a lot of these major connection issues, with new bikes especially, has been inadequate pre-delivery setup and also failure to do the routine checks. This was the case with my bike.
 

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That would be called a lock washer.

View attachment 519094
HA!! :D Good one!

In my minds eye I'm thinking a short spring, with approximately 3 coils and a crush rate of 12 to 15 ft pounds. That way it would keep the union tight even if the lead collapses a little. ;)
 
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