Possible 09 H-D Touring Bike Wiring Harness Issues

Some Technical people I trust reported a potential wiring and ECM connector problem on the late model Harley-Davidson Touring bikes through other channels. This issues is something that others have probably found on some of TC96/103/110 Touring bikes. These wiring problems can cause Check Engine lights to occur and possible engine running issues.

While any unconfirmed report like this should be treated cautiously by any rider, there is strong circumstantial evidence to support this information. There were reports within 72 hours of additional 12-14 2009 and possbily two 2010 Touring bikes exhibiting the symptoms described in this article.

This issue is only seen the FL Touring models (fly-by-wire) and may have appeared as early as 2008, but has been confirmed on 2009 bikes. It has already been seen in the 2010 Touring bikes. This problem can occur while sitting still or riding. It affects Throttle Control, there-by affecting cruise control and other engine speed functions. The primary area impacted seems to be the +5VDC and ground circuit wiring harness connections at the ECU, but all portions of the connector can be a problem. The  +5VDC and sensor ground disruption can also affect the sensors for emission control throughout the bike.

On a side note, this situation would explain the problems noted with riders attempting to use XiED's on their 2009 Touring bikes. Nightrider has always contended the XiED's were not working on the 2009 Touring bikes because of a ground fault issue with the H-D ECM or a problem with the +5-0V Throttle sensor signal. A situation were the +5VDC sensor signal and sensor ground signal from the ECM was being disrupted by the ECM wiring harness connector would explain the symptoms seem during XiED testing on the 09 Touring bikes.

One simple test for this condition has been to remove the seat, start the bike and wiggle the harness near the ECM connector and watch for a check engine light. An effected bike will have a CE light come on intermittently and in some cases, the light may stay on after a code is set.

We do not know if this is a systemic problem with all the late model fly-by-wiring Touring bikes or an anomoly, but circumstantial evidence indicates the situation is very easy to recreate on 2009 and few 2010 bikes the simple test has been tried on.

Some of the temporary fixes to this situation seem to be:

  • Move and secure the wiring harness while trying to relive the strain against the connector
  • Using some washes or spacers under one end of the ecu, changing the angle of the 2 mating connectors on the ecu.
  • In some extreme cases, strain relief slots may need to be cut in the seat pan to prevent pressure on the ECM or wiring harness
  • Some aftermarket seats do not appear to fit as tightly against the ECM and wiring harness.

Any of these methods may provide temporary relief to the strain on the connector, but the problem would seem to be a poor job of engineering or manufacturing of the ECM connector or wiring harness connector by Harley-Davidson. Our unconfirmed 'inside information' indicated that these connectors were designed with a very limited insertion life. What this means is that the connector may not properly seat after couple of removal/insertion cycles or in the case of the H-D, simple flexing of the connector because of routing of the cable under the seat of engine vibrations. If the connector is not properly seating, very critical sensor voltages are not available or the grounds may not be made, which can create situations were the sensor are misread. The resulting failures when associated with the throttle circuit or O2 sensor circuit can be unpredictable at worst or cause Check Engine lights at their most benign.

If you have are able to recreate this issue with your 2008, 2009 or 2010 Harley-Davidson Touring bike, we recommend you contact your local Dealer and show him the problem. You may want to cosider filing an incedent report with http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/index.cfm National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to ensure that H-D gets the message. 

We are attempting to gather more information on this situation and will report any changes. If you test your bike for this issue, please e-mail your results good or bad to Nightrider. If this report is true, we want all riders to be aware of the situation. If the report is isolated to a few bikes, then we want to be able to correct our reporting to accurately reflect the correct information.

As of Aug-13-2009, we have even more circumstantial evidence that there are issues with the latest engineering revision of the H-D wiring harness connectors at the ECM. There were specific indications of 2009 Touring bikes with different connector types where the newer part number exhibited issues with the XiED's and the older part number more commonly used on the 2008 Touring bikes allowed the XiED's to work without any problems. We cannot explain the older revision connectors showing up on late manufacture bikes. Nor is it our intent to speculate on this high incedence of the connectoris showing up towards the end of the 2009 Touring bike run. Our only intent is to identify and resolve the issue so 2009 H-D Touring bike riders can use the XiED's on their bikes. We will continue to report updates as they occur.

Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 12 guests online.