Long periods of inactivity is a leading cause for motorcycle battery failures. This condition often occurs at the onset of summer, at the beginning of the riding season. The battery in your 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster is fairly robust, but it will discharge permanently if left without a trickle charge during the off-season. Removing the battery for replacement is not difficult, but a short negative battery cable can make the task a bit tricky.
1. Remove the screw from the rear of your Sportster’s seat, using a Phillips screwdriver. Lift the seat off the rear fender, then pull it back until the tongue under the front of the seat slips out of the motorcycle’s frame.
2. Grasp the left frame cover with both hands and pull it off the frame’s mounting tabs to access the battery.
3. Unscrew the bolt securing the bottom of the metal battery strap to the battery box, using a 7/16-inch socket and a socket wrench. Lift the strap up until it can be removed from the battery box completely.
4. Follow the black negative cable, positioned on the right side of the battery, to the bottom-right side of the motor. Remove the nut attaching the cable’s terminal to the motor, using a 7/16-inch socket and a socket wrench. Pull the terminal away from the motor and the frame.
5. Grasp the battery and pull it out of the battery box until you can access the battery’s negative terminal. Unscrew the black negative cable’s bolt from the battery’s negative terminal, using a 7/16-inch socket and a socket wrench, then pull the cable away. Unscrew the red (positive) cable’s bolt from the battery’s positive terminal with the 7/16-inch socket.
6. Pull the battery out of the battery box.