How to Adjust Idle on Fuel Injected Harley Davidson


The idle speed is the default speed of your Harley Davidson motorcycle. When you let go of the brakes, the bike runs at its idle speed. Fortunately, you can adjust the idle speed of your Harley with the help of an actuator.

Moreover, on a fuel-injected H-D bike, you can control the idle speed with the help of a small knob on the engine section of the motorcycle. It is usually situated on the right or left side depending on the model. Here is a step-by-step guide of how to adjust idle on fuel injected Harley Davidson:

Required Tools

  • Screwdriver (Preferably a Phillips head screwdriver)
  • Allen wrench
  • Socket wrench


Step One 

Find out the default idle speed of your Harley by checking the manual of the bike provided. If you do not have a manual or bought it second-hand, you can do searches online and ask the previous owner if they had changed the speed. Usually, the manual will have the speed listed and generally, the speed is around 700-1000 revolutions per minute (RPM).

Step Two 

Find the carburetor from the manual’s diagram. It is usually situated by the sides of the engine. It is easy to identify since the carburetor is quite big and has a tube on top of it. Around its border, you will see a circular port.

Different models can have the carburetor in different places but it is usually next to the engine or below it. The carburetor is an essential part of a motorcycle since it mixes air with the fuel and controls your Harley’s idle speed.

Step Three

You need to find the idle screw that will allow you to control the idle speed. The idle screw is located beneath the float bowl. You can easily find it by looking for a screw connection with a coil. Either, the coil is positioned horizontally or vertically depending on the motorcycle.

Step Four

Now, the next step is to turn the screws clockwise or anticlockwise depending on your desire idle speed. Sometimes, you can face issues turning it because of the edges, other pieces, etc. You can remove them using an Allen wrench or socket as it will remove the panel by unscrewing the screws that help the certain panel to stay attached.

Step Five

After you are done, you can check the idle speed by kick-starting your bike and evaluating the speed displayed on the tachometer. Note that you should wait a few minutes to get the correct speed after starting the bike. If the outside temperature is 40 degrees (Fahrenheit) or below, you need to wait over 10 minutes for better evaluation.

Further Advice

  • To increase the speed, move the screw clockwise and anticlockwise to reduce it.
  • Make sure you have the right manual showing the proper idle speed.
  • If you do not have anything to measure the speed, you can find the right idle speed just from hearing the noise. Usually, at a default speed, the engine will rumble at a low pitch. Note that this is not fully accurate.

Final Note

Generally, it is better to keep your idle speed the same as indicated in the manual. Sometimes you need to adjust the idle when other mechanical issues occur. If the issue is a common one, fixing the idle speed will do the work. However, sometimes it may not be enough. In that case, take help from a professional.

There are many advantages of idling. It makes the bike efficient, prevents leakage, cracks, etc. Make sure you familiarize yourself with this process when you own a Harley Davidson. Hopefully, you don’t have to do this too often!

Alston Seymour

A Harley-Davidson Motor Company certified Master Technician and avid biker, I love to write about everything and anything related to biking.

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