Harley Davidson Security System Troubleshooting

Harley Davidson remains ahead of its competitors with several new and innovative features. One such feature of these vehicles is the ‘Smart Security’ option. While fanciers buy these motorcycles for their top-quality engines, this option also offers extreme safety. However, owners have faced some issues with their Harley Davidson smart security system.

Usually, you can resolve these issues without expert help, but many people lack the basic knowledge to do that. So, this article addresses the problem you encounter with the Harley Davidson security system. You will also find out how to identify and fix these problems.

Before You Begin – Key Components

Before troubleshooting the Harley Davidson Security System, you must learn its key parts. Once you are familiar with its primary features and components, you can easily navigate the rest of the process.

Harley’s smart security system is activated once the motorcycle is parked and you have turned off the ignition. However, the vehicle can also switch itself on or off.

The motorcycle also self-arms after detecting five seconds of inactivity. The system will disable your vehicle starter, ignition, and fuel injection. Meanwhile, you can only disarm the security system with its hand-free key fob. All these factors make the Harley Davidson smart security system one of the strongest defences against theft.

Here is some information about the primary segments of the system:


The alarm sounds whenever the system senses a probable threat of theft. Since it alerts the users of a possible issue, it is the most important part of the system. The alarm functions using batteries. The battery compartment is located behind the alarm unit.

The alarm also has a sensor unit placed under the bike seat. Whenever these sensors detect any unusual activity, they instantly signal the alarm, causing it to ring.

Light Indicator

The light indicator helps you determine whether or not the security system is active. If the light flashes red, it means that the system is working well. Irregular flashing or inactivity could indicate an issue with the security device.

Key Fob

Lastly, the key fob is arguably the most crucial part of the Harley Davidson Smart Security System. It is a wireless device that sends signals to the security system and disarms it once in range. The key also contains a five-digit security PIN that allows you to use your bike. So, if you lose this key or the PIN, you cannot unlock your bike. However, you can modify the PIN at your convenience.

Harley Davidson Security System Troubleshooting

Once you understand the basic workings and structure of the smart security system, you must try troubleshooting it. It is a lengthy process that involves thorough checking. However, we have listed the various steps involved to make it easier.

Dealing With the Problem

The first step when troubleshooting anything is searching for an issue. If you think your bike’s security system is not working well, try to find out how. There are several reasons your smart security system might malfunction. The most likely troubles are its components misbehaving. For example, the alarm might keep going off on its own.

If the problem is visible or easily determinable, you might not have to conduct a thorough search. However, if you can not detect the issue on the outside and the system stops working, examine it. 


Start by assessing the alarm unit of the security system. One of the most common reasons the alarm stops working is having loose batteries. So, you must locate the battery box before doing anything else. As we mentioned, it is usually behind or near the alarm. Once you spot it, remove the batteries and clean them. The alarm may malfunction if dirt or grime gets into the battery slot.

While cleaning the batteries, make sure that you do not scratch them. Once you are done, place them back inside their slot. It would be best if you roll them over after inserting them to ensure they are properly placed.

You should also open your bike seat and check on the alarm sensor unit. If the unit moves out of place or rises above, it will fail to function properly. So, put some pressure on the sensor to put it back in place and close the seat to cover it.


Once you check the alarm unit, move on to the wires. You can take an electrical tester and place it where the alarm sensor connects to the system wiring. If you get an electric current here, it means there is a problem with the wiring. In such cases, it would help if you traced the wiring through the body of the bike. If you spot any loose or nicked wires, fix them. Faulty wiring could prevent the alarm from receiving signals from the sensor.

Key Fob

The final problem is quite common. It is easy to lose the bike’s key fob and access to the motorcycle. Even if you have the PIN, newer systems require keeping the fob close to the unit while unlocking. However, if it is an older model, you can unlock it by simply entering the PIN.

Factory dealers usually give you the PIN to your system when you purchase it. You can later reset it as many times as you like. However, it is advisable to set a strong PIN that is also easy to remember. Changing it too often can result in you having trouble recalling it.

Lastly, if you can’t unlock your bike without the key fob, you should visit an expert for a new one. To prevent such situations, you can ask your dealer for a spare key fob during purchase.

Disarming the Security System

Sometimes, the tricks above might not help you fix your issue. However, if you do not want to seek expert help instantly, you can try disarming your security device. You would need your key fob and security PIN to do that.

Disarming Harley’s security system is pretty easy. Start by inserting your key in the ignition and turning it on. Then, use either of the turn signal buttons. After you do that, your bike’s computer screen will display where you should enter the PIN. You can enter the digits using the turn signal button. After entering each digit, press the right turn signal button to move on to the next one. Once you enter all five digits, turn the bike off and remove the key. Your smart security system should now be disarmed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Why is my Harley alarm going off?

When your alarm sensor unit senses some unusual activity on your bike seat, it sends a signal to the alarm. The alarm would ring until you deactivate it. However, the alarm could also ring if it is malfunctioning. You can try removing the batteries to stop the sound.

Q2. What is the transport mode in Harley Davidson?

You can turn the transport mode on when the vehicle is being transported. The unusual activity of the trailer could cause the security system to trip the alarm. You can turn this mode on manually using the key fob and turn signals. You should also note that the transport mode on a bike is also called the  ‘tow mode.’

Q3. What is the trigger switch on Harley Davidson?

The trigger button can help activate the diagnostic menu on the bike. You can find it on the top of the left switch area. It is one of the many left switches on a Harley Davidson. Also, it can help you scroll through the bike’s odometer menu.

Harley Davidson Security System Troubleshooting – Final Thoughts

Harley Davidson is a well-known motorcycle brand worldwide. Bike fanciers like to keep up to date with every new feature the brand adds to its vehicles. The smart security system is the favorite user update. While it may have helped owners secure their bikes against threats, it has caused some trouble. 

The security device’s alarm sensors and wiring often cause issues that require expert help. However, you can learn to resolve s problems at home to save trouble and money. You can troubleshoot your security system by analyzing its alarm sensors, batteries, wiring, etc. Again, you must also be careful with your security key fob. If you lose it, you will not be able to unlock your bike. To prevent this, you can get an extra key fob from your dealer when you purchase the system.

Learning a few of these tricks can save any Harley Davidson owner some time and effort in the future.