How to Install Rear Turn Signals for a Sportster

Written by don davis
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How to Install Rear Turn Signals for a Sportster
Relocated, rear directional signals. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Sportsters come equipped with rear directional signals installed to the rearmost hole of the rear fender trim. The disconnectible indicators leads branch off the rear wiring harness inside the rear fender. Sportster indicators are usually relocated or reinstalled to accommodate saddlebag mounts. Sometimes the indicators are changed for purely aesthetic reasons. Signals can be shaped like Maltese Crosses, skulls, spades and other outlaw icons. In some jurisdictions it is legal to run only "whisker" indicators which are integral to the number plate frame. The wiring is approximately the same for all these installations. The Harley rear turn signal relocation kit installs with moderate ease.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Harley-Davidson Turn Signal Relocation Kit or equivalent
  • Motorcycle jack
  • Flashlight or shop light
  • Allen wrenches
  • Open end wrenches
  • Small screwdriver
  • Shears or scissors
  • Heat gun
  • Cable ties

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  1. 1

    Raise the Sportster on a motorcycle jack high enough for the rear wheel to hang down. Set a flashlight or shop light under the rear fender so you can see what you're doing.

  2. 2

    Unbolt the seat mounting bolt just behind the seat with an Allen wrench. Pull the seat up, back and off.

  3. 3

    Loosen and remove the black battery cable from the negative battery post with an open end wrench.

  4. 4

    Pry the small plug from the tail light access hole on the rear fender interior with a small screwdriver.

  5. 5

    Pull the turn signal wiring harness inside the rear fender from the tail light housing. Unhook the signal wiring from the clips inside the rear fender.

  6. 6

    Pull the two turn signal connections apart into male and female halves. Mark the socket halves with tape for future reference. Pull the turn signal wires from the two turn signal connections.

  7. 7

    Loosen the screws on the rear of the fender trim on both sides of the Sportster with an Allen wrench. Remove the indicators and the old mounting brackets from both sides of the bike.

  8. 8

    Cut a piece of the shrink wrap tubing included with the turn signal relocation kit in half with a pair of shears. Slide the tubing over the exposed turn signal wires up to the signals for both sides of the Sportster. Shrink the tubing with a heat gun.

  9. 9

    Push the turn signal lamps and wires on both sides of the fender completely through the small holes on both ends of the new tail light mounting bracket. Push the wires through the open holes in the rear fender trim.

  10. 10

    Install the new turn signal brackets into the open holes on both sides of the fender by hand. Tighten the fender trim screws by hand.

  11. 11

    Ensure the wires from both turns signals are inside the rear fender. Tighten the fender trim screws with an Allen wrench.

  12. 12

    Connect the turn signal wires to the signal connections inside both sides of the fender. Arrange the indicators so they face back and tighten the hex nut and washer on both signals with an open end wrench.

  13. 13

    Connect the turn signal wires to the female half of both turn signal connectors on both sides of the fender by hand. Plug the female and male halves of the turn signal connectors back together by hand.

  14. 14

    Push the loose wires and the grey tail lamp connector back into the tail lamp housing inside the fender. Replace the plug into the tail light access hole in the rear fender.

  15. 15

    Route the turn signal wires along the inside edges of the fender and secure with cable ties.

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