Understanding Harley Davidson Instrument Panel Lights

The ‘Instrument Panel’ on a Harley Davidson includes a set of warning lights that tells you whether the system on your bike is working correctly or not. Some of them indicate serious issues while others aren’t quite as urgent

Usually these warning lights start flashing when the ECU detects any fault. You must act immediately as soon as the light is present.  Well, what should you do then? Keep reading to improve the clarity on these questions. 

Understanding Harley Davidson Instrument Panel Lights

Like other vehicles, a Harley Davidson often gets some issues with the systems. When it happens, there might be some particular symptoms for the problem. 

But the first indicator of an issue is often a warning light on the panel. So, it’s crucial to know the meaning of each type of warning light so you can determine whether you should take action immediately or not. 

In general, there are three different categories of warning lights on the instrument panel of a Harley-Davidson. They include red warning lights, amber warning lights, and green warning lights. 

Red warning lights 

When the warning color is red on the instrument panel, it indicates that there’s a serious problem with your bike. A red warning light requires quick attention, and you should stop driving your bike immediately. 

Amber warning lights 

Amber warning lights 
Amber warning lights 

This color of instrument panel lights denotes that something is not functioning properly. But it doesn’t require immediate action and you get enough time to schedule a repair. 

Green warning lights 

Green warning lights 
Green warning lights 

Green warning lights on a Harley Davidson instrument panel mean that a system is engaged or about to malfunction. 

Let’s see the different types of instrument panel lights at a glance and the particular reason why the particular light is on.

Red Warning Lights Amber Warning Lights Green Warning Lights 
Brake lightCheck engine light Cruise control light 
Low oil pressure light Tire pressure warning light Neutral sign 
High engine temperature ABS warning light
Ignition light Engine management warning light

Read Also: What Is Harley Davidson Engine Number & Where To Find It?

How to diagnose Harley Davidson Instrument Panel Lights?

As long as we know the different types of Harley-Davidson warning lights, it’s time to figure out how you can diagnose and troubleshoot them. 

Fortunately, most of the time it comes easy to diagnose and track down the issue for the rider. So, let’s see how it goes. 

Check Engine Light 

This might be the most common instrument panel light on a Harley Davidson. 

It indicates a problem with the engine, especially due to emission control malfunction. Generally, this problem causes loss of power and reduces fuel efficiency. 

However, the check engine light kit may flash for many other reasons. There may be a loose connection or a bad component that must be checked sooner than later. 

Harley Davidson Ignition Light 

The ignition light usually appears when you turn the ignition on. But if the kit still flashes on while riding the bike, it denotes there’s something fishy with the electrical system of the bike.

Read Also: History Of Harley Davidson – Journey To Success

Low Oil Pressure Light 

Another common Harley Davidson instrument panel light is the low oil pressure light. This light indicates that the engine oil level is running low or has low engine oil pressure. 

Once you notice this warning light, stop your motorcycle immediately and turn off the engine to refill the oil tank. 

High Engine Temperature Light 

High engine temperature warning light indicates that the cooling system is not functioning or there’s no sufficient coolant in the system. It also happens when there’s a leak in the system. 

So, turn off the engine immediately and let it cool. Then, check the coolant level and add more coolant if necessary. Otherwise, look for the leakage and fix it if it’s needed. 

ABS Warning Light 

Harley Davidson motorcycles are equipped with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). This is a safety feature that protects bikes from skidding while braking. 

The ABS warning light will turn on with the ignition light and keep illuminated until the bike reaches a speed of 10 to 15 mph. If the light is still illuminated, then the ABS system might have a problem. 

So, look at the ABS system to find out the problem and stop riding your bike until the problem is solved.

Read Also: Who Makes Harley Davidson Batteries? (Leader in Quality)

Engine Management Warning Light 

This warning comes on when it detects issues with the engine management systems. The engine management systems are used to determine the air intake, ignition, fuel, and exhaust. 

Tire Pressure Warning Light 

The tire pressure warning light comes on when the air pressure in one or more tires falls more than three psi below the required pressure. So, check the tires to determine if there’s any leak. 

Low Battery Indicator 

Low battery indicator is another important dash warning light on a Harley Davidson. This light will illuminate when your bike is running on low voltage or there’s an issue with the battery. 

It also denotes that the battery is probably damaged or the charging system is not working. 

So, visually inspect the battery terminals, cells and plates if they’re corroded or damaged. Also, look for a bad wiring harness. 

Cruise Control Light 

As the name suggests, it indicates issues with the cruise control system on a Harley Davidson. Faulty electrical connections and a damaged switch are the primary causes of the cruise control warning light. 

So, check the cruise control and inner components as well. In this case, it’s better not to fix it yourself than to call a professional technician.

Read Also: 6 Best High Performance Clutch For Harley Davidson

Why are Harley Instrument Panel Lights important?

Harley’s instrument panel lights can be important from various perspectives. 

First of all, they concern the rider about the current issues with the bike. It appears because the rider can address the problem and fix it before the engine gets worse. 

Additionally, they turn on everytime you start your bike to make sure that the systems are functioning well. 

The warning lights are also the ways to communicate with the rider that the bike has detected a problem.

Read Also: What Is Harley Davidson Stage 1: Everything You Need To Know


You may still have some confusion regarding instrument panel lights on Harley Davidsons. So, the following FAQs may clear out rest of your doubts: 

What To Do When You See A Harley Instrument Panel Light On? 

When you see a serious warning light, you have to stop the bike, turn off the engine and call the technician immediately. Otherwise, drive the bike to the nearest repair shop for troubleshooting. 

Can You Drive Your Harley Motorcycle With A Warning Light On?

You can drive your motorcycle with an amber and a green colored warning light. But you shouldn’t continue riding the bike when there’s a red warning light illuminated. If you do so, it can damage the expensive parts of your bike such as the engine and catalytic converter. 

What Is The Most Serious Dash Warning Light On A Harley Davidson? 

Red- colored low oil pressure warning light is the most serious indicator on a Harley Davidson. It needs to be addressed and properly diagnosed immediately. Otherwise, it will damage other important parts of the motorcycle.  


Harley Davidson instrument panel lights are a very significant part of a motorcycle that make the riders concerned about the bike’s internal condition. 

So, make sure that you understand them very well. When a warning light comes on, you will have a hard time riding your motorcycle. 

So,  before you go on a long ride, make sure to fix it. Always do proper maintenance of your Harley to keep it in optimal condition.

Similar Posts