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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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2011 - Compensator Failure Symptoms

Question: How quickly does a factory installed SE compensator fail? I'm at 28K (third owner of bike).

Question: Did you suddenly experience a mechanical "snapping" feel to your drive train when your compensator was failing/failed?

Bear with me, this will take a while.

On 31 October 2018 I mounted driving lights to my engine guards. Jacked up the tank to snake the wires back to the engine compartment. Reinstalled the tank but somehow managed to pinch BOTH the right and left light power wires under the tank's right and left rear mounting feet. Yes, I'm that talented! (Stupid!). When I touched the left light's power wire to the pos battery terminal (just to insure the light would "light", the battery arced and melted BOTH power wires where they were pinched under the tank mount. After smacking myself in the head with a 3/8 drive, I rewired both lights and finished the install. I used the factory accessory switch plug under the seat and used the Harley pigtail plug set to complete the circuit. Ops checked the lights, all good. Bike started without incident. Didn't bother with a test ride. What could be wrong, right?

Four days later, wife and I saddle up for a ride. Bike started normally, bike accelerated normally. Got less than a mile from home and the bike starts jerking when cruising down the road in 4th with no load on the drive train. Felt a "snapping" like the primary belt was loose and this feeling seemed to run through the entire drive train all the way to the rear wheel. Seemed worse when we would go over any dip in the road that extended the suspension. Turned around and headed back to the barn.

Since it happened after the light install I assumed I must have done something under the tank. Pulled the tank completely off the bike. Inspected my wiring job and the wiring harness, both inside and outside the wiring tunnel. No damage noted. Rerouted the wires into the tunnel, checked all connections again, reinstalled the tank. Took it for a test ride. Same mechanical "snapping" feel within a half mile of home.

Drained the primary fluid and found normal amount of "wear paste" on magnetic plug. Pulled the primary cover and found no chunks of metal. Primary chain is tight, tensioner looks good, compensator tight with no slop. Pulled plug wires and cycled engine with starter and looked for flat spots in chain or abnormal noises/behavior from compensator/clutch pack. All looks tight and normal.

Put it back together and did another test ride at dusk. Same snapping sound/feel but this time I noticed the "red wheel" warning light was lit up. (DUH! It was my Cruise Control light. This is what happens when you're grabbing at straws) As I brought it back into the garage I could feel the "box of rocks" feel others have mentioned. Especially in Neutral at idle.

Pulled up the diagnostic codes on the speedo and found two. B1121 - Left side turn signal. U1040 - ABS. Cleared the codes.

Took it for another test ride. Starts fine, accels fine, shifts fine. Engine "red wheel" light is still on. (It's off now that I turned off my Cruise Control switch. DUH!) Noise is still there and seems worse. Snapping started before I got to the end of my block. I can feel it whether the clutch is engaged or not and it is most noticeable when the bike is vertical vs on side stand. Checked the diagnostics codes again after test ride: No codes at all.

Standing by for any response from the "Collective Mind". Thanks in advance!

Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat!

Last edited by Flying Gizmo; 11-14-2018 at 11:19 AM.
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