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Discussion Starter #1
I bought my 2011 RGU on April 10, she now has 1883mi on her. However, for a while I have noticed a clicking / rattling sound when holding speed around 2200+ rpms. It is most noticeable at 2200-2500RPMs. I had the 1k service done at 1500mi (that was the soonest the dealer could see me) and the noise was present well before the service. I did mention it to the service techs and informed them that it was NOT the garage opener I had in the glove box. I had taken it out and road tested and the noise was still there. It sounds a lot like the clicking of valves on a Suzuki cruiser. I informed them of this as well.

However, when i got the bike back they stated that they found no problem and the rattle was coming from the garage opener (ya know, that thing I told them I took out and still had the noise). They suggested that I report back if the clicking still exists.

It does. What I'm wondering is is that a normal sound on the 103"?? It sounds like it is coming from the motor. It could be something loose, but I looked at heat shields and such and none are loose. Any ideas? Or am I just being paranoid?
 

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2200 RPM's is pretty low RPM's to run at. Is it if you are maintaining 2200 RPM's in all gears? My 96 made a lot of valve train noise at that low an RPM. It didn't do it pulling through the gears, but if I was say runnin at slower highway speeds say for example cruisin along at 70 in the highway in 6th gear, traffic slows down to 55-60, I would get "the noise" if I didn't drop back down to 5th...



Rowdy
 

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Discussion Starter #3
It does it in all gears near as I can tell. (Hard to hear when pulling 6th gear on a higheway ;) ). I don't "sit" at 2200... I usually cruise at around 2500rpms. But I can start hearing the noise quite clearly at 2200. The noise is present even when pulling through the gears (just harder to hear).

I'm really thinking it is the valves... That's what it sounds like. The sewing machine sound. From what I've been gathering from around Al Gore's amazing interweb is that these things are built with some seriously wide tolerances and that the the rocker arm wears the support plate for the first bit and leaves you with even more tolerance which allows the rocker arm to move side to side. Or some such. Basically it seems to be normal from what some are saying. But I've never heard a Harley sounding like a sewing machine (normal sound for my old Suzuki).

I'm about to put new pipes, mufflers, AC, and a map on 'er and the last freakin' thing I need is for there to be a real problem with the valves and some shithead at HD claiming that my new exhaust caused it and void my 7yr warranty.
 

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Does it get worse if let the RPM's drop lower? Are you running premium gas?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does it get worse if let the RPM's drop lower? Are you running premium gas?
It seems most prevalent (i.e. loudest) in the 2200-2500 range... Dropping below that I don't really hear it, but typically that is at a full stop. Yes, running premium only. And the stealer bumped me up to full synthetic during the 1k service. But like I said, the clicking was there before the service.
 

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I have similar noises coming from my 2011 custom as well. I chalk it up to having the fairing and an exhaust that exits the rear of the bike allowing me to hear it.

I never notices it on my Rocker C but the 2 into 2 Big Radius pipes and cams made it tough to hear anything!

My indie says she sounds like she should and told me to ride her hard!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I have similar noises coming from my 2011 custom as well. I chalk it up to having the fairing and an exhaust that exits the rear of the bike allowing me to hear it.

I never notices it on my Rocker C but the 2 into 2 Big Radius pipes and cams made it tough to hear anything!

My indie says she sounds like she should and told me to ride her hard!!
Yeah, that's what I've been reading... That the sound is normal. But since I've never actually heard it before on a Harley, I figured I would ask around a bit. Better safe than sorry.
 

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+1

My '11 with 103 is noisiest at that RPM range too. I also agree with earlier poster that the fairing allows us to hear sounds that have always been there on the other non fairing bikes weve owned .
 

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I have a 2011 103" and don't hear any "clicking" noises. I will say i can hear the valves a little better now that i installed my 12" WV shield and H-D air deflectors on the engine guard. But it is no more noisy than my 2003 88" RKC. My service tech told me he would not switch my engine over to synthetic oil until at least 5000 miles ( same as i did with the 2003). Likes to see them get broke in. He also did say synthetic oil makes the Twin Cam motors noisier, and said their dealership does not recommend Synthetic on Sportster engines at all because they get real noisy. Just thought i would give you what i was told by my dealer....good luck with your diagnoses on your motor, keep us updated :)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yeah, I'm pretty sure that I was just being paranoid and that the noise is normal. I am not suffering any of the effects of bad valves or loose valves. She's still running like a beast.

As for the oil, I heard that the synthetic makes the bike a bit more noisy. The guys at the stealer recommended the upgrade to synthetic... I've heard people take both sides of that. Wait 'til 5k+, others say do it right away. Of course, I'll hit 5k in less than a month anyway lol.
 

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The noise you are hearing may be coming from the primary not the valves. You may have a loose compensator sprocket, sometime the nut holding on the compensator sprocket will work loose if not torqued properly. It does not hurt your bike at all to run it at 2200 RPM's , I run mine down as low as 1800RPM's in any gear with no problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The noise you are hearing is coming from the primary not the valves. To eliminate this noise you must upgrade to the SE compensator HD part #40274-08. You did not state what year your bike is but the SE compensator is stock on the 2011 touring models & trikes.
Oh, I thought that I had. I have a 2011 FLTRU. I believe I am exempt from the compensator issue. At least from what I've read here and the other HD site.
 

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I just edit my post because I seen that you had the 2011 model. Yes you do have the SE compensator sprocket.
 

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I have the same bike with 103 , same rattle at 2500rpm and under with 3500 miles.Stealer shop supervisor rides the same bike and has the same rattle.
I try to stay between 2800 and 3500 and its alot better at that rpm. The stealer tells me its normal on these engines so I am just going to turn up radio and ride.:rolleyes:
My 01RK (88" carb bike) has no clicking at all down to 1800 or so:confused:
Just my 2cents worth:)
 

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I had alot of engine noise in my 11. Those new slip ons sure quieted down that noise. Now..... the radio is alot less clear..... hmmmmmm no engine noise and turn up the radio....... or listen to the radio and let the engine rattle as a back beat..... decisions decisions......
Back to the old addage
Loud Pipes Saves Lives

What do I know.... I drive a powerstroke..... "Rattle? What rattle?"
 

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PS hehe ewe da man Charley , love mine , rattlin is the come along in them dudges ..

My 103 rattles real bad at low rpm too , lot worse than the 08 RG 96" did ..

But it dont rattle much cause I cant seem ta keep it under 2500 rpm ..

Redline 20-60 quieted down my 08 a lot , next oil change the 103 is getting it as well ..
 

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it doesnt hurt them to run that low of an rpm , but I dont like to , save that for the pan and shovels
 

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I have a 2011 FLTRX 103" 255's switched to synthetic at 3200 and started to notice the same sound. I think its just valve train noise. Seemed scary at first, but now have 5300 on with no problems. We will see; have 15 months more on the warranty.
 

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Ok, there is valve train noise. But not too bad usually... Then you have com sprocket noise... Here is one I have found and it's interesting, as of this date I know of no way to get rid of it but. Here is what I found...

It's on tbw bikes!

The throttle blade flutters at low rpm with load, causing the noise...
More pronounced after you install an air cleaner

Even more pronounced with cam installs.

Horse power Inc know of this issue and has tried a few things to quiet the flutter down, no success as of yesterday.

They tried a stiffer butterfly spring but it smoked the stepper motor in 2 weeks...

As of right now it's the nature of the (btw) beast. But it's being looked at and eventually we might have a way to quiet it down.

Hope this helps
 
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