Clank

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by bupsmom, Oct 16, 2008.

  1. bupsmom

    bupsmom New Member

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    I recently "upgraded" from a Kawasaki Ninja 250 (which was what I spent about a year learning to ride on and refused to take on the interstate!) to a 2007 Sportster 883L. The day after I purchased it, the hubby and I headed for a weekender and I found myself on the "tail of the dragon" at Deal's Gap, NC. I am proud to say that I survived that trip without a hitch - my Sporty and I are getting along great.

    However, shortly after that trip, I took it back to the dealership to have an engine guard and windshield installed. Since then, I have mostly ridden around town, back and forth to work and such. The problem is, since having those items added,t I have noticed that if I hit a bump, there is an audible CLANK coming from the front end, and the impact jars my teeth! Does anybody have any idea what might be causing that CLANK? I did buy the bike gently used (it only had 1100 miles on it) - it can't possibly be that the front shocks are shot, can it?? Could the engine guard or the (removable) windshield be causing this? The worst part is that it has me spooked - I am not sure if this is common with Sportsters and perhaps I didn't notice it on the road trip because I was on such a high from being on my new bike, or if there is something wrong, so I have been a little more timid riding it, which my hubby says is not a safe way to ride.

    Also, one more question: since I bought it used, I have no owner's manual. How do I tell what kind of seat I have? All I know is that it is a two up seat with a backrest. If I considered changing it out for one more comfy for long rides, or one that might fit me a little better (I am only 5'2 - and this bike seems to fit pretty well!), I don't know what I have to compare to what my options might be.
     
  2. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mom,

    Last question first. The Owner's Manual probably would not tell you what the seat is even if it was the original OEM seat. If you get the HD Factory Service Manual (you should have this for any maintenance you do) AND the HD Parts manual for your bike, that might tell you the HD part number for the seat. Of course, you can go into the Dealership and ask them to look that up in the book and give you the part number. Then, remove the seat and look at the bottom of it to see if you can find that number. Even if it is not there, it still might be that part number. At least you have some info.

    On the CLANK - straddle the bike with your feet on the ground, and put your hands on the grips. Hold the front brake lever so the wheel will not turn, and vigorously rock the bike forward and backward (be rough) so that you get the front fork sliders to recipricate well. Do you hear the noise you are worried about? When they installed the windshield, did they secure everything they should have? Wander around the front of the bike and wobble everything "new" to see if everything is secure. You may come across the culprit this way.

    By the way, what is the "engine guard"? Is this a highway bar or crash bars? Or is it some sort of cover on the engine somewhere? Whatever this is, grab hold of it and see if you can wiggle it around.

    Hopefully some of this has helped figure out what is loose and making the noise you hear. If not, carry the bike back to the Dealership that installed all the stuff and tell them about it. Pay very close attention to EXACTLY what makes the sound so you can tell the Service Manager. I would ask to talk to that person rather than the trainees at the counter.

    TQ
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2008
  3. hntwrobin

    hntwrobin Active Member

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    Could be the crash bar hitting the fender
     
  4. artisan

    artisan Active Member

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    funny,my nightster makes a clank if i hit a fairly big pothole,or even riding on cobbles.
    come to think of it my 883R did the same thing,even though the forks don't bottom out.
    i just figured it was general sportster poor quality suspension.
     
  5. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Mashing a big pothole can cause your jiffy stand or kick stand to bang against the underside of the bike. This definitely makes a sound!

    TQ
     
  6. Delmar

    Delmar Active Member

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    Here is my $0.02 USD on the clank issue.

    My 2003 Sportster forks also will clank when I hit “teeth jarring” bumps. My theory is that your Sportster will exhibit the same clank, however prior to the windshield installation you did not notice.

    The Sportster windshield forms a curved parabola that will concentrate and reflect mid-height sounds up into the riders’ ears. My exhaust is semi-loud, but is located low underneath the bike. However I can easily hear my quiet cell phone ringer while riding, even when it is stashed in my pants pocket.

    Likely you previously felt the same large bumps but ignored them. Now when accompanied with the reflected loud clank, the combined reaction becomes startling to a new rider.

    Try temporarily removing the windshield and retrace your normal route to test my theory.
     
  7. theklanchXL1200N

    theklanchXL1200N Active Member

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    I get a clank or a clunk whatever you wanna call it when I hit a pothole (hey I live in Pennsylvania it's an every single ride occurance) I figured it was cause I'm a fat (EDIT) on a lowered bike.

    would that have anything to do with needing to tighten the steering bearings in the neck? The bike tracks straight and doesn't act funny at all just a loud clank or clunk whenever I nail a chuck hole. My buddy has a motorcycle jack I was gonna borrow it here soon and see if everything was A-ok up front and I was thinking of changing the fork oil to something a little heavier.

    [notes]
    A Friendly Reminder - Harley Davidson Community
    [/notes]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2008
  8. TQuentin1

    TQuentin1 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

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    Get the HD Factory Service Manual for your bike model and year. It will describe how to check the fall-off for the front wheel. You might see if we have the manual for download up in "Download". You can also check in the Tips section for more stuff. See here:

    Adjusting Fall Off (front end) - Harley Davidson Community

    TQ
     
  9. artisan

    artisan Active Member

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    :lol me too

    if you do change the fork oil let me know if it helps.i was thinking of heavier oil & progressive fork springs for mine.i need to get richer first though.
     
  10. artisan

    artisan Active Member

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    good point,never thought of that.
    cheers.