Front end or primary rattle.

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by galpd320, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. galpd320

    galpd320 New Member

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    Good afternoon fellow HD riders. This is my first post, but I've been reading and searching the forums for some time now. Hopefully someone can help before all of my hair falls out over this issue.
    About 4 months ago, I purchased a '99 Road King Classic. My first HD, but not my first motorcycle. It had a smidge over 12k miles and was in great shape for its age. Motor ran strong and bike rode smooth. Its previous owner maintained the bike well. It has a stage one kit with Supertrapp pipes. No other mods.
    When I got the bike home, just for good measure, I changed all of the fluids, purchased an HD service manual (PDF online copy) and checked the primary chain, final drive belt, tires, and shocks for proper specs and pressures according to the manual. On my first long ride out (Texas HOG rally in Beaumont) I put about 600 miles on her and noticed a rattle when going over small bumps in the road like railroad tracks, uneven pavement, city (EDIT), or speed bumps. It sounded like it was coming from the front end. I checked the front wheel bolts for tightness and they were all fine. After more riding, the noise not only became louder, but started happening not only over bumps but at idle while standing. I have removed the primary cover and listened while idling and don't believe it's coming from this area. I have idled the bike and had my wife give a listen and she can't seem to locate the source of the rattle either. She describes it as a license plate rattle noise, but I think it sounds like more of a solid piece of metal than that. It sounds like something is loose, but for the life of me, I can't find anything. I thought it may be a motor bearing (man I hope not) but all drain plugs were relatively clean when doing the fluid changes and the speed of the noise does not increase relative to RPM. It also seems when idling, the noise only occurs when I have the front brake engaged. It seems the vibrations are more intense when I do this causing the rattle.
    I know this is rather vague, but I see there are some very mechanically inclined individuals on this forum that I hope can help me brainstorm this issue.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mike

    Please read and understand the info in this link...
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  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    Check the exhaust shields
     
  3. Dan_J.

    Dan_J. Member

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    I agree with HDDon, I had the same issue with a dyna and it was the chrome exhaust shield rattling on the pipe on the front cylinder up by the head. It would rattle every time I hit a decent bump or strangely enough a dip in the road.
     
  4. skydude426

    skydude426 Member

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    Could be the front motor mount is bad. I had a similar sound when mine went bad. It started when I'd hit bumps and eventually made noise when idling. The dealer found it when I had it in to put a new rear tire on. I picked up a new mount while I was there and replaced it that evening.
     
  5. robermv32

    robermv32 Active Member

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    If your bike is equipped with a CD Player check the lid. I had a "rattle" once that drove me crazy. Then I discovered the lid to the CD player was open. After I shut it guess what ? No rattle. My simple solution...hope yours is too.
     
  6. galpd320

    galpd320 New Member

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    Just checked and it doesn't seem to be the exhaust shields. It sounds like it's coming from the left side of the bike anyhow. However, while beating on the pipes with my fist, I heard a similar noise coming from my brake pedal. Not sure it was loud enough to hear while the bike is running, but it sure sounded similar. And it was radiating to the left side of the bike. I tightened the bolt a bit (it was pretty snug already) and put some grease in it, but I won't know until tomorrow when I can take it for a spin. It still rattles a bit, but takes more to make it. Maybe I can put a shim in there to snug it up more. If that's not it, back to the drawing board.

    Mike

    I'm suspicious of the motor mount. Any way I can tell by looking at it? I'll pull it off if I have to.

    Mike
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 8, 2011
  7. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

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    If you look at the front mount the rubber will be pulled away from the bushing or cracked. Check here for more info:
    Harley Davidson Community
    My softail brake pedel rattles loud enough for me to hear it if I don't keep it greased
     
  8. skydude426

    skydude426 Member

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    I couldn't tell by just looking at mine. The dealer noticed the excessive vibration which I never could really tell the difference. It vibrates alot anyway. It wasn't untill I unbolted the motor mount that I could see the crack in the rubber. I also heard that if your mirrors shake excessivly while going down the road you might want to check your motor mount. Hope this helps.
     
  9. galpd320

    galpd320 New Member

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    Hallelujah I found it! It turns out it was the kickstand. What a releif, I was expecting much worse. Now does anyone have any suggestions on quieting down this rattling edit? A new spring or a washer were the first thoughts that came to mind.

    Sent from my SCH-I500 using Tapatalk


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    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 9, 2011