Noisy Sportster

Discussion in 'Sportster Models' started by Terrytlaw, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. Terrytlaw

    Terrytlaw New Member

    1996 Sportster 1200 Custom, just hit 30,000 miles.
    First time ever heard 'pingy' noise from underneath primary cover, or so it seemed.
    Noise was not steady or constant, rather intermittent, ie, every 2 seconds or so it appeared,
    sort of as if it was (no pun intended) 'cycling' along with the engine as the engine is running.
    One dealer said loose primary, tightened it; result: noise even worse, seems louder, even more
    'defined' and easier to hear.
    Dealer then said: piston flap; wants $1500. to fix.
    Second dealer said: sounds like piston; $95/hour to disassemble, diagnose, then take it from there.
    Third dealer: said primary chain not properly tightened by first dealer, tightened it anew, but noise the same.
    Third dealer said then said: alternator, as it rotates around round thing that looks like a sprocket, can get
    noisy/pingy as teeth on inside of sprocket wear. He said no problem to continue riding, even till Springtime
    if I want!, then bring in for repair.
    Anybody have any experience with this? Any thoughts?
    This is very frustrating, yet apparently a very common experience with us Harley riders getting very
    different opinions from 'dealers'. Just don't know who to believe, never mind who to fix the darn thing.
    Honda Shadow anyone? Only kidding!!!
    Thanx for input.
    Safe riding everyone.
  2. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Expert Member


    Primary chain OK?
    Piston slap is common in a long stroke engine but fixable for your time and parts
    Go here for your parts
  3. dbmg

    dbmg Experienced Member

    Pull primary cover and have a look. 1st thing I would do is secure bike on jack and get off ground start by spinning wheels listening for wheel bearings. Is speedo run by cable at front wheel????? While off ground start bike and put in gear and listen for noise. If uncomfortable running bike on jack, find a hill you can coast down with engine not running trans in neutral clutch out and see what happens. The biggest thing with noise is properly diagnosing and pinpointing instead of just throwing parts at bike and then finding it to be something simple.......
    Jack Klarich likes this.