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Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive Transmission, Clutch and primary or secondary drive problems, advice, and/or how tos.

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  #1  
Old 12th October 2017
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Default Clunk when clutch released quickly

Okay, something's may or may not be wrong with my tranny, clutch or transmission, so I've decided to share it with you guys ...

I hear pretty noticeable and sometimes pretty loud clunk on the bottom left side of engine when I quickly release the clutch AFTER TWISTING THE THROTTLE WHILE THE CLUTCH WAS PULLED. I know this ain't the healthiest shifting method, but it happens sometimes, especially while crawling through the heavy city traffic in 1st gear, and something force you to heavily brake and slow down... In that situation you pull the brake heavily but due to rapid slow-down, you have to pull the clutch too to avoid jerky low-rpm movements, but the danger is suddenly gone and you want to catch up by twisting the throttle and quickly releasing clutch. In that situation, if I accidentally twist the throttle too much and release the clutch pretty quick, I clearly hear loud clunk in a tranny area. Its clear and loud enough to be heard under the full-face helmet and I also feel the impact/stroke in my feet (through the foot pegs).

After closely examining and isolating the situation, this is what I've concluded:

1. It happens ONLY IF I QUICKLY release the clutch after I previously twisted the throttle to 2k rpm or higher (higher RPMs > louder clunk)

2. It happens ONLY WHILE THE BIKE IS MOVING, so it can't be invoked while getting off from standing still. BUT if bike is moving really slow (walking speed) in 1st gear, and I pull the clutch, twist the throttle and release the clutch quickly, it results in the loudest version of clunk.

3. It happens in ALL GEARS. The loudest is in 1st, less in 2nd, and so on (higher ratio > louder clunk). So the higher the gear, the less is the chance to happen.

4. At higher gears/speed it gets almost impossible to invoke, no matter how fast I release the clutch/twist the throttle.

Few days ago, I've perfectly adjusted the primary chain tension (by sound) and clutch screw (released 1/4 of a turn when feeling the first resistance), but this clunk is still there.

I guess this happens on all evo sportsters, due to lack of sprocket compensator (big twins & ironhead have it), but the reason why I'm worried is that it feels like its happening more often then it was before. Like it requires a less RPMs to happen then before. I've noticed this while trying to immediately start riding with totally cold engine, without waiting for warm up. Very rare situation, but it happens sometimes when your bike is your only vehicle... So I've cranked the bike with choke fully open, shifted into 1st and start moving. Then, while moving slowly in 1st gear, I've pulled the clutch but released it immediately, which resulted in clunk, without even touching the throttle (opened choke raised the RPMs enough to cause it). Then I've tried to pull/release the clutch several times, invoking multiple clunks (sounded scary as hell ). Since then I'm testing, examining, searching and freaking out, so it isn't included that I'm imaging things


What do you think?
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  #2  
Old 12th October 2017
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Ehh, forgot to mention... I'm suspicious about loosed sprocket nut (sometimes referred wrongly as "compensator nut", cause THERE'S NO COMPENSATOR on evo sporties). But, as far as I've understood, if this nut become lose, there's pretty bad sound coming from tranny ALL THE TIME, especially in neutral. This isn't happening to me, my primary sounds perfect...
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Old 12th October 2017
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what you might be hearing is wind up. my 01 will do it on occasion and i consider it a normal occurrance since the gearing does have slack typical for spur gears.
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Old 13th October 2017
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Damn, that's mighty strange. I can't figure it out. Try PM'ing Wedge. http://xlforum.net/forums/member.php?u=58117 He's got lots of experience with these bikes. He might be able to help.
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Old 13th October 2017
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Hi Manda.

The primary chain adjustment is the first thing that came to mind for me too.

When you are just rolling through a parking lot in low gear, if you rock the throttle, does it clunk when you twist it from off to on and on to off? Not hard, just rattle the throttle back and forth and see if it is chain slop that is being quickly snapped into position. I notice this on mine downshifting into corners, and then I check for it as described to be sure.

Mine was loose recently, and when I adjusted by ear it was good, then I opened the inspection cover and checked that my adjustment was in the right range, and it was.

You can hold the chain up with a finger (engine not running ), and just a couple of degrees in rotation of that adjusting screw can be felt as you lightly press up on the chain. (Meaning that it doesn't take much to loosen the chain a whole lot (like 1/2 turn will take you from correct to extremely loose) I find that bottom of chain even with top of inspection window is about right when doing it this way. If you get it too tight, it will whine.

Also make sure your front belt sprocket isn't loose on the shaft.

If this doesn't get you to the problem, I think it's time to pull the primary cover and give it a good inspection in there.
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Old 14th October 2017
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Thanks a lot guys for answers. I'm sorry if my explanation sounded a bit confusing, I've tried to elaborate as good as possible. Today, I was riding and testing a lot and it seems that this clunk is the same one that Wedge described here:

Quote:
When you are just rolling through a parking lot in low gear, if you rock the throttle, does it clunk when you twist it from off to on and on to off? Not hard, just rattle the throttle back and forth and see if it is chain slop that is being quickly snapped into position. I notice this on mine downshifting into corners, and then I check for it as described to be sure.
I've also noticed that behavior when downshifting through the corners, but the easiest way to invoke it was to ride reeeally slow in 1st with minimum amount of throttle and to quickly press/release the clutch lever while twisting throttle just before every release. This will result in multiple snaps/clunks as I've described before.

There's also situation when you slow down in 2nd and its time to downshift (RPMs are really low and and bike lugs/jerks), but instead of downshifting, you twist the throttle and it snaps/clunks.

Anyway, it seems that this behavior is definitely caused by primary chain snapping into position at the moment crankshaft accelerates rotation (torque), since engine sprocket (front primary sprocket) is mounted directly on crankshaft (without compensator to soften the impact).

Since I've become a little bit obsessed to investigate this as much as possible I've tried two more sportsters today. One is 4 speed 1988 xl (converted from chain to belt) and the other one is 2003 XLH (exactly the same as mine, but a year younger). The XLH behaves absolutely the same as mine! Same bike, same behavior, but... An older 4 speed sporty, acted totally different! I wasn't able to invoke this snapping/clanking, no matter what I've tried! No matter how hard I twist the throttle at low RPMs, or quick release a clutch, it always pulls softly, like there's no primary chain impact at all! How is this possible? I'm suspicious that it might have something to do with 4-speed trans (I've heard that they are better then never 5-speed versions, but wasn't sure why).

Anyway, I don't worry that much any more, but I'm still curious if this clunk can be prevented or minimized somehow. I'll try to additionally adjust primary chain, as Wedge described, and also do a detail primary inspection. The other thing that crossed my mind today is that maybe self-adjusting primary chain tensioner might help reducing these impacts? Have some of you guys tried those? I was pretty interested in buying one, but then I've found a few people complaining about chain rubbing against the metal shoe holder...
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Old 14th October 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
what you might be hearing is wind up. my 01 will do it on occasion and i consider it a normal occurrance since the gearing does have slack typical for spur gears.
I'm sorry but I don't understand what does "wind up" means? Tried googling, but nothing found. Maybe I'm just a noob with these terms Can you please explain a little bit more further?
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Old 14th October 2017
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For what it's worth I've had a very similar experience - with the same noise you're describing - under pretty much the same circumstances. In my case though I've only heard it in 1st gear, heavy city traffic riding (also wear a full face and could hear through that), while feathering the clutch.

Bike was just in for 16,000 km service earlier this year, so pretty fresh primary, and primary chain and clutch are adjusted properly, and otherwise no issues. Given I didn't experience it at any other time, and haven't had any other issues with the primary/transmission, I've assumed it to be normal at this point.
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sorry, i forget diff areas say diff things for the same thing, hummm, did that sound right?

if it is the same thing i am talking about, i can reproduce it at will. the primary chain slap is a good call but not on mine. when you engage power to the tranny, all slack will be taken out in the direction of applied torque, but, suppose you release the torque even ever so slightly, now the engine is not applying torque, the motion of the motorcycle is. this torque will snatch back all the slack and if you apply engine power before the motion of the motorcycle is completed, the tranny will snatch back again.

when mine does it, sound comes from kickstand area or rear of tranny center of the swing arm.
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Old 14th October 2017
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
sorry, i forget diff areas say diff things for the same thing, hummm, did that sound right?

if it is the same thing i am talking about, i can reproduce it at will. the primary chain slap is a good call but not on mine. when you engage power to the tranny, all slack will be taken out in the direction of applied torque, but, suppose you release the torque even ever so slightly, now the engine is not applying torque, the motion of the motorcycle is. this torque will snatch back all the slack and if you apply engine power before the motion of the motorcycle is completed, the tranny will snatch back again.

when mine does it, sound comes from kickstand area or rear of tranny center of the swing arm.
Yeah, it seems we're talking about the same things Guess calling it simple would be "Switching the torque between engine sprocket and clutch sprocket", right? If so, it should be definitely considered normal but the mistery to me is that this chain slap can't be felt on 1988 xl with 4 speed, at least I wasn't able to invoke it, no matter how hard I tried. It always softens the impact somehow... Over-tighten primary chain maybe? It has a standard chain tensioner shoe, I know that for sure...
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