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  1. #1
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    Default Help! Whining type noise that stops between 5 & 10mph

    I have a '95 Sportster with 26,000 miles, that runs excellent, but just started making a whining and whirling type noise, that sounds like it's coming from the front of the bike. My bike is loud and I can't hear it until I start slowing down, then it stops once I get between 5 & 10mph. There's no play in the front wheel bearings, I thought that's what it was but I haven't taken the front wheel off yet and inspected anything, so I'm still hoping that's what it is and nothing too serious. It doesn't make the noise at idle. I can only hear when I'm slowing down. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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    Get louder pipes

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    Does it sound like this? I have a 95 as well and it just started doing this. People were pointing me toward the throw out bearing even though I feel like it's under/infront of the tank. THe noise starts at around 7/8 seconds in. I put the clutch in I think to hear it better (it's not kahn).


  4. #4

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    I had a similar situation with a Speedo Drive Unit/Cable at one time, but I don't remember how the '95 sportster is driven.

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    I thoughtt about that too. I'll look at that this weekend. The Tach is electronic I believe so that wouldn't be it. My vulcan had the speedo cable which would get loud and you'd have to oil that shit.

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    Yeah goofy, it sounds just like that. It doesn't do it while idling. It starts making that noise about as soon as It starts moving in 1st gear and so on thru the gears, then it stops once I get under 10mph. It just started all of the sudden yesterday about 100 miles into a ride. I've only got 1,000 miles on fresh oil primary oil change. I ride it about 2 miles today and it sounds like it's coming from the primary. Have you checked and ruled out anything on yours yet?

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    The 95 was the first year of the electronic speedo. I've came across a lot of different possibilities, so I'm gonna start with checking primary chain and go from there I guess. Thanks for the idea. If you think of anything else, feel free to comment.

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    Will do. Going to dive into mine this weekend. Let me know what you find. Mine definitly louder when I let off the gas and let the gears/clutch slow me down. Like a trucker letting off the gas.

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    Ok will do. I'm also going to try to do this weekend, but I have a 3 year old and 18 month old, so it's hard telling when I can find the time. My pipes are so loud that I can only hear it when I first take off and then when I'm completely off the throttle and slowing down. But I'm puzzled as to why it stops making the noise as soon as I'm under 10mph? It just started all of the sudden yesterday while riding about 20mph. Hopefully it's nothing too serious because I don't have much free time to fix it.

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    I know you say it sounds like it's coming from the front, but could it be an over tightened primary chain? If you're idling, will it make the noise of you rev the engine? That's what it sounds like to me.

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    It doesn't make the noise at all while idling or if I Rev it up. It doesn't start making the noise until I put it in 1st gear and take off. Then the noise starts almost immediately after take off. I checked the primary chain today and there's 1/4"+ movement in the chain. I drained the Harley primary oil that was in it and replaced it with Redline gear oil just now and I'm going to ride it in the morning to see if the noise is still there or not. I only had 1,000 miles with the Harley primary oil in it.

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    Well I just rode it around the block and it's STILL making that whining, howling, squeling noise. I'll wait to hear from goofy to see if he has any luck fixing his.

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    Well I went to my small local motorcycle shop and the mechanic there Said to change the back brake pads because I didn't have any pads left so I changed the back brake pads and it is still making the noise. He also told me while I was riding down the road to hold the clutch in and turn the bike off, so I did that and it's still making the noise while the motor is shut off and the clutch engaged so now I'm about positive that its not coming from anything in the motor or tranny. The shop is closed until Tuesday and I don't want to start tearing into the bike because I don't even know where to begin.

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    I didn't get to it this weekend but I will this week. Again mine will so it in all gears but now seems to be worse when decelerating or when the gear is too high and it's kinda struggling or in that zero need for torque range. I saw a video of a guy wiggling his throw out bearing and it was loose and felt grindy. I'm hoping that's what it is. I changed my primary oil a week or so ago so that's not it and my chain has 1/2 inch or less play in it.

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    That video you posted confused me, it sounds like a big twin with an open primary--clutch sounds normal to me. Both these sound like throwout bearings.

    Find any glitter in the primary oil? If the throwout bearing fails you'll have a little. Pull the derby cover and wiggle the clutch adjustment bolt, if you've got a lot of end play the bearing's failed. Really common if your clutch isn't adjusted to factory. All you need to do is tear the clutch down to the bearing assembly; then get a pair of snap ring pliers and a dentist pick to pull the snap ring. find someone to pop out and press a new bearing in. I forget the bearing number, but google around for the standard bearing replacement if you don't have an HD dealer in town. I ran over to Applied Tech and got one for four or five dollars. Be sure to adjust the clutch back to factory spec.

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    Will the throw out bearing still make the noise if the bike is turned off, it's in neutral and rolling down a hill? I did this yesterday with my bike off and in neutral and it still made the noise. I'm thinking it may be my belt making the noise. It doesn't look to bad, but it's 20 years old and maybe it's time for a new belt and sprockets?? There was a small amount of metal on the drain plug magnet in my primary when I changed it, but nothing out of the norm. Seaking, I will check what you said to be safe, but like I said earlier, will it still make the noise when the bike is off and in neutral if it's the throwout bearing? I don't have a motorcycle jack yet or I'd jack it up and see if I could pin point if it was the belt or not? I've had 2 different people tell me it sounds like it's coming from the rear of the bike.

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    OK I took off the primary cover and replaced a perfectly good throwout bearing. I replaced the primary oil and adjusted the primary chain. It's none of those things. Clutch feels better after adjusting for sure but it's not the source of the problem. Going to replace the rear pads since I have had them sitting on my shelf forever and i'm going to check the secondary belt and tension there.

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    i replaced the rear pads, nothing. Removed the chrome and the plastic belt guard, squat. I am beginning to think it does have something to do with the secondary drive under that cover where the secondary forward sprocket is. But it is just as you say, below 10mph, bam the noise turns off. So I was thinking, the belts on these bikes have a tendency to ride out to the right and up against the pulley, almost as if it were going to run off the pulley. I did get new tires and I put them on myself and aligned everything. maybe the alignment is off just a hair. May try that next.

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    Mine just started doing this recently too. Do you get a weird vibration with the noise in the clutch lever? Checked my throwout bearing and seems to be ok. Pulled the primary cover today and didnt see any flakes or pieces of metal in there, but going to pull out the clutch pack tomorrow and check the spring plate.

  20. #20
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    No vibration in the clutch at all (hell on a frame mount how can you tell!). Here is the sound again. At 10 mph it stops. I'm leaning more toward the belt doing something.


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