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I recently purchased a 2006 Sportster 1200 Low and have began to notice a sort of tick or knock in the engine. I can't exactly pinpoint the location, and I know little about motorcycle mechanics (but am eager to learn). I'm somewhat familiar with the concept of an internal combustion engine, but really just know how to work on my truck from teaching myself simple things such as fluid changes, electrical, shocks, break pads, etc.

It seems to coincide with RPMs in that the speed of the knocking will increase and decrease with throttle. At first I wasn't concerned because the bike is flawless and has been well taken care of, routinely maintenanced with genuine HD parts, starts right up and drives beautifully. But the more I ride, the more I hear it and the more alarming it becomes, primarily due to the fact that I can hear it over the exhaust. Also, while it is idling and I am off the bike, the sound really overpowers the exhaust even at a distance. I don't know how many other people hear it or pay attention to it, but seeing as how I just spend $4500 on it, it is really starting to bother me.

The last thing I want to do is take it to the dealership, but at the same time I don't want to blindly start tearing it down either. As I said, I am not a mechanic. However, I am a mechanical engineering student and by nature, I am able to figure most things out through observation, research, and trial and error. In this case, I'd like to do as little of the latter as possible.

Hopefully someone can give me some insight as to the severity of the problem and/or possible solutions. Thanks!!!
 

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I'd suggest taking it to a shop, dealer or otherwise. The last thing you want to do is destroy the engine while you learn motorcycle mechanics. Better to learn simple things first.
 

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If you are set on doing it you're self, maybe take it in to shop and pay a few bucks to get it diagnosed first. It's hard for us on the forum to diagnose noise issues without being able to hear it,


Sent from Motorcycle.com App
 

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A failing lifter could sound like that.

You can use a long screw driver like a stethoscope to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. Put the handle to your ear and touch the blade to where you think the noise is coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you everyone. I will have it looked at before I do anything myself. I don't mind spending a little money, key word being a little, but it's more of a pride thing than anything that I do it myself. Anyways, Thanks again for all the responses and advice!
 

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Thank you everyone. I will have it looked at before I do anything myself. I don't mind spending a little money, key word being a little, but it's more of a pride thing than anything that I do it myself. Anyways, Thanks again for all the responses and advice!
Hey guy...before paying a dealer to tell you whats up.....Ask a few guys to ( LISTEN TO IT ) that have harleys..like sportsters and bobbers ect... most of us work on our own bikes... if you ask five guys ..three of them will probably be able to tell you where the knock is coming from.
 

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Sorry to bring this post up again but I have had a tick since I bought this a couple months ago. From my understanding There is No adjustments that can be made on the newer type engines mine being a 1993 883 XLH Hugger. Worn parts need to be replaced. I also gathered that these type engines rarely wear if proper maintenance is done on them. Hear is why I'm posting. Riding the other day it occurred to me that my Gas cap is the type that click when spun tightly after fueling it. The issue is the stem seals fine and the cap itself jiggles. At a certain speed it starts to rattle sounding just like the lifters ticking. There is a metal ring under the inside of the cap that wears. I am going to try to peen it so that it stays tight but not enough to stop it from spinning. Then I,ll test it later on today as I had to tighten the Bars. Gees I was riding it and they where barely tightened. The guy told me he replaced the bars so I checked everything but that. Scary. Running good here. I hope this helps and maybe saves you time and money on something so simple Update : It indeed is the Gas cap on mine. Held it down when cruising and no noise. I have since took a pair of Channel locks held upside down and crimped all the way around the inner metal retaining ring and made it tight again. The rattling was too irritating. I prefer to hear the sewing machine sound instead. Of course a new cap would also be the best fix.
 

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