Question about 2005 Harley Davidson XL 883L Sportster

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Clank I recently "upgraded" from a Kawasaki Ninja 250 (which was what I spent about a year learning to ride on and refused to take on the interstate!) to a 2007 Sportster 883L. The day after I purchased it, the hubby and I headed for a weekender and I found myself on the "tail of the dragon" at Deal's Gap, NC. I am proud to say that I survived that trip without a hitch - my Sporty and I are getting along great. However, shortly after that trip, I took it back to the dealership to have an engine guard and windshield installed. Since then, I have mostly ridden around town, back and forth to work and such. The problem is, since having those items added,t I have noticed that if I hit a bump, there is an audible CLANK coming from the front end, and the impact jars my teeth! Does anybody have any idea what might be causing that CLANK? I did buy the bike gently used (it only had 1100 miles on it) - it can't possibly be that the front shocks are shot, can it?? Could the engine guard or the (removable) windshield be causing this? The worst part is that it has me spooked - I am not sure if this is common with Sportsters and perhaps I didn't notice it on the road trip because I was on such a high from being on my new bike, or if there is something wrong, so I have been a little more timid riding it, which my hubby says is not a safe way to ride. Also, one more question: since I bought it used, I have no owner's manual. How do I tell what kind of seat I have? All I know is that it is a two up seat with a backrest. If I considered changing it out for one more comfy for long rides, or one that might fit me a little better (I am only 5'2 - and this bike seems to fit pretty well!), I don't know what I have to compare to what my options might be.

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Last question first. The Owner's Manual probably would not tell you what the seat is even if it was the original OEM seat. If you get the HD Factory Service Manual (you should have this for any maintenance you do) AND the HD Parts manual for your bike, that might tell you the HD part number for the seat. Of course, you can go into the Dealership and ask them to look that up in the book and give you the part number. Then, remove the seat and look at the bottom of it to see if you can find that number. Even if it is not there, it still might be that part number. At least you have some info. On the CLANK - straddle the bike with your feet on the ground, and put your hands on the grips. Hold the front brake lever so the wheel will not turn, and vigorously rock the bike forward and backward (be rough) so that you get the front fork sliders to recipricate well. Do you hear the noise you are worried about? When they installed the windshield, did they secure everything they should have? Wander around the front of the bike and wobble everything "new" to see if everything is secure. You may come across the culprit this way. By the way, what is the "engine guard"? Is this a highway bar or crash bars? Or is it some sort of cover on the engine somewhere? Whatever this is, grab hold of it and see if you can wiggle it around. Hopefully some of this has helped figure out what is loose and making the noise you hear. If not, carry the bike back to the Dealership that installed all the stuff and tell them about it. Pay very close attention to EXACTLY what makes the sound so you can tell the Service Manager. I would ask to talk to that person rather than the trainees at the counter.

Posted on Nov 20, 2008

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