Question about 2001 Harley Davidson FLSTC - FLSTCI Heritage Classic

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Once in a while when starting the bike I get a lound grinding noise and obviously it wont start have to wait a while and then it may do it again or it may start. The noise is very lound

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This problem is not as common on the Evolution and later engines as it was on the old Shovelhead engines. What causes the problem is the engine trying to start and "kicking back" against the starter. This will cause the starter drive to disengage with the starter ring gear on the clutch while it's trying to turn the engine. The noise is frightening and sounds like something tearing itself apart in the primary.

Like I said, the Evo and later engines don't do this as badly as the earlier Shovelhead engines did. Usually, the stock ignition system has to wait until a few revolutins of the engine occurs before the plugs start to spark. That's the purpose of the compression sensor on the Twin Cam engines.

Now, since you didn't tell me exactly what year model bike or ignition system your running, I'll generalize my answer. If you're still running the stock ignition, I'd check the timing on the engine and make sure it is not set too high. If you have an aftermarket ignition system, check the timing on it as well and if it is equpped with an "electric start / kick start" switch, make sure it's in the "electric start" position. This would probably only be revelent if you're riding a Shovelhead.

Like aaid earlier, this does happen from time to time but if it's happening too often, check the ignition system on your bike. Good Luck, Steve

Posted on Apr 25, 2010

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