Question about 1993 Harley Davidson FXR Super Glide

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Knock when starting up FXDC Super Glyde Custom

I own a 2009 model FXDC Super Glyde Custom which has an annoying knock on start up. HD tell me its normal, but I have not heard other Harleys doing the same. It only happens when starting, it runs fine otherwise.

Any suggestions would be welcome

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  • stevelanehol Jul 30, 2010

    Hi, many thanks for your response, Ihe knock seems to occur after it engages the ring gear but at the point the ignition first fires. I may be wrong but it seems to me as though when the engine fires there is a metallic contact somewhere down the left side of the engine

    Harley suggested it was normal for this bike and nothing to worry about

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What you are hearing is the compensator sprocket bottoming out upon start-up. Inside your primary there is a dampening device before power is ransfered to the clutch. It is designed to give you a smoother power delivery when you let out the clutch. So its not so "grabby". Ever since 2006 when H-D first introduced the cruize dive this has been a common complaint. In truth, this noise on start-up IS normal. Higher octne fuel will not help in any way.It will only cost more.

Posted on Nov 29, 2010

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I see where someone else has suggested the use of higher octane fuel. This could be a factor if you're running regular grade fuel. I've seen people run the medium grade stuff with no trouble. I always run the high test fuel and I've never had a problem.

It sounds like the same old problem Harley had with the old Shovelheads. What is happening is that the ignition system is trying to fire the engine on the first upstroke of the pistons. The piston moves up and "Bang", the ignition fires. When this happens, the engine tries to turn backwards against the starter and it makes a terrible noise. Some aftermarket ignition units allow the engine to turn over three revolutions before the plugs start firing. This gives those big flywheels time to get turning and you don't have that "starter kickback".

If you allow this to continue, I'm afraid you are going to wind up replacing the ring gear on your outer clutch hub and your starter jackshaft gear. If the bike were mine, I'd take it to a dealer and have them check the ignition timing. Take it to a different dealer this time. Evidently the other dealer has made up his mind on your bike and you're not going to get any cooperation out of him. If you don't get any satisfaction that way, ask to speak to the regional service representative or somebody like that. I'm sure they've got one that comes around from time to time. Hell, call the factory and talk to someone there.

I'd also have them look in the primary for damage that may have already occurred. I'm going to say that this problem is not "normal" but then I'm unable to actually hear what you're talking about. I usually judge noises like this. If it's loud enough to cause bystanders to turn their heads when it happens, it probably not normal.

I hope this helps

Good Luck
Steve

Posted on Jul 30, 2010

Testimonial: "From the little research I have done I am sure you are right, I am grateful for your help, I guess the bike is on its way back to HD! Thanks again"

  • wd4ity
    wd4ity Nov 30, 2010

    I see where someone said something about a "cruize dive" compensator sprocket. Now, Harley has used a compensator sprocket ever since the Panhead engine. True it is designed to absorb "power pulses" of the engine and smooth out the power delivery. Since my experience is limited to the Evo and earlier engines, I have to admit that Harley may have changed something in the primary but I can't imagine why. They have not had any problems with the compensator sprocket assembly that I know of.

    Still, I'll stick by part of my advice. That is to take it to another dealer and ask them about it. Like getting a second opinion when talking to doctors. I've heard a lot of Twin Cams start up and I've never heard a noise like that but then it's like I said, If the noise is loud enough to get other people's attention, something is wrong. I've never heard one that loud. Take it to another dealer and get that second opinion. If he says it's normal, ride safe.

    Good luck
    Steve

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Higher octaine

Posted on Jul 29, 2010

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