Cam Tensioner and compensator questions

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by mi2az, Jun 26, 2011.

  1. mi2az

    mi2az Member

    I have a 2011 RK with 10K miles on it and I have a few questions. Also did the 10K service myself. Only thing left I need to do is Adjust the clutch, inspect the brakes and grease the pivot points.

    I hear 0n this forum about Compensator and Cam Tension issues. Those issues occurred on older bikes.

    Mine having automated self-adjusting Tension, Is the failure of those just as likely to occur to newer bikes as well as later model years ?

    Compensator question, in 2010, did Harley start using the SE compensator or are all models using the one's prone to failure.

    At my 15K, I was going to do the inspection of the tensioners, I don't want to dump the oil I just put in a few days ago. I hear these stories of people just happen to look at the tensioner and they were ready to fragment.
  2. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

    I think you're confusing the older cam chain tensioners with the self adjusting primary chain adjuster. Your bike has the hydraulic cam chain tensioners and you shouldn't have any problem with those.
  3. mi2az

    mi2az Member


    Yep, your right, I am confused as to which years have the issues. So Cam Tensioners are not my year of bike problem. How about the Compensator ?

    Do those effect 2011's ?
  4. glazier

    glazier Junior Member

    I can't answer about the compensators. I'll leave that to the experts. The cam chain tensioners were a problem on '99-'06 bikes. They were upgraded from spring tensioners to hydraulic in '07, except the Dynas which were upgraded in '06 as the test model. Mine is a 2000 and I just recently upgraded. If you've got a 2011 RK, I wouldn't worry about anything. It's all under warranty anyway. Just ride it and enjoy.
  5. craig Lee

    craig Lee Active Member

    I'm pretty sure you have the SE Compensator on the 2011. Had mine installed on my '08 and the best mod I've done.

    BUBBIE Well-Known Member


    The compensator SE is in the newer 2011 touring bikes..

    The problem still NOT addressed by HD is the Fretting Problem that DOES exist using the SE compensator...

    Fretting (dry rust) is caused by NO oil allowed in-between the Pressured Washers (friction points) and shows up on all bikes using SE comps. but Smitty's:D

    Many BUILDERS (big boy type professionals and Racers) have played with the problem and have developed a little upgrade done them selves to make the SE work better...(get some lube inside)

    Geezer for one has ground in Oil Grooves on the Boss faces to allow oil to penetrate into this Dry area and this seems to be working on his..

    Oil and SE comp. is a subject that is in many of the postings I have read,,,,
    HD's Formula + being the one ""that seemed"" to work the best.... If I install a SE comp., I would use that lube in the primary, along with the grooves...

    Not trying to start another SE comp debate here but just to inform you of the existing problems with the SE comp.

    If you look how the SE is built, you will notice No lube can get into the unit. and IF you take it apart and lube it, Centrifugal force will remove oil/grease in a short time..

    That said, go read about them and Yes the 11's have the se in them..

    I'm Not having any problems with the stock one in my 09 FLHR and have 23,000 miles on it, and it is SOUPed up a bit. using MTL from Redline in the primary...