What might cause this ticking noise?

Discussion in 'Touring Models' started by futurerider, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. futurerider

    futurerider Active Member

    Hello all,

    I hope you have a few ideas for me to try. I have developed a ticking or a tapping at certain speeds. It sounds like what I call a valve tap. It is definitely coming from the motor.

    I hear it in 1st gear, between 10 and 15 MPH, 2nd gear between 22 and 28 MPH, but it is most noticeable in 3rd gear, between 32 and 38 MPH (do not know the RPM - no tach). I do not hear it when it is under a load (acceleration or going up hill) and I do not notice it above or below these speeds, regardless of speed or load. I don't hear it in 4th, 5th or 6th gear, but I assume it is still doing it.

    I know very little about todays motors, fuel injection electronic ignition etc, but it reminds me of a vacuum leak on older cars that would mess with the vacuum advance pot on the distributer.

    It seemed to start after the stage 1 was done (March 2011, 7200 miles @ HD Dealer) although it was not very noticeable and I just figured it was always there or something was rattling, starting in March 2012 it seems to be getting louder and louder. I changed the oil and it went away for about 100 miles or so, but it is back again. I do not hear it until it is up to operating temperature.

    2009 Road King, 13,500 miles, 96 CI, stage 1, Vance & Hines Monster Oval slip ons, Screaming Eagle Race Tuner (remap) no fueler. Amsoil 20W50 full syn engine oil, Redline heavy duty Plus trans and formula+ in the primary, all levels are full, always Sunoco or Shell high octane gasoline.

  2. HDDon

    HDDon Experienced Member Contributor Retired Moderators

    Some of the experts will give you some advice on what to look for, but it sounds like you may have a lifter bleeding down. Do you have adjustable pushrods?
  3. futurerider

    futurerider Active Member

    Not sure if I have adjustable push rods or not, they would be whatever the bike came with, I never had them replaced.
  4. Bodeen

    Bodeen Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

    I'm thinking exhaust leak. Start the bike and take some gloves or towels and cover the ends of the exhaust outlets momentarily and listen for leaks. Could be a leak right at the exhaust/head connection. Check the torque on those nuts.
  5. Mongo1958

    Mongo1958 Junior Member

    I have an 09 Ultra. Well At least I did until I was hit by a Dolt in an SUV.
    It's in the shop waiting for the Insurance thing to take place.
    Anyway, you and I have the same 96 Ci power plant. I hear top end noise and cam noise as well. This is my first Harley so I could not tell you it is normal. However, my dealer tells me it is. I found a cure for it too. I turn up the radio a little louder. :taunt Just ride the bike and have fun.

  6. futurerider

    futurerider Active Member

    That is what I have been doing, problem is I have no radio, so I have to sing, I would rather listen to the tap tap tap :s
  7. futurerider

    futurerider Active Member

    I thought so too and I will look at that today, thanks.
  8. bonsi57

    bonsi57 Active Member

    Tighten the heat shield clamps when the bike is hot. I know it sounds dumb but it might help. It stopped the tapping sound on my bike.
  9. Jack Klarich

    Jack Klarich Guest

    Stop up the pipes one at a time with gloves on and folded card board, if you have a leak you will hear it whistle, torque the nuts to 10 ft lbs and check them once in a while they will back off some if your motor mounts are weak and exhaust brackets are not tight:s Check your heat shields for tightness and clearances also, they can rub and make a lot of noise
  10. Rod Stewart

    Rod Stewart Active Member

    The advice on checking the 1/2" exhaust flange nuts is good.
    I have had mine loosen up 2 or 3 times. This makes for leaks and odd noises, that will tunnel right up to your ear if you have a fairing or a windshield.
    On a recent check I found two that were finger tight.
    3 or 4 years ago I lost one nut entirely, and the others were loose.