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  • Sportster noise

    I bought a 97 883 with 17k on it. After riding it for about 1k miles I started noticing this squealing sound coming from the primary. It is getting louder and now it’s ridiculous. It happens while moving on deceleration. Give it throttle it stops. Seems to go along with the speed of the bike, not the motor. I checked everything and adjusted everything. Everything is to spec and works properly. Just a crazy loud noise when I let off the throttle. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Does clutch use affect the noise?

    Rigid_EVO Clutch squeal ? Bad throwout bearing ? Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive

    Everything is to spec and works properly.
    'Everything" is too general a term. Always list items checked.


    • #3
      Symptoms point to the primary chain and primary chain shoe. Did you adjust the chain? Pull the primary cover and look at the chain shoe? Is the primary/ transmission oil level correct?

      Some work to be done.



      • #4
        Note the primary cover pull needs a gasket and seal kit (not expensive) and that this is a very good time to inspect your starter motor's solenoid contacts (cheap) or just opportunistically replace them if worn since the two Allen head bolts holding the starter are inside the primary cover. The solenoid end cover screws only take a few minutes to pull to inspect the contacts and this is also a good time to install a pushbutton solenoid end cover which all my bikes with Denso starters get (about 20 bucks).

        The parts were in my Amazon history (I've a '97 stroker and other Sporties) so here ya go but do what I do and search prices fresh each time since prices sometimes drop:

        Five pack starter motor gaskets is so cheap I couldn't see buying just one. I wipe with oil for easy future removal because the location sucks for scraping:

        Cometic Gasket Starter Motor Gaskets (10pk) C9312

        James Gasket - 34955-89-K - Primary Gasket, Seal and O-Ring Kit

        Good contact kit style with all the seals. Kits are all cheap (or you're being ripped off). You want this style. Dielectric grease (any auto store, get the big tube) on the terminal stud threads and anywhere else ya want to exclude moisture is wise. Some on the seal of whatever pushbutton end cover ya use makes pushbutton slide smoothly:

        Last edited by farmall; 06-22-2022, 2:01 PM.


        • #5
          found this:

          "I have a 96 1200 sportster that was making a wining noise from the right side in all gears but 5th on decelleration, it was driving me nuts..I tore into the primary side to find nothing wrong...a few days later I got in there again and decided to remove the transmission. 5th gear has 3 bearings 2 sets of needle bearings on inside of shaft and a big bearing in the case.
          well about 100 bucks later and 3 new bearings the noise is gone.
          I believe it was 1 of the needle bearings as on inspecting them 1 just diddnt seem to be as smooth as the other one.
          the trans mainshaft slides thru the 5th gear and rides on the needle bearings and turns at a different speed when in any gear but 5th if this makes sense..
          anyway my mystry noise is gone."

          Thread: Does your transmission whine when you let off the gas?
          [Archive] Does your transmission whine when you let off the gas? Sportster Motorcycle Transmission, Clutch, Primary & Secondary Drive

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          • #6
            Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply back about this. I figured out the big thin nut that holds the front belt pulley on the transmission shaft was completely loose. Allowing the pulley to deflect under load and the belt to squeak. Tightened her down, blue loc tite. Lock tabs whole nine yards. She good now


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