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What are your thoughts on my 2500-3000 rpm weird sound?

  • I'm just being Paranoid and it is something normal.

    Votes: 6 50.0%
  • I might have a problem.

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • I should seek out other members to compare bike sounds.

    Votes: 4 33.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

I bought my 2004 VRSCA in June 2009 from a guy who took exquisite care of it. He put a SE slip-on exhaust, and he said he has never had any trouble with it. This bike is the only V-Rod I've ever ridden, and also the only one I've ever heard up close. Since the first day I rode it, it has made a weird sound that seems to only happen around 2500-3000 rpm, no matter what gear I am in and both in acceleration and deceleration. I can only describe it as sounding like an old Volkswagen beetle. It almost sounds "chirpy"? The sound is faintly there no matter what rpm it is in, but it is the loudest at about 2500-3000 rpm. Is this normal? I can't tell since this is the only v-rod I've ever heard.

Also, there is a faint "whistle" at about 2000 rpm and about 20 mph. It is very faint, but I can still here it. Am I being paranoid? Do they all sound like this? Or do I have a problem?

I've had 2 different HD dealers check it out and they said they didn't see any problems with it. They said a chirpy noise can sometimes be a loose belt, but they said the belt is fine. I asked both of them to take it for a ride and see what they thought, and they didn't say there was a problem. I also just had the 15,000 check up on it, and they didn't say there were any other problems with it either. My dad way back used to have a car that made a whistle noise around 55 mph, and I assumed it was the air intake or something that made it. Could this be what it is?

Thanks for any help guys!
 

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I just got a 2003 VRSCA and mine makes a strange 'clanging' type sound when I'm accelerating at half or more throttle and the rpm's pass about 3000. Makes more noise when I'm going slow, accelerating through about 35-45 MPH. I was told a loose belt would sound like a tinny ringing sound when it hit the guard. Like you, I was then told the belt was fine. Go figure.
My guess about your exhaust notes is you could have a slight exhaust leak at a flange.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had my exhaust checked 3 times, and they said that it's fine. Could it be air going through the intake?
 

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durata membro
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When I got my 03,I made fun of the exhaust and used to say that it sounded similar to an old Beatle.
You might be experiencing the same thing I was.
Complaints like the one you have here are hard to determine,over the internet,as far as if they are normal sounds,or abnormal noises.
It is also possible that you are not letting the engine breath as easy as it should be by not keeping the rpm's up on it.Try keeping the R's higher,or in a lower gear to see if this stops the noise.

Try cleaning the belt w soap and water.Then carry a small bottle of water with you and when the noise happens,pour the water over the cogs on the belt.If the noise is from the belt,the water usually makes the noise temporarily go away.

Next time the rear wheel is off,lube the cush drive w the lube Harley sells.Be careful using just anything on this and the belt because some chemicals will weaken them.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok. I'll have to try that. I'm hopefully going for a ride tomorrow, so maybe I'll put some water or Armor All on the belt. I hope it's just the belt. I think it sounds like under the air box, but I could be wrong. It has the Screamin Eagle pipes on it, but who knows. Thanks for the input!
 

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LEX MALLA LEX NULLA
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By any chance are you running with the airbox cover off? - what is referred to as running "topless". This makes the intake noise a little more pronounced.
 

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When I got my 03,I made fun of the exhaust and used to say that it sounded similar to an old Beatle.
You might be experiencing the same thing I was.
Complaints like the one you have here are hard to determine,over the internet,as far as if they are normal sounds,or an abnormal noises.
It is also possible that you are not letting the engine breath as easy as it should be by not keeping the rpm's up on it.Try keeping the R's higher,or in a lower gear to see if this stops the noise.

Try cleaning the belt w soap and water.Then carry a small bottle of water with you and when the noise happens,pour the water over the cogs on the belt.If the noise is from the belt,the water usually makes the noise temporarily go away.

Next time the rear wheel is off,lube the cush drive w the lube Harley sells.Be careful using just anything on this and the belt because some chemicals will weaken them.
The service manual says to lube the cush drive with a "Windex" window cleaner like lube.
 

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durata membro
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The service manual says to lube the cush drive with a "Windex" window cleaner like lube.
yea,I know,but that only lasts for a short while.Harley does sell a lube for the cush rubber.
I use a non petroleum based transmission assembly lube on mine.It's a soft paraffin that melts quick and doesn't clog solenoids.
Use a small amount so it doesn't sling the residual off and make a mess.
 

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Jarhead
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By any chance are you running with the airbox cover off? - what is referred to as running "topless". This makes the intake noise a little more pronounced.
:them: mine is chirpy also. I'll bet one of your previous owners first mod was the topless airbox.
 

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I agree that the 'chirping' 'bell ringing' sound could be from a dry cush drive. I'll try buying some lube from HD and giving it a try. I've got 13000 miles and I don't know if its ever been lubed. Can't hurt anyway.
Thanks for the suggestions!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hmmmm. Nope, never ran topeless before. I'll take the cover off and listen again. As far as the cush drive, is there a way to get to it without taking the wheel off to put some lube on it? Had I known this could be the noise, I would have had them lube it when I had my new tires put on a few months ago :banghead: Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate them!

On a side note, does anyone ever hear their heads tap once in awhile when running gas with ethanol in it? Finding gas stations without ethanol is getting harder by the month. I've been putting Sea Foam in it every once in a while, but when ethanol gas is in it, I can tell. So many people I talk to hate it and they're just as pissed as I am about it.
 

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durata membro
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Hmmmm. Nope, never ran topeless before. I'll take the cover off and listen again. As far as the cush drive, is there a way to get to it without taking the wheel off to put some lube on it? Had I known this could be the noise, I would have had them lube it when I had my new tires put on a few months ago :banghead: Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate them!

On a side note, does anyone ever hear their heads tap once in awhile when running gas with ethanol in it? Finding gas stations without ethanol is getting harder by the month. I've been putting Sea Foam in it every once in a while, but when ethanol gas is in it, I can tell. So many people I talk to hate it and they're just as pissed as I am about it.
Getting the type lube I'm talking about to saturate the cush rubber the way it should be while it is installed,is going to make a big mess.
Try the Windex that that Rusty brought up.

Make sure you have the correct spark plugs in the engine.Certain plugs cannot read the resistance,therefore rendering the Ion sensing useless.Ion sensing is part of the controls of ign timing to keep spark knock down.
I doubt that alcohol will cause any type spark noise because the octane rating is 100.Alcohol is used to enhance lower octane fuel.Other than contamination from water using alcohol in less than full stored tanks,another draw back is the BTU rating.It is appr 25% lower than gasoline,so the greatest draw back seen using ethanol is lower fuel economy.
One of the most over looked services on any gasoline powered engine is a top engine clean.A dirty combustion chamber could cause excessive valve lash,and some noise.Do a search on Top Engine Clean,and if you havn't already done a combustion chamber service,do this service and see if the noise goes away.
 

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ElrodontheVrod, you have an interesting take on the subject. Certainly the HD cush lube should be applied with the wheel off, so one can apply it directly and more effectively thereby using less. I've never heard of 'lubricating properties' of Windex, except when using it to install window film. I learn something new every day!
I have been in the business for 40 years and just like the Windex suggestion, I never heard of intelligent spark plugs that can "sense Ions". Can you suggest research and development papers that I could study for a better understanding of the electro-mechanical interaction that defines "sensing Ions" you refered to? As for engine pre-ignition, the systems I work on rely on what is commonly called a 'knock sensor'. Now, I'm new to this engine that HD has and have to admit that I am always eager to learn more about how brilliant engineers achieve new designs which improve the efficiency of our venerable internal combustion engines, so I am naturally curious to learn about how HD gets around the ECM (listening) to detonation, if not through a device similar to the widely used and reliable 'knock sensor'. Even engines that are so equipped, will audibly knock if combustion temperatures increase, as when an EGR system fails to recycle exhaust gasses, or when the fuel mixture becomes excessively lean, as in when HO2 sensors malfunction or even when the fuel used is of a more undefined octane. Remembering that the catalytic conversion which makes an O2 sensor work looks for CO and unburned fuel molecules to excite the platinum to make electicity. Could it be that it doesn't see Alcohol the same way as Gasoline? I don't know
Florida has a State mandate that requires all consumer gasoline to be blended with " ('up to') 10% Ethanol" (the 'at least' and 'up to' always bothered me). The freedom of the depot blenders to control the amount added to the fuel base before shipping, opens the door to questions of driveability of particular blends. One suggestion to determine the presence of and volume of Ethanol in gasoline you are about to pump into your tank is to do a simple lab test at the pump. Taking a measured cup (I prefer a capped oil sampling bottle with graduations), add a precise amount of water in advance (1oz), make a clear mark of the water level. Cap the bottle to carry and when you are to put fuel in the tank, uncap it and fill the bottle 2/3 full (to a mark you pre-determined to be the 'fill to' line) and cap it. Shake well and place on a flat surface (loosen cap). Allow the fuel and water to separate. Notice the difference in the water level after filling with gas. That difference indicates Ethanol. You can mark that difference and when you test again, say at a different pump or station, see if it is different. The more difference before and after equals the amount of Ethanol. And you are right that Ethanol does not provide the same thermal power as gasoline. But what I have learned is that systems using Ethanol are more suseptable to environmental influences, of which many can negatively affect the way a well designed powerplant performs. :blahblah:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Man am I learning a lot! :notworth: I'll have to do the water bottle test on the stations that I go to most. It's been raining a little today, so I'll probably take that ride tomorrow. I'll have to go topless and then soap & water my belt to see if it's that. Otherwise, I'll have them lube up the cush drive the next time it needs an inspection or work done to it (how important is it to keep the cush drive lubed?). I'm in grad school now and time is limited, and I know it takes time to take off my fixed saddle bags and then take the wheel off (in which I've never done on my bike before).

As far as ethanol is concerned, is there an additive that I can add to the crappy ethanol gas that would counteract the effects such as knocking, lower performance, and just plain runability? Would dry gas or octane boost help to counteract the effects?
 

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durata membro
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durata membro
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As far as ethanol is concerned, is there an additive that I can add to the crappy ethanol gas that would counteract the effects such as knocking, lower performance, and just plain runability? Would dry gas or octane boost help to counteract the effects?
Alcohol is 100octane and is not making your engine ping.
Do not buy octane booster.If you read the bottle,you will learn that it raises the rating by 1 or 2 points,meaning that if you are running a gasoline w a 90octane and you mix the booster as recommended,you will wind up w 90.1 octane,not 92.
 

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I don't make this shit up.This is how the system works.The old time method of trying to listen for a knock w a knock sensor probably wouldn't work well at all using a noisy engine like the Revolution.

I have a decent understanding of how most of this shit works through experience.

Here's a decent read on ion sensing. http://www.hdforums.com/forum/engine-related/8861-tc-ion-sensing-detection-explained.html
I tip my hat and bow to you sir!:notworth: It appears that I am still living in the 20th century! I understand the 'spike' that is referred to in the above (most informative and well written) article when a cylinder detonates. This spike can be seen on a lab scope or even older oscilliscopes. As I said before, I learn something new every day! Or as the old saying goes:
"When you're through learning...You're through!":lamer:
 
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