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Willing to show my ignorance, Compensator Upgrade

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Old 04-03-2012, 01:47 AM
brandss brandss is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 462
Default Willing to show my ignorance, Compensator Upgrade

Thanks to this forum, I have been doing upgrades I didn't even know I needed to do. The list is long; exhaust, speakers, radio, amp, windshield, grips, heated gear, etc. My latest two obsessions are shocks and replacing the compensator. I get the shocks, hit a bump, makes you uncomfortable, get $900 shocks to make me feel better. Ride longer, feel better, okay I get it.

What the heck does the compensator upgrade get me? What am I missing. I don't even know what the heck the compensator is but feeling like I need to replace, lol. Feel free to have fun at my expense. I can take it.
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Old 04-03-2012, 02:34 AM
Jeff W Jeff W is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Missouri
Posts: 2,312

F it, just ride it, no sense in spending money on that crap until its necessary, you might sell the bike or wear it out long before that thing goes. we got people in here that have to replace every freaking part on a bike before the rings ever get seated.

This explains it well from another older post. if you dont ride it real hard, i wouldnt worry about it really, if your in it all the time and ride it hard, you may want to step up to a stronger comp, just my very limited opinion.

Originally Posted by KBFXDLI View Post
The compensator sprocket dampens (reduces) torsional vibration created by the crankshaft so it is not transmitted through the drivetrain causing rider discomfort and premature component wear.

Patent definition: A shock-absorbing sprocket or gear assembly or like torsionally elastic device is described having resilient cushioning means interposed between mating lugs of the hub and rim to smooth and dampen torsional shocks and vibrations produced by a power drive train. An improved radial bearing surface is provided which maintains symmetry of the bearing load with respect to the drive, and which ensures concentricity between the hub and rim and keeps the rim from wobbling axially or orbiting radially with respect to the hub during operation. The cushioning means are configured relative to the hub and rim to accommodate angular displacements of at least 9°.[8D][/align][/align][/align]

Last edited by Jeff W; 04-03-2012 at 02:44 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:27 AM
Keithhu Keithhu is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 8,301

What year is your bike? 11-up have the SE compensator.

[edit] Just looked at your profile, 09 Street Glide - there have been problems, but again, not everyone, and as stated above, just ride it.

Most notable symptom is a pronounced bang on startup.


Compensator is on the left here:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by Keithhu; 04-03-2012 at 05:32 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 05:54 AM
mcw999 mcw999 is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 163

Had an '07 FLHTC. At around 70K miles the compensator began to make noise, and I had it replaced. If it fails, it will disintegrate and introduce metal fragments into the primary which is not good. The SE compensator is a more robust part. There is no performance advantage that i know of, it is just a failure avoidance action.
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:07 AM
JayStronghawk JayStronghawk is offline
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Wasn't concerned about my Comp until started banging on hot start up's at around 30K the last 21 K has been nice with smooth operation and Starts even after putting SE255 Cam's in at 40 K ... But if don't have any symptons don't worry about it ..
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Old 04-03-2012, 06:32 AM
DaveMK DaveMK is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
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BrandSS, Good question. I don't mind admitting I was wondering the same thing. Now... What is a strator. And what does it do? Kiethhu, Another picture would be great. Thanks
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:14 AM
Keithhu Keithhu is offline
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Location: SE Michigan
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Stator: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stator

Behind the compensator: http://www.google.com/search?q=harle...w=1440&bih=775

Stator repair series, 1 of 9, you will see the others on the right if you click on the link that takes you to the youtube page (vs watching it embedded here): [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXI5wZ4_PFU&feature=related[/url

Last edited by Keithhu; 04-03-2012 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:16 AM
Rickr01 Rickr01 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Vermont
Posts: 3,792

Seems to me there are more complaints about the SE compensator failing rather shortly after installation than the stock comp. If you are not having problems, or don't have a need to get into the primary, leave well enough alone.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:27 AM
shortride shortride is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: 46th State, USA
Posts: 6,932

My '09 Ultra Classic had a large bang at startup from the get go. Every time it started the compensator would sound like it was coming apart. Unfortunately it was not bad enough to be replaced under warranty naturally. Harley-Davidson's favorite line is, "if it ain't broke we can't fix it." Rather than get stranded AGAIN, I opted to have the compensator changed to a new SE compensator and it turned out to be the best money I've spent so far on the scoot. It has a much smoother start now so I guess peace of mind is worth something.

Last edited by shortride; 04-03-2012 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 04-03-2012, 07:59 AM
Nut08Ultra Nut08Ultra is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: PA
Posts: 358

HA... I was just going to post the same question cuz I saw another thread about it and I get a hard knock now and then. Didn't really think much of till I read alot of these posts. Not sure what I'll do, but at least I know what this is all about. Sometime I love forums for great info... other times I think it can cause paranoia or anger towards things. Its just trying to filter out what is good info and what really is someone who got a lemon and it really won't happen to the rest.
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2009, 2012, bearing, compensating, compensator, davidsons, ha, harley, hd, noise, se, sprocket, torsional, upgrade, vibration

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