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Touring Models Road King, Road King Custom, Road King Classic, Road Glide, Street Glide, Electra Glide, Electra Glide Classic, and Electra Glide Ultra Classic bikes.
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  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Newbie ?, what is a compensator

very new to HDs. I see posts about people replacing failed compensators. What is a compensator and what does it do?
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:48 PM
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http://www.hdforums.com/forum/tourin...r-upgrade.html
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:02 PM
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Gearhead3,

Thanks for the response.
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Stayed stock for a week, now has Reinhart Slip-on Exhaust. Louder saves lives !!!!
USAF Retired (2003) / DoD Employee (2004) / Proud Dad of 3 military members (2004)
American Legion Rider, Post 26/101, Mt Home ID / Green Knight Military Motorcycle Rider, Chapter 30, Mt Home ID / Sunday Morning Rider
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:15 PM
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Your bike already has the most recent model Screamin Eagle compensator installed at the factory.

Most of the early failures, and it was not epidemic, were with stock compensators on models prior to 2011 due to weak spring design and inadequate energy absorption action. Some owners were having starter clutch and other starter issues as a result. Some would hear a "bang" at start-up. Lots of speculation on what the bang was from, but I believe the consensus was that it was starter gear and starter clutch related. Someone else might chime in with their experience.

Some will say their recently installed Scream'in Eagle compensator failed due to cam wear or due to the main compensator bolt backing out. There has been some concern about inadequate lubrication (primary fluid) reaching the splines between the crank shaft and the compensator assembly. Some have cut groves, but HD has since produced a later model of their compensator with existing lubrication groves and the kit also includes a very thin disk with lubrication groves to help with lube distribution toward the spline.

Not being a mechanic, I am out of my league trying to explain this, but the bottom line is that your 2012 should be fine. It's good to know about the past problems and what can happen, but don't let the compensator threads influence you into believing you have an issue with the compensator on your bike when you probably don't.

Enjoy your new bike.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:32 PM
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your 2012 model has compression release and the newer SE compensator, both of which takes care of the issues earlier bikes were having.
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:38 PM
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Understood that I should not be worried and hence I am not. I was just wondering what the compensator was and what it did. I am trying to learn the HD lingo. Thanks for the information.
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Stayed stock for a week, now has Reinhart Slip-on Exhaust. Louder saves lives !!!!
USAF Retired (2003) / DoD Employee (2004) / Proud Dad of 3 military members (2004)
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Old 04-04-2012, 08:53 PM
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I was hoping for an answer too. Not the history of compensators.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:08 PM
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Think of the 4 strokes involved with a 4 cycle engine. Starting with the power stroke, there is a large impulse of power to the crank shaft trying to speed it up. Without the compensator, that strong impulse would be immediately transferred into the drive line and would be felt by the rider. The compensator absorbs some of that energy and releases it after the power stroke. Then the engine "coasts through the exhaust stroke and the intake stroke with relatively little resistance from either process. Then comes the compression stroke and the rotation speed is abruptly slowed by the resistance of the building compression. That abrupt slowing would also be felt by the rider if the compensator didn't absorb some of that also. That puts us back to the next power stroke and the compensator feels and absorbs a reverse of force, during compression, the engine could be "pushed" by the momentum of the machine and the compensator loads in one direction, then after ignition occurs, the engine tries to speed up again and loads the compensator in the opposite direction. This vibration would be very unpleasant, but especially so on a long ride. Imagine putting in a 700 mile day holding on to a vibrating lawn mower handle and getting that buzz through your seat all day long. Not only does the compensator reduce the shock loads on all of the bearings and gears in the drive system, it contributes the comfort level we take for granted.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybob View Post
I was hoping for an answer too. Not the history of compensators.
You might try clicking on Gearheads link in his post.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowcountry Joe View Post
Not being a mechanic, I am out of my league trying to explain this, but the bottom line is that your 2012 should be fine. It's good to know about the past problems and what can happen, but don't let the compensator threads influence you into believing you have an issue with the compensator on your bike when you probably don't.
Actually Joe, I think you did a danged good job of explaining it, "not being a mechanic". I think you're pretty well informed, and I've learned from and enjoyed your posts.
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:59 PM
 
 
 
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