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Old 08-22-2011, 01:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Chirp sound from rear of Street Glide

Update 8/25/11: found the chirp...right side saddlebag/muffler bracket...rubber vibration dampening insert worked its way loose... about 1/2 way out of bracket exposing metal to metal causing chirp after pipies get hot! Dealer's going to crimp the bracket so rubber insert stays put!


I have a stock 2011 FLHX. I noticed a chirping sound coming from the rear of the bike soon after I bought it. I did some checking & found the tail light assembly was only hand tight. I tightened it down but it did not make the chirp stop. I did more looking & found the left (shift lever) side saddle bag bracket was broke at the weld & the metal to metal was causing the chirp. I had that replaced under warranty. Chirp is still there! I've been riding & trying to locate the source of the chirp so I am setting the cruise & twisiting & turning around looking... I noticed the left saddle bag, where the frnt pin connects to the wire/bracket was loose.. i tightened it as well... chirp still there. It seems like the bike has to get warm/hot before it starts but once it starts it even does it at lide at redlights. If I pull the front brake lever, you can hear it, if I release the front brake it sometimes stops indicating (to me) that the frequency of the vibration causes the sound. It is definitely not suspension related. I can hit bumps cpmressing the suspension & the chirp is not affected... it doesn't stop or start because of the bump. Same with engine speed (RPM).. doesn't affect chirp. It seems like once the bike warms up, the sound starts & stays. I had a friend riding next to me that could hear it at stop lights. We came home & I took off the seat, saddle bags & jacked the bike up on a lift but we could not find anything loose or recreate the sound. I've searched the forums & there are a lot of people having this issue... some say it's the motor mount, or the drive belt or the muffler hangers... I checked all & there doesn't seem to be anyting broken or loose. I called the dealer & the service guy has never heard of this. I am open to all suggestions....
Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by FLHT-Steve; 08-25-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If you havent done this yet, have someone sit on the bike after it starts the chirp and you try to locate it. While the chirp is present, I would remove one bag at a time and try to dial in on it...The muffler bracket under the saddle bag where the 2 small bolts thread into the muffler could be causing it. The flat metal bracket rubbing on the rubber. I would put a small amount of lube in this area if you cant locate it elsewhere...Good luck
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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the chirp comes & goes while at a stop. I notice that at a redlight, if I stand up off the seat & hold the front brake lever in, the chirp is there. I tried doing it in the driveway but the bike had cooled so there was no chirp. I tried riding without the saddlebags on & no chirp..but the bike had cooled a bit. I grabbed the pipes with a towel when the engine was running & nothing is loose..no chirp... I called Harley & they say they've never heard of this... i did a Google search & there is a ton of hits on Harley Chirp!
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
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As stated above, my bet is the muffler brackets at rear have a wiggle, not uncommon. I have put a zip tie on the inside to shim it.
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Old 08-22-2011, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Try spraying silicone lube on the muffler bearings and re-torquing the exhaust clamps. Sometimes a binding bearing will expose a loose slip-joint. A friend's Dyna actually scrubbed away half the slip-joint on his muffler due to a loose clamp.

Last edited by xlcr1000; 08-22-2011 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xlcr1000 View Post
Try spraying silicone lube on the muffler bearings and re-torquing the exhaust clamps. Sometimes a binding bearing will expose a loose slip-joint. A friend's Dyna actually scrubbed away half the slip-joint on his muffler due to a loose clamp.
Try a shot of lube on the rubber mount "bushing" that supports the rear of the muffler. I shoot mine once or twice a year.
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks for all of the suggestions...I've been trying to locate/eliminate all possible sources/causes of the chirp...

I was hoping someone had a definitive answer as there seems to be a bunch of bikes that have the exact same issue. I can't see it coming from a variety of sources...primary belt, motor mount, muffler brackets, etc...I'm guessing there is 1 cause for all of instances....

I'm focusing on the mufflers because it seems that once the bike heats up, I hear it. I'm leaning towards the crossover clamp under the motor... looks like a lot of play in there that would allow the crossover to move once hot...

the sound is definitely metal against metal....

thanks for the ideas just the same. I am replacing the headers with ceramic coated fuel moto (no cat's) next week & having the dealer install them + SEST + SE AF. I will make sure they hear the sound when I bring it in.. get the wrench to ride the bike... I'm hoping I'm right & they can make it stop.. it really drives me crazy hearing it..
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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...it's all right man, you've got a bird into your saddlebags.........
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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yeah...I've been waiting for a comment like that... thanks for not making me wait....
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Old 08-22-2011, 03:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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yeah...I've been waiting for a comment like that... thanks for not making me wait....
....running out of sense of humor...ehm !!

cheers...
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Old 08-22-2011, 04:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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that is my sense of humor....

you know... like George Thorogood said..."everybody funny.. now you funny too"
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Like the 4 other people said, it's the rubber mount on the mufflers, mine did the same, I put a bit of silicone grease on 'em and it's all good. No birds, no chirps.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:53 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I had a chirp coming from my bike as well. After some hunting I fou d that the baffle in the muffler was coming loose and making the chirping sound. I heard it's common with the Rhineharts true duals.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:21 PM   #14 (permalink)
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My Fat Cat Quiet Baffle Chirps.

If I take a wadded up rag in my hand and partially obstruct the exhaust with the engine running, the chirping completely stops.

My conclusion is that Harley Twin Cam Engines and drivetrains make so many different sounds that you could drive yourself crazy trying chase them and figure them out. Some of the sounds indicate a problem but most don't and one can easily tell the difference. I quit worrying about extraneous sounds coming from my bikes and just ride them.

I am happy to say that nothing has broken down or exploded in many years of riding!
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:53 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Check the heat shields on the exhaust pipes, the exhaust does lots of expanding and contracting. I have had silicone grease around for ever, a thin smear on those muffler hangars, saddle bag grommets and washers for the dzus fasteners, and the rubber cushions on the bottom of the saddle bags. If lubing the face that touches the support tube doesn't do it, then they may need the face against the saddlebag bottom lubed. After that, you get into the exhaust pipe joints themselves. Then there is the pipes joint at the cylinders. My RK has a bracket for the header pipe for the rear cylinder no more than about 6 inches from the cylinder, that one is easy to overlook for checking tightness. Or get louder pipes. The saddle bag support tubes at both ends could be the source, also the bracket that connects the rear ends of the saddlebag tubes and runs through the inside of the rear fender. I had to put a smear of grease on the top mounts of the rear crash bars. Going all over the machine hitting things with the heel of your hand or gently with a rubber hammer will help you pin down the chirps and rattles.

Last edited by btsom; 08-22-2011 at 08:59 PM.
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