"And this one is just right" ~ Goldilocks
Aug 13, 2017
Black Mountain, NC 28711 USA
'11 Rocket III Roadster
I hesitate to start a new thread on this. I've searched the archives and have found a few bits of information, but I really could use some feedback.

Background: I completed a valve adjustment- just one intake out of spec (too loose) that came in perfectly right in the middle after a shim replacement. Before pulling the cams I went ahead and ditched the stock air snorkel and installed K&Ns. I also plugged the vacuum lines on the throttle bodies, removed the secondaries, and changed the plugs.

I was concerned about whether or not I'd be bothered by the "chirping" I'd read so much about with the K&Ns. It turns out that is nothing compared to what must be intake valve clatter I am hearing- it sounds like I have a woodpecker behind the bear claw. At first I was concerned that I must have done something wrong reinstalling the cam, but I did search the archives and found a few other people mention it. But, it is the "chirping" that seems to be the sound that most people are focused on. Really? I'm wondering if you guys are just ignoring this valve noise as normal, to be expected, or if I've somehow manged to mess something up.

If I had just removed the stock air system and installed the K&Ns and heard this new sound I would not be concerned, but having gone inside, I'm now a bit paranoid the K&Ns aren't the explanation for this new sound.

I've taken the bike on an over nighter and ridden around enough to have gone through a couple of tanks of gas. I've gone from, "what the @*(&% is that noise," to convincing myself that it's OK (based on those few mentions from other posters), to now back again wondering if this is really normal.

I have to say that after making all of the changes the bike has never run better (not even close) and pulls like a frigg'n freight train- that has reinforced the voice in my head saying that it must be OK and to just open her up, ignore the "pecking," and enjoy.

So, what say ye, merry men? It sounds like a Pileated Woodpecker going to town under the claw. Is that what you guys hear, or am I just trashing my motor?

2011 Roadster

Many thanks- Blake

Rocket Scientist

Grand Exulted Poobah
Sep 27, 2009
Spring Lake, Michigan
Black 05' Rocket III standard
I curious, you "plugged the vacuum lines on the throttle bodies" ? Also did you set the secondaries to 100% open in all tables with tuneecu / tuneboy ? I don't know what happens if you just take them out, with out setting them to full open in the ECU.


Living Legend
Apr 29, 2017
2006 classic
Best fix is louder pipes and ear plugs, in that order!

Remember most of the folks on the forum are hard of hearing from riding Old Harley Davidson bikes with straight through pipes.

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