man o war compensator noise

Man O War Compensator Noise – Tackling Sound Issues on Your Harley Davidson

As enthusiasts, we’ve all experienced the various quirks and idiosyncrasies that come with owning a Harley Davidson. One such quirk to consider is the Man O War compensator noise that can comes from the aftermarket compensator.

A compensator is a crucial component in the drivetrain of our Harleys, as it helps absorb shock and reduce wear on the engine and transmission. So, let’s delve into the topic of the Man O War compensator noise and how it relates to our beloved Harleys.

We recently came across some Harley Davidson owners discussing the Dark Horse Man O-War compensator, and it piqued our curiosity. The Man O-War compensator is a popular aftermarket replacement for the stock Harley compensator, boasting advantages like improved durability and re-buildability.

However, some riders have reported a slight noise coming from the primary when using this component, which leads us to question whether this should be a concern or if it’s just a characteristic we can attribute to the product’s design.

Throughout our research, we learned that the Man O-War compensator has a reputation for being a reliable and hardy part, but also noted the occasional rider mentioning the faint Man O War compensator noise emanating from the primary. We understand this could be a minor issue for some, but it’s essential to weigh the potential benefits against this minor drawback while making an informed decision for our Harleys’ well-being. Stick with us as we dive deeper into the topic and explore various aspects surrounding the Man O-War compensator noise.

Man O War Compensator Noise Explained

As we dive into the world of Harley Davidson motorcycles, we should pay attention to a specific component called the Man O War compensator. This essential piece helps to balance the engine’s torque output and improve the overall performance of these powerful machines. Nevertheless, some riders have reported a slight noise coming from the primary when using Man O War compensators.

So, what can we expect from this Man O War compensator noise? Firstly, it’s essential to understand that motorcycles, particularly those as powerful as Harley Davidson, produce various sounds during their operation. In some cases, these sounds stem from the compensator or other transmission components. Moreover, certain Man O War compensators are designed to emphasize rider comfort while mitigating excessive noise and harsh feeling under load.

However, some instances of noise from the compensator are not uncommon, and it is essential to consider how they affect the rider’s experience. To put this in perspective, we can look to the following possible sources or explanations for the noise:

  • As a motorcycle’s parts endure wear and tear, certain components, including the Man O War compensator, may produce unusual sounds.
  • One rider’s perception of a slight noise may differ from another’s, so it’s crucial to assess each situation individually.
  • An improperly installed compensator may contribute to the noise production, so it’s critical to ensure correct installation and maintenance.

Ultimately, a slight Man O War compensator noise should not overshadow its performance-enhancing attributes. As Harley Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts, it’s important for us to maintain not only our bikes but also our understanding of the components that make them run smoothly.

Components of the Man O War Compensator

In this article, we’re focusing on the Man O War Compensator’s noise and its connection with Harley Davidson motorcycles. Let’s dive into the primary components of the Man O War Compensator to better understand its functions and construction.

Primary Functions

We need to look at the primary functions of the Man O War Compensator. This motorsprocket is designed to replace the OEM compensator on Harley Davidson motorcycles, providing instant torque response along with an “engine pulse absorbing cushion drive” primary drive system, as mentioned in the search result from Fuel Moto USA. This combination results in better performance while reducing shock to the engine and drivetrain.

Materials and Construction

The Man O War Compensator is carefully crafted using high-quality materials for enhanced durability and longevity. One of our key findings in the search results from TMF Cycles indicates that this compensator weighs two pounds less than the factory-installed compensator. This reduction in weight contributes to its effectiveness and overall better performance.

Another noteworthy feature is that the Man O War Compensator has half the number of parts as the stock compensator, simplifying its design and making it completely rebuildable. This characteristic allows for easier maintenance and potential repairs, ultimately extending the life of the compensator and your Harley Davidson motorcycle’s performance.

Man O War Compensator Noise Considerations

While the aftermarket compensator offers improved performance for Harley Davidson motorcycles, it’s essential to be aware that some Man O War compensator noise may come from the primary drive system.

As we found in a number of YouTube videos, there may be some slight noise from the primary to expect. However, this should be a minor concern compared to the benefits provided by the compensator, such as improved torque response and reduced shock to the drivetrain.

Harley-Davidson Models Affected

As enthusiasts, we understand the importance of a smooth and comfortable ride. Man O War compensator noise can significantly hamper this experience, and we want to shed light on the Harley-Davidson models that are most affected by the Man O-War compensator noise issue.

First and foremost, it’s vital to note that this noise issue isn’t something that affects all Harley-Davidson models. The problem seems to be more prevalent in Twin Cam and Milwaukee-Eight (M8) engines, where the stock compensator is replaced with the Man O-War compensator. As these engines power a diverse range of models, owners of touring, trike, Softail, and Dyna families need to be aware of the potential implications.

The Man O-War compensator has its advantages, such as increased longevity and lighter weight compared to the OEM compensator. However, some riders have reported increased noise and a harsh feeling under loads, which can be concerning. It’s essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision to upgrade for your specific Harley-Davidson model.

Here are some models that may be affected when upgrading the compensator:

  • Road King
  • Electra Glide
  • Ultra Classic
  • Street Glide
  • Tri Glide
  • Softail
  • Dyna

In conclusion, the Man O War compensator noise may affect a range of Harley-Davidson models, particularly those powered by Twin Cam and Milwaukee-Eight engines. As a fellow rider, we urge you to consider the overall impact on your riding experience before opting to make the switch.

Causes of Man O War Compensator Noise

Common Issues

One of the common causes of compensator noise in Harley Davidson motorcycles is the wear and tear of the compensator itself. Over time, the compensator components may become loose or worn, causing a rattling or clunking noise during acceleration or deceleration. An aftermarket compensator, like the Man O-War compensator, can help reduce this noise and improve the durability of the drivetrain.

In some cases, the noise may be a result of improper lubrication. Using the wrong type of oil, or not having enough oil, can increase the noise levels in the primary drive system. It is important to use the recommended oil for Harley Davidson motorcycles and ensure there is sufficient oil to lubricate the compensator adequately.

How to Identify

To identify whether the Man O War compensator noise is due to wear and tear, we can perform a visual check of the compensator components. Look for signs of excessive wear, broken or missing parts, and metal particles on the oil drain plug magnet when changing the primary case oil. If these issues are found, it may be time to replace the factory compensator with an aftermarket one, such as the Man O-War compensator.

Another way to identify potential compensator noise issues is by listening to the sound during acceleration and deceleration. If there is a distinct rattling or clunking noise present, it may be due to a worn or damaged compensator. Replacing the factory compensator with a better-performing aftermarket compensator like the Man O-War can help resolve these noise issues.

If the Man O War compensator noise is caused by improper lubrication, checking and correcting the oil level and type may help resolve the issues. Harley Davidson recommends using specific oil formulations for their motorcycles, so ensuring that the right oil is used can minimize the compensator noise.

Solutions and Preventative Measures

In this section, we will discuss various solutions and preventative measures to help minimize or even eliminate Man O War compensator noise in your Harley Davidson motorcycle. We will cover maintenance tips, upgrades, and replacements to keep your ride smooth and noise-free.

Maintenance Tips

One of the most effective ways to reduce Man O-War compensator noise in Harley Davidson motorcycles is through regular maintenance. Here are some maintenance tips to help you keep your bike running smoothly:

  • Regularly change the primary case oil and ensure the correct type and amount are used. This can help reduce potential wear and noise.
  • Periodically inspect the magnetic drain plug to check for metal particles, indicating potential issues with the compensator.
  • Keep an eye on the condition of the compensator components and replace any worn or damaged parts promptly.

Upgrades and Replacements

If the compensator noise persists even after regular maintenance, it might be time to consider upgrading or replacing the compensator assembly altogether. One effective option is the Darkhorse Man O-War Compensator Sprocket, which has been designed to provide longevity and improved rider comfort compared to OEM compensators.

This upgrade includes an “engine pulse absorbing cushion drive” primary system, as well as instant torque response. This combination can help reduce compensator noise and harsh feelings under load. Another option to consider is the Barnett Scorpion Clutch, which offers smooth gear engagement and reduced noise levels.

Preventative Measures

Implementing the following preventative measures can help you avoid compensator noise issues in the future:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and regularly inspect the condition of the compensator and related components.
  • If upgrading to an aftermarket compensator, choose a high-quality product, such as the Darkhorse Man O-War Compensator Sprocket, to ensure reliable performance and durability.
  • When changing the primary oil, use the appropriate oil with EP additives, as recommended by the manufacturer, to maintain optimal compensator performance and noise reduction.

By following these maintenance tips, upgrades, and preventative measures, we can help minimize or even eliminate compensator noise in our Harley Davidson motorcycles, providing a more enjoyable riding experience.


We’ve discussed the Man O-War Compensator and its impact on noise reduction for Harley-Davidson motorcycles throughout this article. It’s clear that this upgrade can offer significant benefits in terms of noise reduction and overall performance.

As we’ve seen from the search results, the Man O-War Compensator weighs 2 lbs less than the factory compensator and has half the parts of the stock compensator. This design not only contributes to less noise but also results in less shock to the engine and drivetrain. Many users have shared their positive experiences with installing the Man O-War Compensator, noting smoother starts and fewer loud clunks when shifting into gear.

Your Harley-Davidson motorcycle is a valuable investment, and upgrading to a Man O-War Compensator can help protect its engine and drivetrain, while providing a quieter, more enjoyable ride. We encourage you to explore this option and consider its benefits for your bike.

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