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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey gang, I’m hoping someone here might be able to shed a little light on an issue I’ve been having. I have a 2014 Chieftain and last summer it developed a whistle/squeal sound that seems to be coming from the right side of the bike. The sound reminds me somewhat of the sound when a passenger car has a loose fan belt. I took a look at my drive belt and it looked to me like it needed both tightening and aligning. Seeing as she was due for her 20,000 miles service, I left it alone until a couple of weeks ago when I was able to get to my dealership (a mere 500 miles away). Along with everything else they did, they also had to tighten and align the belt (at least I was right about that!).

Although it was gone for a few days after my service appointment, I have noticed that it has unfortunately returned. The sound is most prominent in gears 2, 3 & 4 and occurs when throttle is applied. If I squeeze the clutch and rev the engine at a standstill the noise does not occur. When moving, if I let off the throttle, the sound disappears as well. It only occurs when it is under power.

I’ve uploaded a recording of the sound to Google Drive if you’d like to check it out. It’s most prominent in the second half of the 34 second recording. I am not a wrench, just a guy with a bike so I’m hoping someone here might be able to offer some advice.

Click here to listen on Google Drive.

Thanks!
 

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I had the same problem. Replaced belt and pulley under warranty, but mine is a 2019. Indian changed the pulley a while ago because they had so many warranty issues. Don't know if you will be able to get it covered. Good luck.
 

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If you the original rear drive sprocket has not been replaced, that is definitely what is causing the squealing. Polaris redesigned that part because both edges were straight up and too close to the belt. The new rear sprocket has a slanted edge and sprocket surface may be wider and and possibly beveled. Many owners, including me had that replaced under warranty. The original is PN 1333355-521; the current/replacement sprocket assembly is PN 1333429-521. It lists for $475. And Polaris recommends you changing the belt and the drive sprocket on the transmission at the same time ($240 and $165). You may be able to get away with just the rear sprocket which is a simple fix requiring only the rear wheel to be removed. Changing the drive belt (with or without the drive sprocket being replaced), is a big job as it requires removal of the swing-arm. The entire job takes time but is fairly easy if you have mechanical skills, the shop manual and the right tools. If the dealer does the work, it is an expensive job. If your sprocket was never replaced, I recommend that you call Indian Motorcycle Customer Service (877-204-3697) and ask for their help. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
 

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I also am noticing a moaning sound under a mild pulling load on my 19 Chieftain.
Its not loud enough to bother me yet but its def there above 50 mph.
When the belt warms up a bit it seems to go away.
 

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I also am noticing a moaning sound under a mild pulling load on my 19 Chieftain.
Its not loud enough to bother me yet but its def there above 50 mph.
When the belt warms up a bit it seems to go away.
Depends on how many miles you have on your Chieftain. It could be the Cush Drive Pad or the rear sprocket bearing (although less likely). I am replacing that bearing on my Chieftain because it seems to be gummed up. I took it out (not an easy job) and it stunk, which is a sign that the grease was rotting. It was not until after I cleaned the bearing that I noticed some slop. But I understand that is unusual unless the drive belt has been run too tight.

If the sound is a moaning hum, it is most likely coming from the Cush drive, which is an easy part to check (and replace) if you are comfortable removing and reinstalling the rear wheel.

One of things some of the dealers do is grease the Cush drive rubber drive. And even if they use a non-petroleum/silicon lubricant, Polaris specifies that the Cush drive remain dry (no lube). If the rubber pad fits tight with no play and has not deteriorated, then wash it with soap and water (and if it has been greased, de-grease it first). Clean the the sprocket where the pad goes and clean the area of wheel where the pad goes, making sure all surfaces are smooth. Then, if you choose use a tiny bit of a spray rubber lubricant (or tire mounting lube) on the pad and wipe all but the thinnest coating off and let it dry before installing the pad.

That's my 2-cents and just one guy's opinion for what it is worth. Hope it helps.
 

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I am comfortable with rear wheel work.
Problem for me is bike only has 6000 miles.
It is a woo sound like a moan.
Thanks for the explanation
 

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I am comfortable with rear wheel work.
Problem for me is bike only has 6000 miles.
It is a woo sound like a moan.
Thanks for the explanation
Sounds like the same sound I've had. Mine started around 14k-miles, after I had the rear sprocket replaced by the dealer at 10k miles, which means I now have only 5k-miles on the Cush drive pad and the Cush drive bearing. I think the tech did something very wrong that caused the problem. But nothing I can prove. I'm replacing the bearing next week and I'll see if that eliminates the noise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had the same problem. Replaced belt and pulley under warranty, but mine is a 2019. Indian changed the pulley a while ago because they had so many warranty issues. Don't know if you will be able to get it covered. Good luck.
Thanks very much for the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you the original rear drive sprocket has not been replaced, that is definitely what is causing the squealing. Polaris redesigned that part because both edges were straight up and too close to the belt. The new rear sprocket has a slanted edge and sprocket surface may be wider and and possibly beveled. Many owners, including me had that replaced under warranty. The original is PN 1333355-521; the current/replacement sprocket assembly is PN 1333429-521. It lists for $475. And Polaris recommends you changing the belt and the drive sprocket on the transmission at the same time ($240 and $165). You may be able to get away with just the rear sprocket which is a simple fix requiring only the rear wheel to be removed. Changing the drive belt (with or without the drive sprocket being replaced), is a big job as it requires removal of the swing-arm. The entire job takes time but is fairly easy if you have mechanical skills, the shop manual and the right tools. If the dealer does the work, it is an expensive job. If your sprocket was never replaced, I recommend that you call Indian Motorcycle Customer Service (877-204-3697) and ask for their help. The worst that can happen is that they say no.
Thanks for the detailed input. Very much appreciated! Cheers.
 
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