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So I have been meaning to post this question for about a year but by the time I come back from riding I forget it. Anyways, I just went out and quick ride and it happened again so here it is:

Every time I am riding my Chief dark horse over 20-25 mph and I go over a pot hole or the smallest road bump, there is a loud noise as if something in the bike is hitting the road(I am almost sure it happens even at slower speeds too) and when stop and check, there is nothing loose or anything scratched, is that normal or is this something I should be concerned with? my bike is not lowered and is pretty much stock down there besides the tab zombie baffles.

I should probably have someone ride next to me in a car to see that is hitting the road but I figured I would ask to see if this is pretty common or not.

Thanks for any feedback!
 

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Is your shock preload set for your weight?
When my bike is set up for 2 up riding and I'm alone, the shock "kicks back" hard and makes a banging noise like your talking about.
If it's set for my weight, no noise.
 

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Is your shock preload set for your weight?
When my bike is set up for 2 up riding and I'm alone, the shock "kicks back" hard and makes a banging noise like your talking about.
If it's set for my weight, no noise.
excuse my ignorance but I had no idea we could do that on the Chief dark horse. I have not done anything with the shock since I purchased it last year( it is a 2019 model) how can I do that? is there a video showing how to do that?
 

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Could it be your kickstand bouncing and thumping?
 

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I have to agree with @zjondoe007 check your shock. I'm sure there are videos out there, but if not I believe it is in your owners manual.
 

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excuse my ignorance but I had no idea we could do that on the Chief dark horse. I have not done anything with the shock since I purchased it last year( it is a 2019 model) how can I do that? is there a video showing how to do that?
Pull the left side cover off. There you will see an air fill valve and there should be a chart on the inside of the cover. Use your air pump that came with the bike and connect it and pump it to the correct pressure for the weight on who will be riding. I usually go about 5 psi over the amount just because you will lose a little when you remove the air pump. Dean
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Pull the left side cover off. There you will see an air fill valve and there should be a chart on the inside of the cover. Use your air pump that came with the bike and connect it and pump it to the correct pressure for the weight on who will be riding. I usually go about 5 psi over the amount just because you will lose a little when you remove the air pump. Dean
Thanks! I found this video (mine does not have the air adjustable shock) so it looks like I will need a bike lift for it and there is no chart on my bike side cover either
 

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what's your weight? factory settings are 180-200 lbs....
 

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If the front forks top out that makes a hell of a bang, same with the back suspension there’s a lot of free play in the linkage even more if the preload isn’t set up.
 

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Thanks! I found this video (mine does not have the air adjustable shock) so it looks like I will need a bike lift for it and there is no chart on my bike side cover either
I should have looked closer. I thought I read you had a Chieftain Dark Horse. Going back I see you have a Chief Dark Horse. My mistake. D
 

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So I have been meaning to post this question for about a year but by the time I come back from riding I forget it. Anyways, I just went out and quick ride and it happened again so here it is:

Every time I am riding my Chief dark horse over 20-25 mph and I go over a pot hole or the smallest road bump, there is a loud noise as if something in the bike is hitting the road(I am almost sure it happens even at slower speeds too) and when stop and check, there is nothing loose or anything scratched, is that normal or is this something I should be concerned with? my bike is not lowered and is pretty much stock down there besides the tab zombie baffles.

I should probably have someone ride next to me in a car to see that is hitting the road but I figured I would ask to see if this is pretty common or not.

Thanks for any feedback!
I have a similar problem with a 2016 Chief Dark Horse (< 10K miles), except mine makes more of a rattling noise, and it seems to be coming from the front of the bike. Haven't been able to isolate the source of the noise, so taking it into the shop soon...
 

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Thanks! I found this video (mine does not have the air adjustable shock) so it looks like I will need a bike lift for it and there is no chart on my bike side cover either
You should have gotten a shock adjustment wrench with the bike. It sucks.
You can buy different ones that are better.
You have to take off the seat and turn the spring adjuster to whatever works for your weight.
I went the route of buying a air shock from a trike shop for a $100.00.
The best investment in upgrades to my 2016 DH I've made.
I switch between 1 up & 2 up all the time, and it's supper easy.
 

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Thanks! I found this video (mine does not have the air adjustable shock) so it looks like I will need a bike lift for it and there is no chart on my bike side cover either

You probably only need a minor adjustment to stiffen the shock up. I would try the basic maintenance on your shock first. From the manual:


599377
 

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Discussion Starter #17
You should have gotten a shock adjustment wrench with the bike. It sucks.
You can buy different ones that are better.
You have to take off the seat and turn the spring adjuster to whatever works for your weight.
I went the route of buying a air shock from a trike shop for a $100.00.
The best investment in upgrades to my 2016 DH I've made.
I switch between 1 up & 2 up all the time, and it's supper easy.
I will try adjusting it myself if not, maybe I will look for an air shock instead.
 

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When running two wheeler,not only should you be watching for animals,pedestrians,and traffic,but ya should also be paying attention to road conditions [like the surface of the road you're traveling on] watching for hazzards such as, pot holes, broken glass,nails,bolts,screws,oil, etc.You'd be surprised at what ends up on the road because people driving their vehicles just plain don't care.Contsruction trucks,and or contractors, are great for this cause they just toss their building supplies,like nails,screws,tools,etc. ,without paying attention as to where they end up,into the back of their trucks,hence when they hit a bump,those things just bounce around and right out of the truck and on to the surface of the road,and if you're not paying attention,end up in your tire,and THEN,you have a problem.
I've seen this too many times over the years.why does it happen???Cause,in plain English nobody gives a sh**!! When I had my Triumph,I was up in alton Bay N.H. [approximately 100 miles from home] heading East,when suddenly,i felt the back end of my bike moving around.when I stopped to investigate,I discovered that i had picked up a 1/4 20 machine screw in my brand new rear tire that only had 300 miles on it.
My saving grace was,I carry a hand tire pump and a plug kit ,amongst other tools,just in case,hence I was able to repair it on the spot,or,should I come across some other poor sole with the same problem and get him or her,going again.And a simple thnk you is all that was
required.
And it's things like this which we learn from and what to do if we should run into a problem.But if it hasn't happened to you,believe me,it will eventually.
So, pay attention to the roads' surfaces when traveling.Ca pishe??? Dave!!!
 

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I suspect what you are hearing is a known issue for many of our bikes - mine included.

This is a pic of the rear suspension components. The shock connects to the pivot piece, which is anchored to the bike at the bottom of rod #14.The pivot piece swings on shaft #2. That shaft sits into drilled holes in the bike's frame. The problem is the clearance between the shaft and frame. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a smidgeon more clearance than optimum.

The noise you hear is the shaft moving in the frame, generally as the bike tops a bump. The bike rises as the shock compresses, at the top of the movement it takes the load off the shock and the shaft is 'gravity free' for an instant, in that moment the shaft moves across the hole, then the bike falls and the shock takes up the load. That very slight movement of the shaft creates the noise.

599477



I have a friend with a bike shop who works on many brands. He says this is a very common issue on Indians and he's not impressed with their quality control.

When I noticed the noise on my Springfield DH I thought it was something loose in the saddlebags, but for the fact that it made the noise when the bags were empty. I thought of pushing a bit of shim material under the shaft to see if I could get rid of it, but the gap is so small I could not find anything thin enough. Over time I've learned to ignore it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I suspect what you are hearing is a known issue for many of our bikes - mine included.

This is a pic of the rear suspension components. The shock connects to the pivot piece, which is anchored to the bike at the bottom of rod #14.The pivot piece swings on shaft #2. That shaft sits into drilled holes in the bike's frame. The problem is the clearance between the shaft and frame. Unfortunately, there is sometimes a smidgeon more clearance than optimum.

The noise you hear is the shaft moving in the frame, generally as the bike tops a bump. The bike rises as the shock compresses, at the top of the movement it takes the load off the shock and the shaft is 'gravity free' for an instant, in that moment the shaft moves across the hole, then the bike falls and the shock takes up the load. That very slight movement of the shaft creates the noise.

View attachment 599477


I have a friend with a bike shop who works on many brands. He says this is a very common issue on Indians and he's not impressed with their quality control.

When I noticed the noise on my Springfield DH I thought it was something loose in the saddlebags, but for the fact that it made the noise when the bags were empty. I thought of pushing a bit of shim material under the shaft to see if I could get rid of it, but the gap is so small I could not find anything thin enough. Over time I've learned to ignore it.
Very interesting. Did you try adjusting the shock to see if it went away?
 
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