Remove The Compensating Sprocket On A Harleydavidson

The compensating sprocket is located inside the primary chaincase.

Located just inside the primary chaincase of your Harley-Davidson, the compensating sprocket is responsible for minimizing the jerkiness of your motorcycle at slower speeds. It works in conjunction with the clutch assembly and the primary chain to ensure the motorcycle operates smoothly. Replacement of the compensating sprocket is rare, as it is only necessary if the teeth wear down. You can identify the worn teeth by a loud noise in the outer primary.


1. Remove the seat by removing the bolt and nut located at the rear of the seat. This is the bolt that connects the seat to the rear fender.

2. Remove the magnetic drain plug with a wrench from underneath the outer primary chaincase located on the left-hand side of the motorcycle. Drain the fluid into a drain pan.

3. Remove both the driver and passenger floorboards from the left-hand side of the motorcycle. The floorboards connect to the motorcycle by a socket screw with a lockwasher and flat washer. To remove, use a 3/8-inch ball Allen wrench with extension. Remove both the upper and lower hex bolts with a wrench and socket.

4. Remove the shift rod from the shift lever using a wrench. Remove the socket head screws from the toe and heel shifter levers with a standard screwdriver.

5. Remove the outer primary chaincase by removing the 10 Allen-head screws with an Allen wrench. Once removed, set the outer chaincase aside.

6. Loosen the bolt holding the chain tensioner assembly with a standard wrench. Lower the chain tensioner assembly so that the adjuster shoe lays flat on the inner primary chaincase.

7. Remove the retaining ring from the clutch hub with retaining ring pliers. Also remove the pull release plate locknut and adjuster screw with a wrench.

8. Insert a primary drive locking tool into the teeth of the compensating sprocket. Turn the sprocket nut counterclockwise using a breaker bar and socket. Turn the nut until it becomes loose.

9. Insert the primary drive locking tool into the teeth of the clutch sprocket. Turn the clutch hub mainshaft clockwise using a breaker bar and socket. Turn the nut until it becomes loose.

10. Remove the sprocket cover and sliding cam by hand once you remove the compensating and clutch sprocket nuts.

11. Remove the clutch, compensating sprocket, primary chain and shaft extension by hand. They will remain a single assembly once removed.