What Does It Do?
The compensator sprocket dampens (reduces) torsional vibration created by the crankshaft so it is not transmitted through the drivetrain causing rider discomfort and premature component wear. – Not our words but; this is a simple, clear definition of the component that Bob breaks down for us here.
What are the Parts?
The Harley compensator sprocket has changed a number of times over the years. This assembly consists of a shaft extension, two large spring washers, two medium spring washers, one small spring washer, a sliding cam, a thrust washer, a sprocket retainer, a retaining bolt, and the compensating sprocket itself.
You should be referring to your service manual whenever assembling, servicing or maintaining a vital component such as this. The torque sequence for the retaining bolt, for example, is very specific. You will initially tighten the Harley compensator sprocket bolt to 100 foot pounds.
Next, make a mark on the bolt and loosen one full turn; or 360 degrees. Finally, tighten to 140 foot pounds.