Hope I Didn't Break Anything.....
The old girl (2000 LT) has blessed me with a post-valve adjustment ticking sound that is similar to the hydraulic lifter noise many of us have experienced with our high mileage autos, albiet somewhat muffled. The ticking is most pronounced between 2500 and 3000 rpm under a load (no ticking at idle or up to 5000 rpm while bike is stationary). The sound is not perceptible during acceleration or deceleration by engine braking. It is also not constant.
I just performed a valve adjustment that required the replacement of four buckets to obtain in-spec clearances. I also installed new Iridium spark plugs. No other maintenance work was performed. The bike runs smoothly at all rpm's, accelerates properly, and operates as it should. I can detect no engine malfunctions (missing, stumbling, surging, etc). I triple-checked the valve clearances before and after installation of the new buckets to be sure everything is as it should be. I am going to pull the valve cover this weekend and recheck all the valve clearances just as a precaution.
I would appreciate any suggestions/advice as to what the problem may be. I am confident it is not piston slap or poor fuel causing the pinging, but I am concerned as the ticking sound was not present prior to the valve adjustment. I have ridden the bike approximately 60 miles since the valve maintenance and have noticed the ticking on an inconsistent basis. The valve adjustment procedure was precisely followed, and again, the only other maintenance was the replacement of the original plugs with Iridium plugs.
Thanks for any and all comments.