Chain/driveline noise - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Chain/driveline noise

Hi all,

'08 V w/23kmi daily driver.

Was wondering if anyone had any ideas, suggestions or experience with this sort of thing:

After a chain adjustment, I was hearing a pulsating whirr whirr whirr noise coming from what seems like the chain...seems like it was coming from the area closer to the front sprocket.

Now, it's always been loud to the point that a riding buddy has commented a few times and I've heard the sound bouncing off Jersey walls and what not but this was a different sound. Anyway, I had it replaced and adjusted - everything was perfect for a while (about 2k mi) til I started hearing the noise again and when I checked it, it seemed a little tight so I took it back to the shop and had them adjust it. They agreed it was tight and adjusted it. Again, everything seemed fine.

Well, recently, I checked the slack and it was way loose...about 2" or more. I spent yesterday afternoon adjusting and aligning it myself (using the motionpro tool, btw) and it seems when I'm at 1" I get the noise. I only really hear it on decel with clutch pulled (don't know if that's indicative or if I can only hear it w/o engine noise). Right now I'm dead on at 1" and perfectly aligned and I hear it. I don't want to adjust it out much because I'm worried about it loosening up too much again.

I'm torquing to 80 ft/lb, BTW.

Questions:
-Is it supposed to sound that way?
-If not, any ideas/experience with this?
-Could there be a problem with the front sprocket (it doesn't look bad)
-Could it be the plastic guide things on the swingarm and, if so, is that bad?
Could it be bad bearings? i don't know what bad bearings on a bike sound like.

Any help would be appreciated.

I have audio of the sound if someone really wants to hear it but I'd have to edit it down a little.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:17 PM
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Hello there.
I wonder if you replaced both chain and sprockets,or only chain?
My experience with the Versys is that the rear axle adjustment is very tricky lets say.The sound means that you have Orbital eccentricity on the sprockets and/or a bend chain because of this phenomenon.If you replaced only the chain the problematic sprockets would effect the chain in a short period of time.
If you have also changed the front to 16 teeth then the sound could be from there cause there is very little room for the chain to roll with 16t and a small eccentricity would be noticed there first.The real problem starts if you have eccentricity on the front sprockets axle...Thats my opinion on the matter
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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naz,

Thanks for the quick reply. The sprockets are the original and both appear to be in good shape (judging by the teeth, I mean).

I'm glad you said it's tricky because I was hoping it wasn't just me that had trouble with it. Maybe I should go ahead and replace the sprockets to be sure.

That said, it seems like when I'm rolling at 20mph and hear the sound, it would be pulsating faster than it currently is (if it's a warped/bent sprocket, it seems like it would go through a full rotation faster than the sound pulsates...*seems like it).

I'll also note here that I don't really hear the noise below 15mph whether it just gets too quiet for me to hear or it goes away, IDK.
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 05:43 PM
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If you roll at 35mph you wont listen anything again...lets say that 20mph is the rpm of the sprocket for a 1st order resonance .I had the same issue on my bike ,i am very heavy with the throttle i push it too much,sometimes i feel that versys should have a 525 chain.A misalignment on the rear would warp something for sure ,the engines torque is serious and the overall bikes geometry is very tight ,too tight to forgive some misalignment here and there...Dont let it continue cause probably you wont get the same mileage with your new chain.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:06 PM
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I like a little looser chain: 1.25" of slack. Also, I place my 09 V on a rear stand, rotate the rear wheel, forward motion, and make sure the rear sprocket stays in the center of the chain. If the sprocket is misaligned, the chain will migrate to one side or the other.

With the adjustments as noted, the rear wheel will spin very freely.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 06:08 PM
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23kmiles seems like a lot of miles on the sprockets.

I changed my sprockets at 18kmiles and the front definitely had some wear (it wasn't bad), but it definitely resulting in periodic vibrations in the bike coming from the front sprocket. Since changing the chain and both sprockets things are smoother.

I have no idea if this will solve you problem but I do think that the sprockets will not necessarily last through the life of another chain (unless they actively help destroy it).


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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:07 PM
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I agree with SCOTTYNEAL...1" is too tight...when you compress the rear susp. with your weight, the chain will be much tighter

I prefer 1 1/4 to 1 1/2

RCF
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks a ton guys. I'll go ahead and replace the sprockets and keep the chain a little on the looser side. Great to have people with experience on these matters chiming in when you're at your wits end and can't decide what to besides blindly throwing money at the problem.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:20 PM
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Check chain tension at its tightest position. Rotate rear wheel to find tightest chain position... You may have unevenly broken in your new chain on the worn sprockets, then you might compromise new sprockets on your possibly screwed up new chain.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Makes sense - probably should get a new chain, too. I'll check it.
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samill2 View Post
Hi all,

'08 V w/23kmi daily driver.

Was wondering if anyone had any ideas, suggestions or experience with this sort of thing:

After a chain adjustment, I was hearing a pulsating whirr whirr whirr noise coming from what seems like the chain...seems like it was coming from the area closer to the front sprocket.

Now, it's always been loud to the point that a riding buddy has commented a few times and I've heard the sound bouncing off Jersey walls and what not but this was a different sound. Anyway, I had it replaced and adjusted - everything was perfect for a while (about 2k mi) til I started hearing the noise again and when I checked it, it seemed a little tight so I took it back to the shop and had them adjust it. They agreed it was tight and adjusted it. Again, everything seemed fine.

Well, recently, I checked the slack and it was way loose...about 2" or more. I spent yesterday afternoon adjusting and aligning it myself (using the motionpro tool, btw) and it seems when I'm at 1" I get the noise. I only really hear it on decel with clutch pulled (don't know if that's indicative or if I can only hear it w/o engine noise). Right now I'm dead on at 1" and perfectly aligned and I hear it. I don't want to adjust it out much because I'm worried about it loosening up too much again.

I'm torquing to 80 ft/lb, BTW.

Questions:
-Is it supposed to sound that way?
-If not, any ideas/experience with this?
-Could there be a problem with the front sprocket (it doesn't look bad)
-Could it be the plastic guide things on the swingarm and, if so, is that bad?
Could it be bad bearings? i don't know what bad bearings on a bike sound like.

Any help would be appreciated.

I have audio of the sound if someone really wants to hear it but I'd have to edit it down a little.
Your front sprocket is worn and your chain needs replacement. It is normal to have to do this around 23,000 miles. If you raise the rear and spin the rear tire you will notice a very slight change in resistance once per chain revolution. I had the same issue and it went away when I replaced both. Also check your rear sprocket for wear and replace at the same time. The front sprocket always wears as fast or faster than the chain.

In my experience it is worth it to buy a rivet tool and do this yourself as it is relatively easy and the tool will last a lifetime even though you may may only use it every few years. It is better than paying a dealer $100+ to do this for you. Suggest Stockton tool set from CycleGear for the money (currently on sale for 1/2 price), lots of how to videos on you tube.

http://www.cyclegear.com/eng/product...kit/web1006916

15/46 are the stock sprocket sizes with a 520 series chain, chain slack should be 3.0 to 3.5cm from max down to max up mid point in the chain

http://sprocketcenter.com/index.php/...sys-07-12.html

Last edited by twowheels; 12-01-2012 at 07:44 PM.
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Awesome, thank you. I'll search the forum for some chain and sprocket recommendations, too.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 07:50 PM
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I've never had much success trying alternate sprocket sizes/final drive ratios but I also ride a combination of city, country and highway. If you only ride one of the above types of roads you may be more successful with it.
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mursili View Post
23kmiles seems like a lot of miles on the sprockets.

I changed my sprockets at 18kmiles and the front definitely had some wear (it wasn't bad), but it definitely resulting in periodic vibrations in the bike coming from the front sprocket. Since changing the chain and both sprockets things are smoother.

I have no idea if this will solve you problem but I do think that the sprockets will not necessarily last through the life of another chain (unless they actively help destroy it).

"Big Red" has 38,000 miles on the ORIGINAL chain, SECOND front sprocket, and rear sprocket removed and reversed at 31,800 miles. I ONLY use WD40 on it, as lubricant and cleaner, and have adjusted the chain adjusters 2 1/2 turns in that mileage (15 'flats').

Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfield View Post

I agree with SCOTTYNEAL...1" is too tight...when you compress the rear susp. with your weight, the chain will be much tighter

I prefer 1 1/4 to 1 1/2

RCF
Manual says 1" to 1.4", and when you add weight to your bike (YOU...) it DOES tighten, but will NOT overtighten IF it was correctly adjusted.

That is WHY Kawi specifies the range of 1 to 1.4".

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
"Big Red" has 38,000 miles on the ORIGINAL chain, SECOND front sprocket, and rear sprocket removed and reversed at 31,800 miles. I ONLY use WD40 on it, as lubricant and cleaner, and have adjusted the chain adjusters 2 1/2 turns in that mileage (15 'flats').

I assume you are referring to using WD-40 brand dry chain lube, and not their original WD-40 formulation, a mixture of solvent and very thin penetrating oil, for lubricating motorcycle chains

http://ca.gizmodo.com/5939583/finall...ruin-your-bike


________ http://www.zxforums.com/forums/zx-14...e-o-rings.html -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Thank you for contacting WD-40 Company with regards to using WD-40 on o-rings. WD-40 is a multi-purpose light lubricating oil, which will displace water and moisture from the chain. The "WD" stands for water displacement and acts as a rust preventative on any metal surface. WD-40 will not dry out the rubber o-rings. We have found no visible effects on the surface of rubber and o-rings. Certain types of rubber will swell under prolonged immersion in WD-40 (this refers to long soaking and not just a spray).

WD-40 is also a cleaner, which will remove grime, dirt, tape, bumper stickers and oil. It is possible that if there is a special lubricant in the o-rings, WD-40 could act as a cleaner and remove that oil. The special lubricant would be replaced with WD-40. We are sure there are superior heavy-duty chain lubes on the market. There are several people who recommend using WD-40 on their chains. Perhaps some experimenting with WD-40, as a water remover and rust preventative followed by a heavier chain lube would fit your needs. The bottom line is WD-40 will not harm your o-rings, but it could remove a lubricant that was previously applied to the chain.


We recommend you only spray the area near the wheels, moving parts and other areas you want to clean off. We do not recommend spraying on the manifold or exhaust pipes. Please never spray WD-40 on a hot bike.

Thank you again for contacting WD-40 Company. Please let us know if we may be of further assistance.
Best regards,
Eva Zabowski
WD-40 Customer Service"

Last edited by Sprocket; 12-01-2012 at 10:06 PM.
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post #16 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
"Big Red" has 38,000 miles on the ORIGINAL chain, SECOND front sprocket, and rear sprocket removed and reversed at 31,800 miles. I ONLY use WD40 on it, as lubricant and cleaner, and have adjusted the chain adjusters 2 1/2 turns in that mileage (15 'flats').

Manual says 1" to 1.4", and when you add weight to your bike (YOU...) it DOES tighten, but will NOT overtighten IF it was correctly adjusted.

That is WHY Kawi specifies the range of 1 to 1.4".
I do not understand half of this but ty for the input.
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post #17 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-01-2012, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post
"Big Red" has 38,000 miles on the ORIGINAL chain, SECOND front sprocket, and rear sprocket removed and reversed at 31,800 miles. I ONLY use WD40 on it, as lubricant and cleaner, and have adjusted the chain adjusters 2 1/2 turns in that mileage (15 'flats').
I actually thought about what you would say about this. It does not seem that too many people get the same life from their chains and sprockets that you do. That being said, you do say that you are on your second front sprocket and if I do the math 38000/2 = 19000 miles and that is quite close to the point I changed my front sprockets. (Of course, I do not know at exactly what point you changed your front sprocket.) The fact that I also changed my chain and rear sprocket at 18000+ miles is more a matter of temperament than necessity.

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post #18 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 01:19 PM
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I agree, Freddie is an outlier on his extraordinary chain life. He also gets much better fuel economy than I do. Draw your own conclusions on that.
I would replace the chain & sprockets as a set and order the rivet link too. Be warned that breaking loose the nut on the front sprocket has been a major source of frustration for many Versys owners. Read up on it and decide if you want to tackle it or take it too the shop.
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post #19 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
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...I would replace the chain & sprockets as a set and order the rivet link too. Be warned that breaking loose the nut on the front sprocket has been a major source of frustration for many Versys owners. Read up on it and decide if you want to tackle it or take it too the shop.
Thanks for the tips. I've read a little on the topic on this forum - I'm gonna break it myself.
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post #20 of 48 (permalink) Old 12-02-2012, 10:12 PM
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I assume you are referring to using WD-40 brand dry chain lube, and not their original WD-40 formulation, a mixture of solvent and very thin penetrating oil, for lubricating motorcycle chains

http://ca.gizmodo.com/5939583/finall...ruin-your-bike
Nope - I am using WD40, you know - the stuff that comes in blue and yellow cans - "...WD-40 formulation, a mixture of solvent and very thin penetrating oil, for lubricating motorcycle chains...".

The fellow who makes and sells "ThermoBobs" has done a very detailed paper on using WD40 as a chain lube. Go to
http://www.watt-man.com/Information__Articles.html
and scroll down to "the WD40 Experiment".

Ed

My KLR trip to Alaska, YT, NWT and BC in summer 2009
http://www.klr650.net/forums/showthread.php?t=69383

My Versys trip to D2D 2013, and Alaska, June '13
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=33153

My Versys trip to D2D 2015, and Inuvik, June '15
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...ad.php?t=83034

Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 12-02-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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