Clunk in the front of my 15' 650 - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 10:44 PM Thread Starter
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Clunk in the front of my 15' 650

I now have about 4K on my bike. I love everything about it except .....I have a freaking clunk whenever I hit a bump. I have rapped on every piece of the cowling, side panels, windscreen, windscreen brackets, front brake calipers, front fender, front brake line, horn, fork tubes...yada, yada, yada.

None of these endeavors have been fruitful in locating where clunk emanates from.

What I have done to this point to possibly mitigate the problem: I have isolated the windscreen mounting brackets from the frame at their mount points with thick pieces of rubber, I have isolated the windscreen metal brackets themselves from the windscreen frame mount brackets with thick pieces of rubber, I've loosened the side panels and installed some rubber pieces next to each fixed mounting screw, I've check and re-tightened every screw, every push pin and looked at wiring that may be contacting the plastic panels behind, next to or under the cowling, I've checked the infamous buzzing cowling cap (the one beneath the windscreen. Nada, zilch, zero.

Even after all this the loud clunk persists. I need ideas. Help me locate this noise before I go bonkers (well ok, more bonkers).

Thanks in advance for saving my sanity.

Cheers,

Charlie


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-13-2016, 10:48 PM
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I hear a clunk around the top case area when i hit bumps. I just turn my music up and keep on trucking.....

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 01:59 AM
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Possibly a very loose steering head bearing. Any shuddering under medium - hard braking? Did the sound develop suddenly or over time? Is it a new bike under warranty?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:18 AM
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Where is the clunk coming from, exactly? Can you feel it clunk? What type of bump, and at what speed? Can you post a video with audio? Is your fork spring preload setting sufficient for your weight, or is it bottoming out?

Last edited by invader; 09-14-2016 at 03:26 AM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 05:43 AM
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I dont really hear one, but I do feel something like what you described.
I blamed the play in the forks or the calipers.

Does it clunk also when braking? (that would factor out calipers and the fork play)

the front of the tank is not bolted, so that too could play.
Then there is the cables, but that should not be that loud.
Finally the tools pouch in the seat...

Just listing what's at the top of my head.

Last edited by dddd; 09-14-2016 at 05:46 AM.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 07:27 AM
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Difficult to isolate noises that occur when the bike is moving. I'm a Versys newbie, but on prior bikes something like that was usually either steering stem bearings, wheel bearings (not likely at 4K miles tho), internal fork noise, or sidestand/centerstand noise.
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 05:09 PM
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If it were not from coming from the front, it would be +1 on the sidestand and I would now add the chain might hit the swingarm too if too slack (would be surprising at 4k, but worth checking)

But the front alone. Really not much to add.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcalan View Post
Possibly a very loose steering head bearing. I actually checked that today, and no, the head bearing are fine. Any shuddering under medium - hard braking? No, this happens only when I hit a bad spot on the road. Did the sound develop suddenly or over time? It has been there since day one. Is it a new bike under warranty? [COLOR="Red"]Still under warranty.[/COLOR]


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Where is the clunk coming from, exactly? If I knew the answer to that it would be fixed but it sounds as if it is coming from behind the forks.
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Can you feel it clunk? Yes, it both audible and I can feel it. What type of bump Deep fractures in the road, spalled concrete on parking lots, road seam, you name it. your weight I am 225#, or is it bottoming out? It isn't anywhere close to bottoming out
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Difficult to isolate noises that occur when the bike is moving. I'm a Versys newbie, but on prior bikes something like that was usually either steering stem bearings Not the steering head bearings they are fine, wheel bearings No, I checked them today and not them. (not likely at 4K miles tho), internal fork noise No, it is aft of the forks, or sidestand/centerstand noise.Nope, the side stand shows no duplication of the noise when rapped with a rubber hammer
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If it were not from coming from the front, it would be +1 on the sidestand and I would now add the chain might hit the swingarm too if too slack Nope, the chain is adjusted almost spot on with OEM specs. (would be surprising at 4k, but worth checking)

But the front alone. Really not much to add.
Thanks everyone for the ideas. I have been hunting this ghost for two months now. It is a pronounced deep non-metallic, non-plastic clunk. I feel in it in the seat more than the bars. I have also now check the exhaust header rings and they are tight too. The sound and the feel of the rattle still persists.

Keep the ideas coming. I am all ears.

Cheers,

Charlie


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 02:16 AM
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Is the battery hold down tight?

....ride like the one-eyed Jack of Diamonds with the Devil close behind...
"The test of the machine is the satisfaction it gives you. There isn't any other test. If the machine produces tranquility, it's right. If it disturbs you, it's wrong until either the machine or your mind is changed."
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 02:27 AM
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Originally Posted by TRZ Charlie View Post
I now have about 4K on my bike. I love everything about it except .....I have a freaking clunk whenever I hit a bump. I have rapped on every piece of the cowling, side panels, windscreen, windscreen brackets, front brake calipers, front fender, front brake line, horn, fork tubes...yada, yada, yada.

None of these endeavors have been fruitful in locating where clunk emanates from.

What I have done to this point to possibly mitigate the problem: I have isolated the windscreen mounting brackets from the frame at their mount points with thick pieces of rubber, I have isolated the windscreen metal brackets themselves from the windscreen frame mount brackets with thick pieces of rubber, I've loosened the side panels and installed some rubber pieces next to each fixed mounting screw, I've check and re-tightened every screw, every push pin and looked at wiring that may be contacting the plastic panels behind, next to or under the cowling, I've checked the infamous buzzing cowling cap (the one beneath the windscreen. Nada, zilch, zero.

Even after all this the loud clunk persists. I need ideas. Help me locate this noise before I go bonkers (well ok, more bonkers).

Thanks in advance for saving my sanity.
I had something like that. Turned out to be an item in my top box

If it was me I would remove all luggage and fairing panels and windshield and ride the bike and see if it was still there. Then slowly add stuff back on between test rides. That way you can at least isolate it to fairings or something more serious. Not sure what it sounds like but an unsecured plastic electrical connector or something similar inside the fairing can also cause this as can missing fasteners or screws holding stuff on. It's not rocket science just work and time to locate by process of elimination. Also check chain slack. With only 4K mileage it is unlikely to be bearings unless something is defective which again is unlikely. Check all bolts, especially brake calipers and wheels for tightness, and use blue locktite where applicable. Hope this helps.

Last edited by twowheels; 09-15-2016 at 02:35 AM.
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 02:28 AM
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Muffler mount bolts, rear shock to chassis mount bolt, rear shock to swingarm bolt/nut, swingarm to chassis bolt/nut, motor mounts, rear brake caliper mount bolts...
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 05:35 AM
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more in the seat then handlebars? another +1 on battery then.

highliy speculative: engine rubber mounts. would be extremely surprising if one is already split. but who knows. The engine bolts would hit through the split rubber in some way? Heck I don't even know how its made, just visualizing what it could be.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 08:28 AM Thread Starter
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Is the battery hold down tight? Nope, Checked it
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I had something like that. Turned out to be an item in my top box Top box empty

If it was me I would remove all luggage and fairing panels and windshield and ride the bike and see if it was still there. Then slowly add stuff back on between test rides. Panniers are removed at the moment but, removing the fairing and other plastics sounds like a viable way to find the clunk That way you can at least isolate it to fairings or something more serious. Not sure what it sounds like but an unsecured plastic electrical connector or something similar inside the fairing can also cause this as can missing fasteners or screws holding stuff on. Already checked It's not rocket science just work and time to locate by process of elimination. Also check chain slack. Already checked and set to OEM Spec With only 4K mileage it is unlikely to be bearings unless something is defective which again is unlikely. Check all bolts, especially brake calipers and wheels for tightness Done and locktited, and use blue locktite where applicable. Hope this helps.
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Muffler mount bolts, rear shock to chassis mount bolt Haven't checked but will, thanks , rear shock to swingarm bolt/nut, swingarm to chassis bolt/nut, motor mounts, rear brake caliper mount bolts..all checked yesterday.
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more in the seat then handlebars? another +1 on battery then. I has been checked and it's tight

highliy speculative: engine rubber mounts. would be extremely surprising if one is already split. but who knows. The engine bolts would hit through the split rubber in some way? Heck I don't even know how its made, just visualizing what it could be.
Wow, great list of things to check but still no love. I will check the swing arm bolt this morning. Thanks everyone.

Cheers,

Charlie


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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 02:48 PM
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If you have a 2015, you have a 2 year warrantee. Drag that beast down to the stealership and make them figure it out and fix it.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Yup, that'll be next. BTW the swing arm bolt is tight too. Ugh

Cheers,

Charlie


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Last edited by TRZ Charlie; 09-15-2016 at 03:10 PM.
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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 03:52 PM
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you got us all hooked... better find the conclusion to this intrigue...!

ok, one more: brake lines hitting the fender?
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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you got us all hooked... better find the conclusion to this intrigue...!

ok, one more: brake lines hitting the fender? Unfortunately no
Ok, so I took twowheels advice and stripped the plastic off the bike. I took the top box off as well. I even removed the windscreen and went for a ride nearby on a gravel road. The sound seems to be coming from the radiator area. When I got back, I tapped around with a dead blow hammer and indeed the clunk emanates from the radiator area.

I don't have time to look further today and will be out of town for the weekend but when I get back I will go into depth on this.

Cheers,

Charlie


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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 11:20 AM
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Did anyone mention checking that the brake hoses aren't hitting the fender or something else under fork compression?

I'll add one more thing, learned from 40+ years of screwing around with motorcycles and cars, and a few years spent wrenchin' on jet aircraft (USAF '81-'90): noises can be extremely difficult for the human brain to localize. I've seen many instances of the cause of a abnormal noise eventually being tracked down to far from where it appeared to be coming from.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 11:22 AM
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The 2015 650 "LT" has the two-year warranty, but not the standard 650 model.

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Last edited by fasteddiecopeman; 09-17-2016 at 12:59 PM.
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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 04:24 PM
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Can you video the clunk?
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