Handling Issues with Versys 2009, and binding noise. - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-21-2017, 11:12 PM Thread Starter
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Handling Issues with Versys 2009, and binding noise.

Hi Guys, wanted to share some observations I had with my '09 V, wondering if there is any inputs from seasoned V riders.

So far I have clocked 14,000 Km on my V '09.

In my country we are allowed to lane split, however I have noticed the fine finesse of control on the V isn't like my previous motorcycles. I used to ride 400cc inline 4 standard bikes, like the suzuki 400 bandit and 400 impulse. around 180-190 KG wet weight motorcycles with lower CG, they respond with very 'crisp' to steering input and generally split through vehicles at expressway speeds with ease and is very very confidence instilling.

However, I have noticed that when I do lane splitting maneuvers at highway speeds on the V, there is a tend to drift in the previous input before the current input kicks in, If i had to describe it, it seems understeery. For example, when I perform a micro left steering input, to weave through car mirrors, the bike will tend to hang left slightly, and I will have to do a larger effort to steer the bike right to track it straight, the sometimes overshooting then the bike will weave (but think within a margin of 10 cm left right weave), most of the time I wont be able to cleanly follow the center line, like I could on my previous bikes. Now I only go for really big gaps.

In a sense, for all my previous motorcycles, Fine "micro" steering was never as ' conscious ' a process as with riding the V, its not as enjoyable to ride through the expressways now. I am kind of resigned that perhaps heavier and taller bikes behave this way (but the versys isn't all that much heavier - I am thinking), but I am hoping that there is a fix.

I assumed it was a tyre issue, but I had just changed to a fresh pair of Z8 interacts, the characteristic persists. I was wondering if it was a steering stem or wheel bearing issue, but the bike tracks straight and true with hands off the bars so I am suspecting perhaps not.

I am thinking of dropping the front tyre to a 120/60 profile to give the steering more edge, since I am a tarmac guy. Or perhaps lowering the front by 10mm to change the steering geometry.

Could I check if this a feeling shared by other riders?

Second issue:

At moving off speeds, really low, there seems to have a binding sound at the front end, not from the engine, but the wheel, clutch cable or suspension areas. Its like a creaky binding noise.

The sound seems more likely to appear when I steer in one direction (cant remember left or right) , and I only hear it at very low speeds. I have checked the clutch cable and it seems quite tightly wrapped around the steering stem area, could that be the issue?

2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

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Last edited by widishi; 11-21-2017 at 11:18 PM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Perhaps tyre alignment?

2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

LV Evo II | H&B Crash Bars | H&B Journey 55L | LED Voltmeter | PP Windshield Bracket | Puig Windshield w/ Multi Deflector | C&C Shorty Levers | Chaft Mirrors | Puig Rear Hugger | Series R/R | Vac Mod | Tooless Preload Adjuster | Snorkel Remove | EP Radiator Guard | BMW Grips | TS Tank Grips | LED City Lights | Contoured Seat
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 08:01 AM
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What tires are you running, and what condition and air pressure? Not familiar with Z8's.

Last edited by Smiley; 11-22-2017 at 08:03 AM.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 08:09 AM
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I have an '07 and it does not exhibit those tendencies at all. In fact, a slight push on the 'bar gives an instant and precise reaction. I run Pilot Road 2 tires, 32psi front and 36 psi rear.
When the rear is worn to a flat centre strip it does tend to "fall-in" slightly, but any worn tire will do the same.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widishi View Post
Hi Guys, wanted to share some observations I had with my '09 V, wondering if there is any inputs from seasoned V riders.



Second issue:

At moving off speeds, really low, there seems to have a binding sound at the front end, not from the engine, but the wheel, clutch cable or suspension areas. Its like a creaky binding noise.

The sound seems more likely to appear when I steer in one direction (cant remember left or right) , and I only hear it at very low speeds. I have checked the clutch cable and it seems quite tightly wrapped around the steering stem area, could that be the issue?
There have been many cases of the clutch cable being pinched just before is goes behind the gas tank, there is a second place that some had problems with, just as it travels down from the clutch lever there is a guide fastened to the frame, several had the cable kinked and on the wrong side of this guide, a very similar situation with the throttle cable, the first one I described needs the gas tank removed to see it properly.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widishi View Post
Hi Guys, wanted to share some observations I had with my '09 V, wondering if there is any inputs from seasoned V riders.

Second issue:

At moving off speeds, really low, there seems to have a binding sound at the front end, not from the engine, but the wheel, clutch cable or suspension areas. Its like a creaky binding noise.

The sound seems more likely to appear when I steer in one direction (cant remember left or right) , and I only hear it at very low speeds. I have checked the clutch cable and it seems quite tightly wrapped around the steering stem area, could that be the issue?
With the "creaky binding noise" I would check the steering bearings. Jack up the bike so the front wheel is off the ground. Then turn the front wheel from lock to lock to see if it feels rough or gritty or makes noise. Then grab the front forks and try to move them back and forth.

If you notice any back and forth movement or clunking or binding I would replace the bearings.

Cookin Wid Gas

2015 V-650 of course it's green...it's a Kazawalski.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-22-2017, 12:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widishi View Post
...I assumed it was a tyre issue, but I had just changed to a fresh pair of Z8 interacts, the characteristic persists. I was wondering if it was a steering stem or wheel bearing issue, but the bike tracks straight and true with hands off the bars so I am suspecting perhaps not....
My suggestion is to change your tire pressures HIGHER. I have run 36 psi F, 42R ever since I got my FIRST Versys in Sept '08, at the suggestion of the mechanic where I bought it. I then ran EVERY one of my bikes at those pressures (a Bandit 1200S, a Yam SR500, a KLR650, two MORE Vs) and that includes while running knobbies, ContiMotions, Tourances, and E705s, and I NEVER "air-down".

Never had an issue as described by you.

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Guys to update, I had improved the handling issue, turns out the preload of the front was all wonky and mismatched left to right leg, the shop which I got my V from did a service for leaking on the right and must have not set it properly. My fault too for assuming they would be right and tuning the preload based off the mismatch, the left and right were almost 3-4 turns different, it is now definitely better.

But still im planning to do a steering cone and wheel bearing refresh, to ensure its handling is tip top.

Regarding noise, I have asked a trusted mech at a shop and he thinks its the valve chain slapping, the sound it getting more frequent, its been like this for the last few hundred kms... seems like the CCT isnt picking up the slack.

Could I reset the cam chain tensioner to try to fix this temporarily? (planning to do valves soon) Its seems like simple thing to try.. From what I read its just removing the tensioner bolts fully, then resetting it inwards then reinstalling it? Without cranking engine.

From service manual: Camshaft Chain Tensioner Installation

•Replace the O-ring [A] with a new one.
•Apply grease to the O-ring.
•Release the stopper [B] and push the push rod [C] into the tensioner body [D].
•Install the tensioner body so that the stopper [A] faces upward.
•Tighten the tensioner mounting bolts.

Torque - Camshaft Chain Tensioner Mounting Bolts: 9.8 N·m (1.0 kgf·m, 87 in·lb)

•Install: Spring [A] and Washer [B]
•Tighten the cap bolt [C].

Torque - Camshaft Chain Tensioner Cap Bolt: 20 N·m (2.0 kgf·m, 15 ft·lb)

•Turn the crankshaft 2 turns clockwise to allow the tensioner to expand, then recheck the camshaft chain timing

For the last bit..can I skip that? roll the bike slowly in first ? as I don't plan on stripping the engine side cover.

2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

LV Evo II | H&B Crash Bars | H&B Journey 55L | LED Voltmeter | PP Windshield Bracket | Puig Windshield w/ Multi Deflector | C&C Shorty Levers | Chaft Mirrors | Puig Rear Hugger | Series R/R | Vac Mod | Tooless Preload Adjuster | Snorkel Remove | EP Radiator Guard | BMW Grips | TS Tank Grips | LED City Lights | Contoured Seat
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Recording some audio:

Today its persistently there, usually its not, but in the mornings when its cold it would make this sound but much louder. But only intermittently, I will try to get a better recording in the morning.

This video sounds worse than it really is due to my phone being right beside the chain, its actually not that loud.


2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

LV Evo II | H&B Crash Bars | H&B Journey 55L | LED Voltmeter | PP Windshield Bracket | Puig Windshield w/ Multi Deflector | C&C Shorty Levers | Chaft Mirrors | Puig Rear Hugger | Series R/R | Vac Mod | Tooless Preload Adjuster | Snorkel Remove | EP Radiator Guard | BMW Grips | TS Tank Grips | LED City Lights | Contoured Seat
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-29-2017, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by widishi View Post
...Could I reset the cam chain tensioner to try to fix this temporarily? (planning to do valves soon) Its seems like simple thing to try.. From what I read its just removing the tensioner bolts fully, then resetting it inwards then reinstalling it? Without cranking engine.



•Turn the crankshaft 2 turns clockwise to allow the tensioner to expand, then recheck the camshaft chain timing

For the last bit..can I skip that? roll the bike slowly in first ? as I don't plan on stripping the engine side cover.
You will NOT be able to "roll the bike slowly in first" w/out first removing the spark-plugs, and by the time you do THAT - you're quite away INTO what's required to "do" your valves.

Incidentally to actually turn the engine w/ a wrench, you remove the small (1 3/4") round 'inspection window', NOT "the engine side cover".


Ed
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Eddie, i guess I would try to band aid it just do it with the valve clearance.

Funny thing is I dropped my bike, somehow or a rather after the drop the sound went away for good..been a few hundred kms.

I suspect the large jerk when I dropped and released the clutch must have nudged the cct to the next position. Strange.

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2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

LV Evo II | H&B Crash Bars | H&B Journey 55L | LED Voltmeter | PP Windshield Bracket | Puig Windshield w/ Multi Deflector | C&C Shorty Levers | Chaft Mirrors | Puig Rear Hugger | Series R/R | Vac Mod | Tooless Preload Adjuster | Snorkel Remove | EP Radiator Guard | BMW Grips | TS Tank Grips | LED City Lights | Contoured Seat
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 01-09-2018, 09:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Eddie, i guess I would try to band aid it just do it with the valve clearance.

Funny thing is I dropped my bike, somehow or a rather after the drop the sound went away for good..been a few hundred kms.

I suspect the large jerk when I dropped and released the clutch must have nudged the cct to the next position. Strange.

Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk
Shouldn't try to band aid it*

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2009 V ABS - 80,00KM

LV Evo II | H&B Crash Bars | H&B Journey 55L | LED Voltmeter | PP Windshield Bracket | Puig Windshield w/ Multi Deflector | C&C Shorty Levers | Chaft Mirrors | Puig Rear Hugger | Series R/R | Vac Mod | Tooless Preload Adjuster | Snorkel Remove | EP Radiator Guard | BMW Grips | TS Tank Grips | LED City Lights | Contoured Seat
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