Whining sound - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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Whining sound

Hey guys,

My 2015 Versys has a speed dependent whine (sound continues when clutch is engaged) that does not change when brakes are applied. It is present at all speeds (only audible around 20 MPH) and increases in pitch as the bike accelerates. It's pretty much impossible to tell where it is coming from, I thought it was the front wheel but now I think it's from the front sprocket.


Bike has about 8000 miles, the last ~250 of which I put on it. I do not know exactly when the sound started. Generally it's not audible above the engine, but is clearly audible when the clutch is engaged and throttle disengaged. Front sprocket is stock (rubber dampened), rear sprocket is recently replaced but did not impact sound. Chain seems to be in OK condition and stock (DID brand?). Tires are Sportec M3, properly inflated, good condition.

Things I have checked:
-Rotor bobins
-Front wheel bearings (bearings seemed OK, the large spacer in between them would sort of click when rotated)
-Rear wheel bearings (bearings seemed OK, one was rotated much more freely than the other)
-Cleaned and lubricated chain (DuPont wax based)

After some research I realized I had the chain tension all wrong (I was applying moderate force to see full slack movement) and probably equated to about 20mm when measured properly. It was likely under this tension for the last 250 miles I have owned it, and I'm not sure if it started after I tightened the chain or not. After decreasing the tension, it seems to have quieted, but may be bias on my part. Used MotionPro tool to check alignment.

Any ideas what the issue could be? Could I have damaged the output shaft bearings?

2015 Versys 650

Last edited by sternman318; 05-12-2018 at 11:39 AM.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 03:15 PM
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...Any ideas what the issue could be? Could I have damaged the output shaft bearings?...
IF it was WAY-Y-Y over-tight for a long time, OR you hit a VERY deep pot-hole while it was over-tight, you MIGHT have damaged something.

The good thing is that you noticed it, then did something to ameliorate the "whine".


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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by fasteddiecopeman View Post

IF it was WAY-Y-Y over-tight for a long time, OR you hit a VERY deep pot-hole while it was over-tight, you MIGHT have damaged something.

The good thing is that you noticed it, then did something to ameliorate the "whine".

<a href="http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/images/smilies/goodluck.gif" border="0" alt="" title="Good Luck" >:-)</a>
That's good to know, I guess they're fairly beefy. It wasn't tight like a guitar strings, but definitely too tight.

Could anyone chime in if there is a whine when rolling and clutch engaged? Maybe it's just the way the tires sound....

2015 Versys 650
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-12-2018, 07:53 PM
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My guess is it's the chain, sprocket combo-mine has done it from day one-if you put the chain tighter than 27mm the whine increases-more than 30mm whine goes down but shifting suffers so 28mm-29mm it is

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by sternman318 View Post
Hey guys,

My 2015 Versys has a speed dependent whine (sound continues when clutch is engaged) that does not change when brakes are applied. It is present at all speeds (only audible around 20 MPH) and increases in pitch as the bike accelerates. It's pretty much impossible to tell where it is coming from, I thought it was the front wheel but now I think it's from the front sprocket.


Bike has about 8000 miles, the last ~250 of which I put on it. I do not know exactly when the sound started. Generally it's not audible above the engine, but is clearly audible when the clutch is engaged and throttle disengaged. Front sprocket is stock (rubber dampened), rear sprocket is recently replaced but did not impact sound. Chain seems to be in OK condition and stock (DID brand?). Tires are Sportec M3, properly inflated, good condition.

Things I have checked:
-Rotor bobins
-Front wheel bearings (bearings seemed OK, the large spacer in between them would sort of click when rotated)
-Rear wheel bearings (bearings seemed OK, one was rotated much more freely than the other)
-Cleaned and lubricated chain (DuPont wax based)

After some research I realized I had the chain tension all wrong (I was applying moderate force to see full slack movement) and probably equated to about 20mm when measured properly. It was likely under this tension for the last 250 miles I have owned it, and I'm not sure if it started after I tightened the chain or not. After decreasing the tension, it seems to have quieted, but may be bias on my part. Used MotionPro tool to check alignment.

Any ideas what the issue could be? Could I have damaged the output shaft bearings?
I hear you, I got so fed up with the DID OEM chain, I replaced it at about 12,000 KM , my 07 I sold it at 29,000 KM with the original chain, seems they cheapened up with the 2015 chain.. Here is my post from that thread;

I just replaced my OEM chain on the 2015 to a EK SRX2 Xring chain, as the original DID chain had a tendency for the links to become tight, 12,000 KM , my opinion is it was a bad chain. Placing the new chain beside the original chain, links were identical in length for a good 3 feet , then about 1 foot of chain was stretched by about a half link. Never did like DID chain. I have both the motion pro and Profi alignment tool, both easy to use, forget the marks on the swing arm, this has been discussed a million times before, but no harm in repeating good advice.

Here is the thread, with some excellent advice;
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums...in+replacement

Last edited by onewizard; 05-13-2018 at 08:26 AM.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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@onewizard Wow that's quite a difference in longevity. I'll keep an eye on it and look into a new chain... I do have a $50 amazon GC I need to burn through... Was your chain noisy, or just kinking up?

And yes a lot of good info in that thread, it's why I purchased the chain alignment tool! Never heard of them before. I'd definitely like the laser one but it's a little pricey for me. ALso good to see the "replace chain and sprockets at same time" thing is nonsense, it never made any sense to me. Always seemed overly precautious or a marketing ploy from the chain/sprocket manufacturers

2015 Versys 650
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 04:38 PM
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I hear you, I got so fed up with the DID OEM chain, I replaced it at about 12,000 KM , my 07 I sold it at 29,000 KM with the original chain, seems they cheapened up with the 2015 chain....
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Originally Posted by sternman318 View Post
...Wow that's quite a difference in longevity. I'll keep an eye on it and look into a new chain....
I replaced the OEM chain on my '15 650 at 49,437 kms, which is LOW to me - my '08 got OVER 50,xxx MILES from its OEM chain!

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 05:20 PM Thread Starter
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I replaced the OEM chain on my '15 650 at 49,437 kms, which is LOW to me - my '08 got OVER 50,xxx MILES from its OEM chain!
Hah, I bet you're one of those losers who actually follow recommended chain maintenance Seriously, that's impressive! I might replace mine just because I'm really not sure how well previous owner maintained the chain.

Do you have a recommended brand?

2015 Versys 650
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-13-2018, 07:52 PM
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Hah, I bet you're one of those losers who actually follow recommended chain maintenance Seriously, that's impressive! I might replace mine just because I'm really not sure how well previous owner maintained the chain.

Do you have a recommended brand?
EK SRX2 Xring chain
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-14-2018, 05:03 PM
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Hah, I bet you're one of those losers who actually follow recommended chain maintenance Seriously, that's impressive! I might replace mine just because I'm really not sure how well previous owner maintained the chain....
You should be able to 'check' your chain by inspecting the links, and seeing if ANY are 'stiff' or 'seized'.

ONE way is to slowly rotate your chain, checking its 'slack'. IF the slack changes - that will indicate a 'stiff' or 'seized' link going around your front sprocket. AND spray it w/ WD40.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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I've been holding off on replacing the chain, but yesterday I noticed if I bounce on the bike, as the suspension compresses the sound gets louder. Seems to me that's pretty damning evidence pointing to the chain... As rear compresses, chain tightens right?

2015 Versys 650
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-27-2018, 04:06 PM
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...As rear compresses, chain tightens right?
Yes. At least it DOES till all three 'centers' are inline - countershaft/ swingarm pivot/ rear axle.

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