Slight Noise When Braking - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Slight Noise When Braking

My 2017 currently has about 150 miles on it, and I'm hearing a noise. Because it's a new bike, I don't know if this noise is expected, or even if it's an issue. I do know it only started making this noise this week (or I only started noticing this week). What noise, you ask? Here are the conditions when it happens:

When I'm in traffic, or other any other situation where I'm in first gear, stay in first, and then brake (because...traffic). Specifically, I accelerate to get going, pull in the clutch and apply the brakes. When I apply the front brake, I hear a noise that's a cross between a clunk and a click. It's not overly loud at all, but I can hear it, and I can subtly feel it through the bars. It doesn't happen *every* time, but when it does, these are the conditions. It has happened, rarely, if I'm in second gear under the same conditions. So, anyone else experience this? Any idea what it could be? Is it normal? Am I being a bike hypochondriac?
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:49 PM
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Hard to assess not looking or listening to it. Does it happen when the bike is still cold? Try speeding up in higher gears and braking for longer distances to see if you listen or feel it, then try again in 1st or 2nd. You may have new pads that need to settle. Also, try to clean the rotors using a brake cleaner. If your bike still under warranty, take it to the dealer.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Hard to assess not looking or listening to it. Does it happen when the bike is still cold? Try speeding up in higher gears and braking for longer distances to see if you listen or feel it, then try again in 1st or 2nd. You may have new pads that need to settle. Also, try to clean the rotors using a brake cleaner. If your bike still under warranty, take it to the dealer.
It happens regardless of engine temperature. I've tested in all gears. The conditions listed are the only ones in which I've experienced this. I am swinging by the dealer to pick up my plate tomorrow. I figured I'd see if it was worth mentioning tomorrow, or waiting until the first service. I just don't want to be the "Oh no! It made a noise! It's falling apart" rider.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 04:39 PM
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My bike made an annoying yakkity-yak noise whenever I slowed down, then I realized it was just my wife whom I could finally hear over the wind noise as I slowed down.

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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-07-2018, 05:07 PM
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 10:42 AM Thread Starter
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OK, so I asked about it this morning when I went to pick up my license plate. As soon as I described it, he asked if the noise was coming from the rotor, and I said that it actually seemed to be coming from higher up. He nodded and said it doesn't happen all the time, but it's normal. It has something to do with the metal in the brake cable stretching and settling in, for lack of better terms. The noise will eventually stop. He rides an Africa Twin and said his bike did the same thing when he got it. So, as long as my brakes work? I'm happy.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 11:03 AM
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Not sure whom you may have spoken with, but your brakes are hydraulic in nature, not cable operated to my knowledge...

Unless they drastically changed technology from my old first gen. to the present day 'Vers.


Not sure what kind of warranty of service plan you may have, but if your not covered for some reason, I would be SAFELY/properly jacking up the front end (FRONT and REAR SERVICE STAND, ETC>) and spinning the front wheel by hand and watching, lookin and listening for issues, while randomly applying the front brake to try to duplicate the problem.

Or going to a different dealer for "inquiry" about it...

Just me, perhaps one of the larger helmet wearing tech types will step in. We want you to be riding safe!
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 11:57 AM
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If the sound is coming from higher up than the rotors. Maybe it's not the brake system at all. Years ago I had a new bike make a click, or clunk sound when applying the front brakes. Turned out it was the fork bearings were loose.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:06 PM
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Yeah, I'd be worried about the fork bearings. It could be something to do with the brakes. Sound location can be really deceptive on bikes. But I don't think this is normal and would want to get to the bottom of it.

Possibly a loose rotor or caliper. Maybe a loose hydraulic line. Possibly air in the brake fluid? Front axle not quite tight? Something shifting on the bike and tapping against the frame when you decelerate?

If it doesn't do it when you only apply rear brake or only use engine braking, it would seem to strongly point to something attached to the front end (handle bars, fork, wheel). I would also experiment with lightly applying front brake while still in 1st gear so that you don't actually decelerate with the brake tap. This might help isolate it some. I would also wiggle everything on the bike to see if something is just not bolted on tightly. Like the radiator, all the crap mounted under the fairings, all the hoses and cables, front fender, even the engine mounts.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:30 PM
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...Possibly a loose rotor or caliper....
There was a problem for SOME of the early V650s, wherein the calipers were NOT properly torqued, so bolts fell out. As a result I ALWAYS check mine when I pickup a new V. (For your Gen 3, ALL caliper bolts, front and rear, use 18 lb/ft.)


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 02:57 PM
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You only hear or feel it in lower gears. It may be there at all speeds but too quiet to hear with extra wind and road noise. Start at the wheel and ckeck the brake disc and caliper mounting for looseness. You may have to retorqe all of the mounting bolts as the brake system puts more force on the parts than you can by hand. Next check the wheel berings and axle for play. Then the fork mounting and for play in the bushings of the fork tubes and attachment to the stearing head. Last the steering head bearing adjustment. You can try to hold the front brake and rock the bike back and forth to find the noise or play.
A cable seating is is bull, no cable in the brakes and you said you can feel it in the bars. Get it documented for any warrenty claim.
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-08-2018, 06:58 PM
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May I suggest getting on the bike in neutral, motor turned off. let someone push you to get a little speed, then hit the front brake fairly hard. You can hear better with the engine off. Would be even better if you had one person on each side of the bike to help you listen.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-11-2018, 11:04 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like it's just under the tank, but you're right. It's hard to isolate *exactly* where it's coming from. I ride with a helmet cam, so the mic will pick it up. I'll send a a copy of the sound to the service dept tomorrow. I've already checked the disc and rotors. I'll check to forks later today.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-20-2018, 10:39 AM
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100% check your caliper bolts. I had a similar noise after I had tires put on, turned out as previously mentioned, bolts weren't torqued right and bolts fell out. Recognized it in time but just as the last bolt fell out.

Check em even if you think it's something else, better safe than sorry.
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