Now I'm hearing my own noises! - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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Now I'm hearing my own noises!

2018 Versys 650 with ABS - 12,000 miles - no engine modifications - original chain and sprockets


Not sure if this is normal or not (I'm gonna ride the hell out of this bike until it falls apart or I can trade it in) but...


...I almost always ride with my earplugs in. The other day I took a short ride without the earplugs. When slowing down from approximately 40 mph I start to hear a "choo, choo, choo...choo....choo.....choo......choo.......choo. ......." as the bike starts to come to a stop. It's not super-loud...but it's loud enough to notice over the engine!

At first I thought it was my front tire as I recently changed it. So I put it up on the triple tree stand and spun that front tire as fast as I could get it. Nothing. No "choo...choo...choo...".

I'm leaning towards thinking it's something to do with the chain. So I checked the chain slack and I'm in spec. I checked the chain alignment...perfect.

I spun that rear tire as fast as I could and heard the normal chain sound but couldn't hear the "choo...choo..." sound over the chain sound.

I've checked the brakes, front and back, numerous times and the sound is still present when I apply the brakes.

Again, I'm almost positive it's got something to do with the front sprocket, which was cleaned last weekend.


Thoughts?
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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:16 AM
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Could it be from engine braking? Try pulling in the clutch lever while slowing down so you coasting and then while still holding in the clutch lever apply brakes and see if you hear the sound.

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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Could it be from engine braking? Try pulling in the clutch lever while slowing down so you coasting and then while still holding in the clutch lever apply brakes and see if you hear the sound.

When clutch lever is engaged I can still hear the noise.
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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:51 AM
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Either it is wheel speed or engine speed dependent as 2wa says. If wheel speed, I suspect brakes. If engine speed, I have no idea other than exhaust. Earplugs in vs out can make a huge difference in what you hear. It could be an entirely normal sound.

If it is the brakes it could be the bobbins need to be cleaned on the front disks. The disks float on the bobbins. Grime can get in there and bind it up. The disk is a bit warped (but not permanently) when this happens and you can get odd moans or other noises from the brakes.

If you roll your bike slowly backwards can you hear any variable brake noises?

If you haven't come across the bobbin thing before, this is a good quick video. Use a bolt to grab the bobbin, spray with brake cleaner (outside with good ventilation, wear gloves), rotate the bolt with a wrench or electric drill.
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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:36 AM
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Sounds like biological blow by to me.

Easy to fix...stop eating beans and keep your cheeks firmly planted on the seat.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds like biological blow by to me.

Easy to fix...stop eating beans and keep your cheeks firmly planted on the seat.


Never thought of that! There is a connection to hearing the noise and coming from the local Mexican restaurant.
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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 01:21 PM
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My 2016 V-1000 started doing that. There has been several post I've seen on other forums about warped front brake rotors so i bought new rotors, brakes front and rear and gaskets to change out......Still haven't installed them yet because I'm still on crutches.... Sucks for me because the noise showed up 1 month after the warranty expired..

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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 01:30 PM
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My 2016 V-1000 started doing that. There has been several post I've seen on other forums about warped front brake rotors so i bought new rotors, brakes front and rear and gaskets to change out......Still haven't installed them yet because I'm still on crutches.... Sucks for me because the noise showed up 1 month after the warranty expired..

P1020387 by weljo2001, on Flickr
On crutches? I must have missed something. Accident or got Bionic Knees implanted?

Whichever, here's to complete healing!

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 01:33 PM
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I would suggest running your hands over the front tire.......cupping will make that sound. Could be front or rear tire.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:33 PM
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On crutches? I must have missed something. Accident or got Bionic Knees implanted?

Whichever, here's to complete healing!


Back in November or December. My knees and hip started bothering me with the cold wet weather we were having. Its warming up nice now so I'm feeling better but its still easier getting around with the crutches for now.

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 03:58 PM
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Sprocket wear?

Do you lube the chain each 400 miles?

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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OK, I took the Versys around today. (Went down to Plant City for some more of that strawberry shortcake!) then rode over to Cycle Gear.

Coming back I pulled into the empty Big Lots parking lot. Took my helmet off and ear plugs out.

IMMEDIATELY I identified where this "choo-choo'ing" is coming from...the rear sprocket/chain area!

It's amazing what you hear, and where you hear it from, when you go from ear plugs and helmet to no helmet!

So, I'm going to tighten up the chain just a tad and clean and lube. YES, I am pretty meticulous about my chains. I ALWAYS clean and lube within 200-500 miles and immediately after riding in any rain.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:05 PM
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2018 Versys 650 with ABS - 12,000 miles - no engine modifications - original chain and sprockets
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Originally Posted by Devilsfan View Post
OK, I took the Versys around today. (Went down to Plant City for some more of that strawberry shortcake!) then rode over to Cycle Gear.

Coming back I pulled into the empty Big Lots parking lot. Took my helmet off and ear plugs out.

IMMEDIATELY I identified where this "choo-choo'ing" is coming from...the rear sprocket/chain area!

It's amazing what you hear, and where you hear it from, when you go from ear plugs and helmet to no helmet!

So, I'm going to tighten up the chain just a tad and clean and lube. YES, I am pretty meticulous about my chains. I ALWAYS clean and lube within 200-500 miles and immediately after riding in any rain.
See how much your chain tension varies as you rotate rear wheel. Adjust it at its tightest position for now. Replace chain and sprockets ASAP.

Last edited by invader; 04-07-2019 at 05:54 PM.
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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:16 PM Thread Starter
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See how much your chain tension varies as you rotate rear wheel. Adjust it at its tightest position for now. Replace chain and sprocket asap.

Will do and I'll post up when finished.

The chain looks to be in decent shape. No kinks or anything. And the sprockets look good as well. I was hoping to get a few more thousand miles off this stock chain but it may be time. I also have a lot of room on the chain tensioners left.

Again, I measure the slack every time I clean and lube...and sometimes just to check it! I should be between 1" and 1.25" correct? I'm pretty sure that's what the user manual states.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:58 PM
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Will do and I'll post up when finished.

The chain looks to be in decent shape. No kinks or anything. And the sprockets look good as well. I was hoping to get a few more thousand miles off this stock chain but it may be time. I also have a lot of room on the chain tensioners left.

Again, I measure the slack every time I clean and lube...and sometimes just to check it! I should be between 1" and 1.25" correct? I'm pretty sure that's what the user manual states.
Yeah, with rear suspension fully extended... Just make sure you adjust chain tension when it's at its tightest position in its rotation. If tension varies excessively in its rotation, it'll be time to replace chain and sprockets.
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post #16 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, with rear suspension fully extended... Just make sure you adjust chain tension when it's at its tightest position in its rotation. If tension varies excessively in its rotation, it'll be time to replace chain and sprockets.
What do you mean by this? Should I have the bike up on the center stand or do I need to adjust the suspension itself? And if so, what direction when facing the right side of the bike do I turn it?
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post #17 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:50 PM
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What do you mean by this? Should I have the bike up on the center stand or do I need to adjust the suspension itself? And if so, what direction when facing the right side of the bike do I turn it?
The owners manual says to check it while on the side stand.

I do mine on the paddock stand so you can rotate the wheel and adjust it at the tightest spot. Finding the tight spot can be a bit of a challenge as the tighter area may be very subtle. Take your time and make several rotations as there may be a couple of tight spots.

If you did adjust it on a "Loose" spot it would not be the end of the world since the book gives you a range that is in spec, 25 to 35 mm of slack.

Good luck.
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post #18 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 07:53 PM
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What do you mean by this? Should I have the bike up on the center stand or do I need to adjust the suspension itself? And if so, what direction when facing the right side of the bike do I turn it?
Rear Suspension fully extended can be achieved by center stand.
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post #19 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Suspension fully extended can be achieved by center stand.

Normally, I adjust the chain when it's on the center stand then lower it to the side stand and measure. Often times I find the chain gets really tight when I lower the bike to the side stand so I wind up lifting and setting down until I get it within spec ON THE SIDE STAND.

Is this the correct way to measure, while on the side stand? That's the way I've always done my chained bikes. Is the Versys different?
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post #20 of 32 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:07 PM
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OK, I took the Versys around today. (Went down to Plant City for some more of that strawberry shortcake!) then rode over to Cycle Gear.

Coming back I pulled into the empty Big Lots parking lot. Took my helmet off and ear plugs out.

IMMEDIATELY I identified where this "choo-choo'ing" is coming from...the rear sprocket/chain area!

It's amazing what you hear, and where you hear it from, when you go from ear plugs and helmet to no helmet!

So, I'm going to tighten up the chain just a tad and clean and lube. YES, I am pretty meticulous about my chains. I ALWAYS clean and lube within 200-500 miles and immediately after riding in any rain.
I was going to suggest riding without your helmet so you could here where the sound was coming from. I know that choo choo sound. Sure sounds like a chain with a tight spot. Sounds like new chain time.
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