Clunk clunk loose chain? - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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Clunk clunk loose chain?

Hello, I am in need of some help. My 14 Versys has had no issues until about a month ago I notice when I pulled in the clutch at low speeds like getting ready to stop I felt this clunking feeling in the pegs. It seems like it is coming from the chain maybe? It is a little loose, would a loose chain do this? I did have both tires replaced about the same time and I always keep my chain a hair on the tighter side and they sent it back to me a little loose. I don't know feel it or hear it when there is a load on the chain (accelerating) Just those low speeds. Any one experience anything like this?
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post #2 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 07:37 PM
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Check your chain tension... Do you know how?
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post #3 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-02-2015, 07:59 PM
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The Versys is very sensitive to chain alignment, tension and condition. Check your alignment first, tension next and lubrication. How many miles on it and do you lube it regular?
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post #4 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 04:14 AM
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i bet your chain is to tight
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post #5 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 06:47 AM
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It's funny this topic came up, because I have a very similar issue on my '09. I had my Versys lowered the beginning of the summer, and the clunking for me occurs when I am accelerating. The clunk, clunk, clunk.... stops when I reach a steady speed. It happens in at least 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th gears (can't tell with 5th or 6th) - from when I start from a dead stop and immediately after I shift up. I have never adjusted the chain tension myself. I know that there are topics on the forum here about how to do it, but a video - for me - would be the ticket. I just don't understand it when someone is describing in writing how to do something like this - I need to be SHOWN how to do it on a VERSYS (preferably my own model) so I don't f*** it up.
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post #6 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 11:41 AM
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SA6, you really need to search Youtube & learn some basic & necessary skills.

Also, if you've done no chain maintenance at all, I think you may have "frozen" links (several links have seized together) that could be why it seems to smooth out at speed, but you seriously need to maintain your bike because it's a potential killer!
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post #7 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information, yes I do keep it lubed but I do need to do it again today. It is loose if anything, not too tight. Tension is just how tight it is so I will try to adjust that today as well. Alignment is just the wheel alignment right? The notches are the same on both sides so should not be it. Maybe it is frozen links like mentioned above. Just bothers me because it happened a week or two after the warranty expired! Oh well, chain would not have been covered anyway but maybe sprockets would be. I will lube it and tighten the chain today and post today or tomorrow if that made any difference.
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post #8 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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I have over 6000 miles on it
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post #9 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:37 PM
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You can't rely on the swingarm reference marks, until you know how far off they are. I used a straight edge on rear sprocket. Many swear by Motion Pro's alignment tool... Check also if your chain tension varies excessively as you rotate rear wheel, in which case you would need a new chain and sprockets.
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post #10 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:46 PM
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In addition to tight links, stretched chain, and worn out sprockets, there are tight spots in chain/sprocket assemblies when you rotate the wheel, even low mileage chain sprocket assembly. If you adjust the chain to the lowest slack adjustment (least deflection) at the loose spot, when the chain rotates to the tight spot, it will be too tight and possibly make noise. Find the tight spot by rotating the wheel/checking deflection at three or four locations as per operators manual, then adjust the chain as per operators manual recommendations, when it rolls around to the tightest spot, it will not be too tight.

Bill
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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaofan View Post
Thanks for the information, yes I do keep it lubed but I do need to do it again today. Alignment is just the wheel alignment right? The notches are the same on both sides so should not be it. Maybe it is frozen links like mentioned above. .
Motion Pro Chain Alignment Tool - 08-0048 I have 8 foot straight edge, alignment string, laser level etc.

The Motion Pro was the best $20 I ever spent on my bike, ---as to the notches on the swing arm, I would make a comparison of a machinist using a tape measure to mill a piece of steel to 1/8 inch as opposed to using a micrometer to measure 0.1250 ". I found measuring the distance between the swing arm and rim on both sides was better than using the notches.


Once the links are ceased , it usually means a new chain, as the chain is permanently lubed, the O rings keep this lube in, cleaning oiling the chain removes debris and keeps the dirt out of the O rings, When the O rings fail, so does the chain.

Some on this forum use a oiler, if you understand how and why a chain is permanently lubed / sealed, you will understand why once that seal is broken , so is the chain.

Simply put, perfectly machined round surfaces with just enough lube , sealed inside, transferring energy from the motor to the rear wheel, some of that energy is lost in friction, which creates heat. Once the chain starts to wear, those round surfaces get deformed, which increases friction and produces more heat, this heat can cause a link to lose all lube, continued use causes the metal to deform and ceased links are a result. Adding lube to a ceased link may free it up and get you home, but the chain is done.

Last thing, having what you think is loose is better than making the chain too tight, if too tight, reversing the process doesn't fix the damage done to the chain when it was too tight.
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 01:25 PM
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 03:36 PM
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As invader said - DON'T RELY ON THE SWINGARM MARKS AS BEING PRECISE!

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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 03:42 PM
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 04:52 PM Thread Starter
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Well I adjusted the chain and lubed it. It did not fix it at all. I might even end up loosening up the chain a little for I think I got it a little too tight. It has the right play in it but when I sit on it it tightens up a bit. I have no idea what this clunking noise is. I can feel it, a slight feeling on the pegs every time it happens. Maybe a bad wheel bearing? That should not make a noticeable clunk since it's circumference is too small. It really seems to happen about once every complete rotation of the chain. I may end up having to take it in to the dealer which I really do not want to do. I will keep thinking on what it could be.
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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 05:50 PM
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Do not worry. Either you buy yourself a new set of sprockets/chain every two months, or get yourself a new bike w a shaft drive.
This is how these (and most) bikes are, it it as simple as that. I have about 20 000 miles on my V and I hear what you hear from the chain. If you look closer to the links they are probably just slightly frozen/unlubricated. No bike is perfect when it comes to this.
Lube your chain and check the sprockets periodically. When you can lift the chain from the rear sprocket too much (Google this) then it is time to worry and replace these parts...

Anders B.
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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-03-2015, 07:42 PM
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My chain went bad last year after a long run in a driving rain wash it out. The grease that is. I had stiff links in three places and not only did it make noise but I could feel is and the speedo went wonky as well. A new chain a front sprocket and all was right.

I go for the X ring chains as they seem to keep the grease in and water, dirt and mud out. I have 26,000 miles on the one I put on the KLR and it's seen a hard life.

Or was that look THEN leap?
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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 12:50 AM Thread Starter
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I will take off the front sprocket cover tomorrow and inspect it and then I guess I will just ignore it and ride if I do not see anything obviously wrong. I guess I just need a new chain but so far I have not found anything visibly wrong with it.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 10-04-2015, 03:09 PM
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Well I adjusted the chain and lubed it. It did not fix it at all. I might even end up loosening up the chain a little for I think I got it a little too tight.
The chain should have around an inch "play" with you sitting on the 'bike as well as whatever your everday load is that you carry.

Maybe a paddock stand would be a good investment also, & you will be able to spin the rear wheel while it's jacked up & identify an clucks & observe for frozen links or jumping up & down which could also be the sprockets worn (one side will have a different profile to the side of the sprocket that the chain doesn't pull on)
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