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Discussion Starter #1
My 2008 V started making a chirping/scraping noise between 4500-5500 RPMs. I have been advised by a knowledgeable friend that it may be the clutch plates rubbing together. He is a retired racer who knows bikes very well, though not the V per se. The sound goes away if I squeeze the clutch while riding.
He said that it might help to change the oil even if she's not really due for an oil change, though it may be necessary to replace the clutch. Have any of you replaced a clutch on the V? Can you recommend whether to go with OEM or some kind of after market clutch?
Know of any tutorials besides the maintenance manual?
 

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My 2008 V started making a chirping/scraping noise between 4500-5500 RPMs... The sound goes away if I squeeze the clutch while riding.
Check your drive chain and sprockets. See if chain tension varies too much as you rotate rear wheel.
 

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Perhaps you could get a better explanation. When you're just riding along, the clutch plates are locked together by springs and shouldn't be chirping or doing anything active at all, other than spinning.

Many folks decide to use more robust after-market clutch packs and even higher rate springs when replacing a clutch. I have not been convinced this is a necessity, but would do an extensive online review and ask a couple of good workshops were I replacing a clutch, especially with a modestly powered engine.
 

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Did you check to see if the clutch cable has too much tension?

I lubed my clutch cable last weekend, went for a ride, and had slippage whenever I twisted the grip hard in 2nd or 3rd. I didn't have enough slack in the clutch cable. It didn't make a squealing sound, but I was reminded that I need to be careful about having a couple of millimeters of slack in the clutch cable.
 

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If you hear the same noise in this video......Listen to Invader. Its the chain....

 

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Discussion Starter #8
The sound I am hearing is much higher pitched than in the video. The video sounds like a rattle, mine sounds "chirpy". It ONLY occurs between 4500-5500 RPM, no matter what speed I'm traveling at. If the revs are any higher or lower, the sound immediately stops.
If it is being caused by the chain, what is considered to be excessive variation in the chain tension?
There is no sign of any wear or marks on the chain guard.

Besides the sound I am asking about here, I am also hearing a rubbing, grinding noise from the front wheel. I have had the calipers apart, and everything looks OK there. I understand that if a disk was warped, I would feel excess play in the brake lever on the first pull, and the brakes seem to work fine, no throbbing or slipping, nice and smooth. I have seen threads in my research online that say that a noise like I am hearing from the front wheel can be caused by the front axle bolt being over torqued, putting pressure on the bearings. Any thoughts on this?
 

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Oils labeled energy saving have friction modifiers that can cause clutch slippage. A slipping clutch will cause the tach needle to jump around. As others have said clutch failures are unusual on the Versys 650. Chain and sprocket issues due to wear or incorrect chain tension are not.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'll try putting it up on a rear wheel stand and run it up into the 45-55 RPM range in gear, and see if I can isolate where the noise is coming from.
The tach needle is not jumping or acting strange. The noise does not occur if I rev up to 4500 with the bike in neutral, or with the clutch pulled, in gear.
The cowling buzz was a good thought, but I'm sure the noise is not coming from the cowling, it's lower down.
 

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I'll try putting it up on a rear wheel stand and run it up into the 45-55 RPM range in gear, and see if I can isolate where the noise is coming from.
The tach needle is not jumping or acting strange. The noise does not occur if I rev up to 4500 with the bike in neutral, or with the clutch pulled, in gear.
The cowling buzz was a good thought, but I'm sure the noise is not coming from the cowling, it's lower down.
In that case, invader is most likely correct, as usual. Download service manual here.
http://www.kawasakiversys.com/forums/9-technical-discussion/2846-all-v-manuals-you-need-one-place.html#post28183
Refer to Periodic Maintenance 2-30 Drive Chain Wear Inspection. You hang a 20lb weight on the chain and measure the length of 20 links. Standard is 12.5 - 12.53 inches. Service limit is 12.7 inches. Chain slack should be between 1 and 1.4 inches.
 

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Drive chain has excess slack and/or is worn out.
That was my thought too. I had a sort of clicking sound on takeoff and I am pretty sure it is the the chain hitting the little plastic guide gizmo. It seems like I have a few mildly stiff links. I cleaned the chain and lubed it and the noise went away. It is now back slightly and my chain is at the max slack (1.4 inches). So, I guess you could do a super cleaning job on the chain and see if the noise is gone or different. If so, that would be another reason to suspect the chain. Chain adjust is next for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I took a short video of it running in 1st gear on the stand. How do I post that? Invader, I think you are correct, though . It does not look or sound right to me. I'm wondering if I'll need to change out the sprockets while I'm at it. If that's the case, which brand of both do you recommend? I'd like to keep the standard tooth setup, front and rear.
 

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Replace both sprockets as well as the chain. Get a Kawasaki OEM 15T front sprocket (part# 13144-0024) which has rubber damper. Rear sprocket make doesn't really matter as long as it's a steel 46T. Get a good quality X-ring chain, 520 X 114 links.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I am gathering the tools I will need for this job, or, at least, pricing them. Sears has the craftsman digital torque wrench for about $80 US. Should I go with the 3/8" or the 1/2"?
I also think the alignment tool is a real good idea, and so cheap it's a no-brainer.
I have never mounted a chain on a bike before. I like the looks of the screw-on master link. Good Idea? I have no special tools for the chain itself and $100 for a tool set I will likely use only once is out of my budget.
Any advice?
 
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