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2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS
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Discussion Starter #1
It's winter. Raining like crazy. Just got a nail in my rear tire, but it only pierced the tread so the tire was totally fine. I had to take it off to get it looked at, and see if I'd need to use that warranty on them. Guy at Cycle Gear said it seemed perfectly fine and sent me home with the nail as a souvenir hehe.

Anyway I was out riding today and everything feels normal but I'm definitely getting this weird harmonic sound coming from somewhere. It's either the drive, or the wheels. I'm trying to see if I recorded a clip that isn't muffled by the sound of the bike. At first I thought it might be coming from the transmission since I was hearing it when I shifted, and the lever seemed to be clicking up and down a bit louder than usual. But it's raining. A lot. So I can only assume that may be contributing.

It started doing it when I was on the highway, and did it on and off throughout my time running errands following that. I can't really describe it as anything but a weird harmonic type sound coming from below me somewhere.. Which probably doesn't help you guys much.

Engine sounds fine. Transmission seems to be working perfectly fine. No stutters. No false neutrals. Nothing that would make me question if it's okay or not. I haven't checked the oil yet, but going to do that soon and will snap a picture of it. But I suspect the transmission isn't the issue.

The brakes are more noisy in the rain. You can definitely hear them when I'm coming to a stop. They make no noise when dry.

2016 Versys 650. No performance mods.

If there's anything you guys can recommend I check I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!
 

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Vx300
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First thing that’s comes to mind is that “dampener” on the front wheel of the x300. Not sure if the 650 has one. It’s a foam donut wedged in the front wheel, presumably to prevent the type of sound you’re describing.
 

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2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS
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Discussion Starter #5
First thing that’s comes to mind is that “dampener” on the front wheel of the x300. Not sure if the 650 has one. It’s a foam donut wedged in the front wheel, presumably to prevent the type of sound you’re describing.
Some refer to it as a rubber donut between the front rotor and the spokes
I see a damper mentioned in the forks. Is that what you guys are referring to? Unless you mean the bearings, or the spacers? I do notice my brakes seem to rub a little and gawd they're noisy in the rain. But when it's dry it doesn't make any sort of sound. Is it possible when I reinstalled the brakes that I tightened the mounts too much? The calipers weren't messed with, just positioned on the rotors and screwed in.

could it be that the vibration is in fairings?
It doesn't sound like it. It sounds metallic in nature and the fairings are all plastic.

Also would the rain cause the shifter lever to be more noisy?

My mic died apparently so I'm going to slap an action cam on the bike and just let it record while I'm out. It's behind the windscreen so hopefully the mic won't be bombarded with wind noise. I'll post that up if it's successful.

Thanks for your suggestions so far. Thinking back on it more, it seems to come from the left more than the right if that helps at all.
 

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Vx300
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The dampener I refer too is a donut fitted between the front brake rotor and spokes. 650 has different wheels I know. It appears to me to be exactly what would be needed to prevent the front brake rotor from resonating, as in “weird harmonic sounds“. The sound may be from your front brake rotor.
181590
 

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In all my miles on V650s ('08, '09 and '15), OVER 150,000 w/ LOTS in rain - I've never noticed anything that I would describe the way you have (I DO wear ear-plugs and a modular helmet).
 

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Vx300
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I’d say double triple check the brake work you did. Torque values? I don’t know. Maybe?
 

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I love how quiet the V 650 stock muffler is. For the first couple of years I didn't wear earplugs as I like to listen to the engine for shifts and revs, etc. Unfortunately, over time my ears started hearing all the different mechanical noises to the point that at the end of a day it was driving me nuts! Little things. Ive been a studio musician for most of my life and my ears are trained to pick up everything. Now I give my brain a break and wear earplugs.
 

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2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS
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Discussion Starter #10
So small update.
I was riding today and it was there briefly, but then it went away. Hasn't done it at all. So it seems to just be present when it's been raining.

I wear ear plugs as well. I like my hearing lol.

Nothing looks weird on the wheels. Nothing seems to be rubbing anywhere. Will double check the brakes today and make sure one of the pads isn't sitting weird or something. They're still the OEM pads. Last I checked which was when I swapped the tires out recently, they had quite a lot of meat on them still, so I doubt they're worn down.
 

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Is it possible there’s some brake pad dust, or some type of build up about the brake pads? Thinking perhaps some gunk got wet and interacted with your brake rotor enough to make it ring? Maybe some brake cleaner would help?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A drive chain adjusted too tight can cause weird harmonic vibrations.
It wasn't adjusted at all when I had the rear tire inspected after finding the nail in it. It's definitely not tight, and it's not too loose. And the drive chain is straight. I doubly checked on that.

Would that only happen when it was raining? Or would that always create that sound?

Is it possible there’s some brake pad dust, or some type of build up about the brake pads? Thinking perhaps some gunk got wet and interacted with your brake rotor enough to make it ring? Maybe some brake cleaner would help?
Now that my power is back on (ugh almost 3 days thanks to a huge wind storm), I'll check the brakes and make sure they're not gunked up or show anything funky that could create that sound.

Thanks everyone!
 

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I love how quiet the V 650 stock muffler is. For the first couple of years I didn't wear earplugs as I like to listen to the engine for shifts and revs, etc. Unfortunately, over time my ears started hearing all the different mechanical noises to the point that at the end of a day it was driving me nuts! Little things. Ive been a studio musician for most of my life and my ears are trained to pick up everything. Now I give my brain a break and wear earplugs.
 
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