Belt Chirp, Headlight Rattle, and More - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 04:19 PM Thread Starter
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Belt Chirp, Headlight Rattle, and More

Ok, I've had my 04 2000 for about two weeks and so far this is what I've learned. (hoping to both learn from any of your insights as well as help others along the way)

When I purchased the bike it was in excellent shape but had a few things that needed attention.
1. The belt would chirp/whine (especially during acceleration) -- it was so annoying.... the engine sounds so good but with that chirp it really took away from the enjoyment of the bike.
2. The headlight would rattle..... at first I didn't know it was the headlight, just that it was in the front of the bike somewhere, but I eventually found out it was between the headlight and it's immediate housing.
3. Rear brake was kinda hard to push down and wouldn't engage until at least 1/2 way down.
4. Bike wasn't as nimble as I'd expect it to be (really cumbersome to lean left and right while riding)
5. Bike would backfire extremely loud on deceleration. (especially when hot)

All of the above I've been able to fix with pretty good results, but as I'm new to cruisers I'd love any of your input on all these issues.

1. I asked my local motorcycle shop what that chirp/whine might be due to and they told me to condition the belt with some spray silicone. I did exactly that, I put the bike on a jack and lifted the back tire: put it in gear and let the back tire spin.... as I did so, I sprayed the belt with silicone for about a total of 20 seconds on the outside of the belt and then for about 5 seconds on the inside..... all as the belt was turning. This has completely eliminated the chirp.
2. This one was a pain.... I was finally able to figure the rattle was coming from the headlight. I kept riding the bike with parts of the headlight removed until the rattle came back -- pinpointed where the rattle was coming from. The rattle was between the headlight itself and it's immediate housing. I ripped a shop rag into three parts and stuffed it between the housing and the headlight in three spots. This has fixed the rattle, but I'm a little worried about overheating..... thoughts?
3. Rear brake was easy to adjust thanks to Kawasaki's designers. Also: gave all the moving parts some lubrication and now the back brake is my primary stopper.
4. Man -- my tires were low in pressure. Fixed this and the bike is as nimble as it's meant to be.
5. This one was a little difficult to figure out, but it ended up being an extremely low idle setting. The guy that owned the bike before me loved the way the engine sounded at idle when it idled really really low..... well, I guess when that's the case, during deceleration you can get gas that doesn't explode in the chamber and therefore seeps into the exhaust causing backfires. So, I just adjusted the idle a little higher and no more loud decel pop. I still get a little, but it's expected.

I still have a few things I want to get better: front brakes need to have new fluid and pads, new battery..... etc.

Speaking of which: what battery do you guys recommend for this bike?

Mine starts every time, but really really slowly. It turns over slow and takes about 3 or 4 seconds before it'll fire up. Is this normal? Will a new battery make it fire up quicker?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 05:30 PM
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Hoooooo-boy! You've got more questions -- and have done more to/with -- your 2K in just a few days than I have in over a year of ownership! I'll chime in on what little I do know -- I'm running a Yuasa battery that has...up 'til now...been just fine. I say up 'til now because, following the installation of a pair of Kuryakyn chrome bullet highway bar lights, there was a s-l-o-w but steady drain on the system. (Since repaired, thanks to a lengthy phone call with Kuryakyn, who admitted the grounding wasn't necessarily up to snuff.) And the battery does still take and hold a charge. But the cooling fan is a huge draw on the system, too. And if you're trying to crank the bike in the heat, and the cooling fan has kicked in or is kicking in, you might have too much of a draw on the battery, causing a sluggish crank. It happened to me yesterday, and after the crash bar light grounding issue, I rode Mo' straight to the mechanic. We'll see how it works out today when I ride her home from work -- if she cranks! If not, Hello, Triple A?!

Glad you checked the tire pressure 'cause I swear it's as nimble a bike as I've ever ridden, and I've had a couple of bitchin' bikes over the past 45 years (as have most of the folks on these here forums). Mine is quite simply a joy to ride.

To be as rare as they are -- at least here in the Coachella Valley -- my 2K is less trouble to keep up than my '72 Jag XKE was back in the late 70s. At least I can ride the 2K more than a day or two a month!

Victor
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-10-2018, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwastlund View Post
SNIP
All of the above I've been able to fix with pretty good results, but as I'm new to cruisers I'd love any of your input on all these issues.

1. I asked my local motorcycle shop what that chirp/whine might be due to and they told me to condition the belt with some spray silicone. I did exactly that, I put the bike on a jack and lifted the back tire: put it in gear and let the back tire spin.... as I did so, I sprayed the belt with silicone for about a total of 20 seconds on the outside of the belt and then for about 5 seconds on the inside..... all as the belt was turning. This has completely eliminated the chirp.

Just becareful as i have seen mixed views points on this matter, some say you shouldnt do it as it can cause the belt to slip.

2. This one was a pain.... I was finally able to figure the rattle was coming from the headlight. I kept riding the bike with parts of the headlight removed until the rattle came back -- pinpointed where the rattle was coming from. The rattle was between the headlight itself and it's immediate housing. I ripped a shop rag into three parts and stuffed it between the housing and the headlight in three spots. This has fixed the rattle, but I'm a little worried about overheating..... thoughts?

The only safety hazard here is that if there is a short or a wire goes bad, it might set fire to the rags

3. Rear brake was easy to adjust thanks to Kawasaki's designers. Also: gave all the moving parts some lubrication and now the back brake is my primary stopper.

Great to hear, brakes are important!

4. Man -- my tires were low in pressure. Fixed this and the bike is as nimble as it's meant to be.

Yeah, low pressure, crappy tyres and wide tyres are all causes to make the bike work harder on corners.

5. This one was a little difficult to figure out, but it ended up being an extremely low idle setting. The guy that owned the bike before me loved the way the engine sounded at idle when it idled really really low..... well, I guess when that's the case, during deceleration you can get gas that doesn't explode in the chamber and therefore seeps into the exhaust causing backfires. So, I just adjusted the idle a little higher and no more loud decel pop. I still get a little, but it's expected.

Yeah, im sending my bike in for a tuneup for a similar reason plus more.

I still have a few things I want to get better: front brakes need to have new fluid and pads, new battery..... etc.

Speaking of which: what battery do you guys recommend for this bike?

Mine starts every time, but really really slowly. It turns over slow and takes about 3 or 4 seconds before it'll fire up. Is this normal? Will a new battery make it fire up quicker?

Quite possibly getting a new battery may improve it slightly but no point if its still kicking over well enough. I would just get any battery as batteries are only recommended to last 3-5 yrs, depends on the companies warrenties

Thanks.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys.

I really appreciate the feedback. I welcome learning from those with more experience than me.

Loving the bike!
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-11-2018, 07:19 PM
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Howdy kwastlund!

Welcome to the V2K world.

You should have come here first

1) The belt chirp is well documented. WELL documented. The silicone spray is only a very temp fix. It will come back.

The reason the belt chirps while under acceleration is because the belt is not 100% aligned correctly. It has to be exact.

If the belt is to tight, it make noise.
If the belt is to lose, it makes noise.
If the belt is slanted to the left, it makes noise

Can you guess what it does if the belt is slanted to the right? One guess, and it had better be "Makes Noise"

Most of use have the belt set on the 4th tick/hash mark.. but ever bike varies.

2) Headlight Rattle - Well documented with the V2K.

here, check out this (old) site.

That darn headlight rattle


Also, do a forum search on the "resistor mod."

Resistor Mod

Your going to want to do that.

Yes, I'm a Chrome Whore.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-12-2018, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smedlin View Post
Howdy kwastlund!



Welcome to the V2K world.



You should have come here first



1) The belt chirp is well documented. WELL documented. The silicone spray is only a very temp fix. It will come back.



The reason the belt chirps while under acceleration is because the belt is not 100% aligned correctly. It has to be exact.



If the belt is to tight, it make noise.

If the belt is to lose, it makes noise.

If the belt is slanted to the left, it makes noise



Can you guess what it does if the belt is slanted to the right? One guess, and it had better be "Makes Noise"



Most of use have the belt set on the 4th tick/hash mark.. but ever bike varies.



2) Headlight Rattle - Well documented with the V2K.



here, check out this (old) site.



That darn headlight rattle





Also, do a forum search on the "resistor mod."



Resistor Mod



Your going to want to do that.


Thx. Iíll look into that resistor mod.

How exactly do I true the belt?


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-13-2018, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by kwastlund View Post

How exactly do I true the belt?

Maybe try spraying some sodium pentothal on it?
chanoc1077, dvictorh and coinneach like this.

Yes, I'm a Chrome Whore.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-14-2018, 02:49 PM
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smedlin -- that made me laugh! No, I mean that made me laugh!

Victor
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Hahaha.
But for reals. How do I true the belt? Any tutorials out there?


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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2018, 12:33 PM
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Most people run the 4th "notch".

I don't, cause I have aftermarket wheels, front pulley and rear pulley.

Honestly, start at the 4th mark. After running it, see how it sounds.

if it's still making noise, take a picture and post how the belt is "on" the rear pulley. It should be ALMOST all the way to the left. But not touching.

Or, maybe it's to tight.. or to lose. I think 10lbs of pressure on the belt is what it's suppose to be. There are tools you can buy to measure it.

when I changed all my stuff out, and was squealing, I just played around with it until i found the spot that worked. (then documented that spot for future reference)

Yes, I'm a Chrome Whore.

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