New noise after winter storage - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 07:59 PM Thread Starter
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New noise after winter storage

Ok... So here's the situation. I have a 2007 900LT that I stored from November until about a week ago. Recently moved to Michigan from Virginia so this is the first time I ever stored the bike over the winter. So I changed the oil and filter, stabilized a full tank of gas, fogged the engine with fogging oil, washed and polished everything, covered it, and put the battery on a trickle charger. It has been beautiful out for the past few days so I took the bike out for a few runs...

Now onto the noise. It sounds like a loud ticking, almost like valve noise. It first appeared after the first 20 miles. It only comes through after the bike is warmed up and only under load (at least 2.5k rpm). Bike runs great, just sounds like hell.
I checked the valves and the front exhaust valves were both about 0.05mm loose. So I'm thinking "sweet, fixed".
Replaced the shims to spec, took it for a ride and still that damn noise.
Fogged the engine with sea foam deep creep, noise still there.
Topped the tank off with premium shell v power, noise still there.

Do you think I should keep running it and give it more time to work off the cobwebs? I would hate to take it to a shop because I am cheap, stubborn as hell and prefer doing things myself. Any ideas? Anything else I should be checking?

Thanks for any help.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2012, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jac4xt View Post
Ok... So here's the situation. I have a 2007 900LT that I stored from November until about a week ago. Recently moved to Michigan from Virginia so this is the first time I ever stored the bike over the winter. So I changed the oil and filter, stabilized a full tank of gas, fogged the engine with fogging oil, washed and polished everything, covered it, and put the battery on a trickle charger. It has been beautiful out for the past few days so I took the bike out for a few runs...

Now onto the noise. It sounds like a loud ticking, almost like valve noise. It first appeared after the first 20 miles. It only comes through after the bike is warmed up and only under load (at least 2.5k rpm). Bike runs great, just sounds like hell.
I checked the valves and the front exhaust valves were both about 0.05mm loose. So I'm thinking "sweet, fixed".
Replaced the shims to spec, took it for a ride and still that damn noise.
Fogged the engine with sea foam deep creep, noise still there.
Topped the tank off with premium shell v power, noise still there.

Do you think I should keep running it and give it more time to work off the cobwebs? I would hate to take it to a shop because I am cheap, stubborn as hell and prefer doing things myself. Any ideas? Anything else I should be checking?

Thanks for any help.
There's a post somewhere else about the automatic cam chain tensioner making noise when it's about to adjust itself. Maybe that's what yours is doing?
On the other hand, maybe it's just stretching and cracking it's joints after that long winter's rest?

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm. I thought about cam chain noise, but figured that since it was a hydraulic tensioner there was nothing that I could do. Does the tensioner not continuously keep itself adjusted? Is it possible that there is no oil getting to the tensioner (I am assuming that the hydraulics are simply from crankcase oil routing)? Since the bike runs fine I am guessing that there are no oil passages blocked. I have put about another 20 miles on it since the noise started with no change.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 06:41 AM
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Check your header bolts, and the rest of the exhaust.
Check rectifier cover (removed for oil change)...make sure that isn't rattling.
Without starting another flaming oil thread...examine your choice and switch to a good quality synthetic....our bikes have the notorious "kawi tick"....mine has settled down, or, I just don't hear it anymore.
Finally, switch to regular unleaded. Some 9's HATE premium. Mine is one of them. It ticks like CRAZY ON PREMIUM.
Keep us posted.

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I checked the header bolts too and they were a little under torque. Tightened them and the exhaust heat shields and noise is still there.
I have always used Mobil 1 10w-40 full synth (motorcycle specific), and never heard this, so I doubt it is the oil brand. Unless it took on moisture during storage or something. Yeah not getting into any kind of oil brand debate here, but I will keep it in mind.
I have actually found the same thing with my 9 and premium gas. Dealer told me to only run premium, but the bike runs much better on regular. It had regular gas (stabilized) in it from over the storage. When I heard the noise I added in about 2 gallons premium to give a quick boost to the octane. I read somewhere of someone with a similar problem and that fixed it, but no dice here.

I will check the rectifier and cover bolts to make sure that they are tight.
I am also going to drain the old gas out of the tank and replace it with fresh regular.
If that doesn't work I am going to drain and change the oil and filter. Sucks that the oil is only 70 miles in, but it is cheaper than a trip to the stealer.
Thanks for the ideas.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 09:51 AM
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Does the sound come from the engine or the exhaust pipes. Often hard to tell. Something loose perhaps in the exhaust baffles? I had a similar problem on my bike. Sounded so much like valve noise and audible when engine got warm and under power. After a while is was happening all the time. I found it by running my hands over the bike until I touched the right thing and the sound stopped. It was the plate on the end of one of the the exhaust pipes. Drilled out the rivets and popped in new ones in. Problem gone. I would have bet money it was valve sound and I would have lost. Maybe you will get lucky and it is this simple for your bike. Good luck.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-21-2012, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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I am almost positive it is coming from the engine. I checked the header bolts and heat shields (I have roadhouse 2-1 aftermarket pipes, and I changed out the gaskets when they were installed two years ago) but I will check again. Putting some pressure on different parts while the ticking is coming through is a good idea that may help me localize any loose part.

It sounds like the noise is coming from the left side of the front cylinder, which is why I was thinking valves. The cam chain is also there and I have heard of those making similar noises when they need adjusting. However, the 900 has hydraulic cam chain tensioners so I don't think there is really anything for me to check there.

Thanks for the help.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 09:28 AM
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Correct RON

Quote:
Originally Posted by jac4xt View Post
Ok... So here's the situation. I have a 2007 900LT that I stored from November until about a week ago. Recently moved to Michigan from Virginia so this is the first time I ever stored the bike over the winter. So I changed the oil and filter, stabilized a full tank of gas, fogged the engine with fogging oil, washed and polished everything, covered it, and put the battery on a trickle charger. It has been beautiful out for the past few days so I took the bike out for a few runs...

Now onto the noise. It sounds like a loud ticking, almost like valve noise. It first appeared after the first 20 miles. It only comes through after the bike is warmed up and only under load (at least 2.5k rpm). Bike runs great, just sounds like hell.
I checked the valves and the front exhaust valves were both about 0.05mm loose. So I'm thinking "sweet, fixed".
Replaced the shims to spec, took it for a ride and still that damn noise.
Fogged the engine with sea foam deep creep, noise still there.
Topped the tank off with premium shell v power, noise still there.

Do you think I should keep running it and give it more time to work off the cobwebs? I would hate to take it to a shop because I am cheap, stubborn as hell and prefer doing things myself. Any ideas? Anything else I should be checking?

Thanks for any help.
Check your manual for the RON. Are you using the correct RON fuel?

( RON Octane Rating x 0.95 = AKI Octane Rating )
98 RON Octane x 0.95 = 93.1 AKI Octane (US measure)
100 RON Octane x 0.95 = 95 AKI Octane (US measure)

My 2010 Vulcan 900 classic Lt calls for 91RON which is regular US gas.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Oh I am using the fuel that was stabilized in the tank over the winter. It is/was 87 octane, but who knows what the rating is now. First thing I am going to try this weekend is draining the tank and putting in fresh 87 octane. I have always run regular in the bike and it has always run great til now. If the fuel change doesn't fix the problem I will change the oil and filter and then see how it sounds. My guess would be that the fresh fuel will do the trick, but I also said the same thing about the valves...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 11:28 PM
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I had a similar noise on my 09 classic. I pluged the hose going from the top of air cleaner to the air injection valve under the tank. Search for "marbling" in the forum google search. The reed valves inside the cylinder head can make quite a racket. No problems, and no more backfiring either.
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