Need Advice: Bike is BARKING at Me - Kawasaki Vulcan Forum : Vulcan Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Question Need Advice: Bike is BARKING at Me

I need some advice and/or suggestions with a problem that seems to have become noticeable just recently. I have a 2009 Vulcan 900 Classic LT with about 11,800 miles on it.

Recently I've begun to notice a noise that the bike makes on certain occasions. It seems that the hotter the weather and the longer I've been riding the bike, the more I notice it.

I mainly notice the noise on deceleration at low speed (around 20 mph). When I'm slowing down for a stop or to enter a parking lot is when I usually notice it. I don't recall hearing it during acceleration or at high speeds.

At first, I thought it was something to do with the suspension or the front forks, but I can bounce the front end up and down while stopped and it doesn't make a sound. I can turn the handle bars back and forth while stopped and it doesn't make a sound.

Yesterday afternoon it was above 90 degrees and I took a ride. I rode awhile on the Interstate then got off for some town riding. It seemed that every time I slowed down for a stop sign or stop light that the bike would make a kind of "barking" sound at around 15 to 25 mph. It sounds a little like a quick rubbing sound, but sounds almost like a dog barking in the distance. ARK......... ARK.........ARK is the sound that it usually sounds like. The sounds are usually spaced about 1 to 2 seconds apart.

I'm thinking that it may be the drive belt or something to do with the drive gears. The drive belt seems awfully tight to me. With the bike sitting in the garage in neutral, I can press upward rather hard (10 to 15 pounds) on the belt and I can barely get it to deflect one mark in the gauge window. I would estimate that this is about 1/4" or less deflection.

Has anyone had any similar experiences? In particular, do you think my drive belt is too tight? Any other suggestions or ideas what may be causing the noise? Thanks for any help.

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2005 Harley Electra Glide Classic
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 12:38 PM
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Are you sure its not your disc brake?

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 12:45 PM
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I doubt it's the belt, they are supposed to be tight. Id check the rear brakes like Champy said.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 01:03 PM
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I have a 2007 with 14000 doing the same thing. I'm sure it is the brakes.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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I don't think it's the brakes because sometimes it will make the noise when I'm not even applying the brakes. I can be riding along and simply let off the throttle to slow down and it will make the noise.

Could it be the brakes if I'm not applying the brakes?

My Current Rides
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2005 Harley Electra Glide Classic
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 02:50 PM Thread Starter
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I just got back from a short ride. The bike will definitely make the noise when the brakes are not being applied. There was one part of the ride today where I was going down a steep, winding hill. I was in 3rd gear and going about 28 mph and I could clearly hear the bike making the noise when I let off the throttle. It doesn't make the noise constantly, but will "bark" at me 3 or 4 times.

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2005 Harley Electra Glide Classic
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 04:14 PM
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If a rotor is warped or a pad is loose or irregular there can be brake material contact. You won't hear it when you apply the brakes because you've closed the gap. My front brake used to make a SHICK SHICK SHICK sound at slow crawl across a parking lot.

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 05:32 PM
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It's an '09, has the brake fluid been flushed? That's an often skipped maintenance item that should be done every year or two but is often ignored. It can make the brakes feel spongey and even lead to the pads being irregular or sticky. Brakes can be noisy even when not applied. From what you're describing, that still sounds like the culprit.

Either way, if it hasn't been done it should be done; both front and rear.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 05:45 PM
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Could it be the exhaust? (gaskets at cyl heads) if you slow down with the clutch pulled in does the noise disappear?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-17-2013, 06:43 PM
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I would bet its the belt, mine did the same thing. I guess it was out of line and rubbing a little.

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