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Discussion Starter #1
I had this 900 for a year, coming the latter part of July... I have been plagued by the "squeaking belt" syndrome since I bought it. I've loosened the belt, realigned it, sprayed silicone spray on it and God only knows what else....It has me driven around the bend. There seems to be normal wear on it and it's in good shape...no cracks, no embedded debris.... Can ANYONE suggest a remedy for this??? I've even thought about cleaning the whole drive with spray brake cleaner...
 

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I had this 900 for a year, coming the latter part of July... I have been plagued by the "squeaking belt" syndrome since I bought it. I've loosened the belt, realigned it, sprayed silicone spray on it and God only knows what else....It has me driven around the bend. There seems to be normal wear on it and it's in good shape...no cracks, no embedded debris.... Can ANYONE suggest a remedy for this??? I've even thought about cleaning the whole drive with spray brake cleaner...
Don't use brake cleaner if its the crap that's not safe for rubber.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well fellas, thanks for the replies...First...Haven't used the brake cleaner yet, but, IF I do it will be rubber compatible..Second.. The front pulley has been changed(Scootworks) by me and torqued to spec.....at the time of change there was no appreciable difference in "chirping" as some put it. The speed that this occurs is mostly the same, more often just after 60-70 kph and just after 85-95 kph...at 100 up, there is no perceived problem. Cold temps affect it marginally(lowers the speed). Third....I have aligned and realigned this bloody belt so many times every time my torque wrench sees me coming it hides.....The funny thing is I have used a caliper depth gauge to measure axle position(about a quarter mill in the difference) before torquing and the belt still squeaks and sometimes migrates from outside the rear pulley to the inside......even though the castle nut side has been positioned to be just a bit further out to keep the belt on the outside of the rear drive...
 

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Wow, that must be driving you CRAZY!
I would seriously consider replacing the belt.

This might be a silly suggestion, but, I'll say it anyway. Underneath, where the three grease nipples are, has the bike ever been greased? I've heard of many bikes (my last included) that left the factory with no grease. This causes a "squeak" in the suspension. I wonder if this squeak could rear it's ugly head at certain speeds ergo emulating a chirping noise at speed. Stranger things have happened.
 

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Ok, I've been researching this:

Easy fix, several swear by it!
Grab a stick/bar of paraffin wax. Rub on outside edge of entire belt.
Apparently this quickly alleviates any squeak/squeal/chirping.
GOOD LUCK!

Oh, btw, Evidently one of the most significant causes that most people miss is the rear wheel being "untrue".
Spoke tightening and truing the rear wheel brings the rear pulley back in alignment. Have you checked this?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I like this site!!! It's alive with "thinking" people(well most of the time)!!! I did consider replacing the belt...It might be a warranty thing?? As for the suspension, I've not noticed any anomalies like "wiggle" and even when I coast the squeaking vanishes.....The roads around here are similar to dirt roads with road tar(sic). They ARE paved but one should be sharp with steering, other wise you'll find yourself at the bottom of a deep hole looking up.....so the suspension gets a good work out. In the mean time checking the "true" of the wheel might be a good idea. That hadn't come to mind. Barring all else I'll have to try the wax trick....Let you know the out come..Thanks again silenthill.....cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well I checked the rear wheel and that is as good as you get. Soooo! Paraffin doesn't seem to stick very well and for that reason didn't make any changes...I thought about bee's wax but didn't have enough to work with. I found in some of my electrical parts box a container of heat transfer paste. This is the stuff that is used on computer processors and integrated circuits. I figured that as it was a paste and aluminum based silicone, it may work as a lubricant, sufficient to diminish the belt squeak......well guess what!! Eureka!! With a some applied at three or four places along belt and on the pulleys I took it for a "slow" ride to spread the paste along the drive and then for a longer faster run........so far it seems to have diminished the squeal quite a bit....Don't know how long this will last or whether it will pick up debris. So far so good!! Thanks for the input silenthill!!
 

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No worries, glad to be of any help. The paraffin can be warmed with a hair dryer prior to applying. I hope the squeal diminishes. Your dilemma struck a particular chord with me (no pun intended). I drive a Crown Victoria that always had a squeal from the pulley system. After much tampering, I eventually narrowed it down to the idler pulley bearings. It squealed off and on for two years, the idler pulley was the last thing I replaced.....lol. The belt on the vn900 often comes adjusted too tight from the factory leading to premature bearing failure from the front pulley. This also causes a sqeal/chirp. You replaced the front pulley though, correct?

Good luck!
Oh btw, never use "belt dressing". I learned this the hard way. It completely destroyed my Crown's serpentine belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well considering the belt is a "dry" operation system I ruled out oils and greases right off the bat. Figured to put that on would most probably cause more headaches than enough. One thing I did find though is that there is always a fair amount of road dust which adheres to the pulley system because of static electricity I guess.. I suspect this dust gives the same effect as brake dust. Once you get enough of it in there it will squeal in the same manner. That's why I mentioned the brake cleaner. I don't know of any other thing that will remove it all; even a pressure washer, because it doesn't have any oil disburser. The worst of it is that you pretty well have to dismantle the drive system to make any repairs, and once done you've no guarantee of success or for that matter how long it lasts. The annoying thing about this problem is that I have never heard of it with any other of the belt driven machines......I had a friend of mine who had a 454 Kawi and the belt drive was as silent as the grave.......go figure..the Vulcan is a very nice bike but it sure as hell seems that there was a cost factor involved in its completion. Belts, engine noise, speedo, and fuel gauges problems are not conducive of good engineering...All of these little idiosyncrasies could very well have been rectified before marketing. So there you have it...Cheers
 

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Yeah, I believe shortly after I bought the bike, I commented that it has more pops, snaps and whistles than my bones do in the morning........or my bowl of rice crispies. lol.
That being said, I enjoy the "roughness" of the bike. To me, it feels like I'm driving a machine, a powerfull, grunting, snorting machine. Frankly, maybe I shoulda bought a Harley.
I digress.
 

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Is your belt noise very high pitched? At right about 50kph, my drive system howls, not super high pitched but high enough to be noticeable. Only does it between about 45 and 55 kph though, and the only difference changing gears makes is in the volume.

Maybe not the belt if its not chirping? Have never heard a sound like this before, and with only 550km on the bike, a little concerned.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Northwander -- I suspect what you hear is the tranny......have the same thing perhaps ...but no as pronounced.....haul in the clutch and coast if it diminishes or completely goes away, then its the gears....Like I sad earlier...noisy.....I've put 10000 on mine and it hasn't gone away...Cheers
 

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I don't really have any squeking noises, but I do hear at lower speeds and when I am slowing down to a stop. A slight vibration/rubbing noise almost like the belt might be too tight. Its a deeper sound. The dealer I bought it from put on a new tire in back. So I would figure that they would have adjusted the belt properly. But who knows...
 

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I'm in the same darn boat as you are. I put the new pulley in front, and the belt went to hell. My wheel is perfectly aligned, but the thing chirps like mad if it's a millimeter too loose (literally!). The stink of it is, though, that the second I adjust it 1-2mm tighter? Belt whine! It pisses me off to no end. I get mine when slowing down from ~35-0. I've got it adjusted as good as it can get right now, I don't get the chirping but I get a whine at three frequencies- one at ~40, one at ~35, and one at ~25. It is maddening.

I, like you, love the bike but hate the construction. The solenoids are loud as hell (especially when it's cold), and I cannot BELIEVE Kawi would let a bike out of the factory with that much trans whine. I can hear it over my aftermarket exhaust! I love this bike, but it's also safe to say that when the opportunity comes to trade up, I will be going with something larger and a lot quieter where it should already be quiet.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Take2 -- The tranny whine is an issue I had as well, however it has diminished a bit. I don't use 10/40 regular oil any more. In fact, at the first check, just after break in, I had filter and oil changed to 20/50 syn.....The climate here is pretty much the same as yours(just around the 49th para) and temps during most of the riding season would be close to yours. I have not found any fault with the synthetic stuff and have probably found better fuel economy. One of the pluses is that the shift "clunk" into first gear has almost completely disappeared and gear changes are smoother....at least I think they are. When I check the oil level, I fill to the top line in the window. Perhaps if you check your oil level, you might find that it may be down a tad. That may add to whine some what, but I would try a higher viscosity next opportunity and see if that makes a difference. And yes, you are right, even though this is a nice machine it has many idiosyncrasies....cheers
 
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