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Discussion Starter #1
I replaced the stock tire on my '07 VN900 with a Shinko 230 series of the same size about a month and a half ago. After riding at 40-50 mph & slowing down, I got this grinding noise in my front wheel. Never hear it while accelerating nor while riding constant speeds. And after riding at 70 mph, I don't notice the grinding noise as much when slowing down. I assumed it was the wheel bearings. So, I replaced those, but the noise continued. BTW, the collar that goes between them was very loose, and the grinding noise didn't change. I removed my front fender & rode it to see if the new wheel was rubbing, but the noise continued. I put it up on a jack & spun it, but the grinding didn't happen. Just heard the front disk brake pads rubbing against the rotor a bit which seemed normal. I'm stumped...Any ideas how to fix this?
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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Is it while slowing down with the front brakes applied, or coasting using the engine as a "brake" of sorts?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I get the grinding noise whether I apply the front brake or not. I hear it all the way till I come to a complete stop. I've had this bike almost 4 years, and I've never experienced this...All was well till I replaced this tire.
 

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Well that's just weird.

You have a Custom or a Classic? I'm asking because one has spokes and one has a cast rim.

If you have removed the fender - and applying the front brake does not increase or decrease the sound - and if you lift the front wheel and spin it while it has no load on it and you hear nothing - well, that just leaves the axle/bearing doesn't it? Or if you have a Classic, maybe the spokes.

There is nothing left for you to search for south of the steering head that will grind while rolling on a Custom.

I would completely remove the front tire again, and ensure you have assembled all of the spacers and bearing per the reassembly diagram. I think the spacer that goes between the front wheel bearings should not slop around in between the bearings. See the attached partial exploded diagram of the front axle.
 

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Did you check the front axial for ware? Maybe the bearing is moving on the axial during load on deceleration. Look on the inner surface of the bearing for ware.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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The noise didn't happen until you changed the tire out, correct? Is it a directional tire tread? If so is it rotating the correct direction? (It could be something that simple, but I doubt it)
The only other thing I can think of that it might be is when you reassembled the front wheel back on to the forks, you may not have torqued everything down properly. This is assuming you packed the new bearings with grease prior to installing them. Any time my wheels are removed for any reason I retorque the nuts after about 40-50 miles out of habit. BTW, the service manual has the torque spec as being 79.7 ft lbs of torque on the axle nuts. I don't know about you, but I don't have a torque wrench that goes to the 1/10th of a ft lb so I take it to 80 ft lbs.
 

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Is it while slowing down with the front brakes applied, or coasting using the engine as a "brake" of sorts?
I just started getting this last week. Do you know what it is? I cant reproduce it every time but its exactly as you describe. Only when slowing down with the front brake applied.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have an '07 Vulcan 900 Custom, & I replaced the bearings due to the noise, so I doubt there's any wear to notice. And no, I didn't take them apart & repack them. It seemed like brand new bearings wouldn't need that. And, the original bearings didn't show any noticeable wear. I looked at the axle when I had it out, but there weren't any wear marks that jumped out at me.

Thanks for suggesting the direction of tire rotation, but it turns out I'm good on that. The arrow points in the correct direction for normal forward rotation.

Every time I remove the front wheel, I've followed the manual on torque specs. I adjust it to 80 ft lbs, too, although a few nights ago I only torqued it to 70 ft lb. That didn't make any difference, either.

I considered removing the collar between the wheel bearings, but shoot, that shouldn't matter, because the axle doesn't move. And, the collar's diameter's not much bigger than the axle. On the other hand, I won't rule that out...It's just weird that it would've decided to get cranky after I replaced a tire...
 

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Not sure if the 900 has a speedometer cable. I have the Vaquero 1700. But when I had my 1500 classic it has a speedo cable and the spacer on the right side of the rim is what houses the metal sleeve that rotates and inturn moves the small gears that spin the cable to let you know how fast you were going. In Daytona Beach, I just finished the 230 mile journey when I started getting a grinding sound. I got hold of a torque wrench and loosened. The axel nut and retorqued. Nothing I did worked. I finally took out the speedo cable from the spacer, sprayed the piss out of it with WD 40 and it never made the noise again. If the 900 has that setup, give that a try.:confused:
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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Questions: When you decelerate, you hear the noise, but not when you accelerate. Do you also feel the grinding? Is it possible the sound isn't loud enough to be heard over your exhaust under acceleration? Have you tried putting the old tire back on to make sure it isn't the new tire itself causing the sound?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I might barely feel the grinding, but not much at all. It's very audible, though. At a low slowing speed, I can speed up, & the noise goes away. You might be right, though...It might get softer but not go away.

Wish I had the old tire to try, but I'm sure the shop that changed it tossed it.

At first, I thought it was my transmission, so I adjusted my clutch cable. No change. Then, I thought it might be the belt, so I adjusted that, too. But, the noise really comes from out front.
 

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BOTM Winner, June 2015
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It really sounds to me like a bearing issue. I know you replaced them already, and I'm not sure if they require you to grease them prior to putting them in like some. Does it get worse under a hard braking situation than engine braking?

You might want to look up @sfair here on the forum and ask his opinion. He's a wealth of knowledge. You might also take the bike back to the place that changed your tire. If the noise didn't start until after you got the tire put on by them, they could have mucked something up and should be required to make it right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bearings on this bike are sealed, so there's no greasing them. Hard braking doesn't really matter, either.

2 months ago, I took my front wheel off & took it to a local shop to change the old, worn tire with the new one. So if anyone's mucked up putting it on, it's me. :) Perhaps you have a point about putting the new tire on the wheel...The worst issue I've ever had with that was one place didn't balance it right. So, it'd wobble up & down while I rode; it was quite obvious what that was.

The Japanese are quite serious about tight tolerances...There's no adjustment on the axle. I tried loosening it to see, but it was tight. And, the spacers on either side of the wheel are the same size, so that's not an issue.

I'm pretty much resigned to living with it to see if the noise'll go away as the tire wears...
 

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Did they put balancing beads in the tire? They may make noise until they break up. I use work in a truck shop that used them. They would sometimes make noise until the bag broke open. I have not installed them on a bike tire yet but I think they work in the same way.
 

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grinding issue

Ok guys...I have the same issue with my '09 900 classic but mine has gotten progressively louder. I had it last season but not constant. This year I can hear it and if neither of us are into the throttle my friend can hear it when we are riding side by side! Does have Metzler 880's on it that were installed prior to me buying it (March 2014) and 17K on the bike. So far I have put new pads on the front and new wheel bearings (All Balls) in the front. Did not help. Also I am wondering if my rotor got warped some how....that would explain it completely. Next step is we are gonna strap it down on my buddy's lift and run it to see if it's possibly in the drivetrain. I will update if I find the problem and if anyone finds it first if you could post it. thanks Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #17
HHhmmm...Never heard of balancing beads. The shop that changed my tire put balancing weights on the outside of the rim.

If your rotor's warped, you'd notice it when you applied the front brake, I'd think. That's been my experience in every car I've ever owned that had disk brakes. In my case, how I apply the front brake makes no change in the noise I hear.

And today, I noticed that the noise is nearly non-existent going up a somewhat steep hill. Yet, it's there riding on a flat surface or going downhill.
 

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Check to make sure the wheel spacers are in properly? Then check to make sure your brake pads haven't worn down to metal on metal.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The wheel spacers, or collars, only go in one way. The small end goes into the seal, the big one against the fork. Yep, they're good.

And, my front brake pads are worn, but the wear indicators haven't contacted the disk. It won't be long before I'll replace them. I thought about removing my front caliper & riding around to see if that'd make a difference. But, I'm not sure I'm gonna to go there...
 

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Like you have stated this concern started happening after a tire was replaced. You have replaced parts and rechecked everything. I think the only thing left to check is wheel and tire runout, possible wheel was bent during tire change and or the new tire is no good.
 
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