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My 2009 Voyager with 10,000 miles had been running fine until one morning when I started it to go for a ride. There was a LOUD clicking coming from the top end of the front cylinder. :confused: Using my stethoscope, I isolated the noise to the exhaust valve. It sounded a lot like a solid lifter that was WAY too loose! I guessed that the hydraulic valve adjuster was not functioning properly, and I shut it down. After a bit I restarted. Same noise. For several days I started it several times, heard the noise, and turned it off. I decided to take it to the dealer (it is in extended warranty), but was worried that Kawasaki might use all the performance changes I made as an excuse to refuse to honor the warranty. Two days later I had it back to stock and ready to keep my service appointment. When I started it to go to the dealership, it clacked a few times then the noise stopped!!!!!!!!!!!!! I changed the oil and filter figuring that maybe something floating in the oil had clogged a passage in the lifter mechanism. It ran fine for two weeks. Then one morning it started the exact same noise, but on the rear cylinder! :mad: Slightly perturbed :(, I proceeded to start and shut it off several times, and the noise stopped as suddenly as it began. It was as if the lifter had pumped up and closed the clearance. It has run fine for a couple of weeks now, but I am concerned since I really do not know what caused the problem. Taking it to the dealership while it is running fine is probably a waste of time since the oil pressure is building and the light is going off as soon as the engine starts. Hard for them to diagnose something that they can't hear. I would appreciate any replies from people with a similar experience or with suggestions. I am at a loss.
 

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noisy lifter

totaly normal for these bikes. They have hydraulic valve train and they can and do leak down, some more and faster than normal. Ride it, hard for a few take offs, noise will stop when the oil has filled the lifter back up. Nothing to worry about. When my nomad was new it took about 10 miles to stop. Its quiet as can be.
 

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My 2009 Voyager with 10,000 miles had been running fine until one morning when I started it to go for a ride. There was a LOUD clicking coming from the top end of the front cylinder. :confused: Using my stethoscope, I isolated the noise to the exhaust valve. It sounded a lot like a solid lifter that was WAY too loose! I guessed that the hydraulic valve adjuster was not functioning properly, and I shut it down. After a bit I restarted. Same noise. For several days I started it several times, heard the noise, and turned it off. I decided to take it to the dealer (it is in extended warranty), but was worried that Kawasaki might use all the performance changes I made as an excuse to refuse to honor the warranty. Two days later I had it back to stock and ready to keep my service appointment. When I started it to go to the dealership, it clacked a few times then the noise stopped!!!!!!!!!!!!! I changed the oil and filter figuring that maybe something floating in the oil had clogged a passage in the lifter mechanism. It ran fine for two weeks. Then one morning it started the exact same noise, but on the rear cylinder! :mad: Slightly perturbed :(, I proceeded to start and shut it off several times, and the noise stopped as suddenly as it began. It was as if the lifter had pumped up and closed the clearance. It has run fine for a couple of weeks now, but I am concerned since I really do not know what caused the problem. Taking it to the dealership while it is running fine is probably a waste of time since the oil pressure is building and the light is going off as soon as the engine starts. Hard for them to diagnose something that they can't hear. I would appreciate any replies from people with a similar experience or with suggestions. I am at a loss.
Sometimes they will clatter when cold and it takes a while for them to warm up and settle. They are small jewels and when the engine stops with full tension on a valve it can be enough to cause the lifter to bleed off, then it takes a while to pump back up.
My 1500 has done it but I will just listen to it and go for a easy ride and true enough it will quiet down by the time it gets up to running temp and the oil is thinned out and flowing easy. Just a short run and shut down while in the garage will do little to help out, it usually takes a mellow section of lazy road !
And don't worry about the mod's you made such as air and pipes. They shouldn't even care as long as it is done right and they sure as hell must know that it is sorely needed to make it whole.
 

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I had talked to my dealer about the noisey lifters as well and was told the same thing mention here. They did say also that thier Kawi rep stated that in some rare cases where the noise wont go away to add a tablespoon of seafoam to the oil. Anyone have an opinion on this?
 

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If they are telling you to add sea foam, sounds like they think there may be a sludge buildup in the motor. If so, the seafoam should help clean it out.It will also slightly thin the oil, which may help the lifters pumpup quicker. May try a lighter oil for an oil change or so.
 

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Have you tried a difrent brand of oil filter?
I have read that people using Fram filters having issues like this.
Let's start the Fram bashing! :D
 

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I had talked to my dealer about the noisey lifters as well and was told the same thing mention here. They did say also that thier Kawi rep stated that in some rare cases where the noise wont go away to add a tablespoon of seafoam to the oil. Anyone have an opinion on this?
I put seafoam in the fuel periodically and once a year will add some seafoam to the oil 100 miles prior to an oil change.
 

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Mine does that if I dont ride it at least every couple of weeks. If I let it sit longer than that it def takes 10 mins or so of riding for that noisy lifter to pump up. I was freaked out at first but have learned to live with it.
 

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Mine does it all the time! Started about 7000 miles and has not stopped. I have 14000 on it now. Dealer says its normal. It runs like a raped ape. Guess I will ride it till it blows!


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My 1500 nomad has a noisy lifter that quiets once warmed up. The original owner said its done that since new. It has 3k miles on it.

I drained some oil and put in seafoam. Drove it 30 miles. No change.

Oil changed and at first was no different, but today it seemed much quieter.

I once heard some heavier oil can help because when it does pump up with hot oil, it tends to not drain so easy. And a lighter grade to help boost them up a little before they warm.

I've been told by a good local mechanic that he put 60k miles on a noisy lifter bike.

I've tried Lucas Oil in the past in a Jetta with the same issues- it worked for maybe 2 weeks and then gradually reverted.




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Reply Valve Train Noise

Sometimes they will clatter when cold and it takes a while for them to warm up and settle. They are small jewels and when the engine stops with full tension on a valve it can be enough to cause the lifter to bleed off, then it takes a while to pump back up.
My 1500 has done it but I will just listen to it and go for a easy ride and true enough it will quiet down by the time it gets up to running temp and the oil is thinned out and flowing easy. Just a short run and shut down while in the garage will do little to help out, it usually takes a mellow section of lazy road !
And don't worry about the mod's you made such as air and pipes. They shouldn't even care as long as it is done right and they sure as hell must know that it is sorely needed to make it whole.
:eek: I have a 2007 Classic LT and it just started doing the same thing as yours is. It has 10,000 miles on it and never before has it made noise. I am a Master certified mechanic and I can tell you that this is not a normal condition for any engine with hydraulic lifters it may be inherent Kawasaki's but it isn't good for the moving parts involved. I talked to a dealer Mechanic and he has a call into Kawasaki tech-line. I am waiting to hear what they have to say. I am not going to except this as a "NORMAL" condition. It starts and stops making noise like you are fliping a switch. From the many blogs I have seen where people all are having the same problem this sound like a design problem that they are not willing to fix or owen up to. Rest assure I will figure it out and let you know what the fix is!!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks

I appreciate all the feedback.
While I understand the theory behind hydraulic lifters and the possibility of leakdown, I have to wonder why it took 10,000 miles to show up, then did it twice in fairly quick succession. I did change the oil and filter between the incidents and used a new Kawasaki filter. Previously I ran a Purolator Pure 1 filter which has always performed very well in the Vulcan as well as in my other bikes. It has a good internal check valve to help prevent problems like this.
I have to say, when those lifters leak down it must leave a big clearance, because the resulting clacking was LOUD! Maybe I will try a little SeaFoam in the oil. Probably couldn't hurt.
 

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My 2009 just started tickin very loud lifter. Only happens
When I hit 80mph for 15 min , I'm in the middle of a 7000mile
Road trip. I know it's got to be rounding off the cam lobe
I'm just going to have to keep it under 80 ;(
 

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Funny, my bike just recently turned over 10K miles and sure enough pretty much every morning I get a lifter tick. Sometimes it goes away in a couple of miles, other times I have to shut the engine off, let it sit for like a minute, and start it again and the noise is gone. Glad to see it's not just me.
 

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Are you guys using synthetic oil? since i switched i havent had the problem.. so far.. ive used ams oil , mobile one, now im using rottela t6 and my engine and tranny are so smooth.. also k&n oil filter.
 

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:eek: I have a 2007 Classic LT and it just started doing the same thing as yours is. It has 10,000 miles on it and never before has it made noise. I am a Master certified mechanic and I can tell you that this is not a normal condition for any engine with hydraulic lifters it may be inherent Kawasaki's but it isn't good for the moving parts involved. I talked to a dealer Mechanic and he has a call into Kawasaki tech-line. I am waiting to hear what they have to say. I am not going to except this as a "NORMAL" condition. It starts and stops making noise like you are fliping a switch. From the many blogs I have seen where people all are having the same problem this sound like a design problem that they are not willing to fix or owen up to. Rest assure I will figure it out and let you know what the fix is!!
I know this post is old, but was wondering if you had any success with the valve issue? My 05 vn2000 has been doing it for a while and seems to be getting worse, it only has 40000 kms (25000 miles) on it! It always did it in the spring after storage, but now it's constant. Thanks!!
 

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My 1700 with 16,000 miles makes no knock if I ride every day. However, if it sits for a week or so, the next time I start it the thing knocks and bangs terrible for about 20 min or so. Doesn't seem to matter if it sits and idles or if I ride it down the highway. I just ride it, taking it kind of easy until the noise stops.

I did the SeaFoam flush and it made no difference. The oil is always nice and clean, and I run 10w40 Mobil I motorcycle oil.
 

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My 1700 with 16,000 miles makes no knock if I ride every day. However, if it sits for a week or so, the next time I start it the thing knocks and bangs terrible for about 20 min or so. Doesn't seem to matter if it sits and idles or if I ride it down the highway. I just ride it, taking it kind of easy until the noise stops.

I did the SeaFoam flush and it made no difference. The oil is always nice and clean, and I run 10w40 Mobil I motorcycle oil.
You should hear these bikes the first time they are fired up after assembly. :eek: Since I got to help 'birth' my Voyager, I got to experience that noise first hand.
 

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Lifter Noise

Any chance that some of these many lifter noise complaints are a result of the oil level being high and causing entrained air (bubbles) to be introduced? If the level was just high enough to be into the rotating parts sitting, but dropping after starting, it may explain why the lifter noise goes away.

If I had "ticking" for even more than a couple of seconds after starting, I would be concerned. Oil with entrained air does not lubricate very well. The oil film that is expected to keep rotating and sliding parts from contact will not do so with air bubbles in it.
 
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