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Discussion Starter #1
Quite a few months ago I started noticing a loud front end metallic "clang" when going over abrupt bumps on my 2014 Nomad. I have spent many hours trying to figure out where it's coming from, and the best I can guess is one or both of the shock shields is somehow involved, though in all honesty it's just a guess. Everything I've checked is tight, and I had it on a lift to check the front end play. I even took the headlight out to check in there. Has anyone else experienced this and, better yet, figured out where it's coming from and how to stop it?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the feedback so far!! I've checked the fender and turn signals mounts. I've kicked, prodded, pushed, banged on and jumped on everything I could think of, even while on a lift with both wheels off the ground. I removed the headlight assembly, guage cover and the rear brake fluid cover (that flexes easily). Nothing, while the bike is stationary, makes the noise that happens when riding and hitting an abrupt bump in the road. The only thing that sounds anything at all iike what I hear is when I bang on the shock shields, and even that doesn't quite sound the same.

Also, this isn't an occasional noise. It happens virtually everytime I leave my driveway (about a 1" drop to the paved road), hit an imperfection in a paved road, turn off one road onto another where there's a slight difference in road height or hit one of those tar babies left from paving. It's really annoying and I don't have a clue!

Keep ideas coming; maybe someone will hit on something I haven't tried.
 

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Mine had a similar clang/rattle that also had me stumped, turned out it was the connectors etc inside the headlight. Stuffed some foam in-noise gone. Good luck with yours!


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Mine had a similar clang/rattle that also had me stumped, turned out it was the connectors etc inside the headlight. Stuffed some foam in-noise gone. Good luck with yours!


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I should have thought of that! Had an odd vibration rattle coming from my front end on my old 98 Shadow 750 years ago. I did that foam trick, and the noise was GONE!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So here's an update on this front end "clang". I finally got frustrated enough that I took it to my dealer. It's still under warranty AND I have a dealership where many employees have become my friends and they really do take care of me. The service director rode it and returned before he even left the lot. His comment was "I never heard that one before". So he takes it to one of the techs who rode it and makes the same comment. He asks me to leave it so they can check it out closer. The next day he calls and says they had to call Kawasaki for assistance and I'm told that Kaw wants ME to pay for a steering bearing adjustment since it has almost 15,000 miles on it. He, his tech and myself don't believe this is the problem but I understand the manu's fixation with doing some things their way (thus my moniker "CarGuy"). I need to get it moving along so I authorize it. A couple days later I get another call that it didn't fix it and now Kaw wants to replace the steering stem bearings at their expense, plus now they won't charge me for the unsuccessful bearing adjustment. (I believe the service director convinced Kaw to pay for it.) The problem is, once again neither the service director, the tech, nor I feel this will fix it. At least I'll have new steering stem bearings at my 15,000 mile steering stem bearing lubrication maintenance requirement!

At this point the dealership service people are thinking it's an internal problem with the right fork/suspension, and that ultimately the fix will involve Kaw authorizing a rebuild of the forks. What's amazing to me it that the manu isn't taking the dealership's opinion into account and has to do things their way. I guess since they're paying for it under warrantly they have that right. Anyway, I'll keep you updated as this thing moves along.
 

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It sounds like your issue is pretty involved, and you are likely moving toward resolution. Nevertheless, I will add an experience I had on my 2015 Voyager. I noticed a metallic rattle and clanging noise recently when I first started up. It was disconcerting enough that I had left for work, but returned home after riding less than a block to check it out. Turns out it was the metal cover over the brake fluid reservoir near the right front foot area. The cover as rattling against the frame. I found a piece of rubber lawn mover fuel line, cut an inch off, sliced it open and slid it over the bottom edge of the metal cover. Problem solved.

Its funny how such a tiny thing can make a noise that is big enough to get a driver's attention.
 

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My 08 Nomad had a noise like you describe. At 22,000 miles I stripped the front end down and found the lower steering head bearing had not been properly greased when the bike was built. I bought it new and know what has been done to it.

The bearings were cleaned, thoroughly greased and reinstalled per the Kawasaki service manual. Also installed new upper and lower bushings, oil seals, dust seals, Progressive springs and 15w fork oil. No odd sounds and the front has never worked better.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It sounds like your issue is pretty involved, and you are likely moving toward resolution. Nevertheless, I will add an experience I had on my 2015 Voyager. I noticed a metallic rattle and clanging noise recently when I first started up. It was disconcerting enough that I had left for work, but returned home after riding less than a block to check it out. Turns out it was the metal cover over the brake fluid reservoir near the right front foot area. The cover as rattling against the frame. I found a piece of rubber lawn mover fuel line, cut an inch off, sliced it open and slid it over the bottom edge of the metal cover. Problem solved.

Its funny how such a tiny thing can make a noise that is big enough to get a driver's attention.
This was one of my suspects, too. It's only held on by one small bolt/screw and is thin metal. When I saw it could flop around during bumps I placed some padding underneath it to firm it up. It didn't stop the noise, but I like it better now.

My 08 Nomad had a noise like you describe. At 22,000 miles I stripped the front end down and found the lower steering head bearing had not been properly greased when the bike was built. I bought it new and know what has been done to it.

The bearings were cleaned, thoroughly greased and reinstalled per the Kawasaki service manual. Also installed new upper and lower bushings, oil seals, dust seals, Progressive springs and 15w fork oil. No odd sounds and the front has never worked better.
I think you're on the right track for my problem. Sadly, the weather down here is about to turn into perfect riding weather, and my bike's in the shop. :crying2:
 

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Guys please keep me posted. I have exactly the same clank noise going over bumps in the road that developed on my 2014 Nomad at about 4000 miles. No one has been able to figure it out and I just turned 11,000. Have just learned to live with it although is very annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Guys please keep me posted. I have exactly the same clank noise going over bumps in the road that developed on my 2014 Nomad at about 4000 miles. No one has been able to figure it out and I just turned 11,000. Have just learned to live with it although is very annoying.
It's interesting to note that I started hearing the noise around the same mileage as you, but I had installed a headlight modulator in the headlight bucket around the same time and thought it was just the modulator banging around, so I lived with it and just ignored it, like you. During a trip to Colorado it got so annoying that I started to hunt it down on my return. That brings me to this point. My best explanation of the symptoms is when the forks rapidly extend and then abruptly stop, the clanging is heard, and it's loud. My driveway drops about 1" to the paved road. Just going over that at about 3mph as I exit causes the noise, though it happens at any speed as long as the bump is abrupt. Whoop-dee-do bumps don't do anything.

I should be hearing back from the service dept next week. They're waiting on the bearings to come in to complete that repair. I will definitely post the progress here.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
This has been a slow process. Here's the latest. The steering stem bearings were replaced and the noise is still there (no surprise!). Neither the tech, service manager and myself felt it would correct the problem. Rather than go back through Kaw's tech assist center and deal with their feeble attempts to correct the problem by phone, the service manager contacted his area rep and got authorization to replace the front forks, which is where we all think the problem is. He's not even going to attempt to rebuild them. While working on this problem they noticed the front wheel bearings have a little "grab" in them, so they'll be replacing those too.

I'm glad I'm going to have an essentially new front end, but since they won't be tearing down the faulty fork we won't know exactly what's causing the noise. I've sure been missing some wonderful riding weather! Anyway, I'll update when I have more info.
 

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I'm back to resurrect this old thread. Problem finally solved! I just got my bike back yesterday from the dealer after 4 1/2 weeks. Most of the time was due to Kawasaki's insistance on doing things their way instead of listening to the dealer, and waiting on parts. Finally, with the replacement of the right fork, the noise is gone. It's been so long since this problem developed that I don't remember the front end ever being this quiet. New steering stem bearings, new front wheel bearings, and a new fork assembly. Sheesh, virtually a new front end!

All of this could have been avoided if Kaw would have listened to the dealer! With the problematic front fork (right side) off the bike they were able to manually compress and release it. They said they could feel it "catch" when quickly released, causing the noise I was hearing. Since they didn't rebuild the fork they don't know exactly what's causing it, but believe a rebuilding of the fork would have resolved it as well. They just didn't want to screw with it after so much time and simply replaced it.

Picard68, I don't know if this is the same thing going on with your Nomad, but hopefully it helps.

Many thanks to those that made suggestions, but I think this was an anomaly that isn't likely a common issue on our bikes. Beautiful weather ahead, I'm going riding!
 

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Thanks very much for your thread. Very informative. I have forwarded it to my dealer and hopefully over the winter get mine resolved. Happy trails and safe travels.

Ric
 

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I only read the 1st page and a couple comments on this page, but I get a Clank from mine when leaving work at night when the weather gets cooler. We have 5 speed bumps from our parking lot to the main street, the 2 closest to the road have a spacing between the in and out lanes that I usually go through rather than over the bumps. I'll get this clank on the 1st 3 on the way out at night, but only if its into the 50s or cooler. I have 15w Screaming Eagle fork oil in mine, Harleys house brand oil, and its synthetic oil. Once I'm on the road, I dont get it any more, and never on these same bumps going into work. Is it possible the oil just isnt flowing good until it warms up some, goes through a few up and down cycles? It has done this since I installed the oil the 1st winter I had the bike, never had stock oil in during the winter, bought bike new. This is on a 12 Voyager with 59k miles on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks very much for your thread. Very informative. I have forwarded it to my dealer and hopefully over the winter get mine resolved. Happy trails and safe travels.

Ric
Ric,

I hope it gets resolved. That noise bugged the heck out of me. If you get it repaired, let me know what was found either by pm or post it here. Maybe you'll wind up having the fork(s) rebuilt that'll reveal the problem. I'm always curious about how things work (and fail).

John
 

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Glad this ended up well for you Carguy. Sounds like you have a good dealership in San Marcos.
 
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