Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, today I'm out riding with the wife on the back, and we roll back into town, stop at Wally World, let the bike sit maybe 20 minutes before heading home. As I let the clutch out from that dead stop, it gives a little hitch and makes a sort of low grumbling sound, which my wife swears was coming from the final drive case. I stop, just to see, and as I go it does it again. It proceeded to do this every time I stopped at light or a stop sign, and it would be much worse if I let the clutch out more slowly for a smoother start. The noise wasn't very loud but I could definitely hear it. After we got home, i rode it solo up and down the street, and it would still make the sound and give that hitch, but to a much lesser degree.

Now, truth be told, the hitch isn't that new, it was just never that pronounced. The growling noise is new, tho. I never got around to going by the dealer after I did my break-in oil change to get the fasteners and belt tension checked, but I've been planning to get it over there in the next week or so, just to be safe. After this incident today, I figure I really better oughtta. My biggest concern is that even though I ponied up for the 3-year extended warranty, they're gonna try to stick it in my ear and deny any warranty work under the "customer abuse" excuse because I never brought it in.

Basically, I'm wondering what I'm in for. Could this be clutch slippage, or a belt tension or deflection issue? This is a 2009 900 classic I bought brand new last July. It has 2300 miles on it, and I switched to Castrol 4T Synthetic at the 600 mile service. Neither my wife or I are what you'd consider lightweights, and there's usually about a 430 pound load on the bike if we don't have any extra crap to carry...and that 430 pound load is a lot less than it was last summer, since between the 2 of use we've dropped about 80 pounds.

Anyway, that's about it, I think. Any suggestions are welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
225 Posts
Does it operate as normal, just noisy? Also, is the noise on the right or left side of the bike? There's no reason why they should deny you service because you do your own maintenance. If they do, call Kawasaki. As far as I know, there's no stipulation on the warranty that says you MUST bring it to the dealer for maintenence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The noise, which is a sort of a low "thudthudthud" and accompanied by a slight (and I mean very slight) hitch in acceleration is all there is. My wife says she can feel a slight vibration beneath her left boot when it happens. And I should add that the temperature had dropped off about 10 degrees since we had left the house that morning. On further investigation, I'm beginning to believe the belt's too damn tight, and the drop in temperature caused it to contract further, especially since it got to sit and cool off for a bit.

And thanks for allaying my fears about warranty work.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
The noise, which is a sort of a low "thudthudthud" and accompanied by a slight (and I mean very slight) hitch in acceleration is all there is. My wife says she can feel a slight vibration beneath her left boot when it happens. And I should add that the temperature had dropped off about 10 degrees since we had left the house that morning. On further investigation, I'm beginning to believe the belt's too damn tight, and the drop in temperature caused it to contract further, especially since it got to sit and cool off for a bit.

And thanks for allaying my fears about warranty work.
If the feel is something like riding over rumble strips then it's the belt out of adjustment. If it's too tight then you get the added pleasure of a slight howl.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
That sounds dead on the money, Sojourner. And the belt has always howled. I was going to take it by the dealer anyway, so I guess I'll call 'em and see how much they'll stick me to adjust it properly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
That sounds dead on the money, Sojourner. And the belt has always howled. I was going to take it by the dealer anyway, so I guess I'll call 'em and see how much they'll stick me to adjust it properly.
The shop manual will instruct the dealer to keep the belt tight. I suggest you talk directly with the mechanic and see if he agrees to loosen it a bit otherwise take it to an independent garage; someone recommended to you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
217 Posts
You changed to Castrol 4T Synthetic, and the problem started. Perform a LOF with conventional oil, it could be the viscosity of the synthetic is causing the problem with the drive train. If it works it's a cheap fix.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
thud-thud-thud and a hitch in moving could be a belt slipping notches or missing some teeth? (I assume this is a notched belt.... can't say for sure 'cause mine's a shaft drive).....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Dropped the bike off at the Kawi dealer today. Tech took one look at the belt and said it was riding way left, so that's a start I guess. I keep updating as I learn more, so other guys with 9s won't freak out like I did lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
Dropped the bike off at the Kawi dealer today. Tech took one look at the belt and said it was riding way left, so that's a start I guess. I keep updating as I learn more, so other guys with 9s won't freak out like I did lol.
They all ride to the left side of the pulley. If they try and dial that out too much the rear wheel will not be square with the frame. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
Sojourner, what takes you to Thailand ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
684 Posts
I just happened to be looking at a website that talked about Thailand as being a great place to retire and a low cost of living.... sounds like you may have found paradise :) Any downsides, and is it possible for someone to come and enjoy the area for a few months and live inexpensively ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
They all ride to the left side of the pulley. If they try and dial that out too much the rear wheel will not be square with the frame. Good luck.
Yeah, I've read that. And after I'd been sitting around and waiting for 5 hours, I called them and learned 2 things:

1) The tech who looked at my bike isn't a motorcycle mechanic.

2) They're not even gonna get to it till tomorrow, and I am currently missing out on a spectacular day to ride.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So, got my bike back today (yeah, was supposed to be done Wednesday...whole other story there). Mechanic said the rear wheel was out of alignment, which, in turn, put a small twist in the belt. He said the belt tension was pretty close otherwise, and the small twist SHOULD straighten itself out. Course, I still got a little of the same noise a couple times today. I'm wanting to ride it a bit more and see before I get all cranky with the dealer.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top