Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

1 - 20 of 61 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm into my second year with my 900LT - 16000 miles. On a recent week long 1200 mile trip with my wife (on the back), after several hours of highway driving we came to a stop at a restaurant and suddenly heard this high pitched whirring sound. I had never heard it before.

The sound is directly linked to rpm, rising and falling, with the clutch in or engaged, at a standstill or while driving. I did not notice any change to power or performance. Just this strange new sound. We finished the trip, maybe another 100 miles.

I brought the bike into my local motorcycle shop (not Kawasaki). They changed the oil and discovered metal shavings in the oil. That was it for them. They had no idea where to start.

Any ideas? What else can I tell you?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
My two cents...
Same thing happened with mine on a trip to Rocky Mountain NP. Brought it in to the Kawi dealer when we got home. The dealer called Kawasaki and was told it was probably the stator. They asked if I was still under warranty...never like that question...no I am not, it is an 06 with 24M miles. Well, the part and labor will be about $500. We are checking into buying it somewhere else and installing it ourselves if it's not too difficult. Good luck
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
My two cents...
Same thing happened with mine on a trip to Rocky Mountain NP. Brought it in to the Kawi dealer when we got home. The dealer called Kawasaki and was told it was probably the stator. They asked if I was still under warranty...never like that question...no I am not, it is an 06 with 24M miles. Well, the part and labor will be about $500. We are checking into buying it somewhere else and installing it ourselves if it's not too difficult. Good luck
This is where most folks are going for their stator replacement. www.ricksmotorsportelectrics.com. If you don't have a shop manual, I would download one off of the Internet. It's worth the few bucks you'll have to pay.
liongrin, were the shavings steel or aluminum? Were they attracted to a magnet? Wet clutches will wear over time and bits of metal and cork will drop to the bottom of the engine case from the friction plates and discs. You could also pull the screen filter which is located behind the side stand and see how clean that is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Sojourner, Thanks for your input. I do have a question or two....actually I have tons of questions. Are you saying that the stator is shedding something? What is it, steel? aluminum? What does the clutch through off? steel? aluminium? And what causes this kind of breakdown? If it is the stator, what is happening to it? and why is it happening?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I agree it's the stator. I have replaced 3 during the 136,000+ miles on my 900LT. Sounds kinda like one of those siren rings you blow into. Probably will need a battery too. Last stator I replaced, I had to replace the regulator too. It's the little box mounted down below the radiator. The stator usually overworks itself, causing it to wear out. It'll over work itself when the battery is low and not taking a charge. Or if the regulator has gone out. I understand it wears out because the fins/connections on the spinning stator breakdown from the overwork. Which then causes the stator to spin with less or no resistance from the connections, making the high pitch whirring noise while it spins. You made it home on battery power alone, once you heard the noise. I had a local shop replace mine with aftermarket stator. Labor and all under $500
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Big Toe, I actually drive it everyday. There has been no change to anything related to the operation of the bike. Starting, driving, stopping. Everything is the same, just the whirring hum that goes up and down with the rpm of the motor. Fact is, if I didn't worry that something was wrong I can live with the noise.

Does this sound like a stator?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,274 Posts
The sounds you describe make it sound like a stator but you don't really say how much you've driven the bike since you noticed it. When my stator went I first found a dead battery. Replaced that and went on a 1000 mile trip the next 3 days. By the time we got to our destination I noticed that she was starting hard. The second day (400 miles from home) it wouldn't start unless I let it sit for 30 minutes or more. Put the battery on a 3 amp charger for about 4 hours and made the trip home without incident other than the whirring sound. The next day, driving home from work, the battery finally went totally flat. The IF light flashed and then everything shut down. I had fried a brand new $97 battery and it didn't start again until I had replaced the stator, regulator and battery.

Do a voltage check. It may have nothing to do with the stator, but you can at least rule it out that way.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
Sojourner, Thanks for your input. I do have a question or two....actually I have tons of questions. Are you saying that the stator is shedding something? What is it, steel? aluminum? What does the clutch through off? steel? aluminium? And what causes this kind of breakdown? If it is the stator, what is happening to it? and why is it happening?
The stator isn't related to the shavings your mechanic found in the drain pan. The Big Toe had a good explanation of the noise coming from a stator about to fail, or at least being overworked by a weak battery or a regulator not functioning properly. An old battery will take out a perfectly good stator.
Your wet clutch is made up of multiple friction discs (rings) with steel discs in between. The friction discs are also steel but have been coated with a friction material which usually includes cork. As the materials wear, bits will settle into the bottom of the engine case and come out with the oil during an oil change. When you said shavings I think of long thin bits of metal similar to when you drill into a piece of steel. Finding those in your oil would not be good. If they were like course sand then I would guess they came from the clutch and you shouldn't worry. Before your next oil change go to Radio Shack and buy a packet of rare earth magnets. Have your mechanic place one on the end of the drain plug before he replaces it. Any steel shavings that may be present in your oil will usually find their way to the magnet and give you a better idea whether you have a problem or not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
156 Posts
O.K. this sounds alot like what im going thru right now. I replaced my stator and regulator, and about 70 miles later my headlight went out, at 3am!! when i got to work and shut the bike down, i heard the starter wind down. so now it sounds like maybe i got a shot headlight relay and starter relay. the battery is toast, had that tested the other day. but what fried my relays?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
O.K. this sounds alot like what im going thru right now. I replaced my stator and regulator, and about 70 miles later my headlight went out, at 3am!! when i got to work and shut the bike down, i heard the starter wind down. so now it sounds like maybe i got a shot headlight relay and starter relay. the battery is toast, had that tested the other day. but what fried my relays?
If you do a search on the 900 forum and sfair, you will find a testing procedure and repair for your problem.

Post back if you have any questions. (Start your own thread)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Yep, you can drive it a little while with the stator going out. It just wears out and drains your battery and regulator. One thing it did to my bike was blow out the license lamp bulb, due to the surge of power and the license lamp is your weakest link. I've heard that noise 3 times on my bike and have replaced 3 stators.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
I also agree. I had the same problem about a year after I had my 900lt. You would get a siren noise upon letting off the gas. It lasted about 3 months like that, and then the stator quit all together
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
So, here is a bit more information. I spoke to the mechanic. Because he did not know what the problem was he started with changing the oil. He showed me what he found. After pouring some gasoline in the oil tray (with my oil) he shown a bright LED light into the tray. The "sand" was a gold color. He said that this pointed to a bearing wearing out. He told me that the "output shaft" has sleeve bearings and perhaps that was the source of the "brass sand" (in an earlier post I used the word shavings - that was incorrect).

He finished the oil change, gave me the bill and said that he was unwilling to work on the bike any further. "I don't know what it is, and so I could end up tearing the entire motor apart and still not find out what is making the sound."

I don't know if any of this sounds familiar to any of you?

I drive hard. I drive two up (total 400 lbs). And I drive two up with a trailer (max. 200lbs). I am wondering if I just pushed too hard and so it is starting to show. May be time to consider something bigger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
A couple of problems here:

1. If it does it standing still, it is NOT the output shaft bearing.
2. The output shaft bearing is a ball bearing...a sleeve bearing would never stand the stress!
3. Change mechanics.

Do a voltage check. It will nail rule in/out a stator problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
As an add, if you would like to try the test yourself (obviously your mechanic does not know how to do) post back and we can help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,748 Posts
Do you have a meter? If not, for around the $30.00 mark, you can get one that is fine.
One with an audible tone can be handy. Home Depot, Radio Shack, most auto supply places should fill the bill.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
If you do a search I had a whining problem that was very noticable at idle, and revving at standstill, hard to notice while riding due to wind/road noise but at times I could still hear it. After 2 different shops looking at it, it turned out to be a stator gasket.
 
1 - 20 of 61 Posts
Top