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Discussion Starter #1
This just started. It is fairly loud around 30 mph. I can also hear it in neutral revving slightly and when downshifting.

This was my 3rd ride since changing oil. Used a wix 51358 filter. This is the only thing done recently to the bike and first time I've used a wix filter. I noticed it was a tad smaller in diameter. May not be the problem at all but this sound is somewhat disconcerting!

Other that this change, it seems to be running just fine. Any ideas?
 

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BOTM Winner, October/2012
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Although you say its from the right side a whirring sound on a 900 usually means a bad stator. Theres a sticky on this forum that should give you alot of diagnostic information.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Although you say its from the right side a whirring sound on a 900 usually means a bad stator.
I thought about it but assumed stator on same side of the belt. It is definitely not on the same side as the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Ok! I did recently get new tires so could mechanic have gotten belt too tight and it is just now starting to tell?

*********

Forgot that I said it does this sound in neutral as well.

Just has a thought. I did the marbling thing last year to reduce popping... which worked, so now I'm wondering if the wiring twisty cap I used instead of a marble... has moved or something.
 

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Ok! I did recently get new tires so could mechanic have gotten belt too tight and it is just now starting to tell?

*********

Forgot that I said it does this sound in neutral as well.

Just has a thought. I did the marbling thing last year to reduce popping... which worked, so now I'm wondering if the wiring twisty cap I used instead of a marble... has moved or something.
Well on the right side of the bike you have the clutch, water pump and primary drive I believe.
you could dismiss the primary shaft.
If it happens also in neutral you could dismiss the clutch.
This leaves the water pump with something stuck in it...
Just my ideas.
 

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Do you have the old air filter? Try putting it back in and see if the problem remains. I wonder if you have some sort of air leak causing the noise?
 

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BOTM Winner, October/2012
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Do you have the old air filter? Try putting it back in and see if the problem remains. I wonder if you have some sort of air leak causing the noise?
i believe he said he changed the oil filter, no mention of changing the air filter
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Do you have the old air filter? Try putting it back in and see if the problem remains. I wonder if you have some sort of air leak causing the noise?
Thought about this too! It has original filter. Bike only has 9K on it. I took it off... looks nasty so I ordered one. Cannot see any type of leak. I did see a hole in bottom left of filter housing but looks like it was made like that.
 

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Lol! You are right 417vulcan! Don't ever get old. Blind in one eye and cannot see out the other! Hope you get it fixed Daboo311.
 

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Thought about this too! It has original filter. Bike only has 9K on it. I took it off... looks nasty so I ordered one. Cannot see any type of leak. I did see a hole in bottom left of filter housing but looks like it was made like that.
Yep, the hole is normal. It's so water can drain.

Could you possible take a video with your cellphone or something and upload it to youtube and give us the link? You said it'll do it in neutral so it sounds like something you could safely replicate in a parking lot.

If it IS the stator, those of us who have dealt with it can DEFINITELY tell you whether or not that's what it sounds like. But it IS on the wrong side. Either way, being able to hear it could be helpful...



Good luck,



John
 

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Discussion Starter #13
video with your cellphone
We've had so much rain, raining like crazy now, that I'll have to do this in a day or so.

I'm thinking stator too but each time I focus on whirring, it's on the right. I'm perplexed! It gets pretty loud too. Could the alternator make a sound like this?

What's underneath the cover on the right side anyway? Sounds like a turbo...
 

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We've had so much rain, raining like crazy now, that I'll have to do this in a day or so.

I'm thinking stator too but each time I focus on whirring, it's on the right. I'm perplexed! It gets pretty loud too. Could the alternator make a sound like this?

What's underneath the cover on the right side anyway? Sounds like a turbo...
Right side is the clutch and related components. It sounds like the sound is clutch independent. Could still be some sort of bearing or otherwise. But, you wouldn't be the first person to report right side whirring and find out it was the stator. If that's the case, the sound is actually coming from the left side, but it's playing tricks on you and seems audible from the right.

We'll need to hear it, but yes, it's pretty loud and pretty odd. Sort of a 'spaceship' noise. To me it kind of sounds like a higher pitched version of the sound a power steering pump makes when it's low on fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
We'll need to hear it, but yes, it's pretty loud and pretty odd. Sort of a 'spaceship' noise. To me it kind of sounds like a higher pitched version of the sound a power steering pump makes when it's low on fluid.
I have a child in college and don't need another unexpected expense. However, I'm gonna fix and ride it if I have to have a garage sale.
 

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I have a child in college and don't need another unexpected expense. However, I'm gonna fix and ride it if I have to have a garage sale.
It's not TOO bad.

If I remember right, it was around $200 or so for the stator (Rick's motorsports, aftermarket) gasket (Kawasaki OEM) Oil (Valvoline), Oil Filter (K&N) and a fresh can of silicone gasket spray.

$200 isn't pocket change, but it's not really the end of the world either. It's significantly more expensive if you have someone else do it, but it's not that bad of a repair. A couple of hours and it's done!
 

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If it is the stator, what causes them to go bad? Just faulty wiring perhaps?
 

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Well, the only way to know for sure is to test it, but that sounds EXACTLY like mine did, I can tell you that much!

Don't ride it any farther than you'd like to push it. At any moment it could short out completely, damage other components, or at the very least leave you stranded with a dead battery. Once the stator fails completely, a fuel injected bike like the VN900 has a finite amount of time before it shuts down (when there isn't enough juice in the battery to keep it going).

Some people have reported riding with 'the wine' for over a year. Others a few weeks. In my case, I knew better (it can potentially wipe out other components, best not to even start it until it's fixed. Definitely check the reg/rect as well just in case). However, I noticed 'the whine' going down the highway, was an hour and a half a way meeting my wife for dinner. She cranked real slow in the parking lot, I rode her home. It got dark, headlights were dim, it was scary! Rolled into my spot at home, it was dead as a doornail. Lights were super dim, miracle I got it home without it dying (wasn't dark dark yet, but evening). So, in my case, the whine was synonymous with no more charging output (I didn't have a meter with me to test it in the lot, I just got it home ASAP). Later I did the tests per sfair's instructions to confirm it was the stator, and to confirm the R/R was okay. Ordered a new gasket, a change of oil, a new stator, and got to work! It took me about two hours but I am not a mechanic. Having done it, I bet I could get it done in 45 minutes the second time around. It's a piece of cake. Feel free to PM me Daboo if you need help with that, I'd be glad to answer questions or walk you through anything. Again, not a mechanic, but I have done it twice. (The twice part is a little embarassing, but, basically I got it all back together and rode it, and then realized I forgot to run the wires properly and I wore them right out. Took it back apart, fixed everything, been good as gold for 10k miles since.)

If it is the stator, what causes them to go bad? Just faulty wiring perhaps?
The short answer is it grounds out. The stator is (basically) a bundle of copper wire surrounded by some sort of insulation. Over time, vibration and heat causes a spot in that insulation to wear through. It then arcs on the rotor (the part that turns around the outside of the stator to generate electricity), damaging the stator and eventually causing it to stop producing power. It could also potentially damage other components, as it is a major short in the main component of the charging system!

Whatever the cause, ultimately, it's usually insulation failure. Vibration, heat, moisture, who knows. But 9 times out of 10, the insulation has failed. Some common myths include overloading the stator causing it. That can cause it to fail, but is less than likely. The stator is always at 100% output, but the regulator rectifier (little box below the radiator) dumps excess juice to ground. So it's always at full throttle, so to speak, it's just a question of using up all the juice it's providing or not. Too much electrical load can cause problems, but likely dim headlights or a dead battery would predecede a bad stator. Generally, it fails when the insulation fails.

That's why I like the Rick's motorsports stators instead of OEM. OEM uses a thin plastic 'shrink wrap' type insulation. The ricks stator is a very rough, gritty, thick insulation that appears to be sprayed on (almost like a spray-in bedliner). Whatever causes insulation to wear, it appears that it would take longer with the Rick's stator than it would with the OEM stator.
 

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Thanks Romans5.8. I appreciate the lesson.
Makes sense and when I need to replace mine I will not go OEM.
 
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