Timing or balancer chain noise? - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
1987 to 2007 Wrenching & Mods For maintaining, repair or modifications of Generation 1 KLR's. 2007 and earlier.

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post #1 of 29 Old 12-13-2010, 08:41 AM
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Timing or balancer chain noise?

2007 KLR, Eagle Mike doohickey done at 2,500 miles. Recently (8K miles) when the bike is fully warmed up there's a constant, engine-speed whirring sound from the left lower side of the motor, almost like a chain is too tight. I tried adjusting the doohickey, but no change. Any ideas before I go back in to look at the doohickey again?

I also pulled the timing chain tensioner and it looks fine.

TIA.
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post #2 of 29 Old 12-13-2010, 04:03 PM
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If it were mine....the left cover would be coming off. A little talked about secret in KLR land is that on occasion, even the upgraded, super-dooper, good-for-a-lifetime replacement springs.... break. Or come un-done. Either way, no tension is applied to the balancer lever to take up the slack when you attempt an adjustment. Eyes on will confirm or dismiss this possibility, and without an inspection port, pulling the cover is the easiest solution to me.

With the low miles you have, it is unlikely the rubberized balancer
sprockets have deteriorated, but only seeing will confirm this. Pulling the cover will confirm or dismiss the idea of chain dragging on the case, sprocket failure, poltergeist, etc.

I'm not always quick on the uptake, so bear with me.....you said when the engine comes up to normal operating temps, you hear the noise. Is this moving, sitting on the sidestand? Or both?

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post #3 of 29 Old 12-14-2010, 12:53 AM
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vatrader has good advice. Here are a couple questions. Was the original spring broken? If so, did you find all of the spring pieces? Which style spring did you install? If it was the torsion spring what position did you install it in? Here are the installation instructions that Eagle provides.

Standard Spring
http://www.leftcoastklrs.com/balancer_lever_upgrade.htm

Torsion Spring
http://www.leftcoastklrs.com/Install...ion_spring.htm
I noticed that Mike has not updated the instructions for the torsion spring but I think the updated information is included with the balancer lever.

Give Mike a call and ask for his suggestions.

Tim

2005 KLR 685
2015 Yamaha Super Tenere ES, 5/23/2015
2012 Yamaha Super Tenere; Purchased 7/30/2011; Sold 5/23/2015
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post #4 of 29 Old 12-14-2010, 01:10 AM
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The whirring noise is not unusual. There has never been any damage or issue related to this noise. Just out of curiosity, what weight oil are you using? It has seemed that using a lighter oil makes the noise louder, but this is more of a trend, not a defining issue.

Any whirring noise is unlikely to be related to a broken spring, but it's worth checking. A rattling noise is much more likely to be related to a broken spring.

You are welcome to call at any reasonable hour.
all the best,
Mike
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post #5 of 29 Old 12-14-2010, 01:20 AM
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Another thought in response to an above post:
One self appointed KLR guru has made a lot of noise about springs breaking. The full story is that the first generation spring (originally sold by Bill Rose) design was approved by said guru. These springs were manufactured by Century Spring in Los Angeles. His address was even on the original drawing. This spring design was obsoleted shortly after I purchased the sales rights back from Bill Rose. There's been at least 5 updates to the spring(s) design since then. It's always been my goal to eliminate spring breakage. The extension spring is in constant cycle as the engine is running. It's not a big cycle, but it's always there.
all the best,
Mike
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post #6 of 29 Old 12-14-2010, 08:27 AM
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Thanks for the replies,,

I installed the doohickey in May-ish of 2008, so whatever was in the kit at that time is in my bike. It was a coil spring, not the torsion version.

The spring was not broken when I did the doo, but it didn't have much tension to tighten the OEM doo, even at 2,500 miles.

The noise is apparent anytime the motor is warmed-up and running, in gear or in neutral, clutch in or out, and varies with engine speed. I didn't hear it initially after doing the doo, but it has developed in the last 1,000 or so miles.

I use 10-40 Valvoline motorcycle (mineral) oil.

It doesn't really sound like a loose chain, more like a tight chain.

I wonder if the new doo is hung on something and won't move when I loosen the adjuster? I'll probably take it apart over the winter to have a look.
post #7 of 29 Old 12-14-2010, 07:02 PM
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I noticed the same thing (the whirring) after doing the EM. Not worry, all is good. Many good miles to prove it !!!

Gray-haired riders don’t get that way from pure luck.

Unknown
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post #8 of 29 Old 12-19-2010, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmer fred View Post
Thanks for the replies,,

I installed the doohickey in May-ish of 2008, so whatever was in the kit at that time is in my bike. It was a coil spring, not the torsion version.

The spring was not broken when I did the doo, but it didn't have much tension to tighten the OEM doo, even at 2,500 miles.

The noise is apparent anytime the motor is warmed-up and running, in gear or in neutral, clutch in or out, and varies with engine speed. I didn't hear it initially after doing the doo, but it has developed in the last 1,000 or so miles.

I use 10-40 Valvoline motorcycle (mineral) oil.

It doesn't really sound like a loose chain, more like a tight chain.

I wonder if the new doo is hung on something and won't move when I loosen the adjuster? I'll probably take it apart over the winter to have a look.
Come by to Alcoa and check mine. I think we have the same issue. I tend to agree with you that it is a tight chain sound. I have put about 9k miles on since the upgrade and it is a sound I have learned to live with since I have never found a problem related to it (so far anyway).

Coop
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post #9 of 29 Old 12-20-2010, 09:45 AM
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It's pretty annoying, even if it's really nothing to worry about. I'll still probably pull the cover to make sure there's nothing obvious going wrong.
post #10 of 29 Old 02-21-2011, 08:14 AM
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OK, so I tore into the KLR this weekend to check out the doo. Everything is as it should be, and I had used the longer of the two springs that came with my kit (38mm and 35mm were supplied).

The doo isn't hung on anything, and tensions freely with the bolt loosened and the inner cover installed. I took the inner cover off too, just to check out everything and I could see nothing unusual.

Put her back together and went for a 80-mile ride. I could hear the whirring/"sizzling" when I got home and popped the earplugs, but it didn't seem as bad as I remember. It wasn't hot out though (66 degrees) so maybe it's temp related.

The bike runs fine, and it was great to take a nice ride. I guess I'll worry less/ride more.
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