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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy,

I've replaced the tires on my bike with completely new wheels, tires, and brakes.

(I've got 2 sets of wheels. This is for my street tires cause I'm stuck commuting on pavement 99.9% of my time but I'm gonna get some knobbies on the other set.)

The bike was making no problem noises before I messed with the tires, but now it rhythmically clunked like something was wrong and beating against something else when the tires spin.

I found a spacer stuck to the old wheel, put that in and it helped some.

I found Google searches saying the chain was too tight. I loosened the chain ridiculous and floppy loose and the clunking changed and mostly went away. So I adjusted to within specs according to the Clymer manual, and it's at 1.5" of play. It's dead silent while I'm driving (yay!), but when I decelerate, the same clunk comes back, just slower.

I adjusted the tensioner bolt and it seems to have made it sound different, but it's not going away.

I had this issue on a previous 2009 klr after putting new tires on and the local kawasaki shop just had me replace so many parts I don't know what stopped the noise. (That one got destroyed by an suv while I was riding to work. Safety gear works, folks.)

I'm pretty sure the chain and sprockets are less than 3 years old on this bike. Guy said they were replaced right before I bought it from him a couple years ago and they weren't making noise before I took the rear wheel off.

The bearings are all new in both new wheels. Since I got them used, I put in new bearings.

But I'm pretty sure the shop just wanted to sell me parts on the first bike (it was ridden hard by the guy who had it before me, as was this current bike) since it's the same behavior and chain adjustment is changing the noise.

Anywhere else to look for chain clunking noise? I've spent 3 weeks off and on looking for that perfect millimeter adjustment and it's annoying. Thought I got a mountain side repair job and ride machine and not a to the millimeter precision instrument.

Thanks for any info y'all provide.

JH
 

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...I found a spacer stuck to the old wheel, put that in and it helped some...
This scares me, and I'm generally considered to be reckless and fearless. By "scares me" I mean it scares the shit out of me.

Please review this for bearing and spacer placement. A missing spacer can be incredibly catastrophic.
https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/rear-wheel-bearing-replacement
And the diagram attached to this post as well.
https://www.klrforum.com/2008-klr650-wrenching-mod-questions/17993-handy-spec-sheet-gen2-updated-3-18-16-a.html
Again, here.
https://storage.googleapis.com/wzukusers/user-28647917/documents/5c17e5352bbd0LJMnTb5/Gen 2 Sheet 2d.pdf


Then review this for a possible source of clunking.
https://www.souperdoo.com/stuff that i think about/the-cush-drive-or-coupling-damper

There is a simple way to tell if a previous owner was lying about the condition of the bike: his lips were moving. You should inspect the chain, link by link, for bad rollers and inspect the sprockets for wear before ruling them out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Howdy, thanks for the info. I'll check it more in depth in the next day or so.

Yeah, after I saw the spacer I went through it again with a fine tooth comb. Heh.

I've got a funny little dead end street next to me so I don't have to go far for testing. It's about 4 blocks long and only about a hundred yards to get there. It's a help, but pretty sure the neighbors think I'm a weirdo driving all kinda speeds and random stopping on it.

I put a newer cush drive into the used wheel cause that had helped on the other bike. It was the drive I was using on the wheel that came with the bike, but it's in better shape than the one that came with the new used wheel and didn't have any slop or wiggling in it.

The sprockets don't look worn and I didn't see any stiff links, but I didn't take the whole chain off. Just kinda worked it while still on the front sprocket. Nothing too in depth though.

Replacing chain and sprockets is all I know to do from here, but was hoping there might be something else cause that didn't fix the same noise on my last bike.

Still thinking it's just an adjustment somewhere that I haven't done correctly and the parts shop didn't tell me about. They didn't seem too keen on helping the diy-er learn stuff, even though I was paying them shop hours for diagnosis.

They also couldn't get standard parts in on the timetable they told me and don't have all the parts on the shelves for the bikes they sell, so, I've not been back. And it's all official Kawasaki looking and everything.

This "easy and cheap to maintain" bike hasn't been either for me, twice. Hard to shop local here so I've been going online for everything. I actually found the metric nuts and bolts at Menard's cause the kawasaki guys charge an arm and a leg for the few parts they do have. Not trying to be a negative whiner, but it's more of a reason for why I'm not just going to the professionals here.

Thanks again for the info. I appreciate it.

Have a good one.

JH
 

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Double-check that the front sprocket is properly secured. It should not be able to wiggle on the output shaft.
 

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Clunking may also be caused by a loose motor mount bolt, especially the one directly below the swing-arm pivot. You can easily access this fastener on the right-hand side of the bike.

Jason
 

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Clunking may also be caused by a loose motor mount bolt, especially the one directly below the swing-arm pivot. You can easily access this fastener on the right-hand side of the bike.

Jason
Be careful of Allowing the LH nut to Rotate the lower frame rail 'Chain Slipper' UP Against the chain & sprocket!

The Lower run of the drive chain needs to be Loose Enough to lift up and just touch the rear tip of the lower underslider, middle of swing arm, Jh.

Is there any chance that the LH Lower subfame BOLT is Too Long & 'ticking' on the rivet heads of the Master Link?? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Howdy y'all,

Thanks for the pointers.

Ok, today's look shows: front sprocket is solid with no wiggle. Can't tell if the motor mount bolts are loose yet. Need to put a wrench and see if they move, but they're tighter than finger tight. It's getting ready to rain (usually epic thunderstorm here) and I'm working on some bricks I threw on the ground to get out of mud so troubleshooting is about done for today.

The top part of the chain is totally on that black rubber of the swing arm and looks like it probably rides on it constantly. I can't see it while I'm on it.

That doesn't seem like how it's supposed to work, but if I tighten it where it's raised above the rubber at all while on the center stand, the clunk comes back in full force and there's hardly any play to measure. The hard plastic guides don't seem to touch anywhere and they're still solid.

I don't see any bolts long enough to touch the chain, but the one I think you're talking about for the sub frame is equal with the chain, but about half inch above it. Like, if I sat and the bike lowered enough to touch, I'd expect it to be a constant noise if that was the bolt. The nut is pretty much directly above the chain.

I saw a blurb in a Google search result (rest of article was behind some membership wall) that there's a balancer chain inside the case that can loosen up and rhythmically thunk. If it's at all touching anything that moves with that front sprocket during chain adjustment, that could be why the sound changes but I'm not fixing it.

Looking at the Clymer pictures, I might be able to see that chain if I take the skid plate and left cover off the motor and see if it's floppy.
Does that seem plausible?

Thanks for the input so far. I appreciate the efforts.

Have a good one.

JH
 

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Lift the LOWER run of drive chain to just Touch the rear tip of the Rubber slider UNDER the swingarm. If the chain can't touch it, its TOO Tight.

If the chain bends around the tip & nearly touches the metal of the arm, its Too Loose.

Check the sub-frame bolt about 6-7 inches above the kick stand pivot & the LH passenger peg bolts for TOO Much Length. Quite common when guards & bags are added.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So, after however many months, severe withdrawals, and the weather not cooperating, I finally got it to stop clunking. I just rode the thing up into my living room (I have no garage or big enough shed.) And tinkered in the bad weather. I didn't take the case apart. I looked through the Clymer manual and figured if the balancer was the problem, it would be a lot rougher than it is.

I just today have finally saved up enough money and got parts and tools I thought I had but didn't and replaced the sprockets and chain and adjusted to y'alls suggestions and the thing doesn't clunk anymore.

Hopefully, it stays that way when I get a not windy\icy\snowy day to go for a good ride farther than a couple of blocks.

Looking like tomorrow should be decent.

Thanks again for all your input. I do appreciate the efforts and info for future troubleshooting.

So yeah, just replace all of it when it acts up, I guess.
 

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I don't see any bolts long enough to touch the chain, but the one I think you're talking about for the sub frame is equal with the chain, but about half inch above it. Like, if I sat and the bike lowered enough to touch, I'd expect it to be a constant noise if that was the bolt. The nut is pretty much directly above the chain.


JH
Glad you seemed to have solved your problem, a couple notes;

It's not a constant noise because the masterlink sticks out farther than the others.

...and at 1.5" (assuming on the sidestand), you had the chain way too tight. Paul's quick check should get you close


Dave
 
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