Kawasaki KLR Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First time poster, but avid reader. My father gave me his 2001 KLR650 (14K miles) which had been collecting dust for the last 3 to 4 years. I'm by no means a mechanic, but have been able to fix just about anything with the use of youtube videos and forums such as this.

To resurrect the motorcycle from the dead, I re-built the carburetor, replaced the battery, changed the oil, brake fluid, coolant, replaced the the front and rear sprockets, chain, rotors, and brake pads. While I had the motorcycle taken apart I also performed the 22 cent mod and doohickey upgrade.

Everything seems to be running great, except there's a strange rattle coming from what sounds like the upper engine. It's sporadic and happens more regularly at higher speeds. The best way to describe it is it sounds like a pebble bouncing around.

I know diagnosing a sound is very hard without seeing/hearing it yourself, and I feel like I've read every thread about noises, rattles, clings, clangs, clunks etc, but I'm still at a loss.

Here's the interesting thing, the sound only happens when in motion. Even if the motorcycle is OFF. It's definitely speed related, but I find it interesting that the motorcycle doesn't need to be on. In fact, when I rev the motorcycle in neutral, I don't hear it. Even when I raise the rear tire and shift through the gears with my bike in the garage, I can't hear it either. But when I ride the bike with the engine on or off, I hear it...and it can get pretty loud at times. It starts making the rattle after about 15MPH and gets more frequent the faster I go.

I've checked the chain multiple times thinking it's got to be the chain, but it seems to be good. Sprockets and chain are brand new and I'm pretty sure the slack is correct and rear tire is aligned properly. Plus the sound seems to be coming from the upper part of the engine.

So there you have it. That's about everything I know about the rattle and hoping to high heaven someone can identify it based on my super long thread (sorry).

Your help would be greatly appreciated! I posted some picture of her on my profile if you'd like to see the transformation.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,202 Posts
The drive chain Needs to be loose Enough (when on side stand or center stand/work stand) to be lifted up and touch the rear tip of the rubber under-slider around the swingarm. Looks very sloppy to the un-initiated.

And you may have Lost the inner spacer between the rear sprocket hub and the wheel hub. Very common error for new owners/mechanics.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Paul Gardner

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the advice pdwestman! I'm going to check the spacer when I get home. I'm sure hoping I don't see it and that's the cause of the rattle. I'll report back once I have a chance to take a look. The chain slack is probably good as I can touch the rubber as you suggested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Had a chance to look at the motorcycle tonight and the inner spacer is installed. Any other ideas? Paul, what did you mean by the gear?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,202 Posts
OK, next up I will suggest that you remove the rear brake fluid reservoir from the frame.
Then starting at the cylinder head, tighten the exhaust header nuts to 15-16 ft lb, then the mid-pipe support by the carb, then the 2 muffler mounts, then the muffler to header pipe clamp which was hidden by the brake reservoir.
Finally we try to tighten the header pipe heat shield and muffler heat shield.

Did you by any chance remove the top engine mount when doing the carb? Did you tighten it, even if you didn't remove it? Check all engine mounts and main fairing mount on the steering neck.

Were the new brake rotors OEM or some sort of riveted 'floating disc' aftermarket design? Did you Loc-Tite their bolts?

15 mph and above / speed related, probably ought to have the wheels spin balanced.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
I know the speedometer cable or the gear inside the hub on the front wheel can make noise if it's going bad. Specifically, some have had the speedometer parts on the front wheel mis-aligned after removing and re-assembling the front wheel causing the speedometer to stop working and could cause a noise. My 09 started making a strange ticking noise that I noticed as I slowed almost to a stop recently, and it turned out that my speedometer cable was on the verge of breaking (and it finally did).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again westman. I don't think I'll be able to work on the bike until this weekend, but I'll take your advice and tighten down all the bolts you mention. I have not removed the top engine mount...but that's where the sound appears to be coming from. I've heard you should check the valves from time to time. Do the valves move when in motion even if the bike is off? Any chance the rattle would be a valve out of adjustment?

Thanks for your suggestion as well Paul. I'll check the speedometer cable and gear on the front wheel to make sure this isn't where the noise is coming from.

Very appreciate of you guys taking the time to give me suggestions!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,202 Posts
Yes, intake and exhaust valve tappet clearances should be checked and adjusted as needed at least every 10,000 miles.
No, the intake and exhaust valves do not move/operate with a dead engine.

I'll ask you to check the lower LH sub-frame bolt near the top chain run. If someone accidently installed a replacement which maybe only 2 or 3 threads longer than needed it may touch the tips of the chain master link occasionally or even frequently. Especially with rider on board and suspension slightly loaded. May not touch with bike up on work stand.
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top