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Cam chain noise


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Hi folks.

Just bought a new to me 2013 VFR1200 with just over 9k miles. Gorgeous bike with lots of power, feels good to be back on a faster bike after years riding a KLR. I thought I got a pretty good deal given how well taken care of it seemed, but there’s always something. I’ve got a cam chain rattle, when it first starts it sounds like a typical rattling cam chain, after it warms up it settles down, but when riding and she gets hot it comes back as a clunking sound. I used my stethoscope to confirm it’s coming from the right side of the upper engine cases. When I did some googling I found some people talking about having a similar sound and ignoring it for thousands of miles. Hard for me to do this, so I thought I would ask you all what you thought. Unfortunately this motor doesn’t have the normal external tensioner easy to replace. Looks like I would have to drop the motor and remove the heads to address the tensioners. Ouch. What do you guys think?

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From the parts image, it looks like they have springs to tension them, and should be fine at 9,000 miles. Did you check your valve clearances yet? When you do, you can rotate the engine, and see what might be going on. Also, you can try 10-40 oil, if they put anything lighter, expect noise. Mine always made a racket with 10-30, then I switched, and now it much quieter. Referring to the engine as a whole, not just the timing chains.

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Big island and yes it’s my new get to the other side touring bike. Really pretty perfect, no worries about range here. Remarkable machine, even if the sound is a little lacking. Been a decade since I’ve ridden anything so quick, it’s a real pleasure. I plan to keep it forever so I’ll work on what needs working. Suspension needs a little work I think. 

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1 hour ago, RC1237V said:

From the parts image, it looks like they have springs to tension them, and should be fine at 9,000 miles. Did you check your valve clearances yet? When you do, you can rotate the engine, and see what might be going on. Also, you can try 10-40 oil, if they put anything lighter, expect noise. Mine always made a racket with 10-30, then I switched, and now it much quieter. Referring to the engine as a whole, not just the timing chains.

I did just drop the oil and put in 10-40 synthetic, appropriate for our climate according to the manual. It might have quieted it down but certainly did not eliminate the noise. I do plan on doing the valve check and will inspect further then. Do to the the intermittent non regular nature of the sound is pretty sure it’s nothing major, but I’ve localized it pretty precisely to the cam chain area of the rear cylinder bank. In theory the rear head could come off in the bike, but it looks like the rear chain is behind the front on the crank sprocket. If I do need to replace a tensioner I guess I’ll do both if I have to drop the motor. I’ll keep an ear out since I can’t help myself and hope it doesn’t worsen. On throttle there’s no sound, it’s only when it settles down to idle, certainly doesn’t feel like cam timing is off so I imagine it just slaps a little at idle and any looseness is taken up on throttle. 

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Is Kizer Motorcycles a good option there?  I've been in the dealership a few times and certainly appreciated the environment.

 

It could be helpful to listen to another bike, but you might have the only one on that island.  

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That’s where the bike was purchased and serviced. I might swing by and let them listen. I’ve heard there’s only one other 1200 on the island and it’s had a hard life. I’ll try and record a video for you guys and let you listen. Now to figure out flashing the ECU. It seems the guy in Europe with the remote flash is the only option now. Do I need to upgrade the pipe first so that can be accounted for? The DAM looks like the best option that I’ve found so far, hoping it can help the anemic sound this bike makes. Why couldn’t Honda give us the uneven firing order?! Sounds like a parallel twin. 

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Your tuning options are Kainzinger and Sabsteef.  Both do remote tuning.  

 

I have the Dam pipe and love it.  I also have the Akra high mount pipe and enjoy it also.  Both fix the looks and sound issues.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you kindly for the help. I’m try to decide if I want Matte with polish tip or carbon. Bike has all the Honda carbon bits on it, but maybe it’s to much. 

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In Hawaii you must run the sound baffle, correct?  If so, you might want to order the sport db killer that Dam offers.  It produces a sound pretty close to the Dam exhaust with no baffle at all.  It would certainly pass the visual inspection test - you can't miss it.  

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Never heard of such a rule and I’m pretty sure my bike will be significantly quieter then most around here. I’ll probably order the baffle to have choices though. My KLR got to loud for my liking and I’m repacking and installing a silencer insert.

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8 hours ago, afwjam said:

Thank you kindly for the help. I’m try to decide if I want Matte with polish tip or carbon. Bike has all the Honda carbon bits on it, but maybe it’s to much. 

 

IMAG0279.jpg

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That’s a good looking bike! Wasn’t considering the full black but that looks really good on your bike. Is the fairings grey? I didn’t know they made that color, mine is black. 

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59 minutes ago, afwjam said:

Here’s mine, day I bought her in Kona. 

957C9FD1-1086-4F37-9F1F-055F2E0B4A19.jpeg

Very nice. I'd be trying to steal Skids beautiful Black DAM exhaust! :fing02:

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3 hours ago, afwjam said:

That’s a good looking bike! Wasn’t considering the full black but that looks really good on your bike. Is the fairings grey? I didn’t know they made that color, mine is black. 

Titanium I prefer to call it. 

 

The DAM sounds ridiculously good too. Every time I cane it (every time I ride it) and hear the noise, a little bit of wee comes out. ☺️😉

IMAG0280.jpg

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6 minutes ago, Skids said:

Titanium I prefer to call it. 

 

The DAM sounds ridiculously good too. Every time I cane it (every time I ride it) and hear the noise, a little bit of wee comes out. ☺️😉

IMAG0280.jpg

Did you say " hear the noise"? M8 bite your tongue, its not a Harley! Symphony more like it, and I think you should go see a Urologist! :laughing6-hehe:

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1 hour ago, Grum said:

Did you say " hear the noise"? M8 bite your tongue, its not a Harley! Symphony more like it, and I think you should go see a Urologist! :laughing6-hehe:

True, the poet in me was clearly missing. Yes, the sound envelopes you in a symphony of aural motorcycle nirvana.

 

Is that better? :beer:

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Go with the Pit Bull stand instead.  Works great, doesn't look weird on the bike and won't rust.

 

Do you guys have to worry about trying to prevent rust over there on bikes?  I would have thought the salt air might make that a challenge.  

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that looks like it would be superior for maintenance. I kinda like the convenience of the onboard unit for space reasons with a big bike like the VFR. Everything rusts here, I’m already battling it on this bike. 

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Ok I tried to make a video so you all could hear what I’m talking about. First part is cold when it sounds more like a rattle, always at idle particularly after settling back after rolling off. Second part is hot where it takes on more of a hollow knocking sound. Let me know if your guys bikes have that sound.

 


Did some of my first modifications. Unfortunately when I went to remove the bottom fairing for the oil change one of the Allen bolts was seized. Ended up drilling the head off and the threaded portion backed out by hand. The washer was missing on that bolt so maybe that’s what caused it to seize up, I hate Allen’s anyways and knew those cheap bolts would rust so I replaced them with some titanium bolts I found on Amazon, T25 star bit as god intended, don’t ask how much.
The plastics are beautiful but finicky to remove.

Installed some foam grip covers from grip puppies, huge improvement for vibrations and hand fatigue, stock grips started getting sticky after all these years.

8118F614-A796-4195-8160-151EB3C0F64A.jpeg

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This old discussion also.

https://www.vfrdiscussion.com/index.php?/forums/topic/73761-engine-ticking-noise-at-idle-intermittent-normal/

 

so it does some like a cam chain tensioner noise, probably harmless for now. Guess when I get around to doing the valves I can check it out further. Maybe it won’t get worse, I really don’t want to drop the whole motor out of the bike and remove heads to fix this.

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