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vfr1200fdreamer

VFR1200F DCT rear wheel slop and transmission noise at low speeds (resolved)

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Posted (edited)

Hello everyone, been lurking for about 6 days now searching feverishly to see if anyone else has had this, sadly I simply cannot find any matching posts.

 

tl;dr= rotating wheel while in center stand causes a clunking noise as if gears are being engaged loosely.

 

I recently purchased a 2010 VFR1200FD that I've had my eye on for sometime. On the drive home however I noticed that approaching stop signs I can hear the something making a chattering noise. When I got home I put it up on the center stand and while checking things over I believe I stumbled upon the source of the noise. Now I have to question, is this normal. Allow me to describe:

 

1. Put the motorcycle on it's center stand.

2. Start the bike

3. Shift it into drive (hear the clunk of the DCT engaging)

4. Cut the engine off via the key (this leaves portions of the transmission engaged)

5. Grab the rear wheel and rotate it CW and CCW

 

What I note when I do this is that there is small amount of distance that the wheel is easy to rotate (~20 degrees), then it's as if the linkages hit something that causes resistance inside the transmission and small clunk can be heard. If I rotate the wheel vigorously CW and CCW it actually makes a clunking noise as if two cogs are hitting together. Almost like that feeling when two gears have to much spacing between there teeth so there is space between the point of engagement.

 

I've change the final drive oil, and while doing so felt inside and note that there is no free play inside the gears. Then removed the lower fairing and felt the drive shaft through the rubber dust cover and note that there is no free play from the shaft.  What I mean by no free play is that I can feel an equal amount of rotation of the drive shaft for the amount of turning I am applying to the wheel.

 

This leads me to my suspicion that perhaps there is something in the transmission.

 

So here's what I need help with:

1. Am I crazy and this is normal for a DCT?

2. If you have a DCT with a center stand, can you please go do the same thing and let me know if you find.

 

Final note, I have called a Honda dealership and they ran my VIN and this bike has had the recall work completed for the final drive and shaft.

 

 

Edit (Final Update and Closure)

So in the end, this just comes down to a poor design in the Honda VFR1200F and FD transmissions which includes a bit to much backlash. Such that at lower speed the wheel and transmission keep racing each other, this causes the backlash to knock the gears back and forth. Sometimes the wheel is moving the shaft and sometimes the transmission is moving the shaft. When the vehicle switches between these two states the backlash knock occurs.

Edited by vfr1200fdreamer
Updating end of investigation

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A bit more searching I found something similar in this post:
https://www.vfrdiscussion.com/index.php?/forums/topic/78827-rear-drive-noise/

 

So I ran outside and started it up on the center stand and left it in drive while I walked around listening to it. The sound matches.

 

Sadly that thread never really ended in whether that was normal or abnormal.

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https://www.vfrdiscussion.com/index.php?/forums/topic/78827-rear-drive-noise/&do=findComment&comment=961296

 

This post from a forum user named Tamworth states:
 

Quote

There is an issue with the 1200 of uneven RPMs at 3000 rpm and below. When you're between acceleration and deceleration just coasting along the uneven engine pulses cause the drive line to knock back and forth. It's unpleasant and every 1200 owner has brought this up. You can work around it in various ways but this is not a great city bike because of this. I deal with it by either accelerating or decelerating or pulling in the clutch and coasting a bit. It's a bitch for sure and stop and go traffic is no fun at all.

 

Is this drive line knocking really something that is common at lower speeds and RPM?

 

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Mine is non-DCT, but it'll clatter if I am at walking speed (or jogging) and coasting at neutral throttle, just as Tamworth described in that quote.   It's not a big issue for me but my only in-town riding is to get the hell out. 

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Thank you for following up.

 

I've been searching and slowly refining the terms of my searches. Having now come across the term "backlash" and combining it with "shaft drive" seems to have made my google results find far more people describing the exact thing I'm seeing. In fact I even found posts for many other shaft driven bikes having the same thing. I guess since this is my first shaft driven bike I was just more alerted to it.

 

So in the end, this just comes down to a poor design in the Honda VFR1200F and FD transmissions which includes a bit to much backlash. Such that at lower speed the wheel and transmission keep racing each other, this causes the backlash to knock the gears back and forth. Sometimes the wheel is moving the shaft and sometimes the transmission is moving the shaft. When the vehicle switches between these two states the backlash knock occurs.

 

I feel foolish now for making this thread, but I'll leave it up just in case anyone else ever buys one of these and notices the same thing.

 

I admit I've spent the last 5 days unable to ride watching the rain and fretting over whether the bike I had my heart set on has a bad transmission. Turns out it's not bad, just poorly engineered. I will now return to tenderly tearing off each panel and giving the bike a nice deep cleaning, gotta do something while it rains.

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I don't think it's a silly question at all.   If I had bought mine used and I heard it, it might have given me pause as well.  Hope you enjoy it!

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