Timing chain tensioner noise (newbie)
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Thread: Timing chain tensioner noise (newbie)

  1. #1
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    Timing chain tensioner noise (newbie)

    Hi, got my 2019 TW several weeks ago & at the time posted a question about a rattling type noise under acceleration.

    After spending a lot of time poking around and reading various posts I'm pretty sure what I'm hearing is the timing chain/tensioner. Are TW's known for having noisy ones? The bike has displayed this "symptom" since day one. I'll be going in for the 600 miles service soon so want to know if it's something normal or can be addressed. I know I'm being vague when describing the noise as a vibrating rattle but it's the best I can do. I know the tensioner is adjustable but I'm not comfortable fooling with it.

    Thanks!
    Dan

  2. #2
    Senior Member Apolloha's Avatar
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    It could be several things. A loose motor mount bolt. Too much valve clearance. Timing chain. A 1987 engine design. I would have them check it out at the service. Probably nothing bad.

    I had a 1978 Suzuki DR370 ( bought new ) that had a rattle like that. I tried and tried to find it. Never did. When it finally died, it probably had close to 100,000 miles on it. Well maybe not that many but I rode it every day. The transmission chewed 2nd gear. Kept ridding. Then finally one day the ignition quit. The rattle was still there to the end.
    2017 Apollo 250
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    1978 Suzuki DR370

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
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    '87 to '01 drum models have an manually adjustable chain tensioner - 2001 to present, the adjuster is automatic

    Get the shop to check it at 600 - there's little you can do about it yourself ...
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  5. #4
    Senior Member RaZed1's Avatar
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    TW's aren't really known for timing chain or tensioner issues. The bike is from 1987, but the engine is older than that. It first appeared in the YTM200 trike, I believe in 1983. So yeah, if a modern thumper is used as a yardstick, it's not the most refined engine on the planet. That said, I've never noticed the engine being particularly noisy. Little valve clatter but nothing I'd consider excessive. I've had motorcycles with far noisier engines.

    You can remove the tensioner and check it for proper one-way action but I'd be surprised if it was defective. Remove the bolt in the center to access the reset screw. Put a small flat screwdriver in there and turn to retract the plunger, since when you remove it it'll pop all the way out.
    The plunger should smoothly/immediately push outward and have a continuous non-ratcheting one way action. If you can push the plunger back in, it's bad. While holding it retracted, put it back on the cylinder and once it's bolted down again, release the screwdriver.

    Otherwise, if it's under warranty I'd ask the dealer about it. Don't expect much, they'll almost certainly pass it off as normal, or claim they didn't hear anything. When I used to work at a dealer complaints of rattles/noises were pretty common and in reality about 95% of the time the noise was genuinely normal and nothing was wrong, so techs don't pay a whole lot of attention to "Customer says engine rattles, check and advise" on work orders.
    Trail Woman and Fred like this.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    Good write-up, Raz...as usual!
    "Faster, faster, faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death."
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  7. #6
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    Yeah, been there done that too with rattles etc.

    I'll probably just put an aftermarket can on her so I don't notice it as much

    Got my Motojackrack this week, works great with the TW.

    Thanks everyone!

    44977526-572E-442E-B532-415606BC5EE8.jpg

  8. #7
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    So had my 1st service including valve adjustment, got bike home and the racket at higher rpm's continues. I'm going to bring it back tomorrow and have a mechanic ride it around the lot while I'm there to tell me what the noise is, normal or not. I was told when they did the oil change there was a higher amount of metal shavings than they usually see. They inspected the clutch plates to be sure that wasn't the cause of the shavings and they were fine. I probably rode the bike harder than recommended during break in so hoping that's the culprit of the shavings. I'm just concerned now since they saw more metal in the oil than normal that the higher rpm vibrating/rattling/whatever isn't related. The exhaust note sounds pure until winding it up and I want all pureness!

    If any of this sounds familiar to anyone would love to hear your take.

    Thanks
    Dan

  9. #8
    Senior Member Trail Woman's Avatar
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    Cam chain wooshing and occasional chatter of valves is normal to a tuned ear. Meaning that these sounds shouldn't be too loud or disturbing in the mix. The forks are typically low on fork oil from the factory and cause the occasional clunk in the front end. And rattle under the seat is likely a piece in the top center of the mono shock that can be heard at certain RPMs (after a releasing a pull of the throttle).

    This little beastie is full of gremlins. They're easily tamed if you follow a good break in and maintenance schedule.
    Last edited by Trail Woman; 08-07-2019 at 06:19 PM.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    Dealer credibility can be checked via an inspection of right side engine cover which should show signs of alleged disassembly for the purported clutch plate inspection.
    2003 TW200 "Betty Boop"
    2006 TW200 "Nibbler", a.k.a. “Mr.Gizmo"
    Hidden Content All Things Considered I’ld Rather Be Motorcycling

  11. #10
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    So how does scissor gears in clutch basket sound like the likely source and normal?

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