Timing chain tensioner noise (newbie)
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  1. #1
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
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    May 2019
    Wilmington Delaware USA

    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.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Apolloha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    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
    2018 Yamaha TW200
    1978 Suzuki DR370

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Purple's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Ynys Môn
    '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 ...
    (Warning - Forum may contain nuts) ...... Hidden Content

    TW200 - 1998 - Japanese import - 7000 miles on the clock - TW225 Special Edition 2007
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  5. #4
    Senior Member RaZed1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    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.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Darth's Avatar
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    Nov 2013
    Timbercreek Canyon, Texas
    Good write-up, Raz...as usual!
    “It’s more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bike slow”.

    "The less horsepower a motorcycle has, the more it can teach you.” - Ben Bostrom

    And though a mountain may rise up and smack the livin' shit outta me,
    and wad up my bike somethin' awful...
    Still, I rise!
    (With apologies to Maya Angelou)

    Humans: simultaneously capable of such genius and such douchebaggery!

    "Give a Damn"
    - C. M. Howe, Jr.

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  7. #6
    Junior Member Pops's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Wilmington Delaware USA
    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!


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