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Thread: Clattering noise!! R1150rt. What could be causing this?

  1. #16
    Registered User tangoalpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jconway607 View Post
    I found the original thread that I started on this subject. The explanation that you see below was kindly submitted to that thread by none other than Paul Glaves. As usual, it covers the subject very well. Hope it helps.



    Balance the throttle bodies and the gear lash at idle in neutral will be minimized. But it is normal for Oilheads.

    Here is the detailed explanation - written by Oak Okleshen in 1974 about the then new 5 speed /6 gearbox, but it applies even more so to the Oilhead 5 speed gearboxes:

    "The noise is the result of an unloaded transmission and the backlash in the mating parts clattering slightly due to variances in engine speeds when at idle. The engine, though we think of it as running at a constant speed, varies in a miniscule amount when it is unloaded and at low speeds near idle. This happens between the power pulsations from the pistons. The flywheel helps to prevent the uneveness but does not cure the problem entirely for it would take a much larger and heavier flywheel than necessary to make the machine run properly and would detract from acceleration performance. As a result, the engine pulsates and the transmission attempts to run at a constant speed. Between pulsations the backlash in the transmission causes the components to clank lightly and cause noise.

    The noise can become more noticeable if ...unbalanced left to right. This causes engine pulsations to become more uneven and, hence, there is more noise in the transmission in neutral, clutch engaged."
    Excellent! I sure hope and pray that is all that's wrong with the bike. Chris Harris also indicated to me that upon watching the video that my bike was out of sync and below the minimum 1100 RPM idle setting. As an experiment, I did rev the engine to 1,100, then 1,200 and 1,300 RPM and held it there each time to see if the clattering noise went away. It did not and it only became more faint because of the louder noise that is typical with higher RPM's. I was feeling somewhat discouraged by this experiment because I had hoped the sound would go away once the 1100 RPM threshold was reached, but I also understand that increasing the RPM's is only part of the equation and doesn't compensate for throttle bodies that are out of sync. So until the throttle bodies are synced and the idle set correctly, there's no way to know for sure whether or not that is the issue. At this point, rather than attempting a tear down, syncing/idle adjustment seems like the more prudent way to approach this.
    "Der Bimmer ist wunderbar."

    Tango Alpha
    2002 R1150RT

  2. #17

    Noise

    I had a good friend that bought a new Harley in 1991. He rode it for a few days and it made all kinds of racket. Took it back to the dealer, and they said, they all sound like that, it's a Harley! Lots of bikes have clutch clatter, valve train clatter, intake noise. Air cooled bikes don't have any noise baffling from the water jackets. But your racket is really loud and annoying compared to my 2002 RT with 110K miles. I hope following the suggestions already made will help.

  3. #18
    MOA,ABC,AMA,NEF,BREC,CCA brownie's Avatar
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    Cool Idle clatter

    I believe there are several of the well known (and late) airhead gurus who swear idle clatter is the proper way to balance carbs......my $0.02
    Words to Ride by: Patience, Anticipate, Paranoia
    Shep Brown MOA 27510
    "Igor" 82 RS "Inga" 04RT
    Pensacola, Flairider

  4. #19
    Registered User cap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tangoalpha View Post
    When the bike is running I occasionally hear a clattering noise that I cannot identify.
    At the risk of sounding like a wise-ass, my guess is that if you take it to a dealer, they will tell you one of two things:

    1. They all do that, sir.
    2. You aren't operating it properly.

    My oilheads have all made an amazing array of horrible noises while operating normally. So, the default answer above has some validity. My suggestion is to use ear plugs and play music loudly while you ride. It works for me.

  5. #20
    Registered User tangoalpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cap View Post
    At the risk of sounding like a wise-ass, my guess is that if you take it to a dealer, they will tell you one of two things:

    1. They all do that, sir.
    2. You aren't operating it properly.

    My oilheads have all made an amazing array of horrible noises while operating normally. So, the default answer above has some validity. My suggestion is to use ear plugs and play music loudly while you ride. It works for me.
    That's funny! Same thing the Harley dealer used to tell me. Oh and....install a set of loud pipes. LOL!
    "Der Bimmer ist wunderbar."

    Tango Alpha
    2002 R1150RT

  6. #21
    Curmudgeon nrpetersen's Avatar
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    On reflection, I went back and listened again to the clatter in your video. My concern is the very premature failure of the original spline system at 19K miles. If this was caused by a radial engine/transmission misalignment (which I'm sure it is) there will be a lot of simultaneous wear on the rear crankshaft main bearing in the direction of the radial misalignment. Yours is one of lowest mileage failures I have seen suggesting the misalignment is very substantial. In the few bikes that have documented the oval crank bearing shell wear from a spline failure, the clearance has been ovality in the vertical direction. But that has been checked on only a couple of bikes. Very certainly, the rear crank bearing clearance was NOT checked on this repair. Why would the shop go looking for consequential damages even if they recognized the possibility?

    Just maybe you are the first documented example of engine-transmission misalignment that is horizontal? and what we are hearing is a main bearing knock from horizontal main bearing clearance? If this is the case, the knock would be worse when the clutch is disengaged (handle pulled in) in which case the crank rear would no longer be supported by the transmission input bearing. But as I understand your postings, the noise is worse when the clutch is engaged (handle let out). In this situation the crank rear IS supported by the transmission input bearing which would be comparatively quiet.

    If you remove the starter you can see the condition of the spline, and you could determine the clearance direction of the crankshaft.

    But no way would I ignore this.
    Retired w 2005 K1200LT, 2000 R1100RT, & 1975 R90/6

  7. #22
    Registered User tangoalpha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nrpetersen View Post
    On reflection, I went back and listened again to the clatter in your video. My concern is the very premature failure of the original spline system at 19K miles. If this was caused by a radial engine/transmission misalignment (which I'm sure it is) there will be a lot of simultaneous wear on the rear crankshaft main bearing in the direction of the radial misalignment. Yours is one of lowest mileage failures I have seen suggesting the misalignment is very substantial. In the few bikes that have documented the oval crank bearing shell wear from a spline failure, the clearance has been ovality in the vertical direction. But that has been checked on only a couple of bikes. Very certainly, the rear crank bearing clearance was NOT checked on this repair. Why would the shop go looking for consequential damages even if they recognized the possibility?

    Just maybe you are the first documented example of engine-transmission misalignment that is horizontal? and what we are hearing is a main bearing knock from horizontal main bearing clearance? If this is the case, the knock would be worse when the clutch is disengaged (handle pulled in) in which case the crank rear would no longer be supported by the transmission input bearing. But as I understand your postings, the noise is worse when the clutch is engaged (handle let out). In this situation the crank rear IS supported by the transmission input bearing which would be comparatively quiet.

    If you remove the starter you can see the condition of the spline, and you could determine the clearance direction of the crankshaft.

    But no way would I ignore this.
    Thank you for your insight. I'm inclined to believe what you're saying is true. I'm no Oilhead expert by any means, however I have met other owners and their bikes did not make a similar sound. This is concerning to me and I think your suggestion of removing the starter seems like a sensible place to start looking. Thanks for the advice..seems solid to me.
    "Der Bimmer ist wunderbar."

    Tango Alpha
    2002 R1150RT

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