Pre-trip questions: strange sounds - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 08:22 AM Thread Starter
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Pre-trip questions: strange sounds

Hey people.

I'm getting ready to take another four day trip with my father and older brother. We'll probably be hitting up southern Missouri and northern Arkansas again. Some decent twisties in those foothills. The last trip was great - we did 2300 miles over three days, me on the 919 and him on a Goldwing.

I'd say the highlight of the last trip was losing my frogg toggs on highway 69 in Oklahoma - they weren't tied down properly and swung around between the frame and the rear wheel. Luckily, I saw the bag roll around in my mirror and grabbed a handful of clutch. Screeching lockup, lots of smoke, ruined rain gear, the works. It was fun.

Anyway, I have two questions before I stretch my 9er's legs again.

First, I'm hearing an odd swishing sound on my front end. I know a little brake drag is normal (that sssss-ing noise) but it seems to have gotten worse in the past couple weeks. It's especially noticeable when I'm actually braking. The pads are almost brand new as well...maybe a warped rotor? Or just dirty rotors? I also checked the chain being too tight, which has happened to me before. It was normal.

Second, and this is harder to explain, but when I'm braking I hear a soft clicking noise. Even stranger, I can feel the clicking in the clutch lever. It's pretty soft...not a banging, but more like a patting (that is proportional to the speed...it slows as the bike does). It's pretty rapid at any speed. Rotor buttons?

Anyway, ideas? I don't think it would affect it, but I've done the flapper mod and have an F-16 shield. No other mods.

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post #2 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 10:35 AM
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Swishing sound could be brake pads. Or oddly worn front tire.

Do you hear the clicking, or feel it?

1. With your bike dead, straddle the bike
2. Put the bike in neutral
3. Hold the front brake lever full on.
4. Gently rock the bike back and forth. Try this at a few different gentle pressures... gradually into a moderate force.

At step number 4, can you feel a clicking? If so, it might be your head bearings.

Alternatively, it could be your wheel bearings --- in which case, that might explain the other front end noise you're having.

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post #3 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 12:35 PM
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Run Honda pads if you aren't already. I've had bad experiences with buying cycle gear's finest.

Also, look into cleaning your rotors, or rebuilding your calipers. Theres a link on here to honda's service manual, which includes troubleshooting.

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post #4 of 12 Old 11-01-2010, 12:45 PM
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I buy $5 metal sanding disks from sears.....the disk pop into a drill adapter (comes with the disks)..... Couple minutes on each side of the rotor with a cordless drill and it puts a nice new cross hatch in..... Usually do this any time my rotors look dirty or installing new pads.......


Clicking? I'd pop the front wheel up on a stand? May sound stupid? Are any of your brake disk bolts loose? Make sure your brake pad pins are tight and good to go, pad springs installed correctly?......I've only had loose buttons on wave rotors, which could be felt while grabbing the disk....also had front wheel bearings go bad.....on the stand I had movement from side to side of the front tire on it's axle. When it's bearings, it's pretty obvious.

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post #5 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curiousmike View Post
Do you hear the clicking, or feel it?
Both. I hear it but can only feel it in the clutch lever. I tried the rocking thing and didn't get any noise, as well as checked caliper bolts and the axle bearing. The front wheel rotates straight with no lateral movement. Strange, no?

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post #6 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 08:24 PM
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With the front wheel on a stand, if you spin the wheel do you feel / hear anything?

If so, remove the brake calipers and do the same test.
If you don't hear the sound with the calipers off, you know it's rotors or pads.
If you do hear the sound with the calipers off, than you know it's wheel (bearing?)

The clutch lever - If the clutch is disengaged, and you're just resting your fingers on the lever, you feel the clicking?
Or does the clutch have to be engaged / pulled in?

Does this happen with the motor off, bike in neutral, and you walrusing/walking the bike down the street?

Does it happen with the motor ON, but in neutral and not moving?

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post #7 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 08:26 PM
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Triple check your front tire.
If it's old, see if it's worn odd.
If it's new, maybe it's a bad tire.

Verify the tires PSI ( in particular you should be doing this for your long trip. )

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post #8 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 08:27 PM
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You mentioned you've checked the chain.

Too loose = bad

Too tight = bad(er)

Verify it has a modicum of oil on it and that it's clean. I don't want to start a holy war, but I would spray it down with some WD40 then wipe it clean.

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post #9 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 08:29 PM
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You say the front end sound gets worse when slowing down.
Is it similar if you coast to a stop?

Is it similar if you just use the rear brake to slow down?

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post #10 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 08:37 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, you are curious.

The clicking only appears when braking with the front brake. Coasting or using the rear brake is quiet. The clicking is there even when the clutch isn't engaged. I oiled and checked the chain yesterday before I went to work...it measured correctly. I've tried walking the bike with the engine off and it still clicks while braking.

It makes me think it has to be brake related due to it only happening when braking - I'll double check my caliper and pad situation tomorrow before I head out. It looked okay yesterday.

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post #11 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 09:07 PM
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Since the clicking is there with the clutch disengaged, it makes me think the front brake click is being transmitted throughout the entire handlebar --- thats why you're feeling it at the clutch lever.

So it does sound like front brakes; if you have the time, remove your calipers and pads and clean the shiz out of the calipers. Get some brake cleaner and let loose with that and a toofbrush. You might pull the pins out and lightly sand them. Time some time cleaning the pistons -- they might be pretty grimey and not letting them retract (hence the extra whoosh.)

Warped rotor.... unless you are a demon braker ( or have stuck piston(s) ) probably isn't too likely.

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post #12 of 12 Old 11-02-2010, 09:08 PM
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BTW, this thread is about the maximum of my mechanical aptitude, so take anything I'm saying with a big grain of salt.

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