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Garage / Mechanical Help New tools, stands, projects, and mechanical help.

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Old 04-23-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
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Drivetrain noise in low gear

I have an '04 FZ6 with about 23k miles. I bought it when it had 13k. Great bike. Love it.

Recently I've been getting a sort of clicking noise, like how it would sound if the chain had a bad link, in 1st and 2nd gear when taking off. The chain looks fine though; all the x-rings look to be in good shape as do the links. It may be the original chain though. It does the loose-tight-loose thing too but it doesn't seem too bad and I've read this is normal?



The rear sprocket looks fine to me. The front sprocket, I'm not sure. The chain has worn down to the plastic inside the sprocket but idk if this is normal or not.





I had also started clutchless shifting before this happened in 3rd gear and up (never the low gears) after reading that it was ok to do so a few different places.

I tried working the front sprocket to check for play in the transmission bearing but it feels fine.

I tried my best to capture the sound on video. Watch with annotations on: GOPR0019 - YouTube

I'm thinking its either the chain and sprockets, or the transmission bearing. What do you all think?

Last edited by Puncher; 04-23-2013 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:54 PM   #2
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Are you talking about the "supercharger-ish" whine? It does indeed sound like transmission whine and from what I read on these forums, it is normal due to square-cut gears (to the best of my knowledge). Or, at least **some** transmission whine is normal. Not sure how much. Mine makes a similar noise.

I watched one of your other videos posted in November 2012 and your bike made the same sound back then, too.

The discoloration on your chain looks like the alignment has the sprockets making contact closer to the right side of the chain. Have you tried doing a tire alignment? Use any of the popular methods on this website. Visit the "How-to" section for a very good string align method that I find works very well.

Edit: Sorry, just re-read your post and realized your chain clicking happens at the same time as the loudest parts of the transmission whine so I was listening for the wrong thing.
I would check the basic things first like chain slack and alignment, see if that helps any. Go from there. My chain makes a similar rattling/buzzing sometimes and I am currently replacing the rear bearing because of some run-out. Try spinning your tire when on the center stand and see if there is any runout. The wear pattern you see on the plastic part of your front sprocket appears normal. The chain just needs room to move, that's all. (You can see the chain sits comfortably in the grooves on the other parts of the sprocket).
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:58 PM   #3
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

What is run-out? I think the chain is aligned (the adjustment on both sides of the wheel are in the same place) but the slack is inconsistent; tight in one place, loose in another.

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Old 04-23-2013, 06:02 PM   #4
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Yeah, the chain will do that. Spin the rear tire until the chain is at the tightest point, and then adjust chain slack (also make sure you spin the tire in the direction it normally spins when riding while you are looking for the loosest point). It is highly suggested you adjust it nearer the 2" mark (better to be closer to the loose end than closer to the tight end).

Runout is any kind of "give" to the sprocket, laterally. Put a screwdriver or something long and straight next to the rear sprocket, resting your hand on the swingarm. That way you can see if there is any "wobble" or offset in the rear sprocket as the tire spins.

For alignment, the markings on your swing arm are NOT always accurate enough. I highly suggest using the string align method. It is simple and requires no additional tools besides what you have in your toolkit (and a piece of string). The markings on the swingarm can be different on one side than the other, even if by only a few millimetres. It makes a difference. Your chain *appears* to be telling the same story.

Edit: Clean the gunk out from the area in the front sprocket and anywhere else near the chain guide/guards, rear sprocket, etc. Clean as much as you can, then re-lube and see if that helps whatsoever. You can do this while you are doing your adjustments. I found a simple cleaning (especially the gunk by the front sprocket) helps alot (especially the first one I did without ever touching the front sprocket..)

Edit: Chain slack at tightest point, sorry!
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:23 PM   #5
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Oh my where do I start....give that chain some love (lube).

The wear on the chain rollers is probably due to lack of lubrication. Even though these chains have rollers there is still metal to metal contact between the roller and sprockets. Some indention on the front sprocket rubber is normal (It is there to reduce chain noise). The wear on one side of the roller may indicate the wheel is not completely aligned (+1 on string method making sure front wheel is straight). Is there wear on the inside edge of the rear sprocket?

My first thought about your clicking noise is the chain may be to loose. With the bike on the center stand (in neutral) can you push the chain up so it touches the swingarm? It seems to move a lot in the video but the FZ6 specification also dictates a fair bit of slack. I keep mine (05 FZ6 faster blue) at about 2" (tightest point, see owners manual), measured at the rear end of the lower chain guide on the swingarm while the bike is on its CENTER STAND. (This puts the chain so it will just barely and I mean barely touch the back of the rubber guide on the wingarm when pushed up with some force.)

Second though about the clicking is all that debris around the front sprocket. Again give it some love and clean out most of it, I use a straight screwdriver (carefully) as most is hidden by the cover anyway. I would check every link and roller in the chain for a stiff link as the chain is near the end of its life.

There is a fair bit of wear on the sprockets, front is more noticeably. The fact that it noticeably goes tighter and looser also indicates wear on the chain. I would plan a replacement of both the chain and sprockets in the near future.

I notice increased "whine" when the chain gets dry and needs some lubrication. Not having the stock front sprocket (aftermarkets don't have the rubber) can cause some increased noise. Maintenance is a ritual for me as its the bike between me and the pavement. ATGATT
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

At second glance there might be another culprit & more serious issue. Take a close look at the front sprocket nut. It appears as if the locking tab is not engaged or only partially engaged and by the rust that nut may have moved. That locking tab is all the way bent (90 deg from the plane of the sprocket) up against the flat side of the nut.

Yamaha issued a TSB bulletin on the front sprocket nut/lock on 04 and 05 models if I remember correctly. May include others. There was also a TPS sensor recall on similar years. Have these been done? If you call the dealer with your vin they should be able to tell you.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:59 AM   #7
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

The locking tab is folded all the way up, just out of view of the camera. I think what you're seeing is where it used to be folded up. I had that recall done last year. Must be from that.

While lubing the chain, engine running, holding a cloth on the chain, I can feel a stiffer spot as it cycles around. So I think I need a new chain

Another thing I noticed, and tell me if this is normal or not, is I can grab the rear sprocket and wiggle it around some. Is a little play normal?? This is with everything tightened down.
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Old 05-01-2013, 09:12 AM   #8
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Re: Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puncher View Post
While lubing the chain, engine running, holding a cloth on the chain, I can feel a stiffer spot as it cycles around.
I sure hope you weren't using the engine power to move the chain while you were holding it. That's the easiest way to lose 4 fingers to the rear sprocket monster.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:31 PM   #9
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puncher View Post
The locking tab is folded all the way up, just out of view of the camera. I think what you're seeing is where it used to be folded up. I had that recall done last year. Must be from that.

While lubing the chain, engine running, holding a cloth on the chain, I can feel a stiffer spot as it cycles around. So I think I need a new chain

Another thing I noticed, and tell me if this is normal or not, is I can grab the rear sprocket and wiggle it around some. Is a little play normal?? This is with everything tightened down.
You are RISKING WAY TO MUCH FOR MAINTENANCE!!! Not Worth it!

I would clean that chain, lube it repeatedly. Then one by one, hand roll and confirm every roller on that chain easily turns. If they don't after 3 50 miles rides and lube cycles, REPLACE IT.
Run it loose, they don't click from being loose or tight, they click from being dry and stuck. The sprocket look good and the plastic gone is normal.
+1 one string align. It works. Some have issues, some get it. Its in the How To section.

Lastly - please turn it off. No need to have your hands near that while running.
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Old 05-01-2013, 01:40 PM   #10
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Re: Drivetrain noise in low gear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Puncher View Post
The locking tab is folded all the way up, just out of view of the camera. I think what you're seeing is where it used to be folded up. I had that recall done last year. Must be from that.

While lubing the chain, engine running, holding a cloth on the chain, I can feel a stiffer spot as it cycles around. So I think I need a new chain

Another thing I noticed, and tell me if this is normal or not, is I can grab the rear sprocket and wiggle it around some. Is a little play normal?? This is with everything tightened down.
You shouldn't be able to push the rear sprocket in and outwards. There's a separate bearing that supports the sprocket hub. You may a little bit of play ROTATING THE SPROCKET FORWARD AND BACK as there's rubber cushions to take up and help lessen shifting shock in the drive chain/train.

As Criminal Pilot noted, that hub sprocket should allow that hub to spin true(no sideways play). If you can push the sprocket in and out, that bearing is toast.

Also, if that's the original chain, that's likely worn out as well. To help verify it, remove the rear wheel to gain acess to the chain. move each link and see if any stick. You should also be able to see ANY STICKY LINKS as soon as the chain rotates off the front sprocket (you have to remove the sprocket cover, 3 bolts) to see it(it won't straighten out immediatly).

BTW, in that video, the chain looks and sounds dry of lube and slightly on the tight side). When my chain is properly lubed, I can watch the buttom run, while under way, just nice and smooth, "float" (probably not the right word) to to the rear sprocket. Should be about 2" of total play up and down at the taughtest point after cleaning and lubing.

I had to replace my chain at 12,000 miles as the PO, in the first 4,500 miles lubed it ONCE. Keeping it lubed will extend the life of the chain tremendously.. 23,000 miles on the original chain, you did pretty good...
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