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Hey Everyone 馃檪 I have an 04 zx10r and makes this really loud rattle/tapping noise only while decelerating? I鈥檝e searched everywhere and can鈥檛 seem to find a problem like mine so that鈥檚 why I鈥檓 posting this up here. I cant hear anything on start up or while accelerating, it鈥檚 just when you hit around 3500rpm鈥檚 on deceleration it sounds real bad coming from the engine. For example; I鈥檓 cruising down the road at that rpm and I pull the clutch in while still holding the throttle open at those rev鈥檚 and it don鈥檛 go away still so I鈥檓 thinking it鈥檚 not the clutch (maybe) lol. Bikes had a recent service and new chain and sprockets too. It鈥檚 starting to get me down and I only just bought this bike 2 weeks ago but I love it so much. Would really appreciate some help on my situation from the ppl that know the zx10r the best. Thank you in advance 馃檪
 

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Welcome to the party!

It would help if you could isolate the area where the sound is originating from on the motor. Right side? Left side? Front? Back? What was done to it in the recent service? What else is done to the bike?

Without that sort of information, it's an involved process to pinpoint the issue. Could be the timing chain, the valves, the cams, the stator, the pistons/connecting rods, clutch basket, engine mounts, etc. Most deceleration noises are from the relaxed top run of the drive chain flopping onto the swingarm, but since those are new parts I would hope not. It's at least worth checking what slack is on the chain quick.
 

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Hey cheers buddy and for getting back to me 馃檪 yeah the sound is defo comming from the lower right side (as your sitting on the bike) around the engine. It had just a normal service (oil, filter,plugs) the guy I bought it off said the mechanic he took it too didn鈥檛 seem to concerned about the noise even thou it鈥檚 loud as all hell. The bike hasn鈥檛 got any big mods to the engine as such too, all it鈥檚 really got is better acceleration sprockets (can鈥檛 remember what they are now) a speedo healer, Yoshi exhaust and a steering dampener. I have tightened the drive chain up as I thought that could be the culprit cuz it was a bit loose but to no luck. I thought it could be a loose cam chain also so I have ordered a Manuel cam chain tensioner but I feel you鈥檇 hear that tick on start up and while accelerating and deceleration. I took it to one of my mechanics and he said it was coming from around the clutch area so now I鈥檓 real stumped. I heard the clutch baskets fail on these bikes, would you only hear that on deceleration and just cruising at a certain rev but not under load (power)? Thanks again for getting back to me!
 

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Hey cheers buddy and for getting back to me 馃檪 yeah the sound is defo comming from the lower right side (as your sitting on the bike) around the engine. It had just a normal service (oil, filter,plugs) the guy I bought it off said the mechanic he took it too didn鈥檛 seem to concerned about the noise even thou it鈥檚 loud as all hell. The bike hasn鈥檛 got any big mods to the engine as such too, all it鈥檚 really got is better acceleration sprockets (can鈥檛 remember what they are now) a speedo healer, Yoshi exhaust and a steering dampener. I have tightened the drive chain up as I thought that could be the culprit cuz it was a bit loose but to no luck. I thought it could be a loose cam chain also so I have ordered a Manuel cam chain tensioner but I feel you鈥檇 hear that tick on start up and while accelerating and deceleration. I took it to one of my mechanics and he said it was coming from around the clutch area so now I鈥檓 real stumped. I heard the clutch baskets fail on these bikes, would you only hear that on deceleration and just cruising at a certain rev but not under load (power)? Thanks again for getting back to me!
Yeah, the issue sounds like the cam chain tensioner a bit. If you've got the manual tensioner on order, then give that a shot. The cam chain can slap around a bit at certain RPMs and drowned out the other inherent noises. So that could be related to what's happening. The other thing to check is the clutch release arm. You should pop the clutch cover off and inspect the basket, release arm, and the inside of the case itself. In some instances, the basket can actually hit the inside of the case and release arm causing the noise like that. Open it up and check for markings on the items that would indicate something like that.

PS - It's a DAMPER, not a dampener. :badteeth: A damper dampens the movement. A dampener is a wet washcloth. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yeah it is a bit like a buzzing sound, real hard to explain! Only hear it when cruising (barely on the throttle) and gets bad when decelerating. Really thinking it鈥檚 the clutch basket now after everything I鈥檝e read and a few mechanics I鈥檝e been too say it鈥檚 comming from around the clutch area too. I am waiting for the Manuel cam chain tensioner to chuck that in and see how it goes but I鈥檓 highly doubtful that will fix the problem. Is it safe to still ride with a dodgy clutch basket?
 

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Yeah it is a bit like a buzzing sound, real hard to explain! Only hear it when cruising (barely on the throttle) and gets bad when decelerating. Really thinking it鈥檚 the clutch basket now after everything I鈥檝e read and a few mechanics I鈥檝e been too say it鈥檚 comming from around the clutch area too. I am waiting for the Manuel cam chain tensioner to chuck that in and see how it goes but I鈥檓 highly doubtful that will fix the problem. Is it safe to still ride with a dodgy clutch basket?
No, it's really not safe to ride like that. If the basket is interfering with any of the metal parts in the housing, then you're just grinding metal arts into the engine. That's a recipe for further problems! And that discounts the real possibility that the basket becomes lodged and locks up. That happens in a turn and down you go. That happens at speed and down you go. So let's hope the people in the cars behind you see you in time to avoid you when that happens.

Manual cam chain tensioners are nice - when used in the proper setting by qualified people. They are not something that should be used by your average backyard wrench turner. They require repeated adjustment at frequent internals. They can overstress the cam chain and the valve cams is they aren't set right.

I'm going to be a bit presumptuous here by the questions in your post and go out on a limb to say you're not very mechanically inclined to work n the bike. I come to that conclusion from the fact that you have already ordered a part you're hoping to solve an issue without first diagnosing the issue. Throwing parts at a problem hoping they'll work is never good.

The first things you should be doing is pulling the clutch cover off and inspecting the internals. Are there any wear marks anywhere? What's the general condition of the basket and inside of the cover? Then pull the cam chain tensioner out. Reset the tensioner. Reinstall it with the timing cover off which will let you use a wrench on the crank to slack the rear side of the chain while installing the tensioner. That will allow the tensioner to properly extend to take up the slack like it should. If that fixes your issue, then you don't need a manual tensioner and you know the clutch is ok. If not, then you can start troubleshooting deeper issues. Strategically placed cameras taking video and chase vehicles can help pinpoint the problem. There's no such thing as too much information.
 

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First of all sorry for the previous multiple posts, I'm not sure why but it took several hours for them to show up.

I've ridden several Gen 1's with the noise you describe and never really understood what's causing it. Gen 1's do have a unique noise due to the generator arrangement with some bikes being much louder than others. The 04's in particular have an issue with the generator shims so that's worth checking, and whilst that's out inspect the scissor gear for wear. As others have said, inspecting the clutch would be my next step but I'd be looking at the rivets and springs for slack. I'm following this with interest, please let us know what you find.

With regard to the manual CCT, I'm with SkyDork I'm afraid. I'm not a fan and I am surprised there aren't more reported failures due to incorrect setting.
 

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I have same noise - vibration . Put manual tensioner and still the same. I check the clutch ... nothing there. Now I'm waiting for '05 generator .

Did u have knocking sound when warm up ?
 

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Manual cam chain tensioners are nice - when used in the proper setting by qualified people. They are not something that should be used by your average backyard wrench turner. They require repeated adjustment at frequent internals. They can overstress the cam chain and the valve cams is they aren't set right.
Why are Kawasaki cam chains so weak? They should be bathed in oil and last a very long time but if they鈥檙e going out of adjustment so quickly, they must be wearing which means cam timing is not optimal regardless of chain tension. I am surprised by this (I haven鈥檛 even taken delivery yet of my new 鈥16 ZX10R, so obviously noob here). Or is it the rubber guide that the tensioner bears on that is wearing out so quickly? Maybe that鈥檚 the part that needs replacing?
 

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Why are Kawasaki cam chains so weak? They should be bathed in oil and last a very long time but if they鈥檙e going out of adjustment so quickly, they must be wearing which means cam timing is not optimal regardless of chain tension. I am surprised by this (I haven鈥檛 even taken delivery yet of my new 鈥16 ZX10R, so obviously noob here). Or is it the rubber guide that the tensioner bears on that is wearing out so quickly? Maybe that鈥檚 the part that needs replacing?
Uh, what? The cam chains aren't weak at all. It has nothing to do with the chain itself. All chains will stretch a bit over time. All of the gears that the chain drives and mates with will wear some. The chain will grow and shrink a bit with temperature changes in the motor. The chain is over sized to go around areas in the motor that it needs to reach. The chain will outlast the bike.

Ideally the chain would be triangular in shape - from the crank up to the intake cam, over to the exhaust cam, and back to the crank. Then you wouldn't need a tensioner. But since the bottom of the engine is narrower than the top because of the gear ratio, the chain needs to curve up, over, and around the back side. It runs over a long a plastic (not rubber) guide that the tensioner pushes on to take up the slack inherent to the chain. It's the same design used on motorcycles and cars for several decades.

The tensioner itself is a non-return, spring forced ratcheting plunger. The chain rides in a shower of oil. As the chain stretches and resizes, the tensioner must take up any extra slack with a minimal amount of force. But because it's a ratcheting type, the chain needs to get enough slack in it for the ratchet to extend. Less than that amount of stretch and the chain will rattle some on the guide and make noise but the plunger won't yet extent. It's just the way it is. What happens to a compressed spring after a long time? It looses it's force somewhat. So the spring sometimes doesn't have the force needed to extend the plunger with the weight and tension on the chain and the plunger itself. And the problem people complain about is with the tensioner itself, not with the chain.
 

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The things you state are exactly why I'm surprised that this (the tensioner) is an issue for so long with these bikes (based on reading forum threads)! Being bathed in oil, there is virtually no chain "stretch" because there is so little debris to cause the pins/rollers/gears to wear inside the motor (as opposed to the final drive chain). None of my cars or motorcycles have ever had an issue with chain-driven cams, as you noted is usually the case. If the chain is not wearing, then why the need for frequent automatic adjustments to a manual adjuster? It was this last point you made that made me question what is going on here? Weak spring, wear on the plastic guide, those causes make sense and the fix would be fix the spring (easy) or fix the guide (easy only at major overhauls). Or maybe the chain tunnel is too small for the allowable chain slack???
 

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sometimes the gen 1's developed a buzzing noise ur describing from resonance located in front upper fairing at certain rpm acclerating/decelarating. sounds just like engine noise. i've had 2. bring it to that buzzing point and push/ pull on windshield and front fairing. need to completley pull that clutch hub assembley and inspect the hub backside, dampner springs, rivets and attached steel backing plate. loose or broken springs, broken rivet, bowed steel plate allowing excessive hub movement could be the culprit. also the cause of hub to case contact.
 

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The things you state are exactly why I'm surprised that this (the tensioner) is an issue for so long with these bikes (based on reading forum threads)! Being bathed in oil, there is virtually no chain "stretch" because there is so little debris to cause the pins/rollers/gears to wear inside the motor (as opposed to the final drive chain). None of my cars or motorcycles have ever had an issue with chain-driven cams, as you noted is usually the case. If the chain is not wearing, then why the need for frequent automatic adjustments to a manual adjuster? It was this last point you made that made me question what is going on here? Weak spring, wear on the plastic guide, those causes make sense and the fix would be fix the spring (easy) or fix the guide (easy only at major overhauls). Or maybe the chain tunnel is too small for the allowable chain slack???
The tensioner is "presumed" to have an issue. It really doesn't. But you'll see a lot of posts about it because it doesn't immediately take up any slack and rattles sometimes. But most people hear a bit of a rattle, freak out, and then wonder why the tensioner "doesn't work right". It does though. In a car, the motor and cam chain is buried under a hood, behind a radiator, with an exposed alternator belt and power steering belt. If your cam chain is rattling, you won't know it unless you stick your head in the engine bay. Different than most bikes.

And the chain will stretch a bit as it's pulled under tension. The valves are spring-loaded shut. The cam lobes have to push the valves open (force) and then when the valve springs force them shut, they push on the cam lobes (opposing force). So the cam chain is constantly being pulled in one direction and pushed in another. All at an average of 7,000 times per minute. That constant back and forth will stretch a chain over time a small amount.
 
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