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Hi! New member, new SH.... scary noises

Old 08-16-2015, 06:24 PM
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Hi! New member, new SH.... scary noises

Hello Everyone,
New here and just wanted to say thanks in advance, this is a great forum.
I just bought my SH last week. A 2003. It seemed to start running hotter later in the week, I added coolant yesterday on my first few hour ride because it seemed so hot and the reservoir was empty. Apparently 230 isn't an unreasonable temp for a Hawk when in slow traffic or stopped. And she'd drop down close to 200 at speed on highway.
But today I notice this new(? I think ?)) rattle in the engine as the revs drop out. Is it valves tapping? Is it this frightening sounding CCT issue I have been seeing on here? I don't know if it has been mod with manual CCT or not.
Can anyone guess what this rattle is? Seems to run fine, plenty of power. Can't hear it when riding. This recording sounds like crap to me and nothing at all like the engine, did I hold phone too close maybe?
Attached Files
File Type: wav
Record_0004.wav (1.80 MB, 29 views)
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Old 08-17-2015, 02:08 PM
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Manual camchain tensioners should have a large bolt and locknut sticking out of the mount (which is often anodised a cheery blue or red colour, like the photo below). The OEM auto tensioners are all silver-grey and have just a small nut exposed on the outside of the housing.



In my experience with my 70,000km VTR with manual CCT's and recently shimmed valve clearance, the valve and cam chain drive should be pretty quiet, but I get a fair bit of noise from the clutch/waterpump area at idle.
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:20 PM
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Thanks for the reply. I took it down to a shop where they have mechanic guidance buy the hour. He says it's sounds like the valves need to be adjusted. Both CCTs recoiled. so don't seem to be broken. Per this forum and his advice I am going to order manual CCTs and put them on when they get in followed immediately by valve adjustment. Sound like the right track?
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Old 08-17-2015, 04:39 PM
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Yes that is what I would do (and did myself). I ordered some APE manual CCT's through eBay.

It is a quick job to take the rear valve cover off for a valve check, but the front one is a PITA, and I ended up pulling the carbs out, plus dropping the rads out of the way.

If your coolant level was low then you might want to look a bit harder at the cooling system. If you pull the fairing off (two hex head bolts either side, two nuts per mirror, push-pins underneath the radiators, disconnect blinker wires, headlight connector and position light, then spread the rear of the fairing and ease it off) you can access the radiator cap. Do this when cold and on the side stand, the radiator system should be completely full. If not, fill it with a 50:50 coolant/distilled water mix, start the engine with the cap off and give it a few minutes of gentle revving to burp any remaining air, and top up to the brim, then refit the cap, and check the overflow tank is correctly filled.

On a used, new-to-you bike, if I had no reliable maintenance history, I would be going through all the consumables anyway, so as a matter of course I would flush the brakes, replace the oil and filter, clean/replace the air filter, and eyeball the battery to see how old it is. I presume you've checked the brake pad life and adjusted the chain and inspected the sprockets.

Last edited by Cadbury64; 08-17-2015 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-17-2015, 05:52 PM
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In my opinion these hawks are a noisy bunch ticking away at all revs, I did the cct's and valve adjustment just for piece of mind and still have all the ticking, now I am just used to it. I do however recommend doing the same.
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Old 08-17-2015, 08:50 PM
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I was thinking I'd just go ahead and flush the coolant system and fill fresh. Just figure that can end any subtle problems and satisfy my mind that it is for sure squared away. And yes, all that you mentioned is in good shape. Will need brake pads soon but there is still plenty of service. I've had bikes for years, but only old (early 80s) metric bikes. And never had to fool with the engine proper, just peripherals. This bike is 20 yrs newer than anything I've owned and I'm a little intimidated by it all. I'm glad to find the one on one mechanic deal, learn a lot of specific stuff fast.
I love this bike, she is glorious. I was scared to death when I noticed the knocking, afraid I was killing her.
Thanks to both of you for chiming in and guiding a new guy (who is a simpleton).
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:36 PM
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Hi and welcome to the forum. I am with you on the scary noises. My bike has made some serious noises in its past. I have fixed them and I am still running down more because I am a cranked up worrier. Mine knocks or rattles a bit at idle. I haven't found anything but i am going to pull the rear valve cover (again) and check all the clearances again. They are a noisy engine. As my old boss would have said "they have a cam chain as long as a Kansas well rope!"

Yes, the recording is crappy but it's really hard to get a true representation of the sound. i have tried and it never works. One thing, my bike does not make the high pitched whirring/whining sound. Maybe I do not have the CCT tight enough?

My temperature never gets that high. Mine will run up to the high side of 220 (And it's hot in Texas) but the cooling fan will start and bring it down. I would check your fan operation just to make sure its kicking on.

I have been enjoying the hell out of mine.

Last edited by Big_Jim59; 08-18-2015 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:22 PM
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Apparently fitting a noisy exhaust system is the most sure-fire way to deal with a noisy VTR engine!

You might want to check a) the fan fuse and b) whether the fan spins freely. It is not unusual to get a stone caught between the fan and its shroud, and that then stops it spinning, overloads the motor and the fuse goes south. I had something different, a mis-routed overflow hose was caught between the radiator and frame and put just enough pressure on the shroud to distort it just enough to foul the blade.
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Old 08-21-2015, 10:20 AM
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So, it seems the fan wasn't coming on all the time because of bad connection at temp sensor. Got that taken care of... but now I am hosed. Went out last night and she kept cool, but wanted to stall at idle so i brought her home. Now all that coolant I put in is in the crankcase. Blown head gasket I presume. I am going to go crawl in a hole and cry like a little girl for a while. Be back later to see what this is gonna cost me.
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Old 08-22-2015, 12:30 AM
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Mate, I am very sorry to hear about that. Hope the repair is not too expensive.
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Old 08-22-2015, 02:25 AM
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She it!

That's bad news, however look on the bright side, pull the heads, have them decked, fit new gaskets, adjust the valves and bobs your uncle.

Also check your thermostat and water pump while your at it to be safe.

Positive is that you get to learn a lot about what makes these bikes tick, negative is time and money.

Once it's done you will have enormous fun riding her.

Good luck.
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Old 08-22-2015, 10:00 PM
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Oh man, sorry to hear that.. don't give up just yet, get yourself familiar with as many details as you can learn on the forum, we will support you! Also don't rush to make any decisions you not sure about before you consult us.
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Old 08-30-2015, 09:52 AM
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Just read this thread. Sorry to hear that. I hope you can get it sorted out soon. These are fun bikes when they are running right but can be a pain in the *** when not. I have had a lot of not this season. While she is down I recommend changing the rectifier out. That's a boat load of problems you don't want to have to deal with if it has the OEM.
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