Gave my bike a clean earlier, including the chain (with a readily available chain cleaner)
After the wash and re lube of the chain, I noticed a noise which a can only describe as worn bearings.
The grinding clunking noise was coming from the back wheel and front sprocket area so, I took the chain of the rear sprocket, spun the wheel and nothing, not a sound, no lateral movement and no vibrations from the bearings.
I’m fearing the worst now. Main bearing.
Took the chain off the front sprocket, spun that and nothing, no noise or any vibration over what you’d expect.
Re cleaned the chain, thoroughly this time, re lubed then adjusted.
Took the bike round the block, noise back.
Lubed the chain a little more, noise gone again.
The chain markers on the swing arm are pretty much at the ‘replace’ mark so I know that needs doing soonish but the teeth on the sprockets look to be in pretty good nick.
Question is, has anybody else found similar noises from a wearing chain?
Had the exact same issue with the Bonnie last month …
The symptoms were heavy metallic clanging/grinding noise and severe vibrations through the foot pegs. When riding the bike the noise appeared to be coming from the clutch housing but closer inspection proved it wasn’t. A quick inspection of the drive chain revealed a stiff link.
Took the back wheel out, took the chain off the front sprocket without splitting it, didn’t want to make too much work. On a thorough link by link inspection I found three fairly stiff, partially seized links. Thoroughly cleaned the chain, link by link, in a shallow bath of paraffin with a soft nail brush also without splitting it and the links freed up. Dried the chain off and put it all back together lightly lubricated the chain, test ride and all was good. Re-lubricated the chain after the test ride when it had warmed a little, this aids dispersement of the lubrication.
Measured the chain over 21 link pins tensioned with a 15Kg weight as per service manual and found the chain to be +2mm inside the service tolerance at 16,000 miles. Pencilled note to self to budget for a new chain and sprockets and a visit to OMC sometime in the next 6 months.
I’m with Art on this one. I have solved all manner of odd noises by eventually dealing with the chain and sprockets properly. I was convinced my gearbox was shot at one point coming back from York. Back in the day I would have had the chain off and in a bucket of kersoene or similar overnight.
These days I get it up on a paddock stand, fill a small container with half a litre of diesel, and scrub the hell out of the chain with a toothbrush. Takes me about 20 minutes. Then I start the bike, put it in 6th, and let it run on the paddock stand for about 5 minutes. An old cloth is essential here, as the remaining diesel gets flung off the chain onto the deck. This also warms the chain up without putting any real stress on it. Warm links suck lube in.
I have tried lots of different lubes, but I can’t say I have really found one that is significantly ‘better’ than another. I’m using MOTUL chain paste at the moment, but in your case I would recommend a ptfe racing lube, simply because it comes out of the aerosol very fluid, and is much more likely to seep into your stiff links. Wait for it to dry before you use it.
If I am feeling particularly generous, I wait 15 mins for the first lot to dry, then give it another coat, so I can see the ptfe sitting on the chain.
If after doing all that it’s still very noisy, or seems to become noisy very quickly after lubing it, then it’s time to invest in a new chain (and ideally sprockets if you want to prolong the life of your new chain)