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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

A question about "normal sounds" on my '09 Wee Strom, if I may?

Yesterday, I was at a "skills ride" with my local riding club--doing maneuvering drills in a parking lot. Now, when I am out riding, it's always with a helmet. During the skills ride, though, I doffed the helmet for a little of the time. Oh, boy! When I did, I was suddenly hearing all sorts of sounds coming from the bike.

If I didn't understand that the bike was of course making those sounds the whole time I've been riding with a helmet on, it would have totally freaked me out to hear what was going on!

Most of my concern is about the sound I heard from (it seemed) the rear sprocket. I do my own chain maintenance, and I keep it cleaned and lubed. I also do the tensioning adjustment myself. The sound I was hearing was very reminiscent of the sound of a zip-tie being tightened. That's the best I can describe it.

Can you tell me if that would be a normal sound to hear coming from the rear sprocket? Thanks.

(Oh, I have more questions about sounds, since I hear a whirring coming up through the cowling all the time, but people have told me not to worry about it.)
 

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I usually can hear the chain, sprocket, tires, and brakes making quite a bit of noise if I take a very quick test ride without a helmet. The bike generally makes a lot of noises, but there nothing to get worried about, in most cases.
 

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Hi everyone,

A question about "normal sounds" on my '09 Wee Strom, if I may?

Yesterday, I was at a "skills ride" with my local riding club--doing maneuvering drills in a parking lot. Now, when I am out riding, it's always with a helmet. During the skills ride, though, I doffed the helmet for a little of the time. Oh, boy! When I did, I was suddenly hearing all sorts of sounds coming from the bike.

If I didn't understand that the bike was of course making those sounds the whole time I've been riding with a helmet on, it would have totally freaked me out to hear what was going on!

Most of my concern is about the sound I heard from (it seemed) the rear sprocket. I do my own chain maintenance, and I keep it cleaned and lubed. I also do the tensioning adjustment myself. The sound I was hearing was very reminiscent of the sound of a zip-tie being tightened. That's the best I can describe it.

Can you tell me if that would be a normal sound to hear coming from the rear sprocket? Thanks.

(Oh, I have more questions about sounds, since I hear a whirring coming up through the cowling all the time, but people have told me not to worry about it.)

Clean and oil your chain.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Clean and oil your chain.
Oh, I do, I do! I've been pretty good about that. I clean it with a rag soaked with kerosene (which is recommended in the manual--and it was tough to find a place that still sells cans of kerosene around here!). Then I spray it with Chain Wax (paraffin-based o-ring-safe chain lube).

My concern was that I have no real basis for knowing what's a "normal" motorcycle sound and what's not, since this is my first motorcycle. I've been operating on the principle of "it's still running fine, getting great mileage, and feeling right, so it must be more-or-less ok--especially being brand-new and having only 3700 miles on it." I just wanted to find out if anyone would say, "Oh, yeah, the zip-tie chain noise, you'd better do x, y or z to fix that!" :)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Pismocycleguy,
Thanks for the advice. I don't know what to do beyond checking those adjustment marks on the sides of the swingarm. I do have the tools to adjust that, but at this point I still have to do it while the bike's on its side-stand. (I'll be getting a swingarm lift sometime soon, though.) I don't currently have the capacity to get the rear wheel off on my own, though.

What do you mean when you say that you found that the rear sprocket wasn't true? Was it a flaw in the sprocket itself or in the way things were assembled? And I'm not familiar with "dial indicator run out," so if you would explain what that means I'd appreciate it. Thanks!
 

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Hi Azure; I'll try to step in and answer some of your questions. The runout check is to see if the sprocket wobbles as it rotates. ie: if you rotate the sprocket and hold something like a screwdriver so that it barely touched the side of the sprocket, just below where the chain travels on it, would the sprocket move away from the screw driver or push it out of the way at some point in it's travel. If so, it wobbles. A dial indicator is a devise to measure the wobble. How much wobble/runout is there? If you have wobble in the sprocket it can cause the chain to climb up on the sprocket as the sprocket teeth collide with the chain side plates. It's the collisions that cause the zip tie sound. The same thing will happen if the wheel & sprocket are not in line with the front drive sprocket. The chain wants to stay in the same plane as the sprocket that drives it, but the driven sprocket is in a different plane. The sprocket teeth clash with the chain side plates and the chain rides up on it. With wobble you get a rythemical zip tie sound. With misalignment you get a more continuous zip sound. You can have both problems at the same time. Either of the problems can make it hard to get the chain tension set right because the chain gets tighter as it rides up on the sprocket.
To get serious about fixing this I suggest you get something to lift the rear of the bike up to let you spin the rear wheel. There are some good threads about checking alignment here too and I would expect others will chime in with good info. Let us know what you find. Honest Bob...
 

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The Wee's are the loudest chain/sprocket noise of any bike that I have "ever" heard......seems to be a characteristic of the bike.
 

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If you could pass me you wouldn't hear it so much.
 
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