Hey everyone, I'm new here and I own a 1990 KZ-1000 P from Arizona Highway Patrol with 66,000 miles, and I hoping that you can answer a question. When I start moving I hear a "chattering" sound that sounds like possibly the cam chain tensioner out of tune or the cam chain going south on me, but only when I let the clutch out and start going it doesn't do it while idling or driving. So I was wondering if trying an after-market cam chain tensioner and push rods rebuild kit by K&L will work at all? Since the push rods are 5 mm longer than OEM, I was told that might eliminate some of the sound. I don't have a lot of money to play around with here so I'm starting out by replacing the small things first and work my way up to possibly an engine overhaul. I know that possibly that the engine was tuned or overhauled around 30,000 or 40,000 miles. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks Erik Johnson
I would need more info for a proper diagnosis, but here is a list of possibilities. A cam chain tensioner noise is most pronounced at idle, and disappears when revved up slightly. The noise isn't usually there when motoring down the road unless it's real loose. The extended tensioner that you're referring to by K & L doesn't work. What I do is remove the tensioner, and weld an extension on the pushrod that contacts the back of the chain slipper in the motor (a 8 mm flange nut is the perfect size). This fix works if the tensioner rod is out of travel, caused by the rear cam chain guide deforming where the pushrod touches it. If the noise seems to come from the front of the motor when accelerating, kind of a metallic clacking sound, more prevalent when the engine temp is up, I would suspect a broken head pipe on the exhaust system. A quick check is to tap the head pipes with a plastic mallet and note the sound. The broken one will usually make a metallic clack when tapped. Also tap the bottom of the mufflers and see if they are making any weird noises (the baffle plates come loose), especially if the former tenant liked to do back-fires. If the noise you're hearing only comes when you are letting out the clutch, sounds like a diesel car, and is loudest on the left side of the motorcycle, you have loose bolts holding the starter clutch on the back of the alternator rotor (sometimes the starter clutch acts up when the bolts are loose, but not always). If this isn't helpful, write back with more specific info and I will try to give you a better answer. One thing though, don't just start throwing money at it until you have figured out where exactly the noise is coming from. You will just end up broke and frustrated unless you get lucky.