Increasingly worse vibrations - oil issue? (ER6F/Ninja 650R)

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by Cortez, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Morning fellow Road Warriors.

    I've been having some issues with my 650R (EU ER6F 2007) and vibrations
    that are getting worse with every ride.

    About 4000 miles ago I went from Total 10W40 to Mobil Extra 4T 10W40 oil
    and some have suggested that THAT might be the cause of the issue, and
    I'm right at my next oil change/service interval right now and don't want to
    make the same mistake again.

    The Kawasaki importer (and some other EU importers) are recommending
    switching to 15W50 oil since last year.. specifically Motul 5100, but some
    are pushing Shell.

    I've notice that my gear changes got rough and sometimes take a bit more
    effort then before, and there's a lot more clunking when shifting while it was
    smooth as butter before. Again, can this be oil related?

    In the last 1000 miles I've noticed that the fairing is buzzing a lot more,
    my right hand gets numb, even my a$$, sometimes even my right leg.

    I'm about ready to park the bike in a brick wall.. as I've got some surging
    issues too for thousands of miles too etc..

    Anyone got any ideas?
    #1
  2. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    Well... I know nothing about this bike, but does it have a wet clutch -- that is, does it use the engine's oil for the clutch operation? The only thing I can imagine is the oil you are now using (again, not familiar with that oil) is not suitable for a motorcycle with a wet clutch. does not have the proper additives. That is... if the vibration etc., you are experiencing is indeed related to the oil change.
    #2
  3. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    I have just spoken with the local kawasaki shop and they say that even the
    chain, which I know is due for replacement CAN be responsible for extra
    vibrations (and of course, surging). I'm near valve check mileage so that
    might have something to do with it, and then there's the oil.

    In the end, everything mentioned could be responsible so I guess I'll have
    to take care of one by one and see.

    I always attributed surging to bad fueling, but no one else seems to have
    fueling issues with the 650R and/or Versys.

    Damnit.
    #3
  4. Bald Kirk

    Bald Kirk Dances with Dirt Bikes

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    You have thrown quite a few things at us. Without seeing your bike it's hard to tell what might be going on. Engine, chain, transmission, it's all over the place.

    If it was my bike I would lube and the adjust chain, check/adjust clutch cable, check motor mounts and fairing fasteners. Change oil and look for any big chunks of metal stuff like that. For piece of mind you could take it to the dealer for valve inspection/adjustment.

    Good luck!
    Baldness
    #4
  5. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Thanks!
    Some of the stuff was done many times since this started happening.
    I've been lubing and cleaning the chain every 300 miles, no exceptions
    since day one, and it has been adjusted at least two times in last 4000
    miles.

    I'm an easy rider so chains don't suffer much here.
    Clutch was adjusted a few times in the same period too, I like to keep
    everything in top shape.

    Motor mounts, yeah, that's beyond what I can see without taking everything
    apart, that'll have to wait a while, but I've been thinking about taking the
    fairing off and isolating/putting adhesive foam strips on EVERYTHING to take
    care of the buzz (I've done that a few times already but it never worked,
    I'm going nuclear now).

    I've got the valve inspection in the next 2k miles or so I think, so I'll do
    that and the oil at the same time and see how it goes.

    I just wanted to check with 650R/Versys owners one more time if ANYONE
    had any fueling issues causing surging. I've seen a few guys complain about
    that on other forums, and most got rid of it with an aftermarket exhaust
    and power commander, but that's a huge amount of money for a bit of
    surging. :huh
    #5
  6. LuciferMutt

    LuciferMutt Rides slow bike slow

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    ...have you checked all your engine mount bolts? I seriously doubt oil choice has anything to do with this. The chain scenario even sounds more likely.

    I beleive all Kawi's spec a "fastener check" every so many miles and the engine mounts are some of those critical fasteners that should be checked. On the Ninja 250 forum, several people have reported that they found the engine mount bolts only finger tight. Obviously, a different bike, but the end result would be the same.
    #6
  7. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    My 650R smoothed out considerably after the valve adjustment and throttlebody sync. I'm guessing it isn't necessary the valves themselves (I only had one out of spec) but that the major service will smooth things out quite a bit. I'm noticing the same behavior on the FZ6 (now at 24k, nearly due) in that it is a bit rough at low RPMs and buzzier than it was at 15k when I bought it.

    I never noticed a significant difference with oil selection. I ran the chain on the tight side, same with the throttle cable free play. Suggest bumping up your valve check service to approximately, well, now. :)
    #7
  8. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    I'll make sure the guys at the shop take a look at that (I'll be watching..),
    that's probably something I wouldn't remember to check.
    Thanks!
    #8
  9. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    I guess the answer to my question is "Just do everything." :D
    I don't see any other way!

    I loved the smoothness of the bike when it was new.. this is unrideable now!
    #9
  10. Tepi

    Tepi Been here awhile

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    Oil doesnt do these kind of things, unless you had poor oil pressure and your bearings would be toast, but that probably would of let you stranded. As long as you use proper oil it should be fine, Motul 5100 15W50 is fine, I use it on my kawa too.
    #10
  11. scrannel

    scrannel Scrannel

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    If you are using a motor oil with automotive-style friction modifiers you can get those symptoms because your clutch/tranny will be affected.

    "...friction modifiers can be detrimental to proper wet clutch operation and can cause slippage and other potential performance issues such as engine start failures, a rough running feel..."

    IMHO, using Occam's razor as your model, I would go back to your recommended oil while you are doing whatever else you are also doing. While Mobile Extra 4T is supposed to be suitable for wet clutch operation, as a "semi-synthetic" it may have anti-friction properties not suitable for your particular clutch. "JASO MA" specific oil, (unlike JASO MB) are not supposed to have any friction modifiers... but it seems like a very inexpensive thing to try.
    #11
  12. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Nice info, thank you!
    I'll be all over it soon.
    #12
  13. tjhess74

    tjhess74 Been here awhile

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    my guess is chain. it will cause vibration and surging...especially if too tight. i would look there first...cheaper than doing engine stuff!

    a slipping clutch could cause some surging, but not likely from what your describing. get to 45mph or so in a mid gear, 3rd or 4th, and twist the throttle. if its slipping bad the engine will rev but you wont go anywhere. easy way to rule out that issue
    #13
  14. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Re: Chain - yeah, I can see the surging, but why the vibrations? It's not too
    tight, it's adjusted just right according to the manual at the moment, but I
    have no idea if there's any of those spots where the chain elongated more
    then the rest of it.

    Re: Clutch - nah, it's not slipping, I test that 2-3 times a day.. :deal:evil
    #14
  15. tjhess74

    tjhess74 Been here awhile

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    some may disagree, but many manufacturers process for chain tightening puts it too tight. the reason is alot of customers in the past complain about chain noise at the 'proper' adjustment. so the makers go beyond that to increase customer listening pleasures.

    any defect or such in a chain could cause vibration, but so could a tire being off balance. chains also dont wear evenly, there is always a spot that is stretched more than another. at speed, that slop, or tightness, can feel like vibration, surging, and stiff shifting.

    your symptoms really cover a multitude of areas, all i doubt would spring up all at once and i doubt the oil is a causation. if it is an engine issue, i would guess its coincidence that it happened at the time you changed your oil.

    start cheap and easy. check your wheel balance, r/r chain AND sprockets, etc. if you can rev the bike at a stand still and it doesnt shake, its likely not the engine. you can also get to proper speed, pull in the clutch and let the engine fall to idle. if vibes stop, youve found the area of issue. if it continues to vibe/surge, then you know its in the drivetrain after the engine.
    #15
  16. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Yeah, all of that makes perfect sense.. and the tires are new/just balanced:deal

    The engine doesn't seem to shake in an unnatural way or anything, and
    the performance seems fine. When going WOT through the twisty bits
    last weekend other then vibrations being a lot worse then usual the bike
    ran just fine.

    The surging doesn't occur at anything more then 1-2mm of throttle, the
    progression of acceleration (hopefully I'm using the right words here to
    describe what I mean) is smooth, there's no hick-ups or anything.

    That might suggest that the fueling is fine, right?
    If this is all due to the chain then great!

    The throttle body sync last year didn't seem to help much..
    #16
  17. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Its not the engine oil.

    It could be the chain/sprockets, wheel balance, loose bolts, miss-adjusted chain, throttle bodies out of sync, valves out of adjustment, spark plugs, spark plug leads, - that sort of thing.

    It never hurts to have a full custom fuel map built to get the absolute most from an engine, but in my experience the kawak 650Rs are some of the best as far as out-of-the-box fueling.

    Your gear shifting symptoms could be engine oil if it has broken down quite badly (and 4k miles is further than is wise to go without an oil change - every 2-3k miles would be better). A dragging clutch will also cause stiff shifting as can a too-tight chain. The too-tight chain is the only item (within reason) that will cause poor shift quality and vibration.
    #17
  18. Cortez

    Cortez BAZINGA!

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    Thanks BikePilot, great info!

    I've read about the great fueling before I bought the bike and that was one
    of the reasons to get it in the first place since surging is something I CAN NOT
    live with, and now I'm stuck with it.

    Oh well, it's probably fixable!
    I guess I'll have to eliminate everything mentioned.
    #18
  19. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    If you're noticing vibration at speed I'd also be suspicious of those new tires "just balanced." How and by whom were they balanced? Rear wheel in alignment? You might want to have someone else check all that.
    #19
  20. a1fa

    a1fa Throttle Jockey™

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    How about idle? Range it through RPM see if the engine buzzes as it buzzes when going down the road. Pozdrav.
    #20