R1150GS Knock/Tick sound

Discussion in 'GS Boxers' started by Lukenx77, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. Lukenx77

    Lukenx77 Adventurer

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    Hi Guys,

    My GS (102 000km on the clock) just started making this noise, I noticed it when I was 50 km from home and it only happened occasionally, I rode home and by the time I was home it was happening much more frequently.

    The rpm, speed, gear, temperature have nothing to do with when the sound occurs. It seems quite random, but only happens under acceleration, whether it is 1/4 or full throttle, it still happens. I have uploaded 2 videos to youtube, the links are below. In the first video you can hear the noise while riding, and in the second you can hear the loud clutch when engaged (lever out), and silence when the lever is in. I did notice a knock/tick noise when the clutch is engaged in neutral but it is much more faint than when I am riding. I assume the knock/tick I hear when riding is the same noise I am hearing when idling in neutral?

    On 94 000km the following was done:
    Fuel pump and filter replaced
    All oils replaced (checked correct level)
    Throttle bodies balanced

    Recently I have checked the following:
    Alternator belt (ran bike without to confirm)
    Final drive slack, 65mm as per manual

    Here are the links:




    Any comments or ideas are much appreciated

    Luke
    #1
  2. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

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    Have you updated the bike's cam chain tensioner? And have you tried adjusting the valves? Adjusting the throttle bodies can affect these noises, as well. At that mileage the plastic guides for the cam chain may also have cracked.

    I'd start with a thorough valve adjustment, replace minor components that appear worn, and maybe try a heavier weight of oil.
    #2
  3. drdar

    drdar Vstrom rider

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    In the second video, I can hear ticking from a worn throttle body, have you changed the left side timing chain tensioner yet?
    #3
  4. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Just listened to the clips, i don't think the noise is a worn throttle body spindle/bushes, sounds "bigger" than that. My left throttle body is worn and knocks at idle, if i press a finger against it noise goes away. Other possibilities are the cam chain shoe/slipper is falling apart and/or the easy to remove tensioner is not working. You say it has had a throttle body synch, if done badly you can get similar knocking. That leaves the gearbox as in a bearing has let go. A mechanic's stethoscope , cheap to buy, is a brilliant time saver in isolating and locating noises and knocks. Just out of curiosity what part of the world are you in? Please report back to us, so often a new forum member asks for help and never gets back to us with progress or resolution , if any.:*sip*
    #4
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  5. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Harsh and colorful

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    My first thought is "Yikes!" My second thought is that maybe a valve adjust locknut has come off. I'm also wondering about a broken cam chain rail.
    #5
  6. Lukenx77

    Lukenx77 Adventurer

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    Hi Guys,

    Thanks for all the replies!

    So Yesterday I adjusted the throttle bodies again, they were slightly off but now I have made sure they are 100%.

    To answer all the questions:
    I have not updated the bikes cam chain tensioner, bought the bike at 93000km so not sure what has been done in terms of the top end.
    I have not adjusted valves either as I thought besides the clutch noise it was quite quiet?
    I am using motul 3000 20W50 mineral oil.
    Both throttle bodies are slightly worn, if I press from the inside the tick goes away but this is a much smaller tick noise, the louder much scarier knock/tick you hear in the videos still remains.
    I am down in South Africa, Cape Town.

    I will buy a mechanics stethoscope tomorrow and check it out, where should I be placing this stethoscope to best determine where the knock is coming from?
    I think from what everyone is saying about the cam chain tensioner/guide/rail makes sense, I guess I could have called the noise a slapping noise.

    I will post an update tomorrow, once again thanks for all the helpful replies.

    Luke
    #6
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  7. Steve W.

    Steve W. Boxer Pilot

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    Sounds like the input shaft bearing in transmission. Sound stops with clutch in. Drain the gearbox including the big plug with the the magnet and look for debris.
    #7
  8. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    I second Steve W's suggestion to drain the gear box oil and remove the extra drain plug underneath the gearbox (many don't know of it's existence), it has a magnet. This underneath plug is a fairly high torque figure and has no washer. Re the stethoscope , slowly move it all over looking for the noise to become louder clearer doctor.:*sip*
    #8
  9. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    The cam chain tensioner on the left side, the uograde version has an xxx size hex. The original version has yyy size hex. Somebody will be better able to tell the sizes.
    Easy way to tell if it has been up graded
    #9
  10. PaulBarton

    PaulBarton Been here awhile

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    xxx= 15mm
    yyy=17mm
    #10
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  11. thirsty 1

    thirsty 1 Rider

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    You might want to pull that cover and look at the cam chain guide
    #11
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  12. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    Mr Thirsty which cover do you speak of?:*sip*
    #12
  13. Lukenx77

    Lukenx77 Adventurer

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    So today I used my new mechanics stethoscope and traced the noise to the gear box. Both the LHS and RHS head/cylinders sounded the same as each other and the 1200gs (girlfriends dads bike) I listened to also sounded the same. That's about the only good news.. I then drained the transmission oil and out came some of the gear box :(. In the pic you can see the 2 largest pieces that came out as well as some of the fine shavings on the drainage plug. There is still a lot more fine shavings in the oil as well.

    My question is now, Is there any way of telling if the rest of the gear box is going to be ok or will it all be worn from all those bits of metal floating and grinding away in there? Is it worth trying to look for a complete gearbox second hand and just swapping them out or buying replacement parts new?

    IMG_0786.JPG

    Attached Files:

    #13
  14. Jim Moore

    Jim Moore Harsh and colorful

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    Ouch. IMO that gearbox is a goner. I mean, it might be repairable, but not for less than a used box from eBay.
    #14
  15. lewisjr1

    lewisjr1 Long timer

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    I'd start here... http://largiader.com/

    There are other technicians to consider, but you can't go wrong with this guy. Repair can easily run into four-figures, plus shipping.

    An unknown gearbox off of the internet will be cheaper, if uncertain.

    When going in that deep, i.e., splitting the bike in two, it makes sense to address the clutch, transmission seals, splines, etc. I'd pay particular attention to the driveshaft.
    #15
  16. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    The black fluff is typical of every higher mileage transmission I have pulled the plug on.
    The bearings were fine in all those cases.
    If there are silver flakes present and bits of metal, that indicates a bearing failure and the shields letting go.

    Edited upon review of OP's photo. 14/03/18
    There appears to be a couple of larger pieces of metal in the bottom of the picture.
    .
    #16
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  17. vagueout

    vagueout Long timer

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    GS Addict i disagree, not just bearing wear is evident, they are starting to break up. Lukenx77 , park the bike, the gearbox has to come out, this is a considerable job but absolutely within the scope of the home mechanic. By the time you have it on the bench you may have done some homework as to who might rebuild it, and yes it is in the scope of diy but somewhat involved as a first time project. Other option is buying a used g/box as others have said here. ps, told you a sthetho would save a lot of time!:*sip*
    #17
  18. GS Addict

    GS Addict Pepperfool

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    I can't tell, are there metal bits there I missed? Phone is a small screen.

    EDIT: Ok, upon review on my monitor, I agree. Big pieces in the bottom of the picture point to a bearing failure. Box has to be opened up.
    #18
  19. Terry

    Terry Long timer

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    Definitely bigger chunks in the picture.
    A used tranny might be a good option. I would prefer to replace the bearing(s) myself. Not a very difficult job if you have some patience. The manual makes it look uber complicated with determining the shaft preload and lots of special fixtures and such. But if you are just replacing bearings, that isn't necessary. The new bearings will have exactly the same dimensions as the old bearings, so the pre-load will be the same with the old shims. My guess is the pre-load mainly changes due to the housing machining not being super-precise. I changed the input shaft on my 1150 (along with the bearings). I measured the assembled shaft length before / after and it was identical. Been running with the original shims for close to 90k miles since then. The hardest part might be removing and replacing the bearings on the shaft. I did it with no press. Just freezing, heating to gain the clearance. But even if you had to take the shaft to a machine shop to have the new bearing pressed on it wouldn't be a big deal.
    #19
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  20. slartidbartfast

    slartidbartfast Love those blue pipes

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    The bits in the picture are parts of bearing seals and bearing cage. Look for a good used transmission. There are plenty around
    #20