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Discussion Starter #1
So I bought my first streetbike about a month ago (grew up riding dirt bikes), a brand new 2019 Ninja 650 ABS. I put the first mile on it myself. It's been a great bike so far.

I've been riding it a lot, already have 1500 miles on it. I had the dealer do the first oil change at 530 miles, everything seemed normal. They did the inspection and stuff at that point too.

However I noticed in the past several hundred miles that the engine has developed a ticking sound that seems to be RPM dependent. It is more audible when the engine is under load than when you are free-revving it in neutral. The closest thing I can equate it to is the sound a hydraulic lifter on a car makes when its collapsed (can't hold oil pressure). I know the valves on these bikes use solid lifters/tappets so I know it can't be a collapsed lifter. It's loud enough that I can notice it with ear plugs in and my helmet on under 50 mph.

I've heard that the automatic cam chain tensioners on street bikes can be a bit finicky, which is odd to me since its such a simple part. But could that be the issue? I honestly can't think of anything else other than a defective or failed cam chain tensioner on a bike that is less than a month old with only 1500 miles on it. Oil level is fine.

What do you guys think?
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum :smile2:

Since your bike is brand new I suggest that you take full advantage of the warranty, go straight to where you bought it, present them with the problem and demand a solution.

As I've written countless times in here, Kawasaki motorcycles make a characteristic noise known as Kawi noise, but what you described above really sounds as something way more serious.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
So I am starting to notice that the bike smells like unfiltered exhaust when its idling, more so than usual. Like a car that has had its catalytic converter removed. I'm starting to wonder if this ticking sound has anything to do with an exhaust leak before the muffler/catalytic converter? All of the header bolts are attached but I haven't checked their torque yet with a torque wrench.
 

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Hey you're the same person who's had issues with the oil level right? I wouldn't take my chances and would claim warranty on it asap as oil over-pressure can very well damage your cams and top end. I would rather get it replaced before it becomes a problem they can say no to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I took a video of what it sounds like. This is a sound that I've heard before I had the oil overfill issue (which was a slight overfill, maybe 100 ml). Its gotten progressively louder since I first noticed it. You'll hear a distinct ticking noise, different from the exhaust thumping sound. I revved it up slightly so you can hear it go up with RPMs. I had just gotten home from a ride so the bike is warmed up (fans were kicking in at the end of the video).

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure if you guys can hear it in the video or not. I'm wondering if it might be a leak at the exhaust manifold area where it mounts to the head. I know motorcycles use a weird sealing ring instead of a traditional exhaust manifold gasket like a car. Do you guys think this might be the issue? Maybe the ring was installed crooked, making it leak?
 

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Since your bike is brand new I suggest that you take full advantage of the warranty, go straight to where you bought it, present them with the problem and demand a solution.
can't agree more to ^

Don't touch a thing...don't procrastinate...immediately present the issue to the dealer. Be diplomatic, not argumentative.
Your bike is only a couple months old....precisely why you have a warranty!

See what they have to say...please post dealer action here!
 

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Not sure if you guys can hear it in the video or not.
I can't hear anything but valve ticking (not necessarily a bad tick). If your hearing something that wasn't there before, you really should take it to the dealer to see what they say.

precisely why you have a warranty!

See what they have to say...please post dealer action here!
I may be able to give a little insight on Kawasaki warranty policy, as I have used it.

First off I believe they are fair and straight forward. They're not out to get you. :surprise:

I think all the Japanese manufacture's have the same basic warranty: 1 year unlimited mileage, with an option to buy an extended warranty. How each manufacturer honors the warranty may vary.

..please post dealer action here
It's not the dealers warranty. So no matter what, they don't loose. Other than they don't make profit on parts used on warranty work (normally their profit margin on parts are quite high), but they still get the parts for free.

So a few requirements from Kawasaki to keep a warranty valid:
You can't neglect maintenance, bike must be brought to a dealer for all maintenance work (this is just my understanding, it's possible I was lied to by the dealer, that they were the ones that had to do this).
You can't get abusive with your bike.
Warranty doesn't cover normal wear and tear. (You can't ride the bike 10000 miles and expect to get new tires) :grin2:

So with that if you bring your bike in for warranty work, before the dealer can go ahead with it a representative from Kawasaki must first come in and inspect it. To deem whether or not the warranty is valid. In the example of my case, having an oil pump failure. The dealer had to dismantle the bike down to the oil pump (splitting the case), then wait a week for a representative to inspect before moving forward.


FYI: My warranty was honored. :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I went to the dealer I bought it from didn't seem concerned, as they said "you're sitting directly on top of the engine, its going to make a lot of noise". They said they can take a look at it but if there's nothing wrong then I would be responsible for labor. Thats why I'm looking to figure it out myself - I can't afford to pay labor rates if it turns out to be nothing. The mechanic (there's only one, this was a small dealership), said that the best thing to do would be to just ride it and if it blows up then bring it in.

My gut feeling is that with my luck, the bike will go pop 1 month after the warranty runs out (I didn't buy the extended warranty, not sure if I can now?). Thats why I figured I would just try to solve the issue myself. This is getting to be very frustrating for me, I spent $7500 out the door for this bike and I bought one new so I wouldn't have to dick around with it.
 

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Still good that you took it to the dealer. At least someone else got to hear it first hand. (Sometimes video sounds can be deceiving IMO) Them not being concerned about it is probably a good thing.

You still have the option to get the extended warranty if you so choose. I'm not saying this is the way to go (not saying it is not either), your choice there.

If you think you have an exhaust leak, you could probably feel it by placing your hand real close to where you suspect the leak. Just don't get too close. :surprise: It would also show up as a visual if you have mornings where the weather makes the exhaust smoke. (Not real smoke of coarse)
 

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..please post dealer action here

"It's not the dealers warranty."

The dealer, as an agent of Kawasaki, is authorized to accept or reject work which is warranty in nature based on THEIR determination and judgement as valid or not. Kawasaki also has area service reps who oversee or can even overstep dealer judgement. These guys travel to dealers when needed. If, for example, an engine blow up...that area rep is going to want to SEE it and work with the mechanic to determine the actual root cause. If any question...the area reps give the final blessing or rejection to enable warranty coverage...or NOT. They often settle disputes between customer and dealer....its their job to coordinate between factory policy, dealer and customer.

OP is not clear....did the mechanic actually LISTEN to your engine, running, in the parking lot?
 

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....they can take a look at it but if there's nothing wrong then I would be responsible for labor.... The mechanic said that the best thing to do would be to just ride it and if it blows up then bring it in.

My gut feeling is that with my luck...
I would bring it for inspection no matter the cost.
You just need a better communication with dealer.
If after an INSPECTION (and not having a look..) they think that there is nothing wrong, they must know what
causes the noise, why it can be heard and how this effect will perform after engines' running in period.
So you have to be clear about that you will agree to pay labor costs if they can answer those questions regarding
your safety.
Silly kind of answers like; i have XX yrs experience and i know that is ok, are not answers, you don't pay.

The "mechanic" that said ride it till it broke down, should give you a formal piece of paper with that proposition.
In case that you have any kind of injuries or safety equipment use, someone should cover your expences.
Those will not be a fault of your own or normal wear and tear.


Of cource you should first check it side by side with another bike and do your search if this is something that happens
when they are new.

You sound like there is no other experienced mechanic in your area. I hope that it's not truth and you can have one to
have a look on it and tell you his thoughts about.

After all you will need a trustful mechanic to support your needs after warranty expires.
 

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Inspection requiring booking an appointment? A trained, seasoned tech can listen to it in a parking lot about 60 seconds and determine whether something is truly chronic. The least they can do after selling the thing a month or 2 ago to the guy.

I'd jump right back to the selling salesman...propose **he** coordinate a quick listen with a tech present.

This should not be a difficult process at all....provided you are respectful and diplomatic.
 

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I'm with you and that's why i told him to find an experienced mechanic outside of dealer.

I was testing chromecast for a friend and i try to compare wrenchrats' sound with other er6 engine sounds
on multiple sound systems while i use only one of the available Hz channels of a plain equalizer at a time.

I couldn't hear anything too different among them (i'm just a hobbyist that likes twins).

So, forgive me but i like to make a speculation.
According to the available info, i'm thinking that wrenchcrafts' experience on dirt bikes among with a minor
lack of proper tightening, could cause a small loose on valve timing. Of cource could also be a timing chain - regulator
fault but i'm not a mechanic...

I wish it's something minor like this, that usually been prevented from factorys' valve timing check schedule.

Now i will try to shut up my big mouth and wait for real information from the owner :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So I bought the bike from a dealer that is about an hour and a half away from where I live (it was the cheapest in the state). This is why its been difficult to get a resolution on the issue because the only day I can make it out there is a Saturday (since I work full time during the hours they're open in the week), and often I have a lot of other things going on the weekends. I ride the highway the whole way there and the bike doesn't actually get that hot because the airflow over the radiator and engine cools everything down quite well.

I went over to another dealer today near where I live (I was hesitant to bring it to a dealer I didn't purchase from since they don't have any financial incentive to help me - I'm not their customer), and of course it wasn't ticking like it was in the video. It seems to get louder when the bike is cold started, and when the bike is hot (specifically after extended periods of time in stop and go traffic). It started ticking later on the way home, like usual.

The dealer I brought it to today said it sounded normal (it wasn't ticking very loud), and I mentioned that it wasn't ticking as loud as it normally does. I mentioned to them that it ticks louder when I'm riding in stop and go traffic and they said it was prob due to the oil thinning out from it getting hot. It kind of makes sense but if thats the case why does it tick when it's cold started too?

I've been commuting on this bike since I bought it in July, it just rolled over 2550 miles. I think I've maybe put 200 miles on both of my cars since I've started riding, no regrets!
 

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The bike received its initial service at 600 miles? Both oil and filter? Dealer performed or DIY? OEM Kawasaki filter? What brand and weight oil?

What state are you in?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The bike received its initial service at 600 miles? Both oil and filter? Dealer performed or DIY? OEM Kawasaki filter? What brand and weight oil?

What state are you in?
I had the initial service at around 530 miles at the dealer. They used Bel-Ray conventional oil, with a Honda oil filter. The oil was 10w40, which is what I changed it with later (Amsoil).

The bike just rolled over 3000 miles yesterday on the way home from work. Like I said in previous posts, the ticking seems to be temperature dependent - it ticks more when the bike is cold, and when it has been in traffic for an extended period of time (towards the upper end of its temp range). If I go on a long highway ride, the bike actually doesn't get very hot, so usually the ticking is the quietest immediately after I exit the highway.

At this point, I'm just going to ride the thing. I have experience rebuilding 4 stroke dirt bike engines, as well as extensive automotive experience. If the bike blows up at 10k, I will just rebuild/fix it myself. Its getting to the point where I'm not enjoying riding as much because I'm worrying about the noise. I just need to let it go and let the chips fall as they may.
 
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