Strange noise... cannot find it

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57pan
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Location: Michigan, USA
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Strange noise... cannot find it

#1

Post by 57pan » Mon Nov 21, 2005 6:03 am

Last nite on my way home from work I started hearing this strange noise that seems to be coming from the front end. It sounds just like a piece of tire tread whapping against the fender, but I raised the front end and spun the tire by hand - did not notice anything abnormal with the tire and it seems to roll smoothly.
It is most pronounced just before I roll to a stop but I notice it when I am on the road too. If I am going about 50 mph it will give a quick whap whAP WHAP WHap. The frequency of each series of "whaps" seems to be related to some harmonic of the engine/frame/frontend vibration. I have tried applying light front brake pressure to dampen the sound but it seems to have no effect. If I increase the speed to about 55 mph I don't notice it.
It's really got me baffled (and a little worried). It's hard to actually observe the front end while riding and with a helmet on it's hard to tell exactly where the sound is coming from. I guess maybe I will ride around the parking lot with my helmet off to see if I can get a better idea of what it might be.
If anybody has any ideas bring 'em on.



Billy
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Re: Strange noise... cannot find it

#2

Post by Billy » Mon Nov 21, 2005 9:52 am

57Pan-

roll the fr tire again, up off the ground & use something to hold near the tread & check for a hump of run-out.
Had this happen & tuned out to be a broken belt in the tire.
Didn't catch it till I checked the run out (up & down) wasn't much, but drove me nuts & could have developed into a bad problem...

57pan
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Re: Strange noise... cannot find it

#3

Post by 57pan » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:25 pm

OK - I KNOW that I replied to this yesterday. I must have clicked the Preview button and then forgot to submit the post. Anyway....
I will try your suggestion BillyW, but it may remain forever a mystery.
When I left work (after I posted the original description of the problem) it was no longer making the noise. When I rode it to work that morning it was doing it and when I left work it was not. I have ridden to and from work again since then and it is still OK.
The only think I did was put about 8 squirts of grease in the front hub while I had the front end up trying to find the problem. But I did not mention that in my first post because the noise was still there the next morning when I rode to work. So, I figured that must not have been the problem, but maybe it was...

Go figure.

Billy
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Re: Strange noise... cannot find it

#4

Post by Billy » Mon Nov 21, 2005 11:24 pm

57pan-

I'd check it just for some "peace of mind" if nothing else..

BillyW

Sidecar
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Re: Strange noise... cannot find it

#5

Post by Sidecar » Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:21 am

I think that I would check for the "out of roundness" myself.
Do your front brakes still work after all those squirts ??

DuoDave
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Re: Strange noise... cannot find it

#6

Post by DuoDave » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:34 am

As Side car says, check the tyre carefully, but if it is out of round, you will normally feel it bounce as you ride. This often happens around sixty mph.
I have just had a similar problem. As I accelerated through 45mph in top gear I had a loud noise like the primary chain scuffing against the chaincase, but it seemed to be coming from the front of the motor. It only happened under power. If I shut off, it stopped immediately. I checked the primary chain, nothing wrong. Checked the final drive chain, no problem. I pulled the cam cover off in case something nasty was going on in there. Nope.
This was a real head scratcher by now, and a real worry, as it sounded like something was about to let go in a big way.
I finally tracked the problem down almost by accident. Turned out that I had lost a retaining clip off the left side "Duo Glide" fender emblem and the other two clips were loose. As the motor went through a slight vibration patch around 45mph the emblem was rattling like crazy against the fender. New clips installed and peace of mind restored.
I guess the message here is that your problem may not be what you initially think and you may have to investigate other areas. Good luck!

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