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Think I have a problem...


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I have an 08 RT with 56K miles on it. Started last year with a ticking sound around 3200rpm and goes up to 4000rpm. I think it's still there after that, but can't hear it because of wind and engine noise. Recently, I have a vibration that I can feel in the handbars, foot pegs, and seat, starting at 3200rpm and seems not too bad past 4000.


I did a valve adjustment a few weeks ago because the ticking sounded like a loose valve. Everything was good. Put the Twin Max on and engine was running fine and it still does except for that vibration and ticking sound. Don't think its the drive shaft because I can sit on the bike, rev it up to 3000 and I have both ticking and vibration.


I suspect that it is either transmission or clutch, but saying that, the clutch is not slipping and works fine. Changing gears, again no issues-just drops quietly into gear.


So, I think I have a problem, but I'm not sure where to go from here. Any input would be greatly appreciated.



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Morning Peter


Engine noises (like ticking sounds) are very difficult to track down over the internet, they are difficult enough to find when leaning over the engine.


You need to be our eyes & ears for us to offer much help on finding your engine ticking.


So lets start with:


WHAT SIDE on the engine is the ticking coming from?


Is the ticking happening at engine speed (RPM) or 1/2 engine speed?


Is the ticking there cold or only on hot engine?


Does the ticking noise change IF you (lightly) roll on the throttle or roll off the throttle?


Does the ticking noise change as the drive load changes (like climbing a shallow hill or costing down a shallow hill)?


Have you removed the front plastic engine belt cover to verify that your alternator belt is not missing a piece or have a loose thread hanging out?


On the vibration ?-- That is also going to be difficult over the internet as we can't feel it or play with engine power to change it.


Most 1200 hexheads have an inherent slight vibration in mid range. What we don't know is (if) yours is normal or abnormal.


If your vibration is abnormal then you need to TRY to determine if it is from engine internal things like balance shaft, part imbalance, or cylinder uneven firing-- or from external things like tight exhaust system in mounts, or exhaust grounding to chassis (like at retracted center stand), or something like a loose alternator, ragged alternator belt, loose engine bolts, etc.

Or something loose or out of balance in the clutch/flywheel area.


You might try riding by your BMW dealer & having one of their tec's take a ride on your bike. If it's something the tec has felt before, or is familiar with, then it might be obvious to the tec.

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Hi D.R.


Thanks for the input. In regard to some of your questions:

1. Sounds like ticking sound is front the right side. However, can hear it between the forks. I did check the alternator belt for damage, but will do it again to make sure.

2. the ticking sound seems like it starts at 3K and holds pretty steady until about 4K.

3. Between the rpm range, if I roll on the throttle it increases the intensity of the sound, and rolling off it stops. Under load or going up hills with cruise on, you can hear the sound get louder.

4. In regards to the vibration, I had this bike since new, so the vibration is abnormal to me. This is a recent development.


Guess all said and done, will have to go through the bike eg. check fasteners, alt. belt, exhaust etc. Its going to be cool and rainy this weekend, so have the time to check things out. I'll give an update when I know better. And yes, part of my plan was to talk to the local dealer and let them take it for a spin.



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Quick question..


Do you own a mechanic's stethoscope?


If not - is there a Harbor Freight near you (dunno if they're in Canada) - $3.99


Helps answer a lot of noise questions.

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Do you own a mechanic's stethoscope?
You can also use a long screrwdriver, placing the tip on the part you are listening to and place the handle at your ear.



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Yes, I do have a mechanics stethoscope. Sounds like my ticking sound comes from behind the drive pulley for the alternator on main shaft. Had the belt off thus eliminating possible alternator problem. Thinking that's where my vibration is from too.

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Morning Peter


If something wrong with your balance shaft or drive gears that could cause both a noise & vibration.


The gears sit just behind the lower belt pulley.



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