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Discussion Starter #1
Guys, I need help.

I have about 600 miles on an '04 meanstreak. Beginning with the first mile I put on it, it has a very pronounced knock or hammering under normal acceleration load that starts around 2500 rpm and lasts until after 3000. I've had back to the original dealer for an explanation and even another dealer for a second opinion. Also, I've had a converstation with a customer rep from Kaw, customer support (Greg Glick).

Dealer 1: Says either Piston slap or resonance in air chamber. Most likely piston slap, its normal for the vulcan engine, just live with it.

Dealer 2: Says a detonation condition. normal sounds for a vulcan.

Customer rep, who by the way had a very unproffesional approach, finally conceeded that these engines are notorious for piston slap. just live with it.

BTW: I've installed a PCIII and there doesn't seem to be any noticeable difference.

From what I could gather from multiple forums, I am not alone with this issue, but also not all owners experience this.

Also, whats "normal" about a piston slap.

Whats strange to me is that the first 5 minutes of riding, the bike feels very tight and does not really start knocking until after that when it is hot. I therefore wouldn't consider it to be a "cold piston slap" problem.

I've also heard that these engines are notorious for carbon build up. Is it possible that the slow speeds and low RPMS as part of the initial break in is causing carbon deposits?

BTW: Tried a tank of 87 octane, all the others were 93. No noticable difference.
 

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welcome drobims :wink:

here's what i've seen, yes they are noisy,all kawi v-twins are,in fact one meanie
i ride with i can hear it at traffic lghts sometimes.so it may very well be normal
this is usually heard best between 20-30mph after warmup.the most common remedy
is louder pipes :lol:

if you lugged the engine alot during break-in you may have some carbon build up
but generally they are not as bad about that as the 800 classics are-these motors like to
be wound out a little,they can take,their not really fond of lugging and there is no real
benefit.you could pull the #2 cyclinder plug and have a look and then run a can of
sea foam thru the fuel system and this will help clean it out.

forget the 87 octane,stay with 93

what map are you using with the pcIII and what pipes are you using ?
i would recommend get it to a dyno and check the tune.

just from what you have said,if the dealer is good and they checked it chances
are your ok,but it should not get any worse or change to a different sound,as long as it remains consistent its the signature kawi sound :lol:

if you really babied it the first few miles then start running it up in rpm's through
the gears now-there are some other meanie owners here that can tell you more
 

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I also have this noise I fiqured it was the valves. What happens when cruiseing at highway speed and roll on the throttle to accelerate the thing just makes terrible noise like marbles being rattled in a aluminum can. I have experimented with different octanes and fuel manufacturers with no noticeable difference. I went to the dealer with this also and they offered no good advise about it. I ride 2 up mostly and I wonder if the additional load may cause the noise. I took it out this week alone and took her up to 100 I hope that blows it out a little. This is 2002 1500 FI drifter with 2000 miles. I look forward to more on this issue.
 

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yep-the combination of those solenoids,noisy valvetrain,and injector noise,epa junk,makes
for quite a bit of chatter -you'll get used to it :wink:
 

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bike,
I'm curious about the sea foam though, where can I buy it and what does it do to help the fuel system, mine needs a little more cleaning.
 

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i was just turned on to it not too long ago myself-i've never been to keen on fuel additives
as a rule but i kept hearing about the stuff and how well it worked so i started looking
for it. folks said wal-mart carried but you had to ask for it? my wal-mart never heard of it :lol:
i finally found it at a ADVANCED AUTO PARTS STORE so i tried it in my 800 classic
because i had some carbon deposits on the rear cyclinder plug-i ran some thru the system
about every 3rd tank of gas for a month or so,rechecked the plug and it looked great
so now i run it thru about avery 5th tank and it seems to keep the plugs cleaner

have not tried it in the 1600 yet, i have
no carbon on the bike so leave well enough alone :lol:

don't use it on the harley either,i run that bike HARD so no problem there
but it does seem to help the 800 so i'll keep using it there

i'm no chemist but it basically keeps varnishes and the like from fouling up the fuel system
and helps prevent carbon buildup :wink:
 

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bikeaholic said:
have not tried it in the 1600 yet, i have
no carbon on the bike so leave well enough alone :lol:

don't use it on the harley either,i run that bike HARD so no problem there
but it does seem to help the 800 so i'll keep using it there
Bike, I've known since joining the forum that you had two, now three rides. What determines which horse your gonna ride on any given day. I'd love to be faced with that for a problem.
 

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i really don't know spok :lol:

the 1600 is my main ride now,this time of year i take alot of long runs so i'm on it most
of the time now for comfort . the 800 i use for short jaunts to the beach or fun riding
up in our national forest on the twisties.and good ole "bucky" is used when i want
haul a$$ or try for a decent time slip at the dragstrip,in fact "bucky" is in the shop
today getting new tires(metzlers)and a new cast mag wheel for the front :shock:
so sat. i'll be on it getting that first 100 miles on the new rubber.sunday i'm taking the 1600
on a run to the highest point in florida(327ft :lol: ) located about 125 miles from me

silly thing is my girl is really hot for a meanie right now and after the first of the year
there might be 4 bikes in the garage :lol: -but i've pretty much always had 2 bikes in the stable most of the time :wink:
 

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Yes sir-e-bob :) After a few more paychecks and I open up a spot in the garage I'm going to add a sportbike to my cruiser, car and truck. I'm thinkin ex500 because i'm 6'4" with a 31-32 inseam and am built like a solid truck at 290lbs.
 

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My Meanstreak makes a bit of chatter too. I thought maybe I broke mine because I always have a hard time breaking things in. Mine has a bit of clickity-clack from about 2k-3k. When the motor is lugged a bit and u wick it open it'll knock for a second. Other than that it runs great and hasn't gotten any worse. I have about 1K mileage.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bike,

Thanks for the reply and info. My PCIII map is set for stock, as is the bike otherwise. I have tried both riching and leaning the mid band as an experiment - No noticable difference.

The #2 Cylinder looked fine, but I did get a bottle of Sea foam anyway - Got it at NAPA BTW.

I guess I was looking for multiple samples of concurrence that this is normal. What bothers me was that when I went to the dealers, I could not get consensus. I guess I was looking for response that sounded like: "Oh yeah, that noise is normal and is due to ...."

"Its probably piston slap and its normal" is not what I really want to hear because it sounds like guessing and Loud piston slap is NOT normal. Valve chatter and vibrations are fine, but not a loud clanking described as piston slap.

I had one more theory that I would like to try. I still feel that the engine is tighter with the colder temps (soon after start). When the engine gets to full operating temp, the 10W-40 is probably breaking down and thinning out. What do you guys think about a heavier wieght oil or a synthetic type oil to keep the tolerances tighter?
 

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you i know what you mean about consensus,

the knocking these bikes experience is well documented and it appears
that it does not harm the bike is the conclusion i've draw after watching for some time and owning 2 different models.it can be corrected with mods and
tuning though-you have to open the wallet :lol:

curious about the pcIII though,why have it set to stock?instead of the stock
system.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The Stock setting is the DynoJet's stock setting which they advertise in most cases is a significant improvement over the Factory ECU settings. In Fact, the dealer recommended a PCIII even if no mods were done because the bikes come delivered set very lean and tuned mostly to satisfy emmissions.

Initially, I was hoping that it would initself clear up the knocking. I Have been looking into pipes now, and am heavily considering the Muzzy 2-1 (motorcyclecrusing.com article sold me). Once I get the pipes, I will take the bike to a local dealer who is an authorized DynoJet tuning station and have it remapped.

BTW, any intel on the Muzzy. Since its Stainless Steel, does it suffer from any discoloration or any other issues that would effect its appearance?
 

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muzzy's are really nice pipes - i like them but i want a different look
with hard krome, but for 2into1 pipes ilike theirs better than the pro-pipe

it'll take intake/exhaust mods and then a tune to get rid of most of the knock
some of it still remains on certain bikes under hard throttle

if you re-map after those mods contact johnnycheese performance
for the tune-he's the man :wink:

all the muzzy's i've seen were pretty new so i don't know about
dis-coloration, they all looked great
 

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pfft...emissions, in CO motos don't get emissions test, is this true in most states, except cali?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I know in Vriginia they don't test either. I remember reading that in order to be able to sell in Ca, they needed it.

I can't wait to get that catalytic converter off.
 

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they don't test in FL. either
 

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Actually they do test emissions in Virginia. Every two years. I came from Alaska and they test emissions there too.

Phatboy
 

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My '04 800 Intruder also makes a bit of a knocking noise. Seems worse before it is totally warmed up. Enrichening the idle mixture seemed to help somewhat. I haven't heard a motorcycle yet that didn't seem to have some engine noise. I think the longer you have a bike, the more noises you begin to hear. My wife's Vulcan 500 is worse yet, with a lot more top end and cam chain noise. I think that's inherent with the inline engines.
I'm currently in the market for an '04 Meanie, so now I know what I have to look forward to!
 

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Hiya friends and neighbors. I have an 04 Vulcan 500. Just recently she started to tick and knock on the left hand side of the engine--sounds like a set of car keys jingling in there. I can only hear this at idle speed. My dealer said that this noise was very typical of a Kawi 500 engine after it's broke in, but you know something? I don't think I buy that. Do you guys? --Damour
 
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