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Good day All. Bought my first bike a few weeks ago, Kawasaki ZX9R 1998 second hand. Have done some cosmetics on it and replaced a few things, but I have an engine noise issue that I need help with. From research I gather that it may be a timing chain tensioner. Money is tight after I bought the bike, so if I can resolve the problem myself it would be fabulous. Money really is tight and it's xmas. Please respond with a mobile number so I can send the video clip. Help would be much appreciated. God Bless.
 

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Generally, chain tensioners and guides wearing out or becoming loose will sound like a constant rattle as the chain hits things it shouldn't. And the noise is usually worse at idle than it is at higher rpm.

First thing I would do if I suspected this kind of problem is search for a good used reference. pdf manuals and Haynes manuals can be had pretty cheap if you search deep. Believe me, I understand "money's tight" and being "excessively frugal" is a serious character trait for me ;). Do some research on the parts, get prices from online distributors, maybe even find some on ebay. I've been lucky sometimes there.

Also look around and see if there's a ZX9R specific forum on the web. As much as I hate it, FaceBook can be helpful. Finding folks with in depth knowledge of your yr/model bike will be invaluable. There I can't help but I can say:

  • my bike, Yamaha FJR, is easy when it comes to tensioner and guide replacement. Those parts and a gasket, don't even have to drain the oil;
  • sprockets and chain very rarely require replacement. The noise is elsewhere so don't think you need to dive into the depths of your engine just yet. I'm at 128,xxx miles with original sprockets and chain and yes, I've replaced my tensioner. The guides were fine, the sprockets and chain looked new.
 
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