Clunk from rear wheel area when rolling bike, please help :( - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Clunk from rear wheel area when rolling bike, please help :(

Okay here we go.

Last night when I took her out for a ride everything was fine. After about 10 minutes of riding, there immediately was a clunking coming from the back of the bike. It went faster if the bike was rolling faster, and slowed down when I slowed the bike down. It does not go away if the clutch is pulled in, or it's in gear or neutral. Tonight I rode her again and same thing. After around 20 minutes of riding today, the clunk came back. In both scenarios I was in first or second gear, going under 15 mph. It was like a light switch, immediately starting to happen. Yesterday it happened when I rounded a corner on a sidestreet. Today it was taking off from a stop light.

Please someone, if you have any information let me know. I am very disheartened by this recent turn of events

'86 VN750
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 08:05 PM
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Did you ever pull the back tire and check the rear splines? Good place to start, if they're starting to strip I wouldn't go for any rides until you check them.

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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 08:37 PM
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Have you taken a look at the drum brakes on the back? Maybe something is broke or loose?

How loud is the clunk and is it a high or low clunk?
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by shark88 View Post
Did you ever pull the back tire and check the rear splines? Good place to start, if they're starting to strip I wouldn't go for any rides until you check them.
I tore the bike apart and rebuilt everything, so the splines did look in good shape

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Have you taken a look at the drum brakes on the back? Maybe something is broke or loose?

How loud is the clunk and is it a high or low clunk?
I inspected the outside of the drums, looked fine. The clunk is not too loud, it's louder when the bike goes faster. It's a fairly low pitch too

'86 VN750
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 10:41 PM
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Man, I really don't know. Because it gets louder and faster the faster you go, it makes me think it has to be something that is going around in a circle as your wheel rolls.

Does the bike handle any different when the noise starts? I might drive it around a bit until the noise starts again. Then I'd put it on the center stand and weigh the front of the bike down so the back tire is off the ground. You will have put a 2x6 or 2x8 under the center stand so that the back tire will actually float. Then you could put it in gear and let the tire spin while you were back there listening and looking.
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Man, I really don't know. Because it gets louder and faster the faster you go, it makes me think it has to be something that is going around in a circle as your wheel rolls.

Does the bike handle any different when the noise starts? I might drive it around a bit until the noise starts again. Then I'd put it on the center stand and weigh the front of the bike down so the back tire is off the ground. You will have put a 2x6 or 2x8 under the center stand so that the back tire will actually float. Then you could put it in gear and let the tire spin while you were back there listening and looking.
That's a good idea, I'll try that out.

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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 12:58 AM
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It would seem that pulling the rear wheel is necessary again. Perhaps a piece of a gear tooth broke off and periodically is flung in the wrong place, making the clunk. Or perhaps there is something "extra" in there such as a nut or bolt that found its way in there when it was last tore down. Hey! Doctors have left surgical instruments inside patients before! Having made the "something extra" statement I now go the other way and wonder if something was left out such as the large C-clip thingy in the wheel. Or possibly it is there but only partially engaged. I had a friend many years ago that had a horrible swish swish swish sound coming from his right front wheel. It turns out it was a long paper sticker on the inside of his new mag wheel that had come partially unstuck and made the swish sound every revolution as it brushed up against his disc brakes. A simple removal of the offending sticker cured his issue. Had it been my car it would have been a $1000 dollar mechanical breakage. It could be something simple causing your sounds effects. Or at least something easily identified. You said you were in 1 & 2nd gears. Does it do it in higher gears, too? Let us know once you discover the source. (Other thoughts: Drive shaft U-joint? Might want to drain the rear end fluid and see if there's any metallic crud in there, too.)

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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 01:06 AM
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Here's another weird thought: Is the torque rod securely fastened? Doubtful to be the problem but there only so many possibilities........ Perhaps aliens stole your wheel balance weight!

TOC MCCTs
Saddlebags, hard mounted
Fork mounted tool bag (now hard mounted)
Relocated rear turn signals
LED turn signals, brake lights and running lights
LED license plate frame
Engine Guard and Highway pegs
National Cycles Low Boy Heavy Duty windshield
Home made lowers (nice)
Custom seat (made by a local guy)
Iridium plugs (DPR7EIX-9)
Shenko 230 Tour Master tires at 11,123 miles
Splines lubed at 11,123 miles
Luggage rack
Light bar with LED lights
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chris and Shim View Post
It would seem that pulling the rear wheel is necessary again. Perhaps a piece of a gear tooth broke off and periodically is flung in the wrong place, making the clunk. Or perhaps there is something "extra" in there such as a nut or bolt that found its way in there when it was last tore down. Hey! Doctors have left surgical instruments inside patients before! Having made the "something extra" statement I now go the other way and wonder if something was left out such as the large C-clip thingy in the wheel. Or possibly it is there but only partially engaged. I had a friend many years ago that had a horrible swish swish swish sound coming from his right front wheel. It turns out it was a long paper sticker on the inside of his new mag wheel that had come partially unstuck and made the swish sound every revolution as it brushed up against his disc brakes. A simple removal of the offending sticker cured his issue. Had it been my car it would have been a $1000 dollar mechanical breakage. It could be something simple causing your sounds effects. Or at least something easily identified. You said you were in 1 & 2nd gears. Does it do it in higher gears, too? Let us know once you discover the source. (Other thoughts: Drive shaft U-joint? Might want to drain the rear end fluid and see if there's any metallic crud in there, too.)
It may do it in higher gears, I'm not sure. Good idea, draining the rear end too. What should I check on the drive shaft u-joint?

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Originally Posted by Chris and Shim View Post
Here's another weird thought: Is the torque rod securely fastened? Doubtful to be the problem but there only so many possibilities........ Perhaps aliens stole your wheel balance weight!
The torque rod?

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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 02-28-2017, 10:55 AM
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It is unlikely that the torque rod is the culprit but hey, I'm just throwing out ideas. The torque rod is the straight bar that extends from the frame back downward to the outside of the rear end assembly. It prevents the rear from rolling around. I just postulated that if that was loose then it could cause the entire back end to pivot clockwise/counterclockwise as you applied gas/brakes. A long shot and it doesn't really explain all of your clunking but is super easy to check without disassembly. It's either bolted on securely or not. I'd say a 99% chance its not the torque rod but I was looking for easy answers..... As far as the drive shaft U-joint , I threw that one in to look at but I'd think the sound from a cranky U-joint would sound more like it was under you rather than in back of you. I've had U-joints go out on me in cars and just have a "thing" about checking them from time to time. Just see if its loosely put together or clunks when you mess with it. But, again, if the sound was further back then it probably isn't that either. Like I said earlier, there's only so many possibilities. Start eliminating them until you find it.

TOC MCCTs
Saddlebags, hard mounted
Fork mounted tool bag (now hard mounted)
Relocated rear turn signals
LED turn signals, brake lights and running lights
LED license plate frame
Engine Guard and Highway pegs
National Cycles Low Boy Heavy Duty windshield
Home made lowers (nice)
Custom seat (made by a local guy)
Iridium plugs (DPR7EIX-9)
Shenko 230 Tour Master tires at 11,123 miles
Splines lubed at 11,123 miles
Luggage rack
Light bar with LED lights
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