Sunday, September 19, 2010

Riding A Singer

I started hearing the strange sound coming from the front of the motorcycle on some of our early morning rides in West Virginia. It wasn't a constant sound, but was intermittent and made the V-Twin sound more like a sewing machine than a motorcycle. It seemed as if it was RPM related, somewhere around 2800 to 3000 and most of the time it was when the engine was under less torque.

Some of my research indicated one of the cam chain tension springs. Yikes! With over 41,000 miles on her, Lady is not a spring chicken anymore, so it is possible that some parts may be wearing out, even though I didn't want to admit it.

So Friday I rode her to the dealership carefully listening for the intermittent sound. And like any intermittent issue, when the experts at the dealership listened, they heard a well behaved, well tuned 805cc engine, purring smoothly throughout its RPM range.

I had to admit, I didn't hear the sound either. So we returned home, wondering why she wouldn't sound off for the service techs.

The next morning I fired her up and let the engine warm a bit before starting off. Five minutes down the road the sewing machine sound began trumpeting itself. I pulled into a parking lot and kicked Lady into neutral while revving the engine at the specific RPM range that produced the sound.

Leaning forward I listened for the source. Definitely front of the engine, maybe the front cylinder. So I could listened more closely, I put Lady on her kick stand and leaned down toward the right side of the engine, placing my hand on the tank mounted instrument cluster.

The sound ceased. What?!?! I lifted my hand and adjusted the throttle. The sound manifested itself again!

I thought, "You've got to be kidding me!" I sat there a moment lifting my hand from the instrument cluster and then replacing it causing the sewing machine sound to come and go at will.

A week's worth of concern about Lady's engine and the resignation that she needed to see the doctor was for naught. A loose connection somewhere under the cluster housing telegraphed engine vibrations and caused Lady to do her best imitation of a Singer sewing machine.

What a relief. Lady, I'm sorry I question you.

Next time, I won't jump to conclusions.

Ride Safe!
Doug C

1 comment:

Micah said...

I know how you feel. I kept hearing a jingleling sound coming from the engine. Turned out to be two zipper pulls on my tank bag that were knocking together. Drove me nuts for 2 weeks trying to figure it out.