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Long time rider, first time Connie-er

fastenova8707

Member
Member
Hey everybody!

I just picked up a 2011 C14 w/ 30K on the clock. PO installed lots of tasteful modifications (Area P slipon, bar risers, footpeg lowering brackets, etc.) that are perfect for me. I'm 6'3", so after test riding a different fully stock bike and feeling like my legs were smushed, I was happy to be instantly comfortable on this one.

I did quite a bit of research on this site before purchasing, so thanks for the knowledge you've all shared. This seems like a great community!

Looks like one of the front forks is leaking oil, so I've ordered parts and tools to replace both seals and put fresh oil in. I'll have to take a look at the front pads to see if they've been contaminated.

I also confirmed with the last owner (I think I'm the fourth owner?) that no valve check/adjustment was done at 30K so I'll plan to do that this winter when it's too wet/cold out to ride.

I also noticed a sort of 'whirring' sound at part-throttle, maybe 20% throttle at 4K RPM and up, and its pitch increases with RPM. As soon as I let off the throttle it almost disappears. I can't tell where it's coming from, other than the engine (not tires, final drive, and seems more forward than behind) and it doesn't make the noise when unloaded (i.e. revving up in neutral in my garage). Any thoughts on what this might be or where to start looking? I may pop off the fairings and side covers and look for any vacuum leaks around the throttle bodies. Bike seems to run great otherwise, stock tune for now (I will be talking to Steve in the spring after I get some seat time on the stock maps)

Thanks for any ideas. I'm super excited to get to know this bike. My other bikes are: 2018 Yamaha XSR700, 2008 KLR650, 1982 Yamaha XJ650, and my wife's 2003 SV650.

Cheers,
Aaron
 

texas.devops

Eager Upshifter in SW Houston
Member
Howdy Aaron, and welcome to the community! Sounds like you picked up a nice ride, even if it needs a little TLC.

One of the characteristics of the Kawasaki motors is their whistling/whirring sound coming from the timing chain, starting about 2k RPM and up until the sound of the exhaust overloads the soundwaves just past 5,500RPM. Personally, I find it melodic. It's one of the reasons I've been a fanboy since the 80's.

Normally the motor music almost sounds like a turbo spooling up, but doesn't have the whooshing sound you get from a supercharger. If there's a winding noise that's out of sync with the RPMs then I'd say you'll want to take a deeper look. There are oodles of tech whizzes on our board who'll give you more specifics to pay attention to. Adjusting the valve clearances may have a small effect on that as loosening them up improves flow.

At some point you'll maybe want to share some photos of your new baby, and give an indication of which zip codes you ride in so others nearby can start looping you in to ride invites, etc.

Final thought. Join as a full member. The $38/yr fee gives you access to more info and entertainment than any man could want. I highly recommend it as you move forward in this new chapter of C14 ownership.
 

fastenova8707

Member
Member
Thanks! Good to know that a bit of whirring is normal on these bikes. I will try not to worry about it for now. If/when I get the chance to meet up with fellow Concours owners I am sure they can tell me if it's normal or not.

I put my location in my profile, is there a better place to note where I regularly ride? I'll definitely plan to join as a full member in the near future!

Here's a quick photo in the garage right after it pulled in for the first time...

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Road Runner

SE USA - AAD
Member
Welcome Aaron and congrats on the new-to-your C14. You already know that you have an awesome bike.

texas.devops said it well, when he mentioned there are numerous benefits of being a full member. Great group of COG'ers who (many of) have a variety of bikes too, just like you.

Again, welcome!
 

Konehead34

Member
Member
Ull appreciate the piece if mind that comes from having the t-rex crash bars. . U may want to think about getting a set for the rear to protect the bags.

I have canyon cages on my c14, which saved the front plastics on 2 drops. But the righr bag got a couple scrapes.
 

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2andblue

Member
Member
Aaron - welcome to the forum, come on over to the group.

Nice find you have there. I’ll be doing my forks this winter as well, bit more of a challenge on this machine as well the valves / any questions there don’t be afraid to ask - the group is great.

See from your location not far away from plenty of awesome riding! You’ll love the C-14.
 

ursharkfuel

God got one thing wrong: Stupid should be PAINFUL!
Member
Welcome Aaron.

I have the same color 2011 C-14 that I bought a couple years ago. I'm down the coast from you in Southern California.

What you are describing sounds like a clutch to me. Right when my clutch reaches the friction zone at higher revs it makes a sound best described as a howl. My guess is, the clutch is slipping and may need attention over the winter. My bike is approaching 31K, but I have not noticed any clutch slipping once it has been fully released, only when launching from a standstill at a higher RPM than normal. Like a quick start or when on an incline, and there are quite a few in the mountains where I work. She's my warm weather commuter.

It have not noticed any other unusual sounds to speak of, so that's my guess.

Best of luck.
 

fastenova8707

Member
Member
Welcome Aaron.

I have the same color 2011 C-14 that I bought a couple years ago. I'm down the coast from you in Southern California.

What you are describing sounds like a clutch to me. Right when my clutch reaches the friction zone at higher revs it makes a sound best described as a howl. My guess is, the clutch is slipping and may need attention over the winter. My bike is approaching 31K, but I have not noticed any clutch slipping once it has been fully released, only when launching from a standstill at a higher RPM than normal. Like a quick start or when on an incline, and there are quite a few in the mountains where I work. She's my warm weather commuter.

It have not noticed any other unusual sounds to speak of, so that's my guess.

Best of luck.
Thanks for the idea! I had the chance to put ~200 miles of freeway miles on it yesterday, and it seems like it is less throttle-dependent than I had originally thought... And I don't seem to notice the revs climbing any higher than the wheel speed, also it seems like it's the same sound whether I go from, let's say 5-10% or 5-50% thottle. I have ridden with worn clutches on other bikes (including my XJ650 shaft-drive) and this does not SEEM to be a similar feeling. So I won't rule it out but based on the other comments above I am leaning toward it just being a normal noise for the bike.

BTW a few years back I did a 2500 mile trip on my XSR700 with a couple of friends, we took ~10 days and rode from the Oregon coast down 101 & 1, ended up having my rear tire wear faster than expected, and Moto Republic there in Eagle Rock helped me out with a rear tire replacement. Great crew! And afterwards we rode up through what I would call the "San Gabriel Canyon", Hwy 39... That was an incredible road and we had a blast once I got the new rear rubber broken in a bit. Absolutely beautiful and right down the road from you.

Cheers!
Aaron
 

ursharkfuel

God got one thing wrong: Stupid should be PAINFUL!
Member
You'll narrow it down I'm sure.

What a great ride. I have done some, but not all of that ride myself.

Jon
 

charlie gary

"Special" Assistant to the NWAD
Member
Perhaps Craige Scott or Farqwar (he dislikes putting his name out in public) can chime in about your noise. Some Connies develop a funny noise in the bearing for the output shaft.
 

fastenova8707

Member
Member
I got the fork seals replaced and fresh oil in the forks, thanks to the fork service kit from Traxxion, and of course the FSM (Factory Service Manual, not Flying Spaghetti Monster). And a fair amount of patience, too.

Worth noting, I initially set the heights of the rebound adjuster (13mm) and piston rod locknut (12mm) per the FSM and reassembled the forks. I found that I only had 7 clicks of damping adjustment on one fork and 9 on the other, and it didn't feel quite right while bouncing the front end in the garage. I took it back apart and explored a bit more how the height settings affect the adjustability and made some slight tweaks, while being very careful about not preloading the rebound rod at all. I was able to get it to exactly 11 clicks of adjustment, and once reassembled the damping felt spot on.

So, if you're servicing the forks, make sure to test your range of rebound damping adjustment to ensure you have 11 clicks of adjustment BEFORE you mount back on the bike to save yourself some work!

Looking forward to a dry day so I can go road test it!

Aaron
 
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