View Full Version : HELP! My Kawasaki Knocks

09-02-2008, 08:35 PM
I have a 98 Kawasaki Vulcan en 500 that the Motor Knocks.* I think its the rocker arm (lifters) I tried to use a feeler guage to gap right but not sure if I did it right or not.* All I know is that the knocking didn't get any better, and don't want to take the bike apart again till I can figure a better way to adjust the rocker arm, or whatever is the problem with it.* Any idea how to fix my bike?* I only get about 40 miles to the gallon where I should get more like 60 mpg.* I don't have a lot of money to take it in to get it fixed, being that I am a father of 2.* I just enjoy riding as I'm sure must of you do.* But my bike doesn't sound so great. Any ideas would be great, or if someone that could take a look to would be great too.*

Thanks Rusty

09-02-2008, 10:53 PM
What kind of gas are you running?

If regular, try taking it to the middle grade, if no success, try premium gas.* Some bikes just need more quality gas to run properly.

09-03-2008, 09:00 AM
Also, what sort of knocking?* Is it a new noise or something that has been there for a while?

09-03-2008, 12:55 PM
The knocking has been that way since I got it.* Knocking gets fast if I give it turn the throttle.* I way even need the carbs cleaned.* Brother also left the bike outside year round.

09-03-2008, 02:08 PM
The knocking has been that way since I got it.* *Knocking gets fast if I give it turn the throttle.* I way even need the carbs cleaned.* Brother also left the bike outside year round.

Is it a loud knock or just a ticking?

09-03-2008, 04:31 PM
I guess its more like a ticking.* I wish I could attach a clip, But it would be bigger then 128 kb. I could send you a clip for those who would like to hear what i'm talking about.


09-03-2008, 04:34 PM
I'm guessing its carbed and not fuel injected?

09-03-2008, 04:42 PM
Yeah, I don't think its fuel injected.*

09-03-2008, 04:44 PM
A "knock" can be alot of different things. You're going to have to zero in on where the noise comes from, otherwise, we just keep throwing out answers, and you keep not getting anywhere.

If you have a long screwdriver, you can rest the tip against the engine case, (while running) and put your ear to the handle and you can "hear" inside the motor that way. Like you would with a stethoscope.

Zero in on the noise area, and we can probably be more help.

In the meantime, how many miles? Is it low on oil? How dirty is the oil? And what city do you live in? I wouldn't be opposed to a troubleshooting visit if you're not too far away.* ;)

09-03-2008, 04:46 PM
Yeah it is carbed, not fuel injected. has the same motor thats in the Kawasaki ninja 500

09-03-2008, 04:48 PM
I have done that and to me it sounds like it coming from the top of the engine where the rocker arms would be.

09-03-2008, 04:50 PM
Do you have a service manual for it? Helms? Clymers? Etc?

09-03-2008, 04:54 PM
There is almost 21,000 miles on it I have change the oil awhile back thinking maybe it was low on oil but that wasn't it still ticked. I live in Charlotte about south west of Lansing.

09-03-2008, 04:56 PM
I have the haynes service Manual on my computer.* that I found online.*

09-03-2008, 07:46 PM
Here is a short video of how my motor sounds. Listen and tell me want you think is wrong with it.* Thanks

http://s426.photobucket.com/albums/pp34 ... 0_1101.flv (http://s426.photobucket.com/albums/pp348/Rustic13/?action=view&current=100_1101.flv)

09-05-2008, 07:59 AM
did you adjust the cam chain tensioner? what about a tuneup??do you have a manual to set the clearances on the valves??? and how many miles on the bike

09-05-2008, 01:07 PM
I did not adjust the cam Chain,* I do have a service manual.* I tried to adjust to valves, But I'm no mechanic.* Just tried to do what the book told me what to do.* First time with feeler guage.* Not sure if I did it right or not.* I have 21000 miles on the bike.*

09-09-2008, 10:42 AM
maybe someone stays close by and wouldn't mind giving you a hand,can you let us know where you are?

09-09-2008, 10:50 AM
The cam chain tensioner should be "automatic", however, it is possible for some reason it's not keeping tension on the chain.

My bike, the 750 is notorious for ACCT problems, especially on the front cylinder, due to it's mounting position it doesn't get/hold much lube and tends to get stuck or the spring breaks and it won't keep the chain tight like it should, so then the engine gets loud, similar to a knocking noise.

Now my 750 v-twin is nothing like this 500 inline twin, (obviously), but I'm sure yours uses a chain tensioner of some sort that's worth looking at.

There are several Kawaski specific message boards-find one that has a 500 vulcan forum, and do a search. See if there's a common issue with that bike.

09-09-2008, 11:01 AM
I'm not sure on Kawis, but it sounds like it might need a valve a adjustment.
Just my 2 cents.