Question about 2001 kawasaki VN 1500 Vulcan Classic

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I hear a ticking in my engine while moving. I checked the oil and it is good. You don't hear it when the bike is idling.

Posted by Richard Beavers on


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If its only a slight tick under load, probably just the common kawasaki v-twin noise. seems all of them have latters that are unexplainable but never get any worse. mine will be noisy at lower rpm under loads but goes away if i let the rpm go higher in all the gears. best to allow them to run at faster engine speeds as they need lots of oil to keep the overhead cams and hydraulic lifters going. they are not made to lug around.

Posted on Apr 06, 2013


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SOURCE: I sometimes have upperend noise

Have the valves adjusted. A ticking sound on the top end is almost always the valves tapping. I slight ticking sound is normal but if it's been sitting for a while it's good to have them measured anyway.

Posted on Jun 07, 2011



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Yes, the problem is linked to compression getting past the rings. The pressure goes to the gearbox then some oil gets carried out of the box along with the compression. Too much oil in the gearbox makes the problem even worse. You shouldn't need pistons. Chances are the rings are just stuck in the piston ring grooves. Sometimes they can be freed up by the mechanic manipulating them. Often they break when manipulated. It all depends on how badly they are stuck. If a piston is badly scored it needs to be replaced. The scoring can stop the rings from sealing the cylinder. Do this; drain the oil then fill the box to the proper level. Wash the bike to rid it of previous oil spills. Now see if the problem returns after the washing. If the rings are stuck , the bike should be smoking as you start and ride it. Chances are that only the rings will need to be replaced. Any chance you can be there as the mechanic takes the cylinder off? A dishonest shop could bring you a badly scored piston and rings and say they came from your bike when in reality they came from another bike. They free up your rings and charge for new pistons and new rings as if they actually put them in.

Posted on Jul 27, 2011


Sean Mcguire

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SOURCE: 1981 kawasaki 440LTD. Engine oil light stays on.

Well if your oil light is staying lit, but your oil pressure is good and you cant find any problems with the actual oiling of the bike, then this sounds basically like either A.Your sending unit is bad or B. You have a ground in your oil sending unit circuit somewhere. You could always replace the sending unit first to save time shooting the wiring harness.if you replace the unit and the light is still on, then you have a wire touching in the circuit between the sending unit and the warning light. I have an 81 KZ750 and my oil sending unit only has one wire going from it to the warning light and the color of it is Blue with a Red Stripe.I am not sure if yours has the same wiring colors though.

Posted on Aug 02, 2011

Bill Owens

  • 123 Answers

SOURCE: does a 2000 kawasaki vulcan

Synthetic oil is bad for motorcycles. It makes the clutch slip. After changing back to regular oil I would start it, drop it in gear, release the clutch and just wait and see if its able to "wear" off the bad part of the clutch disks. This might take a short bit and be ready for it to suddenly grab and go. If not you might have to have the clutch disks replaced.

Posted on Aug 31, 2011

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1 Answer

Checking timing chain

They are a bit noisy sometimes, hopefully it's nothing serious, good solid bikes those so you should be good.
Check you have the correct oil in there, if your running a thin oil, it may increase the noise and wearing.
Try this, when its parked up and idling cold (when you start it up in the morning) get a screwdriver or somthing similar place the metal part of the screwdriver on the engine where you think the noise is coming from, then put your ear on the handle, doing this you will be able to pin point exactly where the noise is coming from buy moving the screwdriver around the casting also you can really hear her tick.
do it again when she's hot noting the difference of any. If it continues to get noisier, strip her down and have a look in there, could be just the tensioner/guides.
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Whats the ticking sound all of a sudden?

It sounds like a collapsed hydraulic valve lifter- a part of yoiur valve train in the upper engine. You need to have it checked at a shop you trust I don't know of any oil additives that can cure this, although someone here may give you some advice.
Loose valve train noise is common on high-mileage engines, but if it is a collapsed lifter, I think you should have it checked.
A loose timing chain will make a rhythmic slapping sound, but the ticking you describe sounds more like it's in your valve train. Have someone check it.

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Your bike came with an oil dipstick. It should be on the oil filler cap on the back end of the transmssion. You can get a new dipstick from a dealer, aftermarket shop, or here at this link.

As for the ticking noise, if it's just a slight tick that sounds like it's coming from the top end, this is normal. Your engine is an older design engine using pushrods to operate the valves instead of the more modern overhead camshaft design like other bikes. This is what makes a Harley a Harley. Harley-Davidson motorcycles are designed and built for the motorcycle purist that still likes the looks and lines of a classic motorcycle. They like a motorcycle that doesn't have a radiator on it. As such, the valve train is not as quiet as the more modern design. As long as the noise is not so loud as to be distracting, there's probably nothing wrong with your bike. If the noise is distracting or attracts the attention of other riders nearby, you may need to take it to a mechanic. Without hearing the noise, anything that I say would be even worse than a mere guess.

Good Luck

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1 Answer

I sometimes have upperend noise while idling, a tick tick tick noise, then gradually fades to a less noticeable sound. The bike has, 3,800 miles on it and had sat for a few years prior to my buying....

Have the valves adjusted. A ticking sound on the top end is almost always the valves tapping. I slight ticking sound is normal but if it's been sitting for a while it's good to have them measured anyway.

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