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Thunderbird Twin - Technical Talk Technical talk for the big Thunderbird twin

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Old 09-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Engine noise , lets explain it

As a new owner of a Thunderbird 1600 i am looking for some advice on engine noise. So, bike has 1800 miles on it. Broke it in by the book,got it serviced at 500 miles. The day i was riding it home from the dealer i noticed a light rapping nosie as 3K RPM was approached. I wasent pushing the reves any higher due to the break in period.
At the first service made the dealer aware, was told no problems found. Now i am riding the bike in the 2500-3500 range and the rapping knocking noise is audible under light acceleration from 2800 RPM on up. At idle no noise. however i have obsessed over this to the max and spent last night out in the garage listening to it with a stethescope. with no load slowly bringing the RPMs up you can clearly hear it clacking from the right side cylinder wall. To me it sounds like piston slap or a loose wrist pin. Any succes with dealers fixing this noise for anybody. I have read all the other noise postings and noises usually get blamed on the valves adjustment, cam chain or decompressor mechanism.
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had a right side noise too, along with numerous others. The bike will settle down a lot as it breaks in, and yours isn't even close. I've been thru this ad nauseum along with watching others go thru it. This bike makes a lot of noises, and the scary part is many are random which too me at least doesn't suggest a normal noise but a problem otherwise it should make these noises always. Or always under whatever circumstances it happens at.

I assume thats what you're thinking too. The worse one that drove me nuts sounds like the same one thats eating at you. Right side, a sort of knocking sound but not exactly a knock....almost like a breathiness too it like the leading edge of the sound isn't quite a sharp knock. Happens mostly under light acceleration between 2000 and 2500 RPM's.(tho i'm sure that could vary depending on the bike) Does that sound about right? If so, mickey cohen who is triumphs press/demo fleet mechanic told me he had a bike in the shop doing the exact thing i described and that he tore the entire engine down looking for it ! He said nothing was wrong and everything was in spec. He finally found that straight 50 weight oil got rid of it. More like a bandaid than a fix, but he could not find anything wrong.

This bike is just noisy. But 2 things have helped me get to where the bike is so noise free I haven't noticed any noises at all lately and the one that really bothered me is even gone. First, i went back to using my dealer's recommended oil, Torco blend 20/50. The thing that makes it different than any other oil is it's loaded with 90% more moly than any other oil. Moly is so slick it isn't used due to the wet clutches most bikes use. But torco developed a way around that somehow. Moly bods to metal acting like barrier between parts and after a few hundred or thousand miles the bike quieted down a lot, i assume as the moly fully bonds. The second thing that seems to have made the biggest difference and i only recently did this is to bypass tha cat and use a custom tune made specifically for the 1700 with TORs and no cat. It's fairly loud, tho not nearly like those gawd awful harleys that break eardrums. This has not only made the bike much stronger, but all those random noises seem to have stopped almost totally. And no, it's not because the loudness covers them up. Where the worse noises were always apparent were at cold startup while idling, or very light accel. Both are very quiet still with tors an cat bypass. It only gets loud under harder accel. At idle and cruise it's as quiet as it was with the cat, maybe almost as dead stock. Anyways, i had every noise you'll ever read about on these forums and now they're either 100% gone or very close. I say that only because i haven't been listening for them since i de-catted it, but i noticed i haven't noticed any noises at all. Maybe i just need to listen harder, but before they were so in my face i didn't have to try and listen.

Anyways, you're going to find that this bike is noisy and you aren't the only one. pretty much everyone has the same noises. I wouldn't worry about it. If it bothers you enough, try the oil i mentioned and if you want more power, tors and a decat with proper tune might be the way to go to kill 2 birds with one stone.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Should quiet down with miles

I thought the same about my new bike, that there is some serious issue but now after 4500 miles it's gotten quieter and smoother and the loud clacking, banging, rattling and death wheeze is much "smoother". I would give it time. As with any new engine there is a lot of breaking in to do and it should smooth out.
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Old 10-01-2012, 08:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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+1 on more miles make smiles.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I found a great way to get rid of the noises ... go riding more and while you're out there, turn up the iPod a tad. Works every time!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ride it hard. Wind it up. Run through the gears, and then let the engine slow the bike down on shifts.

I broke my bike in hard - no babying it for the first bit. It's a different philosophy on bike break in, and one that is hotly contested, but after researching the crap out of it I decided that hard breakins reduce engine troubles and noises. Plenty of evidence on that.

I would just take it out and work the tar out of the engine. Rev it to 5K before shifting, ride it like a sport bike for an hour. Then see if your engine noises go away.

I had some noises for the first 500km, and then the bike smoothed right out.

Just my two bits.
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Old 10-05-2012, 07:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I hear you guys, and i have stopped babying the bike. I am suprised Triumph didnt work this out before production of this engine. For me it's a let down for an otherwise incredible machine to have these quirks. But on the plus side quirks=character. I guess i can cut them a little slack due to it being a modular design engine. Ford along with many other manufacturers have been using them for years and they are incredibly noisy. Ever drive a 4.6L ford van down the road with no engine cover? Under accel it is so loud you want to crawl out the window to avoid the scattering engine. But the scatter never comes.
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Old 10-09-2012, 01:46 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My engine is a mass of parts all trying to destroy each other every time I turn the key....so it makes noise.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm at somewhere between 4700 and 5000 miles. I haven't looked in the last couple of weeks to get you anything more precise. In any case I can report that the random odd noises I had in the beginning are now completely gone. It seems that once these bikes are fully broken in the noises disappear.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:39 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantesh View Post
I'm at somewhere between 4700 and 5000 miles. I haven't looked in the last couple of weeks to get you anything more precise. In any case I can report that the random odd noises I had in the beginning are now completely gone. It seems that once these bikes are fully broken in the noises disappear.
My experience, as well. My Storm is running strong, smooth and with no more clanking engine noise. She's sweet!
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