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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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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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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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:DI 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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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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Discussion Starter #7
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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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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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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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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Mine makes noise every single time I start it ....
 

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I'm at about 2000+ miles and the bike no longer makes any inexplicable noises. Running mid-grade (89 octane-KS) fuel defintely keeps a little 'ting' out of the sound too. I've not been able to confirm that it runs 'stronger' otherwise.
 

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Big Trouble? for my 2011 T bird 1600 engine...

I have purchased two brand new bikes from this dealer. The first was a 2008 Rocket III Touring and the second my 2011 Thunderbird 1600 ABS. I have been riding it and enjoying it until recently. A noise has become more and more prominent like tappets or a knock. It is hard to describe but it is there nonetheless. So I took it to said dealer for a look see and to have my 12K service done (the bike has 11,400 miles on it). After more than a month in the shop...I was told that They could not find the cause and they called Triumph and asked them what could be wrong. Triumph said to them that it was probably a "loose piston sleeve". The dealer asked them for a warranty variance and submitted it telling me everything would be fine and that Triumph was standing by their product. They also said they "would not allow the bike to leave their shop sounding like that"... I called back two weeks after this conversation to see if the parts had come in yet and what the progress was only to be told that Triumph DECLINED on the request and that I would be on the hook for all the troubleshooting to the tune of $670.85 and oh by the way the engine knock persists!:| They fully intend to release the bike to me sounding like that now... What recourse do I have at this point? Do I have a lemon I cannot sell? Should I ride it with the knock? Should I pay them the entire price they are asking? Does anyone know what a standard 12K service should cost normally?

I am a 100% disabled Iraqi Freedom (support) Veteran with PTSD and I hate confrontation because it triggers my symptoms - I am at a loss. I have called and emailed Triumph USA in Atlanta yesterday. I have only got the email verification of receipt of my emails to date. I was promised a call back yesterday which never came... I also asked the dealer to give me something off the bill and he said he would "look at the invoice"...no word from him either. I hate to take things public like this as it embarrasses me no end to admit I am in this pickle!

I welcome any suggestions, comments and potential solutions from the group.
I was the largest Triumph supporter ever until this happened. They are really screwing up in this case. I was at Walter Reed Army Medical Center during the bad days and after exhausting all avenues within the Army to correct the many things that were going wrong there, went viral to the Washington Post. I was not the only one but I was a voice that brought down the commanding general and affected needed change on that troubled installation. I might just have to do the same thing here. I hope not.

Worried
 

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It is asking a lot from a manufacturer to cover 3 years past warranty end a failure but triumph does just that for many original owners if there has been enough claims for a common problem. Other times I've read triumph covering parts leaving owner and shop to work out the labor, that said odd engine noises and stupid service costs ($1000 for a 12,000 mile)convinced me to trade my storm in on a different bike and I suggest you take your bike to a different dealer and do the same, or buy a service manual and a set of craftsman tools. I can barely afford to keep my bikes in rubber, oil, and brake pads let alone the crazy maintenance costs, almost to the point of buying GASP... honda!
 

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Thanks Steve59... so you have been through this and the answer is to give up on Triumph - what a shame for us and for them. They are losing the most devoted fan they could ever have and a loyal two bike purchaser...
 

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You guys must be going to a dealer and having every little thing done (hopefully done). Fuel filter at 12k?
Changed it out on my Scram at 60,000 neck bearing greased never, etc etc. Just had the valves checked on the Storm at 23,000 all in spec and $280.00 with the gasket. You guys need to find a good local mech. I will never ever go to a dealer for anything but warranty work. These bikes so far have been mostly tires, brakes, oil and plugs.......
 

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You may be interested in the letter I sent on behalf of a thunderbird Facebook Group, see letter and reply below

Dear Mr Bloor

I’m writing to you as a member and on behalf of the Facebook Triumph Thunderbird LT and Commanders Owners Group.
The Group is represented by 100 members throughout Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific Region.
There appears to be a common problem with these motorcycles.
In a recent survey: -
54% of owners were reporting loud “clacking” or “knocking” noises coming from their engines
18% of the respondents had had the problem fixed by dealers with new barrels and pistons being fitted
The problem is more common with, but not confined to, 1700cc engines from the 2014 builds.
Some dealers have told our members that there is an issue with the sealing of the barrels into the engine block in the production process.
Whilst 18% have had warranty fixes, there are many respondents who have had their requests for repair refused.
We would appreciate some clarity on this problem, and for a solution, in order that all owners of these vehicles can have the necessary remedial actions undertaken by their dealers regardless of warranty dates.
We would welcome your responses to these issues

Yours Faithfully


Dear Mr Lomas,
Thank you for your below email addressed to Mr Bloor, which has been read and discussed with me. We are sorry that you, and other Thunderbird owners have found an aspect of your Triumph experience to be disappointing.
Triumph will give your letter full attention and I will respond to you in detail very shortly. I have asked specialist colleagues who have responsibility for the issues you have raised to research the matter and report back to me. Please therefore anticipate a full reply in the next few days.
We appreciate you bringing your concern to our attention.
Regards,
Colin Challinor
Warranty Coordinator
 

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I will be surprised if Colin gets back to with anything other than, there is no problem, see ya! At least thats what i got from him, if and when you can reach him. i would also try to reach out to

lee hardy
Quality Engineer at Triumph Motorcycles

Mark Winwood
Warranty Systems & Technical Support at Triumph Motorcycles Limited

Steven Bauwens
Aftersales manager & Warranty administrator at Grenslandmotors

Pete Clarke
Senior warranty coordinator at Triumph Motorcycles Limited

Matt Jones
Quality Engineer at Triumph Motorcycles
 
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