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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I got a 2010 Thunderbird with the 1700 with an issue I haven't been able to figure out. It has an oscillating noise, or like a "wub wub wub" sound when riding at low speed, it does it at all speeds but less noticeable since it occurs at a higher frequency then and there alot of other noise to drown it out. The sound and frequency is entirely based on road speed, so braking, throttle, load, etc has no effect on it. I originally could've swore it was coming from the back so I thought it was a wheel bearing, but after replacing them it still occurs. Now my buddies and I have narrowed it down to around the front pulley area, and I've noticed now (as in after getting it back out for this season) that I can actually feel it in the right foot peg as it oscillates too.

We had a quick look around the front pulley last fall but couldn't find anything unusual. Any thoughts on what the issue might be?
 

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Sounds like the dreaded "belt chirp".
Adjustment is finicky, but if done just right, will eliminate the chirping.
Wheel alignment and belt tension have to be just right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
chain, chain adjustment, loose front sprocket, misaligned rear wheel, warped rear disk
opps didn't realize it was belt drive.
The rear disk is fine. Bike rides straight as an arrow, so I'm not quite convinced it's the wheel alignment. I don't think the front sprocket is loose but I wouldn't rule it out yet.

Sounds like the dreaded "belt chirp".
Adjustment is finicky, but if done just right, will eliminate the chirping.
Wheel alignment and belt tension have to be just right.
Do you have any tips on this? I was trying to adjust it last fall after doing the wheel bearings and I could never seem to get the belt centered on the pulleys, so I eventually just settled for making the bike go straight, but the belt currently rides along the side of the rear pulley. That's not the sound though, the sound is from the the front/drive pulley area, not the rear.

EDIT:
Just checked YT to see what the belt chirp sounded like, and if this is what what your talking about, it's not it.

My sound is more of a deep grinding/scraping/rubbing type sound, that can be felt in the foot pegs as well, and is specifically linked to speed (not random or variable in any way).
 

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Probably tyre noise, especially if you have a Metzeler on the rear. My 2012 Storm has driven me crazy with a rear end noise, Triumph replaced the rear wheel bearings and pulley but the noise is still there. Pay particular attention when riding watching for road surfaces to change, ie smooth hotmix to course stone bitumen or concrete and see if the noise changes or disappears. If it does, its the tyre.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Probably tyre noise, especially if you have a Metzeler on the rear. My 2012 Storm has driven me crazy with a rear end noise, Triumph replaced the rear wheel bearings and pulley but the noise is still there. Pay particular attention when riding watching for road surfaces to change, ie smooth hotmix to course stone bitumen or concrete and see if the noise changes or disappears. If it does, its the tyre.
Nah it's definitely not that. It starts it as soon as you start rolling, well before I'd expect tire noise to be audible. We were literally running the bike at about 30mph on jackstands when trying locate where the sound was coming from, so it's definitely not tire related.

I'm much more knowledgeable about cars (got 2 Mustangs) so apologies if this is a stupid question, is there anything in the transmission behind the drive pulley that would cause something like this?

I'd like to get a video of the sound but it's supposed to be rainy the next couple days.
 

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Have you had the bike on a jack and rotated the rear wheel to see if you could locate it? Are you certain it's not a front brake rotor, pad noise?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you had the bike on a jack and rotated the rear wheel to see if you could locate it? Are you certain it's not a front brake rotor, pad noise?
Yeah, my buddies and I put it up on jackstands and ran the bike while we were trying to locate the sound. It sounds like it's coming from the center of the bike, around the front pulley. It does SOUND like a warped rotor, but it's definitely not coming from either of the wheels.

I managed to get a video of the sound, don't mind the flailing camera. Also, it's more prevalent on the other side, but I, ya know... needed that hand for the throttle.

 

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Could that be the belt rubbing on the belt guard? Maybe remove the plastic belt guard and see if the sound is gone. Definitely sounds like something rubbing doesn’t it.
And perhaps removing the metal top belt guard if the plastic one underneath isn’t the culprit.
 

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My sound is more of a deep grinding/scraping/rubbing type sound, that can be felt in the foot pegs as well, and is specifically linked to speed (not random or variable in any way).
[/QUOTE]

I have a 2010 and your description and video sounds like the hub bearing is toast. The first time mine went out I could hear it best by putting the bike in neutral and rolling down a hill about 20 mph. If it is the bearing it will get worse quickly and could make it hard to remove the axle. An easy way to check is with the bike parked on the side stand. With both hands, hold the pulley close to the lower belt guard at the bottom and the other hand at the back by the upper belt guard. Pull and push. If you can feel any movement it's the bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Could that be the belt rubbing on the belt guard? Maybe remove the plastic belt guard and see if the sound is gone. Definitely sounds like something rubbing doesn’t it.
And perhaps removing the metal top belt guard if the plastic one underneath isn’t the culprit.
I just had a quick look and the belt looks like it's clearing everything pretty good, but that's not to say it isn't moving around as the wheel rotates. We were aligning the wheel after replacing the rear wheel bearings (see below) a while ago and iirc we had the guards off for better visibility of the belt (I was trying to get it centered) and it was still producing the sound the whole time. I might be wrong on this, but I'm pretty sure we had the guards off, I might stop back at my buddies this weekend and try it again to verify.
I have a 2010 and your description and video sounds like the hub bearing is toast. The first time mine went out I could hear it best by putting the bike in neutral and rolling down a hill about 20 mph. If it is the bearing it will get worse quickly and could make it hard to remove the axle. An easy way to check is with the bike parked on the side stand. With both hands, hold the pulley close to the lower belt guard at the bottom and the other hand at the back by the upper belt guard. Pull and push. If you can feel any movement it's the bearing.
It's not the hub bearings, I replaced all three bearings in the rear wheel last fall because that was the first thing I thought as well, but didn't change anything. I know it's also not the bearings (or anything else) in the front wheel, because that obviously wasn't rotating when we had the bike on jacks and were getting the noise while running it.
 

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Aaah Ash... if it is none of the above - and the wub wub wub is still there, then.. I'm afraid to say... you have a Beach Boy stuck in there somewhere. Probably Brian. They're a bugger to get out. I had a similar issue with my old Vulcan 900.
For the life of me I couldn't find where this annoying whistle was coming from.
Eventually found a John Denver jammed right up in the air filter.
Be careful that Brian doesn't find his way down into the motor, because as you know, once a song is stuck in your head, it's hard to get rid of ...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I actually figured it out. It's definitely the front pulley bearing. I stripped the front pulley down to the bearing to get a look at it, and it's pretty bad. The cage basically just fell out, and at least one of the balls is broken/worn in half (7-o'clock position in pic 2). Crap load of metal shavings in the outer seal too. Gunna replace the bearing, change the oil, and give it another oil change after another 100-200 miles to hopefully get any remaining metal out.

168470272_492008381979461_4537739201617956071_n.jpg 169157583_3769298849792095_1992314265106857013_n.jpg 169621015_810522889872653_7947567240110763977_n.jpg

Just need to figure out how I'm going to tackle the bearing extraction. Worst case, I've considered I might just have to get one of the dummy ball bearing puller kits (I'll link below). I was kind of hoping the puller I used to remove the pulley carrier would work on the bearing, since it's a pretty good sized bearing, but it was JUST too big to fit inside and grab the inner race. So, I'm hoping maybe I can find a smaller one, or maybe grind one down to size or something instead. Otherwise I'll just have to pick up one of the following dummy ball bearing extractor sets, that support 11.5mm balls.

($75 - 3 bearing sizes) T & E Tools 9632 Ball Type Bearing Extractor Set
($200-300 - 6 bearing sizes) Dummy ball bearing extractors 1547/C6 – Beta Tools
These are the most affordable pullers for this I've seen. Some of them go up to like $700 for a similar puller setup, or over $1000 for a different puller system that hooks into the inner race, rather than use ball tips. I've never heard of either of these brands in the US, but I think alot of the members here are overseas so maybe some of you have heard of them. The first one seems to be an Aussie based distributer, and the Beta set seems to be based in the UK or Germany.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I bet Brian did that to your bearing ....
Brian is kind of a Richard.

I just ordered the Beta puller set, should be here next week. $200 off ebay, or pull the engine off the frame so I can split the crankcase, and pull out the shaft to get the bearing off, like the service manual expects you to. I think I'll go the cheaper, faster route.
 
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