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Joey the noise you are describing is EXACTLY what my bike did after the first time the wheel came off for a tire change. It was definitely a rubbing noise, sounded metal on metal like a rasping? Here is an important question - is the frequency of the sound directly related to RPM of the wheel itself. Remember the belt will go around once while the wheel goes around several times. If the frequency of the sound is with the rotation of the wheel then at least in my case is was the Cushing. I INSISTED they pull the wheel off and grease the the heck out of the cushing AND align the wheel right AND tension the belt correctly and after 2 weeks of squeak squeak squeak it went away and has been gone for 4,500 miles. Good luck, I hope you get it figured out but if you haven't had them check the cushing I highly reccommend it, can't hurt.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
The frequency of the noise is slower than the rotation of the wheel.

Ok.. this morning I stopped at the hardware store and got a can of silicone. They didn't have food grade so I took my chances with the regular silicone.

I took my time.. and removed the belt guard to get better access to the belt. I used a rag and wiped a generous amount of silicone along the outside edge of the belt.. as well as coating the teeth. I took the bike for a 20 minute ride.. and wouldn't you know it.. the noise is completely gone. The bike is dead quiet!

Sooo.. I guess this confirms that it's a belt noise. How long will this last?... I don't know. But this is the quietest my bike has been in months!


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So now your are covering up a problem by using silicone to keep it quiet. When a simple push of your finger on the belt would have confirmed the same thing and gotten a dealership to actually fix the problem. Now your belt will slowly wear incorrectly and you will need to respray or whipe it on every so often when if fixed right fromthe start it would need no attention at all. :confused:
 

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The frequency of the noise is slower than the rotation of the wheel.

Ok.. this morning I stopped at the hardware store and got a can of silicone. They didn't have food grade so I took my chances with the regular silicone.

I took my time.. and removed the belt guard to get better access to the belt. I used a rag and wiped a generous amount of silicone along the outside edge of the belt.. as well as coating the teeth. I took the bike for a 20 minute ride.. and wouldn't you know it.. the noise is completely gone. The bike is dead quiet!

Sooo.. I guess this confirms that it's a belt noise. How long will this last?... I don't know. But this is the quietest my bike has been in months!


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Suggest you take paulfun's (and my) advice. Don't cover the problem, correct it. Make sure the wheel is properly aligned and the tension is right and I don't think you'll have the problem. I have a 2012, so there's a chance the alignment mechanism and frame marks are different on your bike, but I did mine by the service manual (using the Triumph alignment tool, a belt tension gauge and vernier calipers) and I have absolutely no issues.

Just my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
I'm not saying you guys are wrong, BUT, I've been back to the dealer twice. The 2nd time, the service manager personally looked over my bike. He DID take the wheel off and he spent well over an hour looking it over closely.

He told me with certainty that everything was done to spec and that there was no issue. He said it is common for belts to have noise issues. Some bikes have it and others never do. He even suggested that I stop at a Harley dealer because they usually carry a spray that helps with belt noise.

I'm gonna take my chances with this silicone method for now.. and hope it works. If the noise does come back.. I'll go back to the drawing board!

Oh.. and my bird is a 2012 also. I picked it up first week in July. It's got a little over 2400 miles on it.


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Chirp may NOT denote a problem. No one here knows that. This is the very first pulley of it's type EVER to be used on any bike. If you did not read about it, theres a article somewhere that discusses the NEW coating this pulley has which outwears a conventional one as much as 5-1. The coatiing is slicker. And being the first ever WE are the guinia pigs. The point is this...that being the case no one here can possibly know for a fact that if this system squeaks it means there is a problem. Story after story after story for 3+ years now of dealers unable to get rid of the chirp tells me it does NOT denote an issue. It's more than likely the belt is going to chirp if theres any debis on it, or it's not set s certain way exactly regardless if it's right or wrong for wear and/or wheel alignment. I just don't see it. Far far too many cases (nearly every owner) of chirp to date for this to be some problem unless there was a issue that was fixed. In that case it's a design flaw and cannot be dialed out because you set it wrong unless you just get lucky and yours is better than many or most.
 

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DId you stand there and watch them remove the wheel? Did they get it back on right or did they do it wrong both times?

The simple test I instruckted you to do would have taken less time than applying the silicone and would have confirmed the problem! That same test could be performed right in front of the service manager to show him he was wrong and ensure he learns from his mistake and fixed your bike correctly because now he would know how to diagnose at least one of the belt chirp problems. This would extend your belts life and also might help others who encounter the problem to not have to hear the big LIE about some bikes just make Noise!

I just dont understand how you could be capeable of removing the belt gaurd to apply silicone but pushing straight up on a belt from the bottom is something you dont seem to understand.?

My question is why would anyone want to hide a problem that will eventually come back and bite them or someone else in the butt.

PS My friend Mark is the local HD GURU and gets the job done right. When I told him about people using the belt dressing and silicone to quiet the belt down he responded with "IF you need a dressing on the belt your doing something wrong" ! A quick look around his shop, just like mine revealed no belt dressing/silicone for use on the belt of any kind! I wonder why!

Also read your owners manual! Is there any mention of it in there? I wonder why? guess its not needed if the belt is adjsuted correctly!

My recomendation for you is to not go back to that dealership as they have lied to you and done substandard work if they actually did anything at all! I wouldnt be supprised if the parked the bike in thier shop and had something to eat and rolled it right back out telling you nothing is wrong after doing nothing to it all. If they actually did the work the mechanic isnt worth thier pay because the sound is easy to identify and isolate and in doing so it is self explanitory in how to fix it!

Rant over!
 

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Question Joey. When your bike is sitting on it's side stand, where is the position of the belt? Is it sitting towards the left against the polished curved edge of the drive pulley or to the right?

I didn't pay attention to where mine was factory set - but after my first rear wheel removal I noticed it rode to the right on the rough side of the pulley - because of the problem I had with the noise from the cushing and whatnot I kept my eye on it and actually began to feel a wear start in it - a lip if you will. The outter surface of the belt on the edge now has a sharp edge, and has you feel down toward the teeth of the belt you can feel where the edge has been worn away - it's subtle but there. So back to the shop I went to show them this...

Now bear in mind - the wheel came off to replace a tire - then the noise - they checked it visually, said it was fine. Noise remained - took it back again, they removed wheel greased cushing noise gone. Showed them where the belt was riding - they said it was ok - better to have a belt riding away from the center of the tire they said. Now I notice the belt wear and take it in again - this time they said, oh that's bad, it should be riding up against the polished edge - took the bike back and set it right and then told me "it was way out of adjustment". And my reply was YOU GUYS are the ones that set it up all along and kept re-assuring me it was right. The good news is that it's now right - no noise, no bad wear, rides where it is supposed to and there is a note in their computer for any future service calls that my rear wheel, belt alignment is finicky, but now they know what to do - and no extra charge from them to get it right. However, my point is - if your gut tells you something is wrong - don't give up, make them make it right - you have a 2 year warranty on your bike and that is what it is for. I agree with some of the others comments. The silicon isn't necessarily the fix - but it helped you diagnose where the problem is - now you know it is the belt/drive pulley. You can focus on that and not have to worry about bearings and cushings. I have noticed that when I wash my wheels and spray the belt clean that if ridden while still wet the belt makes a peculiar noise until it is dry, so it stands to reason that anything except air on the pulley/belt surfaces could generate some sound. Could it be you live/ride somewhere that introduces more foreign bodies to the belt system than some of the rest of us? I live in CA, never ride in the rain, never leave the pavement and garage my bike on carpet so dampness isn't a factor. Good luck with your problem - hope a satisfactory solution presents itself for you soon.
 

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Chirp may NOT denote a problem. No one here knows that. This is the very first pulley of it's type EVER to be used on any bike. If you did not read about it, theres a article somewhere that discusses the NEW coating this pulley has which outwears a conventional one as much as 5-1. The coatiing is slicker. And being the first ever WE are the guinia pigs. The point is this...that being the case no one here can possibly know for a fact that if this system squeaks it means there is a problem. Story after story after story for 3+ years now of dealers unable to get rid of the chirp tells me it does NOT denote an issue. It's more than likely the belt is going to chirp if theres any debis on it, or it's not set s certain way exactly regardless if it's right or wrong for wear and/or wheel alignment. I just don't see it. Far far too many cases (nearly every owner) of chirp to date for this to be some problem unless there was a issue that was fixed. In that case it's a design flaw and cannot be dialed out because you set it wrong unless you just get lucky and yours is better than many or most.
I strongly disagre! Afetr having the chirp myself and discussing it with the mechanics and parts people of the local shop they have had no problems adjsuting the belts for belt squeek free operation.
You dont realise that we (all the mechanics and many of the shop owners) run in the same circles, belong to the same clubs and many of us ride together so we share information and are not afraid to tell someone when they screwed up and missed soemthing that came back to us or someone ellse for the same problem.

So haow many people have decided to live with the cirp and accept it?

How many people have found thta adjusting it correctly stops it?

How many have decided to use silicone and gave up?

I read all these boards as well and it seems to me those who truely know something about mechanics have found proper adjustment! The tinker type who really dosnt know squat has used sillicone and the totally ill -informed who are willing to try anything because they cant find a decent mechanic have gone both directions.

Face it Daz you even said yourself you cant run your bike on a lift to diagnose this problem. That alone tells me you dont have the shop, the tools or the know how to actually fix your own bike. You read and try to interperate things posted here but seem to run off on your own theroy with no real evidence to back up your claims.
I dont mean to be rude but I am starting to understand why some on the other forum have given you a hard time.
Telling soemone to fix something by installing a band aid type fix is unforgiveable in my book! I consider it bad advice always will.
My advice to you would be to put the adjsutable away and let someone else fix your bike and you will have less problwems with it!
 

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I had similar problem, twice returned to dealer, wheel removed cleaned etc, but not solved. Then someone told me about triumph update on needle bearing in rear sprocket. Put this to dealer and they replaced both bearing and sprocket ( size different to original) now done a few hundred miles with no noise. Triumph stated they update this on certain vins at 24k service!!
 

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Paul part of what you say makes sense and part doesn't - you are telling us to find a good mechanic - but as you so succinctly put it yourself - "because they can't find a good mechanic". That's the whole problem - if we can't find a good mechanic - don't rant and rave at us for trying things ourselves. I try real hard to not sound like something I try is an end all. We are all here sharing our experiences. If you are a good mechanic yourself - lets see, how much $$ do you have to throw down on your bike? Exactly. So when it comes to putting up $90-$120/hr for labor, nevermind the time to ride your bike to a shop wait for it, or arrange for a ride there...and back, it gets to the point where it makes sense to try a few things on your own. If shops, including the Triumph shops could easily fix this problem it wouldn't be such a big discussion - seems like almost every TBird owner at one point or another has had a belt/sound issue. So add a lot of shops, including Triumph dealers to the ill informed. We're all looking for a solution. You say it's easy but there are a lot of TBird owners and shops that will disagree because they are still trying and not getting it...so consider this, and I'm not just defending Daz, but throwing this out there, ok? Its a what if...

Lets say my belt has a slight chirp that irritates me...but IF I squirt it with silicon lets say once every 500 miles or so, and there is no chirp and I get 80,000 miles before belt replacement. This I can do, takes a few seconds once a month.

Now lets say this same chirp gets taken to the dealer over and over again - and then to other shops, my warranty expires, I'm dropping $$ on this problem, hours of my time waiting - arranging rides with friends, gas money, it never gets fixed because I can't find that perfect mechanic that can get it right on my specific, bike, but dammit I'm going to keep trying no matter what...and then at 80,000 miles I need to replace the belt.

What if...? In this scenerio, looking back on it, who is the smarter cat? Who spent more time enjoying his bike?
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Paul part of what you say makes sense and part doesn't - you are telling us to find a good mechanic - but as you so succinctly put it yourself - "because they can't find a good mechanic". That's the whole problem - if we can't find a good mechanic - don't rant and rave at us for trying things ourselves. I try real hard to not sound like something I try is an end all. We are all here sharing our experiences. If you are a good mechanic yourself - lets see, how much $$ do you have to throw down on your bike? Exactly. So when it comes to putting up $90-$120/hr for labor, nevermind the time to ride your bike to a shop wait for it, or arrange for a ride there...and back, it gets to the point where it makes sense to try a few things on your own. If shops, including the Triumph shops could easily fix this problem it wouldn't be such a big discussion - seems like almost every TBird owner at one point or another has had a belt/sound issue. So add a lot of shops, including Triumph dealers to the ill informed. We're all looking for a solution. You say it's easy but there are a lot of TBird owners and shops that will disagree because they are still trying and not getting it...so consider this, and I'm not just defending Daz, but throwing this out there, ok? Its a what if...

Lets say my belt has a slight chirp that irritates me...but IF I squirt it with silicon lets say once every 500 miles or so, and there is no chirp and I get 80,000 miles before belt replacement. This I can do, takes a few seconds once a month.

Now lets say this same chirp gets taken to the dealer over and over again - and then to other shops, my warranty expires, I'm dropping $$ on this problem, hours of my time waiting - arranging rides with friends, gas money, it never gets fixed because I can't find that perfect mechanic that can get it right on my specific, bike, but dammit I'm going to keep trying no matter what...and then at 80,000 miles I need to replace the belt.

What if...? In this scenerio, looking back on it, who is the smarter cat? Who spent more time enjoying his bike?
What if... yup... I concur with this way of thinking!
 

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I strongly disagre! Afetr having the chirp myself and discussing it with the mechanics and parts people of the local shop they have had no problems adjsuting the belts for belt squeek free operation.
You dont realise that we (all the mechanics and many of the shop owners) run in the same circles, belong to the same clubs and many of us ride together so we share information and are not afraid to tell someone when they screwed up and missed soemthing that came back to us or someone ellse for the same problem.

So haow many people have decided to live with the cirp and accept it?

How many people have found thta adjusting it correctly stops it?

How many have decided to use silicone and gave up?

I read all these boards as well and it seems to me those who truely know something about mechanics have found proper adjustment! The tinker type who really dosnt know squat has used sillicone and the totally ill -informed who are willing to try anything because they cant find a decent mechanic have gone both directions.

Face it Daz you even said yourself you cant run your bike on a lift to diagnose this problem. That alone tells me you dont have the shop, the tools or the know how to actually fix your own bike. You read and try to interperate things posted here but seem to run off on your own theroy with no real evidence to back up your claims.
I dont mean to be rude but I am starting to understand why some on the other forum have given you a hard time.
Telling soemone to fix something by installing a band aid type fix is unforgiveable in my book! I consider it bad advice always will.
My advice to you would be to put the adjsutable away and let someone else fix your bike and you will have less problwems with it!
I totally agree. The only lookout I have is that the procedure in the latest copy of the manual works correctly for 2012 models. I don't know if it works for earlier versions, but I'm thinking not. You have an older T'Bird, so it might be helpful if you shared your method for aligning the rear wheel here. In the end, you are right on the money .. an improper adjustment, followed by attempts to rectify the improper adjustment, leading to more improper adjustment problems, all "cured" by spraying some silicone on it. Problem is that it's just a band-aid and not a cure.

Regarding further discussion around belt adjustment, people are gonna do as they please, but as for me, I'm totally pleased with the results I obtained by following the manual. This subject is likely the most discussed topic on this forum, but I'm moving on.:Surrender
 

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Discussion Starter #54
I totally agree. The only lookout I have is that the procedure in the latest copy of the manual works correctly for 2012 models. I don't know if it works for earlier versions, but I'm thinking not. You have an older T'Bird, so it might be helpful if you shared your method for aligning the rear wheel here. In the end, you are right on the money .. an improper adjustment, followed by attempts to rectify the improper adjustment, leading to more improper adjustment problems, all "cured" by spraying some silicone on it. Problem is that it's just a band-aid and not a cure.

Regarding further discussion around belt adjustment, people are gonna do as they please, but as for me, I'm totally pleased with the results I obtained by following the manual. This subject is likely the most discussed topic on this forum, but I'm moving on.:Surrender
Or.. maybe.. just maybe.. the dealer's mechanic was right. Maybe some bikes just make some noise.. and others don't. Maybe your bike is one of the lucky ones.. and mine isn't. Who's to say my dealer didn't align the belt properly.. or adjust the tension properly? Perhaps he did it according to Triumph's specs.. and I just happen to have one of the noisy bikes.. which is remedied by a little silicone spray?

I'm just sayin'....
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Ok here's a follow up! It's been several days.. and the noise has NOT returned. The silicone trick seems to have worked.. thx Daz.

Also I called my dealer and several others.. and got similar answers from the service dept at all 3 dealer.

My dealer said he's looked the bike over several times and there's no issue with alignment or tension. There's no issues with bearings either.

I was told by all dealers that all moving parts are gonna make "some" noise. There have been a lot of reports of squeaky belts. If the pulley gets dirty.. that could be the cause. They all said it was fine to try the silicone.. just don't overdue it. If silicone works.. great. But a squeaky belt doesn't always indicate a "problem".
 

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Ok here's a follow up! It's been several days.. and the noise has NOT returned. The silicone trick seems to have worked.. thx Daz.

Also I called my dealer and several others.. and got similar answers from the service dept at all 3 dealer.

My dealer said he's looked the bike over several times and there's no issue with alignment or tension. There's no issues with bearings either.

I was told by all dealers that all moving parts are gonna make "some" noise. There have been a lot of reports of squeaky belts. If the pulley gets dirty.. that could be the cause. They all said it was fine to try the silicone.. just don't overdue it. If silicone works.. great. But a squeaky belt doesn't always indicate a "problem".
So now you have been lied to or mislead by three dealers instead of one!

Why is it that none of the thunderbirds that have been sold by my local dealer have to use anything on the belt???
Because they took the time to learn what the real problem is when they encountered it almost back to back with my bike and a fellow thunderbird riders bike. They adjusted mine and his both with the alignment tool and both bikes continued to make the chrirp/squeek and I fixed mine myself the very next day, the other rider rode his bike for a few days till it actually chewed the edge of the belt down.

While having a beer at the local pub with both thunderbirds present and the shop mechanic (note: the mechanic, not the "salesman" for the service department better known as the service department manager) also present we discussed the adjustment and problem and compared the bikes side by side. That week he got a new belt under warrantee and they adjusted the belt to mimmic what I had done and he no longer has any problem! No silicone needed and no more headache!

Again if spraying or coating the belt was a nessasary thing I would return the bike immediateely demanding a full refund!
Its not on the maint schedule for a reason!!!

Yes every moving part makes some kind of noise the question is at what point does an excessive noise become unacceptable or is it a sign that something else is wrong?

Please forward that vidio to triumh and ask if the noise it is making is normal and why your dealer is unable to fix the problem? I would be willing to bet they dont agree with your dealer or any dealer who says its normal for that amount of noise!

PS any dealership who told me that that was acceptable and to put a band aid like silicone on the belt would not be allowed to put air in my tires!!! As it shows thier incompetance!!!!!!!! And god only knows what other things they could screw up!!
If triumh themselves believes its normal to have that amount of noise then this will be my last triumph!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Paul.. that video is not my bike. It's a video I found on YouTube. My bike was making what I thought was a similar noise.

And.. not to sound disrespectful.. but I would take the word of 3 independent and qualified mechanics over someone (you) that I'm simply chatting with in an online forum. There's no reason for me to feel "lied to"

So you're saying that EVERY Tbird that's come from your dealer is problem free? And you can back that statement by saying that you've personally inspected EVERY Tbird? That's an absurd statement. Perhaps YOUR dealer is the one that lied to you because he doesn't wanna openly discuss what is a "non issue" with someone (you) who will continue to insist that it is an issue?

Lets not forget that this bike is only 3 yrs in the making. They haven't yet discovered everything about it. According to 3 independent mechanics.. I have no problem. For now.. I'm satisfied with that answer!
 

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Suit yourself! Just rememember everytime you have to add your band aid I am already out rideing with no chirp or sqeek and I have no need to use the stuff because my bike is done right!:D

I could also with confidence let the local dealership change the rear tire for me if I didnt have the time to do it and know because I shared my findings with them thier mechanic will do the job right and return my bike with no silicone on the belt and it will still be squek and chirp free!:):)

In my book having it right is more important than just having it liveable!! You pay that shop how much an hour for thier work and the bike cost how much?? For me that means I want it right with no band aids or reoccuring problems or else I would feel I was being cheated out of my money!!

No I dont know every owner who bought one but you would be supprised at how many of them I do know and talk to on a regular basis both here online and when I am out on rides or at the local bike nights.

I also know some who got thier bikes from other dealerships and actually ride 3 hours to have thier work done here rather than pay dealers like you have been talking to who expect them to live with imperfections that they are unable to fix! We are not just talking about the thunderbird here but other triumphs as well and a host of differeing problems!
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Ok I'm convinced that you are the foremost authority on everything Tbird. I hope triumph takes note.. because they have incompetent techs everywhere!

That was sarcasm..
 
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