Finally got the belt chirp at 2600 miles. - Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums
Thunderbird Cruiser Chat Cruiser chat for the the Thunderbird twin

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 09:37 PM Thread Starter
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: SPEED TRIPLE 1050
Senior Member
Rayzor61's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Yardley, PA, USA
Posts: 691
Other Motorcycle: T Explorer 1200
Extra Motorcycle: 09 Bonneville Tracker
Finally got the belt chirp at 2600 miles.

July 2009 purchase but Low miles because I have other bikes...... I've heard about the intermitent chirping but can't fine a solution written.

Is this an alignment issue or a belt tightening issue? I have a shop manual but would like to hear from someone who resolved the problem. Thanks, Ray

Buy as many bikes as you can before you die, and try to live!
Rayzor61 is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-29-2010, 10:52 PM
Main Motorcycle: '10 Thunderbird
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Fayetteville NC
Posts: 1,041
It's just a belt tightening issue. I had it, had the belt tightened during a normal service, chirp is gone.
Thatch is offline  
post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 03-30-2010, 09:04 AM
Formula Extreme
Main Motorcycle: Hmmm? Tough one.
Senior Member
OKCTriple's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 518
Originally Posted by Thatch View Post
It's just a belt tightening issue. I had it, had the belt tightened during a normal service, chirp is gone.
What he said. Just tighten the belt per your owners manual and you should be good to go.

Other bikes: 2005 Thruxton with 904 Wiseco big bore kit, BC stage one cams, CR carbs & BC Predators, 2010 Husaberg FE390, 2010 Triumph Thunderbird 1700, 2009 Kawaskai ZX-6R, 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000.
OKCTriple is offline  
post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 07:13 PM
Grand Prix 125
Main Motorcycle: 2012 Tiger Explorer
k12techman's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Kansas
Posts: 40
I've been fighting with the chirping noise on my 2010 Thunderbird for some time now. I have a bit over 12K miles on the bike and don't ever notice the chirping being a problem until I let the dealership touch the bike.

I've scoured the Internet to find anyone that's had the same problem and to read how they solved it. After spending the better part of all weekend for the past few weekends, I think I have it narrowed down to two things:

1. Belt tension
2. Wheel alignment

With the bike on the side stand, Triumph says that a 10lb force should deflect the belt between .20" and .27". MAN is that TIGHT. But, sure enough, if you don't put it under that tension, the belt chirps. I do wonder about the longevity of the front pulley and output shaft with the belt under that much tension. For what it's worth, setting the belt tension is actually the easy part of the whole process.

I put my bike up on a jack stand and get the bike perpendicular to the garage floor. Following the procedure outlined in the service manual, I loosen the axle nut but DON'T remove it. Then, I put the jack up a couple more pumps to make sure the bike's rear tire is off the floor. (If you ask me, there's no great place to use a jack on the Thunderbird. Sure do wish I had a whole bike lift). Now I loosen and remove the lock nuts from the adjustment slides at the very rear of the swing arm. I can now make the tension adjustment using the adjustment nuts that butt up against the very rear of the swing arm.

BUT, this ain't over just yet. Now you have to make sure that the wheel is aligned as well. There's been mention on several forums of a special tool that Triumph has to adjust the rear tire on the Thunderbird. Evidently it consists of a rod that goes through the axle and then matches up on the swing arm to somehow show the wheel is aligned. I have not been able to find this tool anywhere on the Internet and my dealer says Triumph won't sell it to individuals. As a matter of fact, they didn't want to show me the one they had very badly.

So, the next stop might be to simply measure how much thread is showing on both adjuster bolts and make sure they are even, right? Nope, not on my bike. Those adjuster bolts aren't the same length! As a matter of fact, there's a 3mm difference between them. So, you can't just measure thread left and think your wheel is aligned.

I got crazy with mine. I decided to measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle hole at the back. On the left side of the bike, this isn't too hard. On the right side, I had to remove the pulley cover and the coolant reservoir to see the bolt.

Once I could see both sides of the swing arm bolt, I measure on both sides and got it within about 0.3mm. Should be close enough. Once I confirmed that the wheel was aligned this way, I snugged things up and took it for a test run. No chirp, no noise.

So, I brought it back to the garage to get ready to put the other parts back on. Before I did that, though, I measured from the center of the axle hole to the rear of the swing arm to see if that measurement was the same on both sides. This way I don't ever have to take the damn pulley cover and reservoir loose again just to check wheel alignment. Sure enough (and as you'd expect), those measurements were equal.

So, I think I have the belt tension adjusted correctly and the wheel aligned. I even sprung for one of those little belt tension tools that lets you put exactly 10lbs. of force to the belt and measure it's deflection. Mine comes to just a hair over .25" of deflection. But, like I said before, that belt sure seems damn tight, IMO.

A couple of notes here:

Do NOT use the little "guides" on the sides of the frame to try and align the rear wheel. Those little guides and the groove in the adjuster are about as useful as **** on a bull.

Do NOT count on the bolts from the adjusters to be the same length. I did at first and couldn't get the wheel aligned. So, I finally decided to measure the bolts themselves from where the adjuster touches the axle to the end of the bolt. There were NOT the same length.

Do measure from the center of the swing arm bolt to the center of the axle bolt to get a good idea of whether or not the wheel is aligned. I figured the swing arm bolt and the axle have to be perfectly parallel, so they should be equally distant on both sides of the bike from the axle.

Do NOT trust that the dealership knows how to align the rear wheel of a Thunderbird. They told me that some belts just chirp and that all I need to do was buy louder pipes so I didn't hear it. I'm not against the louder pipes, but I don't want to just cover up a problem; I want it fixed.

Anybody see any flaws in my logic or what I did?

2012 Tiger Explorer - How about an adventure today?
k12techman is offline  
post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-06-2011, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: L.A., Ca.
Posts: 9,598
I went thru this whole thing for a long time and my belt was replaced under warranty due to the edge getting chewed up. You're NOT use the marks or count threads or any of that. The way they do it at the factory is with a computerized machine ! No kidding. Saw them doing it in a you tube video at the factory.

Anyways, the guy who got my belt warranted isn't a dealer but the triumph fleet manager. He does all the work for triumph's press fleet. And he showed me the tool he uses that goes thru the axl. You measure from that to the 2 square nubs on the swingarm just a few inches froward from the axl. Not sure it's even a triumph tool, as he also works for other companies like victory and a few others. So it may be a generic tool. I dunno.
dazco is offline  
post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 08:02 PM
Site Supporter
Lifetime Premium
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 13
I was also wondering about the amount of stress on the transmission output shaft with the belt being so tight. Mine began to chirp at 6000 miles.Bucks Motorsports in Buffalo were very good , adjusting the tension for me and the chirp has disappeared. However it seems to be really tight.There are many bikes out there with belt drive. Do they all have this problem?
Eramosa is offline  
post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-07-2011, 09:07 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: L.A., Ca.
Posts: 9,598
Harley guys use some sort of dry teflon spray to quiet theirs. Mine has been a chirper on and off. Sometimes no chirp for thousands of miles, then it'll start. I think the wheel just has to be aligned and th belt adjusted for tension a certain way and it'll quiet down. I think it's just something you live with. But compared to chain drives it's a blessing. Chains are snatchy, noisy always, greasy and a PITA.
dazco is offline  
post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 10:33 AM
Main Motorcycle: 2010 Triumph Thunderbird
Senior Member
robertrichhart's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 351
Other Motorcycle: 2012 Kawasaki Ninja
Exclamation Chirping belt

Amazing to me that I can take my bike in to the dealer here in Indy and have them change my rear tire, ask them specifically to be sure to check the drive belt tension because I don't want the chirping to come back to haunt me on the road.... And sure enough, on my first ride yesterday after getting the bike back the chirping came on so loud it was embarrassing!! Had to stop and get a can of dry lube just to calm it down a bit until I got back home. Checked the tension myself and gave it a half turn on the adjusters to get the belt back at spec tension and voila! No more chirping! Doesn't give me much confidence in my local dealer......
robertrichhart is offline  
post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 05:46 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Haverhill,Massachusetts
Posts: 297
If you go back and read thru the threads posted by different gentlemen on both here and the other site,you'll read horror stories regarding problems they "DID NOT" have until right after their machines came back from the stealership for a routine service or repair.It's right there in black and white just who's creating these problems.SHAME ON THEM. Dave!!
davetac1 is offline  
post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 10-09-2011, 08:16 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: L.A., Ca.
Posts: 9,598
You know, as much trouble as we've seen trying to get them aligned, not chirp, not wear fast, (belt dust) etc, think about this. In a triumph video where the factory shows how they build a Tbird, they use this big computerized contraption to align the wheel. Now if they really need that to get it right, is it any wonder even dealers have a heck of time with it?!
I still believe there will be changes made if they haven't already. something just ain't exactly right.
dazco is offline  
Sponsored Links

Quick Reply
All posts must adhere to Forum Rules

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Triumph Forum: Triumph Rat Motorcycle Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter your valid email address, that can receive an automated confirmation message. Otherwise, you won't be able to gain full access.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Chirp! 31712 Thunderbird Cruiser Chat 23 08-06-2011 07:16 PM
The new belt is finally on mustang66man Thunderbird Cruiser Chat 11 11-08-2009 02:28 PM
1969 tiger for $2600 ThereRobert Classic, Vintage & Veteran 8 02-08-2007 06:08 AM
My third set of plugs in 2600 km GAVJP Speed Triple Forum 13 08-29-2006 12:20 PM
Finally washed my bike after 30,000 miles roadkill Speed Triple Forum 10 07-25-2006 04:52 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome