Question about kawasaki ZZR 1100 Motorcycles

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I hear a clunking fron the front chain sprocket . I think the chain needs adjusted on my 1995 kawaski zx1100.

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Get the rear wheel off the ground and adjust the chain tension. When checking the tension spin the rear wheel and check that the tension does not go slack or get tighter. If the chain is riding up and down the sprocket teeth then the chain is stretched and needs to be replaced. This is the grinding/clunking noise you are hearing. If the sprockets are worn consider a chain and sprocket set, it can be a less expensive option than buying the parts separately.

Posted on Sep 19, 2010

  • SmlBznsCrshr Sep 20, 2010

    Leave the rear wheel on the ground. Sit on the bike and measure the distance of downward travel. Use a strap or a helper to collapse the suspension to the measurement taken, adjust chain to proper deflection.

  • David Belcher
    David Belcher Sep 20, 2010

    Actually worst case scenario would be that the swing arm bearings had gone bad and no matter how you adjust the chain it is still going to bang on the frame. (Common in early 70's Honda's)

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When I take off in first gear every single time then there is a clicking sound that almost sounds like the chain is getting caught on something. It does not hold back from excelerating although the noise...


Thanks for the inquiry!
From your information I can't tell if this is a off-road bike or a street bike. With the extended swing arm I'm suspecting off-road. In either case it's very much same issues. You have two issues and we will deal with them separately.
Chain catching sound:
In low gear when you have maximum torque applied to your rear sprocket & wheel many times the primary sprocket (smallest one under the engine side cover) will slip and actually jump teeth. You indicated this is the third season, so it's seen a lot of wear. It would also explain that when you adjust/ tighten the chain tensioner the noise is gone as the front sprocket is not slipping in the chain. If this happens a couple of times the front sprocket is ruined. Pull the front sprocket cover and inspect the teeth. The teeth will be smooth and ground away if this has occurred. Most off-road riders go through 1 - 2 sprocket and chain sets per season with the abrasion form the sand and mud if they are serious about their riding. Replace front sprocket or both sprockets & chain.
Other possibilities are that you have lost your chain guide or the plastic wear plates inside the chain guide are gone and the chain is banging against the metallic sides or your swing arm making the chain jumping sound you have described. Replace the guide or wear plates to solve this.
Whooping sound on front of bike while coasting: This familiar sound appears to be related to your front wheel. The best way to test this is to set your bike on a bench, crate, or test stand so the front wheel/tire is off the floor/ground and spin the wheel. Your rim may be bent allowing the tire to rub against the fork tubes or front fender making the whooping sound. The engine noise drown's it out under power but noise is audible when coasting with the clutch in and engine idling. The simple fix is a spoke tightening and adjustment to properly true the wheel. You will hear if its a bearing or something else being rubbed against by a wooble or something out of round (run out) causing the whooping sound.
I hope I've provided you useful assistance and that this information allows you to make an informed decision as to how to proceed from here. Please be sure to vote on my response. I hope I've earned a good rating from you today.
Please post a comment if you need additional assistance so that I can help you further.
Happy cycling,
TF

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