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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone noticed this?

Rolling stop, 2nd gear. Let clutch out as rolling on throttle, before hitting friction zone, terrible noise, sounds like cam chain or clutch basket. Sometimes heard giving 3k-4k throttle, SLOWLY releasing clutch. Potentially in rolling stop/start in 1st gear too, only when bike is moving.

I noticed the sound on normal shifts. PS I am experienced rider, have owned 5 bikes, a dozen standard shift cars, I know how to shift. This made me experiment, and found the rolling slowly, letting clutch out slowly with a small amount of throttle would produce the sound. My bike has 50 miles on it.

Took it to the dealer and spoke with a younger mechanic. He knew exactly what I was talking about. He asked Kawi about it and there response was, "don't do that."

The trannys in these bikes were originally set up as automatics. I believe Kawi quickly converted them, instead of designing a new, purpose built manual tranny, to get the bike to market ASAP to take a bite out of Grom sales.

This is not an "official kawi issue" so there is no recall or anything. The fear I have though is that this WILL become a problem several thousand miles down the road, long after our warranty has expired.

Dealer told me to just ride it. Hopefully as it breaks in sound goes away. If I'm not trying to produce it it comes around about every 5th or 6th rolling start in 2nd.

I was surprised not to find anything about this on the internet when the mechanic knew exactly what I was talking about.

Anyone ever hear this?
 

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Haven't heard the noise myself and have about 1k on the bike. I will try specifically and see if I can reproduce it.
 

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This is exactly what I've been hearing from time to time and thought it was just me being inexperienced but it didn't make sense seeing as how shifting in all the other gears is perfectly fine... *yeah, I know... all 3 lol* so I was assuming something may be underlying problematic with my bike. Good to know it's not just me.


Thanks for making the post. I haven't heard or read about anyone having serious transmission issues but I imagine you're right, that it will rear it's ugly head sooner than later. How am I supposed to get to 50k miles on this thing if it blows up 15k in?



1,380 down, a whole lot to go...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sounds almost like chain slack that tightens up as you first start off when shifting into 2nd on a normal shift. If you release clutch SLOWLY while accelerating from rolling stop you get to a spot where the sound comes and will remain as long as you hold clutch in same spot. Sounds like a cam chain dragging over a gear but not fully engaging, or two gears lightly grinding against each other.
 

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Not sure if its what your hearing but, Gotta bad sound myself ... haven't really paid attention when it happens . sounds like a dry bearing or loose clearance bearing rattle somewhere inside .and its loud ! .. but it only grinds for a second or two through the a rev and only occasionally
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also sounds like .....................
Loose cat in muffler (had sound before mod)
loose anything in motor (your comment)
EXTREME" vibration rattle coming from something other than inside motor
I remember a few internet comments on bad Starter clutches being replaced
 

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I might have the start of this based on Kaw'ee's description, I may have to ride more like a human and see if it is happening. Generally on this thing the throttle is a binary switch and I don't spend much time between the two ends. Maybe I'll go practice some circles and figure 8's and see if I can detect something that is repeatable.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
OK so I think I have a procedure for making my noise:

-2nd gear, clutch out, moving around 20 mph.
-Engine break down to about 15 mph.
-Pull in clutch. Roll. Let bike slow to about 12 mph.
-With clutch still pulled in, rolling about 12 MPH, rev up and hold to about 3.5k RPM. SLOWLY release clutch. Just before you reach friction zone you may hear my terrible noise.

I would REALLY appreciate it if some of you would try this.
I did my first oil change (about 70 miles) there was some crap in the oil but I would expect to see some filings/pieces of ring/pieces of clutch early on.

Thanks.
 

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It's not the transmission... It's the actual clutch. The steel plates to be exact. My 17 had the same problem, until I installed a new clutch pack and springs.

when I pulled the factory clutch, I had less than 400 miles on the bike and 2 of the steels were blued pretty badly but only on sections of the steels vs all the way around like I've seen on other clutches I've done. I also checked the steels for flatness. they were warped pretty badly toward the outer edges.

The noise is chatter. The grooves in the fiber plates are knocking the high spots of the warped steel plates just before getting into the friction zone. Once you get past that, everything feels fairly normal. Another symptom of this is a fairly grabby engagement once you do enter the friction zone.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I have a clutch cover gasket coming this Friday, I'll pop her open and take a look. Very happy to hear this... thanks.

Do the steel plates come as part of the clutch kit? Can I keep riding this thing or am I causing damage to other parts?
 

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The $35 heavy duty clutch kit comes with springs, plates and discs.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Guys here is a video of the sound. I've never heard clutch chatter before, is this it?

This is produced using the procedure I previously described, rolling in 2nd, about 10 mph, slowly release clutch while giving a little throttle, just before friction zone the noise comes. Pull in or release clutch completely and it stops.

REALLY appreciate the help. Met with a buddy last night obviously his Z doesn't make this noise. Just sent the video to the dealer...

https://youtu.be/zRUOcR7da4Q
 

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Guys here is a video of the sound. I've never heard clutch chatter before, is this it?

This is produced using the procedure I previously described, rolling in 2nd, about 10 mph, slowly release clutch while giving a little throttle, just before friction zone the noise comes. Pull in or release clutch completely and it stops.

REALLY appreciate the help. Met with a buddy last night obviously his Z doesn't make this noise. Just sent the video to the dealer...

https://youtu.be/zRUOcR7da4Q

Mine sounds similar but not nearly as bad as yours. I'll have to see if I can record mine but it's light chattering in comparison. That or maybe I can't tell just how loud it really is being on the bike.
 

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Dude it is loud AF. Sounds about the same on bike vs watching the vid
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It Does sound like just a muffler leak or poor running engine at first to most of us I'd bet, I listened to it 5 times before i could put the sound together with what your explaining. As where you've actually heard it on the bike and relate the real sound and video sound together
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But Ya, That does sound bad. do you feel the chatter thru the handlebars or footpegs. I myself would not ride it untill i know what it really is .
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If Still under warranty , I'd take it back and you should ride it and show them, they might not even find/hear it !
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Taking it apart may or may not show the real issue . Will depend how bad it is , or you wont really know if thats even really it without changing any parts. Use Squeaky's plates results against your plates
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Sounds and chatters can fool ya and be coming from anywhere. but the fact you say " Pull in or release clutch completely and it stops." makes it strong possibily its the clutch.
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Just my .02 bottom line / Warranty or do the up upgrade clutch
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good luck , keep us posted :wink2:
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Just dropped it off at the dealer. Of course it wouldn't make the noise in front of them. It needs to warm up a bit. I left it with them, they will open it up. Kept telling me if they don't find anything I'm on the line for the cost. They are closed next week Mon - Wed, so not sure when they will get to it. Mechanic seemed really disinterested, bad sign.

Edit - No shake or excessive vibration, but I can slightly feel the 'clang' in the bar.
2nd Edit - I told them check out the clutch, I expected warped plates.
 

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Just dropped it off at the dealer. Of course it wouldn't make the noise in front of them. It needs to warm up a bit. I left it with them, they will open it up. Kept telling me if they don't find anything I'm on the line for the cost. They are closed next week Mon - Wed, so not sure when they will get to it. Mechanic seemed really disinterested, bad sign.

Edit - No shake or excessive vibration, but I can slightly feel the 'clang' in the bar.
2nd Edit - I told them check out the clutch, I expected warped plates.

Will be interesting to hear what comes from this. Thanks for updating
 

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Good Luck ... Hopefully there a reputable dealership, Based on Squeaky's post, just to call them out if they say ' theres nothing wrong' and your paying for the inspection, I'd ask how much bluing was on the plates , not that it can prove theres anything wrong with the clutch but if they hesitate at all it can let you know if they even took it apart .. I'm thinking if they checked your bike properly they should have checked the Flatness of the plates, and the service manual limit is .010 .(Squeakys were bad) so if they hesitate at all on giving you a actual flatness number you could maybe have a leg to stand on to argue if they inspected it properly and not have to pay for the inspection .
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Just thinking out loud here :|
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So I called them back and spoke to the service manager.

She told me the clutch plates (steels) were burnt. She told me it was because I was not using my clutch correctly.

Hold the phone lady.

This is my 3rd bike. I have logged about 20k miles. I have a Ranger pickup, a VW dune buggy, a Yamaha XJ600S, and the Z125, all manuals, all currently registered and on the road. I've owned 4 manual pickups before my Ranger and a couple manual cars. I've been driving stick shift for 21 years. So I don't buy that at all. I first noticed the issue around 70 miles.

If a bad driver could burn it out that quickly the bikes at MSF courses would be in the shop every other weekend.

I have never had to replace a clutch before. Check that. I pulled the motor on my dune buggy and replaced the clutch because it was right in front of me and only cost $12. But it worked fine and had plenty of friction material when I pulled it.

I'm going to call Kawasaki in Cali now and write an email going on record...

Still not sure how that explains the 'clank clank clank clank'. I asked if the fingers on the clutch basket were scored or damaged, she said no. They sent pics to Kawi. They are saying right now that the clutch was burnt out because I don't know how to drive it so it isn't a warranty issue... we'll see...
 
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