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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone.

I seem to have begun noticing a howling sound at speed. I can control it somewhat with changes in throttle or clutch input. It usually happens above 30mph and when I'm cruising. It doesn't seem to be gear dependent and I don't notice it when I'm going really fast or under strong acceleration.

I've checked my chain and tightened it up a little per usual maintenance. The wheel is running true, too. I noticed this sound even before I did my chain clean and maintenance. It has not subsided or changed following the clean and lube. I tightened the rear axle nut to spec.

I don't remember ever hearing it before these last couple rides. In fact, I remember noting how quiet the bike was and how I only hear the whirring of the cam chain. So this is definitely new.

If its howling and I pull in the clutch, it changes its sound. Its becomes less pronounced or quieter. When I let it out, I hear it again.

I don't think it is aerodynamics related. I think this is mechanical. I cannot replicate the sound while free-wheeling on the center stand.

Bike only has 1000 miles on it.

Do any other AT owners notice a howl to when cruising at speed? Could this indicate a wheel bearing about to fail? Wheel spins fine and the sound only happens when going 30+mph or so. I DO have the stock tires... but they seemed fine a few miles ago. Does anyone notice the stock tires howl? I don't have any dirt roads around me to isolate them with.

If its normal, I'll try and ignore it. It seems to be all I can focus on right now, though. Driving me bonkers.
 

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Yes. On the side stand. Like the book says.
The last time I experienced a phenomenon as you have described was when I found out my wheel alignment was off. I am not saying that is your situation, but it was mine and the moment the engine torque was reduced (clutch opened), the rear wheel behaviour would also somewhat "relax". Notice that I had pinned the source of the sound to the rear wheel in this case. In fact, I seem to recall cutting the engine and coasting down a long hill to ensure the sound was not coming from the engine or parts of the drivetrain.

To help learn more about your [possible] tire behaviour, maybe consider trying the sound test while riding on a wet road surface?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok. I made sure to align the wheel as best I could. I will double-check that. I started hearing this before I ever adjusted the alignment, though.
 

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Ok. I made sure to align the wheel as best I could. I will double-check that. I started hearing this before I ever adjusted the alignment, though.
Find a long, safe road hill and coast down it with and without engine power and see if you can better isolate the source of the symptom.
 

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Usually tires will make a howling sound. Check your air pressure. Also as some tires wear they begin t make a howling sound. Road surface and make a big difference as well as far as sound. Have you put new tires on recently? I just put new Dunlop Mission tires on. I did not really notice much of a sound difference until I took a long ride and now I definitely can hear the front tire howling a bit. Not a big problem and fairly normal but very noticeable compared to the stock tires. Did you change helmets? Sometimes a change in helmets can make things sound a lot different as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Good points but the tires are original and I've used the same helmet since I bought the bike. Got them both the same day.

My pressures are exactly as indicated in the swingarm. I set them to the max load pressures. I'm 218lbs. I can try lowering the pressure and see.
 

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My 2017 bike developed a fault that I didn;t notice for a long time because I ride with earplugs. Almost every time I started the engine the starter motor would fail to disengage. This meant that at speed the starter was being driven around at a horrendous speed that it was not designed for. It never failed and once we found out what the whining noise was I realised that I had done a 3000km tour on German autobahns with the starter motor engaged most of the time. It was replaced under warranty.
The rolling downhill test with the engine off would eliminate this starter motor possibility (if the noise still happens). But unless it's a very long steep hill you won't be able to do this with the DCT model - because you can't switch into neutral when the engine is running and the bike is moving
Mike
 

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My 2017 bike developed a fault that I didn;t notice for a long time because I ride with earplugs. Almost every time I started the engine the starter motor would fail to disengage. This meant that at speed the starter was being driven around at a horrendous speed that it was not designed for. It never failed and once we found out what the whining noise was I realised that I had done a 3000km tour on German autobahns with the starter motor engaged most of the time. It was replaced under warranty.
The rolling downhill test with the engine off would eliminate this starter motor possibility (if the noise still happens). But unless it's a very long steep hill you won't be able to do this with the DCT model - because you can't switch into neutral when the engine is running and the bike is moving
Mike
Agreed - if @Nacademus has a DCT model, then coasting in neutral is problematic. A longer (taller helps) down hill run while the bike is in neutral (engine running) means it will be a "Flintstone run".

57605
 

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Given the low mileage of the bike, in addition to a thorough inspection, I would start by making sure the chain is not too tight as they do growl if over tightened. I adjust mine on the centre stand (add an extra 10mm to allow for the non-side stand adjustment. I prefer this as allows me to rotate the wheel and check the tension in different places in the chain. Failing this, did you perform any maintenance prior to hearing the noise as this could be a clue.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I did the 600mi maintenance at 550 miles. I clean and lube the chain every 300 miles +/- 50. I heard the sound between an adjustment. Long after having adjusted it last. Only thing I can even remotely think if is I overtightened the axle nut. The only way THAT could have happened is if my torque wrench is out of accuracy or something. I set it to 70ft-lb. It didn't really seem all that tough to hit torque spec. The nut came back off easily. It was actually tighter the first time I had to loosen it than the time after I torqued it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I am going to do a string alignment before I dump it off at a dealership. If it's not final drive or tire related, something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this bike.
 

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My bet would be front tire... The stock Dunlop on my 2017 was getting noisy at about 1200 miles. Not enough to bother me, but definitely noticably louder. I pulled it and put a Shink 705 on front, and it got quiet.

May be something else, but that is my guess.
 

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I cleaned all the gunk from around the front sprocket today. It was thick, and made a noise when I pushed my bike. Gone now. Just a thought
 
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