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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I got my brand new 2021 ATAS DCT I've often heard a strange grinding / buzzing noise - through a full face helmet it's been really hard to isolate and GoPro couldn't pick it up. Usually when idle and going downhill. I figured maybe it was some kind of intake noise or engine braking I wasn't used to with an 1100 cc engine.

Well today I did something dumber than usual, I rode with no helmet 2 blocks from home to parking garage and WOW did I hear the sound this time, and it was horrible and it was coming from the drivetrain.

WARNING: this video is annoying. The audio is terrible. But I finally got a recording of the grinding / buzzing, and I'm convinced it's coming from the drivetrain or maybe the parking brake? You'll hear it more as I roll off the throttle. Chain travel and tension indicator seems fine (it's parked right on edge of green area).


So is this just the normal sound for an AT without a lid on, and that's what I've been hearing all this time?

(My troubles aside, this morning at 6am I rolled out in pre dawn light and zero traffic and went up the nearest "mountain" in NY State and had a beautiful, beautiful ride cruised with an actual eagle for a bit and the bike isn't leaking anything any more. All my mechanical woes aside I'm loving it).
 

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Chain too tight methinks.
Check these posts on how to get proper chain tension. The manual setting is too tight. 40-50mm is best.
https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-...owners-thread.1112644/page-1436#post-42242069
https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-...owners-thread.1112644/page-1437#post-42242570
Don't know what you mean by tension indicator - the green / red on the adjustment bloc is a rough indication of chain stretch. If it's in the green your chain is not worn but it could be adjusted too tight.
 

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If the buzzing you hear is the ringing I hear and the grinding you hear is the clacking I hear, it's the chain. My guess is the ringing is the chain's rollers spinning on their pins as they disengage from the sprockets and the clacking is the chain's side plates catching the teeth of the sprockets prior to the rollers engagement.
The chain is too tight and/or the rear wheel may be slightly misaligned. Check both sides of the rear sprocket's teeth for signs of disproportionate wear.
 

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The other possibility, if not the chain, could be the rear disk? How does a that look?

One issue with the DCT is that if you forget to release that emergency brake and ride for an extended stretch with it engaged, it can warp that rear disk and cause a kind of thunk, thunk, thunk sound.

I won't confirm or deny that I may have done something like that with my first DCT.

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The other possibility, if not the chain, could be the rear disk? How does a that look?

One issue with the DCT is that if you forget to release that emergency brake and ride for an extended stretch with it engaged, it can warp that rear disk and cause a kind of thunk, thunk, thunk sound.

I won't confirm or deny that I may have done something like that with my first DCT.

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
You know, I did that once but only for a second at very low throttle before I realized the bike was not moving well. Don't think it could've done any damage but I'll check. Also, who's ever forgotten to take their Kryptonite disc lock off before wheeling the bike in Neutral out of parking? Not I, I swear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
If the buzzing you hear is the ringing I hear and the grinding you hear is the clacking I hear, it's the chain. My guess is the ringing is the chain's rollers spinning on their pins as they disengage from the sprockets and the clacking is the chain's side plates catching the teeth of the sprockets prior to the rollers engagement.
The chain is too tight and/or the rear wheel may be slightly misaligned. Check both sides of the rear sprocket's teeth for signs of disproportionate wear.
Sincerely asking, how could a brand new 2021 ATAS with 1100 miles on it have ended up like this (and with a supposedly bad O-ring in the crankcase which caused a ton of oil leaks that the dealer warrantied, but only appeared after their first "service"...) - really not the QC I expect outta Honda?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The other possibility, if not the chain, could be the rear disk? How does a that look?

One issue with the DCT is that if you forget to release that emergency brake and ride for an extended stretch with it engaged, it can warp that rear disk and cause a kind of thunk, thunk, thunk sound.

I won't confirm or deny that I may have done something like that with my first DCT.

Sent from my SM-G998U1 using Tapatalk
Hey that reminds me, if you happen to know someone unnamed this happened to, is it bad to leave the parking brake engaged when parked? I’ve been doing it as an additional theft deterrent. Figure a thief moving fast won’t recognize it’s not a clutch and rear wheel locks up on them slows them down a bit as they try to wheel it to their van.
 

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You know, I did that once but only for a second at very low throttle before I realized the bike was not moving well. Don't think it could've done any damage but I'll check. Also, who's ever forgotten to take their Kryptonite disc lock off before wheeling the bike in Neutral out of parking? Not I, I swear.
They can get a little dark, toasty, and warped if left on for an extended period of time. The high spots definitely make an annoying sound as they hit the pads. Again, not that I would confirm or deny doing something like that :)

I have to say I have never forgotten to take a disc lock off. Nor have I ever forgotten to put the kickstand down before trying to dismount. But forgetting to release the emergency brake ... maybe :)

Hey that reminds me, if you happen to know someone unnamed this happened to, is it bad to leave the parking brake engaged when parked? I’ve been doing it as an additional theft deterrent. Figure a thief moving fast won’t recognize it’s not a clutch and rear wheel locks up on them slows them down a bit as they try to wheel it to their van.
That shouldn't be any problem, unless a thief takes off riding it while it is still engaged.
 

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Sincerely asking, how could a brand new 2021 ATAS with 1100 miles on it have ended up like this (and with a supposedly bad O-ring in the crankcase which caused a ton of oil leaks that the dealer warrantied, but only appeared after their first "service"...) - really not the QC I expect outta Honda?
You got the Monday morning model. :(

Seriously, tho', the assembly of machines these days is an hybrid automation line of humans and robots. Ultimately, it's human error as the machines only do what they're told.
Now that the machine has been produced, it's maintained by potentially erroneous humans. The guy that graduates at the bottom of his Medical School is still called Doctor. Techs are no different.

I'd presume you have the wrench experience to do ALL the maintenance work yourself. Buy the service manual. You can't make things any worse than your dealer's tech has already. If you're not particularly familiar with the mechanics of motorcycles, buy Honda's Common Service Manual as well...it's a gold mine of info and how to. A couple hundred bucks for both books and whatever time it takes you to do jobs is well worth the self-investment. Only downsides are finding an adequate work space if you don't have one and acquiring any special tools. There are alternatives to some of Honda's $$$ special tools.

Unlike the sprockets on high-end bicycle's gear clusters, motorcycle sprockets aren't machined on a 5-axis mill...there's little consideration for engaging a chain from the side in their design. Straight line chains will always make noise when they got off track/misaligned and/or over-tensioned/under-tensioned. Trust your gut, your wrenching experience and all of your common sense. It's not Rocket Surgery. You got this.
 

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Sincerely asking, how could a brand new 2021 ATAS with 1100 miles on it have ended up like this (and with a supposedly bad O-ring in the crankcase which caused a ton of oil leaks that the dealer warrantied, but only appeared after their first "service"...) - really not the QC I expect outta Honda?
Dealers always set the chain too tight IMHO - service techs used to street bikes don't realize ADV bike with Long Travel Suspension need a looser chain, and they don't look at the manual - which spec is too tight anyway.
That's why I referenced the links from Motociclo above.

If you drop the shock linkage and line up the countershaft, swing-arm pivot and rear axle - that is the longest distance / tightest point of chain movement. Once aligned you set sufficient slack. Put back together on the main stand you absolutely know what a properly adjusted chain looks like.
Motociclo did the work - just copy his results. 40-50mm slack on main stand.
Or for fast checking just copy his tool like I did https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-...owners-thread.1112644/page-1444#post-42383954
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You got the Monday morning model. :(

Seriously, tho', the assembly of machines these days is an hybrid automation line of humans and robots. Ultimately, it's human error as the machines only do what they're told.
Now that the machine has been produced, it's maintained by potentially erroneous humans. The guy that graduates at the bottom of his Medical School is still called Doctor. Techs are no different.

I'd presume you have the wrench experience to do ALL the maintenance work yourself. Buy the service manual. You can't make things any worse than your dealer's tech has already. If you're not particularly familiar with the mechanics of motorcycles, buy Honda's Common Service Manual as well...it's a gold mine of info and how to. A couple hundred bucks for both books and whatever time it takes you to do jobs is well worth the self-investment. Only downsides are finding an adequate work space if you don't have one and acquiring any special tools. There are alternatives to some of Honda's $$$ special tools.

Unlike the sprockets on high-end bicycle's gear clusters, motorcycle sprockets aren't machined on a 5-axis mill...there's little consideration for engaging a chain from the side in their design. Straight line chains will always make noise when they got off track/misaligned and/or over-tensioned/under-tensioned. Trust your gut, your wrenching experience and all of your common sense. It's not Rocket Surgery. You got this.
Right Freddie. Thanks again for all your help. BTW, I've been trying to get the service manual since before getting the AT, Helm has it on backorder with no digital version for sale. Really frustrating to see the PDF on the dealer tech's screen as he reset my ECU.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dealers always set the chain too tight IMHO - service techs used to street bikes don't realize ADV bike with Long Travel Suspension need a looser chain, and they don't look at the manual - which spec is too tight anyway.
That's why I referenced the links from Motociclo above.

If you drop the shock linkage and line up the countershaft, swing-arm pivot and rear axle - that is the longest distance / tightest point of chain movement. Once aligned you set sufficient slack. Put back together on the main stand you absolutely know what a properly adjusted chain looks like.
Motociclo did the work - just copy his results. 40-50mm slack on main stand.
Or for fast checking just copy his tool like I did https://advrider.com/f/threads/the-...owners-thread.1112644/page-1444#post-42383954
This is incredible advice thank you.
 

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Does this help?
No mention of availability.

The part number for the Common Service Manual is 61CSM00.

Personally, I would try to get these through the dealer rather than online, price be damned. They may be able to tell you if the above 2020 manual comes with the 2021 supplement, but I doubt it...not everyone is tool savvy. However, I've always found service manuals pretty much cover all models, to date, within a model's generation.

If you're not keen to printed material, we're not on the same page. lol
 

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For some reason the dealerships never know what the proper slack is for an ADV bike. As others have mentioned they always set it for a street bike, about an inch too tight usually. When I sent mine in for a recall the service manager told me my chain was too loose and he wanted to adjust it to an inch of slack... ugh. like others have mentioned we have about double the travel of a normal road bike.

64466


Easiest way to check is to put the bike on the side stand and put you finger on the bottom of the chain, halfway between the drive and driven sprockets. This should almost perfectly line up with the back end of the bottom chain slider... With no weight on the bike push you finger up. The chain should just be loose enough to barely/almost make contact with the chain slider. That will usually get you to within spec for your slack adjustment. As you can see in the snip above the NOTICE section, you will start to get wear nd damage at 60mm (2.4"). That is way outside the spec'd range. In my mind this means you have quite some variance in slack allowed. On my 17mm wrench I have marked with permanent marker a section that is 35-50mm. I hold it to the bottom of the swing arm and move the chain up and down. No special tools needed, but I am very comfortable doing this. If you have any hesitancy, buy the slack tools and use them until you are more confident. And never let the dealership set your slack... hahaha

Pic below is for a visual... sorry hoping around to my bike right now is a pain in the foot.
Ignore the text for now it is just the green arrow to show you where to push up.

64467


Good luck getting it sorted, and sorry you are having such a hard time with the dealership and the bike operating properly. It is such a nice bike, for the money it should be flawless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
For some reason the dealerships never know what the proper slack is for an ADV bike. As others have mentioned they always set it for a street bike, about an inch too tight usually. When I sent mine in for a recall the service manager told me my chain was too loose and he wanted to adjust it to an inch of slack... ugh. like others have mentioned we have about double the travel of a normal road bike.

View attachment 64466

Easiest way to check is to put the bike on the side stand and put you finger on the bottom of the chain, halfway between the drive and driven sprockets. This should almost perfectly line up with the back end of the bottom chain slider... With no weight on the bike push you finger up. The chain should just be loose enough to barely/almost make contact with the chain slider. That will usually get you to within spec for your slack adjustment. As you can see in the snip above the NOTICE section, you will start to get wear nd damage at 60mm (2.4"). That is way outside the spec'd range. In my mind this means you have quite some variance in slack allowed. On my 17mm wrench I have marked with permanent marker a section that is 35-50mm. I hold it to the bottom of the swing arm and move the chain up and down. No special tools needed, but I am very comfortable doing this. If you have any hesitancy, buy the slack tools and use them until you are more confident. And never let the dealership set your slack... hahaha

Pic below is for a visual... sorry hoping around to my bike right now is a pain in the foot.
Ignore the text for now it is just the green arrow to show you where to push up.

View attachment 64467

Good luck getting it sorted, and sorry you are having such a hard time with the dealership and the bike operating properly. It is such a nice bike, for the money it should be flawless.
With all your help I'm getting better at this, and ordered a center stand and have decided I'm going to do maintenance myself - and I've found a local tech with a killer rep their own garage who also did extensive touring on a 2019 AT.

One question for all of you: if Honda's recommendation is between 35-45mm and we want to be on the looser end - but account for natural chain stretch, what's a good setting? Split the difference to 40mm? Do a bit looser around 42mm? Or go all the way to 45mm and tighten it up when needed?
 

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After the first 1000kms the chain shouldn't stretch too fast. I checked mine every 250kms up to 1000kms and now I am about 6000km. Probably should have checked again by now...

If you are not doing a bunch off-roading, I would set it to the tighter side. It will buy you more time between checks and adjustments. As long as you are inside the specs you wont hurt the bike or the drivetrain. At least this is my humble opinion.
 
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