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Old October 4th, 2023, 06:15 AM   #1
abad89
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Question New rider/owner, couple of issues with bike

Hello, I'm having two issues with my '17 Ninja 300 that i would like some help diagnosing/fixing.

First there's a strange noise when accelerating from about 10 to 25 mph. It's hard to describe but almost sounds like water trickling, except metallicy, and there is no actual leak. This only happens with the clutch lever released, so not while coasting or just revving. If the description of the sound is super unhelpful I'll post a video, but I haven't tried recording it because it's not that loud and I'm not sure if it'll be audible. Anyway, there's plenty of oil visible in the window, although it could probably use a change. But this sound has been happening for a little while now, even recently after my previous oil change.

Secondly, I've been starting to notice a slight loss of power. Sometimes while accelerating at higher RPM and speed, say 50mph and 8k rpm, it'll lose what feels like roughly 250rpm's worth of power for like a quarter of a second, then it'll come back and continue accelerating as normal. Possibly for the same reason, I have also noticed that while maintaing a speed/RPM/throttle position, I'll slowly lose about 1-200 RPM. Like I can feel it but also watch the tach slowly move down. Maybe because of these two issues I'm psyching myself out, but I also just kinda feel in general, almost imperceptibly, that sometimes I'm just not getting the power I should be, and it falters here and there, just a tiny bit.

Just for background, I bought the bike in August with 1800 miles on it. Dealer said they did an oil change while they had it. It now has ~7300 and I did an oil change myself at about 4k, and checked the coolant at that time because I was thinking it had started running hotter. It was fine, and I've never seen an oil or temperature light come on (except during the startup routine when I first turn the key).

Any help or comments are appreciated, thank you.
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Old October 4th, 2023, 08:58 AM   #2
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Hi Anthony, welcome!

My guess is that you're losing spark to one cylinder occasionally, but that's only a guess at this point. It might be worth taking a look at the plugs to see if you can see anything that gives you a clue. Also check the connections at the coils and plug caps.

As far as the noise, a video would be helpful. Is your chain well lubricated? When the rollers get dry they can make a rattling sound at some speeds.
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Old October 4th, 2023, 02:50 PM   #3
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Welcome to riding! It's good to know what noises your bike normally makes so you know when something like this crops up, and is a change.
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Old October 19th, 2023, 06:36 AM   #4
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Thanks for the welcomes, and sorry for the delay. Took me a little bit to get set to record a video, and then when I finally did... I noticed I didn't hear the sound anymore. Works for me! As for the power and spark plug thing, I think I was overreacting to what I was feeling, and nothing seems wrong after my second oil change and cleaning/lubing the chain 🤷*♂️

I do have a couple other questions about things I've noticed. Firstly, my idle is usually around 17/1800 RPM. But when I first start it, it'll be at like 2K and sit there until I rev it a little bit, then settle back down to 1.7/1.8. Is this normal? I don't rev it right away, I give it a minute or two to warm up before I do so.

And my other question again has to do with starting it. Usually I press the button for like half a second and she's good to go, but every once in a while it doesn't start from that, and I have to hold it down for like a whole second. It always freaks me out but I've never had it not start. Is this normal? Is it going to explode??

Thanks again!
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Old October 19th, 2023, 07:36 AM   #5
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You can easily adjust idle speed with the black knob that sticks down just under the left fairing.

Needing to push the starter button for one second is not a problem.
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Old October 19th, 2023, 10:01 AM   #6
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Okay, cool. So what should it be idling at?
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Old October 19th, 2023, 11:20 AM   #7
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At whatever speed you like. The book says 12,500 to 13,500.

Edit: Oops... I was thinking max RPM! Make that 1,250 to 1,350!

Last futzed with by Triple Jim; October 19th, 2023 at 02:03 PM.
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Old October 19th, 2023, 12:56 PM   #8
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Glad your issue is resolved. but I guess your clutch plates need a replacement. if you are losing power in higher revs then it is clutch plates, if the bike is missing on any rev then it is the spark plug or an air leak.
do a test, launch your bike from 2nd gear, and check if the power is optimal for the revs. also, the optimal idle RPM is 1250 -1350
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Old October 19th, 2023, 01:18 PM   #9
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Hmmmm how difficult would you say a clutch plate replacement is to do?

Not sure if it's related or if it's me not knowing what I'm doing (I've never used a manual transmission before getting the bike), and this is a bit difficult to describe, but sometimes if I'm shifting too quickly perhaps, I'll have very high RPM but not much acceleration, and then the RPM will drop back down to where it should be and I'll accelerate like normal. It seems to happy like if I let the clutch go before RPMs have dropped enough for the next gear. Like If I go all the way to like 12k in first with full throttle, and then shift to 2nd really quick without letting it drop enough, it'll just go right back to 12k and I won't accelerate very much, and if I hold the throttle in the same spot, after a couple seconds it'll like "catch up" and the RPM drop back down a little and then I'll start to accelerate. ANy idea what I'm talking about? Or is my bike messed up? It's gonna explode huh?
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Old October 19th, 2023, 09:31 PM   #10
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A clutch pack is sort of like layers of brake pads and rotors. It squeezes together and clamps everything down to deliver power to the transmission when the clutch is engaged, and spreads apart to prevent the engine from turning the transmission when disengaged.



When your clutch is worn out or damaged, the friction plates (the brake pad-like material) don't hold tight against the steel plates (the rotor-like parts) like they're supposed to and it allows some slippage. It will behave like you've got the clutch lever pulled a little bit (which spreads the clutch apart a little and allows a some slippage as well).

If you're getting the engine spinning at high RPM, and the rest of the driveline not matching that, it's a pretty good indicator that the clutch is slipping. It's not necessarily the clutch plates, but that's the most likely cause - clutches do just wear out over time, like brake pads.

https://www.norton-motorsports.com/k...ned-and-fixed/ is 400-specific, but the 300 is pretty similar. This should at least give you an idea of the work involved to help figure out if it's something you could tackle.
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Old October 20th, 2023, 07:50 AM   #11
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Thank you for the explanation. It was an issue ever since I got the bike at 1800 miles, so I wasn't sure if I was just driving it wrong or something. I've learned to just sort of take it a bit easy on the throttle at certain times to avoid it, but I suppose I'd rather have the clutch working as it's supposed to. I googled a bit about clutch slippage and I'm going to try some easier things first, like different oil and adjusting the clutch cable to see if those make any difference. It doesn't look like it's too difficult to replace the clutch plates and springs as long as I'm careful, but it is also something I'd like to avoid doing if it's not necessary.

Also, I adjusted the idle yesterday down to around 1300. How exactly does this affect the bike, other than literally it just idles at a lower RPM? Not sure if I'm crazy or if it's a placebo or what, but it seems like taking off is a little smoother and the feeling of engine braking seems to have changed a bit. Is there a certain RPM I should be hitting to launch when I'm releasing the clutch? I don't usually give it any extra than what it needs to move the bike. Especially in traffic at low speeds in first and second gear, I think I've gotten a good feel for a minimal amount of throttle and clutch play to move along at like 10 mph. In first gear it doesn't lug or anything when I take off, I'm not noticing the bike having a problem with it, but I'm wondering if it's incorrect or a bad habit, or somehow influencing this issue I'm having with the clutch?
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Old October 20th, 2023, 09:10 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abad89 View Post

Also, I adjusted the idle yesterday down to around 1300. How exactly does this affect the bike, other than literally it just idles at a lower RPM?
You use slightly less gasoline when idling, and as you noticed below, you'll have slightly more engine braking.

Quote:
Not sure if I'm crazy or if it's a placebo or what, but it seems like taking off is a little smoother and the feeling of engine braking seems to have changed a bit. Is there a certain RPM I should be hitting to launch when I'm releasing the clutch? I don't usually give it any extra than what it needs to move the bike. Especially in traffic at low speeds in first and second gear, I think I've gotten a good feel for a minimal amount of throttle and clutch play to move along at like 10 mph. In first gear it doesn't lug or anything when I take off, I'm not noticing the bike having a problem with it, but I'm wondering if it's incorrect or a bad habit, or somehow influencing this issue I'm having with the clutch?
The less you slip the clutch, the longer the clutch plates will last. When I ride, I avoid high revs when taking off, and I try to get the clutch fully engaged without unnecessary delay. From what you said, it sounds like you're doing about the same thing. Of course racing is different, requiring higher revs and more clutch slipping for a quick takeoff.
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Old October 23rd, 2023, 05:22 AM   #13
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Great news, adjusting the clutch cable was enough to fix the slipping issue! Too bad it's getting cold lol. Eagerly awaiting the spring.
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Old October 23rd, 2023, 05:04 PM   #14
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Glad you found the trouble and that it was a fairly easy fix!
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Old October 30th, 2023, 08:20 AM   #15
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Well, it's been a week and the clutch is still slipping here and there, although it's much better after adjusting the cable. Although I did my best to avoid letting it slip, it still did happen quite a few times. I'm worried about the wear this has caused on the clutch as a whole. I don't entirely understand the mechanics of the whole thing. Will it likely be enough to just install the new set of clutch plates and springs, or do I want to install an entirely new clutch? When you say clutches wear out and need to be replaced, is it just these plates that are replaced or is it the entire thing? Aftermarket clutches seem very expensive.
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Old October 30th, 2023, 08:25 AM   #16
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The plates with the friction material on them are what wears out or gets burned. They can be changed, and if the plain steel plates are in good shape, that may be all you need to change. You can measure the springs and compare to the spec in the manual to see if you need new springs, but in my experience you won't. The original springs in my 1972 Kawasaki H2 are still well within the specified range.
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Old November 9th, 2023, 10:06 AM   #17
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So I’m guessing it’s time to replace these, brakes have been feeling a bit grainy when stopping after like 10mph.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00666FTBM

Just ordered these and they’ll be here tomorrow. These are the ones everyone recommends, right? Only questioning it because they seem to be one big piece whereas the OEM and other pads I’ve seen have a gap down the middle.
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Old November 9th, 2023, 11:01 AM   #18
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The gap is not important. I hope your disk wasn't scraped up from metal to metal contact.
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Old November 9th, 2023, 11:14 AM   #19
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It’s got some lines in it but it doesn’t seem any worse than the rear:

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Old November 13th, 2023, 08:55 AM   #20
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Well I tried swapping out the brake pad Friday night and I ended up stripping the bolt holding the ABS sensor on... I had the dealer order the bolt and then they're gonna get that bolt out and install the pads on Saturday...

7 days without riding Longest I've gone since I've had her is 4 days. Please pray that I make it through this week lol.
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