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Apr 1st 2020, 01:07 PM   #1
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Unhappy Manual cam chain tensioner

Quick story, then question. My 2011 ZX-6R (sold 2018) came with an automatic cam chain tensioner that basically never self-adjusted. Replaced it with a manual unit, as the cam chain was very loose....worked fine for the last two years I had the bike, and never had any chain noise thereafter.

My ZX-10R I bought off the showroom floor - heard the cam chain noise last year [barely in warranty], and had the automatic tensioner replaced....and it was a different Kawasaki part number, so maybe a known issue? Anyway, out of warranty, and the noise is back.

Time for a manual tensioner? Is there a preferred brand?

I do run that bike very hard on-track [in happier times..], and on occasional sporting street runs, and don't want anything silly to happen.

** As an aside the tensioner on my Z900 appears to work just fine - every once in a while [twice] I've heard noise from the chain, but it suddenly disappeared. I'm guessing the automatic tensioner just adjusted itself, as it should.
Apr 1st 2020, 02:06 PM   #2
 mgfchapin's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellevue, WA

  Daytona 675R
Nearly all auto tensioners wear out eventually. I put a manual tensioner in all of my track/race bikes and readjust them every winter. I like APE tensioners.
Apr 1st 2020, 02:26 PM   #3
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Thank you - will check APE and see if they make one for the ZX-10R.
Apr 1st 2020, 05:35 PM   #4
 Flyboymedic's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Hazel Dell, Wa

  Honda VFR800, Husqvarna TE 610, Ducati Hypermotard 1100S, Suzuki VStrom 650, Yamaha Radian, MZ 125SM
Krieger Cam Chain Tensioners
I had him make one for my TE610. I sent him a pic of the original along with dimensions and I'm very pleased with the quality.
Apr 1st 2020, 05:48 PM   #5
 mgfchapin's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellevue, WA

  Daytona 675R
Quote:
Originally Posted by Syringe
Thank you - will check APE and see if they make one for the ZX-10R.
They do, it's in the green Pro Series section
ZX Zone - Cam Chain Tensioners
Apr 2nd 2020, 09:44 AM   #6
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Thank you! Ordered one from APE this morning.
Apr 2nd 2020, 09:45 AM   #7
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyboymedic
Krieger Cam Chain Tensioners
I had him make one for my TE610. I sent him a pic of the original along with dimensions and I'm very pleased with the quality.
Thanks for this information, too. I did check them, and it'd have to be a custom tensioner, as they don't make one for the 2016-19 ZX-10R.
Apr 2nd 2020, 02:31 PM   #8
 GPD323's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spanaway

My 2006 ZX14 CCT always rattled on startup. No real issues as I knew it was normal. At 43K miles it just would not shut up so I installed a APE manual unit.
The key here is make sure the APE is extended to about the same length as the OEM one you take out. So that when you start it you will not get a lot of chain slap.
Instructions say to add tension till you hear some high pitched sound and then back it off a bit. Back it off too far and you will hear the chain slapping sounds. I ran this to 75K miles before I sold the bike. I did adjust it a few times but it took very little adjustment over time. Was nice to hear it start up and so quiet on the CCT.
Apr 2nd 2020, 03:39 PM   #9
 mgfchapin's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellevue, WA

  Daytona 675R
Quote:
Originally Posted by GPD323
My 2006 ZX14 CCT always rattled on startup. No real issues as I knew it was normal. At 43K miles it just would not shut up so I installed a APE manual unit.
The key here is make sure the APE is extended to about the same length as the OEM one you take out. So that when you start it you will not get a lot of chain slap.
Instructions say to add tension till you hear some high pitched sound and then back it off a bit. Back it off too far and you will hear the chain slapping sounds. I ran this to 75K miles before I sold the bike. I did adjust it a few times but it took very little adjustment over time. Was nice to hear it start up and so quiet on the CCT.
You made it 75k miles on the original cam chain? That's pretty impressive, although I guess a 14 doesn't live at 15k RPM all day though, does it?
Apr 3rd 2020, 05:18 AM   #10
 GPD323's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spanaway

I was in the 3k to 6k rpm range all the time, I rarely went about 8k. I never red lined it because it would scare the crap out of me. Well I did once on a run and that was enough. It had so much torque that to pass most times never downshifted. Toured all over the place riding it. C14 nows does most of the long trips.
Attached Thumbnails
Manual cam chain tensioner-img_0153.jpg  
Apr 3rd 2020, 08:50 AM   #11
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Thanks for the APE installation info! That tighten to a specific tuning point sound seems similar to a Ducati belt adjustment step. Cannot wait to get it into the ZX-10R -- it should quiet the engine considerably.
Apr 3rd 2020, 08:55 AM   #12
 mgfchapin's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Bellevue, WA

  Daytona 675R
Make sure you read the instructions. On my bike (675), you do everything with the engine off - tighten the plunger by hand until it won't go anymore, back off 1/4 turn then lock it down tight.
Apr 3rd 2020, 11:32 AM   #13
 
  May 2016
  Milwaukie, OR

  2016 ZX-10R; 2017 Z900
Yes, I absolutely will read them -- there's enough at stake that I'll be quite careful.

Additionally, I bought the ZX-10R service manual from Kawasaki the other day, since there isn't a Clymer or Haynes one for it yet. I usually have a shop do the valve checks, but will likely do that when the track season [if we get one] is done this year.
Apr 5th 2020, 08:17 AM   #14
 Sentinel's Avatar
 
  Jun 2016
  Poor Tortured

  2019 Nada
I've had a million motorcycles from the 70's on up.
I have never, ever had a CCT fail and have never, ever replaced one with a manual tensioner.
I am pretty easy on machines. I like to ride at lower rpm's. So that probably helps.
Still, I've had lots of sport and other bikes. I've had a Ninja 636, a CBR900RR, an RC51, a ZRX1200R, two Ninja 1000's, a Ninja 650, a Ninja 250, a GPZ550, a GSXR750, a C14 Connie, a C10 Connie, a CB1100XX, a CB750F, a bunch of Harleys, a KTM 640 Duke, a KTM 690 Duke, an XL500, and a CRF450X.
Zero CCT problems.

Edited by Sentinel on Apr 5th 2020 at 08:23 AM
Apr 5th 2020, 04:41 PM   #15
 GPD323's Avatar
 
  Jan 2016
  Spanaway

Early ZX14's and the C14's have had CCT failures. Loud rattling at startup. Honda Blackbirds are also prone to CCT failures. So you are lucky to not have had this happen. Not so much for a lot of us. Does not mean it does not happen to many bikes out there.
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