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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello and merry Christmas everyone.

About two months ago or so my 2015 Ninja 300 which has about 14K miles on the odometer started ticking like a time-bomb after it warms up a little bit. It occurs when idling and under very light load but seems to go away once you get moving and put load on the engine.

I change my oil every 5K miles using full synthetic but I also frequently have to top up my oil because it seems to vanish and get low with hard use every few hundred miles. I like to ride my 300 hard and I frequently take it up to 10-12K RPMs before shifting, but most of the time I cruise at around 6-8K. I put about 1k miles on my 300 a month commuting and going on day trips with it (so much fun!).

I know the ninja's parallel twin is a noisy engine and mine has always kind of rattled since I've had it, however this loud ticking is a new sound and it has me worried. I don't want to cause any further damage riding with it present. I've took a video for you all to hear it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMrne1-o1xU&feature=youtu.be


Could it be a malfunctioning cam chain tensioner or maybe loose exhaust header bolts? What is this strange sound?
 

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....I also frequently have to top up my oil because it seems to vanish and get low with hard use every few hundred miles. I like to ride my 300 hard and I frequently take it up to 10-12K RPMs before shifting....


<snip>mine has always kind of rattled since I've had it....

Not sure what the problem might be, but those quoted parts above are a little disconcerting! :icon_scratch:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you for a response!

Just to clarify, the ticking sound featured in the vid just arose in the last 2-3 months out of the 11 months I've been riding this bike. The engine sounded totally normal before for a small displacement engine.

I've also read that losing oil is kind of a common issue on this bike? I bought it used with 2,334 miles on it so I'm not sure if it was broken in properly by the previous owner. I do try to check my oil very frequently and always make sure that it has enough. In the vid you see a shiny substance on the bottom of the engine however that's just built up chain wax/dirt/grime that I tried dissolving and cleaning from the front sprocket area and it dripped down to the bottom of the engine.

Also now that I think about it, this ticking noise seems to have sprung up right after I tried running some fuel injector cleaner through the gas tank for whatever reason. Maybe it cleared some gunk from the fuel injectors and now they're just really audible?

Also I have not had my valve clearance check yet.
 

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Fair enough.


Ticking noises are never good, IME. (But mainly speaking from car-engine experience, not MC.)

Maybe take it to a [good] Kawasaki mechanic to have it checked out?


I haven't noticed much oil loss at all on my 300, but admittedly don't have as many miles on my bike as you have.
 

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Have you been checking your valve clearances?

If you have been burning oil you might have a bad valve seal which is often caused by poor valve clearance. Valves with too much clearance will cause noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I haven't checked the valve clearances on my bike yet. It's getting pretty close to hitting 15K miles so I think it's about time to get that done.

It sounds likely to be the valves with the ticking's consistent sound profile and the fact that it sounds great when its first started/cold and the noise starts only after the bike is warmed up from riding it around. I added a bit of oil a few days ago and the sound is quieter but otherwise still present after warming up.


I've never done a valve check before but I may tackle this one myself to avoid labor costs considering I already have the tools and feeler gauges. Already got the pages pulled up in my service manual and found a bunch of documentation/videos online for it, I just need to get some shims from somewhere. I'll check some local shops or order some online.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm going to get my valve check started today. I'll also check the tightness of all my exhaust pipe bolts while I'm at it just to be sure. I'll be sure to update this thread with the results.
 

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Valve adjustment ..the valve's had build up causing spacing then when cleaner went through cleaned crud making ofset. It least that 's what it sounds like to me and my boss . Can you do a video of where the phone moves slowly from top of bike to bottom. From back around front . Also running cam along exhaust .a leak can sometimes sound like that too.
 
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