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Hi, I'm really glad to have found this forum as my Mechanic retired a few years ago and have tried a couple of backyard mechanics as my bike started to have problems, only to have made things worse. I have now decided to try things myself even though my knowledge of mechanics is limited at best. So I come to whoever is willing to lend a hand and many thanks in advance for any advice given to me. So here it is... I have a GL1100 (1981) with 100700 kms on it. I brought it to a "mechanic" recently and on my way back home from him, I noticed that when I would lean the bike to the left, I suddenly heard a grinding noise as though it was coming from my transmission. I'd straighten out and it was gone. I got home and called him up. He told me that when he verified the engine, my transmission seemed to be "a little used up" as he put it. I never had a problem with the tranny before that and I don't loose power to the rear wheel when it's making the sound. I also find it odd that it only happens when I lean left. Can anyone help me out on this one?
Thanks
David
 

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I think it is more likely a wheel bearing making the noise.
 

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Sounds like something loose or maybe a foreign object. What work did you have done to it before this problem showed up?
 

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On my old v45 magna, the grinding/growling on lean turned out to be a worn/cupped front tire. I was convinced (as mentioned above) that it was a bearing, but new rubber fixed it.

Just a thought....the above members & guru's are far more knowledgeable than I :)

Welcome from NS!
 

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I had brought the bike in because I had just changed the cylinder valve heads due to my first experience with a person who thought he knew mechanics and didn't time the engine. Well with a second person touching the bike put in the new second hand valves, he told me that my compression was back up to par and was ready to make my trip to Nova Scotia. Well from Montreal-Nova Scotia, I burnt and lost 5.5 pints of 20-50 oil. I thought I had a problem with the cylinder heads not being planed before being put on causing the leak. That mechanic never returned my calls or answered the door even though I had paid him upfront for the job, and though I wanted to rip his head off throughout the trip, I was polite in explaining how the trip went. So I found another who told me he a was a Wing Expert. I brought him the bike and after two weeks, he told me that upon removing the engine from the frame he noticed wear on the gears, decided the job would be too costly for me, and placed the engine back in. He told me I should just buy a second hand engine and replace it. Well, that is where the grinding noise started. I thought at first he may have forgotten to put the c-clip that keeps the tranny in place. He guaranteed me that it was put back in place. I have yet to verify. As for the leaks, I polished and cleaned the engine and then started it up. I have to replace two seals, the tachometer seal and the gear shift seal. Yes the engine smokes white upon start up and I'll have to change my rings in the future, but at least I wont have an oil sopping boot anymore. That is the history of my problems. Now if I could isolate the grinding upon a left lean coming from the rear, I'll feel safer.
Thanks again for any advice
David
 

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Oh, I forgot to mention, the tires are both new so I'm quite sure it's not the problem.
Thanks
David
 

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Ok there seems to be a few things wrong with the stories you've been handed by these so called mechanics. The most prominent being the "wear on the gears" The ONLY way to have been able to see the gears would have been to completely dismantle the motor, they sure as hell aren't visible by simply taking the motor out of the frame. It may very well be that it's time to replace the motor, but if so I would say it's the result of the shoddy work done by the recent "mechanics".

One thing I can suggest, start the bike and sitting still see if you can get it to make the noise sitting still. With it running lean it as far to the left as you can without dropping it. This is to try to pinpoint the area the noise is coming from. If it does make the noise without being underway then we can pretty much eliminate the real wheel as a possible source for the noise.

It's possible that he didn't reinstall something properly when he put the motor back in and it shifts in a left hand lean and gets against a moving part.

One thing is for certain. You definitely need to find some one who truly knows what they are doing.
 

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One other question, how does the bike shift while riding? is it hard to shift? does it slip out of gear? And particular gear seem to behave differently from the others?
 

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For the shifting question, the bike does shift properly except for a few times where I took the bike out for stretches of over three-four hours. Then I noticed that I would have a hard time getting into a gear (I believe it was fourth) I would fall into a false neutral. I would clutch down again and shift up again and fall into fifth. This has happened maybe a handful of times in the last three or four years. I'll try out turning on the bike and leaning the bike as far left as soon as it stops raining outside.

Thanks so much again
David
 

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Okay, I started the bike, let it warm up and then leaned the bike as far left as I could. No grinding sound whatsoever, even upon acceleration of the engine (all of course in neutral). I guess it could be my rear wheel after all. If there is something else I should be looking for, please let me know.
Thanks
David
 

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If it has new tires could someone have left out one of the spacers?
 

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I agree that the white smoke could be indicating a blown gasket. Take a look in the radiator neck to see if there are bubbles coming up when the engine is running. I'd also suspect that your "mechanic" or whoever changed the rear tire might have misplaced a spacer.Remove the rear caliper and take a look at the clearance on both sides of the brake rotor from the caliper bracket. Itspossible that the bracket is rubbing on the brake rotor. One other possibility thatcomes to mind is if a spacer was left out the whole wheel might be moving a bit sideways and rubbing.
 

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as previously stated unless you know for certain status of wheel bearings, that is a cheap thing to check, can be done yourself. my recent exp. with wheel bearings on mc is that sound was a lot different than other vehicles i've worked on, also problem didn't show by wiggling wheel or spinning by hand. my 2 cents:action::waving:
 

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I am having this same problem and traced it to my front left brake rotor rubbing on the caliper bracket (only when cornering). I dismantled the front wheel and found one of the bearings feels slightly old, but both are tight and spin freely. Even so, I am ordering new bearings today.

I checked my brake pads and they seem to be wearing evenly. Since this is my primary transportation right now, I loosened the axle clamps, backed out the axle nut slightly, and retightened the clamps with the forks spread an extra few milimeters. This should give me the clearance I need until new parts come in.

As far as why this happens, I am curious. I recently acquired this bike from a non-mechanical previous owner, so I can't vouch for what may have been done to the bike or spacers that may have been left out. I did notice that the right rotor is also off-center almost as much as the left one, and that when the noise happens it lets me know there is slight warping of my rotors. I will be having them turned as well.
 

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I should mention, my working theory is that each side of the rotor is in a different state of wear (due to not having been turned for a long time) and that the brake pads are wearing unevenly, hence why I think my fix will work. Also, make sure to clean and grease the pins on which the calipers float.
 

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After calling all the motorcycle shops and machine shops in town, I conclude that it is not a common thing to turn a motorcycle rotor. Somewhere else I read that buffing old rotors with a random-orbit or some type of circular sander (medium and then fine grit to finish) can extend the life of rotors and make the surfaces more uniform. I believe I will be doing this method.
 

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Sorry I missed this when you needed the help. I had the same symptoms and it proved to be the wheel bearings. Despite feeling tight there was enough slop that the rotor rubbed against the caliper support.
I changed the bearings and wondered if I'd actually fixed it since I couldn't fault the old ones.
 

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It sounds to me that you may have a frozen caliper. A common indicator of a stuck caliper is having one of the pads on the caliper worn much thinner than the other. A properly operating caliper will wear the pads about the same amount on each side. Try removing the caliper and see if the sleeve that goes through the caliper where the smaller bolt passes through will move freely in and out of the caliper. If it doesn't that's most likely your problem. You can usually drive the sleeve about halfway out of the caliper so you can remove the rubber seal and then tap it back the other way so you can get the other end seal off. A frozen caliper is a fairly common thing to happen to bikes that have had poor maintenance for years.
 
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