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So how about this cam chain?

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Well I took the jump last week and purchased an 03. Super clean bike. Mostly street ridden, 8300 miles on the clock.

I took it up north trail riding last week and noticed a noise. It's a clatter coming from the valve train, but it's not rythmic. It will sound like a valve tick for a second or two, will go away and them come back. If I'm trail riding, on/off the gas it doesn't do it. But if I get on the road and go for a couple of miles at speeds greater than 55 it starts doing it.

I've read, and read and read about the tensioner issues with pre 03 models which mine isn't supposed to have.

I'm going to check the valve clearance next weekend and am wondering if the chain/tensioner/guides might be worn out? And how do I know if they are?

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Lots of things can make noise. Inspect for broken/damaged auto compression release on the EX cam. Cam chain wear is hard to detect. One way is put the motor at TDC compression and look at the cam timing marks. If the marks are a bit slow (above the head surface) there is some stretch to the cam chain. You can remove the tensioner and look at it. Guides, there is no way without full disassembly.

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Thanks Noble. I took it for a long ride last night. Tried to pinpoint the noise with a stethescope but can't determine exactly where its coming from.

Is the manual adjuster a good idea to install even though mine is an 03? Reason I ask is I would say the sound is similar to the noise my XR makes when the cam chain is loose.

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The manual tensiioner is recommended for all years. It may not cure your noise but it will remove 1 area of concern.

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If the noise persists after the MCCT, you might wanna pull the head and jug and check for small end free play (connecting rod). Before my big end bearing went (30K miles), it was waking a noise that sounded like it was coming from the top end... apparently the sound travels! Might save your piston and cylinder. Btw when I tore the motor apart, the cam chain guides showed very little wear, but I've always had a MCCT on it.

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I have a certain RPM range where I get a clatter sound. Its about 500-800 RPM above cruising speed so I rarely hear it. I've got the MCCT and removed the auto decomp. It made this sound for the last 15k miles I've ridden the bike. To me it sounds like we're hearing the same thing.

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I rode it to a meeting at the station last night which is only a couple of miles away and it didn't do it. It's only after I ride it for 5 miles or more that the noise starts to appear. I'm still going to check valve clearance because I don't think it's ever been done before. Maybe I'll wait and see if it gets worse before I dig to deep.

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