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2000 Kawasaki Bayou 220 - Clutch Chatter


Bubba Blaster
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Hi there, new owner to a Bayou 220 and could use some input from those who have owned these. At idle only, I am hearing a distinctly noticeable amount of chatter noise coming from the lower right side of the engine - right in the the clutch housing area. It's like a light clanking sound like something is loose in there. It goes away as soon as you give it throttle. Shifting in and out of gear is smooth and there is no change in the noise if you have it in or out of gear. The clutch doesn't slip at all, it's just that noise. I can also feel it when my hand is on the the clutch housing.

I just replaced the oil and filter with 10w30 motor oil per spec. Any thoughts?

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Dream Car Giveaway

So I did the clutch adjustment, and I noticed a cleaner shift feel in the shift lever, but it didn't do anything for the chatter, and I switched to the Rotella T4 15w40 oil but no change either. 

I have been riding around with it and it drives fine, so will put up with the noise for now and eventually take the clutch cover off and see what is worn or loose.

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I'd be interested in what you eventually find.  I bought my son a Bayou 250 that was a complete mess, no compression and lots of stuff missing.  After replacing the broken cam chain, a bent valve and a damaged cam shaft, we got it running but it when you turn it off it sounds like something still spinning in the clutch area.  He rode it for a couple of days and then it suddenly died with another broken cam chain.  I fixed the cam chain, took it to a shop to see what they thought and they didn't know.  He rode it a few more days and then pop, it went again.  So now its grounded.  I think there is something on that right side that gets caught and puts a big impulse into the cam chain causing it to snap.  Anyway, it will have to wait until I have more time for it.

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Interesting you mention the spinning noise, as I have noticed the same thing in the clutch area - when I turn it off, I hear something still spinning and then a couple seconds later it stops with a clunk.

I will tear it apart sometime but won't be able to do it right away. I imagine bolts or rivets or bushings loose/worn out, as it almost goes away when the clutch engages, chattering the most when it is disengaged.

If I had to take a wild uneducated guess, I'd say it sounds more like you have damaged/misaligned sprockets or chain guide, or too tight/loose of a chain. 

I'll definitely post back once I tear it apart and find what it is. I hope you get yours fixed, I'd be curious to know why your cam chain is breaking too. 

Edited by Bubba Blaster
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That sounds like you have exactly the same thing going on down there as me.   Interesting that it hasn't caused you any timing chain issues.  I was kind of hoping when I fixed that noise in the clutch area it would solve my timing chain problem. 

Just FYI, I have another Bayou 250 (my daughters) which is a twin of the problem ATV and it has been running great with neither problem.

Lets see who finds the time to tear into theirs first. ;)

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  • 2 months later...

I finally got to the timing chain a few weekends ago.  This time I also happened to pull out the chain tensioner guides and found that they were really chewed up.  I'm hoping that this was the ultimate problem with why the timing chain broke this time around.  Only time will tell.  I opened up the clutch side last weekend and didn't see anything that jumped out at me.  The primary clutch was more worn than I'd have liked and I'm going to replace it but I didn't see anything that would explain the sound we've been hearing.  I'm hoping to get it all back together next weekend and then we'll see how long it lasts this time around.

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