Cam chain tensioner/Valve issues 2013 Triumph STR - Triumph675.Net Forums
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post #1 of 14 Old 10-17-19, 19:04 Thread Starter
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Cam chain tensioner/Valve issues 2013 Triumph STR

Hi all, 3 months ago I bought my 2013 Street Triple R, and I have noticed that it may have some issues and was hoping somebody could help me resolve the issue, as I really don't want to shell out a ridiculous amount of money for a diagnosis and repair from a dealership.

I bought the bike with 6800 miles on it, and since have put about 2,500 miles on it.

About a month and half or so in to owning the bike, I noticed a strange rattling noise. It was very subtle but there. I kind of just assumed it was a normal engine noise, so I ignored it for a while. Eventually I got a little worried, looked it up and most people pointed at the cam chain tensioner.

I got a lot of mixed answers from different forums about the rpms the rattling was most prevalent and if it went away once the bike was warmed up. My bike rattles in all gears including neutral, and mainly at idle and low RPM's. It seems to go away around 5k RPM, but that could just be the engine drowning it out. The rattling noise isn't extremely loud, and seems to be coming from the upper part of the engine.

The other day I rode to a relatives house, an hour and a half away. On the way there everything was fine, but on the way back I noticed about halfway through that it seemed like I was losing power. Revving up to 6k RPM seemed fine but after that it vibrated a lot and didn't seem to accelerate very fast. This happened in every gear except 6th, I was going 85 on the interstate in 6th gear and didn't have the issue. It felt like I was redlining at 8k RPM in every other gear.

This is a minor thing but when approaching a stop light in sixth gear I was distracted and pulled the clutch in and braked fairly close to the light. When I stopped and tried to downshift the lever didnt work the first 2-3 tries and really freaked me out.

The last big thing I noticed is that I am supposed to be getting 40-60 MPG with this bike, but the MPG indicator has shown 30-35 MPG since I bought the bike.

I am worried that something may have caused a valve to get burnt or bent, which could explain the low gas mileage and loss of power. I don't know if the cam chain tensioner failing could have had something to do with that.

I've also heard that the valves themselves could make a rattling noise if the clearance was too large, but it doesn't seem like valve clearance issues are very common on this bike, especially at the mileage I am at.
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post #2 of 14 Old 10-17-19, 20:19
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The only definitive way to find out is to open your top end and take a peek. The most common and cheaply fixed issue is a broken reed valve in the left SAI port.

The hydraulic cam chain tensioners are pretty reliable with normal street use, and your mileage is around 10,000 to 15,000 too low to worry about a stretched cam chain. I wouldn't rule out a failure but it's not my first guess.
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post #3 of 14 Old 10-17-19, 23:44
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Sorry Man , you have too much going on to tell you that its "This , this or that"

Yes, these bikes rattle when the hydraulic cam tensioner goes out. Hydraulic cam tensioners fail prematurely when you don't keep up with your oil level and/or oil change intervals. Just change over to a manual cam Tensioner , they are cheaper and easier to install. I got tired of my rattle and changed mine. I saw now chain or chain guide wear at 18,000mines when I did my valve adjustment.

If your valves where so lose that they would rattle and you were losing power, trust me you would know and immediately shut the engine off. When valves , camshafts or caps wear down they rattle loud especially when cold or at 1st start up. You KNOW something isn't right

Power loss could be from simple maintenance items that need to be attended to. Did you get your bike full serviced when you bought it. Most importantly, What does your air filter look like?

"I don't know who you noobs are. I don't know what you noobs want. If you are looking for attention, I can tell you I don't have a long span. But, what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very large amount of posts. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you drop this now, that'll be the end of it. I will not Google you, I will not photochop you. But if you don't, I will search the webnets for you, I will find you, and I will pwn you."
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post #4 of 14 Old 10-18-19, 09:35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comical Commie View Post
....
The last big thing I noticed is that I am supposed to be getting 40-60 MPG with this bike, but the MPG indicator has shown 30-35 MPG since I bought the bike...
Um.... Everyone I know and have ridden with get a pretty consistent 40-45 mpg out of their triple. 35 would not be too alarming if you hammer it all the time, although 40 is still pretty expectable even when doing so. Are you talking mpg or kpg? I wouldn't put too much trust in an electrical fuel gauge on a bike - measure your consumption the old fashioned way by using the odometer.... us old guys call it "math". :)
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post #5 of 14 Old 10-18-19, 14:57 Thread Starter
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I don't normally drive very aggressively, but I could care less about getting bad mileage. I've just heard that it could be a potential sign of a valve not sealing properly.
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post #6 of 14 Old 10-18-19, 15:00 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGFChapin View Post
The only definitive way to find out is to open your top end and take a peek. The most common and cheaply fixed issue is a broken reed valve in the left SAI port.

The hydraulic cam chain tensioners are pretty reliable with normal street use, and your mileage is around 10,000 to 15,000 too low to worry about a stretched cam chain. I wouldn't rule out a failure but it's not my first guess.
I plan to take a look at the top end and cam chain this weekend to see if I can find anything. Thank you for your input!
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post #7 of 14 Old 10-18-19, 15:07 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AYoDread View Post
Sorry Man , you have too much going on to tell you that its "This , this or that"

Yes, these bikes rattle when the hydraulic cam tensioner goes out. Hydraulic cam tensioners fail prematurely when you don't keep up with your oil level and/or oil change intervals. Just change over to a manual cam Tensioner , they are cheaper and easier to install. I got tired of my rattle and changed mine. I saw now chain or chain guide wear at 18,000mines when I did my valve adjustment.

If your valves where so lose that they would rattle and you were losing power, trust me you would know and immediately shut the engine off. When valves , camshafts or caps wear down they rattle loud especially when cold or at 1st start up. You KNOW something isn't right

Power loss could be from simple maintenance items that need to be attended to. Did you get your bike full serviced when you bought it. Most importantly, What does your air filter look like?
This weekend I am going to open up the top end, check the valves and cam chain, change the oil, and install an ape manual tensioner.
Its good to hear that its most likely not bent or burnt valves. I bought the bike from a dealership and they said they had maintenced it and prepped it for sale, but that probably wasn't a proper maintenance job, suppose I should have asked a few more questions about that...
I did check the air filter today and it was pretty clean.

I know my description of all of this was pretty vague because I haven't had a chance to actually check everything, I just created this forum to get some possible input and suggestions for the future just in case I cant figure it out. I really appreciate your response!
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post #8 of 14 Old 10-19-19, 07:18
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Regarding the down-shift change issue; it's a feature of the gearbox that if you pull the clutch in and coast in top you can't change all the way down without releasing the clutch although yours sounds a little different tbh. I ususally go down to 3rd or 4th as normal then coast and snick it down to neutral as I stop.

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Originally Posted by MGFChapin View Post
The most common and cheaply fixed issue is a broken reed valve in the left SAI port.
Never heard of this, and I'm curious how injecting fresh air into the exhaust can affect power so much?
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post #9 of 14 Old 10-19-19, 12:11
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Never heard of this, and I'm curious how injecting fresh air into the exhaust can affect power so much?
Thats what an air pump does, so the vehicle can pass emmission test. Bikes don't have them.

A faulty SAI could change your A/F's causing you to have a loss in power. If your oxygen sensor reads too lean of an A/F mixture in the exhaust it will tell the ECU to supply more fuel. Our bikes like running a little leaner for more power.

"I don't know who you noobs are. I don't know what you noobs want. If you are looking for attention, I can tell you I don't have a long span. But, what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very large amount of posts. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you drop this now, that'll be the end of it. I will not Google you, I will not photochop you. But if you don't, I will search the webnets for you, I will find you, and I will pwn you."
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post #10 of 14 Old 10-19-19, 13:43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AYoDread View Post
A faulty SAI could change your A/F's causing you to have a loss in power. If your oxygen sensor reads too lean of an A/F mixture in the exhaust it will tell the ECU to supply more fuel. Our bikes like running a little leaner for more power.
I inderstood that the lamda sensor feedback only works at low rpm/power settings and when you open up the reading is essentially ignored as the ECU goes into "open loop" mode delivering full power according to the fuelling map. So a broken SAI valve would have no affect on WOT.
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