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are rear wheel bearings on a 650 known to fail or get noisy, has anyone had to replace them ? i hear like a whirring noise but only when there's barrier to the side of me where sound can bounce back to me, and when i'm leaned over i can hear it too, it almost sounds like the tires biting in
 

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is it a constant whirring?

sometimes on my 650 I get what is technically called a beat frequency. At about 40 to 45mph I hear:

HHmmmm......HHmmmm.......HHmmmm.....HHmmmm at about 1 second intervals.

That is usually the sound of two things that are running at almost exactly the same rpm, but one is slightly slower than the other.

I know the tires are different size wheels, I'm going to measure the diameter of both of them to see if they are close.

there is nothing else I can think of that could be doing that. The front and rear cams for example, both spin at exactly the same speed. I don't think the carbs could make a sound like that. The bike runs perfectly BTW.

or maybe my Vstar just gets very contemplative sometimes... Hmmm.... Hmmm....
 

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2010 Vstar 950. Candy Red.
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Pauli,

my 650's drive shaft made a bit of noise that could have been described as whirring. It didn't sound problematic, just mechanical stuff operating. Have you had a tire replaced or repaired recently or some reason for drive shaft to have been disconnected?

May not be helpful, but these are the things that came to mind:
Final drive oil level low? Everything tight back there? Rear wheel alignment hasn't slipped out a little that might cause a little strain?

Sorry couldn't be more helpful.
 

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If you cannot wobble the wheel, the bearings should be fine. I would say next tire replacement, maybe have a look and re-grease if they seem fine. If you can shake your tire at all, they are gone and need to be replaced.
 

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are rear wheel bearings on a 650 known to fail or get noisy, has anyone had to replace them ? i hear like a whirring noise but only when there's barrier to the side of me where sound can bounce back to me, and when i'm leaned over i can hear it too, it almost sounds like the tires biting in
I wouldn't say it's a known failure but I replaced mine at about 29K miles just for peace of mind. However the old bearings were in decent shape so I pulled the seals, thoroughly cleaned them, repacked them, replaced the seals and have them ready for use when needed. I've seen premature bearing failures because the owners regularly used pressure washers on their bikes which can force water/solvents into the wheel hubs, steering tubes and swing arm pivots and flush out lube. The only way to really tell if your wheel bearings are worn is to remove the wheel and inspect the bearings given that the 650 also has a rear drive unit which can also make noise like worn wheel bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
is it a constant whirring?

sometimes on my 650 I get what is technically called a beat frequency. At about 40 to 45mph I hear:

HHmmmm......HHmmmm.......HHmmmm.....HHmmmm at about 1 second intervals.

That is usually the sound of two things that are running at almost exactly the same rpm, but one is slightly slower than the other.

I know the tires are different size wheels, I'm going to measure the diameter of both of them to see if they are close.

there is nothing else I can think of that could be doing that. The front and rear cams for example, both spin at exactly the same speed. I don't think the carbs could make a sound like that. The bike runs perfectly BTW.

or maybe my Vstar just gets very contemplative sometimes... Hmmm.... Hmmm....
the sound your describing is dead on for what i'm hearing on mine, i went through the whole bike this winter, and all the wheel bearings felt smooth rolling them with my fingers. i have a almost new kenda 673 on the rear and a brand new commander 2 on the front, i just noticed today all the stick on wheel weights on the front are gone but rear still has all of them, i'v had it with the stick on weights so i'm getting a spoke weight kit, the reusable ones, today i was at 70 mph going through a mountain tunnel the pulsing noise was there then i cut the throttle and pulled the clutch and everything was as smooth as could be only sound was road noise from the tires and the idling engine let out the clutch the noise was back i'm starting to think transmission shafts ?, even with no weights on the front wheel there's no wobble shake or shimmy all the way to 80 mph, the sound is very difficult to isolate, i only hear it when there something for the sound to bounce off back to me. i'm not going to sweat it, i'll keep riding and stay a bit more alert to my wheel sounds for a while thats all
 

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That's interesting, I have not tried to clutch in when I hear it.

It just occurred to me that I am assuming the timing chains are both the same length, but now that I think about it, one chain might be a link or two shorter then the other depending on where the sprocket that drives them is located in the engine - so that could explain a beat frequency from slightly worn chains.

I notice it more with the windshield on the bike, which tends to reflect engine noise up where I can hear it more.

I wonder if the carbs are not synched, if there could be a hunting between the front and rear carb trying to find a balance point.
 

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went for a ride this afternoon - my 650 makes the droning humming sound at a steady 45 to 48mph. If I clutch in, slow down or speed up it stops. I think it might be a resonance in the air box. If I crank the throttle hard it turns into the airbox growl.
 

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Rode to work today with the windshield off - pure bliss riding in the air again

can not hear anything now, the windshield reflects all the engines sounds up to my helmet like a big megaphone.

Whatever that varying humm.. hummm... sound is at 45mph, I cant hear it now. Since I got the windshield last year, the bike may have been always making that odd sound, and I just never heard it.

Or maybe the windshield is humming at 45mph o_O
 
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