The bike is a 2013 Kawasaki W800 with 30k km/ 18k miles on the clock. I'm the original owner and have looked after it very well - oil and filter change every 5k km/ 3.1k miles, followed the correct break-in procedure to a T and have kept up with chain and sprocket lubrication and replacement.

Recently I noticed my bike makes a whining sound when accelerating in first gear - kind of sounds like a car in reverse. The sound lessens the faster you accelerate and is more pronounced when the engine is warm. Other gears are fine. I'm guessing it's a bearing issue. I'm just a bit miffed because I looked after it so well.

Would anyone know why this happened and is it a concern (I mostly commute in peak hour with it, so a lot of slow lane filtering bouncing between 1st and 2nd).

  • Have you recently replaced a chain? could it be too tight/loose?
    – Mauro
    Nov 5, 2019 at 11:17
  • @Mauro yes, actually I did recently replace the chain...
    – MeltingDog
    Nov 6, 2019 at 0:29

1 Answer 1


Given there was a recent change to the chain, if too much tension was placed on the drive gear (small gear near the engine)/bearing it could have caused some damage.

  • Check the chain for the correct tension (on most bikes there is a sticker on the swingarm showing how much slack there should be).
  • With the chain off the drive gear, check the gear for play/lateral movement

If the whining goes away with the correct tension then you have found your culprit. If the drive gear has lateral play then there is a good chance you have a damaged bearing causing the whining.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.