Q. I have a new Kawasaki Z1000SX with 900 miles on the clock, which has a faint rattle. It comes in when I am gently opening the throttle at low revs in the low gears. It’s similar to pinking or a tappet rattle.
I am not labouring the bike at all, but it goes as the bike revs higher. I have taken the bike back to the dealers and they say it's a "characteristic" of this engine and is not a problem.
Chris Howard, email
A. I wouldn’t be too worried about it at the moment, as it only occurs at low revs and the engine is still quite tight at that mileage. However, I would note at what revs and in what gears it commences and stops, along with the tone and volume of the rattle.
You can also pinpoint the location of the noise by using a screwdriver as a mechanic’s stethoscope, placing the blade against different parts of the engine and putting your ear to the handle end. Another trick is to place a gloved hand over the silencer for a few seconds to completely muffle the engine.
With your initial data of revs, location and sound you will be able to monitor it and pick up any changes if they occur. I would also double-check the drive-train for tension and lubrication.
It’s possible the throttle position sensor needs adjusting, but I think it’s because the engine is still tight. Perhaps if you gave it a more rigorous workout with the throttle that could help...