The summer is a great time to own and ride a motorcycle with the warmer days and dryer roads. I have taken advantage of this and ridden to few bike meets and shows recently. One notable show was in Bideford, North Devon. I set off early on my 5000cc Flying Millyard with minimum wet weather gear for the 160 mile trip. I decided to take the scenic route and soon rode into rain and fog, but it was quite warm so I just got wet then dried out as the weather improved. The show was a great event, I met a load of nice people and had endless questions about the bike all day long. On the way home I noticed the sound of my engine changing, there was a slight rattle and clicking sound that seemed to be getting worse. I stopped at a garage to check what was going on and it was running ok, just a little rattle, so I decided to press on but at a slower pace. Thankfully the rattle didn’t get any worse and I got home ok.
The following day I drained the oil and removed the timing cover from the engine. I was shocked to see the rear camchain tensioner had worn down causing the camchain to slap around. This was the cause of the rattle, but I was pleased to see that no other damage was evident. The camchain tensioner that I fitted when I made the engine was from a small car engine and obviously not up to the job long term, so I made a new curved slipper tensioner that has a longer contact patch with the chain and is more reliable, this type of tensioner is fitted to most modern motorcycle engines and in most cases gives trouble free operation for the life of the bike. I then replaced the timing cover, refilled with fresh oil and changed the oil filter. The engine now runs quietly again.