Engine pulley started to make a clicking noise when rotating after a long ride this last weekend with pillion & luggage. First I thought it might be the belt not catching the pulley right due to gunk, so I cleaned the belt with mild soap and water. After that didn't work, I loosened / tightened the belt, and tried to rear alignment to either side to see if it was an alignment or tension issue but no luck. I took the pulley cover off and think that maybe it is the pulley itself that is clicking. Before I take off the belt entirely to confirm it's not the belt, I wanted to check to see if anyone had any ideas. Here is a video of the clicking:
Yikes! That seems deep in there. From what I can tell, the engine will need to be taken off the bike and the case split to replace the output shaft drive bearing...
Is it possible to keep riding on it with a spent bearing? Has anyone been able to replace the bearing without splitting the engine? I'm trying to figure out if this is even worth trying to fix. I don't have a ton of space to work on this and as a very novice mechanic I'm worried I may be in over my head.
I took the rear tire off / loosened the belt and the no sound at all when rotating the pulley. It felt smooth, no sign of leaky oil or anything. I noticed that when I pushed hard on the pulley toward the rear wheel to simulate belt tension, there was a slight clicking when rotating he pulley!
I tried to tighten the pulley bolt and I think the nut may have rotate rotated slightly, but it is difficult to confirm because I don't have a holder. I tried to push on the pulley and rotate it after attempting to tighten it and I didn't hear anymore clicking. But when I got the belt back on and set the tension, the clicking came back.
Is it possible that a loose nut on the engine pulley could be the reason for the click? I'm 99% certain I was not able to tighten it to the 60+ lb-ft needed to be in spec. Or does this sound more like a damaged output shaft drive bearing?
I tried the 6th gear / rear brake trick and it worked! Girlfriend held the brake while I cranked with the torque wrench. Didn't seem to be an issue at all for the belt to hold. Got the nut to 61 lb.ft per spec and it definitely turned a little bit during the adjustment. No more sound from the pulley when rotating by hand, BUT I still need to ride it around a bit to confirm.
I'll provide an update if the issue comes back but for now it is solved! Thanks again everyone for your help.
There is a washer with locking tabs behind the nut, but they obviously didn't stop the thing from coming loose or being able to be tightened again.
If you look closely at the image attached, the locking tabs are on the corner of the nut before I tightened it. After tightening the nut, the washer tabs lined up again with the edge of the nut. I probably should have squeezed them in more before putting the pulley cover back on. If the noise returns, I might do that or consider replacing the washer tab.