Hello there MOby!

Greetings from Indonesia! I have a 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 250 with Akrapovič slip-on installed. Now after 17,000 km (around 10,563 miles) the engine is starting to make this ticking sound. It’s very loud when the engine is cold; even louder than an Akrapovič without baffle on! Since you guys have tested and ride Kawasaki motorcycles… is it normal? I know it has something to do with Cam Chain and Cam Chain Tensioner but why is it happening? My friends who ride Ninja(s) also share this issue and the authorized dealer recommended us to change the whole Cam Chain… what’s your take?

Thank you in advance friend!

Dear Kres,

At 10,563 miles it’s probably not the cam chain but, correct, the cam chain tensioner, which is the spring-mounted plunger deal that keeps the slack out of the chain so that it can’t rub on the inside of the engine case and make that terrible noise. Apparently, it’s not an uncommon issue.

Kawasaki motorcycle engine parts fiche diagram

It’s probably not really hurting anything, but it is annoying and even embarrassing. Luckily, it’s a pretty easy thing to deal with. Part #12048 is held on by two 8mm-headed bolts and is easily accessible. A new one will set you back around $75 everywhere we shopped, and it’s not too difficult to plug it in according to directions. (Get a new gasket, #11061, too.)

You can also try to reset your current tensioner by removing #92153 and turning the plunger inside there clockwise with a big flathead screwdriver and a lot of pressure, but it’s not easy to do and the ticking eventually comes back anyway.


cam chain tensioner

Away go your rattling cam-chain problems down the drain with Power Stands Racing manual cam chain tensioner. It’s $56.95 at BikeBandit.

The better way to go is with a manual cam chain tensioner, which you manually adjust with a couple of wrenches every now and then – instead of relying on a spring to take up the slack. Forum mavens like the Powerstands Racing manual cam chain tensioner, available all over the place including online of course, for $50 – 60, and APE makes one too. Should clear that right up.

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