Fixing the Dash Rattle on a 2012/2013 Kawasaki Ninja 650L.

“Get your noise-cancelling headphones…. ’cause it’s gonna get loud.” – Penny.

I recently picked up a second hand Kawasaki Ninja 650L (2012/2013 model), which as you can imagine was very exciting (my second bike).

However, what I hadn’t noticed during the test ride was that at about 4500 rpm, I started getting a jackhammer like rattle coming out of the dash. After riding around for a while, and applying pressure to various parts of the dash, it became apparent that the rattle appeared to be emanating from around the instrument cluster itself.

At first I thought the whole instrument cluster was causing the rattle, so I followed the instructions from this video showing how to disassemble the dash, and how to add some padding behind the instrument cluster. Unfortunately though, that did not fix the problem. I pulled everything apart again, and on a hunch, held the loose instrument cluster against the bike dash while the bike was idling – as soon as the instrument cluster touched the bike, the noise started again.

Now I unscrewed the four screws on the back of the instrument cluster (I left the cable plugged into it). Once I took the front cover of the instrument cluster off, I found a white powder all through the box. The powder was from the white silicon that was being used to hold the LCD screen in place; this seemed to have disintegrated, filling the box with silicon residue and allowing the LCD panel to bounce around against its plastic housing. You can see in the picture below where I’m using my thumb to pull the LCD screen up slightly. The white silicon on the top of the two vertical supports had worn away, and the LCD panel was bouncing downwards against the white plastic housing – rather violently.

I added a small amount of neutral cure silicon, which my Dad suggested, with my finger to the two floating corners – just gently though. As the LCD screen is transparent, I didn’t want there to be silicon visible under the LCD screen – so I just used a small amount around the corners. I applied the silicon and then left the cover off for 24 hours to let the silicon set. My original plan was to insert some thin bits of foam under the LCD screen, until I realised that the whole screen was transparent.

I reassembled the instrument cluster, put it back in its housing and reassembled the front of the bike. I’m very pleased to say that the rattle is now gone completely. I was also able to clean out the inside of the instrument cluster while I was there, as the white powder was leaving a few marks on the inside of clear plastic on the case – making the case look damaged.

~ Mike

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