Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dandridge (Near Knoxville), TN, USA
That does not sound like alternator drive rattle. Alternator gear train rattle is also not affected by slipping the clutch, as that does nothing to load the drive. You have to increase the load on the alternator by turning on high load items, like high beam headlight etc. to load down the alternator so the gear backlash is taken up.
There are a couple common problems with exhaust components that can cause heavy rattles like you are hearing, the most likely is broken header flanges where the exhaust bolts into the head. Remove the lower engine fairing, loosen all the exhaust flange nuts, then try to rotate the flanges slightly. If any move, they are broken where the pipe is welded inside them. These can be re-welded by removing the exhaust system.
Next to check is the joint between the catalytic converter and muffler. These have cracked nearly all the way around, and will rattle, also leak exhaust gasses. Also can be re-welded easily.
I had both issues, re-welded them.
Another possibility is the exhaust hanger bolted to the centerstand bracket. Check the heavy wire spring loop between the mount and exhaust. These have broken on some bikes.
I am almost positive it is NOT in the valve train at all. There have been almost NO problems in the valve train on any of these bikes.
I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.