Strange Motorcycle Engine Noises and Their Fix

Part of being a pro rider is to pinpoint the unusual behavior of your motorcycle. Well, it’s not just good riddance with crappy maintenance. Just like any other machine, motorcycles require proper maintenance and repairs. However, even with these, any unusual mechanical noises from your engine or other motorcycle parts are worth being investigated. They can be as little as new clicks or rattles or just ticks from a loose plate. Do not ignore it! Some may be warning signs of a major underlying problem on your machine while others are just minor problems.

From the moment you crank the engine, you should listen carefully to identify the noise and its source. Here are some of the strange sounds that you’d want to check out:

●     Sudden ticks

Rhythmic tick sounds are one of the most cumbersome sounds to track down and diagnose. More often than not, the ticking sound comes and goes at different speeds and when you stop or slow down, the noise goes away. This can be caused by either low oil levels, loose cam chains, valve sticking, or other valve problems. In other cases, it can be as petty as a loose mirror lens.

●     Creepy kink

If your bike has a metallic chain final drive, you might be acquainted with such noises. The sound may repeat regularly or irregularly. With such, your chain could be corroded due to long storage – simple lubrication can silence this, or your chain link could be having a kink in them – a sign of wear, or it might be due to misaligned sprockets after chain tension adjustment.

●     Knocking

A knocking engine is characterized by clunky sounds coming from the motor. This is bad news and once you hear this you should kill the switch and come to a stop for in-depth investigation. Do not try and rev it harder. Normally, knocking is associated with the engine’s bottom end. It happens when collapsed bearings and worn big-end shells seize your engine at the crankshaft and rods. Unless you are good with the mechanics of your bike, this should be attended to by your local dealer.

●     Pop, snap, crackle

Popping sounds or backfiring are often caused by leaking gas or exhaust join gaps. Sharp snapping sounds may be a result of the ignition energy arcing from a flaw in the spark plug wire insulation or cap. This requires you to carefully inspect the caps and wires and replace them if need be. It is advisable to familiarize yourself with your own bike to detect which sounds are normal or abnormal.