Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
09-20-2013, 07:03 AM,
Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)

I have a 2002 V-Star 650 Custom with just over 55,000 miles.

I was recently on my way home from work in the central Texas summer heat when the bike suddenly started making a loud knocking type noise. I was concerned so pulled into a gas station. I checked the oil and it was low but not extremely low. I topped it off and started it back up. The noise continued, and seemed to get worse after a minute and then it died.

The engine would not restart until I let it sit for 20-30 minutes and cool off. It started, but was still making the loud knocking sound. I nursed/pushed it the rest of the way home and have been trying to troubleshoot it since.

The bike will start and run, but makes that awful knocking sound and seems to heat up pretty quick, though I've been afraid to really let it run too long. I can't seem to identify the exact source or nature of the knocking sound...

I checked the valves and they seemed to be pretty in spec, but I performed an adjustment anyway. I changed the oil and filter and examined the cam chain tensioners. They seemed fine, but I wasn't really sure what to look for.. One cam chain did seem to have more slack than the other..

Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for things to check before I start taking it apart for an overhaul?

Here is a video of the bike starting and running and the noise it makes:
09-21-2013, 06:37 AM,
RE: Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)
geez that IS a bad noise, but you have most everything I can think of short of tearing it down.
that said with have some pretty cluey 650 guys around hear @jhennley our you out there mate
anyone else with any ideas
Two wheels moves me body and soul Cool
09-21-2013, 11:21 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-21-2013, 11:25 AM by OldePhart.)
RE: Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)
Ouch...that doesn't sound good though it's hard to figure out anything from the video - in fact, if not for the other symptoms it almost sounds like a cracked header pipe. I don't think that's the problem though because it wouldn't cause the other symptoms you're having.

You can make a poor man's mechanic stethoscope out of a 2 or 3 foot section of rubber garden hose. Hold one end to your ear and move the other around close to the engine, even touching it, to isolate sounds. It may help to block the other ear (cotton ball works fine). Also, get the bike out of the garage when trying to trace the noise - inside the garage everything reflects and makes your job ten times harder. In fact, parking it off pavement will help in that department, too.

BTW, have you got the bike set up to idle really low? Maybe it was just because it was cold in the video but from hearing that I got the impression it might be idling really low. That's not good for these engines - they need oil to the heads for the cams. Many Harleys can idle crazy low because they've got low tech engines without overhead cams so they don't need much oil in the heads - just enough to lube the rockers and valve stems.

2011 V-Star 650 Custom (new in fall 2013)
V&H Cruzer Pipes, Memphis Shades Bat Wing, Floorboards, Highway Bars,
Locking Bags, Tail Rack, LED Signals & Aux Brake Lights, Headlight Modulator,
Brake Light Modulator, 5/8" Gel Pad Under Upholstery.
09-21-2013, 01:11 PM, (This post was last modified: 09-21-2013, 01:12 PM by Maustarman.)
Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)
Wow...that's exactly the sound I had in the bike I got a couple months ago...the one that is now The Dead Man's Hand...
The sound in mine I tracked it down with a stethoscope to the front cylinder.
Anyways, at that time I had a mechanic stoping by to check it out and he told me it was a blown piston :(
I weighted my options and decided to get a full engine out of eBay instead of dealing with the problem.
I ended up paying $450 for the engine and $200 for the freight.....that wouldn't even had paid for the labor to open up the engine.(at least in this corner of the woods)

Don't give up just yet... Check the pipes heater where connect to the engine... Sometimes if there is a leak the engine will make a knocking sound.
09-22-2013, 03:19 AM,
RE: Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)
Thanks for the responses.

I tried a rudimentary stethoscope technique with a long screwdriver.. unfortunately I couldn't really narrow it down.

@Maustarman - I had just read through your build thread when I came here to post for help. Excellent work; that bike really turned out great and you have a good sense for creative DIY work!

I think at this point I'm just going to start tearing it down and see what I can find.. I can do that or free (minus my time anyway) and hopefully find an obvious culprit. If not, well then I might be in the market for a new motor as well...

Thanks, and I'll try to keep this thread updated as I (hopefully) make progress.
09-22-2013, 04:18 AM, (This post was last modified: 09-22-2013, 04:34 AM by Maustarman.)
Loud Engine Noise/Knock (with video)
Thanks for the comments about my build
Good for you and wanting to tackle it your self.
Love bike challenges!
The best thing to do when you take a project like that its been organize and get as much research done as possible.
I've been thinking about that problem, and man what if its just a blown valve or valve spring?
Now I want to know ....I going to star tearing down the engine I took off the bike and figure out what's up.. Maybe we can help each other along the way with our findings.

Anyways lets see what happens

Keep the updates coming
Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
Flag_red Strange noise when power connected havokhaven 0 46 09-08-2020, 12:22 PM
Last Post: havokhaven
  XVS650 wierd noise ComboBreaker 1 3,274 05-18-2017, 12:30 PM
Last Post: ComboBreaker
  Check engine light reset Dholland2121 1 4,934 05-08-2017, 11:11 PM
Last Post: Steve Lank
  XVS650C Check Engine at highway speed Lee Dubya 8 11,743 05-08-2017, 11:08 PM
Last Post: Steve Lank
  Check Engine light / speedo pulse - update OldePhart 6 7,662 05-08-2017, 10:41 PM
Last Post: Steve Lank
  V star 650 check engine light Dholland2121 1 5,597 05-08-2017, 10:36 PM
Last Post: Steve Lank
  my 650 is making a tapping/clicking noise Ryder 4 9,568 06-14-2016, 01:52 PM
Last Post: Ryder
  engine removal Re:bobber project masterhermit 6 7,404 10-06-2015, 08:56 AM
Last Post: pauli466
  Engine Guard issue freehinton 12 11,682 10-05-2015, 08:06 AM
Last Post: pauli466
  trans noise slowdad 12 14,532 05-25-2015, 09:01 AM
Last Post: pauli466

Users browsing this thread:
3 Guest(s)