2004 650 classic Loud whine - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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2004 650 classic Loud whine

Hi everyone,

I've had my bike for a year now, and although I love the darn thing, the excessive whining sound that it has is seriously bothering me. I'm even wearing earplugs now to try and help and I can still hear it. I've listened to countless youtube videos and read page after page on forums, most people say these bikes do whine, but it seems some are worse than others. Mine is on the worse side. I am linking a youtube video of what I am taking about. This is not my bike, but mine sounds just like this one. I am 99% sure that it has something to do with the clutch as the noise stope when I pull in the clutch, but I cant seem to get anyones advise that has gone through this as of yet. Here's the video.

Any help would be awesome!
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 09:49 PM
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The whining noise in the 650 and many other motorcycles is caused by the straight cut gears, in the engine and the transmission.

When you pull in the clutch the transmission free-wheels, there is zero torque on the gears (being spun by the output shaft to the back wheel). That is why it goes quiet.

Some higher end bikes use helical cut gears exactly for this issue. The yamaha FJR-1300 was revised a few years ago to change the transmission from straight to helical cut gears, and it is a big selling point for the new versions of the bike.

I dont know if there is anything with the weight of the oil you are using, or if something else on your bike could also be whining or whistling to make a noise like the bike in the video.

One thing to verify: when you use foam ear plugs you have to squish them up and push them in your ear, and then stand there and hold it pushed into your ear with your finger, until the foam has minute to expand into place. If you dont do that they dont block sound very well. When they are correctly inserted your ear will feel plugged, like there is water in your ear.

A good test, if you can hear your stock horn at 55mph on the bike your ear plugs are not working.

I have a hearing loss and I cant wear my hearing aids and my glasses at the same time with my helmet, so I normally dont wear the hearing aids. The few times when I rode with them the bike sounds very loud!

The only other thing I can suggest is to make sure your final drive from the drive shaft to the back wheel is full and has the correct 80W oil.

how many miles / km are on your 650? As bikes get used the gears wear more and get louder.
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Last edited by KCW; 08-02-2018 at 09:52 PM.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 09:56 PM Thread Starter
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KCW, thanks for the comments. One thing I forgot to mention is the pitch of the whine is also RPM dependant. You can hear it in the video a couple of different time where he accidentally revs the bike too much before fully releasing the clutch, the pitch of the whine starts high and then drops as the clutch is fully disengaged. Which again leads me to believe its not gear related, or final drive related. I have been tempted to buy a complete new clutch basket and discs and just replace everything to see what happens, but I hate to just throw parts at it and have it make no difference.

Oh ,and I run royal purple 10w40 I the crankcase, final drive is full of the correct 80w lube and is nice and clean
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-02-2018, 10:15 PM
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the only thing I can think of with the clutch itself - I have never taken one apart on a VS650, but on most cars I have worked on, when you engage the clutch the throwout bearing pushing the levers on the clutch plate in the direction of the crankshaft, which has the effect of putting an end-load force on the crank shaft itself - pushing it into its bearings hard.

If there is anything off with the engine bearings, the cam chain gears, or even the timing chain (for the cams) - then maybe the clutch pushing on the end of the crankshaft shifts it or side loads the bearings up just enough to make the whining-thing shift over and quiet down...

Im guessing on this...

I cant picture anything in an engaged clutch assembly making a whining noise on its own. It should be one big mass, like a flywheel, when the clutch is not slipping.
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Last edited by KCW; 08-02-2018 at 10:18 PM.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 07:14 AM
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Did you check the intake manifolds? Maybe (MAYBE) they could be brittle, or the o-rings are bad, making this whistle noise.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 07:35 AM
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I am not hearing anything out of the ordinary to be honest. Sounds exactly like my bike.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 07:40 AM
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you never said how many miles are on the bike?
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 08:00 AM
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I forgot to mention my clutch was rebuilt 2 years ago also. The "whine" sounds normal to me but each engine is different.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 08:36 AM
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Hi Lance,
I think everyone has raised some excellent points. When I had my 650 Classic with V&H slash cut pipes, it sounded just like the video. Delson and KCW also raised good points. Iím no mechanic for sure, but im thinking along the lines of intake or exhaust leak. Check your driveline as well and keep us updated. The information shared may help many of the other 650 owners on our forum.


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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-03-2018, 09:45 AM
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It sounds about like mine, except I have stock pipes so the gear whine is more noticeable. When I first got this bike I was worried about the whine coming from the primary drive, but there is nothing you can do about it, so now I just push the earplugs in tight and don't worry about it and all is well!
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