Engine click during idle? - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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Engine click during idle?

So, I've not heard another Vstar running so am not sure if this is normal or not.

While idling, I sometimes hear a clicking sound. It happens periodically, mostly when it's warming up, but also sometimes while sitting at a light.

It sounds like what you can hear in this video:

Do i need to get my timing checked/adjusted or is this normal for these bikes? This bike has only 4700kms on the odo so seems odd if the timing is out. Also, I know very little about timing. Doing this myself seems daunting. Is it safe to ride like this until I can find the funds to take it to a mechanic?

Current Bike:
2008 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic

Previous Bikes:
2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 06:47 PM
KCW
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I would ignore any sounds you hear till you ride the bike at least 5km to warm up the engine... maybe even 10km.

the most important valve adjustments are the first ones. I cant remember if its at 600 miles and 4000 miles, or just 4000 miles for the first time.

The reason is the new engine parts, esp the valves, wear in and seat themselves within the first few thousands miles of riding. So as the valves seat further into the heads, the clearance gets smaller (tighter)

if the tappets riding on the cam also wear in, they would tend to make the setting looser - so its a race between one surface or the other to see which way the adjustment goes for the first time.

After the first several thousand miles things tend to settle down and you usually find they are within the acceptable range when you check them.

If its the valves that are tapping that is not a terrible thing, unless they get really loose. Valves that are too tight, and dont make any tapping noise are a bad sign, because when they get too tight the valve stays open a little all the time, and the hot exhaust gases blowing thru the surface will melt the gap between the valve and the head seat.

They call them Tap-its for a reason: they are suppose to tap tap tap. If they stop tapping they are too tight. Bikes with hydraulic lifters dont make a tapping noise, you dont have one.

But short answer is: if you have not had them checked / adjusted for the first two intervals in the service table, definately get them done.

You can do it your self if you want to save money - its all screwdriver and wrench turning - but you have to take off the seat, the gas tank, the air intake box, and pull some of the wires off the carbs so you can loosen them and move them out of the way a few inches

then you take the fake plastic valve covers off to get (finally) to the tappet covers.

There are good websites that will walk you thru this step by step. If you follow the yamaha service manual they tell you to remove the carbs from the bike - which is more than you need to do. Follow the shorter instructions (might be on you tube) and just move the carbs out of the way. If you start pulling throttle and choke cables off, that is not necessary.

Last thing: get new o rings for the tappet covers - its about 2 to 3 hours to do the complete job, and if the o rings ooze oil because you re-used them, its 2 to 3 hours to replace it. They are $4 each and you need 4.
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Last edited by KCW; 08-23-2018 at 06:51 PM.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-23-2018, 07:20 PM
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Can you locate where the sound is coming from? The sound seems to occur after decel when the motor gets back to near idle speed, roughly... is yours like that? Check around the AIS air cutoff valve.

Last edited by Diogenes415; 08-23-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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I have to remove the carbs to jet the bike anyway. I suppose I can check the valves at the same time.

The sound does occur on decel and it's very occasional. I took it for a short ride yesterday and I heard it only 1 time, when I first started it, before it was warm, and I gave it a small twist of the throttle to see if it was warm yet (for the first minute or 2, it will try to stall out if i twist the throttle).

Ill do some more investigative work to try and locate where it comes from. And yes, from my last Yamaha, I know they make odd sounds. I just want to be sure what I hear is normal.
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Current Bike:
2008 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic

Previous Bikes:
2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 08:35 AM
KCW
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with the carbs presently setup lean, it could be pinging or knocking

one important thing when you check the valves.... ok two important things:

1. you have to let the bike sit overnight and be stone cold when you check / adjust the valves. The spec clearances are for a cold engine. If you run the engine at all before you start working on it, wait till the next day. It also implies you should not leave the bike parked in the hot sun before or during a valve check, keep it in the shade.

2. the engines on Vstar bikes spin backwards. Normally the engine/flywheel on a motorcycle spins in the same direction as the front wheel, but yamaha wanted the bikes to feel more nimble, so they geared the transmission so the engine spins the opposite way as the front wheel. This cancels out some of the gyroscope effect of the tires.

Very few other bikes are set up this way, so when you are turning the engine over with a wrench to line up the timing marks, make sure you do not turn the engine over the same way the front tire would spin, because the timing chain will go slack on the 'tension' side, and the tensioner will pull all the way out, and the timing relationship that keeps the pistons from hitting the valves will be altered, and your top dead center marks will be off on the crankshaft.

while we are talking about this: dont ever push or rock your bike backwards while its in gear, for the same reason - you never want the engine to spin the wrong way.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Helpful tips. Thanks KCW. I don't think it's pinging or knocking. That would be more consistent I think.

On a side note, I'm putting more Seafoam in the tank this weekend. I don't think it's quite out of the woods yet. Reason: after riding and it's hot, when I stop at a set of lights, the rev's pretty high while it's in gear. If i let the clutch engage a wee bit and put some load on it, it's settles back down. Also if I kick it into neutral, it idles fine. Based on googling of other vstar users with this issue, Seafoam may fix it. And with the history of this bike, I'm sure it's not going to hurt to keep on running that stuff through it.

I'm also on the lookout for a Throttle tube. My grips chrome parts are pitted but have an integrated throttle tube. I bought replacements but they didn't come with the tube. *sigh*.

Current Bike:
2008 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic

Previous Bikes:
2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 09:13 AM
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reving fast at idle is a symptom of both running lean, and having a vacuum leak. Since you already know its running lean thats probably whats doing it.

I know that does not make logical sense, that an engine would rev faster when it has less fuel than it 'needs'... but it does. Its complicated.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 08-24-2018, 09:51 AM Thread Starter
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but it only rev's fast with the clutch in. If i kick it into neutral it or let the clutch out just enough to start grabbing, it settles down and idles normally. It's pretty odd. I'll try the seafoam anyway. I'm picking up the jets this weekend, but didn't plan on putting them in and checking the valves until closer to the end of the season.

Current Bike:
2008 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic

Previous Bikes:
2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 09-05-2018, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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So I thought I'd update this post in case someone searching the web gets lead here with the same symptoms.

The click i haven't heard in quite awhile. The high reving at stops while in gear is also gone.

I seafoam'd it and sync'd the carbs. Weather or not that was what fixed the problems, both are gone.

The bike is running pretty good now. It hesitates a very tiny bit when I try to ride it hard, but I'm pretty sure putting the bigger jets in will help with that. Time will tell.

Current Bike:
2008 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic

Previous Bikes:
2005 Yamaha YZF-R6T
1990 Kawasaki EX-500
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