650 5th gear noise/rattle - Star Motorcycle Forums: Star Raider, V-Max, V-Star, Road-Star Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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650 5th gear noise/rattle

My 650 classic is now at 26000 miles and it seems to be running fine except for this noise that comes from it in 5th gear. 5th gear ONLY and ONLY when on the throttle. Now, I did notice this noise from it a few years back but now it's much louder and quite annoying.

I'd describe it as a pulsating rattle as if a heavy duty piece of plastic were vibrating against something hard. Or, in my head I always imagine a plastic fan blade running into something or plastic gears grinding. No joke, this is what the bike sounds like in 5th gear. It's to the point now where it's all I think about while riding. The noise sounds like it's coming from the front end under the tank. The performance of 5th has not changed. It is still responsive and will accelerate as normal. I'll usually shift to 5th if I'm going to maintain over 50, this is of course where it is the loudest. The pulsating noise increases with speed and eventually you can't hear it due to wind noise. But at 50-65mph it's really an awful sound. It's all you hear even over the motor and exhaust.

Sooooooo, anyone else experiencing this type of noise from 5th gear on their 650?? It's got to be something in the transmission I would think. If I let off the throttle in 5th the noise disappears. Get back on it and it's back. Something in the gear itself? Really hate to have something going out on this so soon. Man, I just put over $700 in it last fall getting it fixed (stator). This thing shouldn't be having any trans problems in just 26000 miles. Well actually this noise started a few years ago like I said but it's so loud now.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 04:48 PM
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mine does the same thing, its the sound of the engine sucking in air, remove just the air filter element and see how it sounds, if it go's away install a high flow filter element to quiet it down, you can also do the RAK mod but you'll need to rejet the carb doing that. every stock 650 i'v ridden has that obnoxious sucking noise under the tank that gets louder when the engine is lugging especially in 5th in the lower gears it more of a chirping noise. a dirty air filter will really exasperate it too
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-26-2016, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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This doesn't have anything to do with the air intake. Also I just replaced the filter a few weeks back. This noise CAN NOT be duplicated in any other gear. Just 5th. As soon as you let the clutch out after hitting 5th and get on the throttle, it's this loud pulsating racket, increases with speed. Like a plastic sounding GRIND......GRIND.....GRIND......GRIND..... Nothing to do with lugging either. If it won't make this noise (or anything like it) in any other gear it's got to be the actual gear. I did google this and got some hits from some other random bike forums. Sounds like a few others have also had this 5th gear only noise. No results though on what it is or what causes it other than speculation on the way 5th gear is cut... Another rider described it as I did, like a fan blade getting into something as it spins. Too bad these were old posts that didn't go anywhere.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2016, 02:38 PM
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This doesn't have anything to do with the air intake. Also I just replaced the filter a few weeks back. This noise CAN NOT be duplicated in any other gear. Just 5th. As soon as you let the clutch out after hitting 5th and get on the throttle, it's this loud pulsating racket, increases with speed. Like a plastic sounding GRIND......GRIND.....GRIND......GRIND..... Nothing to do with lugging either. If it won't make this noise (or anything like it) in any other gear it's got to be the actual gear. I did google this and got some hits from some other random bike forums. Sounds like a few others have also had this 5th gear only noise. No results though on what it is or what causes it other than speculation on the way 5th gear is cut... Another rider described it as I did, like a fan blade getting into something as it spins. Too bad these were old posts that didn't go anywhere.
you stated the noise sounds like it's under the tank which is a long way from the transmission, did you even try running it with out the filter element to see, a mile without the element won't do any harm unless your in a dust storm, mine sounded like a fan hitting a shroud until i put a high flow air filter in, and it was seriously loud until i did that. iv seen all the posts on this and like you said zero solutions are found except what i did to stop it, if you find some other solution to it please post it, i hate to tear it down to find a perfectly fine transmission, i even put mine on lift running it at 45mph in fifth and all the noise was in behind the air filter housing i put a mechanics stethoscope everywhere possible and the only noises were the cam chains and air system, maybe you can try running it on blocks or something a let me know what you find. i like you have been looking at this particular problem for quite sometime now and have found no online solutions some guys even brought their bikes back to the dealers and then never posted the results of the inspection which i still don't understand why they would do that, if it was 5th gear i would think they would have said so. it seems on mine the air silencer box wasn't so silent after all

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Last edited by pauli466; 05-27-2016 at 02:44 PM.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2016, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I took the air filter out and drove it down the road, as soon as I got to about 55 I went to 5th and the noise was there as loud as ever. Sounds to me like it's coming from the left side of the bike. Would your bike make the sound in any other gear?
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2016, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Dave View Post
Yes I took the air filter out and drove it down the road, as soon as I got to about 55 I went to 5th and the noise was there as loud as ever. Sounds to me like it's coming from the left side of the bike. Would your bike make the sound in any other gear?
it did have a slight chirping in the lower gears but only when first pulling in the low end of the power band once it started winding up a little more it disappeared, the left rear side would be exactly where you would hear transmission or primary drive noises, can you get it off the ground a run it in 5th so you can maybe put a wood dowel or a screw driver to the case a listen for that noise, i also get a slight chatter in the transmission at a very specific rpm, like if i shift to early it will pull fine then hits that little chatter rpm for a second then smooths right out, but most standard transmissions will chatter for a second if they're short shifted until the gears speed up a little. anyway see if you can run it off the ground and let me know what you hear and where you hear it

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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-30-2016, 09:30 AM
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I know there is a generation of 650s that have an issue with the 5th gear grinding, my brother told me about it when he had the bike and had to replace the gear, it was ground down pretty bad. I don't know enough about it to help, but perhaps it's related to that?

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 08:59 AM
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if it does turn out to be the transmission, i'v seen complete used ones for for less than 50.00 on ebay, if you go with a new 5th gear set have them deburred before installing them. all these post about this problem seem die with no real solution, if the 1999 thru 2001 had bad 5th gear sets like i'v been reading why isn't there one picture of a shredded gear set or a post of someone having to replace the set, everything is always hearsay from a 3rd party like " i know a friend who had to replace the set" i never believe in hearsay about anything, it's just not reliable

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauli466 View Post
if it does turn out to be the transmission, i'v seen complete used ones for for less than 50.00 on ebay, if you go with a new 5th gear set have them deburred before installing them. all these post about this problem seem die with no real solution, if the 1999 thru 2001 had bad 5th gear sets like i'v been reading why isn't there one picture of a shredded gear set or a post of someone having to replace the set, everything is always hearsay from a 3rd party like " i know a friend who had to replace the set" i never believe in hearsay about anything, it's just not reliable
Mine was part of that generation (2000) and I actually had the old ground up gears in a box with the odds and ends of the bike. My brother had to replace the 5th gear after it got chewed up. I think I may have finally tossed out the old gears in the trash this winter, but I'll check and post pics if I can find them. But yeah, not hearsay in my case, the 5th gear was 100% chewed up and was replaced by my brother and I've held the busted gear in my hand

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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-31-2016, 03:27 PM
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Mine was part of that generation (2000) and I actually had the old ground up gears in a box with the odds and ends of the bike. My brother had to replace the 5th gear after it got chewed up. I think I may have finally tossed out the old gears in the trash this winter, but I'll check and post pics if I can find them. But yeah, not hearsay in my case, the 5th gear was 100% chewed up and was replaced by my brother and I've held the busted gear in my hand

Dan
thanks for posting dan that was what i was looking for, i'll be tearing into cases this winter and i will let everyone know whats up with my 2000 classic, with gears as bad as your saying i wonder why the noise was only under acceleration and not when decelerating also, you would think a really torn up 5th gear set would make a lot of noise all the time but i know as a mechanic anything's possible, also all my oil changes never show any metal and i run a magnet through my oil on every drain to catch any engine damage early, i also cut open my filter and never see anything but very tiny metal specs which is to be expected on any engine because all engines shed metal it's part of normal wear, i'm talking specs here not flakes or shavings. did your bike give you any other signs of the gears going bad other than noise under a load

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Last edited by pauli466; 05-31-2016 at 03:29 PM.
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