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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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Discussion Starter #5
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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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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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?

Dan
 

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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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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 :)

Dan
 

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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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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
My understanding of it is that it gradually gets worse over time and noise gets more intense with time.

OK I just got off the phone with my brother and he gave me more information. Basically the gear is not grinding, it's pitting a wear pattern prematurely. Yamaha used inferior metal for a few years on those gears so they are wearing prematurely and he said the gear is not grinding and much as it's pitting on the teeth of the gear. he also said it started as a whining noise only in 5th at around 60 mph+ when accelerating because when you lay off the gas, you remove the pressure from the crank that turns the gear. So he did not allow it to get any worse as he found out what it was right away and tore the engine apart. He said it was impossible to really figure out where it was coming from because you're on the bike doing 60, but he could tell it was a gear issue.

So if it is that you are experiencing, can you remember if it started as a whining and got worse over time? Also with the pitting over time, you would not find shavings like you would from grinding gears, you would find tiny specks of metal.

I'll try to find the gears tonight but I am almost sure I tossed them. Basically what it looked like was on the inside edges of the teeth, the middle areas were all shaved down.

He also said get ready for a complete engine teardown to get at that gear.. he said he had to take everything apart to get to it and it was a pain in the arse.

Here's other examples of the exact same issue:

http://www.allworldauto.com/comments/viewthread.php?cid=583686

and another:

http://www.allworldauto.com/comments/viewthread.php?cid=428525

Another:

http://www.allworldauto.com/comments/viewthread.php?cid=428654

etc... all the same problem.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Man, you guys are scaring me now. My bike was bought new in 2010 but it's an '09. I'd think that by then if there had been known issues with 5th on the 650, Yamaha would have taken care of it. Mine doesn't have any sort of whining sound just the LOUD rattle sound while on the throttle in 5th. Obviously 5th gets the most use as far as while riding it but it shouldn't be wearing out so soon. 26000 mile is nothing. I could see a lower gear like 1st or 2nd getting beat up if someone is doing hard acceleration all the time but with 5th you can't really do that. The 650 just doesn't have the power to beat on 5th. I hit 5th at around 55 to 60 and cruise on up to about 72-75 while riding the highway. 60 or so on the back roads. Usually run a 50 grade like Mobil 1 or Valvoline MC synthetic. Current fill is VR1 conventional. I've never seen any shiny specs in the drained oil and I look out in the sun light. Maybe I saw some when it was newer but not now.

Seriously disappointed if this v star is on its way to a catastrophic failure in the trans. Figured I'd easily get 50000 trouble free miles out of this thing from all I've read about them. I don't mind the basic upkeep like tires and fluids and brakes but this thing should last WAY longer. Although it hasn't blown up yet, from the sounds of it (since it's getting louder) something is going wrong. Hate to be going 75 and have the rear tire lock up. Not exactly a bike I want to be dumping money into either. It was $5000 out the door new and has depreciated. I HAD to put over $700 in it just last fall to get it back on the road. Something that shouldn't have failed had to be replaced if I ever wanted to hear it start again.
I don't think trying to sell it would be a great idea either. Whoever takes it for a ride would be like, WTF is that noise?? I wouldn't buy a bike doing that either.
 

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Man, you guys are scaring me now. My bike was bought new in 2010 but it's an '09. I'd think that by then if there had been known issues with 5th on the 650, Yamaha would have taken care of it. Mine doesn't have any sort of whining sound just the LOUD rattle sound while on the throttle in 5th. Obviously 5th gets the most use as far as while riding it but it shouldn't be wearing out so soon. 26000 mile is nothing. I could see a lower gear like 1st or 2nd getting beat up if someone is doing hard acceleration all the time but with 5th you can't really do that. The 650 just doesn't have the power to beat on 5th. I hit 5th at around 55 to 60 and cruise on up to about 72-75 while riding the highway. 60 or so on the back roads. Usually run a 50 grade like Mobil 1 or Valvoline MC synthetic. Current fill is VR1 conventional. I've never seen any shiny specs in the drained oil and I look out in the sun light. Maybe I saw some when it was newer but not now.

Seriously disappointed if this v star is on its way to a catastrophic failure in the trans. Figured I'd easily get 50000 trouble free miles out of this thing from all I've read about them. I don't mind the basic upkeep like tires and fluids and brakes but this thing should last WAY longer. Although it hasn't blown up yet, from the sounds of it (since it's getting louder) something is going wrong. Hate to be going 75 and have the rear tire lock up. Not exactly a bike I want to be dumping money into either. It was $5000 out the door new and has depreciated. I HAD to put over $700 in it just last fall to get it back on the road. Something that shouldn't have failed had to be replaced if I ever wanted to hear it start again.
I don't think trying to sell it would be a great idea either. Whoever takes it for a ride would be like, WTF is that noise?? I wouldn't buy a bike doing that either.
all reports are for 1998-2000 anything after 2000 was ok, so you should be fine, mine sounds more like a sucking noise under the tank. after i modified the stock intake most of it disappeared. i'm installing a hyper charger in a few days i'll see if that eliminates it completely, if if doesn't , i'm making an extension for my mechanic stethoscope and taping it right to the case above where the 5th gear set is and go riding. if it is the gears i'm going to have a busy week end turning wrenches not mention the expense of a used transmission and a bunch of gaskets, might as well do a crank polish and change the shell bearings while i'm at it.
 

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Man, you guys are scaring me now. My bike was bought new in 2010 but it's an '09. I'd think that by then if there had been known issues with 5th on the 650, Yamaha would have taken care of it. Mine doesn't have any sort of whining sound just the LOUD rattle sound while on the throttle in 5th. Obviously 5th gets the most use as far as while riding it but it shouldn't be wearing out so soon. 26000 mile is nothing. I could see a lower gear like 1st or 2nd getting beat up if someone is doing hard acceleration all the time but with 5th you can't really do that. The 650 just doesn't have the power to beat on 5th. I hit 5th at around 55 to 60 and cruise on up to about 72-75 while riding the highway. 60 or so on the back roads. Usually run a 50 grade like Mobil 1 or Valvoline MC synthetic. Current fill is VR1 conventional. I've never seen any shiny specs in the drained oil and I look out in the sun light. Maybe I saw some when it was newer but not now.

Seriously disappointed if this v star is on its way to a catastrophic failure in the trans. Figured I'd easily get 50000 trouble free miles out of this thing from all I've read about them. I don't mind the basic upkeep like tires and fluids and brakes but this thing should last WAY longer. Although it hasn't blown up yet, from the sounds of it (since it's getting louder) something is going wrong. Hate to be going 75 and have the rear tire lock up. Not exactly a bike I want to be dumping money into either. It was $5000 out the door new and has depreciated. I HAD to put over $700 in it just last fall to get it back on the road. Something that shouldn't have failed had to be replaced if I ever wanted to hear it start again.
I don't think trying to sell it would be a great idea either. Whoever takes it for a ride would be like, WTF is that noise?? I wouldn't buy a bike doing that either.
Ah ok you're fine in terms of this defect... the bad metal defect was 1998 to 2000 only. Sorry I don't remember, have you brought this to a mechanic to look at yet?
 

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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?

Dan
look like you were right, i made extension hoses for my mechanics stethoscope and taped the end right over were the 5th gear set would be and listened while i shifted into 5th. it's definitely a bad gear set, i'm debating whether to buy a later model used transmission 50.00 or a new 5th gear set 150.00 as long as i'm in there i may as well do the rings and the main and rod bearings i'll be over 60,000 miles this winter. i just hope it don't lock up and kill me before winter comes
 
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