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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
HI Folks,

This July, I traded my 08 Vstar 650 for a brand new 09 950.
As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, I had to turn around because all that I could hear was the valves instead of the engine.

I was told that this noise was normal, but that they would check another 950 as soon as they prepped one for sale.

Now I know my bikes, I have been riding for more than 35 years, and this noise was excessive. a clacketty clak sound apparent only when under way but not at an idle or revving the engine while the bike was in neutral.

My experience tells me that maybe a cam chin tensioner was not operating, and other possible valve train problems.

At my 600 mile service I complained again that the noise was way to excessive, I asked them to check the valves. and it was noted on the service order that I wanted the valves checked due to excessive noise.

When I went to pick up my bike the valves were never checked, and the bike was not test ridden until I complained again, and then the service manager took the bike for a ride and he did admit that it was a little to loud, but he then stated that until he checked another new 950, to just keep riding it. and that he would get back to me.

So my next question was why not call Yamaha Motors, and check with them, he said no I wont do that, and that the manual says that the valves don't need to be checked until 15k miles even though my complaints of all the loud racket.

Well I took the bike to another Yamaha dealer and when he tried the bike he confirmed that something was wrong with the engine and possibly the valves, keep in mind that I have now put 1k miles on the bike in this condition.

I went further and talked to Yamaha Motors directly and they said that there have been no issues with noisy clacking or ticking with this model and that I should have not been hearing this noise.

The Manufacturer is now going to contact the dealer were the bike is being repaired at this time to make sure that they go over any issues that could arise further down the line from driving this bike in this condition.
They may have to extend the warranty, I don't know what other recourse to take other than to tell people to stay away from that dealer.

Any thoughts out there has to what I can do about this mess?

Dennis
 

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Dennis,

I will be very interested to hear how this turns out. I've also got a 950 with 1.2k on it. Since I'm new to riding, I don't know what excessive valve noise is. I know I can hear the values at speed, but is that normal? I don't know.

Keep us informed.
 

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If you do some research you will find that that ticking noise is normal.I have it, everyone in the 950 section on the other Yamaha board I post too also has it.

Switch to synthetic and it will quiet it down. I barely notice it now (switched to syn at 600 miles).

I too though like you, that something was wrong, but after discussing it with a Yamaha tech and several other star owners it is a characteristic of the larger AIR COOLED Star motors. I have a watercooled v-twin sport bike that is very quiet. When I initially brought the 950 home it was almost irritating, especially when going from one bike to the other.

Now, maybe YOU have excessive noise, and it is an actual issue. But I think post that warn of possible widespread problems are a bit premature until you know for a fact that there is a problem. If they don't know what is wrong, what are they repairing?
 

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Valve tick/tap on the 950 is normal. My dealer in conjuction with Yamaha tech line checked valve adjustment on my 950 and found that all the valve were within specs and no problems were found with the valvetrain but the valves were adjusted to the low limit in the hopes that it would quiet them down, it made a very slight change but not enough to write home about. What helped the most is using synthetic oil. Ride it, enjoy your bike and simply don't worry about the the normal valve noise. It's not gonna fly apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Valve tick/tap on the 950 is normal. My dealer in conjuction with Yamaha tech line checked valve adjustment on my 950 and found that all the valve were within specs and no problems were found with the valve train but the valves were adjusted to the low limit in the hopes that it would quiet them down, it made a very slight change but not enough to write home about. What helped the most is using synthetic oil. Ride it, enjoy your bike and simply don't worry about the the normal valve noise. It's not gonna fly apart.
The beware warning was posted because the bike came from the Manufacturer defective. I spoke with Yamaha Star division they informed me that I should not be hearing the valves over the engine.

The second dealers top mechanics and the Service Manager all of them tried my bike and, while valve train noise is normal they said that mine was way too excessive it only occurs when under way and when you crack the throttle you can hear a slapping noise while in motion the valves sound like they are all slapping loudly and I mean loudly not just a ticking noise.

I had an issue like this before with my 80's vintage Yamaha 700 virago, the problem was that the cam tensioner slider bar came off and it fell inside the engine casing.

When three mechanics that have sold quite a few 950's tell me that there is something seriously wrong with my engine and I hear the noise along with the occasional backfire then Apples are apples and oranges are oranges.

IF you hear what you think is excessive valve noise but only under power and your bike starts backfiring from an idle when you rev the engine once then this is not normal.
mine was so loud that all you could hear was the clakity clak of the valves to the point that you would think that something is loose inside.

They suspect a cam chain tensioner along with incorrectly adjusted valves, this does happen from time to time with any manufacturer mistakes are made especially when the Assembly line is not familiar with a new bike design.

I will let you guys know what becomes of this problem with my 950.

Dennis
 

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The beware warning was posted because the bike came from the Manufacturer defective. I spoke with Yamaha Star division they informed me that I should not be hearing the valves over the engine.

The second dealers top mechanics and the Service Manager all of them tried my bike and, while valve train noise is normal they said that mine was way too excessive it only occurs when under way and when you crack the throttle you can hear a slapping noise while in motion the valves sound like they are all slapping loudly and I mean loudly not just a ticking noise.

I had an issue like this before with my 80's vintage Yamaha 700 virago, the problem was that the cam tensioner slider bar came off and it fell inside the engine casing.

When three mechanics that have sold quite a few 950's tell me that there is something seriously wrong with my engine and I hear the noise along with the occasional backfire then Apples are apples and oranges are oranges.

IF you hear what you think is excessive valve noise but only under power and your bike starts backfiring from an idle when you rev the engine once then this is not normal.
mine was so loud that all you could hear was the clakity clak of the valves to the point that you would think that something is loose inside.

They suspect a cam chain tensioner along with incorrectly adjusted valves, this does happen from time to time with any manufacturer mistakes are made especially when the Assembly line is not familiar with a new bike design.

I will let you guys know what becomes of this problem with my 950.

Dennis
Keep us posted Dennis, let us know what they find.
 

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I can hear mine at idle, I it still makes me nervous, louder than I would think is normal, but it does seem to be just the way they all sound. I have 4k miles on her and I love it. Going to try the syn oil next change. BTW I don't here them under power, and it only backfires when cold during heavy down shifting, rarely when warm.
 

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sounds like your first dealer was one to stay away from. typical of some dealers, but this slow economy should shut them down, and only the good dealers should survive.

air cooled engines do not have water jackets surrounding them, so they are alot louder.

and the fins serve to distribute the sound.

but if it was that loud, good the second dealer caught it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Folks,
I just picked up my bike this afternoon,
The prolem was that the valves were all grossly out of specs, apparently they came this way from the factory.
Some valve noise is still there as expected, but it's much more quiet now, I'm glad I got someone to believe me that mine did have a problem. they were very loose according to the service manager.

Total cost was 0.00 all under warranty.

Dennis
 

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Hi Folks,
I just picked up my bike this afternoon,
The prolem was that the valves were all grossly out of specs, apparently they came this way from the factory.
Some valve noise is still there as expected, but it's much more quiet now, I'm glad I got someone to believe me that mine did have a problem. they were very loose according to the service manager.

Total cost was 0.00 all under warranty.

Dennis
The guy that adjusted the valves on your engine must have had to much sake(rice wine) the night before.:(:mad::D
 

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When comparing to 2-stroke and 4-stroke dirt bike engines, I'm not sure what to think about mine. The description of a ticking does make sense, and my bike runs smoothly and everything... if there was a problem with the valve system I would be able to feel a power difference (unless it started as such). Though, I am able to hear it through the engine noise, but with a full-face on I'm muffling the lower sounds of the engine and I think its making it sound worse than usual.

I think I'll do a synth oil change, I'm sitting happily at about 1500 miles. See if that clears it up, too bad I just did an oil change about 3 days ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have talked to other 950 Owners and the story seems the same, the bikes appear to be comming from the factory with loose valves and out of spec.

The count is now 15 different people that I have met just here in NH that have had excessive noise, which after complaining to their dealer, the loose valve problem was found.

Did they all have too much SAKI? it seems like a quality control issue in the assembly line.
Im not to happy about this, I just hope they didn't mess anything else up at the factory

I have never had these kinds of problems with a brand new bike, Im a little leary and sort of looking over my shoulder to see what happens next.

Another thing I found out from some of the samer owners that I spoke with is, that the big stock pipe can easily be dented, one guy had a half shell fall of his seat and it hit his pipe causing a nasty dent with only a 1 foot fall from the seat, and this was a light helmet.

Don't leave anything on the seat that can fall onto the muffler.

Dennis
 

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I have talked to other 950 Owners and the story seems the same, the bikes appear to be comming from the factory with loose valves and out of spec.

The count is now 15 different people that I have met just here in NH that have had excessive noise, which after complaining to their dealer, the loose valve problem was found.

Did they all have too much SAKI? it seems like a quality control issue in the assembly line.
Im not to happy about this, I just hope they didn't mess anything else up at the factory

I have never had these kinds of problems with a brand new bike, Im a little leary and sort of looking over my shoulder to see what happens next.

Another thing I found out from some of the samer owners that I spoke with is, that the big stock pipe can easily be dented, one guy had a half shell fall of his seat and it hit his pipe causing a nasty dent with only a 1 foot fall from the seat, and this was a light helmet.

Don't leave anything on the seat that can fall onto the muffler.

Dennis
No offense, but you really need to just enjoy your ride. Sounds like you will now just be looking for things to be wrong.

You have actually met 15 other 950 riders and every single one of them had to have a valve adjustment?? If that were really the case, then I can assure you Yamaha would be aware and issue a service bulletin to their dealers and likely notify owners.

And more than one of them has already dented their exhaust?? C'mon now...:rolleyes:
 

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Yeah I was thinking the same thing, I don't even think there are 15 people on this forum that have 950's and this is a Star forum....


A bit dramatic are we....
 

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it seems like a quality control issue in the assembly line.
Im not to happy about this, I just hope they didn't mess anything else up at the factory

I have never had these kinds of problems with a brand new bike, Im a little leary and sort of looking over my shoulder to see what happens next.

.

Dennis
Dennis, I think you're being too paranoid.:rolleyes: Don't worry so much, enjoy your new bike and ride like the wind.:D If you're too concerned about what MAY happen you're not going not gonna enjoy your rides. Don't look over your shoulder there's nothing there but good road that you just rode on.:)
 

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Right on Dennis. Way to hang in there. You got the same treatment I recently experienced. I, like yourself, may not be a certified Yamaha tech but I wasn't born yesterday. I know when there's something wrong with my ride. I'm looking for a new maintenance home. First clue you're on the right track is that the service writer actually listens to you, instead of you listen to him . . . .and takes the time to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I was thinking the same thing, I don't even think there are 15 people on this forum that have 950's and this is a Star forum....


A bit dramatic are we....
Excuse me,

There are more than 5 Motorcycle clubs in my area,
I belong to one of them, furthermore, just in my club,alone with 100 members plus, there are 6- 950's

I recently attended a rally, were there were more than 15 -950's there that day, and I only spoke with some of them.
this forum isnt the center of the world fro Yamaha 950 owners.

Dennis
 

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Sorry to hear your bike had a problem. I wonder if these bikes you speak of were built about the same time. Mine has some ticking but I wouldn't call it that loud. I have 1400 miles and it has been this way since day one, but it isn't very loud.
 

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5 clubs in your area... wow! There are 3 around here that I know of 2 are a bunch of old Harley guys that are a bunch of (insert big barn yard animal) and want nothing to do with anything except Harley's and the other is for Crotch Rockets. I still have yet to meet another 950 on the road though or see one on the street somewhere.
 
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