Yamaha Starbike Forum banner

Strat valve lifter noise

21213 Views 33 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Stratonut
I have an '07 Stratoliner with 4,500 miles. Just completed 4,000 mile tuneup. When starting the bike after sitting overnight there is a loud clacking of the valve/lifters that doesn't stop for over 5 minutes even in warm weather. This has been going on since 600 mile tuneup. I thought it was due to cold weather but now it's 60 degrees outside and the noise continues. I switched to synthetic oil but this doesn't seem to help. For some reason there isn't any lubrication getting to the lifters until the bike warms up for over 5 minutes. Once it warms up everything seems okay (no more noise) but it doesn't seem like this should happen and is undoubtedly causing excess wear on the valves/lifters. Anyone have this problem? Ideas/suggestions?
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
? warranty still on bike..

I don't have that or haven't noticed.

But my thought is it has hydraulic lifters and maybe if you give it a rev when it is warming up to see if and increase in oil pressure might stop it from tapping..
or it seems untimely to need a valve adjustment.. my R* never had a valve adjustment and had nearly 50,000 miles on it I just checked it and away we went.
Thanks Bowhunter-

I've tried increasing rpm when warming up and it hasn't really helped. I've talked to my local dealer and they said they'd check with Yamaha so this doesn't seem be a common problem with this engine. I'm not sure how hydraulic lifters work but that certainly seems like a good place to start. The bike is still on warranty so hopefully I can get this diagnosed and fixed before hitting the road this summer.
Just a thought, if the bike is still under warranty the dealer should say WE WILL TAKE CARE OF IT, not we'll check with yamaha.
Hydraulic lifters like to collapse when pushed too hard, but with the rev limiters in place not likely that that has happened, and usually lifter will pump back up when at lower rpm and oil pressure is getting to them.

Since it is under warranty I would try and get them to fix it now like HTMNKYLVE posted, and maybe you need another dealer that knows what is wrong.. It seems odd that after warm up it goes away.. Has to be something..

1. maybe video it with sound, so the dealer can hear it.. No down time at there place, and evidence to give a lawyer...
2. Not sure about additives to oil but I would be waiting for an oil change before adding and see if something like lucas would make the noise go away and if it doesn't just change the oil to get rid of additive.

yuck noises that are odd and I am curious what they are..keep us posted when you find out.
See less See more
It helps to know this is not common and therefore a legitimate concern that my dealer should be addressing in a more proactive manner. Hopefully no significant damage is being done during warm up when there seems to be little lube getting to the lifters. I investigated hydraulic lifters to get a sense of what we might be dealing with and am also wondering if there may be a problem with one of the oil pumps. Anyway, I'm going to be more aggressive requesting that the dealer resolve the problem. Thanks for the feedback.
I would say let it sit for a day or two and throw it in a truck or trailer so you can show them what it does when its cold , before the clacking stops. That way they can hear exactly what you hear. My friend has a raider and he said when he bought it there was already a recall on certain raiders because of lifter issues. Now I know its a liner but they are the same motor so as unlikely as it is, there may be a few liner motors that slipped through with same issue. His raider is an 08 which means the motor was probably built late 06 early 07 . That would probably put it in the same time frame as yours. Even if I am way off base, they should be very aggressive about getting it fixed for you even if it means a new motor.
Now you've got me worried! I assumed since this problem didn't show up until after the 600 mile tuneup and the bike seems to run fine once it has warmed up that whatever the problem (if any) it could probably be resolved relatively easily. I won't be able to talk to the service department until Tuesday but could arrange to take the bike in and leave it so they can listen to it when it's cold the next day. I certainly want to get this fixed while on warranty but would be disappointed if the bike has to stay in the shop for an extended period of time since we have a number of trips planned here in the Northwest beginning next month. Thanks again for your advice.
I'm not saying it needs a new motor, I'm just saying that the dealer ship should have had the bike in the shop from the first second you brought this problem to their attn. It should already have been fixed and you shouldn't be here having to ask us what could be wrong.(not that i mind giving input) You should be enjoying trouble free riding with the piece of mind that your dealer will honor your warranty without question and take care of any problem you have. Sorry if im rambling but companies not taking care of their customers is one of my pet peaves.
I think I've gained some insight into my problem with valve lifter noise. Even though this "insight" may expose me as a boneheaded idiot, I feel obligated to share.

The prolonged (over 5 minute) valve lifter knocking when warming up did begin after the 600 mile tuneup, but it was also late fall and the outside temp was dropping. At the time I was running 20W50 oil. I contacted the dealer and he said I might need to run a lighter weight oil or synthetic during the colder winter months. This made perfect sense so I didn't ride the bike much in the winter and assumed my problem would be resolved at the 4,000 mile tuneup. When the bike still knocked with synthetic oil (15W50) on a 60 degree day I became worried. I contacted the dealer who didn't have an answer for me (still waiting to hear from him) so I decided to begin this thread in the hopes other Liner owners could shed some light on the subject.

The last few days the temp has been in the upper sixties or lower 70's and the bike started up with no excessive lifter noise. Today the temp dropped back to the mid fifties and again I have the clacking noise as the engine warms up. Obviously the problem is being created by having too heavy an oil which takes a long time to warm up and get to the valve lifters. This seems to occur if the outside temp is lower than the mid sixties. It's puzzling this happens with my bike and (as far as I know) other Liner owners are running the same type of oil with no problems. However, it does appear this may be the reason for my problems. I'm going to contact the dealer tomorrow to see if he recommends I run something like 10W40 instead of 15W50.

Thanks to all who tried to help, and my apologies if the solution is so obvious and so easily resolved.
See less See more
I'm not trying to play devils advocate but somebody's got to. I live in the southern tier of new york and on several morning rides to work it has been in the upper 20's (friggen cold!!!) and i'm just running whatever the dealership I bought it from put in it. Even on the coldest of mornings it starts right up and purrs like a kitten. Now the weather has warmed up and still no problems. I'm not saying it couldn't be the oil , but dont let the dealership just dismiss it as that and send you on your way. Change your oil and see what happens.

P.S ALL of us are boneheaded idiots at some point in time!!!!
Lifter Noise

Hey, I know your pain. I just bought a new 09 Strat two months ago and after the first service I satrted to notice that noise also, but mine goes away within two min. Mine is in the shop as we speak they are checking on the problem. The mechanic said he has heard of the problem before on a Raider. He should call sometime today. I'll let you know what he finds.
I've always run synthetic 20/50 and it flows so good even when cold, I can't believe the problem you are having... Make sure your dealer doesn't dismiss this like HTMNKYLVE said.. It is odd for this to be such a constant issue for you and it should get fixed.
I think someone else posted changing the oil, but lighter oil will have the valves rattling all the time so be sure to listen and be ready to change if that doesn't fix you trouble.

Keep us posted if your dealer gets you somewhere.. and fixes it.
It helps to know that most of you don't have this problem which reinforces my feeling there really is an issue that should be addressed.

I spoke to the service department today and they said they have to wait for a response from Yamaha before doing any work and that this could take as long as a month. How in the world Yamaha considers this appropriate customer service is beyond me. Although the dealer has a good reputation and I think the owner is a decent guy, I'm starting to come to the same conclusion that HTMNKYLVE has that dealers often don't give you decent service once you've purchased the bike. I mean...this is a new Strat (4,500 miles) under warranty and I have to wait as long as a month just to find out what the diagnosis is? Doesn't seem right to me. One of the reasons I purchased this bike (among others) was because of it's reputation for reliability, yet here I am worrying about this stuff and wondering if I'm going to be able to take the road trips I planned for the summer.

MP Liner please let me know what the diagnosis is for your bike since you seem to have a similar problem. Does anyone out there know how much damage would be done to valves, cams, or pushrods if you warm up the bike with bad lifters and no lube is getting to them for 5-7 minutes before you ride? Now I'm wondering if I should only ride the bike when it's over 65 degrees outside so no further damage is done to the engine. I love my Strat, but this stuff sucks.
See less See more
Shortly after posting the above entry I got a call from my dealer who said Yamaha had approved the replacement of my valve lifters with "new and improved" lifters. I couldn't get much more information out of him than that, but apparently at some point Yamaha redesigned the lifters for Liners to address the kind of problems I've been having. I still need to wait for parts to arrive, but everything should be fixed under warranty, and if this fixes the problem, I'll be happy. Thanks to all who shared an interest in this situation. I'll let you know if the new lifters resolve the problem.

To infinity and beyond!
For those interested in further information on this problem, I located an extended thread on difficulties people have had with the hydraulic lifters on Yamaha Raiders. It seems this has been a problem for a number of people with the 113 ci engine.

glad to hear, that it is getting takin care of. And the issue is bad or faulty lifters that they now know to replace.. Read the raider forum article you posted seems some have had them done and no more problems..
the oil and temperature should not have been the problem, that is a good thing. I rode my R* in very cold mornings and never had that kind of issue, just freezing my own A$$ off, lol.
Good Luck keep us posted when you get it back if all is ok!
Lifter Noise

Hey just got the same call today from the repair shop. They have ordered new lifters for my 09 Strat also. They said this should fix the noise. I will keep you posted.
Hey MPLiner,

Glad to hear your situation has improved and repairs are on the way...it certainly sounds like we have the same problem.

Unfortunately I'm not necessarily convinced this will be the end of it. On the Raider thread I posted about similar lifter problems they had with their 113ci engines, the question came up as to what damage might have been done to other parts of the engine. That clacking noise we heard is metal on metal which could undoubtedly damage or cause excessive wear to other parts. I'm no mechanic, but they were saying to be sure your service department checks the cams, rods, valves, or any other parts that might have been damaged or worn due to lack of lubrication caused by the lifter problem. Of course these are things that may not show up for several years when the bike is no longer under warranty! :eek:

Now that our problem has been clarified and help is on the way, the worry I had is gradually turning into more of a pissed off kind of thing. I mean...you buy a brand new expensive bike that is supposed to be "bullet proof" and can't even go 5,000 miles before some major problem comes up? I guess I can understand the newly developed 113ci engine in '06 might have some glitches at first, and since my bike is an '07 it could fall into this category. But your bike is an '09! Even though it seems most of the 113ci engines don't have this problem, you'd still think after 4 years of production Yamaha would have fixed this problem and service departments would be aware of the situation.

This has certainly shaken my confidence in Yamaha and their quality control. When I purchased the bike my dealer said I should get 200,000 miles before any major work would be necessary. While some of this was undoubtedly BS, the design and quality of the engine does lead one to believe it should be very reliable and last a long time. Let's hope this is the case, and that after our lifter problems are fixed we'll have many trouble free years flying like the wind.

To infinity and beyond!
See less See more
big trouble in oil city

The prolonged (over 5 minute) valve lifter knocking when warming up did begin after the 600 mile tuneup, but it was also late fall and the outside temp was dropping. At the time I was running 20W50 oil. I contacted the dealer and he said I might need to run a lighter weight oil or synthetic during the colder winter months. When the bike still knocked with synthetic oil (15W50) on a 60 degree day I became worried. type of oil with no problems. However, it does appear this may be the reason for my problems.
i am a motorhead. the sounds you hear are not typical. when you changed thwe oil at 600 did you get the right oil filter? the wrong oil filter could cause a no oil pressure situation and could premanantly damage the engine. i live in minnesota and have AMS oil 20-50 synth in and did not hear lifter noise when i started mine a few times this winter. in fact i have NEVER heard lifter noise from my bike. there are two reasons you would hear noise from hyd lifter.
1. they are out of adjustment (for multiple reasons).
2. there is no oil presure (for multiple reasons)
we will assume you do not have sticky lifters as it is a new bike and this is more typical of 100,000 mile gummed up worn out car motor. the noise may have nothing to do with the lifters "per se" but that they are showing you there is a problem in the oiling system. if this is the case i would be very worried about bearing damage to the rod and main bearings. you should not have driven the bike after the 600 mile change if it started directly after as this, as is not normal and you noticed the difference immediatly after the oil change. i would check out the oil filter a.s.a.p. as this is the only thing changed except the oil. i would use genuine yamaha oil filter. this way you know it is correct and not some cheapo unit that can fail. did the dealer do the oil change? if so and they installed the wrong filter they are liable. if you did it and installed the wrong filter you may have ruined you warranty due to this. check that filter asap. the yamaha filters are highest quality also. i hope you check this out before you take it to the dealer so if you did put the wrong filter on you can change it for the right one then take it in. if you do have the correct filter then there is something very wrong with your bike. i have only heard good things so far for the most part on this motor and i drive mine very hard and have not had even one little noise or glitch. let us know how this turns out.
See less See more
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.