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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-7-2017, 2:34 PM Thread Starter
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Engine sound

Hi.
I am new to this forum and I purchased a used EX500 this sunday.
Its from 1996 and has 42.000km on the clock.

This is my first bike and actually I havent got my license yet, but saw a good deal on this bike.
Being my first bike, Im not so experienced in engine sound.
However I hear a "klonk" when running idle. It seems to come from the right side of the engine, near the water pump. I can feel it, touching the engine.
It disappears when I rev it past 3000 rpm or so.
I have a feeling the two cylinders are not syncronized, it sounds like one of them are working a bit harder than the other.
I have had a car where one rod-crank bearing was scorched cause lack of oil and Im nervous that being the case here. Although the "klonk" from the car engine continued when I reved it.

The bike came without a service book, so I have no idea how it has been maintained. But looking at the condition its in, I guess it has been liked.
The oil level is right above the glass.

Cheers,
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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-7-2017, 4:08 PM
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My rule now is: Unless the noise gets louder and louder, ignore it.

I was so disturbed by noises from the right hand side of my engine that I felt compelled to rebuild it. I found nothing of concern except perhaps a chain that was moving about too much. Tweaked the chain guides, put it back together and forgot about it.

I've never bought a new bike, and it has only been 7 years since I first sat on any bike, but every one I've used to date has sounded like they are about to fall apart or eat themselves. Mostly they have done neither.

If the bike goes and stops don't worry about it.
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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-7-2017, 6:14 PM
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Most of the sound from an EX 500 engine is due to the chain primary drive. there is no adjustment and even a slight bit of wear causes it to slap against the rub strip bolted to the cases . this is the thudding sound you hear. a rod bearing would make a sharp clacking sound that would always rattle on decell

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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-7-2017, 7:19 PM
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Pretty much...
If it isn't knocking something fierce with deep, harsh metallic pinging/thudding...
or
Whatever noise you've got more or less goes away when you rev it then...

Don't sweat it.
Just keep up with the oil level/changes and just ride it.

O_E_M
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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 1:25 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for replying

Quote:
Originally Posted by lazy cackle View Post
My rule now is: Unless the noise gets louder and louder, ignore it...
If the bike goes and stops don't worry about it.
I have to say that this is not my going on suspicious sounds from an engine. I know old pieces of mechanic stuff develope sounds over time, but I feel that this one would come from a very worn, sloppy engine, which this shouldnt be.

I dont think this is a chain rubbing against the housing. Its a distinct klonk-klonk-klonk, a loud knocking sound that is felt when you touch the water pump and the right hand cover. Im not a novice on engines, but I have mostly done car repairs. Never motorbike.
If this sound was coming from my car, I would be very alarmed. Espescially as the sound reminds me of a toasted rod bearing.

So Im happy to hear it most certainly isnt a rod, that would break my heart.
Yesterday evening I read something about the bolts in the starter clutch beginning to come loose, making such a sound on idling, that disappear on reving.
What is a starter clutch and how do I check it?

Sorry but my technical vocabulary on motorbike stuff still lacks
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 4:38 AM
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The starter clutch is a one way clutch that is driven by the starter motor with a chain. It is mounted on the back side of the fly wheel. You would have to remove the fly wheel to get to it. Make sure you have detailed information on how to do this before attempting. I could be wrong, but I don't think this is making the sound you are describing.

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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 11:39 AM
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Generally when the 3 bolts of the starter clutch loosen up, it makes more of hard ticking, grinding noise that doesn't go away with revs.
The noise and sound only get louder and faster.
AND if it was the starter clutch... it would be on the left side.
Not on the right. And I seriously doubt it's the noise.
You'd have to pull the left engine cover and pull the flywheel to check the starter clutch bolts... they bolt the starter clutch to the back side of the flywheel.

Really, the only thing on the right side are the water pump impeller and the driveline clutch. If there's no coolant leaking, the bike isn't overheating, and the clutch lever pulls, releases, and clutch engages smoothly... I wouldn't worry about it.
These engines are bit noisy/shakey due to just being a parallel twin and you may not be used to it.

Rod bearings wouldn't go away with revs either. It'd get louder and faster.

Owned mine since new, 12 years now...
new and even now, occasionally I'll get a deep, hollow clunking noise down low near the front. Usually when making a slow, lazy turn onto a side road or drive way and I let the revs drop a little low.
Clunk clunk clunk and increases with RPM but doesn't get louder... and as soon the revs start to climb a tad closer to 4-5k it goes away.
It's just from lugging the engine a little bit in too high a gear. No biggie.

If you're still sweating it, try and post a vid of it.

O_E_M
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 2:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you bpe and one evil monkey, for chiming in.

But I still cant get into my head that that sort of sound is normal.
Its similar to hitting the block with a small hammer. In this engine the only thing hitting the block are the valve heads, but the weight of those arent big enough to make such an impact.
I really dont see what could make that knocking sound.
But I will follow monkeys suggestion and make a video. Can I attach it her or should I upload it on Youtube and post the link?

Thanks
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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 2:40 PM
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I TOLD YOU: It's the primary chain slapping the cases due to the Herky jerky speed of the revs at slow RPMs.
By speed I mean the surface speed of the chain , and jerky ,jerky is what all four stroke singles and twins do. the rotation of the crankshaft is not a smooth one but goes faster on the power stroke that the other three the speeding up and slowing down is what flaps the chain.

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post #10 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 2:40 PM
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Upload to YouTube or whatever and then post the link.

Like I said, on the right side are the water pump impeller and driveline clutch.
The left side consists on the the flywheel/stator/alternator/starter clutch assembly, the actual starter and its drive chain, and you've got the primary chain is in there somewhere... a wide chain that can make some odd noises too.

Timing chain is in the middle, between the cylinders.

If the bike's been down hard on the right side... the water pump's impeller shaft can be damaged/bent slightly and cause the impeller to contact the pump cover.... and that can cause noise... however, USUALLY when that has happened the mechanical seal behind the impeller has been damaged and you have coolant weeping from the bottom of the cover.

Post the vid link and maybe one of us can pick out what it is you're hearing.

O_E_M

ETA: Haha, well FOG and I posted at the same time.
He's insisting on the primary chain and I'm inclined to agree.

Last edited by one_evil_monkey; 3-8-2017 at 2:44 PM.
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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-8-2017, 3:19 PM
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yeah agree with all the above. if you are new to the EX and don't appreciate how the engine works and the sound it makes at low rev or under strain you would scare yourself to death. it's one noise'y little SOB. I suspect this is the case here. one might expect it to be smooth thumpy but there not.

Jack.

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post #12 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-9-2017, 1:29 AM
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Oh that poor bike... super high revs on start up... then just shutting the enricher off completely after no time... making the engine lug.

And that bouncing of the forks while standing on the side of the bike is a good way to drop it if you get just hair off balance... and BOOM...
It's laying on the side you weren't on.
If you wanna bounce those forks, do it while straddling the machine.

O_E_M
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post #13 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-9-2017, 5:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by one_evil_monkey View Post
Oh that poor bike... super high revs on start up... then just shutting the enricher off completely after no time... making the engine lug.

And that bouncing of the forks while standing on the side of the bike is a good way to drop it if you get just hair off balance... and BOOM...
It's laying on the side you weren't on.
If you wanna bounce those forks, do it while straddling the machine.

O_E_M

yeah I agree with all that O_E_M. I just posted that link for the sound the bike makes. and that one is a new'er E10 with no miles on it. one can imagine from this how it would sound with 40k on it. just so the OP can appreciate the rattling and banging he hears is not the bike self destructing but just normal EX noises.

Jack.
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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-9-2017, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by union jack View Post
yeah I agree with all that O_E_M. I just posted that link for the sound the bike makes. and that one is a new'er E10 with no miles on it. one can imagine from this how it would sound with 40k on it. just so the OP can appreciate the rattling and banging he hears is not the bike self destructing but just normal EX noises.

Jack.
Oh I know that wasn't you.
That kid keeps running that one like that it won't make it to 40k.
Haha

Yeah, really think it may be some noises he's just not used to.
Mine is pretty top shape and still has it's noises... some guys who aren't used it have asked me if it's okay. Haha
I just have to tell them yeah, that's all normal... even the light, overlapping ticking sound from the top end... just a properly clearanced valve train.

O_E_M
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-10-2017, 3:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well I had the engine running today and I noticed nothing out of the ordinary. The knocking from the other day was less pronounced, so have to agree with you all. It's just the way it behaves
Thank you.
And it is a noisy engine. I heard the valves ticking, the cam chain rattling, the clutch chain knocking, the carburators huffing and puffing and of course the mufflers rumbling - and then a faint sigh of relief from myself, realizing I have nothing to worry about
Though I did notice a difference in smoke coming from the two exhausts. No smoke was to see from the right exhaust and a visible white smoke from the left. I had it running for 10-15 minutes till it was hot. The outside temperature was around 10 deg C.
Is that normal? Maybe a sign that a calibration is needed?

Thank for your responses, I guess it's not the last time you hear from me

Cheers
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post #16 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-10-2017, 6:09 PM
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Quote:
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Though I did notice a difference in smoke coming from the two exhausts. No smoke was to see from the right exhaust and a visible white smoke from the left.
Pretty sure my bike behaves exactly as you describe. Will double check tomorrow if it is the left or right that is the smokiest. (I'm betting it is the left.) Nothing to worry about I don't think as the exhausts are not independent and the firing sequence tends to setup uneven gas flows.
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post #17 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-10-2017, 11:28 PM
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There's a crossover pipe for the headers underneath the oil pan.
So there is a bit of mixing between the exhausts.

Now you say "white smoke"... the only thing that makes white smoke is water... which is not smoke but steam.
A small amount is absolutely normal... (depending on ambient temps) because water is a byproduct of combustion.

The only other two reasons for steam would be the weep holes on the mufflers are plugged and you got some rain in the mufflers. They're on the bottom near where the chrome stops...
OR you have coolant getting in to a cylinder... IE: a leaky head gasket.

So just to be safe...you need to check the coolant level in your expansion tank.
(The white plastic tank on the right side of bike just above engine).

O_E_M
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post #18 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Exactly monkey, that thought came to my mind. I have an eye on the coolant level - and crossed fingers.
The weep holes are ok, I thought the weldings were rusted through when I bought the bike, because of the smoke exiting
I didnt know about the cross over. Good to know.
I wouldnt call the amount of steam excessive. Its normal in cold wheather.

Another thing that made me wander. What is the reason for the ignition order on these parallel twins? 1-2-x-x instead of 1-x-3-x.
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post #19 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 1:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Northwood View Post

Another thing that made me wander. What is the reason for the ignition order on these parallel twins? 1-2-x-x instead of 1-x-3-x.
that's doesn't make sense it's only got two cylinders. so can only be 1-2 [well 2-1 actually] as the right side cylinder [sat on bike] and furthest away from the generator. is the one used to check the timing marks. it also uses a lost spark system.
so fires on the exhaust stroke as well. [2 sparks per cycle]

Jack
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post #20 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 2:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by union jack View Post
that's doesn't make sense it's only got two cylinders. so can only be 1-2 [well 2-1 actually] as the right side cylinder [sat on bike] and furthest away from the generator. is the one used to check the timing marks. it also uses a lost spark system.
so fires on the exhaust stroke as well. [2 sparks per cycle]

Jack
Im talking about the strokes.
Combustion is on stroke 1 and 2, not 1 and 3.
EDIT!
Forget my last question. I had a brain fart =O
Of course it has a combustion on every down stroke, one at a time.
I got it mixed up in my head. Sorry.

Last edited by Northwood; 3-11-2017 at 3:11 PM.
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post #21 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 5:32 PM
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Each cylinder has a combustion stroke on every other down stroke, one down stroke is an intake stroke.

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post #22 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 6:20 PM
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THE IGNITION FIRES BOTH CYLINDERS EVERY REVOLUTION the cam timing determines which cylinder make the power..

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post #23 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 7:51 PM
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The right cylinder is considered "#1" because it's used for timing marks.

The way the ignition works it called a wasted spark system.
The triggers on the flywheel (Gen 2) pass by the one pick-up every rotation, sending a signal everytime the piston reaches X amount of degrees BTDC.
(Gen 1 has two pick-ups and only one trigger, but works exactly the same)
The piston does this twice per Otto cycle so the plug actually fires twice.
Once on compression stroke and again on the exhaust stroke.
The plug firing on exhaust stroke doesn't do anything to create more power though, because there's no compression.

Each cylinder only has one combustion (power) stroke per 4 strokes.
Which is number 3 out of the 4.
1: Intake
2: compression
3: power (combustion)
4: exhaust

O_E_M
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post #24 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 9:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwood View Post
Im talking about the strokes.
Combustion is on stroke 1 and 2, not 1 and 3.
EDIT!
Forget my last question. I had a brain fart =O
Of course it has a combustion on every down stroke, one at a time.
I got it mixed up in my head. Sorry.

yeah I kinda get what you were on about though. if you only think about what happens as pistons are at the top of the stroke indeed they fire oddly. namely [and put very crudely] bang. bang. miss. miss. bang. bang. and so on.
it's to do with the way the cranks set. a proper explanation would take an essay to detail it. but it is what gives the engine that sound. and why there is a balancer shaft. in front of the crank. so it doesn't shake apart.

some of the early twins had both pistons going up and down in unison so one piston either left or right was always on the power stroke. bit like a big single [or split twin]. no balancer shaft was required but because of the design these engines wouldn't do high revs.

there is a anecdote about the drag racer who built a twin engined. twin turbo machine. based on the early design it would run really well. until raced. and every time would snap the connecting chain between the two engines.
after aeons of experiment. he changed the firing order so one engine had the pistons at the top and the other one at the bottom. and made it fire like a 4 cylinder engine, ie, 1432. it cured the problem overnight. as it made both engines run as one instead of two separate ones.


ok I'm waffling so i'll stop now.

Jack.
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post #25 of 54 (permalink) Old 3-11-2017, 10:47 PM
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This is all good to hear, I thought mine was a bit noisy but was hoping it was just normal rattles. That one in the video sounds pretty nasty, and I noticed the choke tends to send my bike into high revs when I start it, so I've been giving it just a little, if any.

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