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I got my 1994 ninja 500 up and running again after sitting for years without being touched, but out of the blue started this whining sound and I can't figure out what it is making this sound. It only really makes the sound at idle and goes away when some throttle is applied.

Here is the video for some context:
 

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Tanker Clown
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Maybe the noise is still there, you just can’t hear it once you throttle up? Maybe it’s a mouse. A mouse in your airbox. Screaming cuz the bike is trying to suck him into a carb. Yep, that must be it, a screaming mouse. Stay on the gas so you can’t hear him.

😂
 
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More of a rattle than a whine.
1. Something loose and rattling from the vibration.
2. Exhaust leak t the head pipe.
Gonna have to walk your ears around, poking and probing until you find it.
 

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whatever it is. It is something metal rubbing dry without lube. you can easily find where it's coming from by using length of wood placed in different places on the engine the other end goes to your ear to use it like a stethoscope.
providing you have enough oil in it. it could be the water pump. but the wood trick will find it.
 

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I got my 1994 ninja 500 up and running again after sitting for years without being touched, but out of the blue started this whining sound and I can't figure out what it is making this sound. It only really makes the sound at idle and goes away when some throttle is applied.

Here is the video for some context:
Whining noise? Sure its not the wife? Mine makes a similar noise most of the day :rolleyes:
 

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Border Kong
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It sounds like the belt pulley on my car's engine when the bearing was dry and rusty... Only the bike doesn't have belts... If it were my bike, I'd start by checking for lubrication in the flywheel clutch and no screws have been loosened. Or the water pump, which does not have corrosion on the bushings. It depends on which side of the bike the sound is louder.
 
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It sounds like the belt pulley on my car's engine when the bearing was dry and rusty... Only the bike doesn't have belts... If it were my bike, I'd start by checking for lubrication in the flywheel clutch and no screws have been loosened. Or the water pump, which does not have corrosion on the bushings. It depends on which side of the bike the sound is louder.
I was thinking along the same lines Jorge, when you have heard as many failed water pumps as I have it's always at the back of my mind. that is the reason I suggested listening with a stick, to identify where the noise was coming from inside the case, bearing in mind the OP saying
I got my 1994 ninja 500 up and running again after sitting for years without being touched,
you never know for sure.
but until the OP comes back it's just a guess.
 

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Tanker Clown
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Soooo….no one thinks the mouse in the airbox theory is sound? 🤔

Just checking

😂😂😂
 

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Sounds like your plastics are rubbing and vibrating against your tank, try idling the bike and hugging the front fairing into the tank from the seat. Mine has a similar noise that also changes at different rpm, that makes mine go away.
 
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