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  #1  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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DR650 Knocking suddenly - thoughts?

OK, so my '05 DR has been parked up for 10 days while I waited for a replacement rear tyre, the bike was running perfectly before it was temporarily laid up. Yesterday I finally got my new tyre (Truck drivers have been on strike in greece) put it on and went to fire up the bike for a test drive and when turning over it was making a horrible loud knocking noise and started only briefly before dying again.

The bike has been stood on its centre stand, without its rear wheel on in a field where we are camping. As I said bike was running perfectly before I had tyre troubles and always has. It was too dark to do anything last night so I dropped the bike back onto its side stand on the off chance that it might help get some oil back in to some much needed place and left it til this morning, managed to get it started and idling today but it is still knocking, not as loud as before but definately knocking, and gets worse when you open the throttle.

It sounds like top end, my first thoughts are valve clearances, but it seems very odd that they would just go so suddenly but I've left the bike to cool down and will check them later.

Any other thoughts/suggestions

Last oil change was about 2000 miles ago new filter at previous change, good semi synthetic, valves last checked about 9000 miles ago.

Thanks in advance

Matt
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  #2  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Hi Matt,

give EVERYTHING else a good check over before you start thinking about top end rebuilds, look at the whole of the induction system, spark plugs - Tigthten first to see if loose, then pull and see if they are clean or oily, also operate the clutch while its running and make sure its just not this rattling a bit - they can be a little noisey sometimes on the older DR650's

I have heard of bugs making a home in someones airbox when their bike was parked up before, so look at EVERY possible minor problem first.

If you cannot find anything minor, then start to look at more serious problems including the neutral sender unit screws here:

Potential problems to be aware of - Suzuki DR650 Wiki

OHH $hit Oil Chage... - ThumperTalk;

If you cannot find anything minor, I would also drop the oil and filter it ( a paper coffee filter will work) and have a good look through it for swarf/particles etc.

This will help tell you if something is screwed in the top end.

I fitted a magnetic sump plug to my DR650 as soon as I bought it.

Good Luck and fingers crossed its something minor, let us know what you find.
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  #3  
Old 3 Aug 2010
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Anyone nicked anything ???

Deffo check your oil first. Has any water got into the fuel ?? It is a mechanical knock or a combustion sound ??

You really need to try very hard to pinpoint where the sound is coming from.

Put a long screwdriver to your ear and use it as a probe on the engine..
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Handle in ear pointy end on engine! Alarming the noises you hear.
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oothef View Post
Handle in ear pointy end on engine! Alarming the noises you hear.
That they are ! lol..

It's handy to truoble shoot engine problems. Well.. sometimes !
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Old 3 Aug 2010
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Whip the cam cover off & check camchain tension, could be that the spring in the tensioner has let go & tge tensioner's retracted, leaving the camchain to fly about. Mine sounded like more of a rumble than a knocking noise though?

Happened on my old DR600, a spare tensioner to hand fixed it.
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Old 4 Aug 2010
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Problem Solved - I Hope

OK, first thanks for all the replies good to know you guys are here!

I checked the valve clearances anyway, figured it wouldn't hurt after 9000 miles, and its one job I can do before I think about getting it to a workshop and stripping down the motor. They were spot on, so that idea was out the window.

I started it again and it seemed to start much easier, the noise was still there but not nearly as loud and the longer it idled the quieter it got until it all but dissappeared, but was still there if I opened the throttle. After leaving it idling for a little while, fairly confident it wasn't destroying itself from within I took it for a gentle ride, maybe not the most careful approach but hey!

It just seemed to dissapear after a while, most confusing! Left the bike and started it this morning, sounds perfect again, as if I imagined the whole thing, but I know I didn't it was definattely a very loud knock the first time I tried to start it.

Could whatever it was have just sorted itself? could it really be something as simple as it not being happy with being sat on its centre stand for ten days with me too busy sunbathing to turn it over once in a while? Or is it a sigh that something serious is lurking, we go to Africa in less than four weeks so I bloody hope not.

Or could it just be that the bike was telling me something, when putting the rear wheel back on I missed a little spacer washer that had fallen out of the old towel that I had kept the axle and bits in in my pannier while the wheel was off and I only found it when I dug out my more specialist tools from the bottom of said pannier to check the valves. I never said I was a mechanic!
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Old 4 Aug 2010
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I can't say for sure...... but it is most likely a symptom of what is yet to come... hopefully far into the future, but I can't say.

My suspicion is that the oil has been allowed to settle, and thus any areas of the motor which are overly worn (but which would otherwise be hidden by virtue of regular lubrication) are now showing their presence.

Nowadays, I travel mainly on bikes but I occasionally use my car (Honda S2000) which I purchased new 11 years ago ( it has only travelled 125,000km). For the past 2 years, after neglecting to use it weekly, it emanates a loud whine on starting, which lasts for around 20 seconds - from what I have read I believe this is due to the camchain tensioner being on the verge of failure, but after 30 seconds the sound disappears and the vehicle operates as good as new.

kimandmatt don't get yputself overly concerned, yes ayou have a future problem but it's not now so live, and ride, for TODAY.
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Old 4 Aug 2010
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Oil's drained down and the pump's been slow to get circulation/pressure back up. If you can spin it over with the kill switch on that will get some oil round before you put stress on it firing it up (probably only necessary when its been stood). Something to keep you're ear on though.
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Old 4 Aug 2010
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If you didn't shut off your fuel stop, fuel could have leaked into your engine if your carb float did not completely seal the needle, and partially hydrauliced the engine when you tried to start it after 10 days. The initial knock when you started it back up and why hard starting. After that, carbon got knocked off and took some time to get chewed into small pieces and spat out. Just another thought....

Should pull spark pug and check it gap..

Good luck with the rest of your trip.

Mark
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  #11  
Old 4 Aug 2010
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Glad to hear things are back to normal. Sounds to me like you lost oil pressure ... at least momentarily. Not good.

Checked the oil level? The DR likes the level at the TOP MARK on the oil window, or even higher. ALWAYS check oil on fully HOT motor ... run for at least 20 minutes. Check on level ground, level up bike.

Also .... what oil are you using? A too light oil, or oil that is OLD may allow some "knocking". Old conventional mineral oil gets clapped out on an air/cooled bike. For the DR650 Synthetic oil if by FAR the best choice. I use Mobil One car oil. 33K miles on mine. (not "energy saving" type) I also like Motul, Golden Spectro, Red Line, Bel-Ray, MotoRex, Silkolene, Castrol syn.

I like Mobil One 10/W40 because I can buy the "extended use" or High Mileage" version sold only at Wal-Mart for $22 for a 5 U.S. Quart Jug. (4.73 liters)
That's a very good price. ($4.40 per US Quart!!!)

This is what I do anytime my bike sits for more than a few days:

Starting The DR after its sat a while:
1. Leave gas OFF. (Should Always be turned OFF at every stop .... never leave on for storage ... you can ruin the motor (hydraulic lock)
2. NO Choke.
3. Throttle fully open.
4. Crank starter for 5 seconds. (Bike should not start ... if it does your too rich)
5. Wait 30 seconds.
6. Repeat.
7. Repeat again. All this cranking pumps oil to all the important places and gets some oil pressure in the system ... without combustion)
8. Now, ready to Start? Turn on Fuel.
9. Full Choke.
10. No throttle.
11. Start.
12. Let bike idle for at least 2 minutes before riding off, use choke as needed. More if very cold.
13. Ride gently for first few miles.
14. Cane it!
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Old 5 Aug 2010
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A HUGE thanks for all the help and info people, I think maybe the hydraulic knock may be the case as although the fuel tap was off for the ten days the bike stood still I can't be certain that I didn't leave it on the night before I realised I had a puncture which started the whole new tyre fiasco, and what with the bike left on centre stand with no rear wheel it effectively had its arse in the air allowing any fuel in the carb a nice downhill run into the cylinder head.

Definately some lessons learnt!

Mickey, would you recommend fully synthetic oil then, I had always been led to believe semi-synthetic was best, and I want to get it right for the last change before I hit Africa.

Thanks again everyone!

Ride Safe!

Matt
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Old 5 Aug 2010
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Is the carb on the DR designed to overflow the engine if it the float needle is leaking? If that's the case I would have considered a modification.


When it comes to oil in Africa it's not always easy to find synthetic oil. I always stick to Mobil 20W50, mineral. It's pretty easy to find (at least from Ethiopia and south).

Last edited by AliBaba; 5 Aug 2010 at 15:16.
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  #14  
Old 5 Aug 2010
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Any decent oil - for MOTORCYCLES -

NOT CAR OIL - which often has viscosity modifiers, which can lead to clutch slip and its NOT designed for "wet clutches"

If you go with cheapy stuff - change it regularly, like every 1000 miles max
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Old 5 Aug 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimandmatt View Post
Mickey, would you recommend fully synthetic oil then, I had always been led to believe semi-synthetic was best, and I want to get it right for the last change before I hit Africa.
Matt
Semi Synthetic is fine ... but IMHO, 100% Synthetic is even better for an Air/Oil cooled bike like your DR. But as mentioned, synthetic may not be available everywhere in Africa, and as I mention below, if you use Synthetic, make sure its for bikes or that it has no friction modifiers (Use the Mobil One "Extended" or "High Mileage" that I've been using for years.)

Changing oil on the DR650 at 1000 miles is just wasteful, unless its a really crap oil that is the wrong viscosity. A decent mineral oil will do fine going 3000 miles. The DR is very gently on oil for an Air/Oil cooled bike. Synthetic or Semi-Synthetic oil can easily go 4000 miles, IMHO. (I've owned a few DR's, current one has 33,000 miles with lots of hot weather riding .... year round) If you can't get the Mobil One (doubtful in the UK) then get something like Motul Synthetic to start. This will get you 4000 miles into your ride before you have to change. Try to time your change some place that has a good selection of oils. Get the best you can, mineral or synthetic.

If fuel is leaking past your carb float needle, then you need to deal with that. Replace it, and replace that little O ring that secures the float. Always turn off fuel when you stop.
Just in case. A leaking carb can fill the air box with fuel (DANGEROUS) which can then migrate into cylinder, thinning out oil (BAD) or even causing hydraulic lock. This is very rare on the DR's Mikuni BST 40 carb, but can happen on any carb'd bike.

Clean the crud and corrosion out around the bowl, all jets, replace float needle (has a little rubber tip), O rings. After that, should be OK for another 50,000 miles .... if you use fuel filters. Be sure to check the little filter BUILT into the carb on the DR. It sits just inside the intake fuel pipe. Its tiny and delicate. Clean it, or replace it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pigford View Post
Any decent oil - for MOTORCYCLES -
NOT CAR OIL - which often has viscosity modifiers, which can lead to clutch slip and its NOT designed for "wet clutches"If you go with cheapy stuff - change it regularly, like every 1000 miles max
Generally true for synthetic oil. Some versions of Mobil One Synthetic contain NO friction or viscosity modifiers. DO NOT use synthetic oil in a wet clutch bike that claims "Energy Efficient" or "High fuel economy". These synthetics have friction modifiers. I'm not sure with other brands of car oils but I have used the Mobil One synthetics I named with good results on four bikes in the last four or five years. Over 150,000 miles (240K kms) combined miles. No clutch slip on any of these bikes, including four stroke race bike.
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