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Explaining Motorcycle Engine Noises When Accelerating

Explaining Motorcycle Engine Noises When Accelerating

Posted by Wiley Moody on Sep 18, 2020

A motorcycle engine noise when accelerating is a big part of what makes it iconic. Bikers and mechanics with a trained ear can often pick out the model of a bike and it’s engine just by the sound. And deeper still, the acceleration sound of a motorcycle can tell you a lot about the health of the engine. If you’re worried about unusual engine noise, it’s worth checking it out.

Diagnosing motorcycle problems by noise alone can be challenging. Start by listening to different bike engine points like your cam chain tensioner mechanism or cylinder head valve caps. It’s always best to take your bike to a qualified mechanic if you’re having motorcycle acceleration problems together with unusual sounds. 

Here’s what you should know about different motorcycle engine noises when accelerating.

Ticking Sound

If you’re cruising around and notice a strange, rhythmic ticking sound that comes and goes from your bike’s engine, it’s time for motorcycle maintenance. You might notice that the sound comes from the chassis, but identifying the exact point can be difficult. So long as your exhaust is correctly sealed, the most likely issue could be loose engine valves or a valve train problem.

If the valve clearance opens up, your engine valve lifters may rattle off the valve tops, causing ticking sounds on the top end when accelerating. The best way to fix this noise is to have your cruiser bike inspected to ensure your valve train is in good shape. Your primary drive chain may also need adjustment as it can cause ticking sounds when loose, too.  

Knocking Sound

Having a solid knocking motorcycle engine noise when accelerating that comes from deep in your engine or motor is bad news. The sound is often related to your engine’s bottom end - the crankshaft and conrods. If you have collapsed bearings or big-end shells when riding, you’ll likely hear this sound, which may cause engine seizure

If you hear a clunk sound from the motor when riding, you better stop safely and investigate. The engine sound may come and go giving you a false sense of security until your engine dies. Never try and clear the sound by revving your bike harder. Visit your local mechanic to have the problem looked at and fixed.

Clattering and Slapping Noise

If you’re experiencing a clattering sound off the throttle or most prevalent at tick over, it’s a sign that your cam chain or tensioner needs replacement. Just like your drive chain, the cam chain stretches and reaches a wear limit. When this happens, the chain may flap and cause noise and may even be in danger of skipping a tooth. If this happens, you’ll likely have motorcycle acceleration problems and could potentially damage your engine.

If this motorcycle engine noise when accelerating is left unchecked, your bike’s performance suffers significantly - valve timing goes out, and pistons can get damaged, causing further problems. Have your cam chain checked by a professional mechanic and replaced with a quality aftermarket one for durable performance. 

Shop Custom Motorcycle Parts Online

two men seated in parked cruiser bikes

Addressing motorcycle engine noise early enough is crucial to avoid mechanical problems down the road. You may experience other sounds apart from these mentioned above. It could be pounding and dinging caused by detonation or a crackle and pop sound caused by spark plug problems. Whatever motorcycle engine noise you experience when accelerating, make sure to get a mechanic’s professional opinion. 

Custom Motorcycle Parts

If you’re looking for customizable parts and accessories for your V-twin cruiser bike, shop at West End Motorsports. From aftermarket performance cams, air filters, hyperchargers, cam chain conversion kits to brake pads, and valves parts, we have everything you need to make your bike ride and perform better. 

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