XR RFVC ENGINE NOISE (500, 600, 650L)

16 replies to this topic
  • gotdurt

Posted June 21, 2004 - 06:32 AM


Just wandering if any of you Honda RFVC riders have ever experienced a noisy, resonating clatter/ knock at higher RPM's under load. It only does it under hard excelleration or highway speeds above 70. Valves are adjusted, octane doesn't affect it. The current bike in question is a NX650, 10K miles, but my XR650L developed the exact same problem at the same mileage. Both lived hard offroad lives. I've heard that the RFVC motors had a tendancy for cam chain/ tensioner issues. Has anyone delt with this before? Has anyone replaced a cam chain and/or tensioner before? Could it be another culprit? :thumbsup:

  • smashinz2002

Posted June 21, 2004 - 06:04 PM


That almost sounds like the cam chain slapping around alot. I had a '91 Suzuki DR350 that made that noise, it had around 8000 miles on it. When I took it apart, the connecting rod and the piston pin were still good and tight, but the Cam Chain was loose big time!
Maybe that's what you're hearing? Not sure but could be.
Or maybe it's piston slap? You know a worn out piston rocking back and forth, slapping against the cylinder wall. But you would hear that even at idle I would think, or under a light load.

  • gotdurt

Posted June 22, 2004 - 03:12 AM


Yea, the cam chain is the only thing that makes sense to me so far. The only thing is, it seems to me that cam chain issues would result in clicking or tapping noises. At first I thought it might be a rod knock, but this is a high rpm symptom, and every knocking rod I've ever had occured at low rpm's, especially on deceleration. If I let of the throttle at all, it stops. Plus, it seems to be a higher frequency, and seems to come from the top end. Also, it's mild when cold, and gets worse after it warms up. The motor is tight and quiet at start-up and idle, unlike a rod knock.

Any piston slap I've ever heard was accompanied by burning oil, and neither bike used oil at all.

It just seemed odd to me that I have 2 bikes with the same motor that develop the same problem around the same mileage. I thought surely somone would have had the same experience with a similar XR.

  • heliosstudios

Posted June 22, 2004 - 10:17 AM


Well in a vaguely similar situation, I had a 1974 CB360 that suddenly started spurting oil everywhere. Culprit was the cam chain, it developed excessive slack from a stuck auto-adjuster and started vibrating to the point where it could touch the sides of the cylinder wall. After that, the cylinder was done for. It wore a hole straight through and sprayed hot oil onto the exhaust headers... But there wasn't any obvious noises before doing this. I patched the cylinder with JB-weld and stainless steel inserts and tightened the chain, and it worked great ever since.

These RFVC engines are light-years ahead of the old CB motor both in terms of capability and complexity.

  • gotdurt

Posted July 13, 2004 - 08:47 AM



Slack in the counter-balancer maybe?

  • asmithies

Posted February 19, 2005 - 02:05 AM


I have the same bike with the same problem. It seems to get worse when the gearing is higher. With a 14 / 51 sprockets it only happens in top gear. With 15 / 51 it happens in third through to top.
If you solve this problem please post the answer as I am keen to solve it.

  • valvesrule

Posted December 12, 2007 - 11:42 AM


Sounds like piston slap and detonation combined to me. I'd try richening the needles/main jet first to see if it improves. My 79 xl540 did the same thing til I put a richer xr carb on it. The rfvc motors are gear drive counterbalacer not chain so I doubt that would be it.

  • martinfan30

Posted December 12, 2007 - 12:10 PM


take a real close look at the exhaust follower faces.

Visit the ThumperTalk Store for the lowest prices on motorcycle / ATV parts and accessories - Guaranteed
  • cleonard

Posted December 12, 2007 - 01:22 PM


3 and 1/2 year old thread...

  • jetfuel

Posted December 12, 2007 - 04:20 PM


3 and 1/2 year old thread...

:banghead: you beat me to it...

  • martinfan30

Posted December 12, 2007 - 08:37 PM


ya dammit! i forget to look at the post dates! i hope he has figured it out by now!

  • jetfuel

Posted December 12, 2007 - 08:53 PM


ya dammit! i forget to look at the post dates! i hope he has figured it out by now!

Maybe you could PM him and tell him its a lost cause and you'll give $10.00 for the old clatter box... Those NX's are great commuter bikes...J/K

  • martinfan30

Posted December 12, 2007 - 09:23 PM


LOL! i really would like to have one. my grandfather had an 88 NX650, i thought that was the coolest thing i had seen! wish he hadnt sold it. a few months back he gave me the owners manual for it!

  • frog13

Posted April 09, 2010 - 05:41 PM


6.5 now---doh!.

  • akarob

Posted April 09, 2010 - 06:14 PM


Thread is from 2004 - let it die

  • HeadTrauma

Posted April 09, 2010 - 06:42 PM


6.5 now---doh!.

Why did you even post in this old thread?

  • Captain Midnight

Posted April 11, 2010 - 08:22 AM


Let's figure out the problem. I have some noise in my top end too.

Related Content


ignitech programmable XR650L CDI by brianhare

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • Hot  60 replies

Supercross Preview 2017 Part 1: Championship Contenders by Chris Cooksey

Dirt Bike   Special Interest Forums   Pro Racing
  • Hot  186 replies

93 xr650l Restoration Project by Zigster

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 17 replies

DirttyPig 2005 Xr650l Prroject! by braapmebb1moretime

Dirt Bike   Make / Model Specific   Honda   XR600/650
  • 22 replies

Would a Young Scott Summers still be Competitive today on an XR600R? What would he ride to be competitive today? by Jayzonk

Dirt Bike   Special Interest Forums   Pro Racing
  • Hot  159 replies

Join Our Community!

Even if you don't want to post, registered members get access to tools that make finding & following the good stuff easier.

If you enjoyed reading about "" here in the ThumperTalk archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join ThumperTalk today!

The views and opinions expressed on this page are strictly those of the author, and have not been reviewed or approved by ThumperTalk.