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Author Topic: How noisy / quiet is your engine?  (Read 768 times)

WillW

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How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« on: April 16, 2011, 11:31:06 AM »
This latest business with my G5 has got me wondering about the degree of "normal" engine noise other UCE owners experience.
As I mentioned, my bike has always been a bit clattery, and being short on experience I always assumed it was just the nature of that kind of engine.
But having now heard three other UCE bikes running - a LOT more quietly than mine ever has, I have a growing suspicion that mine was dodgy from the outset.
I am a huge fan of RE, I love my bike and don't wish to dis the brand or cause anxiety, but I'd really like to know what is considered a "normal & acceptable"  amount of mechanical noise from these UCE engines.
Some feedback would be a help.
Thanks,
Will
« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 11:45:12 AM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

GSS

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2011, 01:08:03 PM »
Will,
I have been following your unfortunate saga. From my years of riding and observing various bikes including Enfields, there is always some racket besides the "thump". The UCE engines are definitely more refined, and at least for now seem a bit quieter....although part of that might be subtle hearing loss from 30 years of jeeping! Loud, clattery, loose sounding racket is definitely not normal, but there are plenty of folks here with more experience than me with C5/G5s who might have other thoughts on what is "normal".

Good luck and hope things are going well.

GSS
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2010 C5 - Teal
It's a Jeep thing......

ScooterBob

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2011, 01:15:32 PM »
Will - I've heard them from DEAD quiet mechanically to just a bit "chattery" and found that to be normal. There IS a racket in them that I don't like - and that is a muted, dull "thunk thunk thunk" in the bottom end that's in time with the piston at idle. I think that one may be caused by the crank itself, possible being out of line. Another UCE noise is the auto decomp bits giving you the "click-click" when you turn the engine off .. Other than that, the good ones ARE pretty darn quiet. As you said in your other post - a bit of it is the luck of the Chennai draw .... although these engines have SUCH good machining on them that they are virtually as identical as Honda stuff!  ;)
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WillW

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2011, 02:12:06 PM »
Yes mine certainly has that "thunk", which is one of the sounds which bother me. There's also a mid-range sort of whacking which I've sometimes wondered about - small end? piston slap? I dunno. A bit of ticking from the valve train I can live with, and I'm familiar with the various appearances of the auto decomp.
All audible above the loud Goldie, so I generally try just not to focus on the cacophony!
Anyways I'm going to ask Watsonian Squire to have a thorough going look at it for proper clearances etc. I'm kind of hoping they'll just re-build the whole darn thing!
As I said, the others I had a listen to were significantly quieter, not just a bit... :-\
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

ScooterBob

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2011, 03:30:11 PM »
Will - As simple as that little mill is to take down to the molecule - they'd be silly NOT to do that and inspect each and every little raw bit to make sure it's OK .... Again - I'm betting the Factory will appreciate the input from whatever the cause may be for the loose bits in there.
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GA-DK

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2011, 04:47:05 PM »
In the last few days i have become concerned about my '09 G5.  I realized I missed a note in the shop manual concerning a check at 500 mi concerning the backlash of the cam gears.  The manual talks about "checking" and about some details of "adjusting", but it does not give details of "checking" or how you know when it is properly adjusted.  The owners manual has nothing on the subject.  I have come to the conclusion that if the bike is serviced by dealer mechanics that are familiar with the sound of these bikes, they are supposed to listen and if they hear excessive noise, then they are supposed to adjust till no backlash is felt when the engine is at TDC so there is minimum load on the cams.  I got my G5 from a dealer some 60 miles away some 4 months ago and have not been back since.  That would be 60 miles each way in metro Atlanta traffic which I like to avoid.  I have almost 1100 miles on the odometer and have checked engine with mechanics stethescope.  At idle there is little noise except at bottom end and that sound is the sound of the roller and ball bearings on the crankshaft.  I hear no clicking or tapping, so I think mine is in good shape. 
     The last few tanks i have gotten 65 MPG with empty sidecar.  Usual speeds have been in the 35 - 45 mph range with a few short spurts of 50 for a couple of miles when I have to get on highway.  I use moderate throttle for acceleration, but try to keep loads light for cruise.   GA-DK

REpozer

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2011, 04:57:21 PM »
Mine has loud valves. 8)
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WillW

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2011, 05:04:29 PM »
I found that reference to checking the cam gears at 500 miles when I bought the workshop manual last year. As you say, no mention of it in the owners manual, and I doubt you'll find anyone here who's done it!

"... if the bike is serviced by dealer mechanics that are familiar with the sound of these bikes, they are supposed to listen and if they hear excessive noise, then they are supposed to adjust till no backlash is felt when the engine is at TDC so there is minimum load on the cams....." -  aah yes....I wish I lived on that planet.... :D ;)

I was careful during the break-in of my bike, by the book, gentle on the throttle and never more than 50mph in fifth for short spells. But like I said, it was always a bit clattery even then. I admit it has brought out the hooligan in me a few times since I fitted the goldie, but even so I've never thrashed it at full rpm. More into hurling it round the curves. 8)

You sure are gentle with your bike GA-DK  -  and it seems you got a good'n. Enjoy.

« Last Edit: April 16, 2011, 05:07:31 PM by WillW »
2010 Royal Enfield Electra (G5) DL

2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

GA-DK

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2011, 05:17:04 PM »
Yes, I think I have a good one, and I want to keep it that way.  Therefore, I try to take it easy.  Got my first motorbike lisence in May of 1953.  The RE took the place of my 1932 Morgan 3-wheeler I sold this winter.  I had to take it easy with the Morgan as I think it had been repaired many times, but never fully restored.  The VIN was the chassis no., D49.  I live about 12 - 15 miles north of Rome Georgia (USA) and use the bike for local trips and volunteer work for the local Convention and Visitors Bureau.  I have been putting about 35oo miles per year on my Morgans for volunteer work.  Still have the 2000 Morgan Plus-8, but would like to back off the  local milage on it.  It is above 80k now with everything in top condition.  GA-DK

WillW

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2011, 05:24:38 PM »
I'd like to have seen that Morgan!  :)
The dealer where I bought my Bike (Devon, England) is also the main Morgan dealership down here, so always a few interesting vehicles around the place when I call in.
They also sell steam engines  - I kid you not....
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2004 Kawasaki W650
~ the best british bike they never made ~

raycopper

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2011, 07:12:32 PM »
Off topic; My dealer, in Ripley UK, sell Royal Enfields on one side of the shop, and flowers on the other!

Ray
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ScooterBob

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2011, 07:33:47 PM »
I found that reference to checking the cam gears at 500 miles when I bought the workshop manual last year. As you say, no mention of it in the owners manual, and I doubt you'll find anyone here who's done it!

"... if the bike is serviced by dealer mechanics that are familiar with the sound of these bikes, they are supposed to listen and if they hear excessive noise, then they are supposed to adjust till no backlash is felt when the engine is at TDC so there is minimum load on the cams....." -  aah yes....I wish I lived on that planet.... :D ;)


ScooterBob lives on that Planet - but you are right - no one ELSE does, despite this being a vigorous topic of discussion at dealer training events ...... C'est la Vie! Cam gear lash would have to be WAY out before it would telegraph any racket - and a mechanic would be blind in both ears and have numb eyeballs in his fingertips not to adjust the lash to "zero" when he had that right side cover off ...... I like to adjust the ones on brand new engines (with new cam gears) a little on the "tightish" side to make sure they are "just right" when broken in .....
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Maturin

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2011, 08:17:05 PM »
According to an old cab driver rule the diagnosis of odd sounds is simpelst if the said part is blown up  ;)
Precious alway rattles like a spanish castanet combo. Im afraid she develops this hanging-decomp-sound aswell, but Im determined not to worry until all clicking will stop suddenly. Time will tell, and if actually something important goes kaputt I comfort myself with the idea that Indian parts simply cannot cost a fortune  ;D
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olhogrider

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Re: How noisy / quiet is your engine?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2011, 04:35:52 PM »
Willw, I think your method of comparing others to yours is the best way to go. When I  got my KLR I wondered if the "doohickey" had been replaced. One day I met another KLR rider. He claimed the bad doohickey was a myth. He had worked on KLRs for 20 years and never seen a broken one. The he started his bike. It was SO quiet! Then I started mine. He said " You might want to check that doohickey". It was broken.

BTW for those who don't know, the doohickey is the spring-loaded counterbalacer chain adjuster. It is commonly broken by ham fisted mechanics who don't own or believe in torque wrenches.