My XS has started sounding gravely at the top end. Not a tapping sound really but kind of a whirring sound. Seems louder under acceleration too. She is still runnning fine but am trying to diagnose the problem. Could it just be the cam chain and valves need adjusted or should I be looking at something else?
Mine is doing the exact same thing, i thought it was gonna blow, and i got real upset quick, but, i decided to just ride the piss out of it, and it keeps whirring, but, will not blow up, I have tried adjusting the cam chain, and someone told me it was the litle plastic strip that goes over the can chain adjuster, which requires a total take down apart of the motor to get to it, I have been riding it like this for the past nine months, and it keeps on going, I was also told it could be the exaust leaking at the port itself, like the crushed copper things were just no good, i still keep riding it though, and i really do not care, I have no funny pieces in the oil when i drained it quite a few times, so, i think it is just the motor making itself known to be a whiner!! cool with me, I just got used to the whirring, and it is just fine, so, don't worry, it will keep running, maybe someone replaced something somewhere in the motor, and it makes this noise because of this, I am not sure, I was told, the previous owner of this motor, rebuilt it, and had made it into an eight fifty. which I find that hard to beleive, being that it runs fine on the same carbs frommy previous motor, that blew it's charging system up, so i put this motor in, there is one thing for sure though, it has a brand new charging system in it, so, it should last a lot longer than the previous two motors i went through that blew thier charging systems, I know this for sure, I saw what the previous motors charging systems looked like, not very good, the sealant on the rotors, was very dark in color, and started to crack, this last one of mine is very light in color, and no cracks at all in the sealant on this rotor, and it runs better than the previous two, the charging system is very good, the previous two used to all of a sudden brighten up in the headlight, and then go dim, back and forth they would do this, this one now, stays steady and the battery is staying stable as well, it is not jumping up and down like the previous two motors did. The last two motors would also eat up batteries, fast! this one keeps the battery nice and no fluxuation at all, so, I think it is a great motor and the previuos owner rebuilt the motor, yes, but stock, and he then put a new stator and rotor, in the process, which is really great for this is my last donor motor of my xs650s I had laying around, so, dont worry about the whirring, we should just chime in here, if something bad happens, and what it is that happens, that way one of us will be able to fix it, if it really does need anything, it sounds like yours and mine are doin the exact same thing, so, lets keep eack other informed about our motors as we go along and keep riding!
I adjusted the cam chain and valves last night. It seems to have quieted down some. I have had the exhaust (drivers side)off or loose a few time lately. I will order some new crush gaskets for it and try that next. Oh and this bike is not new to me I have been riding it in it's chopped form for almost 9yrs. Rode it the first year stock to shake everything down. Has been a GREAT machine. Thinking about tearing it down this winter and rebuilding the top end. Probably a 750 kit. Here is how she has sit (stance wise) all this summer. Could it be starving for oil with the motor tilted back like it is? Maybe run a little more oil than normal? Not sure where the oil pick up for the pump is on these.
I don't think that tilt is enough to cause any problems unless you are running low on oil. I don't know about your particular noise but my experience with over head cam, air cooled, multi-cylinder bikes is there tends to be a fair bit of valve train noise. A little Lucas oil additive will quieten it down some. Without having heard your noise the best advice I can offer is to find someone else with a XS 650 and compare noises.
I always over fill my oil on every machine of mine, I always hear the " it's gonna blow the seals!" crap all the time, but, this is not there machine, and they can keep there opinions in the wind, out of all of my choppers, bikes, vw beetles, one a super beetle, and the other a 1962 with everything not original in my 62, it has a super beetle motor in it, but the motor cases were from mexico, so, it is possibly one of the motors form 1967 to 2003, that is when VW stopped making the last of the aircooled VW motors and whole VW beetles, I would have loved to have gotten my hands on a 2003 aircooled VW beetle, that would have been so cool to ride in one that is truly brand new! But, I still over fill all oils in every machine of mine, and i use royal purple fully synthetic 20w/50w motor oils, and none of my seals or anythings have started to leak, what is really strange about my 1962 vw beetle that has a dual port motor, is it only takes three quarts, after the third, it fills all the way up and out the fill port, my 1971 takes four quarts just fine, and my xs 650 longest chop is way over filled with royal purple, and all is great! I like putting excellent quality motor oils in each of my machines, it may be expensive, but, it is supposed to go up to 10,000 miles on each oil change, I do not wait till the ten thousabd mile marker comes up, possibly around 5,000 miles between each oil change, it is difficult to determine when 5,000 miles is around the corner, I do not have any speedometers at all on my choppers or bikes, I feel as if they are ugly makers when they are upon the choppers or bikes, especially the stock old japanese speedometers, they are extremely ugly, the main reason they are ugly, they are so big, then they are so big! I would go ahead and over fill your oil, on your xs650, with that tilt, you are guaranteed to not blow any oil seals at all. I hope this helps, and I wish we were close enough to compare engine noises, I still exist in lodi, calif. 95240 about 30 miles south of sacramento, and 20 miles north of stockton calif. I tend to rattle off too much with my typing, I know this, and I do not go back to erase it, I realize i jabber too much, if it were live, you would be quite entertained, I sold a bike today, and they all got very entertained. and free tooled leather things, like saddle bags, and cool helmets from, I can't remember, but it is open faced and very sparkly red to match the baike they bought today, and they say, they will be back for two more of my "choppers" pretty cool, as I really want the extra room in the garage to possibly build a different chop, or sliude around on my back with the new room on the polished garage floor, ??? we shall see, only if two more of my"choppers" get sold, it will be on!
Thanks for the replies guys. I didn tighten the cam chain and adjusted the valves. Quieted down some. I need to readjust the chain warm and see if that makes a difference as well. Looking to score a side cover with the oil sight glass and if I do I will just fill it to the sight glass and go with it. I figure that glass is close to where the pick up is anyway. Hey Swinewerx, I am lookikng to get a tooled leather wallet made. PM me and maybe we can work something out.