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5 Weird Vintage Motorcycle Sounds and The Reasons Behind Them

Daniel Roberts

Are you one of those people who hear things go ‘thump!’ at night and wonder ‘what the hell was that?’

How about when you ride on your bike? Do you ever hear strange noises from your motorcycle and wonder what that was about?

If you hear odd sounds from your motorcycle, it is often some kind of a warning. While a modern, new motorcycle would obviously have you worried if you hear these noises, there are more chances of encountering these problems when you are riding vintage bikes.

Here are some of the most common sounds you might encounter and what they mean:

1. Bump And Grind

One of the most troubling sounds you will hear from your vintage motorcycle is grinding.

It requires immediate attention. A grinding noise, along with vibration in the handle bars or when you brake, may indicate you need to replace the brakes. However, the sound may come up in some cases due to high humidity levels.

The same type of noise from the engine could mean a bearing failure or a shaft drive that needs greasing.

2. Tick Tick 

If you hear a tick sound that comes and goes and is rather rhythmic at specific speeds, get close to the chassis. It could be coming from there, or a loose component like a side mirror that vibrates at specific speeds.

On the other hand, a ticking noise may also occur when the engine has low oil or because of a loose cam chain.

3. Creepy Krink

This sound typically shows up on vintage motorcycles that have a metallic final drive. It could be due to three reasons:

· The chain is badly corroded

· Chain links have a kink and are worn out

· Misaligned sprockets

4. A Boo Hiss

A boo hiss typically indicates a tire that is inflating rapidly. If you heard this sound and pulled over, you practically saved yourself from crashing.

On the other hand, this sound may also be due to a charging system that is overcharging the battery and causing it to give off a hissing sound. A blown gasket may also give off the same hissing sound.

5. Snap And Crackle

A snapping noise may indicate leakage of ignition energy to the ground. The sound may be followed by bike hissing or missing the ignition. To fix this problem, carefully inspect the spark plug cap and wires. Replace them when necessary as they don’t cost much.

As one of the leading motorcycle rebuilding services, at Classic Cycles Ltd., we understand the reasons behind all sorts of noises. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.