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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bike is running great. I have an 2002 1800c. I love this thing. For the last year or so it’s been doing a high pitched whistling sound. I can quite figure where it’s coming from. It starts when it’s good and warmed up and seems to be on the left front area. Is this an air leak somewhere or something mechanical that spins at the speed of the rpms? Unless I can’t hear it cause of the roar of the pipes but I only hear it when it’s at idle. And it seems to be in rhythm with the engine. Any help would be great. I’m going to try soapy water.


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Cooling fan issue? Maybe fan bearing or a cracked fan vane / fin? The fan only comes on once warmed up, thats why I ask. I've had small household fans make weird noises from dust buildup on the leading edges, kind of un-balances them. But thats more like a vibration than a whistling. Just guessing trying to help. Or maybe a vacuum line leak. A 2002 is nearly 20 years old. All rubber hoses dry out, micro-crack/ dry rot. If you can't replace the hose, maybe at least trim the ends with a razor cutter and re-install. I haven't replaced any vac hoses myself, but I have begun replacing coolant hoses. I wouldn't run a car 17-18 years old w/o changing hoses. Bike is no different, except a lot less miles for me.
 
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Someone has a deer whistle on it in a hidden location :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Cooling fan issue? Maybe fan bearing or a cracked fan vane / fin? The fan only comes on once warmed up, thats why I ask. I've had small household fans make weird noises from dust buildup on the leading edges, kind of un-balances them. But thats more like a vibration than a whistling. Just guessing trying to help. Or maybe a vacuum line leak. A 2002 is nearly 20 years old. All rubber hoses dry out, micro-crack/ dry rot. If you can't replace the hose, maybe at least trim the ends with a razor cutter and re-install. I haven't replaced any vac hoses myself, but I have begun replacing coolant hoses. I wouldn't run a car 17-18 years old w/o changing hoses. Bike is no different, except a lot less miles for me.
New fan and that only comes on when it is hot out and not moving. That is rarely. This whistle is on as soon as it is warmed up. Again, in rhythm with the rpms.


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Vac leak?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That’s my guess. Never explored all of the hoses. I should do a complete change of them all. This bike deserves it. It’s bad ass.


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So I found this question from a low mileage bike. “Is this normal? I could be wrong but it seems to have gotten louder recently or maybe I'm just focusing more on it. Seems to run great but the noise has me concerned. I have had the VTX for only a short time and never really paid attention to the engine noise, but last night after a long ride I really noticed in the quiet of my garage the high pitch whirring coming from the engine. Wish I could describe the sound better but basically it reminds me of when a bearing starts going out on a wheel. Most noticeable of course when at idle and the sound of the exhaust is low.”

Mine has 80,000 + on it. This guys has 2,000. The last sentence is the best description. I used soapy water today. No bubbles. It sounds loudest at idle and is in since with the rpms.


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OK. These engines are very noisy to begin with. They are supposed to sound as many have described, like a 'sewing machine'. If you didn't have valve train noise then you have trouble!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK. These engines are very noisy to begin with. They are supposed to sound as many have described, like a 'sewing machine'. If you didn't have valve train noise then you have trouble!
I can hear that regular engine rumble. No worries but this to me sounds like it is in the transmission area on the left side. I’m taking her in. I’ll holler later on the outcome.


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Bike is running great. I have an 2002 1800c. I love this thing. For the last year or so it’s been doing a high pitched whistling sound. I can quite figure where it’s coming from. It starts when it’s good and warmed up and seems to be on the left front area. Is this an air leak somewhere or something mechanical that spins at the speed of the rpms? Unless I can’t hear it cause of the roar of the pipes but I only hear it when it’s at idle. And it seems to be in rhythm with the engine. Any help would be great. I’m going to try soapy water.


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I have the same whistling sound on my VTX 1300. I have about 8000 miles and the noise starts after the bike has setup a few days and after I run it awhile. I found the following on a VTX forum and it describes my problem.
Whistling sound from the engine at idle and at cruise.

I have read some of the posts regarding a "whistle" sound coming from the engine. I wanted to add my personal experience hoping it prevents someone else from getting stranded.
I had the "whistling" from the engine issue. Ignored it, then found myself on the side of road.

The whistling was coming from the O-ring that connects the intake manifold to the cylinders. The front cylinder seal failed, this seal is directly below the vacuum connector for the tube leading to the petcock. The seal failed, lost vacuum, which shut off the flow of fuel.

I took the bike to a trusted shop. They used an "IV" bottle of fuel to keep the bike running, then they used a device that put out smoke and moved it around all the tubes, and connections for the vacuum and intake manifold. And sure enough you could see the smoke get diverted at the point of the seal failure. They took the manifold apart and the seal was deformed and a minimal amount of "tracking" (a small burn track where the high heat air was bypassing the seal) where the seal had failed. Replaced the seals(front and rear). and the problem was solved.

This may not be your issue, but remember these bikes are not brand new regardless of the miles and the rubber fails. Good Luck! I hope this saves others from the hassle of waiting to be towed home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have the same whistling sound on my VTX 1300. I have about 8000 miles and the noise starts after the bike has setup a few days and after I run it awhile. I found the following on a VTX forum and it describes my problem.
Whistling sound from the engine at idle and at cruise.

I have read some of the posts regarding a "whistle" sound coming from the engine. I wanted to add my personal experience hoping it prevents someone else from getting stranded.
I had the "whistling" from the engine issue. Ignored it, then found myself on the side of road.

The whistling was coming from the O-ring that connects the intake manifold to the cylinders. The front cylinder seal failed, this seal is directly below the vacuum connector for the tube leading to the petcock. The seal failed, lost vacuum, which shut off the flow of fuel.

I took the bike to a trusted shop. They used an "IV" bottle of fuel to keep the bike running, then they used a device that put out smoke and moved it around all the tubes, and connections for the vacuum and intake manifold. And sure enough you could see the smoke get diverted at the point of the seal failure. They took the manifold apart and the seal was deformed and a minimal amount of "tracking" (a small burn track where the high heat air was bypassing the seal) where the seal had failed. Replaced the seals(front and rear). and the problem was solved.

This may not be your issue, but remember these bikes are not brand new regardless of the miles and the rubber fails. Good Luck! I hope this saves others from the hassle of waiting to be towed home.
Been awhile since I touched on this issue. It’s still there. Bikes runs fine but it is annoying. Like that car next to you with the bad belt! I think I may have found the area it’s coming from. Next to the front oil drain plug area. Be back. ...


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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Been awhile since I touched on this issue. It’s still there. Bikes runs fine but it is annoying. Like that car next to you with the bad belt! I think I may have found the area it’s coming from. Next to the front oil drain plug area. Be back. ...


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A bit of a recording. Sorry for the morning around. It was louder underneath next to the oil drain plug which also is next to the water pipe and pump. It doesn’t happen all the time.



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You could try to use a mechanics stethoscope or the free version thereof. The latter is just a wooden dowel about 3 ft long. A cut off broom handle will work nicely. Put one end firmly against the hole in your ear and press the other end against various parts of the bike/engine. The wood will transmit the sound vibrations directly to your ear and it is amazing how much you can hear using this method and how well you can sometimes pinpoint the source of an offending sound.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A bit of a recording. Sorry for the morning around. It was louder underneath next to the oil drain plug which also is next to the water pipe and pump. It doesn’t happen all the time.



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Could this be a clutch issue?


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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Could this be a clutch issue?


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It’s in neutral and it makes all the noise. And at that point it’s at idle. When I give it a bit of throttle it goes away. When I turn off the engine it does down as the engine stops turning. As soon as I start the engine up again(warmed up) it’s starts right away. It doesn’t start until it gets warmed up. Any clue about this? Thanks y’all.


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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It’s in neutral and it makes all the noise. And at that point it’s at idle. When I give it a bit of throttle it goes away. When I turn off the engine it does down as the engine stops turning. As soon as I start the engine up again(warmed up) it’s starts right away. It doesn’t start until it gets warmed up. Any clue about this? Thanks y’all.


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So this might be coming from my air intake system. It’s rhythmic and happens at idle and goes away with taking off and I didn’t really hear it when I was in the rain and the air was so wet.


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Do you have an open type air cleaner? When I took off the stock set-up and went with a huge K&N filter and cover, which the filter is completely open and not covered at all, I hear all kinds of crazy sounds. The air passing across the throttle plates gets very noisy and does whistle a bit and depending on throttle % opening will even sound like it's knocking. These are very noisy engines. That took some getting used to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Do you have an open type air cleaner? When I took off the stock set-up and went with a huge K&N filter and cover, which the filter is completely open and not covered at all, I hear all kinds of crazy sounds. The air passing across the throttle plates gets very noisy and does whistle a bit and depending on throttle % opening will even sound like it's knocking. These are very noisy engines. That took some getting used to.
I recently increased the idle and it seemed to disappear but it is a loud and again at idle speed and warmed up. I could probably change out all the hoses vacuum etc. yes open air intake. I can here that air going in that is not the sound that is annoying. Hyper charger intake on mine.


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I looked back over the thread. Did you try spraying carb cleaner around the manifold where it connects to the intake of the cylinders? Wait until it is warmed up and making the sound first. It won't take much spray and try to avoid the exhaust, so I would just do it on the left side. Any change of engine speed would mean a bad seal. It has to be a seal problem. Nothing else seems to make sense the way you described it. I can't tell from that recording. You mentioned it was near the oil drain plug but you didn't get near it in the video. That would for sure be a strange place for it. I'm still thinking of ideas.
 
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