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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me exactly what the cause of this is?

Upon starting the engine when it's cold, there is an audible ticking/clickety-clacking coming from the engine top-end area. At first I thought it was the injectors ticking, but it goes away after about 1:30-2:00 of idling.
The fact that it takes about 2 min to go away tells me it shouldn't be the valvetrain being starved of oil, as it only takes a few seconds for the oil to circulate through the engine.
I just switched to Amsoil 20w50 full synth oil but it also did that with the Rotella T oil the previous owner used.
Now, once the ticking stops, it runs and pulls normally.
Could it be that the valves need adjustment (it only has 7100 miles on it), and that once they warm up and expand, they don't clack?
Could it actually be the injectors pushing more than normal fuel through to richen up the mixture for the cold engine, that's causing the temporary ticking?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is it coming from the headers?

More than likely just the oil warming up and circulating the machines beautiful body ;)
I know it's coming from the head/top end area, and it almost seems to be more pronounced behind the head, than in front where the headers are.
I'm almost positive that it's either something in the valve-train, or the injectors.
 

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I do know that a lot of these bikes do this prior to warming up. I know of some who have subsequently changed the cam chain tensioner which did not resolve the ticking.

It's oil circulating or the tappets or both.

Don't worry, it is normal with 954s
 

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Yes don't worry about it, I've had 5 954's over the years, and they have all had a ticking/tapping noise when cold, as long as it goes away once warm, its nothing to worry about, also the 954's have very thin engine cases, which makes the noise seem louder than it is.
 

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Yeah normal. Ive read in a few places that its because in the cold weather/overnight, some of the parts shrink a little (i think its valve shims or o-rings or something) and it gets back to normal when the engine is warmed up.

I used to park my bike behind my house in the shade, i always heard a tick but now i park in front the house when its in direct sunlight for the greater part of day and it stopped happening.
 

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Do this happens in case of oil cooled engines? It never happened with me but sometimes it reflects knocking problem but I take over it with normal warm up.
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Definitely not a knocking issue with me. I use non-ethanol 93 octane fuel (and most of the time I add Seafoam to a tank as well).

nyknick, that explanation makes quite a bit of sense. I know these engines have fairly tight tolerances and any sort of metal contraction due to cooler weather might indeed cause that clacking, until the metal warms up.
 

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20w-50 is a very thick oil for this bike, it's like marmelade in cold weather!!!
You should use 10w-40 as recommended by Honda, especially in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
20w-50 is a very thick oil for this bike, it's like marmelade in cold weather!!!
You should use 10w-40 as recommended by Honda, especially in winter.
It is a very thick oil but that '54's coolant temp will get over 100 deg/c when sitting at a stop light (even in this weather) and is normally around 85 deg when riding (regardless of speed). Thicker oil cools (absorbs heat) better, and isn't too different from the thinner viscosity oil when the engines get that warm.
I did lose a few mpg when I switched to 20/50 but I feel that the extra protection it provides, is worth it.
 

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Im hearing a noise too. Wondering if its normal to hear sounds from the clutch engaged while in neutral. It gets softer as the bike warms up, but persists? Thanks.
 

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Yes don't worry about it, I've had 5 954's over the years, and they have all had a ticking/tapping noise when cold, as long as it goes away once warm, its nothing to worry about, also the 954's have very thin engine cases, which makes the noise seem louder than it is.
That's why I love this engine...:thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
sometimes higher weights mask oil leaks... even though you can use it, you should switch back every once in a while
Well this bike doesn't have any leaks. I got it in August and ran the Rotella T that the seller said was in it, until the week before last when I changed it. I put about 2500 miles on it from August until then so I would've seen any leaking when I changed the oil.

I didn't put the higher viscosity in it to mask any oil leaks. I just wanted the maximum protection. Particularly in light of how hot they run and (as steve mentions) how thin their cases are.
I rode it in to work today (30 miles) in 36 degree weather and the coolant temp still stayed right at 83 deg/C even at 85mph. That thing is still a 'heater' even in this weather.

hung/xop/mad, I really dont' think you have anything to worry about. I was just curious as to why the valvetrain clacks for that long when it only takes a few seconds for the oil to circulate. But as well, I also think it is the injectors ticking, as they are doing max duty during a cold start, as the mixture tends to be rich until it warms up.
 

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A heavier weight oil will take longer to get pumped round the oilways at startup, given the engine wear mostly occurs at startup, you are fooling yourself and shortening the life of your engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A heavier weight oil will take longer to get pumped round the oilways at startup, given the engine wear mostly occurs at startup, you are fooling yourself and shortening the life of your engine.
Spaz, I know how oil works. I know it will take slightly longer, but unless that oil light (don't know why these bikes don't have an OP gauge) is vastly inaccurate (as it goes off within two seconds of engine starting), oil is getting to that engine fairly quick. I'd bet my next paycheck it's circling through that engine long before all that ticking stops.
And allow me to reiterate that even before I switched to the thicker oil, it was still 'ticking' at startup.
And also let me reiterate that this is full synthetic oil. Synthetic oil is designed for excellent protection in cold weather.
I also let the bike idle until at least that ticking/clacking stops before I get on it and put it in gear and take off.
 

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I understand that you had the ticking before, however there WILL be more cold start engine wear with a heavier oil fact. Synthetic oil can be a bitch with clutches too, just saying like.
 
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