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Old March 11th, 2018, 03:07 PM   #1
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Whining sound

No, it's not the gas tank one.

Hi, guys, I can hear a strange whining kind of noise when I am accelerating on my ninja 250r. Doesn't happen when I am idle or revving, only when im actually moving. And it increases and decreases with engine rpm. And it doesn't stop or fade away unless I'm moving real slow.

Kinda like in this vid at around 0:39 sec https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQU4TT--DqE

It's pretty loud and I almost don't hear the actual sound the bike should be making. I've seen videos on which the 250rs don't make that sound, so I'm sure it's not something normal.

I also found a thread about it, but noone actually said anything but "it's normal". So is it actually normal or?

btw, My bike is fully stock (if it matters, I changed the oil with a Castrol 4T Racing 10w40 and the oil filter) and I am a very new rider, so I am not too familiar with how stuff should sound.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 04:36 PM   #2
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If you are moving about 40 or so and pull in the clutch and coast, does the sound continue?

A chain that is too tight can make odd noises. I'd check the chain condition and tension for starters.

Wheel bearings would be another possibility if the sound continues when coasting.

I couldn't hear much on the video.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 04:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesh View Post
No, it's not the gas tank one.

Hi, guys,

btw, My bike is fully stock (if it matters, I changed the oil with a Castrol 4T Racing 10w40 and the oil filter) and I am a very new rider, so I am not too familiar with how stuff should sound.
Your bike now thinks it's a race bike and is whining to go faster.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 06:03 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
If you are moving about 40 or so and pull in the clutch and coast, does the sound continue?

A chain that is too tight can make odd noises. I'd check the chain condition and tension for starters.

Wheel bearings would be another possibility if the sound continues when coasting.

I couldn't hear much on the video.
I will test it out asap and will report back. About the chain it doesn't seem tight to me. It has like 1-2 inches slack. I have tried coasting, but at a lower speed and I didn't hear the whining, but I'll check it out when I'm moving faster.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 07:24 PM   #5
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you might be hearing the whine from the primary gears. (crank to clutch) much like the old KZ-900 and 1000's but not as pronounced, nothing to worry about if that's what your hearing.
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Old March 11th, 2018, 08:12 PM   #6
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SpeedO cable
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkv45 View Post
If you are moving about 40 or so and pull in the clutch and coast, does the sound continue?

A chain that is too tight can make odd noises. I'd check the chain condition and tension for starters.

Wheel bearings would be another possibility if the sound continues when coasting.

I couldn't hear much on the video.

Nope, no whining when I pull the clutch in and coast.

Here's another video where you can hear the same whining/whirring easily. Starts at around 0:11 sec. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zJiZaIwfyk

Quote:
Originally Posted by Z1R rider View Post
you might be hearing the whine from the primary gears. (crank to clutch) much like the old KZ-900 and 1000's but not as pronounced, nothing to worry about if that's what your hearing.
I am not sure I even understand what you mean, but it doesn't sound right. Maybe check out the 2nd vid, the whine there is pretty obvious. Could help.

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SpeedO cable
Elaborate?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:40 AM   #8
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I can't watch the video now but it could also be the speedo cable. Speedo cable sounds like this around 24 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EsUboS36M
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hesh View Post

Elaborate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaBlue1 View Post
What you were hearing was speedo cable squeal. If your bike speed sounded anything like the speedo in this video, it was probably your speedo cable and needs a good lubing or replacement.

The inner shaft is rubbing against the metal casing and eventually could brake if not fixed. You can remove it and inspect it. Just remember which end goes to the speedo and which goes to the gauge.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Panda View Post
I can't watch the video now but it could also be the speedo cable. Speedo cable sounds like this around 24 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EsUboS36M
No, it's definitely not like this. It's a more quiet and less "aggressive" noise if that makes sense.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:53 AM   #11
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How loud depends on how much it is rubbing. Simple test, disconnect.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 07:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by allanoue View Post
How load depends on how much it is rubbing. Simple test, disconnect.
Thank you, I will have it in mind, but I am almost sure it isn't this, even if it isn't rubbing as much the sound is just completely different. So I will check it out, but after other suggestions, if there are any.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 08:30 AM   #13
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It sounds like primary gear whine to me. I don't have a newgen, so I don't know if this is normal. My pregen does not do that.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 08:45 AM   #14
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It sounds like primary gear whine to me. I don't have a newgen, so I don't know if this is normal. My pregen does not do that.
So what does primary gear whine mean and can it be fixed, if it's even something that needs fixing?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 11:38 AM   #15
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Primary gears are a pair of gears that connect the engine to the transmission. Straight cut gears tend to whine, but since I don't have a newgen 250, I'm don't know how much is normal. My pregen does not have a noticeable whine. Some of the newgen owners can advise you on this.

Excess whine could be caused by wear, or by gear clearance that's too big because of a bad bearing, as examples.

Last futzed with by Triple Jim; March 12th, 2018 at 01:38 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 12:54 PM   #16
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I have both pregen and newgen and no whine on either one.

I did have problem with starter-clutch one time with some broken starter-gear teeth breaking off and clogging the starter-clutch. This caused it to partially engage and rub, making a rubbing sound at low RPMs and becoming a whine at higher-RPMs.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 01:42 PM   #17
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I see. So how should I go about this?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 01:55 PM   #18
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Remove the left cover and take look.

Check flywheel, make sure it's tight.

Examine starter-gear. Actually remove it would be better and make sure all teeth are there and that starter-clutch spins freely.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 02:06 PM   #19
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Remove the left cover and take look.

Check flywheel, make sure it's tight.

Examine starter-gear. Actually remove it would be better and make sure all teeth are there and that starter-clutch spins freely.
I definitely can't do it on my own. Hope I can find some decent mechanic who could take a look soon, cause the one I first spoke to said it's brake linings and bearings, which it clearly isn't.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 02:24 PM   #20
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The clutch-in no-whine may actually indicate something on other side of engine (right). Might be clutch-basket bearing. In either case, you need to open up engine cases and take a look.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 02:35 PM   #21
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The clutch-in no-whine may actually indicate something on other side of engine (right). Might be clutch-basket bearing. In either case, you need to open up engine cases and take a look.
F my life. I really hope someone here will come in "clutch" and suggest something hella simple that fixes the whine, but doubt it'll happen. Once I deal with this, hopefully, I'll report back here. Thank you everyone who commented though.

I will however lube my chain and check the speedo cable just in case.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 03:03 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Hesh View Post
Nope, no whining when I pull the clutch in and coast.

Here's another video where you can hear the same whining/whirring easily. Starts at around 0:11 sec. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zJiZaIwfyk
That sounds normal to me, but I haven't had a New Gen either.

Does the sound change from steady 1/4 throttle cruising to steady 1/2 throttle cruising (regardless of speed)?

Does the starter make any odd sounds when you crank it?

Is it running smoothly the entire time - no stuttering or surging?
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Old March 12th, 2018, 03:16 PM   #23
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That sounds normal to me, but I haven't had a New Gen either.

Does the sound change from steady 1/4 throttle cruising to steady 1/2 throttle cruising (regardless of speed)?

Does the starter make any odd sounds when you crank it?

Is it running smoothly the entire time - no stuttering or surging?
Sound only increases/decreases with speed, not revs. If I understood the question correctly.

Starting the bike doesn't make any weird sounds and it runs perfectly, as far as I can tell, except for that whining that drives me crazy.

Could it maybe be the radiator fan? Or something vibrating? I keep seeing random causes for bike whines online and it doesn't make it any easier narrowing it down lol.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 03:52 PM   #24
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*sigh*
Quote:
Originally Posted by allanoue View Post
How loud depends on how much it is rubbing. Simple test, disconnect.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 04:05 PM   #25
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Yeah, time to get your hands dirty! Without actually touching the bike and changing things, you will never find and never fix the problem. We're even more helpless than you because we can't touch the bike. That's the key.

It's like coming up to a closed door and not knowing whether it's locked or not. So you post here and say, "guys, I have a problem with a closed door! Is there a way you can tell if it's locked or not? I don't see any light along the edges. Here's a picture. The peephole looks dark. The mat in front could use some cleaning!".

We will tell you:

1. reach your hand out
2. grab the door-knob
3. twist it!

That's the only way you're gonna find and fix this whine, get your hands dirty and touch it and change things around as process of elimination. Speedo cable unplugs in 30-seconds. Then go for a drive. Put your head down and see if you can pinpoint more specifically where whine is coming from. Or take someone for a ride and they can look around.

Also measure the chain-wear.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 04:07 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Panda View Post
I can't watch the video now but it could also be the speedo cable. Speedo cable sounds like this around 24 seconds.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EsUboS36M
No doubt speed-o cable or speed-o drive or speed-o head, something needs some lube.
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Old March 12th, 2018, 04:42 PM   #27
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No doubt speed-o cable or speed-o drive or speed-o head, something needs some lube.
https://faq.ninja250.org/wiki/Reatta...e_%26_retainer
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Old March 12th, 2018, 04:48 PM   #28
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Nope, no whining when I pull the clutch in and coast.

Here's another video where you can hear the same whining/whirring easily. Starts at around 0:11 sec. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zJiZaIwfyk



I am not sure I even understand what you mean, but it doesn't sound right. Maybe check out the 2nd vid, the whine there is pretty obvious. Could help.


Sure sounds like gear whine to me. The primary gears are straight cut so they always whine a little. There are 2 gears on the crankshaft, one drives the counter balancer and on the other end of the crank is the primary gear that drives the clutch. I'm pretty sure what we're hearing in the videos is primary gear whine, I've got 3 Pre-Gens and one of them (the fastest one) is noticeably louder than the other 2, that can barely be heard. The one in the 2nd vid is quite a bit louder, but it could be differences in the cameras or how or where the camera is mounted. I always thought it sounded kinda cool on my Z1R, sounds a little like blower whine.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:03 AM   #29
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Sound only increases/decreases with speed, not revs. If I understood the question correctly.
That is odd then, because the sound should continue when pulling in the clutch and coasting. That would suggest speedo cable, chain, bearings, etc and not as much of an engine related issue.

Can you narrow down the area it's coming from?

The whining in the video sounds like typical gear noise to me.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:19 AM   #30
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That is odd then, because the sound should continue when pulling in the clutch and coasting. That would suggest speedo cable, chain, bearings, etc and not as much of an engine related issue.

Can you narrow down the area it's coming from?

The whining in the video sounds like typical gear noise to me.
Nope, the sound goes away when I pull in the clutch. The faster I go the louder it gets and it gets quiter when I slow down. The sound itself matches the speed, but reving while moving or idle doesn't make or affect the sound.

I wish I could narrow down the area, but as I said I'm pretty new and I could be totally wrong. I got the bike in january and started riding it a week ago. I feel like it's coming from the front though.

And it's pretty much the same as the one in the video. It gets loud, but not aggressive like the sounds in the videos where the speedo cables were fubar. I do hear it over the normal sound the bike should be making.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:25 AM   #31
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Nope, the sound goes away when I pull in the clutch. The faster I go the louder it gets and it gets quiter when I slow down. The sound itself matches the speed, but reving while moving or idle doesn't make or affect the sound.
Sounds like it could be the straight cut gears in the trans then, which would normally make that type of sound.

Maybe someone with a New Gen could make a video of what their's sounds like to compare.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:28 AM   #32
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Sounds like it could be the straight cut gears in the trans then, which would normally make that type of sound.

Maybe someone with a New Gen could make a video of what their's sounds like to compare.
I will check the speedo and stuff sometime in the next few daysm just to be sure, but it does make sense the sound could be in the transmission, yeah.

If that's the problem, what should be done to fix it?
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Old March 13th, 2018, 06:43 AM   #33
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I will check the speedo and stuff sometime in the next few daysm just to be sure, but it does make sense the sound could be in the transmission, yeah.

If that's the problem, what should be done to fix it?
Really, I don't think it's a problem.

We need someone to record the sound of their New Gen, but I think it's a normal gear noise.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 08:21 AM   #34
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Really, I don't think it's a problem.

We need someone to record the sound of their New Gen, but I think it's a normal gear noise.
I've hard a lot of ninjas on youtube that don't have that whine though, I dunno.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 08:55 AM   #35
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I've hard a lot of ninjas on youtube that don't have that whine though, I dunno.
It's been a while since we had 250 Ninjas (PreGens), but I do believe I could hear that type of sound as it approached long before I heard any exhaust or intake noise.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 09:21 AM   #36
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I'm with the votes for the noise being the straight-cut primary gears.

But all EX250s have these straight-cut gears, so why does this particular bike make more gear-whine noise than most others?

Two possible theories:

1. It could be that it's related to an oil flow issue to that area of the engine, somehow this particular EX250 engine is leaving these gears slightly drier than normal (less oil clinging to them or not being pumped to them or not being properly drawn up between them). Oil clinging to gears definitely quiets/mutes them a bit.

Or,

2. At some point in this EX250's history the engine oil ran low or got too old and the straight-cut gears got abnormally worn and thus developed larger-than-spec clearances, causing them to make more noise than normal.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 09:27 AM   #37
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On some bikes, I've flipped the primary drive-gear to wear on opposite side of teeth.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 09:39 AM   #38
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But I absolutely love me some good straight-cut gear noise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcZcY2oJ-nM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfWq4BiwzSQ

The 5th Generation VFR 800 (1998 to 2001) is the (everyday motorcycle) king of gear-whine with its gear-driven camshafts. All of those wonderful straight-cut cogs mated to each other from the crankshaft up to the four individual camshafts of the V-4.

The VFR800 5th Generation "RC46" engine makes better gear-driven camshaft sounds than the earlier VFR750 engines because it (the RC46) has the camshaft gears mounted on the right-hand side of the engine rather than buried down in between the cylinders.

Too bad that Honda went to chain-driven camshafts in the later generations, 6th Generation and onward.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:07 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg737 View Post
It could be that it's related to an oil flow issue to that area of the engine, somehow this particular EX250 engine is leaving these gears slightly drier than normal (less oil clinging to them or not being pumped to them or not being properly drawn up between them). Oil clinging to gears definitely quiets/mutes them a bit.
There isn't any oil pumped to the primary gears, they just sit where oil gets on them from the sump. Not that your post isn't good, I just didn't want B to think his oil pump may have a problem, just from hearing the gear whine.
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Old March 13th, 2018, 10:15 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg737 View Post
But I absolutely love me some good straight-cut gear noise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcZcY2oJ-nM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfWq4BiwzSQ

The 5th Generation VFR 800 (1998 to 2001) is the (everyday motorcycle) king of gear-whine with its gear-driven camshafts. All of those wonderful straight-cut cogs mated to each other from the crankshaft up to the four individual camshafts of the V-4.

The VFR800 5th Generation "RC46" engine makes better gear-driven camshaft sounds than the earlier VFR750 engines because it (the RC46) has the camshaft gears mounted on the right-hand side of the engine rather than buried down in between the cylinders.

Too bad that Honda went to chain-driven camshafts in the later generations, 6th Generation and onward.
On the 6th..a parts-bin, cheaper to manufacture, bean counter/corporate decision...solely financially based. I've always considered it a BFM (big effin' mistake)
The decision affected reliability too...known failure problems afflict the CCT adjusters.

Shame...the RC46 sound is intoxicating, addictive even.
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