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    Seasoned Member biggersm's Avatar
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    Default Knocking when starting cold?

    Just wondering what is normal? When I start the bike and the engine is cold it will knock enough to both hear and feel in the handlebars. It seems worse when the air temp is cold. After it is warm it is very smooth and a wonderful ride. I use mostly 87 octane but I will mix in 93 on occasion (I really don't want to start an octane war). I live at sea level and it is usually humid, but not on today's ride when I noticed it again. Is this normal?

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    Not normal! It could be fuel related (as you are assuming) and you have a bad knock sensor, or more likely you are real low on oil or have a clogged oil filter. I'd change over to full synthetic immediately with a new OEM filter (seems to aid wear upon start-up by sticking to cold parts better) and make sure you have at least 4 full quarts in there!

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    Seasoned Member Bucfan11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggersm View Post
    Just wondering what is normal? When I start the bike and the engine is cold it will knock enough to both hear and feel in the handlebars. It seems worse when the air temp is cold. After it is warm it is very smooth and a wonderful ride. I use mostly 87 octane but I will mix in 93 on occasion (I really don't want to start an octane war). I live at sea level and it is usually humid, but not on today's ride when I noticed it again. Is this normal?

    I'm your neighbor and I can not run 87 in mine. I hear all kinds of clutch problems, valve problems, etc. I ride with my head cocked forward listening to all the problems my bike has. I put mid or high grade in and all problems go away . Have you noticed if it go away with "higher octane?"
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    Mileage, year, how long was it sitting since last start-up, and how long did the noise last?

    Is yours gone in seconds after starting cold and most would call it a heavy knock?

    Unfortunatly, on GL1800s a heavy startup knock at times is not unusual. Oil grade and type has little to do with it. I sometimes get that if mine sits for weeks, like 3 or more. It happens after truning off our motor, and the oil pump quit pumping, and the oil settles to the bottom of the motor, and the crank shaft drips "dry." On most motors, the crank shaft live in the bottom of the motor where the oil drips to, but on a GL1800 the the tranny lives there. You are probably hearing rod bearing noise, and it is gone in seconds after start up (less then 5 secs). On my different ones, I have tried the Honda Synthetic Blend, and it seemed more frequent then, but like Gary stated, I would have expected the oppisite. So, I am back to running Honda GN4 10/40. If you want to prevent it, ride it daily. Another way is to remove the FI/IGN FUES, and crank it for 30 secs before starting to get oil pumping after it has been sitting. The problem there is that sometime you may find it happening after only sitting for a couple of days. As for frequancy, any of mine might do it once a year in the climate here; I ride a least 340 days a year. It didn't seem to matter which kick stand I used.
    Last edited by GoldWingrGreg; 01-08-2012 at 09:16 AM.

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    Try parking it on the centerstand.

    If you want to pump oil before starting open the throttle all the way. It won't start, but will turn over.

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    My 02 with 260,000 miles has done that about 5 or 6 times since new. Scares me but I guess it doesn't mean anything. My wifes 03 with 100,000 has done it a couple times too. Always start it with no throttle and let it idle while I put my helmet on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red View Post
    Try parking it on the centerstand.

    If you want to pump oil before starting open the throttle all the way. It won't start, but will turn over.

    Thats it ???? Throttle fully open and the engine will turn over without starting ? Serious ...? nothing else to do !!! Well we learn something everyday ) thanks for the tips

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    Seasoned Member galewing's Avatar
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    Default knock

    The oil filter has a check valve.

    I would change the filter and add oil.

    Cheep to try. Good luck.
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    Oil weight? Define "cold". Mine has sat for a month, started and ran fine without knocking. Gas won't make a difference in the startup knocking. I have heard of a littel noise around the clutch, some say store it on the center stand to prevent it, but, I haven't experienced it yet.

    Best guess, Make sure the crank case is full of proper oil weight. Just a SWAG though.

    Good Luck
    Last edited by TXREALTOR; 01-08-2012 at 11:43 AM.
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    I also suspect oil starvation and not an ignition/combustion knock. I do think engine oil type and grade can be a factor. If you are using a more restrictive oil filter, DON'T. If you are using 20W50, DON'T (at least until summer is here). Red is spot on about using the center stand if this is a dry clutch basket and not an engine knock. Using a HD synthetic motor oil like Mobil Delvac One or Shell Rotella T6 will offer your faster oil circulation, quicker pressure build-up, and an oil film that very stubbornly clings to the parts to which it need to cling. So, an oil with a lower cold viscosity and excellent cling, use an OE oil filter or equivalent, uese the center stand. Spinning up the oil pressure with the starter motor like Red explained is another work around, but should not be necessary with the other changes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by galewing View Post
    The oil filter has a check valve.

    I would change the filter and add oil.

    Cheep to try. Good luck.
    Unless you are using a aftermarket filter. I use the OEM........I have 90,000mi on mine and use synthetic oil (mobile 1) and have not had a dry startup, yet!
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    Seasoned Member Waldo's Avatar
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    Notice you are in Central Fla. It HAS been cold down there of late so a definition of cold would help. Dunno if you guys run a winter blend down there of gas, but with the quality of gas ANYWHERE lately..... Not an octane war, but my use of 89 has helped in many areas including start up. I start her up anything above 36f up here in the NE and ride. She's a little bit shy when the temp falls to 40 or below in the early run after start, but I would not describe what she does as "knock."

    Try disengaging the clutch (pull in the lever) when you start her. You might be hearing what some here call the "clutch basket" rattlin'. It's not really the basket that rattles, that's a pretty damned solid item when engaged. The noise comes from all those gears whirring in all that cold oil. When the clutch is engaged (lever out) on a constant mesh tranny, ALL the gears in there whir all the time just none are "connected" to the output shaft in neutral.
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    Seasoned Member biggersm's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies, you have given me several things to consider. Here are some answers to your questions. I'm using the regular Honda oil (I think it is GN4 10W40 which I buy from the dealer along with a Honda filter to show evidence of regular maintenance). I park on the side stand and that may be a problem since one bank of cylinders is higher than the other. What may be worse is that I'll admit that I start it when it is still leaned over on the side stand (shame on me) but I start it by only tapping the starter button. I usually ride about 2-3 days a week so it doesn't sit long (I will be riding even more in 2012) so fuel separation shouldn't be an issue. My bike will knock around until the temp gauge moves up to operating temperature than it is a very smooth engine. When I was talking about cold I was thinking air temp too; I rode to work at 35 degrees last week but yesterday morning it was probably in the low 50s when we started our ride but the knock seemed worse. I haven't reset the ECU in a while either. Ours is a 2008 with 13K (but in my defense I bought it new from the dealer in June 2010 at a great price, $20K for an Airbag).

    I think I'm going to try several things at the same time; hopefully one or more of the following will help (but if I try everything below who will know what fixed the problem):

    1. Reset the ECU (isn't that as simple as starting it with no throttle letting it run until the fans come on and then shutting it off, right?)

    2. Start the bike upright (I'll finish gearing up as I sit on the bike, or use the center stand)

    3. Higher octane for about the next three fill ups to experiment (and I agree that most of you at higher altitudes are fine with 87 octane, and our van is fine with 87 as well but this may be different)

    4. Pull in the clutch to start, even if in neutural.

    If the combination of the forgoing does not work than I will mention it when I get my letter about the brakes, (it still hasn't come and my VIN is one that will get recalled) and I will buy some synthetic oil.
    Last edited by biggersm; 01-08-2012 at 12:41 PM.

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    After reading other responses, I'll give my opinion more specifically (JMO):

    If it was an octane or gas brand issue, it would also ping/knock AFTER you go riding vs. upon cold start-up only. I only use regular as the manual specifies, with no issues what-so-ever.

    Replace your oil filter with OEM and use Honda (Idemitsu) full-synth 10W-30... 4.0 to 4.2 qts. or other motorcycle-specific full-synth. If this doesn't cure the problem, you need a dealer to diagnose. I don't know how often you ride or how long your bike sits, but I'll bet you either have too little oil in it or, have a bad oil filter, or are mistaking engine knock for the clutch rattle (sound).


    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Klavans View Post
    Not normal! It could be fuel related (as you are assuming) and you have a bad knock sensor, or more likely you are real low on oil or have a clogged oil filter. I'd change over to full synthetic immediately with a new OEM filter (seems to aid wear upon start-up by sticking to cold parts better) and make sure you have at least 4 full quarts in there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Klavans View Post
    After reading other responses, I'll give my opinion more specifically (JMO):

    If it was an octane or gas brand issue, it would also ping/knock AFTER you go riding vs. upon cold start-up only. I only use regular as the manual specifies, with no issues what-so-ever.

    (sound).
    I agree, although my bike does not like 87 it does not quiet down until it gets the fuel it does like. We were in Paige, Arizona last June when we we went to leave the hotel the Wing went to knocking bad, sounded like the crank was hitting the case! It went away in a few seconds, scared me and the wife but it has not done it since then. Don't know why it knocked that day in the middle of a 14 day 5000 mile trip but it did.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer1959 View Post
    Thats it ???? Throttle fully open and the engine will turn over without starting ? Serious ...? nothing else to do !!! Well we learn something everyday ) thanks for the tips

    That is a good suggestion. I forgot about that one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by biggersm View Post
    2. Start the bike upright (I'll finish gearing up as I sit on the bike, or use the center stand)
    Park it on the centerstand!


    Quote Originally Posted by Homer1959 View Post
    Thats it ???? Throttle fully open and the engine will turn over without starting ? Serious ...? nothing else to do !!! Well we learn something everyday ) thanks for the tips
    There will be a quiz at the end of the year!

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    slow down fellas you are just hearing normal engine noises. if you could hear the noises your car makes you would freak out, your fan turns on and off all the time. you will hear lots of squeaks knocks and thud. but in your car you are insulated from the noise. if you want to hear some engine noise find some old air cooled bike with a fairing and listen to it. the fairing catches and brings the noise up to you..we need to have a class in normal engine sounds and death knock. trust me few of you have heard the latter. honda makes our old girls tough. it takes some fairly serious problems to bring wings to there knees

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    The 08 Wing I use to have had a knocking noise when first started cold. I could feel it in the handlebars and foot pegs. I used my mechanics stethoscope and found the noise to be somewhere behind the alternator area. I found out after asking on here that others had the same issue and most of them were on 08 models. It seems like the alternator gear drive (or whatever it's called) is a little noisy on these models.

    I'd search for my post about it but I'm on my iPhone. Do a search with "cold, knock and my name" and you should find it.

    I'm not saying this is what yours is but I sure thought it was an engine knock at first.

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    Seasoned Member YellowRose's Avatar
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    Default knocking motor

    A friend of mine who is a GL1800 mechanic with about 40 years of bike experience and
    myself were discussing my 03 vx1800 and my 03 Gl1800 when he said that it was entirely
    possible to cold seize both bikes by just starting up and charging off into the sunset. That
    bit of news really surprised me. He recommended starting the bike and let it warm up
    some while getting my gear on. Then he took me over to a vtx motor that had about 15k
    miles on it that was seized up solid by the owner who walked out of his friendly bar and
    blasted off down the street before quickly sliding to a halt.
    Anyway, made a believer out of me.

    Dray

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    As you can see by my avatar, I am on a trike and even though the bike is upright all the time, I still get the knock when starting after the bike has not been ridden for a couple of weeks. Centerstand may help on the 2 wheelers but I doubt it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YellowRose View Post
    A friend of mine who is a GL1800 mechanic with about 40 years of bike experience and
    myself were discussing my 03 vx1800 and my 03 Gl1800 when he said that it was entirely
    possible to cold seize both bikes by just starting up and charging off into the sunset. That
    bit of news really surprised me. He recommended starting the bike and let it warm up
    some while getting my gear on. Then he took me over to a vtx motor that had about 15k
    miles on it that was seized up solid by the owner who walked out of his friendly bar and
    blasted off down the street before quickly sliding to a halt.
    Anyway, made a believer out of me.

    Dray
    Who is this mechanic?, have a hard time with that one, it must have had other problems long before that to sieze up after only a few hours of being idle, never have done much more than start and ride with any bike I have ever owned, if we are on a trip to a colder climate maybe do the throttle thing to get oil flowing, but never really warm em up, JMHO
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    I guess you have never read (or listened to) an owner's manual on any bike you've owned... LET IT WARM UP!


    Quote Originally Posted by mudbug View Post
    Who is this mechanic?, have a hard time with that one, it must have had other problems long before that to sieze up after only a few hours of being idle, never have done much more than start and ride with any bike I have ever owned, if we are on a trip to a colder climate maybe do the throttle thing to get oil flowing, but never really warm em up, JMHO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Klavans View Post
    I guess you have never read (or listened to) an owner's manual on any bike you've owned... LET IT WARM UP!
    Good advise Gary ... my Operator's Manual says "
    Shows engine coolant temperature.When the needle moves above the C (cold)mark, the engine is warm enough to start riding. If the needle approaches the H(hot) mark, pull safely to the side of the road. See page for instructions
    and cautions."

    There are several reasons I know of why this is important.


    - extends eng life because the engine needs lubrication for long life
    - our Wings will "BANG" into first when the oil is cold, the clutch packs sometimes takes warmer oil to release the discs fully
    - a cold engine's drivability can be unpredicatble making it less safe to ride

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    Seasoned Member marang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoldWingrGreg View Post
    Good advise Gary ... my Operator's Manual says "
    Shows engine coolant temperature.When the needle moves above the C (cold)mark, the engine is warm enough to start riding. If the needle approaches the H(hot) mark, pull safely to the side of the road. See page for instructions
    and cautions."

    There are several reasons I know of why this is important.


    - extends eng life because the engine needs lubrication for long life
    - our Wings will "BANG" into first when the oil is cold, the clutch packs sometimes takes warmer oil to release the discs fully
    - a cold engine's drivability can be unpredicatble making it less safe to ride
    Something I've found helps all but eliminate the "Bang" when shifting into 1st first thing in the morning is to pull clutch in, hold front brake then rock the bike back and forth. This helps release the discs. Try it, it works. I do this every morning even after letting the bike warm up. Just makes me feel better and the first shift is smooth.

    Just a little info. Sorry for getting off topic.

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    Seasoned Member rmcapozzi's Avatar
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    All you need to do is place the bike in first gear, pull in the clutch lever and roll the bike forward or backward 6 inches or so. While rolling the bike, you'll feel the plates "unstick". After that, no more "CLUNK" when placing it in gear for the first time after starting the cold engine. Works for every wet clutch bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by marang View Post
    Something I've found helps all but eliminate the "Bang" when shifting into 1st first thing in the morning is to pull clutch in, hold front brake then rock the bike back and forth. This helps release the discs. Try it, it works. I do this every morning even after letting the bike warm up. Just makes me feel better and the first shift is smooth.

    Just a little info. Sorry for getting off topic.
    Rob



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    I had 83,000 on my 2005 when I traded it for the 2012 wing. during the entire 83,000 miles I only experienced 3 cold start engine rattles .All 3 were identical and was scary,noise was like a diesel engine starting cold for a few seconds then all was well.Strange that oil light never gave indication of low pressure or any other signs of trouble and temps were in the 70 degree summer range. Never had the rattle during cold winter start ups.
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    Seasoned Member Too Tall's Avatar
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    IMO, if it's still knocking after the oil light goes out, it's not oil related. You mentioned it does it till it warms up. Most all Wings have considerable injector clatter till they are well warmed up. Could this be an injector issue and would it be worth with to run an injector cleaner? Just wondering.
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    Quote Originally Posted by marang View Post
    Something I've found helps all but eliminate the "Bang" when shifting into 1st first thing in the morning is to pull clutch in, hold front brake then rock the bike back and forth. This helps release the discs. Try it, it works. I do this every morning even after letting the bike warm up. Just makes me feel better and the first shift is smooth.

    Just a little info. Sorry for getting off topic.
    Not able to get a visual on how that will work but will try it.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmcapozzi View Post
    All you need to do is place the bike in first gear, pull in the clutch lever and roll the bike forward or backward 6 inches or so. While rolling the bike, you'll feel the plates "unstick". After that, no more "CLUNK" when placing it in gear for the first time after starting the cold engine. Works for every wet clutch bike.
    I visulaize this working and will try that too before starting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mudbug View Post
    Who is this mechanic?, have a hard time with that one, it must have had other problems long before that to sieze up after only a few hours of being idle, never have done much more than start and ride with any bike I have ever owned, if we are on a trip to a colder climate maybe do the throttle thing to get oil flowing, but never really warm em up, JMHO
    Who got one one those here too that thinks he a mechanic now,But he forgets he had to pull his own engine out "Three Times" to get his transmission right,and he even bought a new bike because he was afraid he'd never get the first one right again ...But hey-Now he's an Expert on Wings. The stories you hear makes you laugh at times,and glad that they don't touch anything you own.

    Quote Originally Posted by rmcapozzi View Post
    All you need to do is place the bike in first gear, pull in the clutch lever and roll the bike forward or backward 6 inches or so. While rolling the bike, you'll feel the plates "unstick". After that, no more "CLUNK" when placing it in gear for the first time after starting the cold engine. Works for every wet clutch bike.
    Rob.Don't be telling these guys tips that work.you'll be putting a new vendor out of transmission work..lol


    Question to everyone:
    Do you warm up your cage/truck before you drive off in the morning too? What rubbish even knowing it's printed in the manual.

    I have had my engine apart three times under warranty work.I got to inspect rod and crank bearings to see if I was going to have them replaced on my dime do to the mileage at that time as it progressed.The first two the bearings were pristine.The last time it wasn't needed because Honda gave me a new engine.

    These Fuel injected bikes are made to start up,Shift in gear and ride off,anyone who says to "warm them up first" is pulling your leg from lack of knowledge of how an engine works.The GL1800's ECU will compensate for air/fuel/timing to allow the engine to run at it's optimum from a cold start to how it runs after it reaches it's warmed up temps as you ride it..



    Can you imagine riding with a few guys and hearing over the CB."Hag on guys my needle didn't move to the first line yet"..Sakes some people are just screwy when they come up with this crap.




    To the OP:
    I'm not Guessing here that this is your issue.But the next time the bike is cold.Start it up as you usually
    do,and when you hear the noise,Pull the clutch lever in to see if the noise changes?
    Some wings have a nosier clutch basket rattle at start up than others.That is normal and can't be remedied.It's part of how the oiling system help lock up the clutch pack on 1800..

    The theory of to park it on the center stand dates back to the 1100-1200 days where oil would slip past the rings on the left side when on it's side stand and smoke a little when first started after a few hours or over night.

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