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  • Hot Engine Knock

    2003 1600 with high comp pistons. Runs great cold, but vibration and knock increases with temp. (Seems to be much louder than the "Roadstar usual knock"). It also sounds like a slight variance in the exhaust. Compression check normal, and it doesn't use oil. Plugs seem to be burning clean and equal. Loads of power but the vibration at highway speeds is so annoying, and earplugs for the knock. (yet quiet when cold) Rather than smoothing out at higher RPM, the vibration increases.
    Appreciate the help in my diagnosis.

  • #2
    What octane are you running? Roadstars don’t smooth out with higher rpms like newer Harley’s do. My 08 fuelie sounds like someone is shaking a can of marbles. 65K and running strong. What have you done to it since it last ran well?

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    • #3
      from Solon, IA

      What do you run for brand/weight of oil. Do you live in a warm/hot climate? Might give some additional clues.

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      • #4
        What brand of High Compression pistons are in it ? The skirts can crack on Wisco I heard.

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        • davej
          davej commented
          Editing a comment
          You are correct Mort. Wiseco had issues with the piston skirts cracking and shattering. When that happens and they come apart you will destroy the engine.

      • #5
        Did you just install the pistons, or have they been in the engine for sometime now?
        I have the JE pistons in both of my bikes and they knock a little when hot. Using a good heavyweight oil helps but they will still have a slight knock. My bikes had the same knocks with the stock pistons as well. This has been going on for over 20 k miles and if it was a problem, the knocking would have gotten louder.
        Both bikes cylinder to pistons were .0015" to .0025" clearance.

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        • davej
          davej commented
          Editing a comment
          Duke he also mentioned a vibration at higher speeds. My thought is that a piece of piston skirt may already be broken off causing a vibration.and knock

        • Duke
          Duke commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, that's a good point Dave.
          If it just started to knock, then it needs to be pulled down, I would think.

      • #6
        Thanks for the replies. Wiseco pistons, 93 octane gas. I hope it’s not a piston- probably the only way to know is to tear it down. it only has 40,000 kms, about 24000 miles. I run 15-40 oil, at this point I doubt a higher viscosity will cure. The dealer installed the pistons when the tranny recall was done in 2005.

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        • #7
          If it is a piston and you get it apart before any cylinder wall damage I would order pistons (JE pistons) from patrick Racing. I think they are about $350. Also remember that the cylinder walls are plated so do not run a hone thru them or you will be buying new cylinders. If the cylinder is damaged you can find a good used one on ebay fairly cheap.

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          • #8
            Is it possible to change the pistons engine in frame by pulling the jugs?

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            • #9
              Yes.

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              • #10
                I had something similar happen to an 04 with about that mileage. It would knock when hot it was also running high compression pistons and 93 octane fuel.
                My best friend was a 40 year Yamaha tech, he told me to fill up the tank use one bottle of yamahas ring free then repete the process it works with heat and very good. After the process change the oil and plugs, and install a barrons oil cooler. I did this and the problem stopped. Now I just use a shot glass full every tank as a maintenance. Your motor might be carboned up like mine was its worth a try..

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                • #11
                  shores is correct no need to remove engine to change pistons. here is mine when it was waiting for a big bore kit.
                  Click image for larger version

Name:	zzz both jugs post.jpg
Views:	63
Size:	33.0 KB
ID:	108553

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