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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all.

Today my bike started to make a strange rattling noise from the motor's right top end - it looks like a plastic propeller spinning against something solid and it sounds very similar to this (in the video clip):


The bike's mileage is 66K miles, 2007.

A few days ago the LCD oil sign started to flicker with the temperature red light on, but only for a couple of seconds each time and only upon heavy braking or leaning the bike. And this morning it fired with difficulty out of the garage.

I checked the above thread till the end, but this is an old post and I did not really understand what was the resolution of his rattling sound ... it was mentioned an engine rebuild possibility, though?

Do you have an idea of what could be the reason of all this?

Thanks folks.
 

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Dommy, that could be so many things it would be hard to guess with any accuracy. Cam bearings, cam chain or chain guides, loose valve, compression release stuck, upper rod bearing, and probably a couple more things.

The fact that the oil and temp light came on is worrisome, how hard was the motor running when they came on? And did both come on at the same time, or had the temp light been on when the oil light started flickering? How long had the temp light been on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dommy, that could be so many things it would be hard to guess with any accuracy. Cam bearings, cam chain or chain guides, loose valve, compression release stuck, upper rod bearing, and probably a couple more things.

The fact that the oil and temp light came on is worrisome, how hard was the motor running when they came on? And did both come on at the same time, or had the temp light been on when the oil light started flickering? How long had the temp light been on?
Hi Zoom.

The oil and temperature lights always came on at the same time, but just for one or two seconds at a time and only on hard braking or leaning the bike. I searched on the board on this topic, some had the same issue but eventually it turned out to be a faulty sensor.

Also the cooling fan works regularly and the cooling liquid level is within Min. and Max. levels.

But apart from the lights, the bike performed well until I started to hear the rattling noise with some engine firing irregularities.

Regarding the engine oil, I change it regularly every 6K Km and this oil is 5K old (also I add 0.2 L of fresh oil every 1K Km, because I know that it eats approx. 1 L every 6K Km).

I will contact my Suzuki dealer and report back.

Dommy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi.

Today the mechanic explained to me that they took out the oil from the engine and found very little oil, no more than 1 L, perhaps even less. They will proceed to further investigate on the root cause of the engine rattle (later in the winter during the low motorcycle season), but it's clear that this engine is toasted.
I don't know what to do next, I could find a used engine in good conditions and low mileage or let the bike go (it's a 2007 with 66K miles after all). But in the meantime I can use my second bike, no problem.

Also the mechanic blamed me for not having checked the oil level, but I explained him that it's not true. This oil is 3.4K miles old (100% synthetic) and was due to change at 4K, as I did in the past. I checked the level often by the hot (15/3) and cold check methods and confirmed that after 780 miles from the last oil change the level was between F and L on the dipstick and before that had been always F.
After 780 miles no oil was visible anymore on the dipstick (as it happened often before), but I used to add 0.2 L of fresh oil every 1K Km to totalize 1 L of fresh oil every 6K Km (and I know indeed that many here on the board noticed that their engines uses 1 quart every 4K miles). Nevertheless also after every oil addition no oil was visible on the dipstick.

Of note, at 6K Km upon doing the oil change myself sometimes and recently, I noticed that I could take out only 2.2 L of the old oil against 3.6 (1.4 L missing) and because of this I somehow tried to figure out what could be the real oil consumption. So 1400 mL/6K Km = approx. 0.2 mL/km. Next I used this number to refill the oil starting from the oil change at 58.6K miles and based on it I added 0.35 L at 59.7K miles (+ 1.1K miles, when no oil started to show on the dipstick), but with still no oil on the dipstick? So I added again + 350 mL oil at 60.0K miles (anticipating the time, I know, but I was desperate by now) and so got a massive oil puke.
The next oil change was done by the mechanic and he had to clean the left air filter from the oil.

So again testing the oil level on this engine it's a PITA (but many of you already know this).

Nevertheless it's still unclear to me why at 58.6K miles there were still 2.2 L of old oil and at 66K miles no more than 1 L? It seems that the oil consumption increased a lot recently.

When I explained all this, the mechanic said that I should have used a canister to collect the oil from the puke to spare the air filter, but at least in this case I could have protected the engine because overfilling it a little with oil was not a problem. Perhaps this is true ... I don't know .. but how much overfill?? Indeed I know that a substantial overfill could damage the engine.

Another point.
At 44.7K miles I had rebuilt the tranny and so the mechanic advised me to change also the piston rings (taking advantage of the engine already pulled out from the bike). This work was done by my previous mechanic. But when I said to the current mechanic that the pistons were not replaced, he commented that that had been a gross mistake (because the rings were new, but the pistons at that mileage might be not exactly round as new, so that the oil passes beyond the rings and is burnt in the cylinders). Being not a mechanic, it's hard for me to judge this.

Ok, sorry for being so long, I just wanted to bring my contribution to this community about the engine oil saga with my M109R.

Cheers folks.
 

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I'm sorry to hear the bad news Dommy.. Mine has used a little oil between changes, which I usually do around 3000 miles or once a year. Anytime I've added oil it has always showed up as some oil on the dipstick even doing the cold check. I only use the cold check for a day or two after riding it, as it seems to seep away somewhere to the point the check isn't accurate after the couple days. Mine has never puked so I've never overfilled it.

The thing with oil consumption is it will use it faster as the oil level drops, because the oil is running hotter. Hotter oil gets thinner and can get by the rings easier, or at least that's my theory.

Hope it all works out for the best. Might as well either rebuild it or replace the engine as otherwise you just have a bunch of parts left over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Zoom.

I've started to search around for used engines in good conditions and found this one in Florida --> 13 Suzuki M109R VZR1800 Engine Motor GUARANTEED Low Miles | eBay
It says that this engine comes from a 2013 bike with 7K miles, but actually from the pics it seems older? The metal surfaces are either scratched or pitted?

The point is that shipping to Italy is 700 USD and I have to add customs fee and VAT. I asked a friend of mine who works in the shipment sector and she told me that due to customs the transport price could increase to approx. 1.8K Euro ... o_O.

I'm also checking around in Europe, this bike is more common in Northern Europe than in Italy. Also at the moment no used M109Rs are available in Italy.

But also I confess that at the moment I'm not so eager to restart with the M109R (with rebuilt or used engines or another bike), because I'm fed up with this oil level control issue.
I accept that this engine can also eat 1 L oil every 6K Km, but how I can be sure to control the oil level correctly if either the dipstick does not show any oil or I get oil puke?

Why this engine does not come with a sight glass as the vast majority of motorcycle engines?

Also I have to say that to me this big V-twins and powerful engines may have a hidden weak point regarding oil lubrication, because the engine displacement is large (1800 cc), but the basement/crankshaft chamber is small and oil pressure builds up fast with these two big pistons rotating up to 7K RPM. So the pressure has to be vented out and oil puke happens. It might be a limit of this type of engines.

For example I know that also with the Kawasaki VN2000, another V-Twin, it's difficult to read the oil level and the engine pan comes with 3 plugs to discharge the oil.
Perhaps with other similar engine size, but parallel twins (e.g. Triumph Thunderbird, 1600-1700 cc with 100 HP), this problem does not show up, because the lower engine part has roughly the same size of the upper part.

I will check on the Triumph forum and also on the Yamaha MidnightStar 1900 forum (another big V-twin engine) to get info on oil level control.
 

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I've never had a problem with puke on my 06. I have a catch can, and both vent hoses are routed to it. It's never had a drop of oil in it. And yet still, my bike uses oil just like everyone else's appear to do. I've had the bike since 06, and always put the full four quarts in at oil changes. usually run 4000 mile changes on Suzuki full synthetic 20W-50. Usually have to add around a quart, a little at a time during that 4000 miles.

In 2015, I changed the oil in my friend Sam's 2006. When I drained it, I only got a quart and a quarter. He was complaining of shifting issues. Gee, I wonder why. He had last had the oil changed in 2010, so five years. But hadn't ridden it much. Evaporation?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
But my bike run just as fine until the rattle started and also the gears shifting was smooth?? :unsure:
 

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Dommy, I personally wouldn't touch that engine on ebay. It looks like the bike was wrecked from the scuffing on the clutch cover, it's dirty enough that it looks like it has been laying outside in the dirt, and the price is way too high. I've seen them more in the $3000 - 3500 USD range.

I understand your concerns with the bike too. Once you've lost faith in it, it may be time to move to something else. I like the Triumph Thunderbird myself. :)
 
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