1989 Yamaha XJ600

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics - - RETRO REBOOT - Dave Coul­son

My pride and joy is a Yamaha XJ600 1989, pre-di­ver­sion ob­vi­ously. I change the oil reg­u­larly but the en­gine has started mak­ing a tick­ing noise which seems to have got a lit­tle louder over the last six months and have no­ticed that cylin­der two spark plug cap cover has started to vi­brate a bit. The ques­tion is; is this likely to be some­thing I can ad­just to fix ,or could it be a se­ri­ous in­ter­nal en­gine prob­lem? Oh and I don’t take the cov­ers off the en­gine, but would do if es­sen­tial. I have re­cently fit­ted a new Mo­tad ex­haust, not in the pic but I am sure it is not ‘blow­ing’. Firstly, it isn’t just the plug cap not fit­ting quite right and rat­tling is it? That is a good point about check­ing the ex­haust as quite of­ten a tick­ing such as you de­scribe is noth­ing to do with bits of metal hit­ting each other but sim­ply a re­lease of high pres­sure ex­haust gas at one of the ex­haust ports. If you are sure that this is not the cause then it is most likely to be a valve clear­ance which needs at­ten­tion, so I am afraid you will need to get those cov­ers off this time.

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