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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's a new, intermittent sound coming from my right side cover. It's somewhere in between a whir and the marbles-in-can that the starter clutch can create. I'm trying to pin down when/what makes it occur but it's difficult. So far what I can tell from the order of starting up the bike:

I start up the bike in neutral. The bike makes the sound in neutral. When I pull the clutch it slowly goes away. When I shift into gear--- clutch lever pulled in--- it goes away immediately. However, I can hear the sound intermittently when I ride, mostly at low speed as I'm coming to a stoplight or something. As I downshift on my way to the stop, the sound frequency seems to correspond to my engine speed.

When my bike sat this winter the clutch got very stuck. I freed it, the bike sat again for a few weeks, and it got stuck again. Could this be affecting something in my transmission and making this noise? I am using 10W-40 Honda Pro GN4 motorcycle oil. Hoping for some answer short of pulling the clutch cover, or worse yet the engine. Just rebuilt the top end last season....
 

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1975 CL360
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It might help the readers to know the year and model of your 350 motor.

Does the engine noise sound at all like the kickstarter gear ratcheting when it returns to the top position? Have you removed the right side cover to inspect the shifter pawl or the clutch cover and four springs? A clutch spring could be broken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply, Scramblr. Mine is '73 CB350G. I haven't had the side cover off yet to take a look but it seems like that is what will have to happen... just wondering what to expect or if there's anything I can do without having to replace all the oil. When I rebuilt the engine last summer I replaced the clutch plates and springs but I got through a riding season without any drama. The clutch bolts were torqued properly with blue loctite.

In answer to your question, I wondered the same thing and pushed the kickstarter down as the engine was running in neutral because I know it makes the ratcheting sound you're describing in that situation. What I've been hearing is very similar for certain, but when the kickstarter makes the sound while being pushed down or returning from a kick, it's much more pronounced like a true "ratchet" sound. What I'm hearing much quieter and more subtle, like a mechanical toy being wound up.

I wonder if there is something that made the clutch plates keep sticking that is also making the kickstart ratchet mechanism spin weakly with the transmission. Again, it's not the full "ratchet" sound the kickstart makes when it returns, but it's similar. If it's not the kickstart mechanism I guess it could also be something loose on the clutch basket spinning and hitting the inside of the cover with every rotation.
 

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If you lean it over on left side you can take cover off and won't lose much oil at all. It's easy on race-bikes as rear-sets don't get in the way like stock footrests ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks crazypj. Not looking forward to removing that cover if I have to take the pegs off... the pegs are on that frame cross brace that also has the side stand on it, so if they come off I also wont be able to lean my bike to the left, and on top of that I also dont have a center stand ?

Nonetheless I'm gonna have to loom in there. As I've mentioned above, my clutch has gotten stuck a bunch since putting in winter storage and Im wondering if the sudden appearance of this sound has anything to do with it.

I'm pretty sure after ride yesterday that the sound is the kickstart ratchet mechanism. However, it is intermittent and sometimes isnt there. What might cause this and how can I try to fix it short of splitting the cases?
 

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Harbor freight has a decent motorcycle rear stand, costs like $50 or something like that. Helpful when not using center stand. Could also go mx style and throw it on a milk crate or something like that right under the engine on the frame.
 

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If it was mine, it would be apart already, dont keep running it that way. You will be better off to get it opened up and find the problem pronto, before it possibly self destructs! JMHO
 

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You need it way further over than it would be if side-stand was still on. It's got to be laying on the floor if you don't want to change oil
 

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Maybe your symptoms are similar to what I experienced. On my motor the noise at idle sounded like my kickstarter gear chattering and not fully disengaged. My kickstarter gear was slipping across the spring-loaded engagement gear. I removed the motor from the frame, removed the right-side cover, separated the bottom half, and found the kickstarter gear was not fully retracted by the attached ramp on the shaft. I removed the kickstarter shaft and bent the ramp with a hammer, increasing its engagement to pull the kickstarter gear away from the spinning transmission gear. This eliminated the noise. Your situation could be similar.
 

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I am having same problem, slight noise. This on a bike that has been years with no use. Could it just go away with some use? Will the slight ratchet destroy anything?
 

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I also had a problem with a broken kickstart stop. Uncorrected the stop, but could.it be possible that I didn't plet the kickstart shaft rest at the right place? If I rotated another 360 would the ratchet noise go away?
 

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Y'all have obviously nailed the issue, but your corrective action isn't quite there. Scramblr's method will probably correct the noise but it isn't the right way to go about it, and I will explain why. This is a common thing and there is a correct repair. You've got a worn pinion spring. The large coil spring between the ratchet and the pinion. I think it a If it's been going on for some time, your ratchet teeth might be showing flats on the ends too. Bending the plate guide also has the effect of making the pinion engage "later". So bend it a little and now your kicker is engaging at 8 o clock on the down stroke instead of 10 o clock reducing the kickers effect stroke.
 
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