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Old 11-09-2012, 07:01 PM   #1
AndyGilbert OP
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XR650L - Bad spark knock

I was on my way to a family function last Saturday when my 650L just started slowing down on the highway. Would not restart after it died on the shoulder. I took it home and checked for spark but did not find any even though the coil was being pulsed. I must have been doing something wrong when I checked it because the new coil/boot/plug did not fix the issue. What did fix the issue was pulling the fuel bowl off of the carb and blowing out the inlet port and jets with air. It started right up after that but with the new coil, plug boot and plug installed it has a terrible spark knock. It is pretty bad at idle but goes away at part throtle. and at cruising it is gone. It comes back when you open lug the engine like shifting too early. I am going to take the new parts off one at a time tomorrow to see if the issue goes away but I was wondering if you guys had any advice other than that? Thanks.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:20 PM   #2
anotherguy
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Clogged pilot passage. Check the float level and fuel flow as well.
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Old 11-09-2012, 07:25 PM   #3
mcma111
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When these bikes lose power on the road it usually means the engine is seizing. What was your oil level? A plugged pilot won't effect running speed but will effect idle and just off idle as it will not flow gas. The float level is non adjustable.
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Old 11-10-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
AndyGilbert OP
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Bad news

I took the new parts that I installed back off in exchange for the old parts. The spark plug, the coil/boot, none were able to stop the knock noise. I took the valve caps off to check for loose valves or broken parts; I found nothing wrong. I proceeded to go ahead and change the oil. Not good: the oil drained out of the reservoir and the bottom of the engine was about 1/2 quart combined.

When I topped it off with new oil and a new filter it still knocked pretty bad and also started smoking very badly. I took it down the block a couple times to see if it was residual burning off, but it was not. It smokes worse when you hit the gas. It looks like either a cracked piston or ring.

I believe it has died. I will have to park it until next year when I have the time and money to fix it. Thanks for the help guys.
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Old 11-10-2012, 04:16 PM   #5
mcma111
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Sorry to hear of your bikes demise. Where are you located?
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BMW's
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87 Harley FXRS-SP ~ 06 KTM 625 SMC ~ 72 Honda CB750/915cc ~ 92 XR600/654cc ~ 95 XR650l/675cc ~ 03 CRF450r ~ 05 CRF450x ~ 02 XR650l/675cc ~ 86 YZ490 ~ 93 YZ80 ~ 93 XR650l Project
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:22 AM   #6
Switchblade315
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If I could hear the knock I bet it would sound more like piston slap then a spark knock. I have a XL500R the has a labor knock. I know what it is and hope to fix it in the spring. mcma111 and me have butted heads on here many times but he is right. when one of these motors goes down like yours did on the road it normally means something bad happened.

here's my guess with out hearing the bike run. the bike went lean due to a clogged crab. then in-turn over heated the rings and piston, ether you rings collapsed and now your piston can rock back and forth freely and rattle or it actually got hot enough to do major damage to the piston its self.

one more thing is it got low enough of oil that it caused it to over heat parts and do damage and the knock could be the crank. but a crank knock normally sounds a lot different then something coming from the piston.

ether way you're pulling the motor down.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:39 AM   #7
AndyGilbert OP
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mcma111, I pound the pavement here in Missouri.


Switchblade315, that is the thought that I had as well. Running down the highway sliding towards a very lean condition put some extra heat in the top end and was the straw that broke the camel's back.
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