Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Little Rock, AR
Rep Power: 1
Although the motor in our beloved 9ers is time proven bullet-proof, it is a noisy unit. Due in part to the lack of bodywork to insulate noises that you wouldn't ordinarily hear. I too was worried about the same noise(s) you have described.
To the point that I called 2 different Honda dealers (to be objective). After emailing Mike Wheeler (aka Lord Duckhunter) the owner of 919.org and describing the noises, my mind was put at ease. To summarize the most common noises that are perfectly normal:
1. A grinding or roaring sound when sitting still, idling in neutral, with the clutch lever out. Pull in on the clutch and it goes away. Let it out and it returns. Very strange and worrisome noise to a new owner. This is normal and gets smoother with time. I have almost 10,000k and it's barely noticeable now.
2. What sounds like a valve tapping sound under load until about 5,000rpm. Again, this sound is normal and LDH defines it as airbox resonance. A lot of people have posted here worried about it. Again, it's normal.
3. A lot of whirring, clunking, and tapping sounds. You wanna hear some strange noises? Take it around the block without wearing a helmet. Your first thought will be "oh, sh!t, I'm taking this sucker to the shop!"
Are the clunking sounds you described happeneing when shifting or downshifting? If so, it's probably just due to you and your 9er still in "the learning curve". As you get more used to each other you'll be shifting smooth as glasss bot up and down. One thing you can try to ease the downshift clunk is blip the throttle at the same time you pull in the clutch lever and downshift. This makes the engine and tranny speeds match up quicker and makes downshifts a lot less noisy.
It's a Honda dude! Now, it's also a mecahnical object which will have a flaw here and there. But as long as you take care of it it will give you years/thousand of miles of happy, noisy life. You might also try changing to synthetic oil next time you change it (if your not already running it). The general concensus is it smooths the tranny out quite a bit. But use it only after the engine is good and broken in with say 4-5000 miles on it. they say that if you put synthetic in too early it will actually prevent the parts from wearing in properly.
As long as everything is functioning properly don't sweat the small stuff. If it helps even more, since I bought mine new in '03 and been a part of this forum (previously Motorush), I've only heard of 2 incidents where guys had to take their 919s in for some major warranty work. In one case, the clutch basket came apart because it wasn't tightened properly at the factory. This caused a gawdawful sound that was unmistakeable as something major wrong. The other was recently when one guy had a chronic problem with his front brakes making a loud screeching sound that wouldn't go away.
Hope all this helps.
It's a fool who looks for logic in the chambers of the human heart.