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My recently acquired 1980 GL1100 has only done 27000 miles, and spent several years unused, so the engine should be in good condition. I've just finished fixing the oil leaks from perished gaskets and rear shock oil seals, and started riding it. Now I've noticed a rattle from the rear of the engine on the left side that sounds like a chain. I checked the alternator stator bolt was tight so I don't think it's that. It does sound like a chain whirr, rather than something loose. Could it be the starter chain? If so, should I be concerned, or is it normal for the chain to make a bit of noise? What else might it be? I only hear the noise if I ride without earplugs, so is the solution to put the earplugs in?
 

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Pretty common for a primary chain to rattle a bit especially if the bike needs a tuneup or carb balance.
 

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it is possible for the sprag clutch to stick in the engaged position . but if it did it would also be turning the starter which i am sure you could feel by placing your hand on the starter. use cation , they get hot very quick. you may end up pulling the engine to set things right with the sprag clutch .
 

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The starter chain should only move when you are pressing the starter button. You are probably getting primary chain noise, which happens when the carbs need to be synched. Do that and then see of the chain noise goes away.
 

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One thing FYI.



It most probably is the primary chain that has streched a little. Don't worry, though, it won't fall off.



But....... while most 1100's have a chain tensioner there were a number of engines that got onto the market without one. Not even the holes in the casing to attach one. One of Honda's little tests. One of the board members has such an engine.



Synching the carbs will have a noticable effect and you can also adjust the tick over speed to about 1200 rpm (as long as the rattle is at tick over and not above 1500 rpm)



Dave.
 

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when i bought mine it sat unused and abused for 5yrs or so and it had a definite "rattle" i took it to the shop and they sync'd the carbs and it MOSTLY went away i doesed it with alittle seafoam and fresh oil ran it for a couple hundred miles, drained and noise is virtually gone

it could be a starter clutch noise or it could just be the clutch itself make sure you check the stator housing nut torque

it maybe loose causing the noise
 

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Thanks for your advice guys. The carbs probably do need to be synched.
 
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