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Hey guys,

So first a disclaimer. I don't know anything about motorcycles. I just bought a 2015 Yamaha R3 second hand last month to begin on. I've been riding it almost every day since. Maybe this noise is normal (although I don't think so) and I just never noticed it before? I rode the bike less than 24 hours ago and didn't notice this noise. I just rode it about an hour ago and filmed this video. Some weird hissing noise that sounds loudest near the radiator (beginning of video) but also seems like it might be coming from the area that I'm pointing to towards the end of the video. Any ideas? Again I am brand new to motorcycles so I apologize if this ends up being something stupid.

Video:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/X2sJm3CxYK5PUTV56
 

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The first area you pointed to towards the end is the vicinity of the clutch. The clutch has straight-cut spur gears driven from the crankshaft inside the engine. Straight-cut gears are not silent in operation. The second area you pointed to is the vicinity of the tensioner for the timing chain. The timing chain is, well, a chain. They're not silent, either.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The first area you pointed to towards the end is the vicinity of the clutch. The clutch has straight-cut spur gears driven from the crankshaft inside the engine. Straight-cut gears are not silent in operation. The second area you pointed to is the vicinity of the tensioner for the timing chain. The timing chain is, well, a chain. They're not silent, either.
Okay, well that may offer some relief. I'm just concerned because I never noticed it making that noise before. Was wondering if it is normal or if it is something justifying a trip to a mechanic. Do you see what noise I'm talking about though? When I'm down near the radiator at the beginning, in the background you hear hissing sound. I know this isn't it but its a similar ssssss sound that you'd expect to hear if steam or some pressure was escaping through a punctured tube. It's louder and more noticeable when driving. I hear it even when driving and I have a loudish exhaust. Just don't know if it's normal or not since I'm new to motorcycles (first bike) and I don't want to sleep on any issues.
 

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Sound doesn't always transfer well in videos -- especially when you have cheap laptop speakers like me. That said, from what I can hear, I don't think you have any abnormal noises. What you're describing could be valve train chatter or the cam chain, as GoFaster said^^. Also, it may sound silly, but don't forget that an internal combustion engine produces power via a series of explosions occurring in rapid succession inside a metal chamber(s), LOL... Again, with the disclaimer I've made^^ out of the way, it doesn't seem like you have anything unusual going on here. I would say to give the bike a once-over and go from there: check that the bolts/fasteners securing the exhaust header pipes to the engine are tight (as well as other fasteners along the length of the exhaust system), look for any obvious fluid leaks (especially after the engine is warmed up), check engine oil and coolant levels, and pay attention to your temp gauge on the instrumentation panel.
 

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I would not worry about it too much. After 50 yrs of riding motos and now at the age of 67, riders like me and others do not hear these small noises anymore so no problem.
Kiko, Since we're the same age and have been riding for about the same amount of time... Let's be honest with each other... At this stage in life, I'd be lucky if I could heard my muffler fall off into the road.. That's the real reason we don't notice those small noises anymore... But, I agree.. no problem, no worries. Enjoy the Ride. :LOL:
 

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Ya doods. I remember a time when i freaked out over new and mysterious bike noises(recently). Now im like, she started, lets roll. Heck, i didnt even hear it when a car hit me. I felt it though. Happy Holidays Fam.
 

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'Young'in' chipping in here!

I'm gonna disagree with Kiko and airhead on this one. There's definitely a hissing/air noise in that video when your hovered around the front/radiator area - that's not normal. Depending on what it is, you could get away with it, but I'd be more inclined to get it looked at asap.

Ideas of what it could be:
  • Vacuum hose leak
  • Pressure release from radiator cap
  • Exhaust leak

It can't be a leak in the radiator system itself or you'd be losing fluid. It would be more likely to be pressure coming from the cap. It would be worth checking if the hissing only starts when the bike is warmed up.

I wouldn't expect a hissing from an exhaust leak, and it would most likely be more of a pulsing noise than a hiss, but worth checking anyway.

I'd be leaning towards a leaking hose, perhaps the vacuum hose? You could cover most of your rubber piping with soapy water and see if you get any bubbles coming from an air leak.
 

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My sweet Raven makes the same sound. I think its just the bike inhaling. Or, maybe we both need new air filters?
 

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Exhaust leak wouldn't be a constant hiss ... I've heard plenty of those; they are a "tut-tut-tut-tut" coinciding with half engine rotation frequency and dependent on engine load (more load = louder tut).

Vacuum leak also wouldn't be a constant hiss ... these engines have an individual throttle per cylinder, so it would likewise be an unsteady noise coinciding with half engine rotation frequency and load (more load = quieter tut). And my experience has been that when a motorcycle engine has a vacuum leak due to improperly seated throttle bodies (which is the only place it can come from), they run very badly long before you can hear the leak.

I spotted the evap canister in the video (front of engine "inside" the exhaust system header pipes and beside/above oil filter), which means it was a California bike (it's possible that some other places also have that, but mine doesn't). I'm unfamiliar with any noises that might be associated with the evap canister. It is connected to vacuum somehow.

A coolant or radiator cap leak that was bad enough to be making that much noise ... would be blowing steam everywhere and it would smell of coolant, and it won't be doing that for long, before the engine gives out due to overheating ...

Straight-cut gears (primary drive inside the transmission from crankshaft to clutch basket, and the gears inside the transmission itself) always make some noise that can be described as a whine or howl that is dependent on RPM.

Roller chains (timing chain drive) always make some whining noise.

A failed timing chain tensioner that allows excessive slack in the timing chain will make that whine into a howl but it will also make an irregular rattling as the loose section of chain slaps against its guides, most pronounced at lower revs (idling or just above) and when the engine is cold. These engines do not have a reputation for timing chain tensioner failure.

Foreign-object damage involving the timing chain or transmission can certainly make the normal whine or howl much, much louder than normal, and hence the suggestion to get someone familiar with bikes to listen to it in person, to get around the inability of the internet to properly convey how loud (or how abnormal) a particular sound is.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, I took it to the mechanic today. He looked at it for two seconds and immediately responds: "Oh, that's just the fans". So nothing to worry about I guess. Hopefully, he's right. I'm just not used to fans sounding like that but he has a lot of experience so I trust him. I saw a lot of custom bikes in his shop that he's building from scratch. Since I just got this bike last month I'm also having him give it the once over. Oil & filter change. Air filter change. Brake fluids. Brake pads. Rewiring everything for the custom components that the previous owner cut corners on. Replacing any missing screws. New handlebar levers and grips. Full clean. New stickers. Test drive to potentially catch anything else. I don't even know what else he's doing. I just told him if it's broken go ahead and fix it. Hopefully, it comes back like a brand new bike.

But I will say, I saw when he took that oil out. It was basically pitch black :unsure:
 

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So, I took it to the mechanic today. He looked at it for two seconds and immediately responds: "Oh, that's just the fans". So nothing to worry about I guess. Hopefully, he's right. I'm just not used to fans sounding like that but he has a lot of experience so I trust him. I saw a lot of custom bikes in his shop that he's building from scratch. Since I just got this bike last month I'm also having him give it the once over. Oil & filter change. Air filter change. Brake fluids. Brake pads. Rewiring everything for the custom components that the previous owner cut corners on. Replacing any missing screws. New handlebar levers and grips. Full clean. New stickers. Test drive to potentially catch anything else. I don't even know what else he's doing. I just told him if it's broken go ahead and fix it. Hopefully, it comes back like a brand new bike.

But I will say, I saw when he took that oil out. It was basically pitch black :unsure:
Fans? Is there more then one cooling fan? I dont recall hearing the r3 cooling fan on vid. Maybe at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Fans? Is there more then one cooling fan? I dont recall hearing the r3 cooling fan on vid. Maybe at the end.
Anyone else here would know better than me. I don’t know the first thing about motorcycles. I’m brand new.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Anyone else here would know better than me. I don’t know the first thing about motorcycles. I’m brand new.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Im no expert, but the stock R3 has one fan behind the radiator. I dont recall hearing it on the vid. Its ok that you dont know anything about motorcycles, alot of riders dont (myself included). You can download the manual for free here:
YAMAHA YZF-R3 OWNER'S MANUAL Pdf Download | ManualsLib
Between this forum, the manual, and yt, you can learn everything about your bike.
The important thing is you got one of the best beginner bikes on the planet, and she runs. The rest is up to you my dood.
 

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When I'm down near the radiator at the beginning, in the background you hear hissing sound.
...
It's louder and more noticeable when driving.
...
[My mechanic said,] "Oh, that's just the fans."
...
But I will say, I saw when he took that oil out. It was basically pitch black
The fact that @jf100 mentioned the motor oil "was basically pitch black" leads me to place merit on what @GoFaster mentioned about damage to the timing chain. Also, fans don't hiss - they woosh (in my experience).

I spotted the evap canister in the video
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Foreign-object damage involving the timing chain or transmission can certainly make the normal whine or howl much, much louder than normal
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The clutch has straight-cut spur gears driven from the crankshaft inside the engine. Straight-cut gears are not silent in operation...
The bit on straight-cut spur gears is technically interesting.

It can't be a leak in the radiator system itself or you'd be losing fluid.
...
I wouldn't expect a hissing from an exhaust leak
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I'd be leaning towards a leaking hose
My guess was an exhaust leak. It's apparently not that.
I'm going to agree with @GoFaster that it's the sound of your timing chain rustling.

Since you have a slip-on, you probably still have your evap system operating, which means the hissing could be caused by the charcoal canister, as @GoFaster referred to.

I spotted the evap canister in the video (front of engine "inside" the exhaust system header pipes and beside/above oil filter), which means it was a California bike
If it were up to me and it continued to bugged me, I would attempt to clean any muck out with a couple seafoam crankcase treatments. I wrote the process so you could refer to it if you think it'll benefit you.

As others have pointed out, it's hard to know exactly what kind of hiss it is online. We'd be spitballing until you have exhausted all potential culprits, which is tiring feat.
 
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