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Why is My Motorcycle Engine Ticking?

Why is My Motorcycle Engine Ticking?

The motorcycles that people use in cities are usually not very powerful. They are normally from 70cc to 150cc. Among the range, there can be 70cc, 100cc, 125cc, 110cc, and a 150cc motorcycle.

The motorcycles that are greater than 150cc have more parts in their engine to create efficient and powerful performance. More engine parts mean more issues in a motorcycle engine.

People use motorcycles for their daily routine, but we know you are always annoyed by the issues and noises coming from your motorcycle engine.

Motorcycle engine ticking and noises are caused by:

  1. Low Oil
  2. Spark Plug
  3. Worn out Piston Rings
  4. Timing chain
  5. Loose valve

Some noises are louder than the exhaust, and some are minimal noises that are hidden when you ride your motorcycle. We have a list of possible causes for your motorcycle when the engine of your motorcycle starts creating a ticking sound.

You may have experienced ticking noises from most of the parts on your motorcycle. Sometimes it’s the chain noise; sometimes, it is the exhaust of your motorcycle, which is creating that sound. But whenever your engine starts creating a ticking sound, you should not ignore it.

Why is My Motorcycle Engine Ticking?

In this article, our editors have explained 5 of these common reasons responsible for motorcycle engine ticing and noises. The list of possible causes cannot help you enough if you do not know what does these things do and what is their purpose in your motorcycle.

So, here we have a detailed explanation about these reasons which will guide you through the details of these noises.

Low oil

What happens when your motorcycle is low on oil, we already discussed in many of our articles that when your motorcycle has low engine oil, it is not good for its health and performance. You should always keep a required amount of engine oil in your motorcycle. If your motorcycle is low on oil, it involves many types of risks that can damage your motorcycle engine completely.

So, when you are low on oil, the engine parts start to wear out each other because of so much friction and heat that they are generating while working with each other. When it happens, the wearing of engine parts generates a specific noise that can be heard and felt during your ride.

The noise is a ticking noise that is continuously telling you to complete the oil because it is simultaneously wearing out your engine. Never ignore this type of noise if you want a long life for your motorcycle engine.

The engine doesn’t need to create the ticking noise only because it has low engine oil. Check the amount of engine oil in your motorcycle in the following way, there is always a gauge stick on the engine. The engine oil gauge is used to check the amount of engine oil present in the engine.

To check the amount of engine oil, pull out the gauge from the engine that can be located on the upper side of the engine anywhere, you have to locate it first. Then clean the gauge with a clean cloth where the measurement is present and then insert the stick again. When you insert the gauge stick, pull it out again to see the level of the engine oil.

If the engine oil level is low on the stick, then the ticking noise is due to low engine oil. If the oil level is at its required level, then there can be another issue. Move towards the next possible reason that can be causing the ticking sound on your engine.


The possible solution for the problem is that you should fill the required amount of engine oil in the engine of your motorcycle. You can also replace the engine oil because it is in less quantity, and you may not have replaced the engine oil in a while. So, it is better to pour the new engine oil and try to achieve the required amount for your motorcycle.

Spark Plug

When the engine oil is at the required level. There can be another issue that your motorcycle may be facing. The spark plug plays an important role when you are riding your motorcycle. Because they are responsible for creating a spark in the engine to generate a flame and get the engine into action.

What is the functionality of a spark plug? Well! The functionality cannot be explained through only one sentence. You have to be patient to understand the whole process. The functionality is when you kick start or self-start your motorcycle, the piston is moved by that force.

When the piston moves, the generator or coil magnet also moves with it and creates a spark with the help of the spark plug inside the head cylinder. The petrol that is coming from the carburetor is ignited continuously, and the pressure is generated. We already discussed this scenario in other articles, but as you are here, let us save your time.

The spark plug is connected with the coil magnet, which is continuously giving an amount of current to the plug through a wire. When the wire of the plug has some distortion or breakage in it, it creates a ticking sound when it is partially connected. If it is completely broken, it will not even pass the current to the spark plug.

The case is only for the partially broken wire that is forcing itself to pass the current and keep the engine running. If the wire is fine, then there can be a problem with the plug holder. The plug holder may be shorted and creating the ticking noise when the engine is running. This must be corrected to fix ticking noise from a motorcycle engine.


The possible solution for the problem is that you must change the wire if you have identified the broken wire. If not, then change the plug holder is it is creating a ticking noise in your motorcycle. If you change the wire and the plug holder and the issue is still the same, then change the plug too. The plug can also be creating short-circuit and creating that noise.

Worn out piston rings can cause ticking noise in motorcycle engine

Piston rings are of great importance in a motorcycle. Rings, along with the piston, create pressure inside the engine, and they create all the mechanical force in the engine. You may understand how the scenario works. But what happens to the rings when it starts creating a ticking noise from the motorcycle engine.

As the rings of the piston are always rubbing with the walls of the cylinder. They are very delicate in terms of wearing out, but the manufacturer creates a quality that has a long life. Quality is everything. There are two main reasons because of which the rings wear out usually. The two reasons are, when you have completed more than forty kilometers on your motorcycle and when you do not replace the oil in time.

Let us see the first reason first when your motorcycle is old, and the rings of the piston are wearing out, then the rings rub against the cylinder walls. During the process, when the piston is running, the rings are creating the pressure inside the engine. But when the rings are worn off, the motorcycle cannot perform as it has been performing before.

So, when the motorcycle does not show good pick-up, you try to give more throttle for more power. When you give extra throttle to your motorcycle, the rings start to create ticking noise. This ticking noise is giving you a warning that you must be patient with the throttle, otherwise, it may break the rings.

The second reason is for the oil, and it also gives the same signal when you give extra throttle for more power. For both reasons, the rings are giving the sign that it cannot bear more load, and you should stop doing that.


What is the possible solution for this? The answer to this question is that you must get your motorcycle to a mechanic. The mechanic will open up your engine head and will replace all the worn-out items like rings and pistons and maybe more.

Timing chain

The timing chain is used to synchronize the timing of the shafts inside the engine. The engine has two main shafts, the crankshaft, and the camshaft. The timing chain synchronizes the timing of the valves and the crankshaft. So that the valves of the engine close and open on their required time.

When you are using a motorcycle, whose engine has more than one piston, then the pistons have more than two valves that need to be properly synchronized with each other. Otherwise, the engine can face a lot of breakage issues and internal leakage which will reduce engine performance. This is one of the main reasons for ticking noise from a motorcycle engine.

So, how can a timing chain create a ticking noise? The answer is when the chain is used for a long time, and then it is wearing out just like a normal chain. When it is wearing out, it moves loosely on the small rubber bush that is a part of the timing chain set. Due to this loose movement, there is a continuous ticking sound in the engine when it is running.

The timing chain can be loose by the two reasons, whether you have installed a new timing chain or you have an improper valve adjustment. You must be wondering how a new timing chain can set a ticking noise? Well, the answer to this question is that when you install a new timing chain, it moves and wears itself off intentionally to create a proper adjustment for itself so that it can sit on the rubber bush properly.


Now what to do when the new timing chain starts creating ticking noise? The answer is when you install a new timing chain, it needs proper adjustment after a while. Because it wears off and creates a gap between the forks of the rubber bush.

There is a spring in the timing chain set, that spring is affected by the chain. If you take out that spring and stretch it forcefully and then insert it back to its place, it will reduce the ticking noise, and the ticking sound will disappear with time.

But when the engine valves are not adjusted properly, you need to get them adjusted from a professional properly before they damage their sitting place. This should be corrected to fix motorcycle engine noises.

Loose valve

A loose valve means that you are putting a lot of load on the sitting place of the valve. We cannot explain the working of the valves in just one or two paragraphs. But if you cannot find any particular reason for the ticking sound from the explanation mentioned above then maybe this reason if for you.

The valves can only be loose when they are set loose, or your engine need to repair after a long-time service. The professional mechanic never set the valves of the engine too tight or too loose. There is a proper adjustment and a proper principle for that. If a mechanic recently repairs your motorcycle and you have replaced the valves, then he may have done it the wrong way.

There is a shim with the valve adjustment, which needs to be with a proper size. If your mechanic places a small-sized shim, the valves will be too loose, but if you place a large-sized shim, it will tighten the valve. Tight valves are very damaging for your motorcycle engine.

Because the loose valves will only damage the valves, which can be replaced in a lot less money. On the other hand, the tight valves damage the sitting place of the valves, which will cost a lot more than the valves.


The proper solution to the problem is that you must not go to an inexperienced mechanic. Go to an official service center or an experienced mechanic when you need to open up your motorcycle engine. Do not let the mechanic learn from the mistakes that he makes on your motorcycle. It is unacceptable.

Team –

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