Motorcycle Engine Ticking: 5 Causes With Fixes (Explained) 

When you are out riding your motorcycle and you suddenly hear a ticking sound coming from it, it is a really disturbing feeling. The engine starts to emit a strange noise that is known as “engine ticking,” and it keeps doing so for a long time.

Even though it’s possible that there are further explanations, I’m going to talk about the same topic today.

It might irritate you as everyone starts staring while you are riding on the road. Let’s tie our shoes and know the cause and solution to resolve the same issue. 

If you also want to solve this issue and get rid of this issue, then don’t miss these 5 causes explained below.

5 Causes Behind Your Motorcycle Engine Ticking:

We want to mention some of the most common reasons for this, which will make it easier for you to understand why your motorcycle engine is ticking. 

1. Worn-Out Piston: 

The most popular reason behind such an annoying sound is an old, damaged piston.

These pistons move up and down to help in the engine’s internal combustion, but with time, their rings get worn out, and, as a result, they start producing clicking sounds. 

You can analyze the operating capacity of piston based on their degree of damage, and using the information in this article, you can determine when to replace them. You can read the article how much piston damage is ok for bikes to have a better idea of this rating.

2. Low Oil Level: 

Generally, running on low oil proves to be harmful to your engine. When the amount of fat in your motorcycle’s engine decreases, a lot of friction starts to happen.

And due to the same contention, a lot of heat is generated. Apart from this, we will explain many other reasons and their solutions in this article.

3. Old cam chain: 

These chains consist of a metal body, and as other parts get damaged, they will also become the same. It controls the valve timing of the motorcycle’s engine.

And when it gets worn out, it starts moving on a rubber bush, and hence this continuous movement produces noises. 

4. Damaged Spark Plug: 

Spark plugs play a prominent role while starting the engine; if they’re damaged or facing problems, they will create the same scenario.

The issue can be related to wires, coil magnets, or plug holders; any of these can cause a ticking sound. If there are broken wires or short holders, both can be evil. 

Following this article you can learn how to replace spark plug wires on a bike?

5. Loose Valve: 

A loose valve could also be the cause of such sounds. Either the valve becomes loose with some actions or your engine requires repair.

You can find it easily if you have recently visited the mechanic and noticed the noise, which means they have fixed it in the wrong direction. Examine for both doubts: late servicing and loose tightening.

There will be a number of problems as a result of tight valves. I have already discussed the five primary symptoms of tight bike valves and how to diagnose them.

Best Solutions For Ticking Motorcycle Engines:

We will give you some information on how to prevent ticking motorcycle engines. Get ready with all the necessary equipment and weapons to sort out this hassle. 

1. Motorcycle engine oil as required: 

You need to monitor the engine oil constantly to eliminate this abnormal noise. A better approach means continually monitoring the oil level. Although many think this is a highly complex process, it is not. All you have to do is take the gauge off the top of the engine.

You clean the stick where the measurement is and put it back in. Remove the post after it has been completely submerged at the bottom.

Through this process, you can easily understand the oil level in the motorcycle’s engine. 

In the process, if you find that the oil level in the machine is too low, this could be a common reason for the ticking sound.

If so, the best thing to do is to check that there is no serious problem and to fill the motorcycle engine with the required amount of oil.

2. Replace the wire or the plug holder (if the spark plug is faulty):

A lousy plug can also cause a ticking sound to come from a motorcycle engine that produces a more common noise. There are two solutions you can untie. It all depends on whether it is a wire or a plug holder.

If you notice any problems with the plug holder, replace it immediately. If the wire is the problem, you remove it and put in a new one.

3. Fix the cam chain noise:

 It’s easy to fix at home; when the chain wears out, it creates an irritating sound due to the gap between the forks. 

You have to arrange the chain in the previous position to prevent it. It’s better to take out the whole chain and fix it properly. 

After completing the task, put it back in place and see how it reduces in a few moments. You can also replace it if it becomes completely useless and you can’t bear the weight of your bike. 

4. Take Help from Professionals for the Loose Valve: 

Tightening the loose valve at home is a bit tough. However, you can also ask for help from your experienced riders if they are too good at repairing the same condition. 

Or the last option is to visit the professionals, who can check whether the direction is wrong or you need a new one. You will need a mechanic who is experienced in repairing loose valves to replace the old part. 

5. If you hear a piston slapping noise, take it to a mechanic:

If it doesn’t work after several steps and you suspect the ticking sound is due to the smacking noise of the piston, call a mechanic. 

The mechanic will examine everything closely and get it fixed quickly.

Is Riding a Motorcycle With a Ticking Noise Dangerous?

You might be in a dilemma about whether to ride a bike with such stupid noise or not, and my answer is a big no. Various things can cause a tick in your motorcycle’s engine. Neither of these things is a funny issue. 

You do not want to be careless with your bike, which can cause heavy damage to you. 

When you proceed on your journey, ignore the tick. So basically, people are still determining when and what might happen on the road.   

That’s why it is always advisable to keep checking your bike regularly. While doing this, pay attention to what is causing the ticking sound.

After that, when you know the problem, you can try to find the solution and cure it by identifying the cause of these sounds. By doing this, you and your fellow passengers will not be in trouble.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix the Ticking Noise? 

It entirely depends on the damages; if they’re minor, you need to spend around $1000 to $3000, and if they become worse, get ready to invest more to repair your bike completely. Suppose you have experience and complete knowledge regarding bikes.

In that case, you can fix it yourself for a limited amount, or if you are seeking help from the mechanics, keep approximately $5000 in your pocket. I’d been in situations where I needed to hire a professional but did it myself when it wasn’t difficult. 

Can Wrong Oil Produce Ticking Sound? 

You have seen above that the oil level can affect the engine; if it’s at a low level, you will hear strange sounds coming from the motors.

Let me tell you something, and this can happen if you used the wrong oil or in the wrong ratio, had poor oil circulation, or had a low oil level. Anything related to oil can cause clicking sounds that disturb you a lot. 

To resolve this, check the oil level; if it’s okay, move to the next one and check whether you have added the right one or something new. And the last thing is the problem with the oil filters, and you might need to change them quickly. 

Why Does a Motorcycle Engine Tick When It’s Cold? 

As I have mentioned above, the piston can cause a ticking sound. During the winter or cold, a carbon layer builds up on the piston’s crown and over the combustion chamber’s roof.   .

And when it starts working, due to the physical contact, it produces a tik-tik sputter. To reduce these sounds, keep your eyes on the piston’s head and clean it whenever you come home after a long ride in the cold season. 


We all know that the safety of all of us is of the utmost importance, especially when we are riding bikes on the road. That’s why you should always pay attention to unusual bike problems.

One problem that sometimes occurs in bikes is the production of an unusual ticking sound in the engine. Once you know what is causing the problem and what could be causing it, you can fix it. But splurge if you have the expertise to do so. If not, call a mechanic.