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2003 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sabre ticking video
My sabre is ticking like there's cards in the spokes pretty loudly. When I drive by buildings it echoes back like a roulette wheel. It starts ticking immediately after starting and really continues until shut off. The sound appears to be coming from the top exhaust pipe. The sound doesn't appear to be originating anywhere else. I changed oil about 1000 miles ago. Changed plugs about 100 miles ago but bike was already making noise at that time.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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Try to listen to it with a long screwdriver up to your ear. To see if it is inside the engine.
IF the tick follows the RPMs of the engine and sounds like the top pipe, taking it apart and replacing the gasket would be the first thing to do, unless it is cracked at the flange.
Do you see black soot from an exhaust leak?
 

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05 Sabre 1100
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Try holding a rag over the exhaust pipe tip to restrict exhaust flow. If youve got an exhaust leak thats making the noise this will most likely change the tick sound helping diagnose.
 

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Could it maybe also be the dreaded "sabre tic" that can happen on almost any 1100 Shadow with hydraulic valves?
@Fargo Sabre : Search google and YT for the honda shadow 1100 sabre tic. There's also a dedicated facebook-group.

However first find out where exactly the ticking is coming from. The sabre-valve-tick comes from the valve lifters, so upper head of the engine
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Could it maybe also be the dreaded "sabre tic" that can happen on almost any 1100 Shadow with hydraulic valves?
@Fargo Sabre : Search google and YT for the honda shadow 1100 sabre tic. There's also a dedicated facebook-group.

However first find out where exactly the ticking is coming from. The sabre-valve-tick comes from the valve lifters, so upper head of the engine
I can only hear it at the open end of the exhaust pipes, mostly the top pipe. I checked the mounting bolts and they were tight. The bike has Cobra slip ons. I'm wondering if a strap that I accidentally had against the pipe when I trailered her home once could have damaged the exhaust gasket at the motor or the joint on the pipes (if there is a gasket there?)
 

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2003 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Try to listen to it with a long screwdriver up to your ear. To see if it is inside the engine.
IF the tick follows the RPMs of the engine and sounds like the top pipe, taking it apart and replacing the gasket would be the first thing to do, unless it is cracked at the flange.
Do you see black soot from an exhaust leak?
I'm not sure what you mean by holding a screwdriver to my ear. Do I rest the handle against my ear and touch the tip to the exhaust? Where do should I be looking for black soot? The inside of the pipes are black from exhaust or maybe soot. Sorry if I seem dense, it's just because I sometimes am. Thanks for taking the time to help out!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Try holding a rag over the exhaust pipe tip to restrict exhaust flow. If youve got an exhaust leak thats making the noise this will most likely change the tick sound helping diagnose.
I'll try that, just cover the open end with a rag, thanks! I'll post the results.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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It sounds like you are talking about noises at the outer end of the pipe?
That is a different story. Forget the screwdriver trick.
I thought you meant at the head connection.
With the engine off, you can rap on the side of the muffler to see if the baffle is broken loose, or a bracket is broken, etc.

Do the rag trick also and see what it sounds like.
 

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2003 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In case I need to replace them, what kind of exhaust gasket do I need? Cobra slip on exhaust, 2003 Sabre 1100. I don't know if I need a specific size. A link to a specific gasket for sale would be really helpful. Thanks guys. You've been really helpful. I'm off to try out your suggestions (except the screwdriver to my ear thing, at least until I'm sure what was meant)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It sounds like you are talking about noises at the outer end of the pipe?
That is a different story. Forget the screwdriver trick.
I thought you meant at the head connection.
With the engine off, you can rap on the side of the muffler to see if the baffle is broken loose, or a bracket is broken, etc.

Do the rag trick also and see what it sounds like.
Yes, it sounds to me like there's a roulette wheel in the open end of the top pipe. I can move the pipes a very little but visible amount. I'm going out with a rag now....
 

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Hit that pipe with the side of your fist and see if it makes a rattle or click, squeak, chirp, thump, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It sounds like you are talking about noises at the outer end of the pipe?
That is a different story. Forget the screwdriver trick.
I thought you meant at the head connection.
With the engine off, you can rap on the side of the muffler to see if the baffle is broken loose, or a bracket is broken, etc.

Do the rag trick also and see what it sounds like.
Ok, when I rapped on the side of the muffler I couldn't really hear anything rattling around or see anything moving much. I didn't strike the pipe very hard though, just kind of thumped it. I tried covering the end with a rag and the top one when covered seemed to lose the tick. When covering the bottom one, it seemed like the tick got louder from the top pipe. I'm uploading video now.
 

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Try to push a long tool inside against the baffle to see if it may be moving with each exhaust pulse. It may have added baffles that have worked loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
ok, maybe found something here.... on each pipe (at the open end/bottom of pipe) there is a screw. On the top pipe that screw is missing. The bottom pipe, the screw is there. Each pipe has a second screw on the tire side, those are both there. So one screw missing at end of ticking pipe. Is this the culprit? 1st pic is bottom pipe, 2nd is top pipe (ticking pipe)
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Try to push a long tool inside against the baffle to see if it may be moving with each exhaust pulse. It may have added baffles that have worked loose.
I tried this but couldn't feel any movement really, tried both pipes just to be sure.
 

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1983 Honda vt750 Shadow
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That is probably the attachment screws for the baffles. That would do it.
Take one of the other ones out and match it at the hardware store.
Maybe metric or US threads.
A regular hex head bolt would do it to stop the noise.
 

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If the hole goes through the noise may be from exhaust gasses popping out of there.
To me it looks black around the edge of the hole.
 

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I'm not sure what you mean by holding a screwdriver to my ear. Do I rest the handle against my ear and touch the tip to the exhaust? Where do should I be looking for black soot? The inside of the pipes are black from exhaust or maybe soot. Sorry if I seem dense, it's just because I sometimes am. Thanks for taking the time to help out!
yes, business end on the motor, handle to your ear. Old mechanics trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If the hole goes through the noise may be from exhaust gasses popping out of there.
To me it looks black around the edge of the hole.
Thanks! I'll post the results when I get it done. Thanks again for all the help, that sound was driving me and my neighbors crazy.
 

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Like @chucke just said, that was exactly how you do the screwdriver trick. The metal tip of the screwdriver transmits vibration through the shaft and handle, which your ear picks up as ’sound’. Let’s you more easily pinpoint where a sound is louder, though not as good as an actual mechanic’s stethoscope.
 
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