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I have read the posts on this site relating to S3 sounds but I still have questions... Here's the situation: I know the S3 has a noisy engine and components and I am used to the sound. Recently however the bike has become noticeably louder. Specifically, I am talking about the clicking sound that comes from the left side of the bike. Normally it sounds like a little ball bearing rotating in some metal container but for the past few rides it is A LOT louder. In addition, whereas it used to be somewhat rhythmic (in tune with the RPMs) it is now sporadic. This noise is so loud that when I open the bike up on the road (remember this is with a helmet on and with 80mph wind howling by) past 6 or 7k RPMs it sounds as if there is a loose part on the bike somewhere. I know the S3 is noisy but do I have something to worry about? Any ideas about what could be going on?
 

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birdman,
If you can check and make sure you 'don't have any part loose', then you 'do' have something to worry about. I had a noise develop in my 97 T595. Sounded like a high pitched pinging. I thought maybe I was about to lose a valve (broken valve spring or something). Well not 3/4 of a mile later it got louder and it was too late. Had to truck it home 150 miles! Took it to the shop and they tore it completely down and found I had lost several teeth on the gears that connect to the starter sprague (one way clutch/bearing). Said they have seen it happen on other bikes and there was an updated part. All is fine now and I still love the bike. Just don't wait too long on these kind of situations because when one part fails it usually will take out others and you can have a totalled motor. I was lucky. Not trying to scare you, but if no parts are loose, then you 'definitely have a problem'.
 

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From my understanding, the older bikes - mine included - are very noisy. As the metallurgical processes changed and the engine design was modified, they quieted down. The '03 might fit into the "quieter but not quietest" category.
 

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I've got the same symptoms with my 01. I think its a rod bearing on mine but im not sure yet without taking it apart
 
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