Strange whining noise

Hi everyone,

Took my 2003 Cali Stone out today for the first time in about a month and a half. Everything was fine (well - I got a bit wet) but when I parked up after about an hour and a half the bike was emitting a whining noise. It did not depend on engine speed and seemed to be coming from the left hand side of the bike although it was hard to localize. It seemed like some kind of electrical whine but I am not sure. When I turned the engine off the whine stopped. It did not reappear when I turned the ignition back on. I did not try restarting the engine as it was getting dark and I wanted to get the bike wiped down and under its cover.

Just to reiterate, there was nothing untoward when I was riding the bike. Any ideas?

It could be a relay. A handlebar switch button or somesuch has got water in it and is passing a bit of current, but not enough to work the relay properly. Used to get this with the BMW’s flasher unit when the indicator switch got damp, it sounded like the buzzing of an old fashioned electric bedside alarm clock going off. In your case it might be the starter relay because of water in the starter button. Just a guess. I once had this exact same thing happen on my Guzzi, but so much water got in the button it was actually turning the starter motor over while I was riding! The rain was p*ssing down that hard.

Thanks Mike,

Could be, earlier in the day I had the left hand side cover off and got caught out by a sudden heavy downpour so all the electrics under there got soaked. Maybe the problem will have cured itself by the next time I get on the bike!

Bit of WD40 over it then maybe. (?)

I have a strange whining noise too, but it’ll take more than WD40 to shut her up!

My Jackal’s fuel pump was very loud, could be thought of as a whine. I found that one of the wires had been broken at the tank’s fuel switch, so the solenoid/ plunger wasn’t opening and fuel flow must have been tight, though the bike ran ok! I imagine that the pump can still get fuel, but it is hard work for it? I re-soldered the wires and strengthened the connections with a big gob of resin putty, and the whine disappeared.

Yes, it’s the fuel pump. What Phil says. If you need a new one, change the filter at the same time. See the non-OEM section for car part options.

Fuel pump never occurred to me. I’m possibly torkin’ rowlocks again…

That’s cos you ain’t gotta fyule pump in yer bike Mike mate. But to be fair, a “whine” could be almost anything wot spins around, I have had a 6th gear whine for years and best part of 30,000 miles, I may get A roundtuit one day, but hey, life is too short to go digging about in the bowels of a bike that is running juuuust fine.

Any way y’ can’t be right EVERY TIME just now and again is OK mate …

Have to say my sense of humour kicks in now and again, reminded of “The Two Ronnies” sketches

“Ere my bike I’ve got a …”

“What? whine you gotta whine!”

“No er it’s more of a …!”

“Oh knock …you gotta knock 'ave yer?”

“No i’smore ofa …you know …!”

Loved themguzzibear2013-10-21 12:24:28

I know the one! There’s a couple more on youtube

Mike H2013-10-21 13:15:52

If your bike does have a fuel pump, and I think 2003 Cali would have as mine’s 2000 -worth checking and cleaning all the connections especially to the petcock thingummy. It could be just that fuel switch not opening if the electrical connection was poor, and the pump strangulated.

Thanks guys,

The 2003 stone does have a fuel pump so that is something else to check. First chance I will get to work on it will be Saturday. Will get back to you when the mystery is resolved.

Hi Guys,

Went out again today (and got soaked again!). The whine is still present and the bike is running fine. Just to double check the gist of all the advice. The solenoid operated petcock does not open properly if it has a poor electrical connection and this strangulates the pump causing it to whine. Alternatively, the whine is a sign that my fuel pump is on its way out and I should look to replacing it and the fuel filter.

Is that right?Richard632013-10-26 20:16:25

Is there a pressure relief v/v on your fuel system?

Best way to get rid of that annoying whining noise is to leave the wife at home next time.

Yes. Also you can get a manual petcock replacement to put your mind at ease.


Thanks Lawrie,

I think I will try to fix the petcock in the first instance (if that turns out to be the source of the problem) and only go for the manual replacement when it finally fails completely. By the way, is your icon a picture of your Stone and, if so, how have you mounted the spotlights?


Yep that’s my Stone as it looked before I pranged it

The spots are mounted on a hepco and becker mounting kit
The kit is really expensive so I would suggest studying it and getting your local friendly welder to make one for you. Probably cost about a tenth of the kit

As a note Guzzi fits spotlights to the USA Police bikes onto the indicators. I saw this did the same with the V1000 I also got a pair of Yamaha indicators from an RD350 they are round lenses BUT have thicker stalke, bolt through the headlamp and then sit at just the right height.

I bought some “Angel eye” spots from e-bay, they are great to have the led Angel eye as side lights and the spots for riding the Country lanes home OR when filtering they seem to get the bike noticed.

I did put a relay on the spots and used a lit switch from Maplins, one tip IF you use a lit switch, get a yellow/amber one and mount it sideways the BLUE and green ones especially mounter front to back are just TOO bright at night, the amber one mounted sideways is OK

whining fuel pump ? remove , immerse in water , run forwards and backwards in water , blow out water whilst running pump ,quick squirt of wd40, run , out of the water , refit…see if noise has gone ?

elec fuel petcock , remove from tank , connect to wiring …switch ignition on and off …does valve move…no = give it a tap …still not moving …cut off valve ! ( or buy a new one for £60 )