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Why is my Firestorm exhaust 'pinging'?

Q. I have had my Honda VTR1000 for a season now and it started pinging after just a few months of use.

I have all the original parts except that famous baffle removal thing that really enhances the sound of the V-twin.

I noticed that the pinging has increased since I did the bafflectomy. Can this problem be resolved?
JP, MCN forums

A. You need to put the baffles back in. The "pinging" or "pinking" can be caused by a lack of back pressure on the exhaust system causing predetonation of the fuel mix which will be running weak, and also valve bounce.

Prolonged pinking causes the valve seats to burn out which in turn require new seats and valves fitting to the head.

So it's baffles back in, then in for a service and ignition/fuel system check-up. Knocking, on the other hand, would be more serious, and usually indicates worn big/small end bearings requiring a full top half engine strip and rebuild.

While you're getting it checked out, take a look at the camchain tensioners.

It's nothing to do with pinking, but too many fail around the 16-20,000-mile mark, and always cause serious damage.

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