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White smoke at idle??

Discussion in 'Technical and Troubleshooting Torque' at netrider.net.au started by Kooka, May 8, 2008.

  1. Hi all, I recently had a 12k manufacture warranty on my 2005 Kwaka ZX6R (well that is what the mechanic called it!) and since then my bike doesn't idle as well i.e the revs have dropped suddenly from about 1000rpm at idle and stalled on a view occaisons ie. idle a bit sluggish. I am pretty sure he put cheapy spark plugs in the bike- I just raised the idle speed then so hopefully that will work. The bike was running crisp before hand- grrr
    However this morning when I started it up the bike was producing white smoke at idle?? I imagine this is not normal. Please advise

    BTW, I can't take it back to the mechanic as the bike was serviced interstate.

    Additionally, when I had my bike delivered from interstate the other day and had it assembled by a local guy mentioned something about a strange noise from the cams (or something like that) and asked when the last time it was serviced- not too happy.

    Puzzled and feel bent over! :?

  2. Is it steam (ie. does it evaporate, or just float away like smoke). Most likely it's water (condensation) in the exhaust, but can't tell on the information you provide. Is it only when the bike starts up from cold, all the time? start from warm? Does it smell like smoke (or no smell)? Checked the coolant level?
    Not especially cold this morning in Melb so I'm a bit suspicious it's not just condensation.
  3. Hi there Titus thanks for the feedback.

    Idle problem solved, however an update on the white smoke issue is as follows. Started the bike up this morning (the outside temperature was mild). No smoke on start up, however after a minute the white smoke was evident. It smell a little bit to. I even went as far as placing a white piece of paper behind the exhaust and upon inspection there were black specks over the paper, not a lot, however it was evident. When I use the throttle a bit the white smoke trails behind the bike about 2-3 foot.
    Just read your post again, I have not checked the coolant yet though.
  4. Does it go away after the bike is fully warm?
    I'm still thinking it might be condensation (possibly from inside the fuel tank). The black spots are likely to be unrelated IMHO, and smell could be normal rich mixture on choke.
    If it continues after the bike has been running for some time , then maybe you've got problems...
  5. Are you sure it is not steam? Cold engines, both car and motorcycle, produce a lot of visible condensation in colder weather until the engine warms up.

    Surely you have seen the steam and water trails (dripping from the tailpipe) left behind cars as they first start up? You won't usually see a lot of water droplets exiting a motorcycle exhaust because most of them are aimed up so high in the air that the water drains down. There could be a drain near the front of the muffler...

    If it really IS white smoke that can occur with worn valve guides - and that would usually occur at a much higher mileage than you have indicated. The black spots on the paper are completely normal - soot is always being ejected from the exhaust.


    Trevor G
  6. my mate had a problem like this recently, and it turned out to be his head gasket, coolant was getting into the system somewhere and coming out as vapour in the exhaust....you could smell the coolant in the vapour...
  7. Yep that'd be my guess, especially if the mechanic had the head off for something and stuffed up putting it back on properly.
    Another tell-tale sign is to check the fluid in the radiator to see if there's any oil floating on it, or to look for air bubbles coming up when the engine is running (assuming coolant is flowing in the engine at the time).