My '87 Honda XL250R recently started making an awful noise. It's coming from the engine, but it's not engine noise (??) What I mean is, it's more like transmission noise. When the bike is idling or revved in neutral or with the clutch disengaged there is no noise. Engine purrs like a cat. When I release the clutch I get a scraping/chatter noise. It starts slowly and increases with speed, but is not constant. It comes and goes, but can occur in any gear at any speed. If I'm accelerating or cruising with input on the throttle and I hear the noise, releasing the throttle, even the slightest bit, makes the sound go away. I pulled the right side cover as the sound seemed to be loudest there. I didn't see anything obvious, so I pulled the clutch. Still nothing obvious, so I measured the discs. They were all at or slightly below the service limit (.11). So, I ordered new discs, but I'm not convinced it will make any difference. In the meantime, I'm looking for some other answer and hoping it's not something in the transmission. While looking around I noted that the kickstarter idler gear is really sloppy on the shaft. The service manual shows the bushing has a serviceable limit, but to measure it I'd have to remove the kickstarter gear and retainer clip and I don't have the right tool (snap-ring pliers). I know, no big deal to get a pair of snap-ring pliers. I was just wondering if anyone experienced in the RFVC engines would know off-hand if that sloppy idler gear is normal.