XR600 2nd gear honking sound. How close to fatal?

My '97 XR600 seems to be making a sort of honking sound in second gear, especially when off the trottle under engine breaking. I can't think of a better way to describe it. It's not very loud, but noticably different from the other gears. It's been doing it since I bought the bike about 2 months ago. The sound doesn't seem to happen in other gears, so I suspect that it's not a general engine problem, but that something is up with 2nd gear specifically. Other than this sound, the bike runs great and there's no trouble with shifting or otherwise.

Obviously, this is not a good thing, but I have the following questions to ask of anyone who may have experienced this...

First, if you've experienced such a thing, what was the outcome? Second, is this an imminently fatal problem where my gearbox could explode and rip the case apart at any moment? Or is it one of those deals where something is just beginning to wear and I can ride it for a while before it really needs attention? Not sure how "nervous" to be about it.

I'd appreciate any input and person experience you all can offer! Thanks!

a "honking" sound is very difficult to perceive. is it a growling or grinding? even a whine? on power , or off, steady throttle?:thumbsup:

Horn switch shorted?lol

Definately not the horn because I don't have one. :thumbsup: I would say it's more of a whine than a growl or a grinding. It happens with power off mostly and steady throttle, too, but not so much at all with power on... of course, I could just notice it less with power on because of the exhaust note.

how many miles on this enigne? could have pitted gears.

Not sure about mileage because I'm at least the 3rd owner, but I thought the same thing. I know the bike has both a fresh top & bottom end... previous owner threw a crank bearing. Fortunately, it didn't cause much damage, but resulted in the bottom end work. I don't believe they replaced any gears at the time, but the bike is well used, so it's possible the gears are wearing.

Anybody else think it might be anything other than pitted gears?? I'd appreciate any and all input. Thanks!

Any metallic in oil? Maybe when cases were split they left out a thrust washer or something? I have never seen any other post on such a noise. Hope its not serious. Let us know of outcome when you get it sorted out.

yes.. check the oil screen (in the frame)and the filter real close for micro flakes of metal.

Don't ride in second gear :thumbsup:

I've thought of not riding in 2nd gear, but you know how that goes... easier said than done!

I'll check the oil. It's due for a change now that I've got a few hours on it. I'll let you all know what I find.

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