Soon after the bike is started up, a burning smell starts coming from somewhere in the engine area. No smoke. It is not a smell of a burned wires, plastic, or rubber, but a distinctive smell of an engine or exhaust as though the engine had been severely overheated. It's similar to the smell of a dirt bike after a race.

What can be the cause of that? What steps should I take to identify the cause and fix the problem?

2006 Suzuki GSR600

  • What kind of Motorcycle?
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 22:47
  • Suzuki GSR600 2006
    – qwaz
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Check for any oil leaks, especially oil leaking around the cylinder head or onto the exhaust system, as any oil in these areas will heat up and basically cook.. giving you the burning smell. Also make sure the exhaust is not leaking from the manifold area etc.

If any leaks are discovered, repair or have them repaired. As oil leaking from a motorcylcle engine, especially if it's dripping or being blown backwards can easily contaminate the rear tyre, which is certainly not good when cornering!

  • Can it be a problem with worn out piston rings? Are there any other clues that I can look to tell for sure if the rings are the issue?
    – qwaz
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 16:07
  • 1
    Worn rings could cause a smokey smell from the engine area, but this would likely be detcted first from any breather tubes or crank ventilation valves. Also is the bike using oil or smoking from the exhaust. If so, have a compression test done on it to check cylinder pressures and help determine the piston rings condition.
    – Orb
    Commented Apr 29, 2018 at 22:52
  • There is a smokey smell from the engine area, but there's no smoking from the exhaust, even when I rev it up to the top. I tried holding my hand on the exhaust - there's zero residue on my hand after I rev it up. I can't gauge the oil use as the bike is not insured yet, so I did not ride it as much as to tell if it uses oil. I just took it for a spin around a garage block. I have no tools to check the compression. I'll try to smell the breather tube and crank ventilation valves.
    – qwaz
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 9:01
  • I haven't found any visible leakes. As much as I could peak into the engine with a flashlight.
    – qwaz
    Commented Apr 30, 2018 at 13:02

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