It's having an episode!
[ Sunday - February
28, 2010 ]
OK. It's been a week since I've got the bike back from the
dealer. The fuel injector has been changed out with BMW NA paying
for the swap out and parts under warranty. It's so nice. To
celebrate it all, the Sgt calls for a test ride to make sure everything
is OK. Sure thing. We'll head over to Ventura for lunch at
our favorite restaurant. It's all good. The bike is running
fine with no indication of issues. Halibut fish and chips.
It was expensive, but the portion is massive. I wish they would
just cut back on the portions and lower the price. Still, it's
good food. Now it's time to head back to Moorpark from some
coffee. What's this?! Don't tell me! It's having a
problem start again. What the heck! Sure enough, I push the
start button and all the bike does is crank the starter. No
firing. Oh crap! So does this mean it has nothing to do
with the fuel injector? That's can't be! Eddie the service
manager at Brown said that the bike would only start when he tapped the
fuel injector. It was a problem with the FI. I twist open
the throttle and push the start button again. Finally, it fires
up. This sucks! There can be only a couple of other
possibilities for this problem. Fuel pump, or ECU. I know
the bike is getting fuel pressure so it can't be the fuel pump.
The only other possibility is the ECU. That still sucks. On
the way out my intercom battery dies. This sucks too. So we
pull over and I swap out the battery for the bike power adapter.
OK. Now I can communicate once again. Again, the bike has
problems starting. Again, opening the throttle while pushing
the start button kicks the bike to life. Man this sucks. At
least I know that once the bike starts there won't be any other
We make it back to Moorpark and stop at the local Starbucks. A
little coffee and a lot of BS, with a side bar of a good looking wife
asking about the price on my 8GS, we finish up and gear up for
home. Once more, the bike has a problem starting. This
really sucks! Eventually, it cranks over and we're off to get
some fuel while the Sgt heads home. 2.2 gallons in the
tank. Now the bike starts without a problem. What's up with
that?! On the way home, in the carpool lane doing insane speeds
just to prevent cars from turning us into red splotches on the
concrete, I ponder as to what could be causing the problem. My
final resolution is, it could very well be the charcoal canister.
There has been a lot of reports of stalling and other problems because
of the charcoal canister. It's worth a try to either bypass or
remove the canister. OK. Since the bike did a good job of
just now, I'm going to do the operation tomorrow after getting home
[ Monday - March 1,
0730 hours. I'm suited up to head to work early today. I
push the bike out of the garage, slide the key in, and hit the start
button. Crap! It's having another of those episodes
again. This sucks! A second attempt yields the same
result. Alright, I've had enough of this. I have to get to
work. I quickly take off my Rally2 Pro suit, grab the car keys,
and fly out of the garage. Great! I hurry to work just so I
can sit in a boring as hell management meeting. This is even
worse with the fact that I'm not a manager, but that's another story
for a different set of ears to hear the gripe. All day long I
wasn't very effective at work because the bike episode in the
morning has me distracted. I was so tired of the problem that I'm
threatening to trade the 8GS in for either a G650GS or a R12GS. I
made it all the way home with a lot of perturbation and very little
hope. The garage opens. There it is. The 400lbs of
immobilized metal, aluminum, and plastic. Alright, I'll go ahead
and try to crank it over to see if I can take it into the dealer
tomorrow. I slide the key in, wiggle the clutch a bit, and hit
the start button. Vrooommm!!! It's starts without
hesitation. WTF!!! Now it's behaving like there was never a
problem in the first place. I'm happier, but this is
disturbing. Could it be the temperature causing a problem.
I shut the bike down and start it again. No hesitation. It
fires right up. At this point I have no idea what to make of all
this. Next I put it on the kickstand thinking perhaps there might
be a problem with the kickstand sensor that might agitate the start
problem. Nope, it fires right up. Alright, this means there
has to be something associated with the temperature. Excessive
moisture perhaps. Alright, since it's being a good dogie and
starting up every time I hit the start button, let's go ahead and do
that minor operation to bypass the charcoal canister. Perhaps the
is still introducing issues that is causing the start problems.
While I'm at it, I went ahead and dump in 3 oz of Seafoam for good
measure. $9.00 worth of vacuum hose connectors and vacuum hose
caps from the Pep Boys and I'm pulling hoses off of the charcoal
canister. Despite my desire to pull the entire assembly off of
the bike, I decided to go ahead and leave the canister in place, but
The vacuum caps should be able to keep everything inside of the
canister in, and outside of the canister from getting into the
canister. This is all for the
possibility of needing to hook up the stupid canister back on the fuel
system for some insane reason.
I can't think of that reason right now but it might happen. Damn
CA tree huggers causing problems
for everybody. Now everything is either mated or capped. I
tie wrap the vacuum hose to the bike frame to prevent it from flapping
around. A test start yield an instantaneous firing of the
engine. This is good. Let's hope it stays that way. A
second test yields the same result. Now let's pray that it won't
have another episode again in the future.
[ Tuesday - March
2, 2010 ]
I have to admit I'm a bit gun shy when it come to hitting that start
button. The thought of the hearing the starter motor only is not
a pretty sound. I suit up but don't put my helmet on just for the
mere fact that I might have to take it all off again because the bike
won't fire up. I push the bike out of the garage, turn the key,
and hit the start button. At this point I have my ear plugs in so
I can't tell too well whether the bike is hesitating or not, but it
fires up. That's a good sign.
Yeah, Mr Speedy was surprised to see my bike in the motorcycle
parking area. He walks by my office with a, "What?!" I had
explain to him what has transpired. Yes, it's not having another
one of those episodes again. In fact a lot of people in the
office was surprised at the sight of my Rally2 Pro and the rest of the
getup. They were all anticipating me being at the dealer trading
in the 8GS.
9 hours of work and I find my self being a little gun shy again with
the start button. A little bit of a crank but it fires
right up. OK. This is a good sign. I'm still praying
that this pattern continues. If it does, I might be rid of my
phobia and keep the 8GS until it turns into dust. That would be
nice. Now let's see what happens for the rest of the week.
[ Monday -
March 8, 2010 ]
It's fixed I tell you! It's fixed! Running the bike with
less than 1/2 tank and filling it to the brim with 3 gallons of fuel,
after 161 miles of driving around in circles, has the bike starting
without a problem. Of course, this is accomplished with the bike
in the so called European configuration. How can I be
certain? It's easy really. All along in the past year when
I had 1/2 tank or less, the bike would have problems starting.
When I top off the tank, the bike would also have problems
starting. This was fairly consistent and annoying as being forced
to stomach rotten meat with a bottle of rum while out at sea (No I'm
not a sailor).
As of now, with the less than 1/2 tank and filled up to the top, the
touch of the start button yields the sweet sounds of ...
VRROOoommmm!!!! No hesitation. No stuttering. Only
the sounds of a well maintained engine doing its job. Of course
the 50 degrees in the morning doesn't matter. Neither does 80
degrees in the afternoon. It doesn't care. It just wants to
Best of all... NO trade in is needed! It's taken me 1 year
to deck this sucker out and now I get to keep it until it turns to
So now what do I spend my money on instead of a trade in? Easy...
Picture from www.revzilla.com
(Ooo!! They're fast in shipping stuff out)
BTW... I am actually still testing the bike to make sure there is no
hard starting problems. It's on going for now. I'll know
more after the Central Coast trip in April.
[ Sunday -
March 14, 2010 ]
It is fixed! NOT!!! Just late Thursday and the
entire of Friday, the bike is having problems starting once
again. The good news is, the bike does start up while twisting
the throttle as the start button is pushed. Taking the charcoal
canister off of the fuel system was still a smart thing to do. It
does seem to alleviate the starting problem and it gets the bike over
its episodes much quicker.
If you listen close enough, the bike almost starts up at the end of the
first start button release.
I've also decided to move the Centech
AP-1 from underneath the seat to the left side of the bike, right above
the radiator. It's now under the fairing, a tad bit harder to get
to, but at least it out of the way and can't stomp on hoses and
influence electrical equipment under the seat. I can live with
the 8GS like this. It's not ideal, but still workable.
Trade in? No. Second bike? Yes. I was
contemplating the G650GS as a second bike. However, further
research shows that the G650GS has also seen it's fair share of
problems. So much for being bullet proof. If I can get a
F650GS thumper, that will be fine. However, for the sake of
reliability I will get another R12R. The funny thing is, my wife
refuses any other brand other than BMW. When I mentioning looking
at a Suzuki V-Strom, she said, "...Uh...No!" I guess she thinks I
have an image to uphold or something.
BTW, the Rev'It Sand suit rocks.
Written on: March 2, 2010
Last modified: March 14, 2010