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 problems.

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 cranking over just now, I'm going to do the operation tomorrow after getting home from work.

[ Monday - March 1, 2010 ]

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 canister 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 plugged up.  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 to 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 run.

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 dust.  AWESOME!!!

So now what do I spend my money on instead of a trade in?  Easy...

REV'IT Sand suit
Picture from
(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