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post #1 of 38 Old 02-13-2017, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 39
Bizarre Problem?? ... Maybe not...

Ok guys, here it goes. My Wee is broken. The bike I mean.

Here is some background about what happened--I will try and keep it short and sweet overall.

A good buddy of mine told me to get a new bike with dirt-road capability for this summer cause we are going to go explore some dirt roads and new areas of the province. Ok I said, I will leave my trusted Honda VFR at home and get a better suited ride. I purchased this 2008 DL650 in a color I like, yellow, from a dealer a few hours away. 60K km on the clock, overall in great shape--although it was dropped on one side but very minor damage (clutch lever only) and one panel may have been replaced. Bike looks great. Maintenance seems up to date, fluids look great. Deal! I drove it home in quite a bit of rain and wind, and park her until sunnier days roll around. That was in November.

I insured it for one day today to go get some motorcycle parts over the border (in Sumas, I live in Vancouver, BC, Canada). All good on the way there, sunny skies, chilly weather but much warmer than what we have had in the past two months.

I get over the border all is peachy! Getting to know the new steed, and I'm enjoying myself in the sun.

Might as well fill up, gas is always cheaper at Uncle Sam's.

As soon as I'm done filling up (I had about half a tank I think, I put in about $8 worth of 85 CORRECTION, 87 GAS!! octane gas), the bike starts sputtering.

Hmmmm. Not now. Please? I'm about 70 km from home, I need to get home. I have things to do.

In any case, the bike would not rev, it would stall at idle and in order to keep the engine going, I had to find a "sweet spot" with the throttle and keep her there. Around 4,000 rpm.

I take the seat off, find the battery pos wire loose. I tighten that up, look for anything else, loose connectors, burnt ones I can see, nothing to find. I keep the bike at above 4,000 for a couple of minutes while I'm stopped to try and recharge the battery a bit in case that is all the energy I have to get home --at this point, I'm thinking either a dead battery due to cable, or a dead battery due to a stator that is gone. Smells like burnt plastic, quite a bit, but I cannot find anything. Let's try and get home.

Long story short, I disconnect both headlights, thinking if the battery is too weak, it will not let me get far. I limp home keeping the revs above 6,000 rmp, experiencing a lot of dead spots and sudden surges with throttle movements. But I made it home.

I get off the bike, and realize that the right side of my rear fender looks funny. All bubbly.... Hmmmm. Ok, looks like I melted that rear fender on the exhaust side. Sigh. Oh well, that explains the burnt plastic smell I smelled earlier. I take a look at the heat shield on top of the exhaust, and that thing is also wavy.... all right, that is TWO things that I melted today. Not a bad day!! Not at all.

At this point, I am thinking either gas with an octane rating that is too low, or the stator is gone. Either way, I will be taking her apart tomorrow and see what is what, look for a bad or loose ground, bad connections, and I'll empty the gas tank, put it in my mini van and go get some proper gas and run it to see if it runs better.

I'm quite frustrated, being that this bike looked really nice, especially in yellow, and I messed it up on the SECOND ride. Sigh. Oh well, I know, it'S not a big deal, but I needed to get that off my chest. I will get into it tomorrow if I have time with a fresh mind, a nice coffee, and see how I can trouble shoot that problem when I'm more relaxed.

Of course, in the meantime, if anyone of you has suggestions, please write them up. I'm definitely open-minded to ideas. But please don't tell me what I did wrong, I was just trying to get the bike home and I know I melted plastic. Not a huge deal in my books though.

I hope it's just bad gas...

Good night gents!

Last edited by Polarbear99; 02-17-2017 at 01:04 PM.
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post #2 of 38 Old 02-13-2017, 10:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Evanston IL USA
Posts: 36,651
It sounds like you killed the catalytic converter. That gas was lead free I hope. You need to be above about 5000 feet to use 85 octane. Too low and it will cause pinging but shouldn't clog the cat.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014+ DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012+ DL650s

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at
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post #3 of 38 Old 02-13-2017, 10:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pasadna area
Posts: 9,088
Good luck, hope it's something simple. I've never had a bike die from a tank of gas...even BC.
Wife got some diesel in the 4 Runner once. Bad fuel is a pricey repair!
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post #4 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 06:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 228
Might be a long shot but if the timing changes (retards) the downstream parts can glow red. I think the timing would retard if the flywheel slips on the crank shaft. That would harm performance and more of the gasoline would burn inside the the exhaust system (heat).

You said "after filling up" it started sputtering. Were you still sitting at the pump or out on the road? From past experience, getting a notch in the conical flywheel / semi-circular Woodruff Key / notch in the conical crank shaft to line up is an art form. I usually put a small dimple in the Woodruff key with a center punch to hold it in place (crank shaft) when reinstalling the flywheel (KLR650).

Just wondering if a previous owner / mechanic had it apart and didn't get it "locked" and your riding caused it to slip. Any "abrupt" engine stops like a big stall could move it if the key isn't in place. Maybe even trying to started it when locked in-gear with clutch engaged. Just guessing.

Again, I've never taken apart a V-Strom but saw what happened on the KLRs I've worked on.

Are both cylinders firing? Maybe one died and the unburned fuel is burning in the exhaust system.
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Last edited by spike55_bmw; 02-14-2017 at 06:48 AM.
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post #5 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 08:17 AM Sponsor
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Clover, S.C.
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Originally Posted by spike55_bmw View Post
.Are both cylinders firing? Maybe one died and the unburned fuel is burning in the exhaust system.
A long long time ago I had a gold wing that was firing on 3 cylinders. Similar outcome. Worth checking.
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post #6 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 09:09 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Ontario Canada/Cairns Aus
Posts: 2,527
You said clutch lever side was damaged

A) Any chance the lever does not have a lip to close the clutch switch ( guess how I know about that )

B) the clutch switch is acting up, disconnected

Symptoms ...the bike runs rough and wants to die coming to a stop ...then will run okay ....accelerate then die or stumble on deceleration

the other alternative tho unlikely is water in the tank - either yours or the gas outlet.

Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold Canada > 10 Wee ABS 2009 CBF1000 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Travel photos>
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post #7 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 10:16 AM
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Location: Virginia Beach, Va. USA
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Sure seems to me like the sub par fuel caused the problem.

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post #8 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 10:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Bowen Island, BC
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by VSrider View Post
Sure seems to me like the sub par fuel caused the problem.
That's where my mind goes too. And as the culprit who urged Polarbear (why the "99" C?) to buy a Wee, I feel sort of responsible!
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post #9 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 39
Hehehe. No worries. I will drain the tank later on today and try put fresh gas.

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post #10 of 38 Old 02-14-2017, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 39
Ok ladies and gents,

I know the suspense is unbearable, so here it is. The bike seems ok.

I drained all the old fuel I could and put in about 10-11 litres of *true* 87 octane gas. It sputtered and couldn't idle like yesterday for about 10 seconds, and started going better. After one min or so, it could hold a reasonable idle at the approximate proper rpm (about 2100, right?).

Then I let it idle for about 15 min, revved it a bit once in a while although it didn't need it, and it was ok. It didn't run as smoothly as I remembered (keep in mind I only ride it twice), so I'm guessing the injectors may want a little cleaning. Of course, to be sure, I will need to go riding for a few hours to properly test it.

Could anyone suggest a good product for cleaning motorcycle injectors please? Or would any proper product do??

I also removed maybe 5-7 table spoons of engine oil since the sight glass indicated overfull --dealer did that, I swear!

In any case, all I need to do is clean the injectors, and then maybe replace the heat shield of the entire exhaust (my friend already has one lined up for me) and the rear fender which shows bubbles on the right side due to overheating.

I'm very, VERY! happy that it is a cheap repair (*so far*) and that I can just hop on it and ride. Sure pissed me off yesterday and made me worried about not being able to come home without a big towing bill... Pfew!

Thanks for suggestions people. I appreciate it.

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