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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I have a bit of a problem. I've just picked up a second hand 2005 VStrom - it had a few issues like a sticky ignition but nothing too serious.

After a few days of riding it started to refuse to turn on with the F1 error. I read here how to put it into dealer mode and read the codes it was sending: C41 (Fuel Pump Control System (Fuel Pump Relay)), C44 Heated Oxygen Sensor (HO2S), C49 (PAIR Control Solenoid Valve).

I called recovery who prodded around the bike but they couldn't get it to reset - disconnected the battery and reconnected to come back to the same errors. Recovery brought it home.

I couple of days later I go back out and try to start the bike - it starts fine.

I got a friend to have a look and found the voltages in the battery were a bit low, so we replaced it with a new one. We found that we could replicate a similar condition reliably by turning the bike off with the kill switch (something I never do normally.) After a few seconds the error code would pop up C32 (Injector Signal #1 ( Front)), C33 Injector Signal #2 (Rear), C41 (Fuel Pump Control System (Fuel Pump Relay)), C49 (PAIR Control Solenoid Valve.) These errors could be cleared by turning the key off then on again.

We looked at the other kill switches in the kickstand and the clutch. The kickstand kill switch had the same effect as the red kill switch - same error codes, same ability to reset with the key.

The clutch killswitch did nothing, the bike starts with the clutch out - the switch must be broken.

I brought the bike home again and everything is fine - I'm feeling pretty good about it. Hard learning in brain to always turn the bike off on the key.

Next day I go out to put some GT85 into the sticky ignition and boot (gotta pull the key towards the handbars to turn it.) I try to turn the bike back on and get an F1 error.

I flick the kill switch on and off, nothing, I play with the kick stand and the the gears, nothing. I eventually disconnect the clutch sensor - and the error clears, bike turns on.

I turn it off, turn it back on and it sometimes errors out, sometimes fires up - connecting and disconnecting the clutch sensor stops having an effect.

I get the bike running and take it out for a half our drive - after about 20 minutes when I bring it up to traffic lights and it goes idle it starts struggling and eventually stalls. It might be the dying grumble of the engine and a compelte red herring but I'm pretty sure I can hear the (I'm not going to guess what it is, it's the pump that whines for a few seconds when you first turn the key - fuel primers?) going which is a sound I don't usually hear. Might just be drowned out by the engine usually though.

This is the first bike I've owned - I had a feeling I shouldn't have brought privately first time round due to my lack of knowledge but it was recommended to me by someone who knew the bike. I'm an engineer by trade so know my way around a multimeter, but have never dug around in a bike before - I know someone who maintains his own bikes and has offered to help, but he's never worked on a VStrom. It's booked in for a service but the mechanics are all booked up for weeks so that's a long way off.

Any help or recommendations of what could be wrong would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Try some electrical cleaner in the key slot couple times then dry lube. Had the same problem with my'08. Shop charged 224.00$, then said they couldn't duplicate the problem. The fix worked for me.馃弽馃挩
 

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You obviously have some intermittend electrical problem. If your clutch switch is broken you must replace it. The absence of this contact causes all kind of strange behavior!

What model, where is the bike located, how many miles, what service items have been done to it recently to your knowledge?

Known possible trouble spots of older specimens are the main electrical connector under the left fairing, various connectors tucked behind the radiator, the ignition switch, clutch switch, side stand switch, starter switch (causes headlight problems).

Even if the clutch switch cures your current issues I recommend to take the Tupperware of, remove the tank and check all these connectors for corroded or burned contacts. If good fill with dielectric grease and put back together.

Use your multimeter to check the safety switches.

Look for chafed wires anywhere, that could also cause intermittent issues.

Let us know, what you find. It will live again after a little TLC.
 

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Also install a voltmeter, learn the normal voltages for your bike, and keep an eye on it. On older 2003+ DL1000s, at some point in time the glue that holds the magnets to the rotor fails, and all magnets stick together (or worse). This greatly reduces the charging capacity (voltage) of the bike, leading to erratic behaviour and premature battery discharge/failure.

This can easily be diagnosed by performing the stator/rotor test as detailed in the maintenance manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The model is DL 650 K4
It's located in Bristol, UK
~74k miles on the clock
The last service items were: New brake pads, oil top up, lubed and adjusted chain - that was on the 17th June. Standard service, new oil filter and spark plugs - that was on the 13th March.

I just tried to fire it up again this afternoon and.....well....now it only starts with some enthusiastic twisting on the throttle. This started yesterday. If I let go of the throttle at all, it stalls out. I filmed it to see if anyone could hear what's wrong - it sounds very sick.

Sorry for the URL format - forums say I'm too new to post it.

charden.net/~byte/StromBadStart.mp4
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I found the attached.

I chucked a multi-meter across the terminals on the clutch switch and pulled the leaver a few times - nothing, it's very broken.

Someone has 'fixed' the switch by putting this thing on the wire leading to it - there are metal teeth biting into the wire shorting it to fake the switch being closed.

I looked at the wiring diagram and apparently the clutch wire is connected inline to the starter switch - so leaving the starter of it's shielded from the ECU. So I slapped my multi-meter into the ends of the plug (sitting on my thumb in the picture) and took a reading - the reading jumped around all over the place as I wiggled it.

I thought I'd test by shorting the plug itself (so even if the blue thing fails the plug should still be connected) and turned the key. The bike backfired loudly and didn't start.

What's the best way to solve this blue thing? Strip it off and twist the wire together? Trace it back to the source and replace the whole wire / plug assembly? How solid does the joint need to be?
 

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Remove the blue thing. Make sure that the two wires are not severed. If they are still at least kind of intact, insulate them with tape.

How about that clutch switch? Looking at the PO "repair" it's probably dead. Or he installed an aftermarket clutch lever that has the switch activating bump missing. Take the lever out and inspect what's going on with the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I took the blue "repair" off and the wires looked ok, just a cut through the sheath and a slight dent in the metal wire. I taped it up and bought a new clutch switch, which I attached.

I turned the bike on and hit the starter button.

The starter motor went right away and the engine very weakly tried to start, chugged a couple of times but never managed to get going. I let go of the starter and it immediately dies. After a couple of seconds it gives a sad little "cough" out of the exhaust.

I'm keen to get to the bottom of this and all the mechanics are booked up for a month - so I really appreciate the help!
 

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If I were in the same situation I would do what blaustrom said in paragraph 4 of post number 3. It really looks like you are chasing an electrical problem.

Did you wash the bike recently? Possibly water buildup in the head where the spark plugs reside due to plugged drain holes?

Another potential issue could be a vacuum leak that would explain the rough running/stalling so while you have it apart to check and grease the electrical connections confirm the intakes are bolted down securely and there are no split/damaged/missing vacuum lines.

Good luck!
 

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If it choughs its probably flooded. Try to start it with full open throttle and crank it for a while. Normally eventually it will fire.

Are you sure your battery is in good shape and you have good clean tight contacts and also good ground at the engine case? Sounds like my 04 WEE when the battery was going. It cranked fine but was increasingly hard to start. New battery and all problems vanished. If possible measure the battery voltage and report back: 1. no loads, 2. ignition on, 3. while cranking

gdrew has good points. Also check the little caps on the end of the vacuum lines. They get old and crack with time, as do the vacuum hoses.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I stripped the bike down with the service manual and started looking at the wires - I took apart a few connectors and made sure they looked good, but honestly I didn't really have a clear picture of what I was looking for or doing.

This seems like a task which is way out of my league and frankly I passed my test 24 days ago and I want to be riding, not being a mechanic. Maybe 5 years down the time when I have more expereince this is something I could do.

I'm going to sell the bike to someone as a repair project and find something considerably newer, maybe with a warrenty from a dealer as I'm not confident that even if I fix this problem, there isn't another one waiting around the corner for me.

Thank you for all of the help, I really appreciate it - ya'll are awesome.
 

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Your choice, but as Blaustrom says it could easily be a weak battery - strong enough to turn the engine over but not strong enough to turn it over quick enough.
You fixed the clutch switch. Do you have a multimeter to check the battery as above?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alas, I tested the voltage on the battery and it was just on the lower bounds of ok - so I replaced it. The bike is now running on a brand new battery and it is still not working.
 

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Alas, I tested the voltage on the battery and it was just on the lower bounds of ok - so I replaced it. The bike is now running on a brand new battery and it is still not working.
You mean NOT RUNNING?

Be more specific. Is the new battery fully charged? Please report battery voltage when: 1. everything is off, 2. when the ignition is on and 3. when you operate the starter.

Did you check the main ground cable that goes to the engine block. It must have good clean contact. Also I am sure the new battery terminals have clean contact and are tightened well.

Is it cranking?

Is it firing at all and trying to start (coughing a little) or just cranking and not even a cough?

Did you try to start with full open throttle and crank for at least 1/2 minute?

For it to run you need fuel, air (compression) and spark. You need to figure out which is missing. You have a friend that is a little technical inclined? Solicit some assistance.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Post number 10 describes what happens pretty accurately.

I posted a video of it failing to start. That was pretty specific.

That was all with a brand new, fully charged battery whose voltages were reporting in-line with the service manual. Current when off was below 3 milliamps which suggests no leakage, according to the service manual.

My technically minded friend looked and suggested I post here which I did.

I passed my test less than a month ago, I want to be riding and committing the lessons I learned to memory - the things that will keep me alive, not learning the specifics of how a combustion engine works - that can come after I've enjoyed riding a bike for a few months at least.

I really appreciate the help, but if the general consensus here is that I need to start debugging at a deep level and stepping through the bikes systems to find a fault then it's out of my league right now.

I made a bad decision buying such an old bike so early in my riding career - getting fuatrated at me about that isn't going to do anything aside from make me feel even worse about the situation.
 

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I just listened to the video. So it runs but has no idle.

I would suspect a vacuum leak or the idle not being set correctly at all. the 650 has an idle adjustment screw on the left side (Philips screw type). Try turning that and see if it makes a difference.

Vacuum leak. There are 2 test ports that are capped. Those caps can deteriorate and that will cause problems. Take a flashlight and look for them and make sure they are on and in decent shape. If that all checks out and the vacuum hoses look ok check to make sure both rubber boots coming from the airbox are properly connected to the throttle body. If the bike backfires they can blow off and that also causes all sorts of strange behavior. Not easy to see but with a flashlight and the big side panels of you should be able to see I would think.

Given the repairs made by the PO you can't rule anything out. That's probably why he sold it because he really messed things up.

The ultimate test would be a compression test to verify that the engine is not principally damaged because of neglect. I don't think so or else it would not start at all probably.
 
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