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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Fellow Stromtroopers,

So, in December, I put the bike in her spot, in my heated, insulated garage, with a fresh oil/filter change of 10W40 Spectro Synthetic oil, a full tank of gas with the blue marine grade fuel stabilizer which is supposed to be especially good for fuel with ethanol, (before parking, I ran the fuel through the system on a 15 minute ride to distribute the stabilizer), chain all clean and lubed, in other words, everything copasetic and happy.

During the two months or so that the bike was parked, I intermittently put the battery on my battery tender plus for a week or two at a time. The battery was never down less than 80% charged, according to the tender.

The only work I did on the bike during the winter was to change my front tire. (with a c clamp, and tire irons and dyna beads... yep, pretty proud of myself. Did the rear a few months ago...:thumbup:) Anyway, I held up the front of the bike with a jack, using a wood block under the front connecting bracket for my sw-motech crash bars. Seemed to work fine.

Thinking I would hear the usual couple of quick cranks and then instant start of the engine that I've always heard, even for the first start of the season, I turn the key, press the start button and, holy crap, an ungodly knocking clunking sound is coming from the engine, and the bike is not starting.

I swear my ass off and I try again, with trepidation, and, the same thing happens. Now I'm freaking. And a little bit nervous. So, throwing caution to the wind, I hold the throttle full open, and crank it, noise and all, until it starts. The noise continues, but is immediately dissipating, and within a few moments the bike sounds normal again. Sounds great, in fact.

I take a good long ride, the bike purrs along, and all seems well. I don't get to ride again for two or three weeks, but once or twice, I turn her over just to make sure she starts easy, and she does.

Now, today, I eagerly back the bike out of the garage to go for a ride. Turn the key, press the starter button and... holy crap, the ungodly clunking sound again, and the bike doesn't start! I try the TFO hail mary crank again. It then starts, albeit reluctantly, and the clunking continues for a moment or two then dissipates, and all seems well. My ride is beautiful, the Wee runs like a champ. Even ran into another Stromtrooper Garandman out in the world, as we'd both pulled into a Ducati/Triumph dealer for a look at the beautiful pieces of art they sell there.

So, my question to you all, is, WTF (excuse my language) is happening here? The only difference between this year and last year, is that I used fuel stabilizer... other than that, business as usual. Looking forward to hearing if anyone else out there has experienced this, or if anyone has any suggestions for me. :confused:

Brad,
Exeter, NH
 

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Starter sticking and staying engaged? it might keep it from starting, and would sound horrible once it did start until it disenguaged...

that's all I got....:confused:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey gryphon51. I don't know about that... would that sound like it sounds (high pitched whine) when one accidentally presses the starter button instead of the horn button when the engine's running? I've certainly done that a few times, embarrassed to say.

If that's what you mean, then no. It's not that. It's a clunking (unhealthy sounding) in sync with the starter turning over. Sounds like the engine is falling apart inside. Pretty nasty sound, actually.

Thanks for the response. Hoping for the wealth of knowledge and insight out there to start flowing in...
 

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I just had the exact same thing happen on mine today. Maybe its a lack of lubrication (meaning the oil has drained to the lowest spaces in the engine since it has sat for so long), and after the initial compression is attained and oil flows to the rest of the engine, its business as usual.

Additionally, the only time mine did it when the battery was low. Not dead, and it had enough charge to get it to start, but maybe low enough so the crankin amps aren't quite where they should be, thus causing a greater strain on the engine.

These are just guesses on my part. After that initial fire up, never happened again, so im not too worried.
 

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I also have a K9 and I've never experienced anything like that. I put mine away the same as you only I take the battery out (charge it once a month in the house) and use the usual stabilizer (red stuff). In fact, I took mine out this week for the first time this Spring and it was the same as it has been. Two to three cranks, starts right up, no funny noises, just like I never put it away.

Funny you would be experiencing this already. I would second the notion about checking that starter, maybe the solenoid is bad. Sure hope you get it fixed quickly, wouldn't mind knowing myself since we have the same year...:beatnik:
 

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Similar but yet different experience, but the oil comment may make sense? I live in NC so ride all winter. About 2-weeks ago, I accidentally dropped mine while walking it out of the garage at 5:30AM - tripped on a slight dropoff. That obviouslly redistributed the oil inside the engine. When I picked the bike up and cranked it up, it had the EXACT sound you describe - I thought, "well, just trashed my engine"... After getting her going and and running for a bit, like it never happened???? No problems since...
 

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ride ride ride. it'll go away if you stop listening to it....
 

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I am by no means a technical expert, but one thing I noted was your reference to fuel with Ethanol. I was told by the dealer to never use fuel containing Ethanol in the Wee.
 

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E10 gasoline (10% ethanol) is the most common gas here, and usually no problem. When in storage, its predilection to absorb water from the air can be a problem, and the ethanol specific fuel stabilizer (part marketing, part good stuff) can help in that regard.

Brad, did you use the stabilizer in the correct proportion? It almost sounds like the engine is firing poorly on starting due to some improper stuff in the fuel. You might try siphoning all the old gas out and using fresh gas. Use the old gas mixed with good stuff in your car or truck.
 

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Most fuel, at least in large metropolitan areas in the United States, has up to 10% ethanol added for clean air reasons. This has been common practice for several years and both automotive and motorcycle manufacturers have taken this into account in their engine and fuel management design. It is certainly preferable to use non ethanol fuel if it is available, but in most cases that is not a choice. Methanol should never be used in any volume, but I have never seen it used in fuel in areas I travel.

As for the original posters issue, my guess is that it has something to do with not having oil pressure immediately during start up. Since you changed the oil and filter, I would suspect maybe a bad oil filter. You didn't mention what brand of filter you used, but it could happen to any brand. Try changing it out and see if that helps. It is $10.00, but may give you peace of mind.

If you used Sta-Bil brand ethanol treatment which is the blue marine version, it is a fuel treatment more than a fuel storage additive. They suggest the blue for general everyday use and the red for storage. Check out their website as the bottle is a little misleading. That being said, I don't think that is causing the issue.
 

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I'd drain the fuel and refill with fresh petrol , i used to work on mowers, chainsaws ect (mechanic) up until a few months ago , we have been having a lot of problems with fuel in the last two years or so in OZ :thumbdown: it goes off very quickly the new fuels :yesnod: in fact we were telling customers not to use E10 in their saws or mixed 2 stroke fuel that was over 3 weeks old in their saws !!!!! :fineprint: its also is causing problems in the 4 stroke motors.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
E10 gasoline (10% ethanol) is the most common gas here, and usually no problem. When in storage, its predilection to absorb water from the air can be a problem, and the ethanol specific fuel stabilizer (part marketing, part good stuff) can help in that regard.

Brad, did you use the stabilizer in the correct proportion? It almost sounds like the engine is firing poorly on starting due to some improper stuff in the fuel. You might try siphoning all the old gas out and using fresh gas. Use the old gas mixed with good stuff in your car or truck.
Hey PTRider, yeah, the bottle I used has a measuring dispenser in the top, and I was pretty careful with the proportion as they make it fairly easy. I might just drain the tank, though, or, take a damn long ride as the bike runs beautifully after that initial start up nightmare.

In fact, if I were to go and start the bike right now, there wouldn't be a problem. Remember, this has only happened twice. From what's happened so far, it seems the problem only occurs if the bike goes for more than two or three weeks without being started.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Most fuel, at least in large metropolitan areas in the United States, has up to 10% ethanol added for clean air reasons. This has been common practice for several years and both automotive and motorcycle manufacturers have taken this into account in their engine and fuel management design. It is certainly preferable to use non ethanol fuel if it is available, but in most cases that is not a choice. Methanol should never be used in any volume, but I have never seen it used in fuel in areas I travel.

As for the original posters issue, my guess is that it has something to do with not having oil pressure immediately during start up. Since you changed the oil and filter, I would suspect maybe a bad oil filter. You didn't mention what brand of filter you used, but it could happen to any brand. Try changing it out and see if that helps. It is $10.00, but may give you peace of mind.

If you used Sta-Bil brand ethanol treatment which is the blue marine version, it is a fuel treatment more than a fuel storage additive. They suggest the blue for general everyday use and the red for storage. Check out their website as the bottle is a little misleading. That being said, I don't think that is causing the issue.
Thanks so much to all of the responses, and for you all thinking out loud on this with me.

My initial thinking was fuel. Now I too am wondering about oil pressure. The oil filters I always use are Suzuki OEM filters. I've never used full synthetic Spectro 10W40 though. I've used Spectro Dino 10W40, and for many changes before this last one, Rotella T6 synthetic 5W40.

So... which is it? Oil? Fuel? Something we're not thinking of? Do I drain the fuel, AND the oil, change the filter and see what happens? Any other thoughts or ideas anyone???
 

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The spirit medium tells me that you have a leaky injector filling a cylinder with gas.

You get minor hydrolock if it was major you would be bending a con rod
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The spirit medium tells me that you have a leaky injector filling a cylinder with gas.

You get minor hydrolock if it was major you would be bending a con rod
That's outside the box... Have you heard of this on a bike with 12,000 miles? What causes this leak, do you know?

And, do you or anyone know how to test for/fix this leak?
 

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I believe you said you had to open the throttle to get it started each time. This leads me to think its a fuel or injector problem. Holding the throttle open is not a normal thing to get a Strom started. Done it twice in 20,000 miles. I'd drain the tank and put in fresh gasoline with Seafoam. Maybe an injector has some junk built up in it and is leaking. I'm with Richw.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I believe you said you had to open the throttle to get it started each time. This leads me to think its a fuel or injector problem. Holding the throttle open is not a normal thing to get a Strom started. Done it twice in 20,000 miles. I'd drain the tank and put in fresh gasoline with Seafoam. Maybe an injector has some junk built up in it and is leaking. I'm with Richw.
Ah, so using the seafoam product can clear out gunk in the injector, and stop the leak. Alright, that does make sense.

Rather than drain the gas, I think I'll just ride out the fuel, because the bike runs well, and as long as I keep riding every few days, I don't think I'll have a problem starting the bike... if it is a fuel leak into the cyllinder it must be slow enough to take weeks to become problematic. So i'll wait until the next fill up.

Any other ideas are welcome, and I appreciate the responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Similar but yet different experience, but the oil comment may make sense? I live in NC so ride all winter. About 2-weeks ago, I accidentally dropped mine while walking it out of the garage at 5:30AM - tripped on a slight dropoff. That obviouslly redistributed the oil inside the engine. When I picked the bike up and cranked it up, it had the EXACT sound you describe - I thought, "well, just trashed my engine"... After getting her going and and running for a bit, like it never happened???? No problems since...
Anyone think that instead of oil related, this could mean that gas was redistributed (ie. sent into the cyllinder) due to the drop? Because this would add evidence towards our community working theory... :confused:
 

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battery

my guess is it would be the battery as my bike was doing the exact same after sitting for only a week or so. i have a 05 with the original battery. if i keep the tender on it when i park it, she fires flawlessly, no tender no smooth start. i am replacing the battery this week.
 

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As i said before, i had the same problem. Mine tured out to actually be 3 things.

1) i had changed the oil to 20-50 on the recommendation of someone else. Good for warm weather, but we had a few nights here below freezing recently, and it was only 35 the day it happened.

2) weak battery

3) gas - i put it away full tank, some had definitely evaporate, so the gas was pretty crappy. I put in a bunch of sea foam, and am doing what you are planning (running it out).

the fix? Changed oil to shell 5-40 synthetic today, battery tendered the battery (may replace if it tests weak), and the seafoam treatment. Seems to work like a champ now.
 
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