Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Mid January Already?

Wow! It is already the 13th and this year is just bounding by. I have ridden nearly every day this year so far, but that comes to an end today. Not a serious reason, just a reason. I guess I need to back up.

I reattached the pig pen to Petunia back on December 20th. It took the best part of two days to get her aligned just right. I loosened up every adjustment point on the mounting brackets and cut blocks of wood to hold both the hack and Petunia where they should be. Checking the alignment with every tightened bolt was time consuming and worthwhile in the end. When it came time to remove the blocks the ones on the hack just pulled right out, the outside one on Petunia came out with a touch of effort, and the inside one required the use of a BFH. That would be a big f’ing hammer in technical terms. Took her out for a spin and she drove great. I was surprised just how well she drove.

A couple of weeks ago we were going to ride north, looking for that cold, white stuff that has many sitting next to a fire instead of riding. Left out in 36 degrees and by the time we got to Wickenburg it was down into the high 20’s. Petunia wasn’t running very well, Linda was a popsicle, and I was shivering, so we stopped for breakfast to warm up and then headed home.

The issue with Petunia was she would run 80 in fourth gear, but not over 65 in fifth, and even slower in sixth. Plus the gas gauge was dropping like it had an anchor. After eating we filled up and headed back to town. It was warmer and Petunia started running better. After forty or so miles of hills she came to life and would run 80 in sixth gear. I noticed when she began to run that the oil temperature was up to 180. So, I have a question to the mechanics out there; is it possible that the cold temperature and running an oil cooler won’t allow the motor to reach operating temperatures? And if it can, would that explain why she wouldn’t run. I have since blocked off the oil cooler, but haven’t taken her out to see if it made a difference.

That leads to not riding today. Terrible Terry the Texting Idiot didn’t notice the lane restriction until he was about to run into the barricades. Instead of stopping he accelerated and cut over, not really in front of me, more like next to me, and I had to test the stopping ability of Petunia for the first time with the pig pen attached. She flunked the test. No, I didn’t hit TTTI, she stopped, but the brake on the hack locked up. Tight. With some effort I got her out of traffic and unhooking the brake line allowed me to get it to loosen enough to ride the ¾ mile left to get home. I’ll be taking it apart tonight to try and find out what happened.

A year ago getting a hack seemed like a good idea to me. Today not so much and I’m beginning to believe that this is an exercise in futility that is about to come to an end. I’m thinking….if I sold the pig pen and had a 95” upgrade to Petunia wouldn’t that be better than a new bike? At least there wouldn’t be any payments.


  1. The BFH is my tool of choice! LOL!

    Glad you didn't hit TTTI.

    I will ask Caveman to look at this. It seems to me that you're correct and she's not getting up to operating temp. But I am not the expert.

    We'll be in St. Louis for BACA this weekend. See you when we get back. :)

  2. At those temperatures and with the wind chill at speed is it possible you were getting carburetor icing? (That is if your bike is carburetted and not FI.)

  3. Never was big on a hack. However, I like the sound of that upgrade...especially the no payments part.

  4., I knew what that was the moment I read it. (Although the next though after hammer was headache.)

    Alright...look, I'm not a mech, but here is my pea brained observations. Yeah, you sucked fuel if you ran in 4th for very long. (yeah, I know you thought about this but this is all I came up with considering the info you gave here.) Oil cooler? Man...I don't know if that would affect 5th and 6th power. Yeah, the bike wouldn't run optimal but not like that. They have oil coolers with thermostats that will only cool the oil when it hits 220 or something like that.

    I have been without my bike for a week. Maybe some of my problem was yours. ECM bullshit is the only thing I can think of...but that don't mean much coming from me. Bad sensors? pfffttt.... can take it from here. I'll ask around.

  5. heh, I'm a moron...I had inner primary bearing issues. Since it was replaced my 6th has given new meaning to the word "overdrive"

  6. In my opinion, which you should be very leery of, it’s not the oil temp. If it’s tuned properly it should run about the same at 100 degrees as it does at 200 degrees. When it’s at normal operational temp all you get is optimal combustion. You shouldn’t really notice a difference to the degree that mentioned. I don’t recall if you run a carb or EFI. If it’s a carb, take it apart and check the float. If it’s EFI, it’s out of whack. Do you have O2 sensors? Are they working? Are the O2 sensors, the speed sensor and the throttle position sensor all sending the correct signal to the ECM? These are things I would need to know. Hell, I don’t even know what engine you have! What model Honda did you say that was? :)

  7. Willy the specs are; '03, 88" EFI, no 02 sensors, Dakota speed sensor needed after the six speed swap, Know nothing about the throttle sensor or if it even has one. The only part thats Honda is the gas tank. Didn't want to be a brand snob, don't ya know.

  8. It should have a sensor on the throttle body that tells the ECM how much throttle you’re giving it. That may not be working correctly. Or you may have an intake leak. The air/fuel mixture seems wrong.

    Aftermarket or stock ECM / ignition?

  9. ah yes, the BFH, a necessary tool when riding my Ural...not so much with the Beemer.

    your symptoms were sounding like a clogged air filter or carbs but since you're EFI, no way. Air filter would have remained same issues after temps warmed up....sorry. I damn sure don't know Harleys at all so I'll shut up.

    Glad you got Petunia hooked up, hope you get the fuel/air thing figured out, recommend electrics to keep your passenger happy.....

  10. Willy, I forgot to mention the Power Commander on the previous post. I had issues with it on the way to Sturgis, had it dynoed and reset, and just the bike has been doing great. But, attach the sidecar and it goes to Hell.

  11. Ditch the sidecar and be free. Since it hardly snows there, you can't show off like Charlie6 anyway!

    Besides, I don't think I've ever been able to brake hard enough to actually freeze up a brake on a bike.

    Wow, what a trip, eh?

  12. So if I read you right, the bike runs fine alone. Hook up the hack and it runs not so fine. Is that correct? The weight might slow you down a bit but not totally screw it up. Assuming you have a tire on the sidecar. You do have a tire on it, don’t you? So now you got me thinking about the electrical connection between the two. Any ECM, Power Commanders included, need to receive and send signals at a very precise voltage. If you’re tapped into a wire that has anything to do with signals too or from the control unit you might have issues. Even pulling 1 microvolt from the wrong wire would cause problems. Just for shits and giggles try unhooking the hacks harness and see what happens when you ride it.

  13. Mr. AHD: First thing either get a thermostat for that oil cooler or cover it up. The oil temps needs to get to at least 180f to burn off condensation and other crap in the oil. The preferred choice would be the 'stat route.

    As far as the running goes. What do you mean it wouldn't run in 5/6th gear? Was the motor backfiring or just not pull and the harder you twisted it made only more noise? My guess is it just made more noise. There is a temp sensor in the front head and with a motor that wasn't getting up to temp it was reporting a cold motor. As such the PC responded by dumping more fuel in and making the motor over rich. It's a viscous circle. More throttle, more fuel, cold motor, more fuel. Rise repeat.

    I suspect if you get your oil temps up to normal operating temps then you will be able to ride with the Pig Pen attached in even the coldest weather.


    PS 95" kits sounds good either way :)