Tuesday, September 6, 2016

A Day In The Dirt

Tuesday morning was the appointed time to take Stella off the beaten path.  It was a beautiful, cool, sunny morning to be out for a ride.

Went out to Lake Pleasant and headed toward the Castle Hot Springs Road.  

Goodby asphalt.

 Let the fun begin.

While sitting around the house getting out to play in the dirt sounded like a good time.  Forget the fact I haven’t ridden off-road in near 30 years, I knew it would be fun.  Fun can be subjective and if looking for pucker power this morning was a ton of fun.  It was quickly apparent the Automatic Traction Control, ATC, wasn’t conducive to this road condition, so I stopped and turned it off.  That allowed me to be in control of where the rear end was going.  

Easiest section of the road.

 This is where it started to get bad and only got worse.

Washboard, rocks, and then the sand of the 4 mile river bottom section and Stella bucked, bounced, slid, and tried to fall over.  In spite of my best efforts to topple her she wouldn’t lay down.  On two really close calls a hard twist of the throttle caused her to jump back upright before anything but her tires where on the ground.  The further I rode in the worse the road got.  After about 7 miles I found a wide enough area to turn around and made my way out.  It was all the dirt road I wanted for the day.

Things I learned about Stella today was she has a hesitation and lack of throttle response between 2-3,000 RPM.   This makes the slow riding I was trying to do today difficult.  In the 14, or so, miles on dirt today Stella got really hot.  I stopped once back on the asphalt and let her cool for about 20 minutes.  I believe both of these issues are related to the factory fuel map.  Reading the MG forums there are a couple of ways to address this.  One costs around $1,800 and needs a Power Commander V, some other thing to connect to the computer,  a new exhaust, and modify the air filter assembly.  The other one requires the bike to remain stock, download a free program, buy a set of cables for $40 that come from the UK and ask the guy to send me the MAP for my specific bike.  I have downloaded the program and ordered the cables.

It really is my intent to keep Stella as close to factory stock as possible and have her be the best, most reliable bike possible.


  1. Interesting about the custom efi mapping, I hope it works for you....I too would hesitate to add on all the other paraphenalia to fix the issues you encountered.

  2. Charlie6; Not just hesitate, refuse to go there! One of the biggest things I love about Stella is how quiet she is and will never change that. I think I have finally outgrown loud pipes. Staying stock on the ECM unit is also a must for me.

  3. I am glad you two got some gravel time. I sounds like although it is more road oriented she will be fine in the gravel with some tweaking.

    Congrats on keeping her upright, that is better than some tigers I know.