CaveBiker -No Return Ticket – Just a Ride Report /w Pics

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by cavebiker, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. clarkebd

    clarkebd Custom Title Goes Here

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    Cary, NC
    Great Mexico report so far too! Thanks again for the wonderful pics!

    With all the advice given, I have to think one of those items is the culprit. I would check all of them of course. I've had the sidestand safety switch problem myself once.
  2. bross

    bross Where we riding to?

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    That has to be electrical. Great report and good luck with the bike.
  3. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Hey Jeffcoll, Great point! No matter what I will check all the wiring. I had handlebars where the wiring went through the bars. I replaced them with bars that ran the wires outside. I was afraid the wires would short inside the handlebars and I would be hosed. But this still could be an issue somewhere else, like inside the headlight shell like you suggest.
    Thanks so much for the input and good words.
  4. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Thanks again kbear. Cabo, dirty job but we just may have to cruise through for the bikes sake.
  5. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    No side stand switch but my buddy hipster suggested there may be a tip over mercury switch on the Sporty. Don't think there is one but I need to check it out. Thanks for the help amigo!
  6. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Yes it seems like it has to be electrical. Thanks for the confirmation and the good words.
  7. TexasPrairieRider

    TexasPrairieRider Texan

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    Dec 10, 2005
    Oddometer:
    624
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    6 hours to the border lands
    full tank of fuel and hot temps. vacum lock? W.A.G.
    (wild ass guess)
  8. blueglide88

    blueglide88 Been here awhile

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    This sounds like it could be the problem. Vapor lock? No way, the line from the fuel tank to the carb is pretty short, I've ridden Harleys all my life and never had vapor lock.

    Another thing you could look into is the ignition sensor, if your bike has one. What year is it again? On my 1988 FLHS, there is an ignition sensor plate mounted in the "nose cone" that picks up timing off the cam. They do go bad, and high temps can bring out the gremlins in them when they are bad. It's a cheap item, maybe around $50, and can beinstalled yourself and timed good enough to ride, but I suggest you get a timing light to do it right.

    Your problem is most certainly electrical from what you describe. If you need any assistance, look at the XL Forum for advice. The Sporty people over there can help with problems and advice.

    http://www.xlforum.net/vbportal/
  9. blueglide88

    blueglide88 Been here awhile

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    No tipover mercury switch on any Sporties.
  10. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    Phoenix, in the Arcadia area
    Cavebiker,

    How did you mount those bags to the bike? None of the really "cool" saddlebags have mounts to fit Sportsters.

    BTW, I found this site after first looking at your Smugmug gallery devoted to your Mexico trip.
  11. BriKielyGSman

    BriKielyGSman BigBadBri

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2006
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada-motorcycle hell......
    Just checked out this thread and also your photos on Smugmug......fantastic. I love how you guys can just up and leave the daily grind for a couple of years!! I would love to do that!!! I am too chicken I guess. Maybe this 10 - week ride we are going on will light the fire to bigger ventures??

    I see that you are using the Pack Safe Nets on your gear. I was thinking of the same thing. How do you like using them?

    I will keep following this thread and let you know if we end up in the same vicinity.

    Brian
  12. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Hey blueglide88
    It’s a 1995 XL1200. I also think it’s electrical for sure based on the way it cuts out like a switch. My plan is to replace the breakers with fuses. If the bike cuts out again and then starts up again it can’t be the fuses. When a fuse blows it stays blown. If it never cuts out again I will suspect the breakers were the problem. If it cuts out again and never restarts I have an electrical overload problem. I think that covers every possibility. I hope it never cuts out again but if it does I have one more thing to consider as the problem, ignition sensor. I have a vision in my mind of a sensor under the left engine side cover. Or maybe that’s on my XS650, not sure. I really appreciate your input here. This is all valuable information and is part of what makes this forum great. O and also, thank you for the XL forum link. I will get into that and check it out.
    ==================================================
    Another buddy of mine from Murderapolis said he was on an organized ride this summer in Nevada and a guy with a Harley had the same thing happen to him and it ended up to be a faulty breaker. Another +1 (Big big smile) What I want to know is why did HD design in circuit breakers instead of fuses? Where they trying to anticipate intermittent problems that would blow the breakers then go away so then the bike can keep going without the rider doing anything? It just seems to me that if there is a current overload a fuse should blow and force the rider to replace the fuse. At least then you would know for sure you have a blown fuse and a current overload problem, no questions. What am I missing here? Do other bikes have breakers instead of fuses? I’m sure the HD design engineers didn’t anticipate getting crappie breakers. Maybe some bright procurement engineer saved the company a few pennies by sourcing cheaper breakers. I’m sure the original source of breakers didn’t have this problem.
  13. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Ya, cool bags for sure. You can check out all the gory details on how I mounted the bags --> shake-out trip report for this ride. --> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=148418 They have been holding up great so far and we pack them to the gills.
  14. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Hayward, WI
    Hey BriKielyGSman, right back atcha. 10 week ride to South America and back, 2-up. Now that’s a Big Venture if there is one. Our wives should meet. There probably would be some type of kinetic energy event accruing somewhere from it. We are a couple of lucky dudes. (BriKielyGSman ride report, check it! -> http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=259451 )

    I have used the pac-safe system since my ride to Belize in 02’. As with anything it’s not fool proof but it does prevent the snatch and run type of robberies. The peace of mind when you are at border crossings or anywhere where you leave your bike alone unguarded is worth the expense and the extra weight for sure. I also made up steel cables with loops on each end to lock our sleeping bags, tent, tank bag, helmets and even our leather jackets to the bike. I have read stories here of riders watching thieves steal and run with their tank bag saying, there is nothing they could do. I say to myself “You mean the bag wasn’t locked to the bike and you were traveling through Central America. Da!” You can buy the steel cable at any hardware store along with the hardware to create the loops.

    Good luck with your upcoming ride.
  15. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

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    brisvegas,oz
    great story cavebikers,keep ye' pic's comin' there great:clap
  16. blueglide88

    blueglide88 Been here awhile

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    I've never had a circuit breaker go bad in over 25 yrs on any Harley. If it is the breaker, that is telling you there is a short somewhere else in the electrical system. Now I'm not much on electronics, but you should thank your lucky stars for the breaker because with a fuse you're dead on the side of the road unless you have a spare. The further you get from home, what are the chances you'll find spare fuses?

    The ignition plate sensor will be on the right side of your bike ( as you sit on it), under the round nose cone. Right beneath where your pushrods ride on the cams. Here is a link showing how to time your motor. Without a timing light, loosen the screws and rotate the NEW sensor plate untill the bike runs good. Before you remove the old sensor plate, mark the position of the plate so you will know the approximate orientation for the new sensor plate. Also, if the cover has never been removed, you'll need to drill out the rivets to get it off the first time. After that, use screws to hold it on.

    http://www.nightrider.com/biketech/ignition_timing_00.htm

    Scroll to the bottom of the page, and in the diagram #8 is the sensor plate that I suspect is at the heart of your problems.
  17. Hipster

    Hipster Long timer

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    2,030
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    Mpls, Mn.
    Hey Tom,

    I went to the library today and they didn't have a manual for a 1995 Sporty. But, my 2003 Sporty has four 15 amp fuses and a 30 amp main breaker. Also, I'm not sure if your bike has the bank angle sensor, on my bike its located on under the left side cover. To test it, with the bike running place a magnet on top of the sensor, if the motor quits its operating properly.

    Tom
  18. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Hayward, WI
    Thanks blueglide88. For sure the only way I'm going to be able to tell if it's a breaker problem or current overload in the ignition circuit or an ignition sensor problem or something else is to start ruling things out. I really appreciate the link you sent me. If I determine it's a sensor problem I'm confident I can get a new one installed and adjusted using this info you provided me. Divide and conquer is the key for me now. I can with 100% certainty determine if it’s a breaker problem or a current overload problem by replacing the breakers with fuses. 1: If I blow a fuse it’s a current overload. 2: If the bike never kills again it’s a faulty breaker problem. 3: If the bike kills again and I didn’t blow a fuse then it’s something else, faulty ignition sensor hopefully. blueglide88 without your input I would be lost if my experiment ended up to be #3. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your help as I do the help from everyone else here. Advrider community rocks!
  19. cavebiker

    cavebiker Old School Adventurer

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    Hipster! Are you telling me that HD designed out the 4 breakers and replaced them with 4 fuses on your 03’ sporty?

    You told me in an email that my 95’ sporty has 2 15 amp breakers and 2 10 amp breakers. Is this 100% for sure? This is super important because the numbers on my breaker in question is rubber off. Thanks Tom for all the help you have been giving me in emails.
  20. blueglide88

    blueglide88 Been here awhile

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    wow....I did not know Sporties had bank angle sensors. I learned something today.