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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by LoneStar, Sep 7, 2017.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge and view over photography, I'm a fan of your work.
Ah yes, the small minded, petty egos of so many photographers and the arrogance that typically accompanies it. I know it well
One's life is never diminished by helping others. Thanks and happy to share!
Thanks for this post. I had one of those 'aha' moments while reading it. Those are always fun for me. The excitement of a 'new' discovery, followed by the disappointment when I realize that everyone else already knew what I had just 'discovered'.
Anyway, my 'moment' was that there is a clear line between "photography" and "picture taking".
For ME, that line is this - 'picture taking' records a moment. the resulting image is probably only ever going to be of interest to me or my immediate friends and family as a recording of a memory. Say, vacation photos with the family, or my bike at a mountain overlook. Then we all post them on facebook or something.
'Photography' creates an image that is visually interesting to even a complete stranger.
You do photography. and I'm sure the memories recorded are great for you as well! Most of us just take pictures. but even then, we can use techniques to make those pictures more interesting.
I'm literally the last to figure this out aren't I?
Anyway your post was great, and inspired me to do some more reading. So many times I've seen something and thought 'I want to record this' and not been happy with the result - it never seems to really capture the feel I was trying to convey.
Hope you get the bike running. Both for you, and because I like reading your posts and want the trip to continue for my own selfish reasons!!!
Salma texted me and asked me to pass on to you the offer of the use of her Gulfstream G650 if you want to fly Hank down there to look at the bike. She also said "Tell Joseph great thread by the way"
She's a big ADV fan
Now there's a trick to make your subject "pop" - transparent background!
I'm sorry, were you saying something?...
Lost my train of thought.
It's not nice to play tricks on me Trice
At least the dress wasn't transparent
After several hours at the shop, pulling the tank and going over every plug, vacuum hose and you name it, we found nothing that could cause the issue short of some sensor that chose to commit suicide while the bike was apart. Multiple times I used the GS911 tool resetting and calibrating everything for the 10th time. Cristobal used an analyzer he had and found nothing. Neither of us had any fault codes.
I did the throttle sensor reset and he triple checked the throttle cables at the Bowden box, pulled the intake tubes and readjusted the butterfly valves. Pulled the plugs to find them heavily fouled of course and checked spark on an old set. After all this it started okay, but in 5 minutes was belching exhaust laden with fuel and thumping a terrible idle.
Hank was on the phone and giving directions for various things much of the time but we were stumped. I finally got frustrated and added some blue to the sky with a few choice words. Cristobal said he felt new plugs might be the cure which I disagreed with as they were new before leaving and whatever caused them to foul was still the issue. Nevertheless we needed new plugs and he disappeared to find a set while I tried yet again with the GS911.
He returned having found zero of the NGK plugs specified for the GSA. There are no other plug manufacturers other than NGK so cross referencing was no good. I always carry a spare set of plugs, but of course this time I had to make hard decisions and left them out of the tool kit since I put in a brand new set and figured they'd be available if I needed them.
Only solution was to ship NGK's in from Quito. Another 2 days wait and still no solution on the idle and super rich running.
As I sat contemplating the next move - ship the bike to the dealer in Quito and wait for another two weeks while some other expensive electronica is shipped in, or, try to ship the bike to Lima to a dealer and the BS involved in crossing border as well as travel and waiting there, or, fly Hank in with his BMW computer to diagnose and repair, or just ship the bike to the port of Guayaquil and send it back, killing the trip effectively. Shipping home sounds silly until you factor in all the local or cross border shipping, the amount of money and time spent waiting in hotels and additional repair costs. Sitting on my ass in Cuenca for a month now has burned a lot of money in addition to the parts and delivery plus repair bill. On a tight budget it's a serious issue and the time wasted is really affecting my time ahead. I really don't want to blow through countries after all this if I can. Sitting in another city and waiting 2 or 3 weeks for parts and further repairs isn't going to happen. It's a dilemma.
In the midst of it, Cristobal came in and said he remembered fixing an HP2 with similar issue and it was water in the TPS sensor and was going to check. Indeed, there was water in the unit which he attributed to happening when the bike was washed after reassembly.
He cleaned and dried it, then fired it up and it sounded almost normal, which has been happening when cold but shortly goes to crap. This time it seemed to last a bit longer then crapped again. He pulled the TPS again and blew it out and on installation the bike fired again and ran about 5 or 6 minutes without stumbling but ran a little rough, possibly due to the fouled plugs.
I'm not holding my breath, but maybe the new plugs and the TPS combo will cure it. I told him it's his turn to ride it an hour into the mountains when the plugs come in. I'm not knocking Cristobal as he has really been working hard on it and is a sharp guy.
The fault lies in the complexity of the big BMW's and the ancient engine design with the internal clutch. Simple things as exclusive spark plugs and such makes it a poor world travel bike. That I know and despite the number seen in exotic places it's a crap shoot or Russian roulette if you prefer to take one. That's no news to me and I've always said I'd NEVER take one across Russia or really exotic places. I chose it because I love the bike and it's ability to swallow long trips and not even burp, as well as it's surprising abilities off road. The catch comes when they break, and they do. One of my compadres from the Stahlratte, a rider from Germany, had 4, count them, 4, final drive failures between New York and Cali, Colombia. All were covered by BMW, but really?
He made it to Santiago, Chile from Cali but shipped home from there.
All these things I factored in when I chose to continue south on my GSA, since it was trouble free until 60,000 miles when I found the drive shaft about to fail and replaced it in Texas. 8,000 miles later the rear main seal leak. I don't have the cash to buy a new bike every year or two so I live with what I have. I'm also aware that simpler bikes are better, many GS's have no issues, yada yada. I love the BMW and what it can do, but if you're considering a bike to buy for the trip south, be aware of the realities. I have always considered the big Beemers to be USA and Europe bikes, where dealers are rarely 500 miles apart. At the New Years Party I was tempted to set mine on fire and jump over it for good luck while everyone else was doing the same with the dummies, and maybe I should have
Hoping the TPS and plugs will be the answer, but if it can't be sorted I'll likely ship it home since reality is, any other BMW shop likely won't have the stupidly expensive parts in stock, and I'll waste more time and money in another city twiddling my thumbs. In a couple of days I'll know hopefully.
We have been in Acapulco for a month, and I still have not fired up the KTM 640, for the exact reasons you are going through. Instead we are hopping on the scooter to go to the movies right now! Hang in there!
P.S. Flying Hank in, does not sound half bad at this point.
Not totally related, but I chased a similar issue for a few months on my Montero. It would run great for days and the start acting up, especially in humid weather. It got so bad, that it would not start under some conditions. I cleaned, re-calibrated and adjusted everything i could find multiple times.
It ended up being the MAF. it was working, not throwing codes, but the signal was very erratic. I replaced it with a junkyard unit (a new unit was $700, rebuilt $450 and I was not sure it was the issue) and it ran perfect, better than it had in years. Smooth and quiet at an idle and my mileage improved tremendously.
My point is that the issue could be the TPS (that was wet, but now may be bad) and possible the plugs. A little moisture can cause severe issues, even when you think you have it clean and dry.
You could always call Veronica
I'm really sorry all that lame shit is going down, but I gotta applaud you for your efforts and for keeping your sense of humor.
That's some classic stuff right there.
Hopefully it will just go. That might be wishful thinking; something certainly seems wrong. If you could watch all the sensor inputs on a code reader interface the way we do with cars through OBDII, it would be immediately apparent if one wasn't reporting correctly. Could even be a connector not making a solid connection. I hope it works out somehow, and I guess it always does. Que Dios le guíe. At least it's only $8/day for lodging and no more that for daily sustenance. Adds up, I realize, but for the silver lining, it's so much less than back home, and you're (mostly) having fun.
this sucks. wishing you the best of luck.
we don't ride the far South (yet) but do ride remote areas in the far North... Hate long slab rides on our G650GS (but the bikes do well in the dirt) but we have had pretty good luck so far repairing issues (watch us get snake bit this year and need a tow)... the challenge in two more years is we will be doing more asphalt (but still some dirt) USA rides thus the 650s will go away... Based upon this BMW 1200 story (and others) we will not be upgrading to a BMW 1200... probably a Honda AT
Check the secondary air solenoid if that year has one, and that the carbon canister doesn’t have fuel in it that is getting sucked in.
Sounds like a sensor type issue related to it going closed loop once it warms up
Whatever it is, it's something simple; it's just a matter of finding it.
Believe it or not, I had a similar issue on a K75S. It ran really rough for months as we tried everything. Then, the mechanic at BMW related a story of water in the TPS on another bike (we were out of ideas frankly) so we dried out the sensor unit and it amazingly fixed the problem! I bet it works for you. Good luck,
Happy New Year. Just got caught up with both halves of your journey and it is an inspiring, enjoyable read. The photographs are just brilliant. Hope you get your bike sorted and back on the road soon. Anxiously awaiting the next installment.
I'm very sorry to read about your seemingly never ending problems with the GSA. I can only imagine how frustrating it must be. I so hope that you can find the problem, get it fixed and continue with your ride. It would be such a shame if you had to abort and return to the US.
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Top 10 Compact Cameras for Travelers (Nat Geo's picks)
This is a good list of travel cameras and might help if you're looking to move up.