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Old 03-11-2013, 08:15 PM   #1
gkostolny OP
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Question Bizarre '11 990 Adventure Dakar electrical gremlin

I bought a leftover 2011 Adv Dakar last August. Since then I have had a couple of problems with it - a lambda sensor was replaced, and then an electrical short that stranded me late one night due to a wire wearing through and shorting against the rear cylinder head.

Now I am seeing a transient problem that I saw a couple of times before the short was repaired - truly weird, and I haven't seen anything the same based on any of my searching. Hoping some of you experts can help out!

Symptoms: after the bike has been parked for a while (e.g. Today during work) I turn on the ignition, all lights come on, and the gauge sweeps. With the kill switch in the ON position, and standing off to the right of the bike, I press the starter button. NOTHING happens - no noise, no lights dimming, Nada. Bike doesn't start.

Then, I honk the horn, and push the starter button again. The bike starts right up and runs like a champ.

Tried to duplicate once I arrived at home, but it starts right up.

I'm at a loss. I can't reproduce it, so I can't just haul it over to the dealer and hassle them to fix it.

Any thoughts?

Thanks much.

Gabe
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #2
bikepsych
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Gabe,
I'm sorry I can't help out much, but the thought of honking your horn first to get the bike started gave me a chuckle. I've got an 11 as well and am dreading the first electrical issue. These aren't like the old days.

You might trouble shoot it by taking apart the left handlebar pod and disconnect the horn switch and see if that does anything to the starting.

BG
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:38 PM   #3
Zuber
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For really flaky electrical issues - look for bad grounds.

Could be as simple as a dirty starter button contact.

Does the fuel pump prime at turn-on? It should run for 5 sec if the computer thinks it's ok to start the bike. Next time, turn the handle bar switch off/on and listen for the fuel pump.

This type of thing drives us mechanics crazy. I've been tracing a intermintent no-start problem for a friend these last two years or so. It finally broke down and wouldn't start. Was a simple problem with a wire pushed out of a gang connector.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:13 AM   #4
gkostolny OP
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It is pretty funny, but I don't want to get stuck someplace. :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bikepsych View Post
Gabe,
I'm sorry I can't help out much, but the thought of honking your horn first to get the bike started gave me a chuckle. I've got an 11 as well and am dreading the first electrical issue. These aren't like the old days.

You might trouble shoot it by taking apart the left handlebar pod and disconnect the horn switch and see if that does anything to the starting.

BG
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
gkostolny OP
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Thanks, Zuber. But any idea why honking the horn would resolve a dirty starter contact? That seems pretty weird. I'm more suspicious that perhaps it's energizing the wiring and helping resolve an intermittent short or something. However, I'm pretty amateur at troubleshooting electrical issues. Does this make any sense?

thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zuber View Post
For really flaky electrical issues - look for bad grounds.

Could be as simple as a dirty starter button contact.

Does the fuel pump prime at turn-on? It should run for 5 sec if the computer thinks it's ok to start the bike. Next time, turn the handle bar switch off/on and listen for the fuel pump.

This type of thing drives us mechanics crazy. I've been tracing a intermintent no-start problem for a friend these last two years or so. It finally broke down and wouldn't start. Was a simple problem with a wire pushed out of a gang connector.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:23 AM   #6
Deuce
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Electricity is like water. Follow the flow. When water comes to a dam or barrier it will go over, under or around it but always find a way to flow. Same with electricity. It will look for the easiest path to get to where it wants to go. I would strip your bike down (tanks, fairing off etc) and methodically go over every connection and ground. Just takes time and patience. Crack a beer on a rainy day and have at it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:36 AM   #7
Dustodust
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Did you check the battery connections ?
very common for the battery connections to get loose and act random like that
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:45 AM   #8
gkostolny OP
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Thanks, Deuce. I'll try to spend some time on that, unfortunately I have limited garage space and time at the moment, so tearing down the bike is a bit of a pain, but I imagine there's no help for it.

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Electricity is like water. Follow the flow. When water comes to a dam or barrier it will go over, under or around it but always find a way to flow. Same with electricity. It will look for the easiest path to get to where it wants to go. I would strip your bike down (tanks, fairing off etc) and methodically go over every connection and ground. Just takes time and patience. Crack a beer on a rainy day and have at it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #9
gkostolny OP
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The battery connections should be tight - I installed and then removed a pigtail recently, and tightened them as part of each process, but I'll give it a double-check.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
Electricity is like water. Follow the flow. When water comes to a dam or barrier it will go over, under or around it but always find a way to flow. Same with electricity. It will look for the easiest path to get to where it wants to go. I would strip your bike down (tanks, fairing off etc) and methodically go over every connection and ground. Just takes time and patience. Crack a beer on a rainy day and have at it.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:48 AM   #10
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I believe the 990 has the "Low-Voltage-Disable" "Feature" by honking the horn you put a brief fairly high load on the battery, and that could improve the battery connection then improving the voltage reading to the ECU..

I'd check battery terminals, and voltage both at the battery terminals and the un-switched accessory fuse in the fuse box.. The difference should be minimal between them.

Cheers.
Dave
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Old 03-13-2013, 04:37 PM   #11
gkostolny OP
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Thanks, Dave. That's very helpful. I'll check it out.

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Originally Posted by pdxmotorhead View Post
I believe the 990 has the "Low-Voltage-Disable" "Feature" by honking the horn you put a brief fairly high load on the battery, and that could improve the battery connection then improving the voltage reading to the ECU..

I'd check battery terminals, and voltage both at the battery terminals and the un-switched accessory fuse in the fuse box.. The difference should be minimal between them.

Cheers.
Dave
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Old 10-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #12
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Thumbs down Back, and still completely boggled - Help!

So after a short period of no problems after installing a new battery, my 990 has decided to take a dump on me again, and continues to misbehave after quite a bit of messing about. Same symptoms:

- Lights come on, tach sweeps, etc.
- Press the starter button, no click, no hum, nothing
- Press the starter button with the kickstand up, clutch in, bike in neutral, same
- Honk horn, press starter button, bike starts (sometimes)
- Press starter button w/jumper cables attached from a running engine, bike starts

What I've done thus far:
- Replaced battery with a new, fresh Yuasa YTZ14s
- Replaced regulator/rectifier with a new unit from Ricks Motorsport
- Replaced starter button assembly/wiring (fortunately I was doing this anyway to install the KTM LED lights)
- Replaced auxiliary starter relay
- Checked & tightened all grounds on the wiring harness & positive connection to starter
- Checked starter relay for cracks, damage, etc. - nothing
- Checked for obviously frayed/damaged wires in the harness - nothing

This evening after buttoning the bike up I decided to ride up to my girlfriend's place since it had been starting fine all afternoon. It cranked up and ran fine for the 40 minute ride. Parked, turned off, and then tried to turn it on again, and when I pressed the starter button - nothing. Honked the horn and it started right up.

One more detail that may or may not be relevant - when it wouldn't start yesterday, I removed all but the fuel system, power & starter fuses, and it still wouldn't start, so I don't think it is a fault in the horn wiring.

At the main starter relay, power is being delivered to the harness, but when it refuses to start the relay is not closing and no power is delivered to the positive starter connection.

I'm just guessing, but perhaps my next step is to try replacing the main starter relay?

Any other ideas? This has really got me at my wits end.

Thanks!

Gabe
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:11 AM   #13
tacosupreme
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How many volts does it read at the fusebox with the key on? Just because the battery is "new" to you doesn't mean it was manufactured recently. It could have sat on a shelf for years...
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:47 AM   #14
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Still under warranty? I'd let the shop have fun with it. That's what the warranty is for. They will certainly be glad to let you know when it's up.
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Old 10-18-2013, 07:47 AM   #15
gkostolny OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tacosupreme View Post
How many volts does it read at the fusebox with the key on? Just because the battery is "new" to you doesn't mean it was manufactured recently. It could have sat on a shelf for years...
I haven't checked at the fusebox - will do that today. At the starter relay it was reading 12.8.
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