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Old 06-13-2015, 02:47 PM   #1
DualDog OP
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Transalp Mechanical Questions/Issues

I have a 1989 Transalp. Always starts immediately as soon as starter button is pushed.

Today. It started and kept stalling as soon as I let go of the throttle so I adjusted idle up.

I then noticed tach was not registering it was sitting at zero. Turned it off and back on several times.

I decided to pull out of the driveway for just a few blocks test run and it ran but just did not have power when giving it throttle. Only got up to around 35. Shifted through gears ok. Returned home.

I was in a hurry so I got out my KLR650 to go out where I needed to go.

Came back about 2 hours later and started it up and now it runs fine. Good power and no issues. Tach was now working again. Anybody have any idea why I did not have power and how that would be related to no tachonometer registration.

Any help here would be appreciated. Sometimes I ride this quite a distance from home and trying to trouble shoot so I am not left stranded.
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:41 PM   #2
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CDI...poor contact or one of them is dead.

Usually cold welds on the print board...
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Old 06-13-2015, 03:58 PM   #3
RodT
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Check out this thread

There is lots of info on this Transalp thread, but I agree it is one of the cdi's going bad I think it is the right one. Common problem with this bike, most riders carry a spare. Also there is an update on the mount because of the seat hitting the vertical mounted ones.
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=39170
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Old 06-13-2015, 04:40 PM   #4
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Yep Bad CDI. Two of them under the seat, just behind the tank. Start the bike and gently wiggle the plugs. When you see the tach cut out you will have the culprit. Over time pressure on the plugs causes the solder joints inside to fail. One of the few issues with this otherwise brick reliable bike.
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:27 PM   #5
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Cdi

Thanks for all the replies. Sounds overwhelmingly the CDI culprit.

Now a couple more questions.

Is it best to replace both of these at the same time with new ones and possibly use the one I have that is good as a spare.

Where is the best place to buy one of these. I did a google search for Transalp CDI and ended up on ebay where there is a bunch on there for sale with generic ones starting around $55. Are these cheap ones ok. If not, where would you direct me for a quality one.

Lastly, I have read where some have bought a CDI relocation kit for anywhere from $8-$11. Where do I get this kit?

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Old 06-13-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
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Can't help you with an informed review on the quality of the aftermarket cdis. When I had the same problem I picked up a couple of oem ones. I did exactly what you suggested. Replaced them both and kept the known to be good one as a spare. Never did need it though, as I also did my own version of a fix to prevent to seat from being pressed it contact with the plugs. I glued a piece oh alluminum flat bar stock to the bottom of the seat in such a way as it spanned the frame crosswise just behind the location of the cdis. 40k later never an issue. This was all quite some time ago.
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Old 06-13-2015, 06:20 PM   #7
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Relocation Kit

I looked on Ronayers.com Looks like the CDI cost is $108.19 each and shows two of these are used on the Transalp This is part 30410-M58-610

Now my question It looks like there is a cushion this part sits in. Some web sites are calling this part number the same as the relocation kit. From the picture it looks like both CDI units fit in this cushion part. From the picture it looks like only one of these cushions is required since it has 2 pockets that the CDI's fit into. The parts fiche shows this cushion part listed 2 times. Honda Part 30410-MM9-010. Curious if 2 of these cushions are needed or just one.
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Old 06-14-2015, 11:55 AM   #8
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Cdi

I finally got around to tearing into Transalp today. It looks like possible the CDI relocation had already been done. Mine are offset like this kit shows. I am still debating rather to spend $108 for the Honda Part or generic off ebay for $55.

I did move/jiggle the connections around and it appears the one that was near the front of the bike would allow the tach to kick in and out when doing this.

Also, I have a corbin seat on mine but it does not look like it was putting pressure from the seat against these.
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Old 06-14-2015, 01:53 PM   #9
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Well now at least you know for sure it's a cdi. I can tell you that the Trany when new did not have the cdis laying on there sides as I think you are describing. They were upright and side by side, with the plugs at the top. It's possible the cdi laydown fix was done with the still stock cdis. Some damage was done to one of them prior to the fix and it is finally now showing an intermittent failure. You are left with deciding if the extra cost of an oem cdi is worth the expense. As I said I have no history with the aftermarket CDIs. Good luck and enjoy one of the best bikes I have ever had.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:39 AM   #10
mas335
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Most all of us here who have used the after market Transalp CDI's have been very happy with them, I only know of one complaint.

Much is made of the Transalp CDI's being a known problem but I certainly don't consider it that way, many Transalps are still on their original 26 year old CDI's before one fails, I think that is pretty darn good.

The seat pan flexing and hitting the connectors there by causing failures is a grossly over claimed issue. Given enough rider weight or constant sitting on the seat while very rugged off road riding could cause it to flex but it is nothing that deserves as much attention as it has received, it seems it has become Transalp folklore more than anything else. There is about 3/4" -7/8" clearance between the seat pan bottom and the top of the CDI connector.

Having said that the updated cushion ( CDI holder ) is a smart design and well worth using.
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Old 06-15-2015, 06:41 PM   #11
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mas335 I will defer to you as the Zen Master of the Transalp but I will have to not agree with your characterization of what is and what is not a "known issue".
I purchased my "90" Transalp new in "92' and have enjoyed owning it since that day.
Over all that time I have had next to no problems with it. In fact it only left me stranded once. The CDI cut out and that was in the first 5k miles.
Researching the possible cause of the problem quickly yielded the same result as the original poster The CDI. Honda more or less acknowledged the problem with a updated cdi holder.
I'm sure the vast majority of BMW GSs never have a final drive problem but it's the imprudent GS owner that fails to keep an eye on this known issue.
I would suspect you have encountered another Transalp known problem with the rear valve cover gasket being kinda close to the exhaust port in all your restoration work. Had that one to.

All of that having been said I still wouldn't think twice about jumping on my 25 year old bike and riding across the continent. If only I had the time.
LONG LIVE THE TRANSALP
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Old 06-16-2015, 07:10 AM   #12
mas335
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I appreciate your comments and perhaps I consider a "known problem" as something that affects more than half of the bikes made or is a regular occuring premature failure. I would also add that if there was a serious safety issue or major mechanical failure which I don't think any of thoses quailify as I would call them a "known issue".

I'll pick on my Honda Odyssey van, this model is widely known to have transmission problems and I am currently on my third Air Bag recall, I have had a recall for the last airbag recall, this to me is a "know problem".

When I purchased my first Transalp I read everything I could find about the bike and yes, the seat pan flex and the possible CDI damage was mentioned everywhere. I quickly made something to keep the pan from flexing but found no damage or contact of any kind.

I'm not saying that this could not happen but I base my comments for my experience from all the Transalps I have serviced and the 20 that I have personally owned. I found one seat that certainly looked like it had experienced a very heavy load and might have been a good candidate for concern but that is it. Had the rubber pads and bumpers on the bottom of the seat pan been replaced becuase of their decay and crushing the seat would have set higher off the frame which may be the real root cause of the CDI connection damage. I even tested this flexing issue by putting a soft piece of styrofoam under my seat and over the CDI and over time never once found any dent that would indicate it was hitting the CDI's.

I understand that my experiences at weighing 155 lbs is going to be different from someone who is 250 lbs but all my bikes where owned by others before me and I just never encounter this problem but I am not saying it could not happen..

The point I am really trying to make is changing the CDI holder to the new one certainly is a good idea but I wouldn't buy a TA and panic over one not having been installed of feel like the bike is on the verge of breaking a CDI terminal or loose sleep over it.

Regarding the rear Valve cover seal, once again I don't think of that as a "known problem" to me that term implies it is something unique to the model. What it is is a 26 year old 3/16" think rubber gasket that has been compressed for 26 years and is in a high heat zone, it dries, gets hard, stops sealing as intended and should be changed but I hardly think of this as a "fault", it's just required maintenance to me.

If we are going to include everything that fails or falls short of our expectations and put them in the "known issue" type catagory then I could certainly add a few. The failure of the plastic speedometer drive gear due to neglect of cleaning and greasing the drive gear housing could be one, the poor steering tube top and bottom seals which is no seal at all but simple dust guards should be added, worn head tube bearings is a common issue put regular cleaning would cure that, Internal wheel rim decay, I have seen more of thoses than I would like, and neglected rear shock linkage and swingarm bearings & bushings servicing is not even listed by Honda as a scheduled maintenance but they certainly should be, there to I have seen too many bushings that needed cleaning and greasing and showed signs of rust. I have never seen a single TA that has had that service performed but I am glad I read more and more about people doing this big task.

I know I am getting carried away here but for me the only Transalp "issue" or "known problem" on my list would be neglect and poor service and that is not the bikes fault. The fact that these bikes run as good as they do in spite of some of their gross neglect is a testament to just how rock solid and forgiving they are.
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Old 06-16-2015, 05:37 PM   #13
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Ya know at the end of the day we are talking about the Transalp. A bike that most folk who know what they are talking about would agree has a reputation of being very reliable. I may be guilty at times of forgetting how old these bikes really are. I just have so little history of problems with my well maintained Alp it still looks and feels fresh to me. Lets face it, it was a bike ahead of it's time.
That said I feel like it would be beneficial to those few that manage to own one be made aware of the few things that may warrant extra attention.
Do the CDIs have the mount mod? Not sure it helps but couldn't hurt.
Is oil slowly leaking down the back of the engine? Check valve cover.
Is your speedo a little jumpy? Check gear lube. This is normal maintenence.
Think hard about the countershaft sprocket you use. Some aftermarket ones eat the splines.
Sure you need to lube the suspension. Every bike needs this.
Take extra note of the wheels around the spoke nipples and inside. Somewhat prone to corrosion in these areas.
Don't use automotive antifreeze. It chews up the seals in the waterpump.
I'm sure you could add to this list
While we may not agree on "what the meaning of is, is". I know we agree the Alp is a well engineered bike.
Paul
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:46 AM   #14
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Hey PAUL
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:30 PM   #15
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Hey Eddie, How ya be. Still have that trip West planned?
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