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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #46  
Old 12 Sep 2008
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What a silly question - my '75 Moto Guzzi V7, off course. North Pole, South Pole, three years, 60.000 k's and she never failed on me. Spent only 700 bucks on maintanance, including three sets of tires and 100 liters of oil. How 'bout that?
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  #47  
Old 13 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xander View Post
They tell him that "the bike will not run until the computer has been reset by a dealer"... 200£ later it was something to do with the "ABS Servo" going bonik (e.g send an error msg.. I dont really know what this is (or care).. so i can not explain any further).
That's a new one for me. Don't quite understand how the fault code of the ABS servo makes the motor stop. In any case, I thought you could 'reset' the EMS by just taking the power off it for a few minutes? That's what's mentioned in the Chain Gang FAQ for the F650 anyway.
For clearing fault codes on the F and maybe others you can get this little unit built by Jerome in France. Just one of these things that are part of the evolution of the increasing presence of electrical engineers in the automotive industry. I've got one and am very impressed with it. It'll be first tool used when the tell tell lights come on.

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  #48  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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Originally Posted by tmotten View Post
That's a new one for me. Don't quite understand how the fault code of the ABS servo makes the motor stop. In any case, I thought you could 'reset' the EMS by just taking the power off it for a few minutes? That's what's mentioned in the Chain Gang FAQ for the F650 anyway.
For clearing fault codes on the F and maybe others you can get this little unit built by Jerome in France. Just one of these things that are part of the evolution of the increasing presence of electrical engineers in the automotive industry. I've got one and am very impressed with it. It'll be first tool used when the tell tell lights come on.
I dont really understand why it stopped it.. but it did.. (and it was not "covered" under the warranttee). The Guys at the BMW shop said it would not rest (we were hopping it would) by dissconecting it. I will pass the link to that error box to my friend to see if it makes a difference. and if it can be used on a new GS.
Like I said I dont understand these things,My bike is a simple old honda (aftrica twin), and hence i dont need to know the in and outs.. But I do feel that is a small village out in the middle of nowhere a simple bike is easier to Bodge a fix then complex one.
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  #49  
Old 14 Sep 2008
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Bike choice.

Nice post!
Have to agree with the 600-650 air cooled choices being offered.
I run a GS1200 and wouldn't use it for a big trip with a fair bit of off road, instead have a Honda XR650L, (Dominator engined XR600).
Anything that's electronically complex is lovely when it works but when it doesn't or gets damaged!! Your back street mechanic is gonna do next to nothing for a fuel injection/electronic problem if one should occur.
The availability of spares ect may be an issue too, and as Jap bikes have found their way to most places on the planet this is a bonus, plus, many enduro type bikes share common parts
(brake components ect), especially true with the Honda XR's
Weight is a biggie too! Especially on sand.
The new GS's are a bit too flashy for some places I think too with an air of "rich tourist" about em.
Good luck with whatever you choose though, as mentioned, get a fair few miles done on whatever you go for to learn he in's and out's of the bike and make changes while your in your home country.
Dave.
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  #50  
Old 27 Sep 2008
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seems to be one missing...

i been reading this topic and have to say that a carburetor based single, has got to be the best choice...anything you can hit with a hammer or tweak with a screwdriver to make work has got to be a good thing!

i have owned plenty of motocross / enduro bikes in the past and am now looking at options for the BIG TRIP..seems to me most people skirt over KTM as a manufacturer.. my experience with them has always been good, am i missing something here, or is there a reason why they dont seem to get much of a look in, on these kind of threads?

myself im considering a 640cc lc4 adventure...

any thoughts welcome!
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  #51  
Old 27 Sep 2008
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There are a few good threads featuring KTM's . I'd make sure I paid extra

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 18:29.
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  #52  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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Hello biggles0449. You have probably already seen this ride report; London to South Africa on a KTM 640 Adventure. If not, it is well worth a look.
African Enduro - ADVrider
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  #53  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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ktm bikes

cheers for the perspective guys, i been doing loads of reading on forums and chatting to guys with these bikes to get a better idea...sure i bet they will need plenty of staying on top of, ref. maintenance. and renazco i have heard of a few times before...sure wouldnt let a hard seat put me off having a big smile!

gonna continue my research and get hands on with a few models...not looking at anything older than the 2007 640, as i dont see the small saving of getting an older bike helping me out in the middle of nowhere!

for my trip, im planning quite a slow ride / lots of offroad or tracks...hence the bias towards ktm...but would deffo be interested in hearing more about the top rated mile munching singles out there...no evil twins or electro dooberrys for this rider!

cheers
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  #54  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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if I needed something I could email them for help.

Good travels,

Last edited by mollydog; 26 Mar 2009 at 18:29.
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  #55  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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patrick, thanks for that reply! seemed very balanced and not bias in either of the slippery slopes that we all know about...when i get home from working away, ill definitely have a look at a couple of the lighter jap singles you mentioned, having had a couple of dt's / xl's and an rm in the past, i know they hold up well and arent a pain in the derriere to work on!

as for loading up bikes..no thanks! i work away most of the year travelling in and around africa's finest back country nowheres, so dont tend to have much in the way of 'things' and prefer to keep it that way! some of the bikes i have seen leaving through tarifa in spain have made my eyes pop with how lovingly the owners have stacked up their 'things'.

im not discounting the ktm as yet, and will definitely have to spend regular time on love and kisses for the girl, but, as i expect to buy a second bike for the americas [rather than shipping], perhaps a jap single for the africa/asia/europe bit would make most sense.

thanks again for your thoughts...too easy to daydream about shiny fangled toys, rather than keeping your eye on the ball...if i were being mr sensible head, then id have to agree 400-650 jap single, cheap n cheerful and reliable; as opposed to [please dont shoot me down!] an all singing all dancing mortgage machine such as a shiny new bimmer. i know which one, i would be less worried about dropping on the rough stuff!
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  #56  
Old 28 Sep 2008
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For the record: The only true immortal bike around is the one that is owned by Chuck Norris. I just thought you should know.
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  #57  
Old 29 Sep 2008
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Indu is right, unfortunate for us...
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  #58  
Old 29 Sep 2008
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Electronics

Ok, i'm an ex industry "insider". I used to sell ABS systems for trucks. Believe me you will NEVER be stranded by a failed electronic unless someone has been welding or letting off Atom bombs. ALL other failures are down to the same electrical issues that will stop any spark ignition engine, chaffed wiring, water, bad earth's etc. In 14 years of testing ECU's returned from truck dealers I think I accepted two as out of warrenty failures, so massively under 1%.

What will strand you is dealers who are muppets. Resetting an ECU does NOTHING except clear the error codes into a different part of the memory structure. At each start up old errors are moved, the ECU looks for all it's components and follows it's logic structure accordingly. Kill the power on permanant supply pin and the ECU MUST assume it's on a new vehicle and will start up again from scratch. If the same pin is wrong it'll store the same error and externally looks like it did nothing. Clearing the memory just looses the data that might help you do a permanant fix. Some old ECU's did lock up when they'd stored the same fault 255 times, but this is bad practice unless there is a very good reason (safety is been ignored). These lock out's only ever put the vehicle into limp home mode.

What the muppets at BMW did in this case was remove the battery, unplug the ECU, WD-40 the pins and put it back. They then used the diagnostic tool to watch the start up routine! The corroded/loose pin that caused the problem is still there. Plan B is to ring my opposite number at BMW tech support and say "we fitted three ECU's and they all do the same, the customers really hacked off", to which BMW's chief techie will say "it ain't the ECU mate, get your meter out and find the problem".

My advice for dealing with Electronics:
  1. If the dealer tries the reset routine, tell him you've got access to a CANalyzer (reads the electronic messages on the vehicle) or OBD tool and couldn't see anything your mates bike wasn't putting out. Out of interest, ask for a print off of the error codes and addresses. If all they are doing is the WD40 routine they'll think twice and might look for the real issue. Find another dealer!
  2. Look at the website related to your bike. Most ECU's have flash codes. Ground a pin and the warning light will "Morse code" what it thinks is wrong. This is quicker than 3. Old locked ECU's can be unlocked via most flash codes.
  3. Unplug the ECU and meter out the pins. You can find most open circuits and shorts by basic diagnostics. Remember the ECU is connected to electrical sensors and is mostly just monitoring voltages and resistances. Fix the issue (or fool the ECU with resistors etc.) and it'll put the warning light out and stop screaming blue murder on the vehicle CAN.
  4. OBD readers are available. These are more limited than the dealer tools, but for £80 you become self sufficient.
  5. If in doubt unplug a non essential ECU. If the ABS or dashboard stops yelling "error" the engine management will go into limp mode and you are moving again.
Electronics are just as reliable as mechanical systems and I'd rather face an EBS vehicle with a laptop than try and balance four carbs by ear. When they do break you simply need the right skills and tools. Don't fall for the "mysterious black box what no mortal may touch" crap the ignorant sort of grease monkeys put out. Be logical and have the right tools and you'll be fine.

That said, why the heck would you want an ECU to make your indicators flash a la R1200GS is beyond me. The only advantage there is to BMW's production costs.

Don't get electronics for the sake of it, but don't discount what you don't know either.

Andy
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  #59  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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I work with industrial applications and have used various bus-systems for 15-20 years. In short my experience is that the bus-systems have less fault then conventional systems and when there is a fault it’s easier to find because cabling are minimum.
As earlier said the main components rarely fail, it’s mostly bad connections (water, corrosion) or a cable break once in a while. Usually the system will tell you which component it can’t reach, unlike the conventional systems.

The process of finding fault is a bit different using some kind of computer like your mobile or GS911 but it’s possible to buy tickets for the bus or surf on internet via a mobile so why not use it to fix your bike?

On a bike the fault will be even easier to find because the network is quite small. The bike is not even 2 meters long and doesn’t have many electrical components. The main problem with error-tracking on conventional systems are that there are two many wires and components – with a bus-system you decrease wiring and components so the possibility of errors get smaller.
In a while it will be possible for a computer in Japan to find errors via your phone when you stuck in Angola.


In the future we will se bus-systems on most bikes, and after a while we will get control modules which are freely programmable. This means you can control everything on your bike the way you want (light, injection, ignition, indicators ++).
The modules for ignition and injection are already on the market but this is just a vague start.

Personally I have never heard about errors with the can-bus system, on the 1200GS it even tells you that the ring-antenna has broken before you push the start-button.
Computers (and bus-systems) control airplanes, traffic-lights, trains, power-systems and most of the infra structure, believe me it’s also able to control a few things on a motorbike….

On the other hand I’m not sure if newish bikes are made to be immortal. The important factors when designing a bike is related to power, weight, looks and cost. Most of these factors do not increase longevity.
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  #60  
Old 30 Sep 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollydog View Post

BMW are a mystery to me as well. From what I know about their CAN bus system it uses 3 computers. I believe one runs the F.I., another the ABS, no idea what the 3rd one is for. BMW call the CAN bus system a "two wire system".

In this system every component is "in line" with all the others , including the turn signals! ( Like a "Series" circuit? not sure on this) Seems impossible, but I think that is how it works.

Patrick
The only BMW I tried to put my box on had met a welding set and lost, so I'm none the wiser really. BTW, jump starting from a workshop pack can have the same effect as a welding set, better to charge the battery then do a normal start if time allows. Bike to bike is safe.

The third ECU I believe is what we'd call the dash and they'll call a Central Module or Rider Module. It takes any function not directly related to engine or brakes. The two wire system is CAN (Control Alpha Numeric). Each item and function has a code made up of an identifier, item and status. So as a made up example ECU AA is the dashboard, item 47 the rear left indicator and 00 means it's off (I made up these numbers). So long as the (electrical) switch is open circuit the dashboard transmits AA4700 as a series of 1's and 0's via the two wires. This has a repeat rate of something like 60 milliseconds on most vehicles. The rest of the time is filled with every other message going round the system in a big queue, each ECU watching for anything it might be interested in.

Press the switch, ground a pin on the ECU and the message is changed to AA4701 for indicator on. In this case the indicator is actually flashed by the same ECU, but on a truck or car another ECU a lot nearer the back might control the actual voltage once it saw the message change. The advantage is that if for some reason the ABS or FI needed to know you were turning left, it would get a clue when the AA47XX message changed. You can also do clever tricks like have a controlling ECU respond with another code only when it see's the voltage drop of the lamp. No voltage drop means blown lamp, means put the red light on and maybe flash a tail light as an additional safety feature. For something like the starter motor lockout it makes a lot more sense as you really do save a lot of copper by running two small wires in a loop, but even so it's a very small system with honestly limited function. A truck with seven ECU's and lights galore has a lot more potential for improved function, even more when the trailer has the same and you can talk via the two wires.

You'll gather I'm not a huge BMW fan after one or two service issues in the past. As a little dig, their two wire system needs three or four: CAN-HI, CAN-LOW, Power and Earth

Andy
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