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961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise needed

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by coguzzi, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    ive only got 170 miles on my bike, after waiting for it for 3 years. not really upset, i know there would be teething problems, but i have actually been down for a month now. I'm probably gonna have to drive it to Dallas this week (from Denver) for warranty service but thought i wold ask the group opinion if this issue has been seen before

    last 2 times i rode it, hot start it wouldnt idle worth a damn, had to keep my hand on the throttle.

    i was finally down on fuel so i wanted to remove the empty tank to install a battery tender lead, put the tank back on and started it up, it was smoking like crazy, running rough, and idling at 2000ish RPM. dealer thoughti had water in the gas, so drained the tank and put in fresh (ive been running ethanol free gas for 170 miles, but put in normal 91 octane to keep dealer happy). i also installed new plugs since originals looks fouled. no change, smokes like crazy, running so rich i have raw fuel coming out of the joint between header and cat, idle at start is 1700rpm, once warmed up a little its 2000rpm

    Norton says maybe the Cylinder Head Temperature Sending unit bad, try to swap it (be nice if they sent me one to try!) or the ECU is bad.

    so before i do a 2000 mile trip (probably once to drop it off, and once to pick it up) i thought i would ask the group. i just discovered this site, wish i had seen it earlier.
     
  2. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Is the smoke black and smell like fuel, or white?
    Obviously ECU is getting mixed signals from the sensors, could be the cylinder head temperature is loose. Check to see that it's tight.
    Strange idling behavior is a symptom of a loose head temp sensor.
    Be careful running the engine if raw fuel is accumulating in the pipe. It can cause the cats to overheat and actually crack. They're junk then.

    Get to the dealer asap.
     
  3. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Get a truck or trailer, you can't ride that far like that!!!
     
  4. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Make sure the 3 header flange bolts are tight on each pipe!
     
  5. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    i would say its a white smoke, i did shoot a video for the dealer.

    and definitely cant ride it far, only ride i have done is around the block, and it stumbles and misses terribly around 2500-3000rpm. im still breaking the darn thing in, never had it over 3500 rpm yet--lame.

    i did check the head temp sensor, threaded in tight, maybe some wiggle in the plastic part, but not terrible. i still think they should have overnighted me another sensor to try, norton suggested i take one off a known good bike, yeah--i have several $20+K bikes sitting around--ha

    i will go check the head pipe nuts, thanks

    i still like the bike, but find it kind of BS i have 170 miles on the thing and have been dealing with this for 4 weeks. i sold my ducati paul smart that proved unreliable to get this bike. time will tell if that was a good decision. i would say handling is about par with the PS, but since i havent revved it out yet--performance i can not comment on
     
  6. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Well, white smoke suggests oil fouling. It is known that if the oil tank is overfilled on the 961, the engine will blow the excess into the airbox. The design of the airbox places the air filter in direct line of the vapor from the cylinder head breather. You may have oil fouling the air filter element. This will produce smoking (white) and backfiring/popping.
    My concern is that you said you found raw fuel in the exhaust pipe. This is a much more serious issue.
    I too would trailer the bike back to the dealer, don’t chance creating a bigger issue.
    Do the smart thing and get it back to the shop. They can call the international service manager in the UK, and get this resolved 123.
    This certainly sucks, but once you get this issue ironed out, you’ll love the bike.
     
  7. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    i also forgot to mention, after a short run it will not restart, have to let it cool for several hours first. im not 100% its fuel coming out the exhaust, but very liquid nontheless, doubtful its oil. i will check the air cleaner though, looked spotless last time i had the seat off, but didnt fully inspect

    its a bummer my closest dealer is 1000 miles away, but it does appear im making a trip. i just want to get the ball rolling, and the best way is to get it there. 4 weeks with hardly any response of a resolution. or even an offer of getting it shipped (i dont trust shippers anyway)
     
  8. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    I don't envy the drive from Denver to Dallas.
    Maybe you can work a mini vacation into the trip.
    Which dealer did you buy the bike from?
    There might be a forum member who has experience with them.
     
  9. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    i bought it from RPM motorsports. unfortunately im self employed and this is my busy season, so it is gonna be a total turn and burn. also makes it real expensive since if i dont work i dont make $. sadly ill probably have to drop the bike, and go pick it up how ever many weeks later. since its already been 4 weeks, im not to confident on getting the bike back before fall. customer service has been severely lacking (norton that is). i just wish they would let me take it to a local shop i know can handle it (Erico motorsports). i tried
     
  10. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    It sounds like it may be way cheaper to take it to Erico off the record and give them a shot. Did the problem start after you removed the tank. Did it run ok as delivered. Did the problem come on slowly or instantly!
     
  11. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    There are 3 lines that have to be disconnected to remove the tank plus the electrical harness to the fuel pump. Was anything switched, pinched?
    If the problem started after the tank removal I would triple check everything! :?:
     
  12. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    I think I've had the tank off 4 times now to check. It wasn't running right the last time I rode it, was trying to use up the gas to make the tank lighter to pull. I planned on going for a ride and needed to refuel, so pulled the tank. I should have verified it ran before, but it should have. It sat for 2 weeks before all this
     
  13. gogowend

    gogowend

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Hello,
    I've never been on one of these boards before, but felt compelled to weigh in after finding this thread. I, too, own a 961 Sport, bought last December after waiting for a year.
    It has been in the shop for 16 of the 28 weeks I've owned it. Today I filed with a lemon lawyer. Enough is enough!
    It sounds like you have exactly the same problems I had. After just 7 miles on the bike I realized something was very wrong, but it was after the dealership, also RPM, had closed for the weekend. I took it back the next Saturday, and didn't see it again for 6 weeks. Norton had closed for the holidays, and the ticket for a replacement ECU sat buried on someone's desk, until I contacted Stuart Garner via Twitter...yup I had to join Twitter to get to the bottom of the problem. That rattled a few people's cages, and the part was promptly put in the mail....Royal Mail....the slowest mail in the Western Hemisphere! 6 weeks after dropping it off I got it back, 2 weeks later it had to go back in for an oil leak, yup another 2 weeks lost.
    Well, it had to go back again in May, due to oil leaking from every orifice.....well, to cut a long story, of even more bad communication and long wait times for spare parts, short, I still don't have the bike. I'll tell you the long story tomorrow, if you want to hear it.
    RPM are cutting ties with Norton at the end of the month. I have lost all faith with mr Garners brand.
    I have been making monthly payments and paying for insurance for a bike that I've only done 1,124 miles on. I'm not a rich person, this was my dream bike, something I told myself at 50 I was going to have before I was too old to ride any more. This is a huge disappointment to me, I'm saddened by the failure.
    My communication with everyone at Norton has been sporadic, I've been passed from manager to manager, with promises of making it up to me. Silly woman, I believed them every time, giving them chance after chance for months. But, today I decided, I'm done with Norton UK...if RPM have had enough, then so have I.
    So glad I didn't trade my trusty Bonneville in for the Commando...I would have been more than pissed off at being in a "wot no bike" situation.
    Good luck!
    Wendy
     
  14. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    Wendy,
    Many owners on this forum, myself included, have had issues with their 961’s. This can result in significant loss of saddle time. I suppose with RPM closing, you really don’t have any good options in this situation. I knew at the beginning that with such small levels of production, and minimal testing that owning one of these bikes would be like being a Beta tester for Microsoft software:
    Use, crash, fix
    Use, crash, fix
    ….
    I have several bikes to ride, in the event that my 961 has to return to the dealer for work, so I can withstand some lost time without consequences. However, the 961 is such fun to ride, I spend most of my time on it. The other bikes are usually gathering dust.

    I feel bad that you had such a miserable experience with your 961. It can be difficult to get in touch with individuals at the factory, even for the dealers. So the 961 experience can be a challenge if you develop problems, but you obviously have learned this, the hard way. :(

    Best wishes.
     
  15. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    interesting to hear your experience with RPM. i have an appointment for Friday there to try to resolve my issues, meaningn i have to start driving that direction soon. time will tell what happens, and i will keep the board posted. I've owned several british bikes/cars over the years (including Nortons) and knew of the build/reliability issues of them, granted vintage bikes. I also own a 07 Triumph Daytona (gave it to my wife when the Norton showed up) and it has been a wonderful bike, so i was hoping British stuff had gotten better in this modern day and age.

    very interesting to hear RPM is cutting ties with Norton, i will make sure i get more info on that when i am there. RPM for the most part has been helpful, dont mean to slander them at all, i feel their hands are tied in this situation. 170 miles is a disappointment before issues with me, but i also went in with eyes wide open knowing teething problems may be present. secretly, i wish i still had my Ducati Paul Smart since they just keep going up in value, sold it to soon--doh! i would say the ride is comparable though, the 961 winning in the comfort stage (paul smart was a torture rack). I have made it clear if Norton offered to buy the bike back, i would take the offer and buy 2 other bikes that tempt me for the same amount of $. im really a moto guzzi guy as my name suggest, i own a couple vintage guzzi's and love them

    stay tuned
     
  16. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    There is another member who bought his 961 from RPM. I think his forum name is V7Sport73.
    In one of his posts he said that he had to drive 600 miles across Texas to pickup his 961 at RPM.
    I think that was in 2013.
    I haven't noticed any recent posts from him.
     
  17. gogowend

    gogowend

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    RPM have done their very best to get all the issues taken care of, but bad communication on Nortons end and lack of parts has seriously hindered efforts.
    Get that ECU changed out....I guarantee that's a big part of your problem.

    I guess I'll suck it up, wait for it be be fixed, but I'll keep taking it back to get every minor thing perfect before the warranty runs out.
    Got a message from Stuart Garner this morning.....a message of goodwill....watch this space!
     
  18. coguzzi

    coguzzi

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Re: 961 Cafe running rough/rich after 170 miles-advise neede

    bike is fixed (hopefully for a while), it was the ECU, one injector was being instructed to fire at 100% all the time. they fixed a couple other issues i had (rear sprocket was bent from the factory (which i noticed when i had to replace a pinch flat tube--poor install at the factory), and missing tank bolts, and verified things on the bike that had caused problem in the past for others (poor venting causing oil leaks etc)

    RPM i feel went out of there way to get me back on the road, which i appreciate. i sure hope i do not have to do another 28 hour round trip again for warranty service
     

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