Entry 12 // Bike problems

Update by: Luke | February 3rd, 2011

So we finally got the bikes. They were only 3 1/2 weeks late, whatever. Let's get out of here and head to Namabia. Well 100 yards out of the BMW dealership, my bike quits. It acts like it ran out of gas, which is funny cause I know that I had 2 gallons in it at least. I know this because when you ship your bike you are supposed to empty the tank and I may have not completely emptied it. I assume the shippers must have emptied it some how for me. After all, the crate was completly missing three sides when it showed up and Nicks bike had oil around his filler cap like someone got in there and took a sample of it.
Luckily Mr. Nick has a spare gas can and takes off to find some gas for me.I have three different tanks on this bike that all feed to the same fuel pump. How do you run out of gas with three tanks?I put two gallons in and we take off for Cat and Moose (the place we are staying.) It feels so good to finally be on the bikes and to drive on the wrong side of the road. We make the 4 mile drive and I notice my bike feels a little weak on the way there, but don't think anything of it. Right before we get there my bike stalls while going about 20 mph, but I hit the starter and it fires back up. I didn't even have to put a foot down. The workers open the door for me and I try to drive the bike inside. I mean the door is plenty wide, I just can't keep my bike running. I stall it about 6 times and restart it trying to drive it down the hall and up the steps. It's not me being a bad driver, the bike is just acting like it's out of gas again. Once again I don't pay any attention to it as I am distracted by all of our friends cheering for us that our bikes have arrived. A celebration is in order and we all go to the local supermarket to pick up meat and veggies for a Braai (barbeque)

The next morning we get up with plans to leave once I am done putting my bike together. You see, my bike build up was pretty much a last minute thing. The last two weeks before I left, it seemed like I had at least one package come in the mail per day. My mom can attest to that. (That's right, I'm 27 and was staying at my parrents house.) Moving on...so once I did the last minute mods to my bike, we geared up to do a little cruise of the city. I pushed the bike down the hallway and hit the starter. It wouldn't start. I tried it over and over again. The first two tries it popped once or twice, but that was it. Now I'm getting nothing. I let the bike sit and try an hour later. Nothing, I guess we aren't leaving today...

I pull the bike inside and put my hand on the tank, trying to feel a vibration from the fuel pump. I hit the on button and don't feel the vibration. Ok, I think. Broken fuel pump. This is a common problem for 08 KTM 690's. Do a google search and you will find this out. It is in fact the reason why I tried to buy an 09 vs an 08. However, when I drove 16 hours one way out to Rhode Island earlier in the fall to buy an 09, I discoved it was actually an 08 when I looked at the title. The owner claims it was an honest mistake, and I believe him. He dropped $500 off the price and I hauled it home in my Escort Wagon crossing my fingured that I wouldn't have any problems with it in Africa.

Turns out I do have a problem, but problems can be fixed right?

This is the story of the next 3 days.

We start taking plastics off and empty the tank.
Once the tank is emptied and the pump is pulled you have to figure out how to very carefully pull the 2-3 feet of corrugated plastic tubing out of the tiny hole without kinking anything. Very difficult.Once the hose was removed we found this. A KINK IN THE HOSE!!!!This is awesome, this is good. Fix the kink and we should be good to go. This explains why the fule pump won't buzz. The line is kinked and already pressurized. It also explains why when the bike when it does run feels like it's running out of gas. Ok, good. Now lets fix the kink. John at Rally Raid, http://www.rally-raidproducts.co.uk/ says this has happened to him before doing a tank install. He tells me over Skype how he fixed the line. You use pliers to get the kink out then you take a hose with a bigger diamater than the corrugated tubing and wrap it over the Kink. Apply small zip ties over the rubber hose and the kink is fixed.We put the bike back together carefully not rekinking the corregated line. I turn the key and it fires right up. Problem solved. Now we can load up to leave. 20 seconds later the bike starts to caugh and dies from what seems like running out of gas. The rest of the day we trouble shoot this problem. I post my symptoms in the 690 thread on ADVRIDER and start getting suggestions from other 690 owners. Everything I try does not work. I keep getting more and more basic with our tests until at one point we have just the fuel pump in a bucket of gas with alligator clips going straight to a battery. It seems to run the pump strong for 3 seconds then peter off. Good, this is the problem I think. I drill some more holes in the plastic housing where the fule pump sits, and repete the test. Now there is a steady flow. Problem solved. The holes allowing fuel to the pump before were too small. When I installed my Rally Raid tank kit, I must have not drill a big enough hole to allow a steady flow of gas to the pump. I put the bike back together and start it up. It runs for about 1 minute and I am convinced we have fixed the bike.

Nope, around the 1 1/2 minute mark the bike start to drop RPM's and stalls from lack of fuel. We are back at square one. Now I install the pump and attach the alligator clips to the electrical lines comming from the pump directly to the battery.I then pull the fuel line right before the injector on the fuel body.I connect the other ends of the alligator clips to the battery and watch the fuel flow. It is a strong constant stream. There is plenty of fuel pressue. Hmm...I start the bike and it dies again in 20 seconds. I pull the injector out and watch it shoot an intermintent spray of fuel. Everything looks good there too.

This is the abridged version of the story. The actual time frame here is 3 days of wrenching. I can't remember anymore details, but I know their were tons more tests. You wouldn't believe how many times we gave each other fist pumps conviced that we solved the problem, but the end led to this.We did our best, but now it is time to get the professionals. We towed it downtown through heavy traffic and on the Interstate to the KTM dealer. You wouldn't believe how easy footpeg to footpeg towing is. I wrap the end around the footpeg once and stand on the strap. I could steer one handed and film with my other hand on the way there. (Towing video soon...?)

Kevin is the main mechanic at Cape Town KTM and he really seems to know the bike, so I hope they can sort this out. The problem is they are really busy and at first said they can't get to it this week. Next week Kevin is on vacation so that puts it at almost two weeks out just to take a look at it. This is not good. Kevin knows we are in a bind and said he was going to try to sneak it in. I asked him if at least minimal he can plug it into the computer. If the computer shows nothing wrong, then any mechanic should be able to trouble shoot it and get it running. The BMW guys are over the top helpful here and they said they would take a look at it for me if I want.

So that's were I am right now. It's been at the KTM dealer for two days now. Kevin said on the phone today he was going to get a look at it this afternoon, so in the morning, I'll go down there and talk to him about it. It would be nice to get on the road soon. As much as I like the Cat and Moose, I think I will like camping for a change.




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