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spitting, sputtering, and surging

10886 Views 32 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Trout
I have a 2013 Cross Country Tour with just over 24,000 miles. About a month ago the bike, after sitting a week not being started, took a bit longer to fire and when it did start it was very rough idling. Since then I have also not had a lot of time to ride due to a busy work schedule. However when I have ridden it the last few times it would start spitting and sputtering for awhile until I could really open it up on some more open road. It was very hit and miss. Sometimes it did it in the beginning of the ride, other times it was in the middle of the ride even it was well warmed up.

This last week I took it to work one day and it ran perfect. The next time, a couple of days later, it really started to spit and sputter, and then started doing some drastic power surges and low speeds. Tonight it did the same thing when I took it for a ride.

It seems to lose all power under load. Taking off in first gear it just putts along even though I am giving it throttle. The tach will be showing I'm hitting 3000 to 4000 rpm but I'm barely moving. All of a sudden it lets go and I zip along FAST. Shift into the next gear and start all over again. It just will not move under load and then lets go like a rubber band.

Mods on the bike include:
Stage 1 exhaust
Lloydz timing wheel (+4)
Lloydz high flow air filter
Lloydz VFC
O2 sensors unplugged

I had the filter installed this summer and soon after I installed the VFC. The bike has ran superb up until now. I checked the settings on the VFC and they have not changed. I tightened the battery cables. I added some Seafoam last night and took it for a ride tonight and it seems to be getting worse.

I'll probably pull the gas tank off this weekend and begin looking for what is wrong but I was wondering what do you suggest I look for? I am assuming vacuum lines and electrical connections, especially to the fuel controller, cracked throttle body. Anything else?
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Did it throw a code on screen? Code 636 would be PTS, not a mec by any stretch, but just found 636 as there are many error codes. But being that severe one would think it would throw an error code.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Did it throw a code on screen? Code 636 would be PTS, not a mec by any stretch, but just found 636 as there are many error codes. But being that severe one would think it would throw an error code.
No codes have appeared but I am assuming you can get codes to appear to check things. I'm just not sure how...
 

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Well before you shut it off toggle through functions, mileage, MPG etc. info panel. It will probably show a code of what went wrong toggling through info display. TPS is 636 as I mentioned or something else entirely.
 

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I have a 2013 Cross Country Tour with just over 24,000 miles. About a month ago the bike, after sitting a week not being started, took a bit longer to fire and when it did start it was very rough idling. Since then I have also not had a lot of time to ride due to a busy work schedule. However when I have ridden it the last few times it would start spitting and sputtering for awhile until I could really open it up on some more open road. It was very hit and miss. Sometimes it did it in the beginning of the ride, other times it was in the middle of the ride even it was well warmed up.

This last week I took it to work one day and it ran perfect. The next time, a couple of days later, it really started to spit and sputter, and then started doing some drastic power surges and low speeds. Tonight it did the same thing when I took it for a ride.

It seems to lose all power under load. Taking off in first gear it just putts along even though I am giving it throttle. The tach will be showing I'm hitting 3000 to 4000 rpm but I'm barely moving. All of a sudden it lets go and I zip along FAST. Shift into the next gear and start all over again. It just will not move under load and then lets go like a rubber band.

Mods on the bike include:
Stage 1 exhaust
Lloydz timing wheel (+4)
Lloydz high flow air filter
Lloydz VFC
O2 sensors unplugged

I had the filter installed this summer and soon after I installed the VFC. The bike has ran superb up until now. I checked the settings on the VFC and they have not changed. I tightened the battery cables. I added some Seafoam last night and took it for a ride tonight and it seems to be getting worse.

I'll probably pull the gas tank off this weekend and begin looking for what is wrong but I was wondering what do you suggest I look for? I am assuming vacuum lines and electrical connections, especially to the fuel controller, cracked throttle body. Anything else?
The tach will show your hitting 3000-4000 rpm but your barley moving!!!
Do you think the clutch is slipping ???
 

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The erratic engine surges is beyond stalling IMO having been through unridable stalling engine. Certainly could be the clutch, the rpms surging without power to the rear wheel is telling and curious. I'd run it, carefully of course, and toggle through for code before shutting it off for the event error code. That often will tell you precisely what malfunction was. Don't be mislead by the Bikers Barn article and the TPS & no code in that case.
 

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It sounds more like a loose, dirty or corroded electrical connection.
I know you checked cables at the battery but you may want to follow the ground cable to where ever it bolts to the frame. Remove, scrape & tighten.
The circuit breaker by the battery will also work erraticaly & cause very similar issues.

My Vic lives outside & is ridden in all weather. During periods of heavy rain it will sometimes act the same way you are describing.
Hard starting, rough wandering idle, sometimes if I go wide open throttle it will hesitate slightly then go like it's turbo charged.
The ABS light will come on & stay on for days or may go out in three blocks.
A few good days of sun & all goes away.

All symptoms of something getting wet or a loose, dirty connection & for me it is probably a bit of both.
As soon as the weather cools & the skeeters go away I'll pull the tank, seat, side covers & unsnap every connector or relay & inspect any ground wires that are bolted to frame. I may even go inside the fairing but I don't think water is getting in there.

When it hesitates or stumbles going down the road does it backfire when it kicks back in & runs fast?
If it does that could be a sign of losing spark.
Years ago with stick shift cars & hand chokes we used to run 'em up in second gear, kill the ignition, pull the choke out a bit, pump the h8ll out of the gas pedal then turn the ignition back on, flooding the engine. There would be a whole lot of raw fuel in the exhaust system so when the spark was turned on the car would backfire really loud & shoot flames out of the tail pipe. Lost a couple of mufflers & blew an oil filter off a Corvair because the rings were so bad it had flooded the crankcase.

Hope you figure it out & please post when you do.
 

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Sure sounds like crappy gas to me, seafoam will help as you've already added it but bad gas can also foul plugs. I think I would syphon out the gas into a gas can and add fresh gas and check plugs , not necessarily in that order.
 

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Lots of possibilities. I think I would pull the spark plugs and see how there burning , rich, lean, one rich fouled etc. Then just put new ones back in they are cheap at Autozone etc. If one is burning rich could be plug wire. If you got some contaminated gas in the past the pump screen in the tank could be clogging. If all else fails take it down to Rylan at the Vic Shop in Iowa and have it checked and Dynoed. May as well throw in some cams while your there. Goodluck, I know the feeling of the earth ending if the bikes not right.
 
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