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Thread: Bought an 09 xb12r then it died!

  1. #1
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    Bought an 09 xb12r then it died!

    All,

    I just bought an xb12r that has been sitting for about a year. I rode it around before I brought it home and it was struggling to idle but ran.

    Once home, I sent the ECM to IDS for a stock exhaust map. Changed oil & primary. Cleaned & oiled K&N. Replaced plugs. Did (not) drain fuel. Reset TPS.

    Once everything was back together, it started up and idled strong. Took it on a 1 mile ride for inspection sticker. Next ride was a week later: cruised ~10 miles 55mph constant, then put some oomph on the throttle from a light. Did it once more, more throttle, front wheel got light. Went again to go to WOT and I got a "buuhhhhhh" struggle sound. Left off the gas, was cruising OK. Tried WOT, got "buuuhhh". Let off throttle, pulled clutch in and the engine died. Lights, etc still good but engine was off.

    Hasn't started since. I drained the old fuel (huge mess, full tank), put in 1 gal of fresh gas. Disconnected the fuel line at the throttle body and turned key to prime pump. Spits out a bunch of fuel. I hooked up ECMSpy and it's showing a AFV value of 90.2 and error 15 air temp sensor too high/ground (but no CEL.. maybe old?). I reset the AFV to 100 and tried to crank it. It alllllllmost started, but didn't. A few attempts at the starter and I turned the key off. Key back on and as soon as the pump primed I got a "pooft!" of smoke up the velocity stack, almost like a backfire but the bike hasn't started and I hadn't touched the starter yet.

    I don't know if I'm chasing a lack of spark issues, lack of fuel issue, or something completely unrelated to either. The drive profile was textbook AFV learning (which it did since it was not at 100. I'm at sea level and it was ~75F) and at the same time is when the bike died. I wanted to believe a fuel starvation issue, but with the AFV at only 90 that's opposite of what I would expect of the pump was weak. I'd guess it was erring toward 110 to get extra gas.

    Would love some suggestions. I don't know if the local shop would take it, but even if they did I suspect I'd pay far too much to fix a $3,000 bike. Thank you!

    ECMSpy readout below. Fuel PSI reads 0, not sure if that means anything or not. The pump had just primed.
    eeprom.jpg
    Last edited by xb12r_rider; 06-06-2021 at 10:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Tough love time:

    Clean or replace your spark plugs, it will start.

    AFV is not a tuning tool. You don't know what you're doing so quit messing with the ECM. For your own sake.

    Test your fuel pump under load, or just order a quality FP or rebuild kit from Barrett on here. 90% you need one anyway.

    Leave it alone and ride it as often as possible

    Buellizm 101: If you START it... RIDE it.

  3. #3
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    Do you think the first ride ruined brand new plugs? When I pulled them out after it died I swapped back to front and front to back, they looked clean. < 15 miles on two new DCPR9EIX. Should I try back to stock heat range at DCPR8EIX? I'd love to leave it alone and ride it often, just can't get the darn girl to start!

    I tried the full throttle, key on process to run the spark plug electric clean. The first time I did it I got a flame up the intake stack. Repeated the process a few times and the bike started for about a second. Charged the battery again and let the bike hang out. Half an hour later I actually got it to finally start, but it was super weak. Once or twice I got a puff of smoke back up the intake, like the cylinder fired but didn't exhaust, so when the intake valve opened it rushed out the top.

    On one start I got some throttle in and had it around 3k RPM for 20-25 seconds. As I let off a little gas it dropped to 1k rpm, the died. But it DID start finally, so that's excellent progress.

    I won't mess with the ECM again. At this point I highly doubt it's anything ECM related and has something to do with either A) weak spark B) bad pump or C) gunked injectors. Because it started and ran but then started dying slowly that seems more like a fuel thing than a spark thing. If new plugs will help, I'll change them again.

    I ordered the $25 fuel pressure tester from Rev-Moto so that will be something else off the list in a few days or at least a new direction to check.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    The fuel pressure tester from Rev-mo is a fine piece and will test the fuel pump while you are standing next to the bike with the seat off. It could show you a problem but the real way to test a weak fuel pump would be to
    Quote Originally Posted by Cooter View Post
    Test your fuel pump under load,
    So... tee off it and look at the gauge while having the
    Quote Originally Posted by xb12r_rider View Post
    "buuhhhhhh" struggle sound.
    Everything you are describing points to needing a fuel pump. I agree testing it first is a good idea, you just need to test it properly. Not just the fuel pump but the fuel system. Clogged filter, perforated internal lines, broken clamps, disintegrating fuel sock.... its all in the tank assembly.

    and yes, it only takes a few failed start attempts to foul the plugs on a Buell. The cold start sequence is VERY rich and lasts a LONG time.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Barrett's Avatar
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    Sir: generally speaking, any sort of "after-fire" out the exhaust is historically spark/timing related. Any sort of "back-fire" thru the throttle body/air cleaner base plate air horn connector is historically fuel related.

    Consider your initial post again as that holds the clues to your existing problem. You made several changes, reassembled everything, and the starting sequence and performance were fine for approx 11 miles. This indicates to me that compression-spark-fueling-timing were spot-on during that period. Hence, either thru repeated start-up attempts the plugs have fouled....one or both pump filters have clogged....stock muffler has collapsed internals....or IEV system failed allowing valve to remain in the closed position causing restrictions that the motor can't overcome.

    ECM fault code #15 almost always associated with either a failing ECM ground or engine-to-frame compromised ground.
    check all of yours closely.

  6. #6
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    I appreciate the feedback. The 15 CEL code was a stored code but wasn't throwing a current code, so I'm not too worried about that. Agree with everything else, however.

    I ordered the fuel pressure gauge & pump rebuild kit from Rev-Moto. Ordered new coil, plugs & wires from St Paul HD. I have watched the valve motor on top of the airbox work and the few times I've gotten the bike to start it has blown shop paper towels around the floor so I don't the the exhaust is collapsed.

    I hope with new fuel pumps, regulators & filters, new coil, wires & plugs that the only thing left would be dirty injectors. Once I get it started and running I can at least put a tank of good fuel and SeaFoam through it. I will update when complete!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Cooter's Avatar
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    Opinions vary, but the experiment is pretty well defined. Taking them out is not that big a deal but remember they are different front/back.

  8. #8
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    Let's go SeaFoam.

  9. #9
    Senior Member outthere's Avatar
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    I use additives. Have been for years. No I'll effects. But, after watching the video, I may go on the hunt for a non ethanol 91 oct gas.
    Last edited by outthere; 06-09-2021 at 10:48 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member BuellyBagger's Avatar
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    I'm going to get a spanking for this, but I've been using "marine" stabil in everything I own for years. I always have plenty on hand for the boat so I figured WTH. It supposedly has extra "corrosion prevention" additives for aluminum fuel tank (like many boats have)

    It's probably just concentrated stabil dyed green, but it works and no ill effects in 10 ish years



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