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Author Topic: Sudden loss of power (and: reflections on being stranded by the side of the road  (Read 2484 times)

Rich Mintz

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I'm in a tow truck being taken to the closest thing to a RE dealer hereabouts (Annapolis). Lost all power (engine and battery) suddenly at highway speed on a 2010 C5 in good repair and coasted to a safe stop.

Battery is fine (accessories work) but no power to the instruments.

What are your best guesses -- something as simple as a master fuse?

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 08:03:12 PM »
Check the battery leads, they might be cracked.  Also, right under the ignition key is a quick disconnect that can pop off, you'll lose power to everything.  If that's it put it back together and zip tie it.

Good luck!

Scott

barenekd

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 08:05:02 PM »
I'd check the fuses first. However when mine quit like that with a blown fuse, I put a second one in and it blew, too. I got the bike home and started looking for a short. I found a couple of suspicious areas and improved the insulation and routing on the spots, but I never did really find positive indication of a short. I put a real American fuse in it and never had any more problems. I ended up changing all the fuses.
Bare
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 05:18:55 PM by barenekd »
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foggy95

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 09:00:38 PM »
Just a guess, side stand switch, or have you already disabled that (like most of us).
Not sure what the symptoms would be if that acted up while underway.

Good luck, we're riding vicariously with you!
Chester County, PA
2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

motorat

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 10:46:18 PM »
that happened to me also.
it was my positive batery lead.
Joe
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Rich Mintz

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 10:47:31 PM »
Power returned to the instruments when we checked the bike after towing. Engine tried to turn over but wouldn't catch. (Notably, with clutch pulled in, engine wouldn't even turn over at all.)

All the fuses look fine.

The towing guy (who has some experience) agreed with me that the EFI is the missing link. Maybe a short blew my ECU (whatever it does) and so the EFI can't operate?

Towed it to a shop, they wouldn't touch it. So I rented a moving truck, we secured it inside, and I'm driving it the 240 miles to NYC, where I'll unload it outside my dealer.

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 10:52:03 PM »
Sad :(

1 Thump

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 10:54:47 PM »
It seems that the C5s seem to have more of the electr-ics/onics issues. Maybe they sell far more C5's to account for the seeming predisposition.

JVS

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 11:08:02 PM »
Bad luck..

But I'm hoping and kind of have the feeling that the ECU is okay and it is still something to do with the battery/electrical side. But the engine not turning over..try the kick start?
Sons continuing wars, our fathers were enemies


foggy95

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 11:45:32 PM »
Bad luck..

But I'm hoping and kind of have the feeling that the ECU is okay and it is still something to do with the battery/electrical side. But the engine not turning over..try the kick start?

2010 C5 = no kicker .....
Chester County, PA
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GreenMachine

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2013, 11:55:40 PM »
wow that stinks and u were on a roll there..I spent the afternoon dusting off the harden crud from the rear tire and underneath...Installed the charged up battery and after cycling the piston a few times she fired right up..I died out at the stop sign and after playing around sawed that I accidentally hit the choke lever....Too bad u have to u haul it back, its under warranty...No dealers that close to D.C./Northern Va....GM
Oh Magoo you done it again

JVS

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2013, 05:24:15 AM »
2010 C5 = no kicker .....

Geesh! Always keep forgetting that  :-X I'm so accustomed to Enfield always having a kick-starter. Forgive me peeps
« Last Edit: April 04, 2013, 05:26:33 AM by JVS »
Sons continuing wars, our fathers were enemies


Rich Mintz

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2013, 05:56:23 AM »
Made it home, parked bike outside my dealer, returned the truck. Here's the kicker: upon arrival the bike started up fine. So I'm guessing it's the side stand kill switch.

If that deployed while in motion, it would kill the engine, right?. Don't know why I also lost electrical power.

I wouldn't drive the bike in that condition -- I'll insist the dealer bypass the kill switch.

More when I know...

Ducati Scotty

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2013, 05:59:50 AM »
The switch internals get wonky, a slight jolt can kill the bike.  I suspect you've got a loose or broken connector somewhere.  Try turning the bars and bouncing on the seat to see if the power falters.

Scott

wildbill

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Re: Sudden loss of power
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2013, 12:35:07 PM »
did you check to see if the roll-over switch was loose - just under the rear of the seat
2011 C5 black/chrome
2012 C5 maroon/chrome 
2013 B5 black
2014 Continental gt
2014 C5 tan/cheery - upgrades and work in progress

2004 mazda-speed miata
2001 bmw z3 2.2

Rich Mintz

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Re: Sudden loss of power (and: reflections on being stranded by the road)
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2013, 04:54:55 PM »
Resolution:

- My dealer has the bike but they say they're backed up and can't look at it for two weeks (!)

- Bike now starts up fine, no evidence that there was ever a problem

- It does appear that the side stand or rollover kill switch is to blame

- If arguing with the dealer doesn't get them to attend to it, I'll go pick up the bike and deal with the kill switch myself. It's not the kind of repair I've ever done, but I'm a smart grownup with a screwdriver and a roll of electrical tape and will be able to figure it out. I'm sure there are instructions somewhere on this forum.

Some parting thoughts:

(1) GEICO Emergency Road Service ($14/year as part of my policy) absolutely delivered. They had a professional motorcycle rescue truck (with a hydraulic lift) to my location 15 minutes after I hung up the phone. Sure, I was lucky that I broke down near Annapolis, a very motorcycle-friendly place, but still.  I might not even bother to put in for reimbursement for the $120 I was charged for towing and a set of 4 new straps (see below) -- just knowing GEICO answers the phone is enough.

(2) Being rescued by a professional motorcycle tow driver (as opposed to car tow) made all the difference. The guy knew about bikes, understood my concerns, and spent 90 minutes with me getting me to a resolution. He was just not going to leave me alone until it was clear what my plan was to get the bike home and he saw me off safely.

(3) Fie on all the dealers who won't touch a Royal Enfield. I'm talking to you, Pete's of Severna Park and Chesapeake Cycles of Annapolis.

(4) Incredibly, you can rent a moving truck on the spur of the moment for a 250-mile one-way trip, and this is perfectly normal. It wasn't nearly as expensive as I expected ($120 plus taxes/insurance/gas for 2 days, although I returned the truck on the other end 7 hours after I picked it up).

(5) I'm capable of transporting a motorcycle a long distance in a truck without tipping it over or setting anything on fire. This may sound minor but I do not come from a "drive around with ATVs in the back of the truck" culture at all (my family thinks I am crazy to go near a motorcycle, and I'm pretty sure no blood relative of mine has ever owned a pickup truck or van). The rescue driver provided 4 new ratchet straps, helped me tie down the bike, and even taught me a little about physics. The bike didn't move ONE INCH during a 250-mile trip in a rattletrap rental truck, and I got the bike out of the van myself on the other end (at midnight on a deserted street in Brooklyn) with no trouble.

(6) Owning a motorcycle with almost no dealer network is not for everybody. I can handle it because I'm not afraid of a bit of adventure, but if i were a different person, this one experience would drive me to sell the bike and trade it in for a Honda or Suzuki, with dealers easy to find across the country.

(7) What do you mean, "we're backed up and we'll look at your bike in 2 weeks"? I bought locally for a reason: I expected you would service what you sell. (The jury is still out on this one -- we'll see what they say when I show up in person.)

(8) There's 24-hour moving-truck rental in downtown Brooklyn (!). I don't know who would ever need a rental truck at 2 in the morning, but if I ever do, I know I can get one.

Ducati Scotty

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If you don't mind not having the side stand safety switch, just follow the wire from it a few inches and disconnect it.  Many of us already have.  If you're at all handy you should be able to open it and repair it.

Scott

High On Octane

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What a bummer.  For what it's worth, from what you're describing and from what I've read in other posts, it does sound like the kickstand and/or rollover switch is to blame.  Both are easy fixes and shouldn't take more than a half hour and a beer to rectify.  Quite honestly, if you subtracted the beer from the equation you could do it right there in the parking lot.

It's good to hear that there are still some good tow truck drivers out there.  Most of those guys are just out to take your money any way they can.

Scottie
Scottie J  ~  Bulldog Kustoms Denver  ~  1958 Enfield/Indian Trailblazer  ~  1959 Enfield/Indian Chief

Ekatus Atimoss

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Hi,
This sounds a bit like what has seized my friend's 2010 C5 - bought 2012 from the dealer showroom. Very early, it started to blow the main fuse, we were running very quickly out of stock of these 20A - root cause was a faulty parking light socket, causing a short upon the slightest movement. We disassembled the parking light as a first aid and got a revised socket by RE. Next possible culprit could be indeed the side stand switch.

Maybe this could help.

Kind regards
Michael
dopo notte, atra e funesta, splende in ciel più vago il sole e di gioia empie la terra
2012 C5 built for comfort, not for speed (click for pictures)

Rich Mintz

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Michael, I have exactly the same bike (2010 C5 bought new in 2012).

Thank you. We did pull out and (visually) check all the fuses yesterday afternoon, including the main fuse (I have the manual so I can tell which fuse is which).

Since my electrical power has now come back on, it means my fuse is not the problem, right? Not challenging, just making sure I understand the logic of how to trace the problem.

What I am now guessing is that I have two problems:

(1) I have a faulty rollover sensor

(2) I *may* also have a faulty sidestand switch

First thing to check is whether my rollover sensor has come loose. This weekend I'll figure out how to take my seat apart and get under there. :-)

no bs

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for what it's worth, my 2011 g5 taillight wires rubbed on the fender hole(where the grommet had fallen out) and i lost all power. something to consider. good luck!
killing bugs since 1972 2011 g5 deluxe


Ducati Scotty

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Don't cut anything.  Go to the sidestand, follow the wire that goes up from it.  Within a foot of the switch is a connector.  Unplug the connector and your sidestand switch is disabled and won't cause any trouble.

Scott

b.sheets

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Don't cut anything.  Go to the sidestand, follow the wire that goes up from it.  Within a foot of the switch is a connector.  Unplug the connector and your sidestand switch is disabled and won't cause any trouble.

Scott

+1

no need for cutting
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Rich Mintz

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Thanks Scott - I've now established that the side stand isn't my problem. :)

I'm looking in and near the left toolbox for loose connectors. There is a small square connector ( on a wire in the bundle above the battery) that's loose. Trying to figure out what it may have popped out of.


Arizoni

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+2

Even if the correct wire was cut, and there is a chance of the wrong one becoming the victim,  cutting the wire will leave the bare ends of the two wires sitting right next to one another.
In that position, the bare wires, being the devious things they are, could make contact with one another causing the computer to think the switch had closed. :(
Jim
2011 G5 Deluxe
1999 Miata 10th Anniversary


gashousegorilla

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Thanks Scott - I've now established that the side stand isn't my problem. :)

I'm looking in and near the left toolbox for loose connectors. There is a small square connector ( on a wire in the bundle above the battery) that's loose. Trying to figure out what it may have popped out of.

   If that wire is Black and the only wire in the connector..... It's the ground for the ECU. Find the other end and plug it in ! And you should be good. The bike won't run.... or start without it.

 If it's a three wire, in a unplugged , white square connector. That's probably just the diagnostic hook up, and not used.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

Ducati Scotty

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Common areas for shorts and loose connections are at the tail light, near the left tool box, where the wiring harness crosses the top engine brace (near the front of the seat, the brace is usually gold), in the front nacelle and around the steeing head.  Also, the ignition switch is not the most high quality.  Jiggle the key and turn it on and off a few times while monitoring the voltage on the bike.

Scott


barenekd

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Rich,
As for some dealers not wanting to touch an Enfield, be glad of that. These bikes are not the same as the rest of the Kawazukahamas out there. Even though they are a lot simpler doesn't mean they have a clue about what makes 'em tick.
Now, if it's the guy you brought it from and promised you service, you can look at two ways, be pissed because he lied to you or be thankful because he probably didn't know what he was doing in the first place!
Bare 
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2011 Black Classic G5 (RIP)
I refuse to tiptoe through life only to arrive safely at death
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gashousegorilla

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It could be the ECU ground! Trying to figure out where it goes.

   The other end is tied into the ground wire at the battery.........Negative side. Check it.
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.


gashousegorilla

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SUCCESS!! Lalalalalalaaaaaa

Thank you!!!!

Now to put it all back together and get home!!

   OUTSTANDING !   If you ever come across the river to Jersey , we'll have a beer.....
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

b.sheets

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what exactly was wrong?!

Glad you got it fixed.
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2013 Triumph Thruxton

Rich Mintz

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The ECU/EFI ground wire leading from the area of the top of the engine had come loose (loose connector near the battery terminal). I guess it pulled loose (but not fully apart) while riding. The 200 mile truck trip jostled it back together so the bike started tonight but only went 3 blocks and died again, jostling it fully apart. Plugging it back in fixed it. I put some electrical tape on to hold it.

Desi Bike

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Awesome detective work everyone. With a forum.like this, who needs a servicing dealer that makes you wait for two weeks.  Good job Rich,  ride on.
میں نہیں چاہتا کہ ایک اچار
میں صرف اپنی موٹر سائیکل پر سوار کرنا چاہتے ہیں

shamelin

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Awesome detective work everyone. With a forum.like this, who needs a servicing dealer that makes you wait for two weeks.  Good job Rich,  ride on.

So true.  I didn't know squat about bikes, much less Royal Enfields, until I showed up here.  Since that fateful day, I have been able to troubleshoot problems, perform maintenance, and modify my machine using nothing more than the wisdom and experience from the fine folks here.  It's been quite a ride, to mix a metaphor.

wildbill

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with all our input - the time might come when the dealer logs on to this site to sought out the problem lol
2011 C5 black/chrome
2012 C5 maroon/chrome 
2013 B5 black
2014 Continental gt
2014 C5 tan/cheery - upgrades and work in progress

2004 mazda-speed miata
2001 bmw z3 2.2

gashousegorilla

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  Yup, good job boys. I just perked up after you all had him check the other obvious stuff.... then he mentioned that connector.  That Black connector has a snap lock on it. And should have been snapped when you put in a battery.... I've made the same mistake....
An thaibhsí atá rattling ag an doras agus tá sé an diabhal sa chathaoir.

b.sheets

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I say for the sake of others that we get a picture of the culprit up on this thread so it can be identified by some(like me) that don't know and just want to make sure. what do you say rich?

it'll be good to put in my memory bank of electrical things to check.
2012 C5 Special(SOLD)
2013 Triumph Thruxton


Ducati Scotty

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Follow the small wire off the negative bsttery terminal, it's just a few inches down.

Scott

mattsz

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Nice one, Rich!

I know that connector well; I messed with a few of them in that area when I replaced my battery cable ends and had to re-lead the positive cable to make it all fit.  I ended up with similar problem - I unplugged the 2-wire connector between the starter switch and the starter relay, which lives in that same spot (white connector, IIRC, black and white/blue wires).  The little bar that secures the lock tab for the connector busted right off when I pressed the tab to release it.  I secured it with some "twist-wire", but I'll have to watch it in case of starter issues in the future.

There isn't much spare wire there, but has anybody ever replaced these things?  If so, does one get a matching OEM fitting, or is it easier or better to buy a different connector, say from NAPA or some other such?  Rich may want more than just electric tape keeping his bike running...

kammersangerin

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Hey, there is a dealer in Winchester Virginia. I have talked with him. He knows RE VERY well, an and has been in business a long time.

Ducati Scotty

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I'd get a new connector and use a new wire from the battery terminal to get some slack.  Make sure it's a click connector, not just a friction fit.

Scott

Rich Mintz

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KS, I found the Winchester dealer online and that was going to be my backup plan if I couldn't get a truck to take the bike back to NYC myself -- I'd have the rescue tow driver take me there. I've heard good things about those guys elsewhere too.

There's supposedly a dealer NW of Baltimore too (in Eldersburg) but when I tried calling them, their listed phone had been disconnected.

GreenMachine

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Rich: The one in Winchester is off of route 50, was there 4 years ago and if memory serves me right, they have a large operation selling a variety of brands.  Glad to see the good revues on them as its 1.5 hours from my locale.  ..Go figure,  loose ground/snap connector. Its a ashamed you had to go through that goat rope due to it.  Five years ago, I took all the ground points off and cleaned up the contact area with a dremel tool. As has been mentioned more than once, the pig tail wiring under the rear fender for the lights needs looking over and if needed addressed.
I was waiting to see if you gotten yourself in a pickle and needed a place to stay and park your bike in a garage.  I'm on the other side of DC towards Warrenton...Before I knew it, you flew the coop and was headed back to NYC with a truck...You were obviously prepared for the worst.
Enjoy the pics and haven't looked at the video yet, been busy myself with the bikes and its the time of year to get back in the saddle..GM.
Oh Magoo you done it again

Rich Mintz

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I'm glad to know there's a RE dealer within reach of DC that has good reviews. I'll be riding to DC again (work takes me there often) so this knowledge may come in handy. GM, perhaps I'll see you on one of these trips.

While we're on the subject, do any of you around NYC know the reputations of the other area dealers? My dealer (Carbon Negative in Brooklyn) is friendly but they're way understaffed and don't do a lot of RE volume so I worry they aren't an adequate backup for me.

Cycle City in Sloatsburg (off 87 in north Rockland County) -- they are a big RE seller so I assume they can service

Gold Coast and UK Motorsports on Long Island


kammersangerin

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I bought my bike at Gold Coast, and because I had problems the first time I rode it, I am not quite sure what to think. I really like them and their people in terms of personality and how they talk to you. They were extremely easy to work with. They held the bike for me because I couldn't go up before I left for Japan for a month. I really appreciated that. They said change the plug, I did, it took care of the problem, but only temporarily.( more on that later.) I will call them back to let them know the results because they asked me to. So, bascially, I think they are great people, and they are out to treat you well and sell you a good bike, but I don;t know how well they really know the bikes.