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2019 Tracer 900 - Random low idle and stalling when clutch is in?


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Hi guys, I have lurked this forum for a bit (bought the Tracer in June and have put about 3k miles on it so far) but finally needed to make an account to get involved.

The bike currently has 16,xxx miles on it or so, and I did the valve inspection and adjustment a week or two ago. Intake valves were all good, and I shimmed the exhaust valves that needed it. During the tear down, I specifically put a sharpie line on BOTH camshaft sprockets that aligned to a rivet on the cam chain. The bike was reassembled after turning the motor by hand a few times and checking to ensure everything lined up in the top end.

I have currently experienced 4 random stalls on the bike, all while stopped with the clutch in. The very first one was me being annoying at a stop light and rapidly blipping the throttle by tapping on my Cramp buster like it was a button. The most recent 3 times have been while slowing to a stop (downshift into 2nd and coast, then clutch in and pop into first as I stop). Bike has been around 150-180F coolant temp, and starts right back up with the starter although it seems to have a hard time starting when warm. It has also gone into a higher idle once (warm) and then died after I blipped the throttle to see if it was sticking.

 

Coupled with the harder starts when the bike is warmed up, what could be a culprit? Vacuum leak on the throttle bodies or AIS?

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Is all this different behavior than how the bike ran BEFORE the work? Or did it occasionally stall/hard start in the past and maybe you don’t notice or worry about it?

Were throttle bodies synced? did you recheck  the exhaust valve lash after you’d shimmed and reinstalled the camshafts?

-Skip

 

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37 minutes ago, skipperT said:

Is all this different behavior than how the bike ran BEFORE the work? Or did it occasionally stall/hard start in the past and maybe you don’t notice or worry about it?

Were throttle bodies synced? did you recheck  the exhaust valve lash after you’d shimmed and reinstalled the camshafts?

-Skip

 

To be completely honest, I couldn't tell you any difference in riding. The motor sounds right, pulls hard, pops the front up (TCS off) and all of that, no issues during riding. The ONE time I stalled it at a stop before, I was pressing the tip of my cramp buster sort of like a child pushing a doorbell - repeatedly and softly, so it choked the motor out.

I threw away the cardboard I wrote my lashes on, but it was within the 0.26-0.30mm on the exhaust side, after shimming.

I will say that when I rebuilt my 81 XV920, I had the front cylinder's cam off by one tooth and it was noticeable at idle (surging as the motor tried catching up to the mismatched mechanical timing) but that was an easy fix. On the Tracer, I ziptied the cam chain to the intake sprocket since I wasn't removing it, and then put a sharpie mark to a rivet on the exhaust cam. It is too hot out in the garage to poke around aimlessly, so I am trying to get a list of things to check when I pull the tank.

 

I am leaning heavily towards a vacuum/intake leak, but I will grab a vacuum gauge and check the TB sync as well.

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5 minutes ago, angrygirafe said:

Oh man, we are in very similar boats. For what it’s worth, I’m almost a tanks worth of gas into a Ring Free shock treatment, and today things were noticeably better. Not fixed, but definitely better. 

Interesting...

 

It's definitely fine mechanically INSIDE of the motor, as I doubt it would be ride-able if cam timing was off. I am leaning towards a vacuum or air leak in some spot, or the fact that it's a 2019 with the OEM battery and possibly that's an issue. I am also trying to get a gauge to sync the throttle bodies, or at least check them.

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23 minutes ago, ItsTracerTime said:

Interesting...

 

It's definitely fine mechanically INSIDE of the motor, as I doubt it would be ride-able if cam timing was off. I am leaning towards a vacuum or air leak in some spot, or the fact that it's a 2019 with the OEM battery and possibly that's an issue. I am also trying to get a gauge to sync the throttle bodies, or at least check them.

We did find four broken vac caps in my bike, but it didn’t help replacing those, or cleaning and syncing the the throttle bodies, or trying a different ECU, or checking the clutch switch, or having the valves/timing verified by a second shop, or replacing the neutral sensor, or… Bleh.  Granted, I’m sneaking up on 52k miles, so we may be having very similar problems for very different reasons. I’ll keep an eye on this thread and let you know if I find anything definitive. 
 

ETA; also tried new battery. Twice. 

Edited by angrygirafe
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16 hours ago, ItsTracerTime said:

To be completely honest, I couldn't tell you any difference in riding. The motor sounds right, pulls hard, pops the front up (TCS off) and all of that, no issues during riding. The ONE time I stalled it at a stop before, I was pressing the tip of my cramp buster sort of like a child pushing a doorbell - repeatedly and softly, so it choked the motor out.

I threw away the cardboard I wrote my lashes on, but it was within the 0.26-0.30mm on the exhaust side, after shimming.

I will say that when I rebuilt my 81 XV920, I had the front cylinder's cam off by one tooth and it was noticeable at idle (surging as the motor tried catching up to the mismatched mechanical timing) but that was an easy fix. On the Tracer, I ziptied the cam chain to the intake sprocket since I wasn't removing it, and then put a sharpie mark to a rivet on the exhaust cam. It is too hot out in the garage to poke around aimlessly, so I am trying to get a list of things to check when I pull the tank.

 

I am leaning heavily towards a vacuum/intake leak, but I will grab a vacuum gauge and check the TB sync as well.

That would be a recommended step, as valve lash affects TB sync, and idle quality. So if one is adjusted, the other should be checked.

While you’re in there, I’d make sure everything that was unplugged, is secure again. A funky connection could cause these symptoms, as well as a loose battery terminal. 
Good luck, let us know.

-S

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Can someone with a functional, stock Tracer confirm something for me?

 

Since I have owned the bike, at idle, clutch in or neutral, if I rev the bike the motor will rev like usual but when it drops back to idle (1100rpm) it goes slightly past that (under 1100rpm) and dips a few times and then catches itself. Is that normal? This happens when warm only, as I have tested it a few times. Cold start, tach shows 4 bars on the gauge (high idle, no biggie) and revving it will not make it stumble. As soon as the bike is at a temp for it to hit normal idle speed, it shows 3 bars on the gauge (correct 1100rpm, right?) and I rev it, the bike drops to 2 bars on its' way down and then catches itself and goes back to 3.

 

It has done it since day 1 of me owning it with 14k miles, when the exhaust valves were tight and out of spec as well.

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@ItsTracerTime By bars, are you referring to the digital tach display?

if so, I’d consider that meaningless. It won’t give you a differentiation between 1000 rpm and 1150, for example. It’s just not accurate enough. 

maybe it would be best if you recorded a short video of your symptom that you are describing your bike doing, and then we can comment. 

my initial reaction is, “normal”, but I’d like to hear it. 
-Skip

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No luck on a video today, ironically.

Bike started and ran fine from cold this morning, and when I left my destination to head back home of course, it did the thing. As I pulled up a buddy kill switched me as I rolled by him, and the bike was VERY hesitant to start again (I'm talking like 7-8 cranks of the starter it sounded like) and then caught.

Literally a quarter of a mile after I left (about an hour later), I took a right hand turn in first and got on it, and then pulled the clutch in and coasted to the next stop - motor died. It started right back up, but it still died while coasting.

 

When I got home and tried recreating the scenario, I could not get it to happen. It's so random.

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Troubleshooting is a process of elmination.

The first step is knowing how things work.

For a engine to run, it needs three things……fuel, air, spark.

So, one or more of those three things isnt right.

Each of those three systems need to be checked.

Another thing to determine is if each cylinder is operating the same. Measuing the header temp of each cylinder will show a weak cylinder. Knowing if a cylinder is weak greatly helps cause the issue is with that cylinder only.

If all cylinders are weak….there is a system issue effecting them all.

Knowing fuel pressure is useful. There could fuel supply fluctuations causing a issue. Does the fuel level cause the issue?

A coil or coils could be the issue. Checking header temps helps with this.

Air leaks…..simple way to check is to use water. Spray a stream of water around the intakes and such. Ive used a small water bottle with a small hole punched in the top. If there is a leak, the water will be sucked in, the engine will run rough and white smoke will come out the exhaust.

Or , you could just start changing out parts randomly in hopes you find the issue before you spend alot of wasted time and money.

 


 

 

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9 hours ago, duckie said:

Troubleshooting is a process of elmination.

The first step is knowing how things work.

For a engine to run, it needs three things……fuel, air, spark.

So, one or more of those three things isnt right.

Each of those three systems need to be checked.

Another thing to determine is if each cylinder is operating the same. Measuing the header temp of each cylinder will show a weak cylinder. Knowing if a cylinder is weak greatly helps cause the issue is with that cylinder only.

If all cylinders are weak….there is a system issue effecting them all.

Knowing fuel pressure is useful. There could fuel supply fluctuations causing a issue. Does the fuel level cause the issue?

A coil or coils could be the issue. Checking header temps helps with this.

Air leaks…..simple way to check is to use water. Spray a stream of water around the intakes and such. Ive used a small water bottle with a small hole punched in the top. If there is a leak, the water will be sucked in, the engine will run rough and white smoke will come out the exhaust.

Or , you could just start changing out parts randomly in hopes you find the issue before you spend alot of wasted time and money.

 


 

 

I plan on looking under the tank again soon to check all the connections, everything should be in good order being as it is a 2019 but I will verify my own work. Also waiting to have the funds for a carb sync gauge set so I can check the TB sync

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