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Thread: OK I did a bonehead thing: A ride on my R1150RT with Adventure bikers.

  1. #1

    OK I did a bonehead thing: A ride on my R1150RT with Adventure bikers.

    I thought it might be fun. The group claimed to use roads & never go off road, so I thought a loop from western Pa down through some windy roads in W Virginia might be exciting. Well, off we went down a nicely paved state route, from a town I had to ride 60 miles south early one Saturday to meet up. There was seven of us; four on GS's, one on an Adventure Triumph, one on a Kawasaki KLR650, & me on my touring R1150RT.

    Soon it became evident, the state rt was meant to get us to the next crappy county road full of pot holes and gravel from time to time. And we were not going slow either but carried along at a pretty fast clip. My suspension got more than a workout bottoming on occasion as I missed avoiding a nasty pot hole or deep puddle. Some of these county roads, especially as we got into West Vir. were pretty bad. So we come to this place where they want to cross a little stream not on a bridge. When we got there a local was crossing it in his 4 wheel drive. The water was deep enough to cover his axles! Not good. Well, one of the GS's went across & came back announcing it was nothing- with a good hard bottom. So everyone started crossing and when it got down to 2 of us I figured my RT could make it so I went. I probably went a bit too fast because I churned the water a bit but made it to dry land just as me engine died. I tried immediately to start it but it would not turn over. Someone said "hydro locked" and he was right on.

    After no one had a plug wrench in the group I pulled my seat to find my tool kit complete with a plug wrench and we pulled both plugs. I cranked it over and out came the river water! After I got out all I could we put the plugs back in & I got it started. And out came the steam as I heated the remaining water into steam with combustion. It did take a bit of cranking to start it and it drained my battery in the process, but we had it running and I kept it that way as we rode on to our lunch spot. We had climbed a pretty big hill so I had that if I needed it to start the RT. After lunch I did need it and got it running with fear that my battery wasn't charging or my battery took a bad time to die. Any way, other nasty things ensued that I won't get into now, except that I did find myself later by myself slipping in a muddy driveway in the middle of nowhere needing to lift my bike after it dumped me in the mud on my street tires. I managed to lift it with the back up technique (difficult as hell in the mud) & got it on the kick stand. My battery was so dead it would not even make the starter click. The kind girl who found me in her drive way probably thought she had to help me or I would be staying so she called a friend who came with jumper cables. I got it running, and the kind young man helped push me through the mud as my tire spun and I finally emerged on dry ground only to say thank you & motored off. I had no idea where I was so that became a bit fun as I rode & rode down a state route until I saw a human to ask, found my way to the interstate and rode home. I'll never ride w/ them again; at least not until I get a dual purpose machine.

    Now, my baby has a miss during acceleration, rough idle (to where it stalls, and just does not run like it used to. I think I broke my RT. I put new plugs in it and now I ran some injector cleaner though it, with no luck. Anybody have any idea what damage I might have done to it? What to check. It still has power unless it misses. It was always super smooth before, and now it stumbles as I'm accelerating. I'm sick!

  2. #2
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Give it some time....maybe a dose of Techron.....let the water in the nooks and crannies dry out. Good for you for getting through it Ewan and Charlie would be proud.
    OM
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  3. #3
    One guy did complement my riding technique. He said he never saw anyone handle a road bike so skillfully on gravel and the roads we were on. I told him years of dirt bike riding shows. He agreed.

  4. #4
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    Wonderful story. The next one will go better, be sure to post.
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    Doug Raymond,
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  5. #5
    Left Coast Rider
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    Things you might want to do:

    1. Change your oil. And your filter. NOW. Oil and water do not mix.
    2. Pull your air filter. You'll probably find its at least damp. The water had to get into your engine some how and this may have been the entrance way. Even if it doesn't appear wet/dirty, install a new one.
    3. Pull the front cover off your engine and make sure its nice and dry in there.
    4. Make sure all connection points for your intake system are tight and sealed. Check to make sure you didn't lose a cap off the vacuum balance points underneath the FI manifolds.
    5. Give your battery a good trickle charge and make sure your charging system is functioning properly.
    6. Give your battery a load test.
    7. Report back.

    Oh, and one more - stay out of streams.

    This is all easy to do and a good place to start tracing down/eliminating some variables.

  6. #6
    Registered User BMARC153920's Avatar
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    Yep I vote for wet air filter. Fresh engine, tranny and final drive oil, New air filter and some sea foam in your gas for a tank and she will run as good as new I bet.

  7. #7
    First thing I did was to replace my air filter with a performance one that was waiting to be installed. The paper one was a bit damp. It probably dried mostly out on my long ride home. I wonder about wet electronics.

  8. #8
    Left Coast Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kutter View Post
    ... I wonder about wet electronics.
    "3. Pull the front cover off your engine and make sure its nice and dry in there."

    This is where your hall effect sensor as well as your alternator is.

  9. #9
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    Only other thing I could suggest is selecting you ride mates more carefully.
    Ride Safe.


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    Lee
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    "I never worry about getting lost.
    I just change where I'm headed"

  10. #10
    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by txcruiser View Post
    Only other thing I could suggest is selecting you ride mates more carefully.
    Ride Safe.
    Or just shake your head and meet them on down the road. As someone once told me " just cause you can doesn't mean you should"

    No differences in electronics between models like the GS water dog...would just let'er dry out a few days ,maybe a fan blowing under nose with alt cover off as well
    Steve Henson-Mod Team and SABMWRA Prez

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  11. #11
    Day Dreaming ... happy wanderer's Avatar
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    I had a day like yours once minus the stream. RT fell over in that wonderful red mud Northern California is so famous for. Twice... Second time I could not get it back upright by myself so I hiked out and got help. Bike ran terrible after it was finally hauled down the mountain road I should never have gone down. Dang GPS... Anyway, the rough idle and bad running engine that ensued was due to debris in the throttle body pulleys.

    I suggest you pull the tupperware, get down under the throttle bodies and release the cables from the spindles and clean out those pulleys real good. I am guessing you may find some sand and or pebbles or some other crap in there. It takes just the tiniest morsel in there to screw things up.

    My hat is off to you for trying to keep up with those guys though! We've all been there... it's called an adventure and you just had one. Crack a beer and start bragging.
    MJM - BeeCeeBeemers Motorcycle Club Vancouver B.C.
    '81 R80G/S, '82 R100RS, '00 R1100RT

  12. #12
    Registered User wkuwiz's Avatar
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    1. Change your oil. And your filter. NOW. Oil and water do not mix.
    2. Pull your air filter. You'll probably find its at least damp. The water had to get into your engine some how and this may have been the entrance way. Even if it doesn't appear wet/dirty, install a new one.
    3. Pull the front cover off your engine and make sure its nice and dry in there.
    4. Make sure all connection points for your intake system are tight and sealed. Check to make sure you didn't lose a cap off the vacuum balance points underneath the FI manifolds.
    5. Give your battery a good trickle charge and make sure your charging system is functioning properly.
    6. Give your battery a load test.
    7. Report back.

    Especially #1-4. Having a Dakar as well as an RT combined with living in AR and riding with a bunch of ADV types.... I have had my dakar in the full swimming, watery position thanks to high water in the Mulberry river. We immediately field stripped it draining about a gallon or so. I changed oil as soon as I got to camp (20 Miles), changed it again at home (150 miles) this time with filter change. New Plugs, air filter, etc. she's back in fine shape. That was 5,000 miles ago.

    And don't take that RT out on gravel. Get a GS for that!

  13. #13
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkuwiz View Post
    ...living in AR and riding with a bunch of ADV types.... I have had my dakar in the full swimming, watery position thanks to high water in the Mulberry river. We immediately field stripped it draining about a gallon or so. I changed oil as soon as I got to camp (20 Miles), changed it again at home (150 miles) this time with filter change. New Plugs, air filter, etc. she's back in fine shape. That was 5,000 miles ago.

    And don't take that RT out on gravel. Get a GS for that!
    Somewhat of a hijack, but... I love crossing creeks near the Mulberry. I've only ridden there in April and the creeks got deep enough that we didn't need to try the river.

    2006


    After watching someone else suck water in the middle, I opted for a shallower line

    The best submersible bike I've ever had was my 1997 KTM 400 RXC. It could be ridden in water up to the seat base and just keep going with no issues. I swamped it once in 2008 somewhere west of the Mulberry Mountain Lodge. (We headed towards Turner Bend to start the day, but turned right up a trail before we got there.) It looked like a small stream crossing that was only about tire deep and we'd already crossed it once in the opposite direction. I managed to kick a rock with the back tire and next thing I knew I was on a slick slab of rock sliding backwards into a hole. The bike sucked water and stalled about the same time the bars went under. I was able to grab a bar with my head still out of the water and found footing to drag it out on my own. I pulled the drain plug on the air box and waited for the stream of water to stop. After that, I pulled the decompression lever and thumbed the electric starter to let it start pumping out the exhaust. after a few dozen seconds of that, I released the decompression and it coughed to life. I put the plug in the airbox and rode gently for a few miles while she blew steam out behind me. When the steam subsided and the engine started to run normally, we got back to trail riding and I checked the air filter and oil at the end of the day. The oil was still fine (no milk or froth) and the foam filter was dried out and tacky. No further service needed and my supertrapp disks even got cleaned in the process.

    Not a bad place for a street bike either.

  14. #14
    All right. Dry under the front cover. All the linkage is clean & mud & dirt free. I wanted to change the oil so I took it out for a spin W/o fairings. Yea, it didn't look so good but it is dark. 10:10 to 10:45 oil is draining now. no water in the oil. Just clean oil because I changed it not long ago. Now, how it runs: If I open the throttle it will miss and sputter and run like crap. It even stalled as soon as it came to a stop if I didn't hold the rpms up. Now I figured out if I gave it throttle as it revved like I was on my last cup of fuel & trying to get home just slowly it advanced in rpm with no miss and good power. As I rode it like that just rolling the throttle on slowly in any gear, even higher gears it would not miss. In 1st or second I could roll it on from 1500 rpm and it would accelerate, with 3rd about 2000 rpm on, 4th & 5th about 2500 on no miss at all - all the way up close to redline.

    The problem comes in if I twist the throttle fast and ask for quicker revving. It stumbles when I do that and misses and sputters. It seems to be louder w/o fairings for some reason. I have no idea why. I was warming it up in the garage (with the door open) with choke and the header was turning red hot! I was revving it to about 3000 rpm. That is when I decided to take it out for a ride.

  15. #15
    Registered User BMARC153920's Avatar
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    I'd pull all the electrical connectors and check for water. I'd pay specific attention to spark plug boots and coils.

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