Sudden anemic performance - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Sudden anemic performance

Any ideas where to start on this one?

'15 V650, about 4500 miles on the odometer. Running 88 octane no-ethanol gas.

Suddenly while out riding around town the idle dropped from 1300 to 1050 rpm. It has remained there when warmed up now. When cold the idle is higher and the engine runs ok but perhaps not as strong as before this happened.

Now when warmed up the engine feels very weak below about 3500 rpm. Between 2500 and 3000 rpm it has almost no power. It feels like a carbureted engine which is running out of gas. It pulls adequately when asking for little, gliding along at 35 mph. But twist the throttle and it feels like combustion just stopped, as if it is running with no gas. Opening up the throttle it will accelerate. At 4000+ rpm it has adequate power for highway cruising and accelerating onto the highway.

Everything seems to indicate a loss of fuel flow, not spark or airflow. Since it runs better at higher rpm and more throttle it doesn't seem to be a blocked fuel line or filter. Agree?

The TPS sensor feels very secure and does not appear to have moved at all.

The problem came on suddenly and seems to be consistent over a couple of rides, around 50 miles total (mostly highway, some city). Not water in the fuel, right?

Fuel injector perhaps? Is there an idle or low throttle injector and a higher power injector? Should I pull the fuel injector(s) or just pour in a can of Sea Foam?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 01:32 PM
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Bad gas, water in fuel thank ...

My 2 cents

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-08-2017, 01:35 PM
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Since I start with the simplest and cheapest-to-fix solutions and work from there, I'd first be certain that the fuel isn't too old or otherwise bad, then I'd check the air filter (particularly if the bike was stored for the winter; critters and crawly things have been known to nest in there) and then add some Sea Foam and see what happens.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-09-2017, 11:43 AM
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I use the highest octane I can get for my '09, even if it has some ethanol (BP calls it Invigorate I think). And, I do a little additive (Chevron Techron) now and then. Does anyone agree to add a little dry gas and add some higher octane juice to see if bad gas may be the problem.

I had a post a few months ago when my clutch would not fully engage unless I pushed the lever back out. I would be on the slab and give it a handful of throttle and watch the rpm's spike, but was getting no power. Turns out the clutch was not blown, just that the cable was getting pinched near the lever attachment.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Ok, could this be diesel contamination? I buy non-ethanol gas, and this problem started very soon after the last fill. The pump has 2 hoses, one is the non-ethanol, the other is diesel. There is no way I used the diesel hose, but perhaps they put some diesel in the underground gasoline tank.

I noticed the exhaust smell is quite sulphurous after the last fill. I've never had that before.

Sea Foam has had no effect on improving how it is running.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 01:32 PM
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Not sure if I am reading this correctly, But perhaps the first thing would be to drain the tank, and fill with a non-suspect fuel source and see if it cleans up.. what you're suggesting about diesel in the underground tank could be possible, but I wouldn't think it likely..I know a sulphurous smell can be linked to a catalytic converter as well..
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 03:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Ok, could this be diesel contamination? I buy non-ethanol gas, and this problem started very soon after the last fill. The pump has 2 hoses, one is the non-ethanol, the other is diesel. There is no way I used the diesel hose, but perhaps they put some diesel in the underground gasoline tank.

I noticed the exhaust smell is quite sulphurous after the last fill. I've never had that before.

Sea Foam has had no effect on improving how it is running.
is your bike smoking like a 2 stroke. i remember the tard at the quick stop filling my tank half way up in my 72 VW super and it was even more gutless then normal and smoked blue smoke like a weed wacker. drained the tank and put fresh gas in and it smoked even more for the first like 15-20 min then cleared up and ran like a top after i cleaned the spark plugs

yes im a guy. and i have a husband
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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No smoke. I guess it's time to go buy a gas can and drain the tank, put just enough back in to ride to the gas station for new gas.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-10-2017, 08:54 PM
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Yup. If there's any question at all about the fuel, drain and refill.

2015 Versys 650 ABS
AMA, Retreads Int'l., MSTA

Mods/Farkles: Puig "Touring" windscreen, Givi hand guards, BMW Sport Grips, Omni-Cruise throttle lock, Motowerk mirror extenders, SW-Motech gas cap mount tankbag, Denali Mini Soundbomb horn, Mag-Knight tank pad, SW-Motech steel luggage rack, SW-Motech Quick-Lock Evo side racks, Givi E-22 side cases, Givi V-47 top case, Motorwerk side stand foot, Motowerk highway peg set-up, SW-Motech wide foot pegs, SW-Motech GPS shelf, decalectomy
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 12:33 PM
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Yup. If there's any question at all about the fuel, drain and refill.
Correct - a friend filled his KLR w/ diesel by mistake, and by the time he did drain it, he'd already 'burned' his piston.

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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-11-2017, 09:46 PM
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My 15 650 has felt like it is dead at under 3k since new. It is a twin after all and needs the higher revs when calling for power. I run 93 octane. My motto to myself is if I can't afford the good stuff, I can't ride it!
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 12:54 AM
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My 15 650 has felt like it is dead at under 3k since new. It is a twin after all and needs the higher revs when calling for power. I run 93 octane. My motto to myself is if I can't afford the good stuff, I can't ride it!
Higher octane than regular (87 octane) won't perform any better because the Versys does not have the high compression to take advantage of it. Ocatan just is a heat rating. Higher octane gas requires more compression/heat to ignite, it exists for high compression engines that generate more heat before combustion, so they won't pre detonate. In some cases it can perform worse in a normal engine and not fully burn off because of this, leaving deposits on your spark plug. The energy contained in a gallon of gas is the same regardless of the octane rating, higher octane fuel is just less flammable - it requires more heat to ignite.

Your engine control module will automatically drop the RPS's by a few thousand when the engine warms up. Basically it raises the idle speed by a few thousand RPM's when the engine is cold, then reverts to normal after it senses the engine is operating normally and drops back to normal idle speed. This comes on suddenly and is nothing to worry about and is normal. There is also an idle adjustment screw on the right side to adjust the idle speed. The warm up RPM drop will usually occur 1-3 minutes after a cold start.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 02:06 PM
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...I run 93 octane. My motto to myself is if I can't afford the good stuff, I can't ride it!
And you're wasting the $ difference between 87 and 93..., but, it's YOUR $...!

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-12-2017, 02:54 PM
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Sudden anemic performance
Talk to your doctor about Viagra.

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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-19-2017, 10:38 AM
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So ?

Resolved ?
What was it ?

LOP
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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No joy. Still doing the same thing. When cold, runs ok. But once thoroughly warmed up it runs like dog sht. When gradually slowing down and the rpms drop below about 4000, the power starts to roll off even with no change in throttle. Add some throttle and it is as if all combustion stops for 1/4 second, then it weakly accelerates. If in that situation a good amount of throttle is added it has good power.

I wasn't able to completely drain the fuel. There should be less than 10% of the bad fuel in the mix now.

Every time I come to a stop in my driveway the exhaust has a sweet sulpher smell. Sometimes strong, sometimes not. I've put in fuel from a different brand altogether, so 90% of the fuel is a different brand.

I'm at a loss other than taking it to the dealer.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:16 PM
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It's completely stock? Was it serviced at all yet? Is the FI lamp on when it bogs down?
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-21-2017, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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No engine mods at all. Stock 2015. No engine service yet, other than oil changes. Plus adjusting cables, chain, etc.

No check engine light. No codes in the computer.

I pulled the O2 sensor and it is a bit sooty. I don't know what is normal, but at least it doesn't show signs of coolant contamination. Oil level is steady, so there's no oil contamination.

Since the problem only occurs when the engine is fully warmed up it seems there is either a bad sensor or maybe a bad computer.

I disconnected the battery today in case the computer needed a cold boot. I'll take it for a test ride tomorrow and if it isn't any better it goes back to the dealer. The 2 yr warranty expires in about 10 days.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 07:17 AM
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In some ways, it sounds like a bad catalytic converter, but that doesn't seem very likely with low mileage. Is it running hotter than usual? (Another symptom of exhaust restriction.) Considering the history in post #5, fuel contamination is still a strong possibility, even if only 10% remains. In any event, I'd get it to the dealer ASAP to preserve any warranty claims you may have.
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AMA, Retreads Int'l., MSTA

Mods/Farkles: Puig "Touring" windscreen, Givi hand guards, BMW Sport Grips, Omni-Cruise throttle lock, Motowerk mirror extenders, SW-Motech gas cap mount tankbag, Denali Mini Soundbomb horn, Mag-Knight tank pad, SW-Motech steel luggage rack, SW-Motech Quick-Lock Evo side racks, Givi E-22 side cases, Givi V-47 top case, Motorwerk side stand foot, Motowerk highway peg set-up, SW-Motech wide foot pegs, SW-Motech GPS shelf, decalectomy
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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The soonest service appointment is 3 weeks away. Dang. I can throw some parts at it but that gets expensive quickly. O2 sensor alone is $100. Fuel injectors, spark plugs, misc sensors.

If fuel got into the evap canister is it ruined permanently, and would it cause persistent problems? I did fill the tank full shortly before the problem started. There is no strong fuel smell or liquid fuel in the canister currently.
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