My Versys 'surges' under light acceleration - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 03:16 AM Thread Starter
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My Versys 'surges' under light acceleration

Just noticed this over the last 100 miles or so. When I'm trying to maintain a steady speed in the 3,000 - 5,000 rpm range, by applying a small to moderate amount of throttle, the bike 'surges' or hesitates just a bit - it acts like the timing is missing -it's not riding 'smoothly' like it used to. It's same at 30 or 60 MPH. It's more noticeable when I am going uphill or level, not so much when going downhill.

It's not super-jerky, like a bad plug, but I can definitely feel slight jerky movements in the bike. There is no bogging or extreme bucking, just a surge. Under harder acceleration it seems to be working just fine...

For background -
  • The bike is a 2009 and has 15,000 miles on it,
  • Valves, have not been adjusted yet, but I'm ready to tear into a valve check/adjustment next week,
  • I changed the oil, replaced the plugs, 'synced' the throttle bodies, and made the vacuum hose mod. All were done about 6 months ago and the bike was fine afterwards.
  • I did the 'TPS mod' soon after I bought it 3 years ago
  • I've also checked the chain - it is near the service limit on length, and other than some tight and loose sections, does not appear to have 'bad' sections as far as I can tell (not sure if that would cause the problem I am feeling or not).
  • I've filled up with gas from two different stations, with tank close to empty in between, so I think I have ruled out bad gas
  • I did do some re-arranging or my 12V socket which I mounted under the seat, but I was careful not to mess with any grounds or other wires while I was there

I think I'm pretty good at fixing things, but I have no idea where to start on this. Electrical - valves - air filter???

I'll start looking through the manual for troubleshooting ideas, but in the meantime if anyone has any ideas on where to concentrate, or what tests I can run to try to rule different things out, please let me know.

'09 Versys
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 05:40 AM
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What type of gasoline are you using? They have switched to winter gas now, so try premium gas that is ethanol free, if possible.

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=CO

What adjustment have you done to your main throttle sensor, exactly?

Make sure your IAP sensor hose and TB vacuum fittings' caps/hose are good and snug, and that you have no vacuum leak at TB flanges, airbox mount, etc. Have you serviced your air filter recently? Make sure it's clean and not over-oiled, and that your crankcase vent tube and drain tube cap are properly installed... Adjust your valves ASAP.

Last edited by invader; 10-03-2014 at 05:42 AM.
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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 11:33 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Invader, I was hoping you were around!!! See answers below. In addition, I will also do an overall check in the sun today to see if I notice any other loose connectors, and will do the self-diagnosis check to see if the FI indicator throws out any codes.

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What type of gasoline are you using? They have switched to winter gas now, so try premium gas that is ethanol free, if possible. [I've been running mostly premium grade - 91 octane here in Colorado. I thought about winter gas being an issue, but it's never acted this way in past winters...]

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=CO

What adjustment have you done to your main throttle sensor, exactly? [First mod I made to the bike, after reading your thread. loosened main torx, moved counterclockwise about 1MM, and retightened. I checked last night, the marks have not changed - the mark on the torx head is still lined up with the left outside of the thick stripe on the bike. Will double check torx tightness today. SIDENOTE: i'd like to get exact electrical readings, but having trouble understanding how to jump the sensor wires... Will look into that more tonight after work]


Make sure your IAP sensor hose and TB vacuum fittings' caps/hose are good and snug, [I visually checked the TB hoses, both appear to still be completely attached to the nipples (pushed down to the base). Will check the IAP Sensor hose later today, after work (outside hose on left TB, correct?)]


and that you have no vacuum leak at TB flanges, airbox mount, etc. Have you serviced your air filter recently? I serviced the filter in April/May of this year. May have screwed up the oiling, will look at that when I tear down for the valves. If I screwed this up, would the symptoms have shown up earlier - or not until the excess oil trapped enough dirt???


Make sure it's clean and not over-oiled, and that your crankcase vent tube and drain tube cap are properly installed...Will check all of this with valve adjustment

Adjust your valves ASAP.Scheduled for early next week, gotta clean up the garage a bit first so I have a clean work area and some tools. will limit riding until then...

'09 Versys
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Jmason View Post
[*]I've also checked the chain - it is near the service limit on length, and other than some tight and loose sections, does not appear to have 'bad' sections as far as I can tell (not sure if that would cause the problem I am feeling or not).
Your symptoms sound like they COULD be caused by your chain - going from a "loose" section to a "tight" section.

FWIW - my '08 has its ORIGINAL chain at 51,000 miles on a 'diet' of WD40 ONLY.

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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 01:01 PM
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My 2011 does this too. It has for some time. I notice it mostly around 2500 RPM or so, when I hold the throttle steady and more in second gear. It was going on for a while, very slightly, dealer couldn't replicate it. Eventually my TPS went out and it was a nightmare (happened on day 2 of 2 1/2 weeks and 2500+ miles). I don't know that the two were related, because I still get a little mild surging at those lower RPMs. It's mostly just an annoyance.

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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
Have you serviced your air filter recently? Make sure it's clean and not over-oiled.
One more item - my friend reminded me that I used K&N spray on filter oil. not sure if that could be it - if I over-oiled, I am assuming symptoms would have showed up earlier.

In any case, will use a different oil next week when I clean it again.

'09 Versys
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 02:28 PM
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I'm going with Bad Chain as well. Plus, you know it needs replacing. Put a new one on and ride until the snow flies. Then check the valves.
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 07:55 PM
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Check bouncing speedo by Time. I would agree with Chain, although I have had some bad gas do a similar thing, but it was there all the time, not just light accelleration.
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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 09:40 PM
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Jmason- Yeah, IAP sensor hose is on left TB's left (outer) vacuum fitting.

K&N filter oil is specifically for their cotton gauze filter elements, and is also too thin... Maxima's FAB1 is hard to beat.

http://www.maximausa.com/product/fab-1/

http://www.maximausa.com/product/air...are-combo-kit/

We'll see what you find out with the valves, airbox, flanges and hoses.

Last edited by invader; 10-03-2014 at 10:34 PM.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-03-2014, 09:48 PM
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A bad chain won't cause the engine to surge at all... You'd just feel the constant vibration from it, at the chain's rotational rate.
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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Ordered new sprockets (44t rear) and chain from sprocket center. Should have it installed late next week, then I will tackle the valve check/adjust. Will post results when I get the chain on.

'09 Versys
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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 10:41 AM
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A bad chain won't cause the engine to surge at all... You'd just feel the constant vibration from it, at the chain's rotational rate.
I dont think anyone is saying it would actually make the engine surge, just that it would make it feel like its surging
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 01:15 PM
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I dont think anyone is saying it would actually make the engine surge, just that it would make it feel like its surging
Yes - as it transitions from a "tight" portion to loose (at constant, low throttle openings) I figure you'd notice it FEEL like it is surging.


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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 04:26 PM
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One surge per chain rotation... Oh boy.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
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I just tried to get efi codes from my bike, using the orange/black wire as per other threads

Regardless of mode a or b, I get no flashing of the efi light at all.

I assume that means no active or stored codes??

'09 Versys
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post #16 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 08:20 PM
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That's right.

As stated in service manual:

"○If there is no problem, no code and unlight.

○If the problem is with the following parts, the ECU cannot memorize these problems, the FI indicator
light (LED) doesn’t go on, and no service codes can be displayed.
FI Indicator Light (LED)
Fuel Pump
Fuel Pump Relay
ECU Main Relay
ECU Power Source Wiring and Ground Wiring (see ECU Inspection)
Fuel Injectors."

Last edited by invader; 10-06-2014 at 08:41 PM.
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post #17 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Invader. By the way,no rode the bike today to fill up with non-ethanol gas. On the way up there and back, the surging seemed to be gone. I'll ride a few more miles tomorrow to check, since we have beautiful fall weather here in Denver. I think riding in a few of the canyons -with some decent elevation increases will help me sort out if the problem is gone.

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post #18 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 01:44 AM
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You had ethanol gas just before this tankfull? Non-ethanol gas will reduce the lean surging tendency, and it'd be even better at higher elevations with any gas.

Was it warmer out this time?
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post #19 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 06:32 AM
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One surge per chain rotation... Oh boy.
We only post suggestions of a tight chain, as that's the best we could come up with on short notice.
Usually someone comes along with the correct answer, ironically it is usually you when it comes to anything related to FI.
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post #20 of 43 (permalink) Old 10-07-2014, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by invader View Post
You had ethanol gas just before this tankfull? Non-ethanol gas will reduce the lean surging tendency, and it'd be even better at higher elevations with any gas.

Was it warmer out this time?
Yes. Much warmer. Temps were in the 30s/40s when I was feeling the symptoms.

Oh, I have a thermo-bob sitting on my shelf, that will be going in this week as well.

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