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Discussion Starter #1
A friend & I have just completed a 5,000 mile / 8,000 km Alaskan ride (trip report to follow). (first photo)

I got home last Monday evening having had the ride of my life and the Versys behaving perfectly. The only problems were with a few aftermarket accessories (USB port, brackets, etc).

I haven't had Miss Jaffa out all week - I have mainly catching up on chores and family.

This morning I prepared to go for a ride to catch up with a buddy and tell him all about the trip.

As the bike warmed up I saw smoke pouring off the engine. I quickly hit the kill switch.

My first thought was that I may have had overspray from trying to get the bugs off. (Thanks FastEddie for the Lemon Pledge hint).

I started it up again and it was quickly evident that it was coming from the top of the exhaust (second photo), The engine was weeping.

The exhaust started to smoke too. (second photo)

I was about to turn it off when it stopped on its own accord.

It may have been gas / petrol on the headers as they don't feel oily now that they engine has cooled down.

Any ideas?

Miss Jaffa is being picked up on Thursday by my garage and we will work on it Thursday afternoon.
 

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I have no ideas about what might be wrong, but I am glad you made it home safely.

Please keep us informed about Miss Jaffa's prognosis.
 

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Leaking valve stem oil seal(s) in cylinder # 1 (left).... Engine oil is leaking past your valve seals into combustion chamber on top of piston, which seeps out at your exhaust manifold (header) gasket after engine is stopped, and it also burns when engine is running which is why it smokes at the muffler.

:surprise: Is there 8,000 kms of Alaskan hell on your oil? If so, it is sheared down and fuel (gasoline/petrol) diluted to a much thinner viscosity... Which grade and quality of oil is it?

When were your valve clearances checked and adjusted in the last 60,000 kms?
 

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Invader, wow. Now here's some good knowledge on this site! Thanks for your many technical advice replies! I hope alls well with the Op's bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Leaking valve stem oil seal(s) in cylinder # 1 (left).... Engine oil is leaking past your valve seals into combustion chamber on top of piston, which seeps out at your exhaust manifold (header) gasket after engine is stopped, and it also burns when engine is running which is why it smokes at the muffler.
My guess was that or rings on #1 leading to the same. I will find out on Thursday

Is there 8,000 kms of Alaskan hell on your oil? If so, it is sheared down and fuel (gasoline/petrol) diluted to a much thinner viscosity... Which grade and quality of oil is it?
I have used full synthetic for the past 40,000 kms, and had an oil change the week before departure.

It was booked in for another oil change on Thurday, but that is now a major service.

I do my work at a Co-Op where I can do basic work using thier tools, etc for $C20 per hour or have the mechanic do more complicated work for $C80 per hour, but I can watch / help (as long as I don't get in the way).

When were your valve clearances checked and adjusted in the last 60,000 kms?
Valves were checked at 48,000, only 4,000 km prior to departure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Glad you got home OK, Al, but looking at your 'map'..., you MISSED a whole lot of AK as well as Dawson City.... SHAME!
Yes we missed a lot of Alaska, but we did get to Dawson City, Top of the World, Chicken, etc (and I have the t-shirt to prove it).

The most stunning ride was into Skagway for lunch on the way to Whitehorse.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That smoke (or steam) looks whitish. I would suspect a blown head gasket. Check your oil and see if it looks milky.
It was grey, not black.

As my Co-op / workshop are picking the bike up on Thursday I will wait for them to look at the oil.

I am due for an oil change anyway.

The big worry is that the bike stopped on its own :surprise:
 

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It's NOT the rings, and it's NOT the head gasket... It is an oil leak at your cylinder # 1's VALVE SEAL(s).

It stopped on its own as it warmed up because your idle is set lower than 1,300 rpm, and also because it has a lot of oil to burn on cold startup.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
It's NOT the rings, and it's NOT the head gasket... It is an oil leak at your cylinder # 1's VALVE SEAL(s).
Accepting that it is the Valve Seal(s) on #1, how difficult and expensive is that to repair?

I won't be doing it myself, but may be assisting at the Co-op. (See details above).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Good New!!!

Good New!!!

It wasn't any of the problems we thought it was - valves, rings, gaskets, etc.

The injector on cylinder #1 was flooding the cylinder with gas, preventing ignition and seeping out the headers and flowing down the pipe.

It seems your headers don't seal until they are hot, allowing the excess gas to exceape.

Full story:

On Thursday morning Adrenaline Motorcycles picked the bike up for free (one of the perks of membership).

When they got it back to the shop Scott (the mechanic) checked it over and realized the gas didn't smell right, so he immediately drained the tank.

With some fresh gas it started and ran OK, so we** assumed it was just the bad gas and did the rest of the service it was booked in for.

Problems appeared when I wheeled Miss Jaffa out into the yard and was about to depart.

While warming it up Scott heard that it was running on only one cylinder, and then we saw gas pouring out of the headers, the junction of the pipes and out the exhaust.

We wheeled her back onto the hoist and opened her up for surgery :(

First we tested the spark plug - no problem there.

That is when we realized that the cylinder #1 was flooding.

Scott swapped injectors, expecting cylinder #2 to flood.

To our surprise, both cylinders ran fine, so we put her back together and I took her for a 30 mile / 50 km run :) :).

On Saturday I went for a 90 mile / 150 km ride and all seems normal, if anything slightly better than before. One thing we did during the service was balance the throttle bodies - they were significantly out. (We didn't do that at the 48,000 service because somebody had dropped their gauge the day before.)

I spent today getting the grime of the Alaska trip off the surface of Miss Jaffa, but anybody that removes the seat & tank will know that she has been on a long dusty ride.

I have spent the last week playing "what-if". I had decided that if it needed a new motor / top end and the cost was more than $1,500 I would buy a low km 2007 Versys and swap all my improvements over and part out everything else. Otherwise I would buy a 2013 ABS and take what I could. Luckily I didn't have to do either of those.

Total cost excluding the oil change was CAD$200 / USD$150.

I consider myself very lucky.

** I am very lucky that Adrenaline encourage owners into the workshop, get their hands dirty and to participate.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So that was gasoline... Why did we think it was oil? I can see it does look like gas now, so that's good.
I had forgotten that I said in the original post "It may have been gas / petrol on the headers as they don't feel oily now that they engine has cooled down."

You don't know how relieved I am not to be bike shopping.

I would rather do that in my own time when I have something to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Al - you're also VERY lucky you didn't "hydraulic" that cylinder and bend the con-rod!
Correct. Because it was cold when it happened it was able to seep out via the headers.

A lot of very bad things could have happened.

I am most grateful that it happened at home, not on the road.
 
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