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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, long time no post.

My S3 has sat dormant for a few years while I was overseas and truth be told it wasn't running great when I left.
I did all the big maintenance stuff when I got back, fork seals, rear hub, breaks front and rear and all the good stuff.
Any ways, this problem has left me stumped.

Bike: 06 S3 with an 08 motor. old motor grenaded at 29k, replaced with 08 motor that had around 17k. bike has 34k on her now, so 22k motor miles lol.

It starts up most times and idles either at 1200 ish, and sounds good. or 700 ish and I almost have to keep on the throttle to stop it from dying. Sometimes when I fire the bike up it immediatly runs like garbage and sounds like its missing a cylinder. No check engines, and I am just getting the hang of TuneECU for diag purposes so bear with me. Problem is not dictated by a hot engine or a cold engine. Sometimes the bike will start and idle normally, Ill start riding it and just like that it doesnt want to hold an idle when I pull the clutch in. power is sparse up to 3k and then its like the afterburners kick on!

I have at this point done the following to eliminate this issue with no success
  • brought it to dealer to have throttle bodies balanced, and IACV checked for functionality
  • They flashed it because they said the fuel maps were very outdated (not sure on this)
  • changed spark plugs (CR9ek if I remember correctly)
  • changed air filter (K&N)
  • changed coils
  • drained and refilled gas tank with fresh gas

any other throughts? Riding season is upon us and I would really like to be riding again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes sir. You’ll need to tap into the ECU to read the voltage coming from the TPS. Use TuneECU (free download) and a diagnostic cable to talk to the ECU. Unsure of what the voltage is supposed to be, but you can Google that or find it on one of the triumph specific websites.

I will check that out. I got a Bluetooth obd2 reader that works with tuneECU but won’t run tests or map the bike. Gotta grab another.


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I was able to get some oil inside my stepper and solve my idle problems (2 years so far, fingers crossed). Others have replaced it with a simple mechanical screw, claim it's pretty much set it and forget it but they usually put a piece of tubing or such on it so they can make and adjustment if necessary.
I’d have to look at the diagram for the stepper motor. What is the purpose of the motor then? To adjust the idle of the bike depending on running conditions?

Could a vac leak in the air box cause these symptoms? I’ll have to go through all the hoses and check to make sure they are good and snug.

Also, the K&N air filter I have doesn’t have a gasket between it and the lower air box ring. Does that matter?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
“The purpose of the stepper motor is to control the idle speed of the engine in all conditions. If you start a gasoline engine when it's cold out and the engine is cold, if you didn't have the stepper motor you would have to manually open the throttle a bit to keep the engine going until the bike heated up.”

Also regulates idle when engaging clutch.


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I will see what there is to see when I get some free time on my hands. I am going to go through the Airbox vacuum lines and make sure all are clamped on nice and tight and put some gasket maker around the seams, I dont feel as if there is a tremendously good seal there. I replaced the three rubber "trumpets" as triumph called them leading into the throttle bodies and I have a cable on order from lonetec. I had bought a cheapo bfax bluetooth obII reader to use with my old S8+ as a diag tool but it would not report back the Map that the bike had, so I had no way of seeing if there was an issue with the map. I did note the Map code though and from my understanding it was mapped at the dealship as if it was a bonestock bike, not one with a different exhaust and all that.

despite all of this, I ook forward to finding a solution to this weird phantom problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I've been having a similar issue for some time now. So with my 2006, I have the famous intermittent "RPMs drop/bike nearly stalls" when I pull in the clutch and start slowing down. Also, it takes a good 3-5 seconds of cranking to get it started. Once started, the bike misfires with any throttle input and there seems to be an abundance of condensation coming from the exhaust. Once at operating temp, it starts and runs strong. Just performed an oil change and there does not appear to be any coolant contamination in the oil. Also did a compression test and all cylinders are strong, PSI wise. The difficult cold starts led me to believe that valve clearance would be the issue, but all were within spec. A few exhaust valves were at .30mm, so on the loose side, but within spec.

So far I've tried a new battery,checked battery terminals for corrosion, checked fuses, replaced complete throttle body assembly/tps/iscv, tried stoltec grounding cables, new plugs, checked all vacuum lines and throttle body boots, checked valve clearance, checked headstock wiring, tried several tunes and have performed the 12 minute tune more times than I can count. When I set the TPS and reset adaptions, it'll be within spec one day- go check it the next and the voltage has changed..... I'm running a mosfet R/R and I replaced the stator with a unit from Rick's motorsport a few thousand miles ago.

The fact that my problem has persisted over several years has me ready to sell the bike...I hope you find a remedy, and if you do- please update your post to help people troubleshooting in the future!
It sounds exactly like what I am going through. I have an 08 motor in mine and I think, but don't know for sure that Triumph sorted out the R/R in that year.

I am with @2doggs, I think it's a TPS issue, a software issue, or a vacuum issue.

What are you running for plugs? I have the NGK CR9EKs I think, but I was told that those are too cold. maye someone with some better plug knowledge can chime in.

What do you have done to the bike otherwise? any exhaust mods? or blocked off SAI? I have a hunch the dealer remapped my bike to a bone stock tune, which took care of the initial cold start issue but this problem is still prevalent. I will update with more info when my Lonetec cable comes in and I am able to start really diaging stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I've been having a similar issue for some time now. So with my 2006, I have the famous intermittent "RPMs drop/bike nearly stalls" when I pull in the clutch and start slowing down. Also, it takes a good 3-5 seconds of cranking to get it started. Once started, the bike misfires with any throttle input and there seems to be an abundance of condensation coming from the exhaust. Once at operating temp, it starts and runs strong. Just performed an oil change and there does not appear to be any coolant contamination in the oil. Also did a compression test and all cylinders are strong, PSI wise. The difficult cold starts led me to believe that valve clearance would be the issue, but all were within spec. A few exhaust valves were at .30mm, so on the loose side, but within spec.

So far I've tried a new battery,checked battery terminals for corrosion, checked fuses, replaced complete throttle body assembly/tps/iscv, tried stoltec grounding cables, new plugs, checked all vacuum lines and throttle body boots, checked valve clearance, checked headstock wiring, tried several tunes and have performed the 12 minute tune more times than I can count. When I set the TPS and reset adaptions, it'll be within spec one day- go check it the next and the voltage has changed..... I'm running a mosfet R/R and I replaced the stator with a unit from Rick's motorsport a few thousand miles ago.

The fact that my problem has persisted over several years has me ready to sell the bike...I hope you find a remedy, and if you do- please update your post to help people troubleshooting in the future!
So update.

I finally got my cable in from Lonetec and got tuneecu fired up on my ancient PC and went through the bike that way. I looked at the fuel map and things seemed fine. actuated the Idle stepper, heard noises, then reset adaptations. The bike seems to run much better now, and hasnt hiccuped or almost stalled once. I am unsure as to why this might have fixed things, maybe a runaway adaptation left one of the long term fuel trims way off around idle. we will see how it goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
So the problem originated when I had a MiVV GP slip on (with arrow low tune) along with a BMC air filter, SAI block off, mosfet R/R and Rick's stator. I went ahead and swapped the entire throttle body assembly with TPS & everything installed and the problem continued. Unless I was extremely unlucky to have two TB assemblies with bad IACV or TPS, I figured I could rule TPS/IACV out as the culprit.
I had the Iridium NGK's (heat range 9) installed, but recently swapped them with CR8EKs.
Just recently put the TORS cans back on and loaded the correct tune even trying a O2 sensor delete map.....no luck. Even swapped out the coils and the issue continues....
The really irritating thing is that the bike starts up pronto after resetting adaptions and running a 12 min tune. A few hours later it's back to the issue.

Has anybody thoroughly checked the grounding points on an S3? is there a grounding point on the frame or bottom of the motor? I know I had that issue on my thruxton years ago, checked a ground that ran to the bottom of the motor and it cleared up the issue.
I have not traced the grounds but I know there is a large lug on top of the transmission. other than that no idea.

Is the IACV stepper motor mounted on the throttle body or underneath it? also, have you use the TuneECU to measure voltage across the IACV and the TPS? Just save youself the headache and buy the cable from Lonetec or whatever. amazon OBDII readers are garbage and will not work
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I hope it solves the issue. Not to rain on your parade, but when my stepper motor was going bad I would reset the adaptives and TPS and everything worked fine for about 150 miles. Next time I went out to start it, same idle/stall issues. Reset TPS and adaptives again and everything worked fine. I suggest a test ride close to home each time before any long runs. Just 20 feet forward in 1st then engage the clutch and you’ll know if you need another reset. It’s what I did for over a year before finally bringing it to the dealer.


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the parade was rained on haha. it was good for about two trips then it was back to the drawing board. the IACV stepper motor is the stepper motor you're refering to? If that is the case Ill get one on its way. The parts cannon is being loaded as we speak.

I had another thought, and it was to the fuel pump and screen filter. An intermittently malfunctioning fuel pump (like one thats on its way out) could mimic a bad idle control. Happened 4 months ago on my old f150. ran great, then would idle and run like shit until I gave it the goose and then it was fine....for about 4 miles then it was done for.

Gonna throw a new pump and fuel filter at it at the same time, the bikes got almost 40k on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
@2doggs

Well man, this is really stumping me now.

I replaced the TPS, set voltage dead nuts to .60, ran the IACV, it tested at +.15 volts, so good, threw it all back together and it was dark and cold so i left it

Flash forward to today, first 70 degree day here in MA, and same exact symptoms as before.

Plug in my ancient laptop that can only turn on if its plugged in and see that the voltage for the TPS is now .67...and the IACV corroborates by reading .78 volts....how in the hell is that possible?



I also looked at the fuel mapping, and realized when the dealer reflashed it they reflashed the map for a bik with high mounts and a bunch of other shit I dont have, so I remapped it to the early TOD. I realize throwing a bunch of stuff into the mix all at once isnt a great idea but I am a little at wits end. bike woke right up, took it up and down the road and things seemed ok. I will readjust the TPS when I get a free afternoon this week and see what happens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hopefully the tune will solve the issue. When I first dropped my bike off at the dealer they called me a few days later and said they had it all fixed and all it required was a new map. I told them I don’t think that’s the cure, but I would come down and ride the bike for a few miles near the dealership and return with a report. Bike started acting up before I even got out of the parking lot. That’s when they decided to replace the TPS stepper motor. Everything has worked well since.


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woof. I hate to keep beating a dead horse but I’m stuck like chuck.

replaces TPS, replaced ISCV stepper motor, set all parameters in accordance with tuneecu/maintenance manual.

there is no gap between the stepper motor and the throttle plate, vs the .5mm called for in the manual, but the voltage readings are dead on.

bike barely starts, won’t hold an idle, runs fine otherwise. Getting really sick of disassembling and reassembling this f***ing bike.

does anyone have any ideas before I go to the dealer and get rid of this pain in my ass?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Also, I was always able to start mine without issue. It would only want to stall when engaging the clutch at low speeds.


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so before I changed out the stepper motor it would sometimes start and idle fine, but after I had ran it for a few minutes would revert to its evil ways.

I did forget to reset the adaptives after replacing the iscv stepper motor but ran into yet another tuneecu-ism of sometimes just not connecting to the bike.

But to answer the other question I can watch the stepper motor modulate when I am connected and hit IACV test, and it seems to operate normally. Both did to be honest.

the other thing I was thinking about is that whenever I set the tps and the iscv voltage there is no gap between the iscv linkage and the throttle roller, when there should be a .5mm gap. I was reading one of the posts on here that said if there was a disagreement between the .5mm gap and the .75v to basically set it to whichever one didn’t cause starting issues lol.

i find the likelihood of having two bad iscv stepper motors unlikely, but not impossible. The disassembly and reassembly is getting quicker and quicker though!

I’d love to see the data from someone’s triple of a similar vintage to see if injector pulse, tps and map sensor data was within range of mine, because I was reading that the ecu calculates throttle opening based on map/tps data under like 6% throttle open, after that it reverts to engine load and tps I believe. So a faulty map sensor could be incorrectly calculating a bad idle position.
Anywho, it’s Friday, what’s another night in the garage with beer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So, update to the thread, my friend came over to stare at the bike and was looking through the TuneECU page on my laptop. He noticed the o2 sensor voltage at 1.287 or so volts.
Unplugged the O2 sensor and couldn't replicate the stalling issue. the value on TuneECU was the same as if I hadn't unplugged it, so we regarded it as an out-of-range error voltage. plugged in the O2 sensor and again couldn't replicate the problem. put the engine under load, and even drove it for a solid 15 minutes through stop and go traffic, again no idling issues.

so, not completely out of the woods, but having now replaced the TPS and ISCV and resetting everything i could, I am still stumped with the issue, but at least the bike seems to have figured its life out. something I should mention is that I did not reset the adaptive after I replaced the ISCV stepper motor, and today I did. It seems to actuate normally and did increase and decrease while we were watching the live data on the TuneECU page.

I read just about every write up I could regarding setting the ISCV voltage vs the .5mm gap, and I think this is the correct procedure:

Make sure the ISCV gap exists before setting the TPS voltage in TuneECU. Set the TPS to .60v, then move to the ISCV after double clicking the set ISCV button. You should be able to now set the ISCV to .75v, which will move the throttle plates very slightly. Something I think eluded me was that setting the TPS was that you are setting the TPS reference point from 0, and when the ISCV moves to its pre-set position while adjusting it, I think that is the ISCV's baseline idle setting, allowing the ISCV to adjust the throttle plates as necessary.

Hope this thread helps someone!

🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Good to hear Duff! You’re probably aware, but you can disable the O2 sensor in TuneECU. I only mention it incase the problem rears it’s head again.


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Holy Christ I'm about to burn this bike down

The problem has returned

So, bit the bullet and grabbed a new lonelec cable, android tablet and the paid version of tuneecu (I am a tight ass, but I couldn't get the old version of the computer program to work reliably) and now the tps will not go below .8 or so volts .

I took the tps off and adjusted it until I saw .6v, but whenever I put it back on the throttle body I run out of adjustment. I am not sure how I did this!!

I did disable the O2 sensor in the map, so that will hopefully get rid of the weird O2 sensor reading.

I am going to put this fucking thing back together and do a live data log (something I could never do with a laptop) and hopefully catch this thing in the act.

I am too deep into this bike to give up now lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
Alright.

update time

took the bike apart again, and redid the TPS/ISCV adjustment (whats the definition of insanity?)
adjusted to .6v and .75v respectively, and then swapped over to the sensor view page.

wouldnt you know the TPS I just set was reading 3.9% throttle input and was reading somewhere around .7v

So, instead of doing the relearn procedure I simply adjusted the TPS until it read .6v (this is a mistake I think, don't do this if you're reading this) and the idle problem was solved, kinda. Ran the bike around town and found that my new idle was somewhere around 2300 rpm, and there was some really strange engagement of the throttle, like at 2500 rpm there was a serious stumble but it worked well above that rpm.

get back to the garage, shut it off, restart and its now idling at 13-1500rpm. play with the throttle and there was a point in the rpm range around the 2500rpm mark that was like it was swapping between what it thought its idle should be and what the throttle input was saying.

Take the bike apart again, TPS relearn is now saying Im at .457v. adjust back to .6v, ISCV climbs to where it should be. put the bike back together hastily, and I think this is important, I forgot to connect the hose that goes from the middle throttle body down to...somewhere, not the one that goes to the MAP sensor, but the other port.

bike idles great, throttle response is where is should be, still an oddball stumble around 2300 rpm but the bike felt much better.

took apart, reconnected the hose, and wouldnt you know the problem came back in full force.

attached is a link to a video of the TuneECU sensors page, after the TPS magically adjusted itself to .7v after completion of this job


I am kinda at a loss as to how and why the TPS voltage keeps moving around, and I dont think its solely the ISCV adjusting itself all over gods green earth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Alright, got the bike apart, again, and checked all the lines, made sure everything was tip top, swapped in the spare throttle body from my other engine (Had to reuse the new TPS and the second ISCV stepper)

The thing that I saw when I reassembled the bike is that no matter what I did to the actual TPS, the ISCV, throttle cables, hoses etc, was that at a completely closed throttle TuneECU was seeing a minute throttle engagement of around 1.6% throttle open. Start the bike up, and it does what the video above shows. target RPM is ~1300, but actual RPM is hovering around 1000. Today it was slightly higher but you could tell it was lugging a little bit, and frequently dropped below 1000.

I did what I didn't want to do, and reset the adaptives. Immediately, Throttle Open showed 0.0, and set idle and actual Idle were identical with the ISCV tracking the target steps....

bike rides great, I'm sure this problem will come back but my question for the hive mind is

What causes the adaptives? How are they collected? How does the ISCV determine how many steps to move to when the ignition is turned on? Is this a tuneable value?

from my understanding of this problem the most likely culprit in this case is the ISCV failing. I must have just had two bad ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I can’t answer your question but I can tell you that every time mine acted up, a reset of the adaptives always worked as a temporary fix for me. You are correct in assuming it will rear its ugly head again. I jumped on my bike this weekend and the problem arose again after I had it at the dealer two years ago. I reset the adaptive and everything worked fine. It sucks though, I’m not comfortable riding it any distance.


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So, I too was a little sus about resetting the adaptives but I had a thought
The Map im running is the TOD, which doesnt use the O2 sensor, the adaptives can only really be captured by a show and response type sensor feed, I.E. the map sensor, the fuel tables, and TPS "feed" the motor, the O2 sensor. records how well they did and alters the fuel trim to compensate for values found in the exhaust stream.

So, by disabling the O2 sensor (something I never thought would make that big a difference) I effectively removed the biked ability to do its own fuel trimming.

I dont know if the fuel trimming map effects the idle map that controls the ISCV stepper position but it must do something to it, otherwise we wouldnt find ourselves in this predicament.

I have ridden it around 400 mile now, and every time I swing a leg over and fire it up I cringe expecting the worst but so far it has been good. I've run it through every scenario that usually brings about the idling issue, long rides, short rides, restarts, etc and so far so good.

I haven't stopped riding with my tablet in my backpack though in case I need an emergency adaptives reset but I have scanned it a few times to see if the problem is progressing but everything seems relatively normal.

The BIGGEST PITA was the fact that I would sometimes reset the TPS and the bike would still read that the throttle was partially open. I think that is the root cause of this issue, but I don't know how to investigate the causes because it seems to be a purely software related problem. You set the reference voltage and the ISCV voltage and that should be the new "0"

Im hoping this is the end of the line for me, as I've really started to run out of fucks, and the sentimental value of this bike is running in short supply. If it acts up again I'm going to reset the adaptives and ride it to a dealer and get a different bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Why are these bikes such a PITA? My KTM is relatively maintenance free.
I have no idea, for 6 years this bike was maintenance free for me, then all of a sudden it was the biggest fucking headache I've ever dealt with as a mechanic. Like why couldnt it just lunch a valve, or let the smoke out of the starter? something normal? but nooooo its gotta be this super fucking involved fix that has people hacking the idling mechanism. And the fact that me and 2doggs are far from the only ones with this problem isnt great either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
I’m going to disable my O2 and give it a test. I feel it’s a good idea to have a couple different test subjects. I’ll report back on how well or how poorly this idea worked.


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After you disable the O2 sensor make sure the tps and iscv agree and reset adaptives.
Another note is that my buddy pointed out the voltage being read from the O2 sensor was abnormally high, like I guess anything over 1v is abnormal and I was showing 1.256 or something goofy. Disconnecting the O2 sensor didn’t change the value either which was odd but try that and see what happens
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Forgive me. I reversed the situation in my head while writing the discussion post. Thank you for the correction.
No worries.

for me when I lost my TPS, i found that i had both a issue with my idle, and there was a midpoint RPM (around 3500-4500) where the bike seemed to run really rough and misfire and all sorts, but above that I had no issues.

I have never seen a misfire in a higher engine load configuration. that sounds to me like improper spark timing or low grade fuel that is cooking off before the ignition has a chance to get to it. definitely pick up a cheap android tablet/phone, a cable from lonelec, and a copy of tuneECU to really figure out what you're seeing with your bike as far as TPS position, and all the other goodies
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Hey Duff, any positive news on this? Mine is back to its same old issues. O2 disabled and I have to reset adaptives to get it to run and not stall when engaging clutch. Once adaptives are reset it runs fine until it sits for a day or two. I’m tempted to sell it at this point but I feel bad selling it to someone in this condition.


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Hey man,

I haven't been riding it as much due to my work schedule but what you're saying makes me a little fearful that I may have just masked the gremlins 😭

I know im just shooting from the hip here but have you checked your ground on top of tranny housing? you said this happens after it sits for a bit? Do you keep your battery on a tender?
 
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