Qui ci sono alcuni problemi noti, che prima o poi tutti i possessori di una Transalp si
ritroveranno. Alcuni si possono prevenire altri no. Questi problemi sono:
Guasto della C.D.I. o del contagiri
Se hai l'impressione che solo uno dei cilindri lavori, con un comportamento
intermittente, allora e' possibile che la causa sia una CDI. Per vedere se il problema e'
realmente causato da un guasto da una unita' C.D.I. dai una occhiata al contagiri.
Se questo non funziona, il problema e' nell'unita' di sinistra. Se il contagiri funziona,
scambia le due unita' e guarda il contagiri. Se non funziona sai ora quale e' il problema.
Se funziona qualcosa d'altro e' accaduto. Ma in molti casi il problema e' una centralina
C.D.I. danneggiata. Questo problema e' causato da un problema meccanico: una pressione
costante della sella e dal peso del pilota puo' distruggere le saldature interne dei
connettori. Forse. Per evitare questo, tu puoi usare il supporto C.D.I. dei modelli
successivi al '94 (circa 50.000 lire- dal ricambista, # di parte Honda
30401-MM9-010), o, quando non vuoi acquistare questo pezzo, puoi mettere un pezzo di
legno, di circa un centimetro di spessore, sotto la sella tra i due tubi del telaio nelle
vicinanze delle C.D.I. Io l'ho fatto sulla mia TA del '92 e non ho avuto piu' problemi
fino ad oggi.
Se sai usare un saldatore, tu puoi anche riparare la C.D.I.: ritaglia un pezzo della plastica del contenitore della centralina sul lato opposto a quello dei connettori. Stai attento a non scendere troppo in profondita' col taglio, altrimenti potresti distruggere il circuito stampato. Lo spessore del contenitore e' di circa 1.5 mm, ed un'altro millimetro e' lo spessore della copertura in gomma tra il contenitore ed il circuito stampato. Con cura rimuovi la gomma e ri-salda le 7 connessioni mostrate nella seconda figura. Fatto cio' sulle C.D.I. di DETI ha funzionato, su un'altra di un amico no. Puo' essere un differente guasto. In ogni caso puo' valerne la pena provarci, visto il costo della centralina nuova. Una centralina per un TA del '87, codice MM9 CI529, costa lire 280.700, se sei fortunato puoi trovarne una usata in qualche ricambista.
Phil Herzog ha fatto alcune figure per illustrare come fare il lavoro, egli ha dato il permesso di pubblicare queste foto.
La quarta foto (ingrandibile cliccandoci sopra), e' stata fornita da Lorenzo della LISSTA da Firenze.
Clicca sulle figure per vederle ingrandite. La descrizione ed altri trucchi sono disponibili in tedesco da Phil's Schrauberseite.
Ecco cosa suggerisce Thierry Jourdan dalla Francia:
Dopo molti problemi di CDI con la mia Transalp (1988), ho provato a risaldare le 7 connessioni sotto il connettore. Ha funzionato per 3 mesi. Ora ho deciso di rimuovere completamente la plastica ed ho trovato il problema (credo). 5 o 6 saldature sono fatte male (in termine tecnico "fredde") ed i componenti si muovono. Credo la causa siano le correnti o le tensioni in gioco. Ho rifatto tutte le saldature e funziona egregiamente.
Le varie operazioni sono :
Queste operazioni mi hanno preso circa due ore di lavoro e ne e' valsa la pena provarci. Spero di aver aiutato qualcuno con queste ... CDI.
Thomas Stock dalla Svizzera disse a Deti, che in Svizzera e' possibile trovare una nuova OEM C.D.I. per SFr 160.-, se pensate di fare un viaggio in Svizzera, potete provare a vedere. per provare ad eliminare il problema, rimuovi il supporto in gomma che supporta le centraline, e fissa il tutto un po' piu' in basso, utilizzando del nastro americano. O, come suggerisce Carlo, monta il supporto del modello del '94 (Honda part-# 30401-MM9-010). Questo supporto unisce le centraline di fronte anziche' di fianco tra loro. Io credo, che sia il modo migliore. Quando ebbi questo problema, non c'erano supporti disponibili, quindi ho messo un distanziale di legno da 1 cm sotto la sella tra i tubi del telaio. Con l'effetto secondario, che la sella si e' alzata un po' aumentando il mio comfort. Bene, in questi giorni io ho pensato che si trattasse di un "accordo provvisorio", ma fino ad oggi, funziona (tocco legno - oh cavolo, devo smontare le fiancate per poterlo fare. Ok, tocco la mia testa prima...). E nulla rimane piu' a lungo che qualcosa di provvisorio. Questa e' una della conclusioni della legge di Murphy.
When being on a Sunday ride , I noticed my tacho needle jumping to and fro when having reached 6,000 revs in 5th gear: Up to 8,000, 9,000, back again to 6,000 and so on. First idea: clutch? Second idea: no, clutch came new some 10,000 km ago, and this was an untypical behaviour for a slipping clutch. So tested it in first gear: needle jumpin' to and fro when reaching 6,000 ... and no increased rev level could be heard or felt. Thus, an electronical problem. I swapped the C.D.I.s to find out, if it was a C.D.I problem. Nope, so I decided to ride home below 6,000 revs ... BAck at home, I finally found the reason: the cable between one of rear cylinder's plugs and it's ignition coil hat scrubbed against the clamp fixing the air dome, and now there was a little hole in it ... As first aid, I put some duct tape around it, and everything was ok ... Guess, I should replace the cable ... ;-) Hopefully I can replace just the cable, and don't have to buy a complete set of ignition coils ... :-\
Malfunctioning tachometer, another issue
Sunday ride again (guess, I should better not ride on Sundays ;-) ). Watching the tachometer, I noticed showing 0, zero, nothing, nix. Strangely, I noticed no lack of performance. Stopped and heard engine's idling sound. Both cylinders were working, but tacho needle was at 0. I unplugged one of rear cylinder's spark plug connectors, and - aha! Just one cylinder working. I learnt: tacho is connected to rear cylinder's second spark plug, the one you can't reach without dismounting seat. Back home I resoldered any connections I could reach inside the partially opened C.D.I. (see above), and everything was ok ...
Normally a Transalp should not consume oil (even if Honda accepts as normal an oil consumption up to 1 ltr/1,000 km). If your Transalp is from 1987 or 1988, you may notice a growing oil consumption beyond 40 - 50,000 km, caused by worn piston rings and probably worn valve guides and worn valve seals; newer Transalps won't have this problems. You may live with this or not; if you decide to fix it, you may discover pitting on exhaust valve clearing adjusting screw, exhaust valve rocker and possibly the exhaust cam of the camshaft. This will refer only to the rear cylinder, but to all engines of this kind: the 500 cc VT500, the 650 cc Revere, the 650 cc and 750 cc Africa Twin and even the VT600C, I believe. Honda dealers likely claim that this is caused by a wrong (i.e. too small) valve gap clearence, but funny enough, it really refers just to the exhaust of the rear cylinder... Every long distance test report says this. So I don't believe this, but I have no explanation for this phenomenon. This is not a real severe fault, but once the engine is open, you may fix it.
Noises from the engine
Engine won't start
If things still are going wrong, you might need a new battery.
Starter keeps on running
Two different problems.
The bike was parked. I inserted the ignition
key and turned the switch on. Run/Off sitch in "Run" position. I pressed the
starter button and the engine started. I released the starter button, and the starter
still kept running (engine running at the same time)! I put the "Run/Off "
switch to the "Off" position. Engine stopped but starter still running. I turned
the ignition key to "Off" position. Starter still running. I took away the
ignition key. Starter still running for more than 5 minutes. I got off the bike, I took
out the right back plastic panier and I lightly hit the starter relay (next to the
regulator unit). Starter finally stopped. This happened at least 3-4 times during the
summer in very hot temperature.
I took out the relay, I opened it and I lubricated it inside. I re-mounted it and the same thing happened 2-3 times. So I decided finally to replace it.
Looking at the TA electrical circuit, the starter relay contacts are connected directly (with very thick cable) to the battery without any intervening switch. Probably the relay-output contacts were getting easily stuck (no current through the relay coil) and they were not released. That's why the ignition key had no effect on it. And this was only happening when the outside temp was very high.
Same symptoms as before, except for starter stops working when
switching off ignition. However, even if any gear engaged, starter keeps on running
(greetings to Spencer Davies Group ;-) ):
This is most probably caused by a short-cut inside the starter switch. I "fixed" it while repeatedly hitting and releasing the starter button. Appeared just once up to now, therefor no further steps taken.
Neutral switch damaged - neutral light doesn't burn
The other day you may find, that your neutral light doesn't burn, even if gear is
in neutral. Also, you cannot start your engine ... To get on, pull the clutch lever
and hit the start button.
Most likely this is not an electrical, but a mechanical problem. There's a little pin inside the switch, and that is worn. I never did try to repair it, it's easier to replace it. You'll find it behind the front sprocket's plastic cover. Replacing is easy: Pull off the leads and screw it off, you'll need a 14mm socket wrench, AFAIR. Mount the new one, reconnect the leads - voila. No oil draining or engine dismantling necessary.
Noise from the front fork
Appears after 30,000 km or so and sounds like a totally worn out or misadjusted steering head bearing. The cause is, if it's not really the steering head bearing, the bush inside the fork. To replace this is a **-job, i.e., you should be a qualified mechanic to do this. Also, to replace steering head bearings, is a **-job.
Right now I figured out another possible cause for this. Recently the fork made a noise "dass es 'ner Sau graust" (means really terrible). I changed the fork oil, and what should I say - it's ok. So if anyone will notice this noise, first check out the steering head bearings, then change the fork oil before doing anything else. BTW, the stock fork oil is IMHO too thin-bodied (it's a SAE 5, I believe), so the damping is too soft (for me, 100 kg full dressed). I currently use a mixture of 1 part SAE 5 and two parts SAE 15W-30 Castrol fork oil, resulting in a good damping. Additionally I added a little bit more of oil (standing 122 mm instead of 125 mm), resulting in a better progression rate of the suspension.
Some Transalp owners complain about high speed wobbling (high speed? Har-har, it begins at 140-150 km/h). Hard to say, what the cause is. I watched this phenomenon mainly, when the following conditions came together:
Another two possible reasons are:
See Emil Schwarz's solutions to the last two problems
Sometimes my bikes wobbles, too. Then I'll press some grease into the bronce bushes of the ProLink, and it's ok. It's a good idea to put some weight on the tank, that seems to help in many cases.
Some words to the bronce bushes bearings of the ProLink. They need a special maintenance. There are two nipples to press grease in, which will reach two bushes. The other two bushes will not be supplied with grease, so grease them explicitly whenever you dismount the ProLink (for example while changing the chain). On my bike the bushes lasted for 100,000 km, then it was time to replace them. I found a complete ProLink in a very good condition in a second hand shop and gave DEM 50.- for it. I think, this was a real good deal.
Ok, after 150,000 km this ProLink also is gone, and I decided to make Emil Schwarz reconstruct it with needle bearings.
To prevent dirt from soiling the Prolink, I mounted a duster on the front part of the rear mudguard, made from a piece of the inner tube of a car tire. Also have a look at the 1994 model of the Africa Twin to see what I mean.
Front Brake Problems
This problem, when it cropped up at my bike, I thought had been caused by lack of maintenance (and surely it was), but since other Transalp owners reported the same problem, I think it should be treated here. The front brake of the Transalp is a floating caliper brake, and the problem is a bolt going tight in his sleeve; this one, or, since model year '90, this one. You may not notice it while driving, but when changing the brakepads, you may find, that the new pads won't fit. In my case, the bolt sat so tight, I couldn't loosen it; the complete saddle had to be replaced. So, ever when you change the brakepads, check if this bolt moves slightly in the sleeve. If not, dismount it carefully (be aware of these rubber seals, they can easily be destroyed!), clean the bolt, polish it with some polishing canvas, if necessary. In any case, check it and grease it with special brake grease or copper paste (don't use normal grease, it wouldn't stand the temperatures).
Ulf Kiese reported a kind of clattering from the front brake. The reason was obviously a defective anti-whirr sheet, you'll find behind the pads (pic will come): two noses were broken. When changing the pads, be sure to pull out the old pads, before pushing the pistons back in their default seat. To do this, I use to use tongs, with an old brakepad as shelter between the tongs and the pistons.
Ulf also reported another problem: poor performance while front braking, noises from the front brake lever. This seems to affect bikes being ridden all the year. The reason is slight corrosion on brake piston/cylinder. Remedy: Every now and then remove the front brake lever, carefully pull off the cuff a bit and lubricate the piston with silicone spray.
David Mason experienced following:
On wet days (plenty in the UK), I would be too nervous to even try to brake! If I pulled it on gently, nothing would happen, if I grabbed it hard it would brake but not before 'giving' at the lever causing a rather jerky motion.
I stripped the calipers, greased the sliders and dabbed a tad of grease at the lever end. Everything was fine for a few days and then the problem returned. I was sure that it was not the caliper so I dismantled the lever and lo and behold, there was the problem.....wear between the lever and the metal casting of the master cylinder.
The solution was to gently file (swiss needle file) away the worn part of the casting and to fit thin (wavy washers) above and below the lever to fill the gap. This restored smooth braking and had the advantage of taking the slack out of the lever. I did the same to the clutch side.
The wavy washers are difficult to get hold off, they are used in the repair of electrical motors. I tried several hardware stores before getting lucky in an old tool shop. (wa'hey). The guy had an assortment of several sizes loose in an old jam jar, Just the ticket, so I bought a dozen of the right size.
If anyone would like some to effect a similar repair to tired old levers, drop me a note with your address (as it should be written on the envelope) and I will be happy to renew my stock and post a few off (yes anywhere in the world).
And always remember: working on the brakes is a **-job, i.e. you must be a qualified mechanic to do it. BTW, I prefer using the original Honda brakepads. They are more expensive than third party pads, but I never had any problems like fading and things like that. And the use of third party pads occasionally results in a faster worn out rotor, because some of them are harder then the OEM ones. And a new rotor will cost you one hell of money! The last info was ca. DEM 500.- (US$ 333.33). Italian brake specialist Brembo manufactures an aftermarket rotor for the Alp. For further info check here. Erik found another company manufacturing aftermarket front brake rotors in the US. Check out Erik's parts list. The worst pads I ever had mounted IMHO have been these "Dunloppads metal pads". I noticed extensive fading while riding down Alps passes, and a very high wear out of the brake rotor...
Roundabout 5 times my speedo faulted. Once it's been the speedo cable, being broken.
The other times the reason was wearing out of this white plastic wheel inside the speedo
gear at the front wheel, transmitting the wheel's rotation to the cable. The speedo gear
is recommended to be greased. I heard of people having never greased it and having no
problems with the speedo. At last I found out, that the reason of the problems has been
the grease. I used a normal grease. Those greases contain certain amounts of acids and
resins, and these components will destroy the plastic, the gear wheel is made of. Thus,
for greasing the speedo gear, use an acid and resin free grease, like White Grease
(tm) f.e. Since I'm using White Grease, I didn't have problems with the speedo at all
(knock on wood...)
How to decide, if the cable is broken or the gear wheel is worn? The simplest procedure is, to remove the cable from the speedo gear (remove the Philips head screw you'll find there). Turn the front wheel and watch the little shaft inside the gear box, driving the cable. If it doesn't turn, the plastic gear wheel is through. If it turns, remount the cable and remove it's upper side from the speedo. Turn the wheel again and watch the shaft inside the cable. If it doesn't turn, your cable is broken. If it does, the speedo itself is the problem. But that's improbable.
Chain and Sprocket Kits
This is not a Transalp specific problem, but many owners reported it (including myself!). It refers to the REGINA chain and sprocket kits. You know, this golden chain, looking very nice, when it's new...In any known cases the clasp broke after some time, and as all of you can imagine, that's a rather dangerous thing!
Lack of performance below 3,000 rpm
Sometimes I notice a remarkable lack of performance below an engine speed of 3,000 rpm. It feels a little bit like the engine running with only one cylinder. Since above 3,000 revs everything is ok, I assumed this being a carburetor problem, not an ignition problem. The problem mostly appears, when the weather is cold an wet. My Honda dealer told me, that the cause probably would be a drop of water hanging around in either carburetor, caused by condensation of moisture on the inner tank wall. Sounds plausible, and since it appears below 3,000 rpm, I think the drop would plug the idle speed jet. My dealer suggested to put some gasoline additive like Wynn's or Liquy Moly or something like that into the gastank, that would crush the drop and it could be sucked through the jets and be exhausted. And that seems to work.
Thomas Stock from Switzerland knows about another reason for this: Early TAs (i.e. model year '87) might have vacuum slides made from plastics instead of cast aluminium. The slides are heated from the cylinder and kinda cooled from the other side, where the gas-air-mixture comes in. This thermal difference will cause the slides to be bended, and they jam. The difference to the phenomenon described above is, that closing the throttle will not result in a lower engine speed, i.e. you may notice an idle speed of somewhat 4,000 revs or so. To remedy this mess, you either have to mount aluminium slides (Honda sometimes will do this for free as a fair dealing), or, like Thomas did, twist off the slides by 1.5 mm (diameter). But I'm not sure, if that's "the real McCoy".
Lack of performance below ~5,000 rpm
If sometimes your bike suffers from lack of performance below 5,000 revs, feeling like the phenomenon above, but not getting better beyond 3,000, but only after reaching 5-5,500 revs, then you may have a problem with your air filter. I bet, it's a third party product, isn't it? Once this happened to my bike and recently to Imke's bike, and we both fixed it while mounting a genuine Honda air filter, and afterwards we never ever had trouble like this. Well, this may not necessarily be the reason, but in two cases it worked. And it's the easiest thing to check.
BTW, nowadays I'm using a K&N reusable air filter, and it works perfectly. A K&N is a real good alternative to the genuine filter.
Consuming too much gas
If your bike consumes tons of gas, if the performance is low, especially on upper revs, and if you can start the cold engine without choke, then probably the valves of the floating chamber are not correctly adjusted, meaning, the gas-air-mixture is too rich. Find an instruction how to correct this here. If that doesn't help or if they are not misadjusted, respectively, these valves are worn out and you have to replace them (those of XR500 will fit TA as well). This may happen after roughly 80 - 100,000 km (50 - 62,000 mls). However, more probable is, that jet needles are worn. I recently increased my mileage from 210 km until switching to reserve to 270 km by replacing the jet needles. This will happen also after roughly 80 - 100,000 km (50 - 62,000 mls).
Running out of gas too early, or too less reserve, respectively
Reported by Christos Zervos:
In my TA I used to switch to reserve long before the gas level drops to the reserve level. I had to maintain always a high level of gas in the tank, in order to avoid running out of fuel flow. Especially, when being "on reserve", I was able to drive only for 4-5 Kms, although there was enough fuel in the tank. By changing the fuel cock, everything got back to normal. ... You experience this problem because the fuel cock diaphragm is sticky and you have to switch to reserve earlier than normal.
Backfiring can have different causes:
If the engine backfires at something like 3,000 revs, it's a problem of poor mixture at idle speed. To prevent this, the carbs are equipped with air-cut-off valves, enriching the mixture for idle speed (the idle speed jet system is active up to 3,000 revs!). If backfiring, probably the diaphragm of one of the valves has a little hole in it. To replace this is rather expensive, because you can purchase only a complete repairing set, containing the diaphragm (that's ok), the spring (hmmm...) and the cover (that is a perfect nonsense), and that will cost you at least DEM 90.- (US$ 60.-) for one valve (!) (this is the price of some years ago, I think it will be even more expensive now). I fixed it with putting a little drop of a 2-component glue on the hole, and it worked for some other xxxty kilometers. When dismounting the cover, take care of the spring!!
Water in turning indicator
Some people on the TA mailing list complained about water or humidity inside the right (and only the right!) turning indicator glass. I never noticed it, but I must admit, I never payed any attention to it. The reason isn't obvious, some people say, it could be, because the right glass is warmed up more than the left one, if the bike is on the sidestand, and when cooling down afterwards, the humidity will appear. Some other people recommended using silicone to seal the glass (from inside the fairing). I'll watch it.
Transalp Eddie has a cheap solution:
... I discovered a cheap (free), easy "fix" for this problem. On both
of my Transalps I took the smallest drill bit I could find ( 1/32 in or smaller if you
have one) and simply made a hole in the underside of the lense...angling it slightly
rearward, so water doesn't get blown in.
Voilą! No more droplets inside my turnsignals. Nobody knows the hole is there but me...and you,of course!
Got mud in the hole you made? A straight pin clears it right up.
Pacific Coast and Transalp Rider