Sunday, July 26, 2009

July 22nd - 26th, 2009 - Stalling resolution and great weekend at RockyGrass

To condense a long day, BMW of North SLC got right to work on diagnostics on the F800GS while we had a great breakfast at Rambin, Roads then wandered the area following our iPhones to a “nearby” Flying J truck stop where we finally got online to upload pics and update our RR. A few hours later, I heard from the dealer that they had found an “implausible” engine temperature reading coming from the BMSK (Bavarian Mottorad Supern Komputer?) and were pursuing approval from BMW to replace this $2000 part. Of course, it would have to overnighted from Pennsylvania. Not willing to wait around in SLC, we made an appt with BMW of Denver for the next morning figuring that they would have to go through their own diagnostics in time to order the part to arrive by Friday.

We routed out of town towards 40 east around 2 pm in 98 degree temps assuming we wouldn't make it more than 40 minutes before we'd find a shady river where we could cool ourselves and the bike off. Somehow, the BMW just kept running and we took advantage of it to make time towards Denver. Landscape was changing as we headed east with rocks turning more red, buttes becoming more pronounced and taller mountains starting to appear.

As we passed Dinosaur National Monument, I was riding with sunglasses on but my shield up and had just turned on my helmet cam to capture the scene without risking a picture stop when a rock the size of a baby marshmallow flicked up from the tire of the truck in front of me and hit me right on the bridge of the nose. My mini laptop won't play the video smoothly enough to see the rock but I'll review it frame by frame when I can. What the video definitely captured is me flinching when I get nailed, telling Dave over the Scala “Uh, I might have to pull over for a sec” then wiping my nose with my glove and looking down to see blood. We found a rest stop a few minutes down the road to take some bad ass pictures and for Dave to send the following text to our friend we were crashing with in Basalt: “Just passed Vernal UT. Zim got hit by a rock in the nose. Wet-wiping the blood now. ETA 10 pm”

The next morning in Denver, we started the process all over again with the questions about the issue we were having and how the technician could reproduce it. As usual we told them to ride the bike for 2+ hours in 90+ degree heat and it would happen to them. We told them that BMW had SLC had already figured out that I needed a new BMSK and the sooner they came to the same conclusion, the sooner it could be overnighted and installed. Well, turns out, the regional service rep confirmed that the -95 degree engine temp rating was not a fault in the BMSK but rather in the diagnostic software in SLC and we were back to square one. That is, except for the fact that their demo F800GS had just stalled out on a mid day test ride. So we were escorted to the super plush leather couch, big screen TV lounge upstairs to wait for more info. We alternated between patiently waiting and walking downstairs to tap our feet and remind them of everything that's already been tried. By the end of the day, they were still unable to find a fault or to duplicate the problem. I hopped on the bike and took it into the vacant lot next door and did slow figure eights for 20 minutes at which point it started to stumble. I raced it around to the service entrance and handed it off to the tech. I've never been so happy to see it stall as I was when it did it for him. It had been an unsubstantiated complaint by an out town customer but now it was their problem.

Okay, now that I've made you as impatient reading this as we were waiting for a fix, I'll wrap things up. On Friday afternoon, I got a call from BMW that they felt that they had resolved the problem. The tech had rigged a fuel pressure gauge where it could be seen while riding. When the bike got hot, the pressure would fall below the acceptable range for a second and then peg the meter. They tried a new BMSK, new injectors, new fuel pump electronics and finally a fuel pump. Well, the pump did it. A pump you say? Was that replaced on your dime before you left 'cause BMW wouldn't do it for you? Looking closer at the invoice from BMW of SF, no, they hadn't replaced the fuel pump. It was backordered, neglected to tell me, and instead replaced the fuel pump electronics. Yes, I should have commented that the cost of the installation was less than I was expecting but I let myself believe that maybe they had split the cost with me. All this time, I (thanks to the ADV forums had been right about the pump being the problem and if they had told me they didn't install one, I would have arranged to have one put in on the trip. ARRGAGGARGGGHH.

Okay, so last night I did Dave's laundry from the first week. This was in exchange for (fingers crossed) never mentioning the stalling again. Then again, old wounds heal slow...

Overall, we had a great weekend at RockyGrass hanging out, listening to music and seeing our friends in 49 Special win the band competition and are really ready to get this ride back on the road.


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