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Blowing a Fuse
Q: I own a 2002 Triumph Daytona 955i CE with barely 20,000 miles. Last year, I noticed when I was riding the display started blinking and the bike eventually went dead. After taking it to a Triumph dealership, they said that the 30-amp fuse between the stator and rectifier was blowing because of heat from the engine. They removed the fuse from the fuse box and ran the wire through a standalone fuse holder. This worked at first, but now I have the same issue sitting in traffic or riding in the city. No matter when I ride, the display blinks after a while. I have to stop and change the fuse way too frequently. Have you ever heard of this? What can be done to fix it?
St. Louis, MO
A: After talking to Mickey Cohen at Cohen Motorsports, (www.cohenmotorsports.com) the home of Triumph's Los Angeles press fleet, it sounds like you need to talk to a more knowledgeable dealer.
"There's a service bulletin on that problem," Cohen says. "The original wires were wrapped around the stock harness. They're too small as well, which means they got too hot. Triumph updated the connection between the stator and the regulator with heavier-gauge wire. It's a 3-foot cable that runs outside the wiring harness, which keeps the harness itself from overheating." Take your Daytona to another Triumph dealer, give them your VIN and you should be able to get things squared away without further expense or aggravation.
I'm interested in buying an air/oil-cooled bike like BMW's R1200GS, but have always owned motorcycles with liquid-cooled engines. It gets very hot in the summer where I live, with average temp-eratures in the 100s. What do I need to know about hot-weather riding, ranging from stop-and-go traffic to off-road riding in yon national forest? I'm not an aggressive rider, but I'm no slowpoke either. Any knowledge you have to share would be much appreciated.
The GS has pulled thousands of riders through untold manifestations of hell on earth over the last 30 years. In most cases, the Boxer handles triple-digit heat better than its rider. These engines have been everywhere from Alaska to the Sahara. Leaving one running in some blistering McDonald's parking lot while you work your way down the Dollar Menu could have dire mechanical consequences. But beyond that, relax.
The 2010 R1200GS oil-temp indicator has eight bars. The first two come on to tell you things are warming up. The next four designate normal operating temperature. The two bars above that tell you the oil has entered the high-temp zone. Real-world oil temperatures range from 160-268 degrees Fahrenheit, or up to five bars on the gauge. According to Corwin Nicks, ace technician at BMW of Ventura County, six bars means you need to pick up enough speed to cool things off with additional airflow around the engine. Those last two bars indicate imminent meltdown.
After flogging the latest R1200GS in hotspots from Morocco to the Mojave Desert, we've never seen six bars. We've seen five bars exactly once, and the engine never missed a beat. The modern Boxer spends most of its life showing four bars on said gauge. So as long as you're changing the oil and filter as directed-more often if you spend a lot of time off-road in triple-digit temps-no worries. Just drink plenty of water and don't forget the electrolytes.