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Idle problem

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Idle problem
Started at 09:35pm on the 14th May, 2018 by NicoV
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
My Bullet 500 (Jan 1999) starts well and runs beautifully. However, when waiting in front of red lights, or in a traffic jams, the engine often stalls. It always happens in the same way: all of a sudden the rpm goes slightly lower, there is a small misfire (fart) in the inlet, and the engine stalls. I have the Boyer electronic ignition, a 190 watt alternator and regulator from Rex' Speed Shop. Standard Mikcarb carburettor (slide with richer mix from our host) and conic air filter. I also noticed that right before the stalling the amp meter is nearly halfway the left part. My idle is at approx 1000 rpm (judging by ear). I suspect the regulator. The ammeter needle often "trembles" and randomly jumps from left to right. When riding at approx 75 kmph, the ammeter sometimes goes to the left. How is that possible with a 190 watt alternator when only the headlamp is on ? Anyone who experienced the same, or has tips on how to troubleshoot this ?
Posted: 09:35pm 14th May, 2018
stinkwheel Subject: Idle problem
Well, the ammeter dipping to the left does suggest a sudden increase in current draw. First thing that springs to mind is that could be caused by an intermittant short circuit. Second thing that springs to mind is that when stationary at the lights, you'd often be holding a brake on. So I'd check the wiring associated with the the brake lights first. Where the wiring goes into the back brake switch is one place I'd consider suspect. Where the wiring runs through and under the back mudguard is another point where it is highly succeptible to damage.

In fact, first thing I'd try is unplugging the snap connector to the rear sub-loom and see if the problem goes away, then plug it in again and see if it comes back. Be aware you will have no brake light or flashers when doing such an experiment so remember to use hand signals.

Just a guess mind.
Posted: 10:47pm 14th May, 2018
Adrian Subject: Idle problem
19 year-old Indian wiring in a vulnerable position - what could possibly go wrong?

Posted: 11:48am 15th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
In Norway we have to drive with the lights on all of the time. If I switch off the headlight, the problem disappears. If I switch on the park light, the problem does not reappear. If I switch on the headlamp, the problem pops up again.
Posted: 01:05pm 15th May, 2018
Count Johnny Subject: Idle problem
So, it sounds like your charging system is the only thing keeping your engine running.

Presuming you are running a battery, I'd gamble that your battery is past its sell-by date.

If you're not running a battery, you should know that Boyer electronic ignition systems are particularly volt sensitive - and I'd recommend a return to points.
Posted: 06:41pm 15th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
@Count Johnny that battery is two months old. Yes, I noticed that the Boyer electronic ignition is very sensitive to voltage. And I am really considering returning to points….
Posted: 07:08pm 15th May, 2018
papasmurf Subject: Idle problem
NicoV, I had three new batteries in a short period of time that failed within days. The motorcycle mechanic I use stopped stocking that make of battery.
Posted: 07:24pm 15th May, 2018
Adrian Subject: Idle problem
Name and shame, papasmurf? ASBO 12 needs a new battery and I don't want it to need another one too soon afterwards!

@ Nico, the Boyer Bransden Mark 3 electronic ignition is notoriously unhappy with lower voltages, particularly at starting and goes full advance, which you do not want. The Pazon Surefire was designed by some ex-Boyer Bransden staff who wanted something more reliable at lower voltages, to which the response of their former colleagues was the Boyer Bransden Mark 4, also more tolerant of lower voltages, allegedly. There are some other makes out there, which is fitted to your Bullet?

Posted: 08:15pm 15th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
@Adrian, it is the Boyer Micro Digital electronic ignition.
Posted: 04:09am 16th May, 2018
scotty Subject: Idle problem
Try a 27.5 idle jet had similar problem with 1995 bullet, made a big difference sorry should be pilot jet cheap fix.
Posted: 06:20am 16th May, 2018
papasmurf Subject: Idle problem
Adrian, a Japanese named battery made in America.
Posted: 08:44am 16th May, 2018
Adrian Subject: Idle problem
Thanks papasmurf, I have ordered a different make.

@ Nico, sounds like you have the best possible power supply, at least in theory, but I think I'd want to use a Pazon ignition which is less sensitive. Or fit a magneto!

You mention that your Bullet is a 1999 model, did it originally have the AC headlight with Minda awitches? I have twice been caught out using this type of switch when wiring the whole system to use 12V DC, make sure the red and yellow wire into the switch cluster is not connected to anything.

Posted: 04:16pm 16th May, 2018
Dav350 Subject: Idle problem
I am having a long running very similar problem on my '96 350 bullet. Having just done another run, with pilot leaned off, the bike runs fine when above 10mph and over 1/8 throttle, does an indicated 60mph on flat. When I come to a stop after a varied 15 mile journey it cuts out, will not idle.Pulled the plug and it's soothed up. Whilst pondering this, I noticed when the choke is operated it comes on fine, when closed it only closes half way, the fork on the control lever overrides the detent of the plunger, leaving the choke half on. This will be my next investigation, remove the lever, operate the choke via some other temporary method to ensure I can fully close it. Have you checked your choke operation?
Posted: 08:49pm 18th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
@Adrian It is a January 1999 Bullet and it originally had Magura controls. I am thinking of switching to another electronic ignition, or reinstalling the contact breaker points. The short/high current problem only occurs when the headlights are on. @Dav350 I will check the choke operation.
Posted: 07:03am 20th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
I had a look at the specs of the Pazon Altair electronic ignition. Looks very interesting: runs on voltage down to 6V, has a light for static tuning that would eliminate the need of removing the left cover and spilling the transmission oil of the primary transmission. And a dedicated output for a tachometer, but that is only a gadget. But it isn't cheap....
Posted: 07:07pm 20th May, 2018
Adrian Subject: Idle problem
1999 was the changeover year from DC to AC headlighting, Does your Bullet still have the Magura switches or is it now using the Minda type used on AC headlight Bullets? My first bungled attempt to wire a Minda-type switch for all DC had both main and dip beam coming on together, which would certainly have caused a serious drain (120W!) on the power available for the ignition.

The Pazon Sure Fire also works on the Bullet and is somewhat cheaper.

Posted: 10:05pm 20th May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
@Adrian, it is a Jan. 99 Bullet with Magura controls. I probably made that mistake too while converting from Magura to Minda. I regretted. I think the Magura controls are better quality, but the clutch was rather hard to pull with them.
Posted: 07:30pm 21st May, 2018
Super45 Subject: Idle problem
I've recent,y had reason to question the quality of the minda gear fitted to my bike (2000 350) , ive just changed the handlebars from the export high spec bars to the fifties one the our hosts sell and found that when re tightening the bolts both clutch and brake lever brackets snapped half way around from the bolt, on investigation i discovered they had sheered some time ago with only a thin bit of metal holding them on so im glad they happned when the bike is off the road rather than at speed, ive got magura bits on my push bikes and ive never had an issue with them.
Posted: 09:42am 22nd May, 2018
Adrian Subject: Idle problem
You can still get Magura clutch and brake levers (dog-leg type for use with separate switchgear, so you can use them with Minda switches) from Venhill Engineering, but they're not cheap!

Posted: 12:10pm 22nd May, 2018
NicoV Subject: Idle problem
Adrian, thanks. I think the levers on Minda are more ergonomical (have to use less force), but the electrical controls and the way the control is fitted to the handlebar is imho much better with Magura. I still have my old ones, and will put them back. I don't like the way the Minda controls are bolted. It is never tight, and they tend to move around. I also find the switches feel "cheap". They move too easily.
Posted: 09:55pm 23rd May, 2018

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