ANY QUES­TION AN­SWERED Q Why has my 1200 Mul­tistrada lost 40bhp?

If we don’t know the an­swer, we’ll find the per­son who does What bud­get wa­ter­proof gloves are avail­able? What’s caus­ing my mis­fire at high en­gine speeds? Q Can I af­ford to skip valve clear­ance checks? Q An­drew Camp­bell

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

I picked up a 2012 Du­cati 1200 Mul­tistrada last year and it’s given me bril­liant ser­vice through this mild, but damp win­ter. But it seems to have lost 40bhp overnight and won’t rev over 7000rpm. There aren’t any er­ror codes and the tank is breath­ing prop­erly, but it feels flat.

An­drew Bone, email An­swered by Neil Bar­rett, Corner­speed Du­cati I am cer­tain it’s the ex­haust valve at fault. Due to its ex­posed po­si­tion, cor­ro­sion causes it to seize in the closed po­si­tion. It doesn’t flash up a fault code be­cause the ECU sees the right re­sis­tance as the servo mo­tor sweeps back and forth at start-up, but


I’m a novice rider on a bud­get, and I want some wa­ter­proof gloves that aren’t too bulky so I can feel the con­trols. Harry Forbes, Wel­wyn

An­swered by Keith Rois­set­ter, In­fin­ity Mo­tor­cy­cles Wa­ter­proof gloves tend to be aimed at the win­ter mar­ket and are lay­ered ac­cord­ingly, hence the thick­ness. Some­thing a bit lighter, in spec and price, should the re­turn spring can’t pull the but­ter­fly valve open as the revs rise and the servo eases off.

Any bikes that suf­fered this dur­ing their war­ranty pe­riod have had the whole £1000 ex­haust sys­tem re­placed.

How­ever, the valve is only there to com­ply with EU emis­sions regs by re­duc­ing noise at low revs, so you can dis­con­nect the servo cables and lock­wire the valve open. That would nor­mally trig­ger fault codes and a get-youhome en­gine map. But an ECU re­flash will take out the O2 sen­sors and ad­just the weak fu­elling to match the in­creased gas flow, so you’ll get bet­ter low-down per­for­mance as well for about £230.


see you through the wet days for the rest of the year.

Our pick starts at £17.99 with the Richa Dusk, and the Buf­falo Track­ers could be worth a punt at £19.99. The ARMR Moto WPL330 don’t seem too thick and shouldn’t break your wal­let at £29.99. Have a look in the sale bins of your lo­cal shop as most will be clear­ing wa­ter­proof gloves to make room for this year’s sum­mer gloves. I have a 2005 Yamaha R6 that I use for track­days. It has de­vel­oped a mis­fire at high revs and it seems that there is no spark get­ting to the num­ber three cylin­der. I’ve changed the coil packs over, but still no joy. Do you think it’s the wiring or the ECU? Colin Car­pen­ter, email

An­swered by Chris Dabbs, MCN This is al­most cer­tainly a wiring is­sue, as an ECU prob­lem would af­fect more than one cylin­der. You have to check that you have con­ti­nu­ity by do­ing a re­sis­tance check on the wires from the ECU to the coil packs. There’s no need to dis­con­nect the bat­tery, just make sure the bike is switched off. Do an earth-check to the feeds to coil one and two. Now do the same with the grey feed wire for coil packs three and four and com­pare the read­ings. It should show a big re­sis­tance fig­ure, in­di­cat­ing a break in the wire from the ECU.

The eas­i­est way of fix­ing it is to get two to three feet of 12V wire and un­bind 4-6 inches of the loom at the ECU and coil pack ends. Check the break is be­tween those two points with the me­ter, then sol­der in the re­place­ment wire to bridge the break be­fore tidy­ing it all up again. Make sure the new wire has got some slack so you can tuck it away from any chaf­ing points or hot com­po­nents like the cylin­der head or ex­haust sys­tem.

I’ve owned my Tri­umph 790 Speed­mas­ter for 10 years and have never had the valve clear­ances checked. It’s got 53,000 miles on it and never misses a beat. My mates say if it is run­ning OK, leave well alone, but what are the pit­falls of my ‘wil­ful ne­glect’? Ge­orge Gardiner, email

An­swered by Clive Wood, Tri­umph spe­cial­ist The lat­est lu­bri­cants mean a mod­ern bucket and shim en­gine like your Speed­mas­ter will gen­er­ally only ex­pe­ri­ence real wear to the valve seats. But be­cause bucket and shim mo­tors get qui­eter, not nois­ier, as they wear it can lull you into a false sense of se­cu­rity un­til the valves and seats are so worn that you are look­ing at cylin­der head work. If you con­sider that a valve-clear­ance check costs £150 against four fig­ures for head work it’s got to be worth it for the peace of mind. In fact I’d rec­om­mend it when­ever you buy a used bike, as you are not the only one tempted to skip this vi­tal task…

Spada Junc­tion Spada Freeride Richa Dusk Crusty ex­haust valve will leave the mighty Strada feel­ing flat Buf­falo Tracker Re­pair worn wiring to keep your R6 revving smoothly and sweetly ARMR Moto WPL330 Weise Grid

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