Garage ANY QUESTION ANSWERED OWNING & RIDING Q Electrical gremlins have struck my Hog
If we don’t know the answer, we’ll find the person who does I’m looking for a Bluetooth bargain, what’s out there? Why has my V-strom had a system shutdown? Q
My Harley-davidson wonõt hold a charge, although Iõve put a new battery and regulator rectifier in place. Iõve also noticed that occasionally when the engineõs warmed up the speedo needle fluctuates and the indicators donõt flash normally. Do these suggest a more serious problem with the bikeõs electrics? Mitchell Leighton, email
I’m thinking of getting a basic Bluetooth unit so that I can answer calls while I’m riding along. What do you suggest? Ross Barnes, Dartford
Answered by Keith Roissetter, Infinity Motorcycles If you only want to take calls you’ll get away with a cheaper unit than one which allows you talk to other people up to a mile away, but if you think you’ll use that facility in the future then it may be worth getting a better kit.
Most of the units I’m listing here Answered by Andy ForbesBuckingham, AFB Motorcycles I owned an FXR for 10 years and I got through one regulator a year on average. Dyna, Softail and Fxr-series bikes, as well as Harley clones like S&S, all site the regulator between the front downtubes. Sitting there the cooling fins get covered in crud and the clamp to the frame allow you to listen to music via your phone and will cut the tunes when a call comes in. They’ll also allow hookup with a suitable GPS unit. Basic units to look for include the Sena SMH5, the Scala rider Q1 or the Interphone Urban Bluetooth intercom. The Autocom Air-1 will integrate into your helmet without the bulge the other units will give it.
Prices quoted here include VAT. Helmets are Vat-free, so if you’re thinking of buying a new lid in the near future, you can get the Bluetooth unit bundled up so it’s Vat-free too. which doubles as the earth, is compromised. On bikes we service we generally add a dedicated earth wire to the negative battery terminal instead.
If the new reg/rec is clean and corrosion-free, then you are looking at an alternator issue. The AC voltage output needs testing and also the windings for continuity to one another, but not to chassis. If the mica insulation for the windings has cracked, you can get a Ôflying shortõ when you are out on the bike, which would explain the Ôspeedo errorõ. As the temperature builds up the mica tightens up on the windings which gives you a heavy fluctuation in alternator output, which could have been a factor in the first reg/ rec failing. I was riding my 2015 bike along an A-road yesterday at about 70mph when the clocks and systems shutdown. The speedo went to zero, the traction control disengaged and the FI light came on, which was alarming. Ed Tanner, Bristol
Answered by Steve Scully, GT Motorcycles We’ve heard of another V-strom 1000 with similar symptoms, and it turned out to be a fault in the ABS pump. Get it into a dealer so they can run a diagnostics check. As the bike is less than two years old you should be able to get the work done under warranty.
I have just had an accident after another vehicle smashed into me while I was stationary. Their insurer called straight away as they were keen to reduce their liabilities. My bike has been damaged and will take time to be repaired but they are saying I can’t have a courtesy bike for commuting as I own a car.
Gary Swandells, email
This practice, known as third party capture, has become common among insurers. The idea is that they offer what they say is a hassle-free repair, or early compensation if you have suffered an injury, although there are usually conditions. The reason they can seek to limit their liability in these cases is because they are offering what they say is something extra by not making you go through the formal claims process. This is done to try to prevent injured parties from fully exploring their rights.
What they don’t tell you is that your claim isn’t actually a claim on their policy but rather they have a statutory obligation to pay what the other driver would be required to pay if you sued them directly, and the only limit to that is what the court would make them pay.
On that test, the cost of a replacement vehicle while yours is being fixed is usually recoverable as long as the hire was genuinely required. Insurers interpret that to mean that the cost of a hire bike shouldn’t be recoverable if you have a car but as long as there is a specific reason why a bike is needed, such as reduced commuting time or someone else needing the car, there shouldn’t be a problem.