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Discussion Starter #1
Just got my 09, and unlike my carburetor-fed F4, it's having issues running in the mountains outside of Denver (so elevations from 5280 to around 10,000ft--haven't tried a 14er with it yet).

Problem is, it's intermittent, and not consistent. I first noticed the issue with around 330mi on the bike.

Riding up through the canyons I suddenly lose power--tach will drop and the bike will surge a few times, then die.

After it sits a while, it'll restart, but then the surging and dying will happen again. This happened several times while I was working my way back down to Denver.

I vented the tank to be sure it wasn't an over-pressure situation, and that had no effect.

It's not a loose electrical connection as I checked everything I could access.

I limped it back to my shop, they kept it and had a tech put 130miles on it to re-run my route with the HDS logger on it, and it ran fine (of course).

We dumped the tank and refilled it with fresh gas.

I ran it back up once and it was fine, ran it back up there a second time and it surged and died again, but this time only twice, not the every-five-minute death like the first time.

I did it's 600mi service and ran it up there yesterday and it died twice and wouldn't idle at altitude.

Then, coming home through Denver, it died at a red light.

My shop (whom I trust since I used to work there) has pulled every panel off, checked every vent, checked the tank, the tip-over sensor, and everything we can think of short of pulling & swapping the ECU and/or every sensor on the damn thing.

Honda, of course, won't authorize anything without discerning a cause, and so far we're having enough trouble just replicating the problem on a consistent basis.

It burbles and dies at altitude as if it's not "jetted" correctly, which makes me think it's not a fueling issue, but it's a sensor issue--the barometric sensor or something similar.

However, I've seen a few threads here where 09s are seemingly dying for no reason while riding, so maybe the altitude is just a coincidence and not a factor.

Anyone know of any TSBs or anything from Honda that shows it's aware of the situation and/or anyone been through something similar and know a solution?



...sad to say it, but my '99 never had a single issue in ten years of street & track use, so this 2009 isn't exactly making me happy I traded the old girl in.

...And their "I wanna ride" tagline is becoming more annoying each time I hear my bike cut out and die on the side of the road...
 
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If the shop hooked the HDS up to the bike, they should have been able to tell if it was a sensor issue if they looked right.

Check that the IACV is functioning correctly, there's no pinched or blocked fuel lines, no intake air leaks, and that the batter and charging system are sound.

When checking for the fuel lines, carefully route the lines down to the proper locations, since once the tank is on, you can't see if they're getting pinched or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
If the shop hooked the HDS up to the bike, they should have been able to tell if it was a sensor issue if they looked right.

Check that the IACV is functioning correctly, there's no pinched or blocked fuel lines, no intake air leaks, and that the batter and charging system are sound.

When checking for the fuel lines, carefully route the lines down to the proper locations, since once the tank is on, you can't see if they're getting pinched or not.
Yeah, we'll check again, they didn't seem pinched (no kink marks, etc) but it might be worth another look.

any aftermarket parts?
No, completely 100% unmolested as-Honda-made-it stock. Even the ugly ass turn signals & that horrible tail... ;P
 
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my first thought was a pinched vent line, but if you vented the tank that shouldnt be the issue...
Unless the lines really are pinched and the tank builds up a vacuum again after the lid has been closed and the bike ridden.
 

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However, I've seen a few threads here where 09s are seemingly dying for no reason while riding, so maybe the altitude is just a coincidence and not a factor.
Really? o_O

I have an '09 and never had any issues whatsoever.

You sure you're not in a high gear running @ low rpms climbing up the mountain/canyon?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i was reading as he vented the tank and it still wouldnt start, but yeah
Yeah, I did, popped it open on the side of the road after each time it died, but since it kept dying, it didn't seem to have an effect.

The lines could be collapsing/pinched, but when the tank was off everything looked fine and where it was supposed to be.

The tech also blew out the vents just to be sure they weren't clogged with misc debris.

Really? o_O

I have an '09 and never had any issues whatsoever.

You sure you're not in a high gear running @ low rpms climbing up the mountain/canyon?
Just at a glance, I found this one:
http://www.600rr.net/vb/showthread.php?t=204194

And no, definitely not high gear/low rpm.

In fact, as I think about it, it seemed to happen in the high-rpm range, as the one ride (same route) I was stuck behind a pack of Harleys putting along at an average speed of 26mph the bike ran fine...

And I actually tend to lug it (low rpm/higher gear) much more in town than the canyons, and it never has an issue.
 
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Yeah, I did, popped it open on the side of the road after each time it died, but since it kept dying, it didn't seem to have an effect.

The lines could be collapsing/pinched, but when the tank was off everything looked fine and where it was supposed to be.

The tech also blew out the vents just to be sure they weren't clogged with misc debris.
That really does sound like a pinched fuel line issue. There's a lot of smooth surfaces and padding under the tank that can pinch the line shut, so you wont really see a distinct marking.

The bike uses up more fuel at higher RPM's, so that's typically when you'll be having that issue start.
 

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This is why I like to do my own maintenance on all my vehicles. This might be a different case, tho.


And no, definitely not high gear/low rpm.

In fact, as I think about it, it seemed to happen in the high-rpm range, as the one ride (same route) I was stuck behind a pack of Harleys putting along at an average speed of 26mph the bike ran fine...

And I actually tend to lug it (low rpm/higher gear) much more in town than the canyons, and it never has an issue.
Damn, that sucks. Keep us posted
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That really does sound like a pinched fuel line issue. There's a lot of smooth surfaces and padding under the tank that can pinch the line shut, so you wont really see a distinct marking.

The bike uses up more fuel at higher RPM's, so that's typically when you'll be having that issue start.
Yeah, it just seems odd that it's occurring at altitude, and not when I stay low--even at the same RPM/duty cycle.

I can't figure out why it'd pinch off in the mountains, but not down here, if it's related to demand than I'd think the same demand would be the key, not the altitude...

I'll pull the tank and re-check and see about trying to be sure the lines are free, but as we all know, it's hard to tell what happens when you close the lid...

This is why I like to do my own maintenance on all my vehicles. This might be a different case, tho.

Damn, that sucks. Keep us posted
Me too, though this seems beyond me.

Definitely does suck, would rather be out riding than sitting here not riding since I'm unsure my bike won't have an issue.

I'll definitely keep everyone posted...maybe it'll help someone else.
 

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The pressure difference between sea level and 10,000ft is around 4psi so that could be messing with your a/f ratio, the map sensor output will drop around 1V when you go up that 10,000ft which is quite a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Bike goes back tomorrow, we're swapping ECUs and re-running it with the HDS (now updated to the latest version which it apparently wasn't last run).

...so, we'll see....
 

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i live and ride in colorado too on my 05 rr and have had no problems like this. riding from aspen to colorado springs over independence pass there is a noticeable drop in power though, mostly because you get up to 12,000 ft. but i have had no issue like yours riding at altitude other than the noticeable power loss (which is to be expected).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
i live and ride in colorado too on my 05 rr and have had no problems like this. riding from aspen to colorado springs over independence pass there is a noticeable drop in power though, mostly because you get up to 12,000 ft. but i have had no issue like yours riding at altitude other than the noticeable power loss (which is to be expected).
Yeah, none of my previous bikes ever had any issues like this (and they all had carbs).

We pulled the ECU and swapped it for a new one, I ran it up to around 10,000ft and it had no issues.

But, since the problem was intermittent to begin with, and seemed to happen more on 90+ degree days, I'm not convinced it's been solved.

BUT...I really hope it is, I'd like to ride out the end of the season without worrying about it dying.
 

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If its not fixed... What octane fuel are you useing?
 

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If its not fixed... What octane fuel are you useing?
Have only had time to ride it once since the ECU swap, so not sure it's fixed or not yet.

In CO, 91 octane is about all you can find. There used to be some 93 octane pumps, but haven't seen one in quite a while.
 

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Hey, I'm the guy from the post you linked to. Just an update on my bike: I've since put 600 miles on her and haven't had any problems. The times she died though was in the canyons at a mild elevation (SoCal). I haven't taken her back to the canyons yet, kind of afraid of the same thing happening again, but I guess I should try. The way the engine died didn't seem like it could be from high gear/low rpm/climbing up. The rpms would drop and the rpms barely went up when I twisted the throttle. Slowed her down to the side of the road with the clutch in and in first gear and as soon as I stopped the engine shut off. I dunno what to say...
 

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Hey, I'm the guy from the post you linked to. Just an update on my bike: I've since put 600 miles on her and haven't had any problems. The times she died though was in the canyons at a mild elevation (SoCal). I haven't taken her back to the canyons yet, kind of afraid of the same thing happening again, but I guess I should try. The way the engine died didn't seem like it could be from high gear/low rpm/climbing up. The rpms would drop and the rpms barely went up when I twisted the throttle. Slowed her down to the side of the road with the clutch in and in first gear and as soon as I stopped the engine shut off. I dunno what to say...
That sounds very similar to my experience, I was at moderately high RPM in usually 2nd or 3rd gear, and then the RPMs would just start dropping until the bike would surge a few times, then sputter and die.

If I were you, I'd go back to the canyons and try to get it to happen again. Trust me, I know it's not fun to think you'll be stranded (as I thought I was going to be at least twice), but I think it's best to see if you have an ongoing problem, and if so, get it fixed under warranty while you still can.

Plus, if these aren't isolated incidents, and there's some sort of issue with the 09s at altitude, then the more reports Honda gets, the more likely it is they'll have to look into it.

It could be bikes manufactured in a certain date range got a glitched ECU, or sensor, or whatever it is that's doing this.

End of the month is super busy for me, but since I'm losing my riding season I really am going to try to go back out and see if I can replicate the problem or if the ECU swap fixed it.

Unfortunately, if it's altitude + weather/heat, then I won't know until spring as it's already cooled way down in the mountains.

Either way, keep me posted and I'll keep this updated...maybe we can find a cure...
 
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