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07 Norge 1200 Engine Power Loss at Speed

Discussion in 'BNS12 Chat & Tech' started by TomInTheWind, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Hi all,

    I recently bought my first Guzzi, a 07 Norge 1200 with about 32000 miles. It seemed like the perfect long-distance sport touring machine with great looks, shaft drive, hydraulic clutch, Brembos, ABS, luggage, heated grips, adjustable screen and large tank. Just what I was looking for and the price was unbelievably low. So I took the bike for a spin around the block, it rumbled under me and felt alive unlike my previous Japanese bikes and I closed the deal without hesitation.

    Quick bike history:
    The previous owner had signed the title for sale back in 2015 and the third party that was selling it for him only put about 400 miles on it since then, so it had obviously been sitting for a while. Although the seller included no documented service history, he seemed knowledgable about the qualities of the bike having claimed to have owned several Guzzis. He had changed all fluids before putting it up for sale and all visible fluid levels looked correct.

    Reality sets in:
    The day after the purchase, I gear up in the hot southwest Florida winter sun to make some noise around the neighborhood and get used to the bike. My first cold start the engine starts sputtering and dies. I restart it, give it a little throttle to keep the revs up a bit, ease off and then it maintains idle. OK, so Guzzis need a warm up period, that's cool. Could also be some old gas in the tank that isn't burning properly?

    I decided to take the new bike on the scenic route to the gas station. After about 30 minutes the engine was humming along fine, 5th gear, 60mph and suddenly the bike loses engine power with no response to twisting the throttle. I cut across 2 lanes of traffic to the shoulder while the bike is rapidly decelerating and when I brought it to a stop I found the engine was completely off, as if it ran out of gas. I waited no more than a minute and the bike restarted with no problem, only now the gas warning lamp came on. I ride 5 minutes down the road and top her off with 4.9 gallons of fresh premium. That's weird, I thought the Guzzi had a 6 gallon tank? Hmm.. maybe an issue when it switches to using the reserve caused it to die? There seemed to be plenty of fuel in the tank when it died. I took the shortcut home and it made it without issue.

    Fast-forward to yesterday, about a week later:
    It's a hot winter's day and I've planned a nice roundtrip around the Everglades with my Guzzi. The bike cold starts and stays alive without adding revs and it idled a little above 1k. Great, so it must have just been old fuel causing problems! About 45 minutes into the ride I'm in 6th gear, doing 80 on the interstate with just maintenance throttle and once again without warning the bike loses all engine power, quickly forcing me to the shoulder. My tank is nearly full, so I certainly didn't run out of gas. I restart the bike, put on the flashers and ride at a maximum of 60 about a mile to the next exit. I let it sit for about 10 minutes in a shopping center parking lot thinking it may need to cool off while I plan the quickest, safest way back to my house. I get about 5 minutes down the road and the engine dies again. Nope, looks like I'm stuck. 3 hours of baking in the hot Florida sun and a tow truck finally arrives to haul the bike home. I rode it onto the bed of the truck with no issue, started right up.

    Causes?:
    I've done a bit of preliminary searching and it seems my symptoms could point to clogged fuel breathers? I did have to loosen and slide back the tank (really Guzzi?) for VIN number verification when registering the bike. I suppose it is possible I pinched a breather hose when putting it back in place, or maybe it was already gunked up from sitting for a long time. Am I totally off the mark? If so, what else could cause this? My motorcycle technical expertise is limited to changing fluids and installing mods since I've only ever owned newer motorcycles.

    I'm in the Naples, Fort Myers area and if I can't somehow fix the issue myself it looks like the nearest Guzzi tech is Tropic Powersports, can anyone vouch for them or anyone else in the area?
     
  2. V700Steve

    V700Steve Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    Yes, you are thinking correctly. There are other Guzzi riders in that area. It may have a pinched breather line, fuel filter/line problem, air filter clogged from foam on bottom of tank coming off. I would drain fuel out of tank, slide it off and have a look. It may have pinched line(hard plastic) when you slid it back and forth.
    I thought that dealer just does scooters now, not a dealer currently.
     
  3. M0T0Geezer

    M0T0Geezer Cruisin' Guzzisti

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    Similar experience to yours: 90 days ago I bought a beautiful '07 Norge 1200 USA with 37,000 miles.

    Immediately after, I had to spend $1,300 resolving some Deferred Maintenance Issues (but I had "bought it right.") Now, the engine is pulling strong and smooth (as Guzzis are wont to do) and I'm getting almost 50 mpg. The idle wants to be 1,500 but I can live with that. All that's left is to fix the pulsing front brake. How I love the bike... even if previously abused.

    Please take solace in the "unbelievably low" price you paid and spend whatever $$ needed to get it all put right. The Norge deserves that, so do you, and so does its next owner.

    Some last things:
    1. Be sure to change out your in-tank fuel filter with the all-metal version "just to be sure."
    2. Run a few bottles of Chevron Techron gas treatment through it now, and every 3-4 months later (3oz per tank). Wal-Mart has it as does Amazon.
    3. Buy ethanol-free fuel whenever, wherever possible: https://www.pure-gas.org/index.jsp
    4. Bookmark this Norge Fixes File: dansher.com/bikepix/Guzzi/Norge1200/Norge_2007_fyi.txt

    Happy New Year

    'Geezer
     
  4. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for the suggestions, I'll drain the tank and have a look, hopefully I'll spot something obvious. I don't know how difficult is it to source Guzzi parts or equivalents for things like replacement hoses and connectors. I did notice minor things like rubber protective gaskets around some engine connectors starting to disintegrate that I'd love to replace.

    Regarding Tropic Powersports, while it looks like they only sell scooters, they do appear to service motorcycles and even have a Moto Guzzi parts catalog on the website. I'm not sure how update it all is, but I'm hoping that they have a grizzled old Guzzi tech that's still around and knows his stuff. Won't find out until they open after the holidays.

    Any riders in the SW Florida or even Miami area that can recommend a good shop?
     
  5. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for your response Geezer. Going by your profile picture, I've even got the same silver color! Despite the issues I feel a pride of ownership when I look at it in the garage and it's exciting to ride.

    I think you're absolutely right, a package like this is worth bringing back to into shape. Even with the kind of repairs you estimated and a brand new set of tires, I feel like this may be one of the best motorcycle bargains available.

    Truth be told I was always planning on having a shop look it over sometime, just not so soon. It's just a matter of finding one that knows this brand of bike that can reassure me it'll be good for another 30k and beyond. Ultimately I want the confidence that the bike can take me to California and back if I point it there and twist the throttle.

    Thanks for your helpful suggestions and a Happy New Year to you too!
     
  6. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    If you think it might be the tank breather clogged, causing a vacuum to build up in the tank, open the filler cap and listen for a hiss as it opens, releasing that vacuum. You could even try riding with it open to see if the problem has gone.
    I did have a similar problem on a different bike, that turned out to be an ignition coil failing when it got hot.

    How hot is hot there? I have also known a Norge to fail through overheating (European summer traffic jam) and it fired up fine once cooled down.
     
  7. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Wish I would have known about the trick with the filler cap when it happened! I fueled up shortly after the first time it happened but I had earplugs in so I wouldn't have noticed a hiss. I'm a bit hesitant to go any distance at this point, but if I don't find any obvious kinks under the tank I suppose I could perform a Guzzi Solo Concerto for the neighborhood until the engine stops again and then try the filler cap test.

    Regarding overheating: both days were hot for winter. When it happened this last time it was especially hot, around 85 F / 29 C. I thought it might have something to do with heat as well (this is my first air-cooled bike), but I'm not sure since it started up immediately and continued to run for a while both times. In fact after the first time I was able to ride ~20 minutes back to my house with a hot engine and a full tank.
     
  8. vagrant

    vagrant Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    most problems are going to be simple but time consuming fixes'. first after the gas cap you need to identify if it truly is fuel or spark. at this age it needs the battery terminals and ground to frame cleaned, all of the relays pulled, cleaned and or replaced same with the fuses. then the cam sensor cleaned off. google it here. all simple and you need to know how to do them.
     
  9. Brian UK

    Brian UK GT Reference

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    The vent tube from the top of the tank passes through the bottom through an alloy spigot. These have been known to close up with dirt or oxides. With the tank off you can remove the neoprene tube and run a small drill bit through the alloy.

    The other possibility is the phase sensor failing with heat. That would cut the engine dead. A coil failing on the Norge would only cut one cylinder.
     
  10. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for the tips, I had planned on cleaning the battery terminals but I had no idea about the rest. I have a feeling I'll be visiting these forums quite often in the future :whew:
     
  11. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Once I've managed to take the tank off does anyone have suggestions of basic maintenance things that I ought to check or replace while I have access to this area? No need for a detailed description, just basic keywords so I can do the research.

    I'm going off the worst-case assumption that the PO neglected the last few service intervals.
     
  12. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    So before siphoning out my tank I decide to take a peak inside the tank with my flashlight, so what did I find?

    [​IMG]

    Is this cloudy mixture of urine and milk what passes for high grade or do I have bigger problems...
     
  13. GT-Rx®

    GT-Rx® Administrator Staff Member

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    Oy. You do have bigger problems. Drain the tank and fuel lines using the pump with real gas, replace the fuel filter and have the injectors professionally cleaned; Most diesel shops or ship them to RCEng.com
     
  14. V700Steve

    V700Steve Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    What color is Seafoam w/mixed w/fuel? I thought it turned yellow. Maybe PO had too much in fuel or not enough fuel mixed in.
    Not a good sign regardless. Don't use bike fuel pump, use a hand pump to empty. Then remove pump plate and pull out everything, flush tank, lines and all. Injectors and line comes off w/screw on intake manifold hold bracket.
     
  15. V700Steve

    V700Steve Cruisin' Guzzisti GT Contributor

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    The air cleaner & inner spark plugs. If you can't get coupler off red elbow, separate fuel line at injectors & feed them up through and out.
     
  16. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT Famiglia

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    There is plenty of information for disconnecting the fuel line from the red elbow on this site. Best in my opinion is to relieve pressure by disconnecting the electrical connector to the fuel pump then attempting to start the bike. If it starts, that is OK, let it run until it dies. That relieves the fuel pressure in the line making it pretty easy to disconnect. Other helpful hints are on the forum. Also you will need to modify a 5/8 inch spark plug socket (grind the wall thinner) to get to the inner plug. Do clean the area around the plug with compressed air and do coat the new plug with anti seize.
     
  17. M0T0Geezer

    M0T0Geezer Cruisin' Guzzisti

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  18. TomInTheWind

    TomInTheWind Just got it firing!

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    Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions.

    Just so I have everything in one place, it's worth noting that on another thread on this forum I also found at least one user confirmed that this tool works for the inner plugs without having to grind anything (Motion Pro 5/8" thin-walled Spark Plug Socket): https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0239
     
  19. john zibell

    john zibell Moderator Staff Member GT Famiglia

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    Nice find. One thing that will help on installing the new plug. Stick a section of 5/16 fuel hose on the end of the plug and use that hose to turn the plug into the threads. It should go in easily. This helps to prevent cross threading.
     
  20. aussiedave

    aussiedave Tuned and Synch'ed

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    Hi Tom and welcome to Guzzi ownership.
    You are in good company and this is the one and only forum you will need for good advice and friendly encouragement.
    Im in Australia so cant help with local dealer advice - unless you come for a trip over here !
    but Guzzi folk use word of mouth more than anything. You will discover a new world of friends come with being a Guzzi owner.
    Many are proficient at maintaining these bike thru learnt experience.
    Do the steps suggested , like a fine red wine - your bike and your relationship with it will improve with age.......
    Clean fuel system, good earths and connectors , that fixes most Guzzi quirks.....so you can enjoy riding :)
    Dave r
     
    john zibell likes this.

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