"California gas" ruined engine.

Heathbar

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Apr 10, 2020
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So I have a 2017 Super Tenere I bought in February 2018. After 2 years and 16,000 miles the engine would not start. I took it to the dealership who also could not get it to start. They did a leak down test to find 68% leakage in one cylinder and 53% in the other. They broke the engine down and after a back and forth with Yamaha, everyone is trying to blame it on the "California Gas" that had carbon deposits forming on the intake valves giving it this huge leak down problem. As of right now, Yamaha, the dealership, and the Extended Service Contract by Aegis Powersports are all blaming the "California Gas" and are directing me to an additive called Engine Med. As of this moment (still trying to deal with the dealership and Aegis) they are all telling me that this is my problem. Who would make a motorcycle (Yamaha), or sell a motorcycle (dealership), or sign me up for an extended service contract (Aegis), in California when the motorcycle cannot run on "California Gas"?
 

Kurgan

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How do the other S10's, and tens of thousands of other motorcycles from every manufacturer, including Yamaha, run correctly on "California Gas"? Sounds like you need to lawyer up, unfortunately.
 

Heathbar

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I would like to, however I think it would cost way more money for the attorney than the repair costs. I spoke to a lemon law attorney and because it's past the manufacture warranty, it's not lemon law applicable and attorney fees would not be paid. I'm trying to get the dealership's technician to figure out why in so little miles the carbon fouling is so bad. Seems something is wrong with the motorcycle not burning all the fuel correctly? And when I looked at the valves they did not look very bad, so I don't even trust that is the real problem. They also said the valves were checking within specs. I have other motorcycle guys saying that it is impossible for the valves to check within specs if there is such huge leakdown. But I don't know.
 

WJBertrand

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That’s pure undiluted BS they’re feeding you. I’ve got 72K on my ‘15 model and prior to that put 150k on my Honda ST1300 and have had no similar problems. California has the largest motorcycle market in the US. Any manufacturer that built a bike for sale in CA that couldn’t handle CA gas has provided a defective product.


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JJTJ2

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I would contact the Attorney General and talk with them about it. There is no way that this is California gas. Everybody in California would be having a problem.
 

Alexander

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If one of my engines had carbon deposits severe enough to cause the engine not to start, then I wouldn't be suspecting the fuel, I'd be suspecting oil burning on the valve -- ie, valve stem seals, excessive oil puking through "positive crankcase ventilation" (PCV) systems, bad rings, things like that.

Just another possibility to consider, I can't diagnose things over the internet.
 

Jlq1969

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would be interesting to know, if the mechanic who did the leak test on the cylinders (I understand that by removing a spark plug and testing the compression), he would have remembered to disconnect the automatic decompressor. Typical error. Too much leak for 16000 miles
 
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Heathbar

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Apr 10, 2020
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Thanks for all the responses. I’m seriously pissed and can hardly contain myself. I’m prob gonna have to pay then sue in small claims.
 

Heathbar

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The Aegis power sports extended service contract covers mechanical failures. I’m trying to get the dealership to figure out what mechanical failure caused this because it certainly is not the gas!
 

Heathbar

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I don't run the engine hard. I don't know if that's the issue or not. I ride it back and forth to work maybe three times a week. About 35 miles each way. I do not race it around. I just ride it normally.
 

Heathbar

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Apr 10, 2020
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I think you might need a better mechanic-dealer
Yeah, I am suggesting they get someone else, another mechanic, maybe from another dealership or something. I don't have a lot of faith in the technician. After about a month of the technician looking at it, the head service advisor looked at the valves and seemed to think they were "cupping" or getting kind of "crescent shaped out" near the lip. I don't know what that could mean.
 

Heathbar

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Apr 10, 2020
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The thing is, I LOVE this bike besides this problem. It is a great riding bike that fits me perfect and is very well balanced with plenty of power for me, etc. What a bummer!
 

Sierra1

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Ok, apparently everybody but me knows what CA gas is. The only gas I know about that can't be used in all engines is E-85. The only non-E 85 gas we have around here is 10% ethanol (max). And except for a 2mpg decrease, I haven't seen any other issues. So, what is CA gas? Enlighten my little pea brain. :)
 

JJTJ2

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Ok, apparently everybody but me knows what CA gas is. The only gas I know about that can't be used in all engines is E-85. The only non-E 85 gas we have around here is 10% ethanol (max). And except for a 2mpg decrease, I haven't seen any other issues. So, what is CA gas? Enlighten my little pea brain. :)
California has a "special blend" for emissions. That is why they pay more for gas than the rest of the country. They are the only ones who use it.
 

~TABASCO~

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Strictly mechanical thought, I’ve seen this on Tenere’s before. I’ve helped several people with the same issue. I don’t recall any of the other folks being from California. The one common thread that connects the folks I have helped, (with carbon’ed up valves), has been ‘lugging’ this motor.
I’m in no way suggesting the original poster has, or has not done this. Only saying I have seen this same situation before on several Super Teneres.
If you lug this motor even with fuel additive, I believe it would probably happen again. I always suggest running the RPM’s up to 6-7K+ at least once a ride, if not more often ! (always be as safe as possible doing so)
I know of someone I’ve helped, I believe last year. I can touch base and see if he can add to this. He can give his own personal account (of the same issue) and what he now does to avoid it happening again, revving the bike up, and riding it with a bit more ‘spirit’. A lot MORE “spirit” !
What I have just posted probably does nothing for your current situation, but with my experience I can suggest how not to go down this road again.
 
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~TABASCO~

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I would like to, however I think it would cost way more money for the attorney than the repair costs. I spoke to a lemon law attorney and because it's past the manufacture warranty, it's not lemon law applicable and attorney fees would not be paid. I'm trying to get the dealership's technician to figure out why in so little miles the carbon fouling is so bad. Seems something is wrong with the motorcycle not burning all the fuel correctly? And when I looked at the valves they did not look very bad, so I don't even trust that is the real problem. They also said the valves were checking within specs. I have other motorcycle guys saying that it is impossible for the valves to check within specs if there is such huge leakdown. But I don't know.
Side note: when I do a valve check for a customer, I give them the before and after clearances of each valve for their records. Ask your dealer for that sheet, I gotta see this sheet.
If you want an example I’ll send you one, PM me. If they can’t hand you over a (what I call) “work sheet”, I would call BS on them even checking the valves.
Also I’ve obviously not seen the inside of your motor. But I have seen the inside of a few Tenere motors and fixed them. (Most have all been carbon issues, not to scare anyone, this motor is extremely reliable and bullet proof) If by what you describe is what I have helped others fix in the past, the job is not that hard to fix. You ‘shouldn’t’ need to replace valves or any other valve train. They can be cleaned and lapped back in the seats. Just FYI :)
 
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staq50

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Oct 13, 2019
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if you have the heads and they Haven't been disassembled run some fluid through the intake ports and you'll see where the leakage is...if any, it'll weep through the valves..
 
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