"California gas" ruined engine.

Old Scratch

Member
Joined
Mar 20, 2020
Messages
88
Location
Northeast Alabama
The dealership couldn't start your bike. But did a compression check on a cold engine? That will always give erroneous reading. I would only do a compression check on a very warm engine anyway. and usually for a sudden loss of power or excessive oil consumption ( or Annual inspection for you aircraft minded folks out there). I hope you get it resolved. Keep us posted.
Side note: low rpms does not necessarily cause carbon build up. Poor fueling, improper timing, improper plug gap, lack of spark, leaking valve guides, improperly seated valves, the list is long...
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
I am attaching the photos from my engine. I had an expert look at the photos and he pretty quickly suspected oil getting into the chamber somehow. He also noticed black buildup on top of the valve guides and pistons are very dirty. I did find out new information yesterday after three months of having the motorcycle there in the shop that the piston ring end gaps were out of spec. I asked the dealership to resubmit a claim to Aegis Powersports with this new information and we will see if they think this stuff at 16,000 miles on the motorcycle is a "mechanical failure" enough for them to cover it. Also if you look at the valve seats, there looks to be a distinct pattern of burning in kind of a straight line. I'm suspicious that the valve seats were ever pressed correctly from the get go. If Aegis doesn't cover this, and I have to foot the bill.... small claims here I come!
 

Attachments

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
More like a joke? Try riding that wing over Imogene Pass two up. The Tenere just pulls like a mule at 1,200 RPM.

As far as the Tenere with carbon problems I hope you get it resolved to your satisfaction.
I have been riding my 2012 for over 8 years now with no problems like that.
I run the bike on 87 octane 10% ethanol almost all it's life.
I have never ever added any additive to the fuel for any reason.
I'm not a hard rider [RPM wise] I just ride around slow and easy sightseeing mostly. I probably haven't been over 5,000 RPM for a few years.[corrected this 4-14-20] Except in high gear on interstates.
Mine does have a few miles on it, so if any Tenere should have this kind of problem I would think it would be mine. Mine runs fantastic! [Both of them.]

Steve
Thank you Steve. I would expect mine to perform the same, but it did not. maybe I shouldn't be using 91 octane, I really don't know.
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
2,840
Location
Ventura, CA
I am attaching the photos from my engine. I had an expert look at the photos and he pretty quickly suspected oil getting into the chamber somehow. He also noticed black buildup on top of the valve guides and pistons are very dirty. I did find out new information yesterday after three months of having the motorcycle there in the shop that the piston ring end gaps were out of spec. I asked the dealership to resubmit a claim to Aegis Powersports with this new information and we will see if they think this stuff at 16,000 miles on the motorcycle is a "mechanical failure" enough for them to cover it. Also if you look at the valve seats, there looks to be a distinct pattern of burning in kind of a straight line. I'm suspicious that the valve seats were ever pressed correctly from the get go. If Aegis doesn't cover this, and I have to foot the bill.... small claims here I come!
I dunno, nothing looks obvious to me. I wouldn’t expect that quite much carbon at such low mileage though. Seems like the bike needed a good Italian tune up!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
Last edited:

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
I found out in the last couple days that the top piston ring on one of the pistons is at its limit as far as specs go and the second ring was out of spec. They called Aegis powersports for a second claim with new information and Aegis is sending an adjuster out again tomorrow to look at the motorcycle. I think oil is getting past those rings. Not a huge amount, but enough to carbon foul the motor. Also, the service advisor told me today that in almost 100% of the cases where valves foul up like this it is from the gas and not oil. I don't think she is correct, but what do I know, I'm not a certified motorcycle technician.
 

RonH

Well-Known Member
Founding Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
685
Location
Denver, CO
Even though quite a bit of carbon ect for the miles, I don't believe that would stop the engine from starting/running unless the SuperTenere is really fragile in design. I have an old 1978 Kawasaki KZ650 I bought new and didn't care much about the engine ever running 100% correctly, just used mostly to ride back/forth to work, and it was still running pretty good at 160,000 miles even burning a quart of oil every couple hundred miles. Carbon never stopped it from running and I doubt it did here either.
 

tallpaul

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
681
Location
Whitworth, Rochdale, UK
I looked at the pictures and my first reaction was "nothing to see here". I've seen engines many times worse than this, still running and being used. My old CB400n looked far worse and used oil at high rpms, but it still ran like a swiss watch. Your engine may not perfect but I can't see any obvious reason why it wouldn't start and run.
 

Checkswrecks

Ungenear to broked stuff
Staff member
Global Moderator
2011 Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
9,624
Location
Damascus, MD
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.
As Tabasco wrote in Post #12 and others have echoed, this is actually a fairly high performance engine that needs to be run hard regularly. The ECU will protect it. Carbon build up and this answer have been repeated on the forum a number of times. Nothing to do with the gas.
 

Cycledude

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
2,409
Location
Rib lake wi
I found out in the last couple days that the top piston ring on one of the pistons is at its limit as far as specs go and the second ring was out of spec. They called Aegis powersports for a second claim with new information and Aegis is sending an adjuster out again tomorrow to look at the motorcycle. I think oil is getting past those rings. Not a huge amount, but enough to carbon foul the motor. Also, the service advisor told me today that in almost 100% of the cases where valves foul up like this it is from the gas and not oil. I don't think she is correct, but what do I know, I'm not a certified motorcycle technician.
So what is this “Aegis” outfit you mentioned ? Apparently it’s some outfit that’s supposed to pay for any needed repairs on your Tenere ? Don’t think I ever heard of Aegis before.
edit ok I went back to the very first post and see that Aegis is some kind of aftermarket warranty provider ?
 

WJBertrand

Ventura Highway
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
2,840
Location
Ventura, CA
I found out in the last couple days that the top piston ring on one of the pistons is at its limit as far as specs go and the second ring was out of spec. I think oil is getting past those rings. Not a huge amount, but enough to carbon foul the motor.
The top and second ring are compression rings. The third ring is generally responsible for oil control. The top two rings alone would not be responsible for oil consumption. If on the other hand the compressions rings were so worn as to allow excess blow by into the crankcase, that could entrain oil into the PCV system and send excess oil into the air box. Was your airbox filled with excess oil on disassembly?

My impressions are that this engine seems to have been run too gently for too long.
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
The top and second ring are compression rings. The third ring is generally responsible for oil control. The top two rings alone would not be responsible for oil consumption. If on the other hand the compressions rings were so worn as to allow excess blow by into the crankcase, that could entrain oil into the PCV system and send excess oil into the air box. Was your airbox filled with excess oil on disassembly?

My impressions are that this engine seems to have been run too gently for too long.
I am not sure about that. I can ask.
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
So what is this “Aegis” outfit you mentioned ? Apparently it’s some outfit that’s supposed to pay for any needed repairs on your Tenere ? Don’t think I ever heard of Aegis before.
edit ok I went back to the very first post and see that Aegis is some kind of aftermarket warranty provider ?
Yes it is an extended service contract the dealership sold me when I bought the motorcycle. It is called Aegis Powersports. I gave them $1,215 for this extended service contract that covers the whole motorcycle, all systems, etc. against "mechanical failure".
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
The top and second ring are compression rings. The third ring is generally responsible for oil control. The top two rings alone would not be responsible for oil consumption. If on the other hand the compressions rings were so worn as to allow excess blow by into the crankcase, that could entrain oil into the PCV system and send excess oil into the air box. Was your airbox filled with excess oil on disassembly?

My impressions are that this engine seems to have been run too gently for too long.
What is also funny is these are the out of spec rings that the dealership provided me measurements on. They said nothing about the third ring. Super unimpressed with their "lead technician".
 

staq50

Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2019
Messages
48
Location
Hawkes Bay, New Zealand
I think carb cleaner is the best at removing carbon. Seems I remember trying brake parts cleaner when I last tore down the engine in my car, and it barely made a dent in the carbon, but the carb cleaner just melted it right off.

To the folks worrying about E10 fuel, I'd venture that the problem is NOT the ethanol content. Methanol and ethanol are two of the most simple alcohols, and they burn clean. The problem is that ethanol is 105 octane (basically race fuel), and so to get your 87/89/91 octane fuel mixtures, they combine the ethanol with absolute crap base fuel (like 80 octane or something). Don't quote me on this, just a rumor I've read, therefore it must be true.

I'd again note that there are TWO carbon-based fluids in the engine that can cause carbon fouling: fuel and oil. Both are possible, but I'd venture that you'd have to be running pig rich to get a ton of carbon fouling from the fuel. Also, I'd note that engines can still run pig rich even with computer-controlled fueling -- such as with a "false lean" condition. Oxygen sensors only detect oxygen, so if excess oxygen finds its way into the exhaust (from exhaust leaks, misfires, hanging valves, etc.), then the computer will compensate by needlessly adding MORE fuel. (Another part of me wonders if we're running the correct heat range plug to keep things clean for this engine, but that's another discussion).

Apropos of nothing:

After hearing these stories, I had already intended to tear into my bike to seal up the ignition coils today, but while I'm in there, I'm going to try to install a catch can on the crankcase breather to see how much oil/vapor is making its way to the air box. I'll give it a few months and post any incredible results.
I've been running my bike with the breather vented out and get absolutely no oil vapour at all....
 

Millman

Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
116
Location
Naples, NY
I got a bottle of Yamaha Ring Free. It is usually found at marina stores for the Yamaha boat engines. I run it about every 3rd tank, just enough for the 6 Gal. It’s a little more aggressive than the engine med, and specifically for Carbon build up.
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
I got a bottle of Yamaha Ring Free. It is usually found at marina stores for the Yamaha boat engines. I run it about every 3rd tank, just enough for the 6 Gal. It’s a little more aggressive than the engine med, and specifically for Carbon build up.
Thank You for that info. I'm still getting the run around from the extended service contract company. Even though it was pointed out that one or more of my piston rings is out of spec at 16,000 miles. Beware of Aegis Powersports extended service contract company! They are really trying to throw every trick in the book at me to avoid paying the bill.
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
Aegis Powersports Extended Service Contract continues to stonewall me. After presenting them with specs on piston rings being out of spec., they again responded with the "poor fuel" excuse for the massive carbon buildup. They also said there is a normal and acceptable amount of oil leakage and fuel that gets into the chambers taht causes carbon buildup. So what I am getting from Aegis Powersports is that it is normal for this engine to have to replace the rings, valves, valve seats, have the engine broken down completely and cleaned every 16,000 miles. That is with using 91 octane fuel and doing regular oil and filter changes. I am going to speak to the owner of the dealership North County Yamahas in San Marcos California soon and see if he will stand behind the product the dealership sold me. The product that apparently doesn't run on California gas for more than 16,000 miles.
 

Heathbar

Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2020
Messages
42
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.
Tabasco, have you spoken to your friend who had the same issue? I'm wondering if and how he fixed it and if he still owns the bike. Thank you.
 
Top