TuneECU IS your friend … just don’t forget it!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid TuneECU TPS resetI’ve just had a fun few hours preparing the Capo for its MOT (annual inspection) and one of the issues I wanted to get around to sorting was the slightly high tick-over.

For quite a few months now the idle has been 1,500 – 1,550 when warm – not enough to be troublesome, but noticeable. Problem is ….. I’ve plain forgot to do anything about it once the ignition was turned off! So today I dusted off the cable and charged the old ASUS notebook and plugged in.

Thankfully it was just as I hoped, the TPS (Throttle Position Sensor) was not at zero with a closed throttle. It was reading 1%. A tap on the ‘TPS Reset’ had it reading 0% and the idle was fine once again. So, the question is, have I got a TPS on its way out, or was it simply the fact that I hadn’t done a reset in 18 months ( 20K+ miles), something I used to do at every service. I’m hoping it’s the latter and will endevour to make sure I hook up TuneECU during all future services. Funny really that a tool I used to hook up on an almost weekly basis slowly slid to the dark recesses of the workshop over time.

Suits you sir!

How long should a textile bike suit last? In the case of my old Halvarssons Safety Suit, 15 years seems about right! In all fairness though, the Safety Suit is a bit of an odd-ball when it comes to bike clothing. An interchangeable outer waterproof ‘skin’ with the Safety Suit itself sandwiched between the skin and the inner thermal liner. 

With care and washed in accordance with manufacturers instructions, the only bits that seem to wear are the inner and outer skin. TBH I ditched the inner years ago as it made the suit too damn hot, even in winter!  The outer skin has been changed a couple of times, but in the end they all lose waterproofing eventually and now it seems, there’s just none about since Halvarssons stopped making the suit.

In the end a chap can only take being warm and wet for so long – the Safety Suit had to go. But what to replace it with? One look at the motorcycle clothing market made it immediately obvious that a lot of changes had taken place over the years – EU PPT Directives as well as advances in materials. Oh and the prices are rather unfriendly as well!

After a great deal of homework and a couple of visits to local stores here in Oxfordshire, I decided on the new Bering Yukon suit. The fit is lovely and it feels like decent quality – I especially like the 5 year warranty! I also like the ‘laminar’ design that bonds Gore-Tex directly to the outer layer …. this (allegedly) means less moisture take-up and faster drying time. We’ll see about that one ……

 

Fuel Tank Overhaul – Preparation

Last year (I know, a year ago!) I mentioned that the fuel sender was up the spout and the fuel level display was all over the place. In August 2018 I placed an order for a new one and then sat back and waited for a couple of months for it to arrive, then put it on the shelf and went on my merry way, happy to use the trip meter to gauge refuels.

Now though, the website is back up and running and I’ve developed a sudden and strange desire to resurrect all things Capo, such as finally start working toward a complete fuel tank strip and refurb which is long overdue. I had a look on the shelf to find out what I have and what I need to do the job. Here’s the list:

  1. Caswell Epoxy Fuel Tank Sealer (On the shelf)
  2. Aprilia fuel filter – AP8102971  (On the shelf)
  3. Fuel level sender unit – AP8124588  (on the shelf)
  4. Aprilia corrugated fuel hose – AP8144226  (on the shelf)
  5. Wiring loom – AP8124664 (on the shelf)
  6. Short fuel hose ( on the shelf) 
  7. Fuel pump (to purchase)
  8. New Zero-Leak ear clamps (on the shelf) HCL Clamping UK
  9. Seal for loom – AP8144475 (On order)
  10. Pump plate seal – AP8144478 (on order)

So that’s not a bad start … and I’m not sure if I want to change the pump anyway (still pondering this one) and the old seals can be measured and alternatives found if they don’t arrive in time. Applying the Caswells looks like it takes a fair bit of preparation to ensure the job is done once and done right, everything else is plug’n-play or crimp’n screw depending on how you look at it! 

I’m estimating a week overall, allowing plenty of time for the tank to dry after it’s initial cleanout and then a further 48 hrs or so after the epoxy lining is complete prior to reassembly. So the thumb-twiddling time will be put to use rebuilding the fuel pump/filter assembly.  The downside appears to be the Caswell resin …. it’s very sensitive to the temperature range it’s applied at – and I only have an unheated garage to work in these days. So I think the job will have to be carefully timed to suit a week of warm, dry weather in the UK (yes I get the irony!) – Late June or July maybe?

Anyway, more on this as a suitable time approaches. Finger crossed! 

May update

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid rear panelsWell it looks like the website is up and all the links work again – hooray! In the end it took about 24hrs of fiddling in the database to sort out, but I got there in the end thankfully.

Meanwhile, the rear panels were removed from the Capo for a trip to the paint shop. The years have been pretty kind to the base coat, but not the lacquer unfortunately, especially where the decals are located. As luck would have it, I already have a set of decals that were kindly given to me by Manuel from Motrag.com a few years ago.

We use chippingnortonbodyshop.co.uk for some parts on our autonomous cars and the results have always been excellent, so it’s fantastic that they are willing to have a look at the Capo panels for me. Plus it’ll be great to finally get a color match given that Aprilia don’t provide paint codes.

Finally back again!

Saturday 27th April

Oh boy, where to start …… first, last year was a real learning curve with a new job., so the number of posts fell through the floor. Then is late 2018 my website host said they were shutting their doors – move your domain (and name) or lose it. I did ….. and that’s when everything went horribly wrong!

Through December to February I tried all sorts to get it to spring into life again, but nothing seemed to work ….. and frankly I was steadily getting pissed off with the whole thing. In the end I hardly glanced at it for a couple of months.

Then this morning, while thinking of something totally remote from websites, an idea popped into my head and I sat down at the PC ….. a couple of hours later, the website popped back into life-ish! Unfortunately, it’s still not right, but it’s a start and I think I can get the rest of the links to work over the next week or so.

Sunday 28th April

The website theme has been updated and is now based on the WordPress 2017 one … the old one was from 2010! This adds a load of new functionality (some good, some a nuisance!)  but should look better on bigger screens. I’ve also sorted the links to loads of pics from pages … yet to do posts. The downside (more frustration really) is that the links to PDF documents won’t sort themselves out. The links are fine but they just loop around to a 404 page. Oh well, that’s for next week!

Bargain Futura motor

Aprilia Futura RST1000 engine V990Just bagged a nice little Aprilia spare off eBay ….. an RST1000 Futura motor! Not the lowest mileage, but complete and still sporting the starter motor. Overall in nice condition with only age related external wear and no corrosion at all, but of course it’s the condition of the internals that count! Either way, use it or break it for spares, I think it’s well worth what I paid for it – can’t wait to pick it up later this week.  😀 

I’ve noticed that engine prices seem to be on the increase in the UK …. Capo/Futura motors seemed to go for £350-£500 a year or two ago – now they seem to be commanding £450 – £700 plus!

INNOVV K2 – a quick update

OK, so this is a no-frills post while I’m on the road in Italy …..

Some folks have asked how the INNOVV K2 is getting along after I fitted it to the Capo a few weeks ago. Well here is a quick update for you! The install is a semi-permanent arrangement – the recording unit and GPS module are in the under-seat storage area and the front camera is hung from the right-hand fog lamp, while the rear camera hangs from the right-hand pannier rail. Both are very much temporary mounts and as such suffer from a little vibration (front mostly) but it’s only noticeable at certain RPM’s. This will disappear once they are mounted permanently on more robust mounts.

The 12v/5v power supply sits in the same spot as the old unit – on top of the ECU. 12v is taken directly from the battery and the sensing/switching connection goes to the tail lights. No lights, no cameras!

The system has run faultlessly from day 1. Start the bike, turn on the lights and away it goes …. no fuss, no drama. I have not experienced any of the shortcomings of the old K1 – corrupt files, frozen recording etc. The K2 has done its job exactly as it should, in fact I’ve got so comfortable with it that I no longer check the video or setting on the app every ride …. I just fire up and go! At the end of the week I’ve checked the SD card and been really pleased that all the files are recorded just fine with no corrupt or dropped frames in sight.

So that’s it as far as a quick update is concerned. Once I’m back in the UK I’ll go more in detail about image quality etc, but for now I’m really pleased with the K2, it’s a real improvement over the K1 in all aspects. 

New INNOVV K2 arrives!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid INNOVV K2Yes folks, the all new INNOVV K2 arrived this sunny Saturday afternoon. I ripped the box lid off and took a quick pic of the new 1080p dual-camera WATERPROOF replacement to the K1. Out of the box, the recording unit is smaller, but better built and no longer has a screen. The cameras appear to be the same as the C5 but with different connectors, and the GPS is a new smooth (and waterproof) design – very nice! The lack of screen is of no issue, as the recording unit uses your phone (K2 app) to adjust settings and view both cameras. This is how the C5 works and I prefer it to be honest.

So on the workbench it went. Load up the K2 app on the Samsung Note 8 and within a couple of minutes its settings were adjusted, the SD card formated and it was away doing what it’s made for – recording!

As I write this it’s happily sucking up 350ma at 13.8v and working perfectly. The images look a magnitude better than the K1 and everything seems to run a little cooler than the old K1, I’ll know better after a few hours on the bench. So the upside is that it has arrived and looks a great leap forward from the none-waterproof K1, the downside is that I’ve now got to strip out the old system and install this one! Oh well, I guess that’s what the 3D printed mounts were destined to be ….. temporary!

Stay tuned for more pics and video when they’re installed.

Time at the bar(-end) gentlemen please!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid bar-end weight mount stainless steelAs Guinness said, “Good things come to those who wait” …… and boy have I waited! When the new grips went on in late November, they were accompanied by the 3D printed temporary bar-end mounts. The clock was ticking, I had to get the grown-up adult versions (stainless steel!) made up asap as I’d no idea how long these things would hold up. In early January someone stepped in to do the deed.

Unfortunately, they never appeared no matter how much cajoling and nudging I tried. Finally, after 4 months I was out of time and the Capo had to return from Italy sporting the plastic 3D printed ones. I shouldn’t have worried though, they held up just fine!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid bar-end weight mount stainless steelSo just when I was giving up on ever seeing a set, a mate offered to help, and in the blink of an eye made these beauties! They fit perfectly and the finish is brilliant – what more can I ask for? So a huge ‘Thank you’ goes out to Jason – stand up, take a bow, don’t be shy fella! The eagle-eyed will notice a change from the rendering (and drawing) in that the flats (for socket or spanner) were left off. This was to reduce machining time and also because they only really need to pinch up – I’m not torquing the nuts off an axle here!

Of course, once these were in the pipeline, I told the other guy ……… who then got all stroppy saying the material had been ordered …… this is after 5 months of waiting! Sheesh some folks. 🙄 Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-Raid bar-end weight mount stainless steel

 

… and back again!

Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally-RaidAs I rolled off the bottom of Stokenchurch hill with a clear motorway ahead and a remaining journey time of 15 minutes, it was time for a little post-ride reflection. The dashboard temp gauge dropped another degree and sat at 5C – hardly the 20C at midnight when I’d left Italy 19hrs previously! Never mind, the Oxford heated grips were doing their thing, keeping my podgy fingers nice and toasty in my BKS winter gloves. From the front of the bike, the white beams of the Sealight X2 LED’s turned night into day – from hard shoulder to armco barrier a reassuring spread of light paved the way.

With 550 miles of night-time riding under the belt in the last 24hrs, I can truly say these things are awesome and Euro motorway speeds (130Kmh /80Mph) are a doddle, even on tricky motorways with tunnels that sneak up on you and bends that you just don’t expect on a motorway – all in a day’s (or night’s!) work for these babies!

As I approached Oxford, I dipped the back brake to cut the cruise control …….. the cruise control …… I haven’t given it a moment’s thought for a long time. It just does what it’s supposed to, no drama, just smooth throttle control over long tedious distances, up hill and down. The sign then of a cracking piece of kit, when it fades to the back of the mind as it quietly gets on with the job. Without it I’d be stuffed, my wrist just cannot do these sort of mileages anymore …. so I doff my cap in appreciation for a fine piece of kit that keeps me crossing continents – cheers MCCruise!

So everything is happy bunnies in the house of Moto-A’s Capo? Not quite unfortunately …. the fuel sender has decided to sulk and the fuel gauge can no longer be relied upon to be anything more than decorative! My guess is the sender itself needs cleaning or replacing as everything else checks out OK. Not a big issue in the scheme of things and a way of remembering how we used to do things – fill-up, Aprilia Caponord ETV1000 Rally Raid low profile clamp fuel filter pumpreset the trip and ride up to a mileage above which you know you’ll be pushing – and repeat! Happy days ….

So now, 48Hrs on, a new fuel filter (Ducati 42540101), fuel pump (Bosch 0580453427), ‘Zero Leak – Low Profile Ear Clamps’ and Caswells epoxy fuel tank sealer have been ordered to complement the spares on the shelf – large gasket, short section hose (filter to plate), corrugated fuel line (filter to pump) and wiring harness. Hopefully this little lot will keep the fuel tank in tip-top condition for many years to come!