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Discussion Starter #1
It seems like the individual "SP" and "engine work" columns are full of crys for help with mystery issues. For the most part they seem to be electrical. It makes me nervous when someone like Subsailor knows every circuit and connection intimately, AND knows how to trouble shoot them. Please tell me these things are super reliable and that learnining systems on the boat just transfered to learning about the RC.

Unfortunately I'm being forced to learn too. But the bike wins this round, it goes to the shop tomorrow. When I get it back I'll post the symptoms and what the cause was.
 

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The machine is a very reliable machine. Folks like Sub are very sharp and have a true passion for it. In most cases folks like myself started taking their RC to the dealer and ended up with very bad exerperinces. That is why i have started maintaining my own machine and asking as much as I can from Sub so that I can learn the bike like it was the back of my hand.
Spend your time wisely on the boat and learn as much as you can your pocket book will appreciate it in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Being able to fix the problems myself would definitely save me big bucks. Reading the manual, the process for trouble shooting the various systems is very involved. Not to mention some require specialized equipment. Now this is not to say no other FI performance bike would require the same steps to fix the problems that come up.

I was just wondering if the RC was known as a problem child (think high maintenance). If it was, then I was afraid I'd bought into something I'm not ready for. I"m not starting a thread to bash the RC. Also, when I mentioned "Subsailor learning systems on the boat", it was a comment about learning systems on a submarine. I wasn't calling the RC a boat.
 

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The reason I'm so intimate with my bikes electrical wiring is due to the hack job the previous owner did. :(
I was forced to replaced all the wiring harnesses on the bike.

Here's what greeted my eyes when I first glanced inside the tail section.


Pretty huh? If you look closely you'll see several wires that have been cut with bare ends just dying to short out somewhere.
Also loose relays, a PCIIIr flopping around, and the quality trim job on the fender for the undertail was right out of a Saw movie.
I also had to replace all the bodywork as well due.

It's been a labor of love, and I'm glad I had a job that afforded me the ability to do what needed to be done.
The bike never had a problem running, and continues to be stone cold reliable today.

Here's a before photo right after I bought it.


And a photo after I refurbished it.


And it's current state during my latest round of improvements.


And I've been a gearhead since I was a kid.
I've owned bikes since I was 15 and I always worked on my own bikes and cars (at least when you could work on cars).
I actually enjoy working on my bike. I takes my mind off work and and channels my creativity.
I'd probably go nuts if I didn't.

And as a side note:
Submarine qualification can involve months of intense study of every system on a boat.
Plus you have to memorize every detail since your qualification board does not allow any written notes.
And that board can last for quite a while since each member has a turn fielding questions.
And each member is a specialist on a particular system.
Here's an example of a typical qual card.
http://boomer.user-services.com/documents/qualcard.html

Each topic only touches the main point. It's the details of each system that takes a long time to note and remember.
Also, during the board, you have to hand draw each system diagram and list every valve by number and color code as this is the diagram they will use to question you on.
This is how one earns their shipmates respect since they're lives are literally, in your hands.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Subsailor, your bike looks awsome! I would have crapped if I found that electrical spagetti in my bike. I don't mind the hard parts wrenching but I hate dealing with electrical problems. I do like the positive feed back about the RC. I knew about sub guys having to learn all the boat's systems so I thought you may have learned the RC's out of habit.
 

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They are a very reliable bike, mechanically. None of the riders I've personally owned have had "issues" with the electrical, but those are a portion of the parts I end up selling. If someone has been in the harness, chances are there might be issues. Otherwise, stock harnesses are just fine. The most common thing I seem to get asked about are ignition converters and reg/rects and stators. That's it. Honda really did a killer job with these bikes and the engines stand up to hard use very well.
Good luck, ride safe!
 

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Very nice subsailor, i'm striving to be like you..............it's one thing to own a machine but it's another to own and conquer it. It also takes passion and dedication beyond compare to get to that level. I think I'll stick to my ESWS lol, a lot of CTM submariners here in WV though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, as I said I would post the symptoms and cause of my RC's issues. First, I purchased the RC back in Nov. with 19k +/-, and it had been low sided and repaired.

Symptoms.....Ran good. After about 75 mi. started sputtering and died. After sitting a few minutes, it starts but only goes about a block. Does this about a half dozen times (barely make it home!). When it starts it will idle at 1300 rpm and will sputter and die at 1500rpm. Previous owner says it hasn't been run much in the past 2 yrs. I assume fuel, so I change out fuel filter and plugs being as I'm in there. Result....starts right up, idles at about 1300 rpm but dies at 1500r's as I try to bring her up.

Took her to my local shop, cause.....loose/poorly connected wire at the pulse generator. Cost.....$200. Yes, a few bucks, but I don't have the tools to test for these kinds of things.

The good.....in my limited inspection of connections I found the alarm system supect. There was a connection that litterally fell apart in my fingers as I was inspecting it. I thought that was the problem, but it turned out not to be. But it was destined to leave me on the side of the road eventially.

When the Guru's of the site say "check your connections", check em'.

Thor
 

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Sub - Bike's looking good. Really interested to see how things go for you. I may be inheiriting a 2002 that was sitting for just over 3 years. Haven't had a chance to inspect it yet but I'll be documenting what I can on this site. Should be a fun time! Even funner since I've NEVER taken a bike thru any kind of restoration. Prolly be looking to you for advice as I step thru the hoops. :D Good luck on your project!
 

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The reason I'm so intimate with my bikes electrical wiring is due to the hack job the previous owner did. :(
I was forced to replaced all the wiring harnesses on the bike.

Here's what greeted my eyes when I first glanced inside the tail section.

GRRRRR!!!! this is what the inside of the tail section looks like on mine. Loose relays and spaghetti. Nothing looks to be cut or damaged, and there are no aftermarket add ons, I think the mess was made during the undertail conversion.
 

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Nice job Subsailor .... and now we know why your ID is such :)

My RC fried about 4 CDi's in all and I couldn't understand why. They'd run for about a year, then the bike would go to 1 cylinder shortly before dying. After the 2nd time I carried a new spare...

I searched and found nothing to suggest this was a known problem with RC51's so I figured it must be a problem with the harness. On deeper inspection I found the wires going to the CDI had been extended to enable re-location with sheathed crimp connectors. So I cut them all off, soldered the connections and used shrink wrap over each wire, before wrapping neatly with extra wide insulating tape.. Hasn't missed a beat since... and now I have a brand new spare CDI sitting there useless (I hope!) under my tail cover.

Electrical problems on RC's are most likely to be caused by modification errors, I think...

Any wiring mods should always be properly soldered and shrink wrapped, including alarms, etc. And that also means knowing how to solder properly - Should be easy enough to learn by searching online :)

Like Sub, I've always done my own work on bikes (& cars). None of it's really difficult and teaches a lot to do this stuff. Having a yearning for tinkering and making things better also helps :)
 

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Ive gone from a Ducati to the RC51 - if you have any worry about the reliability of the RC do not ever get a ducati!! lol I spent more time fixing it than riding it, the parts are extortionate and all the instructions are in Italian! :-(

My tail section was a spaghetti junction as well, must be a thing for RC's it was blowing relays and bulbs and then the battery imploded on my birthday and we sat in the rain waiting for recovery.

After that when I decided to strip, repaint and rebuild the bike I tidied it all up and made sure all the connections were sound. So far this year my RC has been the most reliable out of all the bikes (touch wood), apart from the exhausts falling off but that problem is in hand...

On the whole these are defo a pedigree bike and you need to learn them and love them. They are a pure thoroughbred but its all worth while in the end.
 
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