Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weird Weather and Strange Vibration

Stopped by College Coffeehouse this morning to see if George Rahn was around. I ran into some weirdness yesterday on my ride home. After going through campus, I pull out onto the main road and as soon as I reach ~40 mph, I lose power and get a strange vibration. Almost as if it is running on one cylinder. Since there wasn't much traffic, I proceeded to ride home at about 40 mph in third gear. I figured that if I kept the RPMs up, it'll stay running. It was around 0°F or so, and the bike had started up easily. No problem. I made it home and pulled into the garage. Both cylinders were warm to the touch. I thought that maybe there was some water in the tank or carbs so I added ½ a bottle of Heet. This morning, on the way to coffee, it started to do the same thing. I put the enrichener (this is in place of a choke) on full and all was back to normal. Turn it off and no power and vibration. After about ¼ mile, I turned it off again and it ran fine for the rest of the trip into town. This is the same vibration that I has been occurring over the years but I've never been able to pinpoint the cause. BTW, George didn't show up but I enjoyed a delicious chai latte.

Yesterday, while parked at the university, I saw someone taking a picture of the bike. What had caught his attention was the extension cord running to the outlets provided at each parking space for a block heater. He said "only in Alaska would you see a bike plugged in". I should probably find a better way to secure the cord rather than just let it hang next to the tank.

This morning, after my trip into town, I changed the oil to 5W30 (from 20W50) for the winter. I will also be checking the valve clearances and changing the oil filter later today once the engine cools off. The oil filter is behind the right exhaust pipe and is a real pain to reach.

This message came through from our local PD. More weird weather:

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 3 AM
AKST SUNDAY...
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FAIRBANKS HAS ISSUED A WINTER
STORM WARNING FOR FREEZING RAIN AND LOCAL BLIZZARD CONDITIONS
...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 3 AM AKST SUNDAY.
THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.
* FREEZING RAIN...WILL CAUSE ICE ACCUMULATIONS UP TO ONE QUARTER
INCH.
* BLOWING SNOW...WILL CAUSE LOW VISIBILITY AT TIMES OVER SUMMITS
AS WITH WIND GUSTS TO 35 MPH.
* SNOW...4 TO 8 INCHES TOTAL ACCUMULATION.
* TIMING...SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW WILL DEVELOP THIS EVENING. SNOW
WILL CHANGE TO FREEZING RAIN SATURDAY. FREEZING RAIN WILL CHANGE
BACK TO SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW LATE SATURDAY NIGHT.
* IMPACTS...ICE MAY CAUSE TREES AND POWER LINES TO BREAK. TRAVEL
AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES WILL BE DIFFICULT.

8 comments:

redlegsrides said...

So on the beemer's carburetors, turning on the enricheners provides more fuel right? What's the color on the plugs?

On my Ural, I would have drained the bowls, checked the air filter and the compliance fittings for cracks.....

Hope you find the culprit

dom

Trobairitz said...

Lets hope you find the bike gremlins and don't get the nasty weather they predict.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

I'm with Dom, wondering about water or other fuel contamination. Your BMW runs in different temperature and weather conditions than mine does. I'm still a newbie with mine.

VStar Lady said...

Feezing rain is a norm for here (G day) that is all buses cancelled (yahoo when it's so bad that school is closed - doesn't happen often.) Mini break!

RichardM said...

The plugs are tan when I pulled them this afternoon. No problem. More fuel helps which suggests that it isn't a clogged air filter. Carburetor icing would get worse with time and not happen all of a sudden. Water in the fuel bowls sounds likely especially since the enricheners draw their fuel not through the main jet.

Valve clearance was right on. No adjustment necessary.

RichardM said...

We did get some of the predicted weather. All of Octobers snow in one storm.

RichardM said...

I'm thinking water. The Heet seems to have cleared up the problem. One of the hazards of a warm, humid garage.

I'm happy that it runs as well as it does in these temperatures.

RichardM said...

I really don't care for freezing rain especially when it follows cold temperatures. It makes the roads slick for a long time.

We've only had school closures for freezing rain not snow.