Friday, September 4, 2015

Do Or Die

The EX500 has struggled throughout the season with an intermittent ignition issue that likes to rear its ugly head while I am leading a race or just before the start of one.  Two DNFs and a dangerous 5th place finish while running on one cylinder have proven very frustrating to my dream of winning two championships in the same year on two different bikes.  Instead of leading the V5 class in points, I am in a maddening 2nd position 8 championship points down on the leader.  There remains only one event at Road Atlanta, September 11th before the Grand National Finals at Barber Motorsports Park in October.  We are in the crunch now, it's do or die time.  I may never get this close again.

Ignition problems are always a huge pain in the ass, especially the intermittent type.  Sometimes they appear to be heat or moisture related, other times they happen randomly, as if on a whim.   I have struggled with points systems, magnetos, CDIs, stators, rotors, coils (both primary and secondary), wires broken internally with no tell tale damage to the insulation, sheared flywheel keys, bad fuses that looked good, corroded ground straps, shorted kill switch wires (inside a handlebar no less!), bad batteries that test good, good components that test bad and just about everything in between.

The time for fiddle-fucking around with the EX was over.  I steeled my nerve and tore into the guts of the wiring.  The harness is about as simple as it gets,  just what was needed to supply 12 volts from the battery to the coils and ignitor unit, and a switch to turn it on and off.  There is no electric starter, no charging system, no lighting, barely even a rotor, just enough to trigger the pick-ups.  My goal was to remove anything that didn't need to be there, and search for the root cause of this problem.  Several feet of wire, an aftermarket rev limiter, a solenoid and fused plug were cast out from the soul of the machine.  Re-loomed and re-taped I wheeled the bike to the starter roller and hoped for the best....

"Simplified" wiring harness.  This shouldn't be too difficult to figure out, right?

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