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Julie and I took the off-ramp e/b at the rest stop at the top of Vail Pass to gear up. No lighting of course. I hit a tank trap that was literally two feet deep and three feet long — completely unmarked, of course, and we were downshifting and all I could see was the lip. She saw my ass go flying three feet in the air, then my headlight and me go flying up as my bike hit the front end. The windshield literally hit my helmet. Somehow my instincts kicked in (50 years of riding) and I splayed my legs out and landed without dumping it. Julie was amazed that I kept things upright.

No cracked frame. No broken windshield. And most importantly, no injuries.

Our guardian angel was with us.

And that‘s also how I know it wasn’t a loose wire or connection.

No more night rides on Vail Pass. Period. Construction (repairs) are scheduled until October.
Dang Hink, great reaction and control. I'd pull over at that point and either puke or need a change of clothes, maybe both. No marker or anything?! Crazy. Guardian angel is right.
 
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
You would be surprised how much of that happens on new corporate jets! When you think about it this is not surprising. That many new components that have to play nice together. Going after the fuel pump makes sense. Weak pressure will rear its ugly head on hot days and being you are not getting any codes. Dean
My brother suggested possible bad or blocked fuel filter. I learned from this that the fuel filter is actually located inside the fuel pump on this model.
 

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I am skeptical, but hopeful. The other thing that was messed up was the music on my Ride Command. My bluetooth would freeze up and go offline, my hardwire connection USB ditto. Indian of Denver assured me they have cured this with the latest reflash.
I have a similar problem on my chieftain, I blame my phone's USB port. I try to keep a fully charged phone and just leave the USB unplugged, that results in no issues at all. I don't think the port in the phone likes any bumps in the road, sometimes it causes the phone to reboot, sometimes it just shuts down XM Radio
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
UPDATE:

Guess what?

It wasn’t the fuel pump.
Mid-90’s, Apple parking lot after riding there to get a new cable for my iPhone. Bike was running for mebbe seven minutes before I eased back onto the thoroughfare (Santa Fe Ave). South to C-470, get onto on-ramp and start working up thru the gears — normal acceleration, nothing crazy, just “the usual.” I get to the 3-4 upshift and bam! Sudden deceleration and a feathering engine. I know the downshift trick and kept it from dying but the 4-5 shift and same thing — nearly go over the handlebars. But I manage to get it going again.

Stop at the Safeway store to get vittles for dinner, hop on the bike, and as soon as I hit third gear it’s doing it again. I nurse it a ways but finally it just sputters and dies ~~ got a car on my ass but I manage to safely pull over and stop. I have to shut everything down completely. It won’t turn over until I do that. Usually I can just clutch in, hit the starter, and it revs right up. But after I completely shut it down, I fire it right up. Runs perfect — no stumbles, no sputtering, no backfiring.

🤬

Back to Indian of Denver tomorrow. I was sposed to ride Bluey to a big family reunion in Utah on weds. Clearly that ain’t happening. Dealership has a week to figger this out ~~ I’ve got a big ride coming up on the 25th. Two back-to-back 875mi days in 100 degree heat.

If they can’t get it right for that, I’m asking for a new bike.
 

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UPDATE:

Guess what?

It wasn’t the fuel pump.
Mid-90’s, Apple parking lot after riding there to get a new cable for my iPhone. Bike was running for mebbe seven minutes before I eased back onto the thoroughfare (Santa Fe Ave). South to C-470, get onto on-ramp and start working up thru the gears — normal acceleration, nothing crazy, just “the usual.” I get to the 3-4 upshift and bam! Sudden deceleration and a feathering engine. I know the downshift trick and kept it from dying but the 4-5 shift and same thing — nearly go over the handlebars. But I manage to get it going again.

Stop at the Safeway store to get vittles for dinner, hop on the bike, and as soon as I hit third gear it’s doing it again. I nurse it a ways but finally it just sputters and dies ~~ got a car on my ass but I manage to safely pull over and stop. I have to shut everything down completely. It won’t turn over until I do that. Usually I can just clutch in, hit the starter, and it revs right up. But after I completely shut it down, I fire it right up. Runs perfect — no stumbles, no sputtering, no backfiring.

🤬

Back to Indian of Denver tomorrow. I was sposed to ride Bluey to a big family reunion in Utah on weds. Clearly that ain’t happening. Dealership has a week to figger this out ~~ I’ve got a big ride coming up on the 25th. Two back-to-back 875mi days in 100 degree heat.

If they can’t get it right for that, I’m asking for a new bike.
There are lemon laws that sounds like it will fit this issue if they can't find the problem. It's just going to be PITA to go through the process but it works. Keep the records and hire an atty to do the filing. (Not the "strong-arm")!
 

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Following to hear the outcome. I’ve had a few issues with the music cutting out on the usb on my 2018 RM. I have to shut the bike off completely to reset the computer to get it going again.
 
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UPDATE:

Guess what?

It wasn’t the fuel pump.
Mid-90’s, Apple parking lot after riding there to get a new cable for my iPhone. Bike was running for mebbe seven minutes before I eased back onto the thoroughfare (Santa Fe Ave). South to C-470, get onto on-ramp and start working up thru the gears — normal acceleration, nothing crazy, just “the usual.” I get to the 3-4 upshift and bam! Sudden deceleration and a feathering engine. I know the downshift trick and kept it from dying but the 4-5 shift and same thing — nearly go over the handlebars. But I manage to get it going again.

Stop at the Safeway store to get vittles for dinner, hop on the bike, and as soon as I hit third gear it’s doing it again. I nurse it a ways but finally it just sputters and dies ~~ got a car on my ass but I manage to safely pull over and stop. I have to shut everything down completely. It won’t turn over until I do that. Usually I can just clutch in, hit the starter, and it revs right up. But after I completely shut it down, I fire it right up. Runs perfect — no stumbles, no sputtering, no backfiring.

🤬

Back to Indian of Denver tomorrow. I was sposed to ride Bluey to a big family reunion in Utah on weds. Clearly that ain’t happening. Dealership has a week to figger this out ~~ I’ve got a big ride coming up on the 25th. Two back-to-back 875mi days in 100 degree heat.

If they can’t get it right for that, I’m asking for a new bike.
Kinda makes me wonder if the ECM is cramping out on you since a complete power down is needed to get things working again. Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Kinda makes me wonder if the ECM is cramping out on you since a complete power down is needed to get things working again. Dean
Yep — got a pm from one of our guys who’s got 350k mi on his bike and said same thing : VCM/ ECU. The key is that no codes are thrown when this happens ~~ same as what I’m seeing. If they tighten the wiring harness too tight it causes an intermittent short when it gets hot. When I get it in tomorrow I’m asking for a new one and also a check on my ignition coil.
 

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have you tried non-ethanol fuel. I know it sounds weird but i have a 36’ Motorhome that has this problem when its real hot. The fuel lines get hot from engine heat and basically cook the fuel inside and sort of vapor lock. The engine is not hot but it will sputter and die in the heat of the day on some mountain passes. I switched to non-ethanol fuel on hot days and problem solved.
A mechanic said they could insulate the fuel lines and this would also solve the problem as they run near high heat areas ( exhaust headers or pipes )
 

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Its not ethanol in the fuel. Basically it is issues with the electrical system, ECU, VCM. There are a large number of Challengers having these issues in all temps and riding conditions. Its not just a loud few owners.
On the Facebook Challenger rider groups, every day a new owner comes forward asking questions about stalling, engine shutting down and or throwing codes.

It seems to fall in 3 areas:

Throttle body issues: Should have never left the factory this way.
Electrical faults, shoddy wiring: Again should have never left the factory
Bad ECU, VCM

Apparently Polaris needs people that can actually tune a dual throttle body engine. We started seeing issues with this with the FTR, which has never been fully resolved, and now the Challenger.

You can claim EPA, but the other motorcycle manufactures don't seem to have these issues wide spread.
 

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On the Facebook groups a coupled of owners found they had faulty circuit breakers that would trip (can't remember which one) but hey replaced them and never had a issue since.
 

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I put 11,000 miles on my 1st year of ownership (2019 RM). As expected, there were a few minor issues that were easily resolved. Then, I got the dreaded "cycle kills". After limping home, Mary and I were afraid to ride it. Everything checked out at the dealership as there were no failures on numerous test rides. I gave the cycle to a tech employee and told him to take it home and to ride it until it failed. It took 20+ miles and he confirmed what we knew. Polaris said to replace a 10A circuit even though my production number was not within the range of "suspected" breakers. I was good to go and have ridden 6,000 miles beyond that nightmare. One week ago, same issue. Polaris had the dealership replace a 20A breaker. If you've never experienced it, a shutdown on the freeway with no shoulder, uncooperative cars and highway speeds is a cardiac stress test. We are leaving on a major trip but were seriously thinking of taking the car. I've given the cycle several long test rides and am confident the problem has been fixed. We just hope there are no more life threatening failures.
 

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My bike took a hit,hard enough when I was on it,that it shut down with lights flashing.didnt tip over just hit the frame hard.
Everything works as it should,just won't recognize the fob.so I start it with the code.
Haven't taken it to a dealer yet.
Really it's never been to a dealer yet for anything other than warrantee work ,(once)
No flashes or up dates.
Over 40000 miles,out of warrantee and paid off.
Hope it's not screwed.
That was last year.
I'm getting around to it.
 

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Hink, the tail lights going out may be the clue. I had a very similar issue with my 2014 Chieftain. Engine would just shut off and my riding buddies noticed my tail lights would go out. Let it set a few minutes and off we go. The tail lights are powered directly from the VCM. I tracked it down to a VCM power connector pin not able to handle the current due to adding additional rear lighting that I tied into the existing rear lighting circuit. What I found was there are three power supply pins into the center connector of the VCM. The one that powers the tail light circuit also provides power to the ECU. Once I rode long enough, the higher current used by the additional lights would cause the connection to heat up, burn, oxidize and become intermittent. Once I removed the additional rear lighting and replaced the three female pins providing the power to the VCM, it cured the problem. I didn't know which one, so replaced them all. That's been two years and over 15000 miles ago with no issues since
 

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What's interesting, is the Challengers were suffering these exact same problems at product launch. Several of the Motorcycle magazines during test ride reviews ran into these problems, and Polaris gave them a new bike to try citing "pre production" models that weren't fully tweaked............ I guess they still are pre-production.

In late 2019 the Indian demo truck came to my dealer for Challenger test rides, all three bikes had issues and two wouldn't run.(throwing codes, limp mode) They ended up using the dealer s 2 showroom bikes. Its been almost 3 years and these problems still are cropping up.
 

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Hink, you may check that the center VCM plug is inserted and properly seated all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
What's interesting, is the Challengers were suffering these exact same problems at product launch.
That’s ‘zackly what I thought, too — it’s like the throttle bodies aren’t sync’d (but of course a totally different engine and the tech guys say no comparable procedure). The latest update is that the dealer once again “cannot replicate.” I stressed the vcm angle but they said it all has been double-checked.

Their current take is that it is “reinstallation of the throttle learning card.” This sounds suspiciously like what you (@Baron58 ) had posted about the October tech bulletin. It basically tells the computer which throttle inputs are “valid” and which are not. When they don’t match up, the computer shuts down the engine.

I told my service guy that I’ve got back-to-back 875mi days in 100+ degree days next week. I asked him if it were his bike if he would take it on that trip. There was a long pause and he said “I think we’ll hold onto the bike a bit longer to see if we can replicate the problem.”
 

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That’s ‘zackly what I thought, too — it’s like the throttle bodies aren’t sync’d (but of course a totally different engine and the tech guys say no comparable procedure). The latest update is that the dealer once again “cannot replicate.” I stressed the vcm angle but they said it all has been double-checked.

Their current take is that it is “reinstallation of the throttle learning card.” This sounds suspiciously like what you (@Baron58 ) had posted about the October tech bulletin. It basically tells the computer which throttle inputs are “valid” and which are not. When they don’t match up, the computer shuts down the engine.

I told my service guy that I’ve got back-to-back 875mi days in 100+ degree days next week. I asked him if it were his bike if he would take it on that trip. There was a long pause and he said “I think we’ll hold onto the bike a bit longer to see if we can replicate the problem.”

There is chatter that the 10A ignition CB maybe the culprit as it trips when hot and resets once the bike is cool. Indian had the same exact issue on their 2019 models and had a huge recall because of it. I am sure the breaker is made by the same vendor who made the bad ones before. But I did see a challenger rider who aid he replaced the breaker and his issues went away.


But it does look like Indian/Polaris is quite perplexed about this as Lloyd Greer has put out the APB for all Challenger owners to email them your issues and bike config. I bet he is working quietly with Polaris to figure this issue out.


Remember this, this Bosch ECU has never been used in a product before and the Challenger is the Guinee Pig for it. Their may be design issues with the ECU or parameters that need to be programmed.


There is a belief that Lloydz tune fixes these issues, but there have been reports that that's not the case, the stalling and surging and other issues have persisted on some bikes after the Lloyds' flash.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
But it does look like Indian/Polaris is quite perplexed about this
Indian of Denver got the mothership super-techs on a conference call and they acknowledged that there “have been a few” bikes with these problems. It sounded as tho they are indeed scratching their heads. I am forwarding every single suggestion.
 

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Indian of Denver got the mothership super-techs on a conference call and they acknowledged that there “have been a few” bikes with these problems. It sounded as tho they are indeed scratching their heads. I am forwarding every single suggestion.

I keep thinking you have a Challenger, but you have a Roadmaster, but I have noticed lately a lot of 111/116 bikes are having the same issues as the Challengers on engine stalling.

* concur — there has to be a common component or design failure. // Hink
 
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