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Thread: Urgent service message, tons of white smoke

  1. #16
    apriliaforum expert vtwin_pilot's Avatar
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    Awesome responses, guys, I really appreciate it.

    You know, on first blush, when I got the news yesterday, it didn't quite seem right that he didn't tear into the engine more in order to give a more definitive diagnosis. Now, after all of your input that the "plug test" may not have been thorough enough, I'll ask him to dig more deeply. As long as I'm the paying customer and I pay him an hourly shop rate, I don't know why he wouldn't. It's very possible his rushed diagnosis is all wet. I mean, everyone here thinks it's a blown gasket, and with the collective experience among y'all, that's not nothing! Not saying he's not right, but in retrospect, his overall response was a bit rushed and vague. I guess he got spooked when he saw the mangled plug and just went down a path. I'll have to ask if he tried to turn it over, etc.

    I just moved into a house this summer without a garage. Bummer. But as I write this, we're prepping to build one, but that's one major reason I didn't tear into it myself. I'm a reasonably decent DIYer (2-3 wrenches on a 5-wrench scale, I reckon) and had I had a garage in which to tear the bike apart - and be able to scatter bolts and parts everywhere - I'd've made a first pass at a diagnosis. But, as it were, and thinking the issue might require dealer service anyway, even after my diagnosis, I grudgingly hauled her to the dealer.

    Y'all have given me quite a bit to think about. Much appreciated. I'm even, hell, maybe a tiny bit encouraged that the engine might not be an anchor. If it is, well, it happens. And I'll at least go down fighting trying to get Aprilia to own up to what appears to be a lemon engine. Who knows, maybe Giancarlo, putting my engine together on a Friday at 4pm before his summer holiday, and thinking about a little nookie from the missus (or mistress!), dropped a freakin' bolt down into a cylinder, or didn't torque down something right, or maybe some part from a vendor is suspect. Come what may, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

    Thanks again for the input. More to come, this saga is just unfolding...

  2. #17
    apriliaforum Member
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    If one is feeling ill, one takes at least 2 opinions, therefore I would suggest you do the same...making an estimate just by looking through a hole is like saying one has lung cancer by looking one's ears!!!

  3. #18
    apriliaforum newb beergod's Avatar
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    Another "Urgent Service" victim. My 2009 DD750 has just shy of 50K and it was rock solid (worst problem was a NF horn).... Until....
    Waiting at a light, notice slightly "different" sound idle. Hmmm

    Light turns green, into 1st, let out clutch, about to apply some serious throttle and it dies! Quick, pull in clutch, coast off road before being run over by a cage. Note "urgent service" message!

    Switch off, on, Engine starts, runs for a few seconds, then dies. Message returns. Off to the dealer, 2 new MAP sensors (apparently new part number on replacements).

    Also, fuel filter (in tank!) was replaced. I'll take it out for a spin this weekend. Hopefully it has gained 10 - 15 HP! (dreamer)
    2014 DL1000
    2009 DD 750
    2010 G450X
    2007 G650X

  4. #19
    apriliaforum Junkie TruffleShuffle's Avatar
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    Not a completely bad outcome then? How much did it set you back?

  5. #20
    apriliaforum newb beergod's Avatar
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    2 hours of labour + parts. Sensors were ~$70 canadian. Many more of those kind of events and I might have to get a Tuono...
    2014 DL1000
    2009 DD 750
    2010 G450X
    2007 G650X

  6. #21
    apriliaforum expert vtwin_pilot's Avatar
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    Update...

    The engine's an anchor according to everyone I've talked to including dealers and a mechanic.

    Concurrently, it's been a sordid tale of woeful incompetence on Aprilia USA's part. They've completely ignored me throughout this entire ordeal. Back in the spring, I came across an article in Motorcyclist saying that one of their staffers was an ex-Aprilia guy. I emailed him asking if he had ever heard of a Shiver engine blowing up. He responded by saying no and that he'd poke around a bit with some of his ex-colleagues there at Aprilia. He basically contacted them about this, totally at his own behest. I didn't ask for that at all.

    After a couple of weeks, he gets back saying that a lot of internal people there were pulling hard for me (though I have zero proof of that) but, sorry, they can't do anything. BUT, he concludes, they did offer you that sweet price on a new engine! For those who have seen Weird Science, remember when the two dorky white kids walk into a black bar and immediately the music stops and everyone stares at them? So, cue the "stop music" part, and I'm like "What, what sweet deal would that be?" Because they sure the hell didn't tell me. In fact, they wholesale ignored me around every corner so far. Long story short, I tried to ask this guy who the contact is there so I could find out about this "deal". Nothing back. Emailed and called Aprilia to ask them point blank. Nothing. More of the same customer disservice. It was an absolute absurdity.

    Then, just this week, as I'm perusing ebay, I see an auction for a new-in-crate Shiver engine for a sweet price, cheaper in fact than the used engines there going on average for about $1200. I bought it. The only caveat is that it's a newer engine for the 2011 and newer bikes. So....I call Aprilia USA to ask them if it's compatible with my 2008 bike. I'm told, literally, that they have no tech service dept and that I'd have to call a dealer. That's bullshit of course. Surely they have techs, engineers, etc there, but what they're saying is, we don't waste their talent on useless morons like....our customers. I just laugh and hang up. Called two dealers, including AF1, and consensus is that it should be fine. The dealer I called, the ONLY dealer in Georgia in the bustling metropolis of Savannah, tells me I'll need a new wiring harness. AF1 tells me it'll be a drop in, easy peasy. So, we'll see. I pick it up this weekend.

    If anyone happens to have any insight on the engine swap, this is my first, I'd appreciate any advice. If anyone happens to have put a newer engine into an older Shiver, I'd love to hear the ins and outs.

    A pic of the spark plug from the rear cylinder, for your viewing pleasure....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sheared off spark plug.jpg 
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    Last edited by vtwin_pilot; 08-12-2016 at 01:56 PM.

  7. #22
    apriliaforum expert rule62's Avatar
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    It should drop right in. Read this thread.

    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/s...d.php?t=320071

    Perhaps a PM to the OP to see the shop detail.

    Sent from my HTC6500LVW using Tapatalk
    2014 DD 750 ABS - Spark exhaust, Arrow decat, headers (all ceramic coated), BMC filter, FatDuc, BikeMaster DLFP16-BS LiFePO battery, GPR steering damper, DD 1200 fully adjustable rear shock w/spring swap, 2016 Tuono Factory wheels, 15/44 520 conversion (PBR/Superlite/DID), Strada-7 fork preload adjusters, Samco 2-piece hose kit w/clamps, Engine Ice, Renazco Racing seat, EvoTech tidy tail, Aprilia grab handles, shorty levers, crank-case breather mod, evap-can delete... and a Rapid Bike EVO on order...

  8. #23
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    Has anyone actually looked into this engine yet? Agreed it is bad, but it may not be THAT bad......?

    Now you have a spare engine, I would take the affected cylinder head off before committing to anything - you never know, a relatively simple head/cylinder swap may be enough - easier that a complete engine swap.

    From what I know about the changes from year to year, the new engine should just drop in.

    Good luck, swapping an engine is doable at home, just take your time, take lots of notes and photos, and read the manual.

  9. #24
    apriliaforum expert vtwin_pilot's Avatar
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    Thanks tons, rule62. His indeed did drop right in. I'll PM him for sure.

    AndyL, you're right, it may not be that bad, but I had two mechanics tell me, based on the evidence of the spark plug, that they'd in no way want to rebuild it. One mentioned the cost would be more than an engine, the other said that if the top end shit the bed, who knows what may have happened below, throwing things out of alignment, balance and such. He said it'd be several hundred just to tear into it and diagnose. Your advice to take photos and notes is solid, I'll definitely do so.

    So all those things led me to consider the engine and anchor. Is it rebuildable? Perhaps. I probably don't want to spend the time to look into it after all this, maybe I'll post it up here to see if anyone would want to buy it to give a shot at rebuilding.

  10. #25
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    Part way through the work needed to get the engine out, you will be at a point where taking the head off will be pretty easy and quick. I would do it at that point, it wont take long (maybe 15 mins?) and you can then be sure you are doing the right thing before proceeding with the engine swap.

    If you want to sell the engine, it will be more sell-able if someone knows what is going on in there, photos etc....you will need to take head off to do that anyway.

  11. #26
    apriliaforum expert High Country's Avatar
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    The only differences I have heard are slightly different bolt patterns on the engine side covers, which should have no bearing on the software needed to run it. Your computer should be a plug-n-play to the new engine.

    Looking at how destroyed the end of that spark plug is, chances are there are some loose parts floating around in that cylinder. If the piston came up into a mish mash of metal, it probably bent the connecting rod as well. So new head, new rod, new piston, plus labor is likely more than the crate motor you just bought.

    That's not to say I wouldn't tear into the old motor just for shits and giggles. I think it would be fascinating to poke around in a 750 with no worries about making it run again. When its all said and done, make a table out of it.

    2009 Aprilia Dosoduro 750 (Adventurized: http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/a...893274&thumb=1)

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtwin_pilot View Post
    Update...

    The engine's an anchor according to everyone I've talked to including dealers and a mechanic.

    Concurrently, it's been a sordid tale of woeful incompetence on Aprilia USA's part. They've completely ignored me throughout this entire ordeal. Back in the spring, I came across an article in Motorcyclist saying that one of their staffers was an ex-Aprilia guy. I emailed him asking if he had ever heard of a Shiver engine blowing up. He responded by saying no and that he'd poke around a bit with some of his ex-colleagues there at Aprilia. He basically contacted them about this, totally at his own behest. I didn't ask for that at all.

    After a couple of weeks, he gets back saying that a lot of internal people there were pulling hard for me (though I have zero proof of that) but, sorry, they can't do anything. BUT, he concludes, they did offer you that sweet price on a new engine! For those who have seen Weird Science, remember when the two dorky white kids walk into a black bar and immediately the music stops and everyone stares at them? So, cue the "stop music" part, and I'm like "What, what sweet deal would that be?" Because they sure the hell didn't tell me. In fact, they wholesale ignored me around every corner so far. Long story short, I tried to ask this guy who the contact is there so I could find out about this "deal". Nothing back. Emailed and called Aprilia to ask them point blank. Nothing. More of the same customer disservice. It was an absolute absurdity.

    Then, just this week, as I'm perusing ebay, I see an auction for a new-in-crate Shiver engine for a sweet price, cheaper in fact than the used engines there going on average for about $1200. I bought it. The only caveat is that it's a newer engine for the 2011 and newer bikes. So....I call Aprilia USA to ask them if it's compatible with my 2008 bike. I'm told, literally, that they have no tech service dept and that I'd have to call a dealer. That's bullshit of course. Surely they have techs, engineers, etc there, but what they're saying is, we don't waste their talent on useless morons like....our customers. I just laugh and hang up. Called two dealers, including AF1, and consensus is that it should be fine. The dealer I called, the ONLY dealer in Georgia in the bustling metropolis of Savannah, tells me I'll need a new wiring harness. AF1 tells me it'll be a drop in, easy peasy. So, we'll see. I pick it up this weekend.

    If anyone happens to have any insight on the engine swap, this is my first, I'd appreciate any advice. If anyone happens to have put a newer engine into an older Shiver, I'd love to hear the ins and outs.

    A pic of the spark plug from the rear cylinder, for your viewing pleasure....

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sheared off spark plug.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	445.1 KB 
ID:	314917
    Sorry to hear you're being treated so badly... but it's probably true that there would be no techs or engineers in the USA. All the engineering is probably in Italy. All the US headquarters cares about is sales and distributing I'm sure.

  13. #28
    apriliaforum expert vtwin_pilot's Avatar
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    High Country, I like your thinking about turning the engine into an interior decor piece!

    RadicalTireSkid, you may be right, who knows. Because their HQ is actually for all Piaggio USA, not just Aprilia, one would think they'd have some sort of technical staff on board. I know for certain there's a Technical Manager or Director bc I found his name and title during an online search. In the end, none of it matters bc they wholesale ignored me, and I'm just the latest in a long line of rebuffed, irritated customers. It's just how they do business. I heard the same thing echoed by the last remaining dealer in metro Atlanta (Riders' Hill), who cited shoddy Aprilia/Piaggio behavior towards their dealers.

    AndyL, yes, I will indeed pop off the head cover and have a look. I'll post up what I find.
    Last edited by vtwin_pilot; 08-16-2016 at 09:53 AM.

  14. #29
    apriliaforum expert G.Rossman's Avatar
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    Aprilia should be careful...BMW and Ducati make nice bikes too...

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  15. #30
    apriliaforum expert High Country's Avatar
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    I have found about the same level of customer service from Givi. No matter what you ask, the answer is a link to their catalog (if they answer at all).

    Maybe it is an Italian cultural thing? Maybe they look at a motorcycle as a product like any other; buy it and it becomes your problem...like we might consider a vegetable. A US grocery store probably wouldn't follow up if someone called with questions about a tomato they bought last week.

    Not necessarily criticizing their culture, but trying to understand.

    I'm just happy to have AF1 a phone call away.
    2009 Aprilia Dosoduro 750 (Adventurized: http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/a...893274&thumb=1)

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