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Thread: Dash Lights, EFI Light and speedo acting up.

  1. #1
    apriliaforum Member
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    Dash Lights, EFI Light and speedo acting up.

    Hi all, I am hoping to find some help figuring our what is going on with my capo.
    I have a 2003 Capo with approximately 32000 miles on it. I bought it used about a year ago and have been loving it. I have done a lot of reading here, and learned a lot from you all. Thanks to you I managed to change the oil and replace the rear brake pads sucessfully. I am not made of money or particularly mechanically gifted, so it helps to have other DIYers sharing their wisdom.

    I have searched the forum and have not found this issue, so, here's hoping I am bad at searching and you all know exactly what is going on.

    For background, the previous owner replaced the coils, rectifier, chain and both sprockets, K&N Air filter, added factory hard cases, and a tank bag (not that the luggage affects anything to do with this post, but it is nice). I added Motoguzzi Stelvio hand guards.

    About a month ago while riding home from work the dash "reset" and every single light on the dash came on, then the dash went dead for about a second, before returning to "normal" with the exception of the EFI light flashing. there was no noticeable change in how it was running.
    I connected the diagnostic wires, but got only 1 or -1 depending on the kill switch position.
    I checked the voltage readings at the battery, off, idle, and 4000 rmp, and based on what I learned here it was fine (I don't remember the numbers off hand).
    To be safe I checked the infamous brown connectors, and while they were in visibly good condition I took the time to clean them up, and soldered them, and put dielectric grease on the fittings.

    Hoping I had warded off the gremlins I headed up to off to meet my buddies for a 5 day trip (3 days in Canada). About an hour into it the gremlins were back. Dash "reset" EFI flashing. 5 min later EFI light goes off, a few min later the whole thing starts again. Once again no noticeable change in how it it is running.
    I pulled over, checked for codes, none. EFI light did not come back on when I restarted the bike, and everything except the weather was great for the next two days.

    Two days and about 600 miles later the speedometer started working erratically, jumping from 0 to 160 and then finally just stopped working. Over the next two days it would work some times, but not consistantly. From reading here at the hotel on the very wet rainy windy night I checked the rubber boot on the speed sensor in the AM and sure enough there is a visible crack in it. I am guessing that when I went down the fire road, and through the puddle water got in there and started buggering things up, and the on and off rain all day never let it dry out. By the time I got home two days later it seemed to be working normally. My question to you all is, can I just seal up the crack and expect it to keep working, or do I need to start looking for a new sensor?

    Back to the Dash lights and the EFI sagga. Meanwhile, the dash started the "reset" shenanigans after acting completely normal for more than 600 miles. Once again the EFI light was flashing (or in a couple of cases just ON) but when I stopped and re-started the bike it was back to normal. In a few cases when I started the bike the EFI would start flashing, but it I killed it, and restarted it would be gone. It seemed like it would do it a few times, and then it would be good for a hundred miles or so... and then to add insult to injury the "service" indicator came on about 100 miles from home, so now I need to see what that is all about.

    Other then the light show, and the amazing acceleration (0-160 while the bike was parked) and one "cough" on a cold wet morning it has been running fine.

    Any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    apriliaforum expert ravenranger's Avatar
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    Pull you windscreen off and look through the rat's nest of wiring that lives behind it. When mine acted up that's where I found several wires with worn insulation giving me a sporadic short and weird dash behavior. If you don't find anything there, do a search for "dead dash".

    Here's just one of the threads regarding dead dashes
    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/s...ight=dead+dash

    Doing a search for speedo sensor, it looks like it can be disassembled and cleaned so it's probably worth a shot to clean it and then seal the crack.

    I'm sure brighter minds than mine will be piping up here shortly....

    Welcome to the Capo wrenching (er, riding, yeah, riding, that's it) club!
    Last edited by ravenranger; 09-18-2014 at 10:30 AM.
    2006 Caponord 1989 NX250
    IBA#22798 is now #580 AMA#601202

  3. #3
    apriliaforum expert calgaryjeff's Avatar
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    I had some similar symptoms a couple years back and eventually traced it back to a loose connection on the batter ground terminal (Earth for you limeys). Worth a check and if that's what it is, the fix is free.

    2003 CapoNord
    1985 Honda VF1000R (gone to a new home)
    IBA #23204

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    apriliaforum Member
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    Thanks ravenranger,

    I was thinking the dash "reset" may be a ground fault or something like that, but I wanted to put this out there before I just start ripping my bike apart looking for problem wires without a clue as to where to start.
    I will start with your suggestion a look behind the windscreen.

  5. #5
    apriliaforum expert GRUMPYGIT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ravenranger View Post
    Pull you windscreen off and look through the rat's nest of wiring that lives behind it. When mine acted up that's where I found several wires with worn insulation giving me a sporadic short and weird dash behavior. If you don't find anything there, do a search for "dead dash".

    Here's just one of the threads regarding dead dashes
    http://www.apriliaforum.com/forums/s...ight=dead+dash

    Doing a search for speedo sensor, it looks like it can be disassembled and cleaned so it's probably worth a shot to clean it and then seal the crack.

    I'm sure brighter minds than mine will be piping up here shortly....

    Welcome to the Capo wrenching (er, riding, yeah, riding, that's it) club!
    It's no good pulling the screen of on a mark 1 Capo as it reveals nothing unlike the mark2 which reveals the wiring . check your battery terminals and connections to the dash first.

  6. #6
    apriliaforum expert ravenranger's Avatar
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    Dang, I missed that it was a Mark 1.

    But, I know Catfish had some forward wiring that had worn insulation and his is a Mark 1 (which is why I looked up front when mine went wonky).
    2006 Caponord 1989 NX250
    IBA#22798 is now #580 AMA#601202

  7. #7
    apriliaforum Member
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    I am fairly sure the connections to the battery are ok, as I disconnected the battery when I did the soldering for the brown connector repair, and I made sure they were solid when I reconnected them. I will certiably take another look. So I guess the connections to the dash are the place to start. I am looking for worn wires, Loose connections, Corrosion, anything else?

  8. #8
    apriliaforum expert
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    Everyone is forgetting Sacrifice....have you not made an offering to the god of the north yet :/



    the science bit....

    capo dashes play up when the fuse boxes are dirty and loose. Whip the connectors out solder them crimp the terminals a lil tighter and see how you fair after.
    Me n' Mine:-

    2006 Caponord ETV 1000 "Twiki"
    2004 Tuono Racing Rep, Full Carbon with SBK 2-2 Akro's
    2002 ZX636 A1P Ninja list of mods is endless
    "Made in Italy....Perfected in my Garage"
    I've never questioned why I ride, it's as basic as breathing.

  9. #9
    apriliaforum expert ravenranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tarks View Post
    Everyone is forgetting Sacrifice....have you not made an offering to the god of the north yet :/
    How could I have forgotten the Sacrifice????!!!!!

    Ok, you need a glass of Aquavit and three feet of snow. Strip down to your skivvies, roll in the snow for three minutes twenty-six seconds, run around your yard six times widdershins sprinkling six drops of Aquavit in each corner, drink the rest of the Aquavit and raise your fist to the sky and curse in Norwegian.

    If you don't have Aquavit and snow, then a libation of your choice will do so long as you burn a couple of brown connectors whilst standing by the side of the bike with a wrench in your hand scratching your head in puzzlement. Of course, there's no guarantee that will work....









    OH, WAIT.....WHAT?


    It's an Italian bike? Seriously? But, it says Caponord on it....and there's a trip planned to Norway by a bunch of folks.....

    Oh, ok, well in that case, the Italian Sacrifice is.....

    2006 Caponord 1989 NX250
    IBA#22798 is now #580 AMA#601202

  10. #10
    apriliaforum expert
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    Not to be to picky but lets face it its full of french crap too so the I'm sure we have all mentioned one God or another at some point while cursing the damn things lol
    Me n' Mine:-

    2006 Caponord ETV 1000 "Twiki"
    2004 Tuono Racing Rep, Full Carbon with SBK 2-2 Akro's
    2002 ZX636 A1P Ninja list of mods is endless
    "Made in Italy....Perfected in my Garage"
    I've never questioned why I ride, it's as basic as breathing.

  11. #11
    apriliaforum expert Precis's Avatar
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    Abu, have you checked the two multi-pin plugs that connect the dash to the bike's wiring? The pins are very small and if they're not firmly plugged in, you'd likely get an intermittant connection which would cause the symptons you describe. Cleaning up the terminals is probably in order. You might also usefully add an extra Ground wire - some use another point on the frame, others use one of the threaded bolt-holes on the rear cylinder.
    The word SERVICE is just a mileage-generated prompt for you to go and top up the bank account of your nearest Aprilia dealership. Or you can change the oil and filter yourself and reset the Service light. It's a bit of a procedure and I can't remember it right now: I have it laminated and on the workshop wall, but I don't have time to walk down there and read it.
    The Service reminder is triggered every 7500km or whatever weird number that is in foreign distance.
    Aut viam inveniam aut faciam

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the pointers everyone. I have not yet had a chance to start digging in to this, this pesky thing called work is keeping me from getting to this. I will hopefully get to it this weekend. I will keep you posted on what I discover, so that hopefully it can help the next poor guy.
    The way the weather has been acting that 3 feet of snow that ravenranger was recommending, so I would like to get this taken care of soon so I can get a few more rides in before that comes. Apparently it snowed on Wednesday where I was camping on Sunday.

  13. #13
    apriliaforum expert ravenranger's Avatar
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    So, any luck? Inquiring minds and all that....
    2006 Caponord 1989 NX250
    IBA#22798 is now #580 AMA#601202

  14. #14
    apriliaforum Member
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    I took the front end apart completely to inspect the wiring, and with the exception of a small crack in the casing for one of the wire bundles (the black rubber sleeve thing) everything looked good. I checked the wires in the bundle with the cracked casing and everything looked fine, so I taped up the crack and moved on. when I went to take the dash off to check the connections one of the two plugs came right out without depressing the tab. All the connections looked fine so I am going on the assumption that the plug was loose enough to cause my problem. I cleaned things although the didn't appear dirty, put some dielectric grease on the connections and hoped for the best.

  15. #15
    apriliaforum Member
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    Resurrecting this thread.... My dash had been working perfectly until last week when it died completely.
    Started up to come home from work and everything was fine. 100 yards down the road where I turn I noticed that I had no dash at all.
    Pulled over, turned the key off and in again, nothing, not the oil light, not the nuteral light, nothing. Hit the starter and a few of the lights flashed at me. Shut it down, nothing.
    When I got home I pulled the dash out, visually checked all the connections and everything looked good. The pins on my multimeter are too big to check anything on the plugs.
    Pluged it back turned the key, and it worked! for a moment... Long enough to do the check sequence, then it went dark again.
    Tried once more: unplug, plug in, key on, now the oil light would come on, very dim, but nothing else....
    Key on and off several times, and the oil light would come on very dim, and sometimes the side stand light.
    Its at the dealer at the moment for a sluggishness I could not find the source of, so I asked them to see if the can determine if it is the dash itself, or the loom.
    Incase they come up with nothing I thought I would put this out there for you to help.
    If it is the dash, does anyone know of a place in the US that does repairs? I don't have the setup, or confidence to solder an a circuit board. My other option seems to be a Bluetooth OBD dongle and an app on my phone, or a cheap tablet, but that won't give me all of the info from the dash (fuel guage most notably).

    Thanks for all of your help, if it were not for this forum I would not enjoy owning this bike.

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