TuneECU App – v1.2 update

TuneECUWhen I checked my phone this morning I noticed that the TuneECU app had updated to v1.2 overnight ……. somehow I guess I’d missed it update to v1.1! Anyway, with a few minutes to spare I hooked up to the Capo (cable & Bluetooth) and noticed that the ‘Neutral’ light is now working – a bit sluggish, but working none the less, which is an excellent step forward. Now all we need is a nice new screen with the sensor data, plain text like Tuneboy would be fine ……. please Alaine. :-(

TuneBoy Sensors

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etv1000.net

ETV1000.NETI had one of those emails the other day, you know the sort – trying to sell you a domain name at a grossly over inflated price. I hovered over it just long enough to catch the domain name before launching it into the trash. But then the bells started ringing somewhere in the dusty recesses of my mind …… I know that domain, ETV1000.net – home of the French Caponord forum!

Well the long and the short of it is that the domain expired on 20th July and was in fact in the last 5 day window (Pending Delete) so would be released any time now. Rather than let it go to one of these places that hog expired domain names and use them as advertising sites, I took a chance and as luck would have it – bagged it yesterday!

So I’d love to hear from anyone that knows what happened to the site and more importantly, where are the French Capo owners meeting on the internet? If anyone in France wants to resurrect the site,  then shout up through the contacts page, I’m sure something can be worked out.

Oh and thanks whoever you are … without the junk email I would never have known about this! ;-)

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Review – Motrag Hella DE fog/spot lamp brackets

www.motrag.proI’ve known Manuel Hitz, owner of Motrag for over 18 months although we’ve only met once, at ACIM VI in July. At that fun filled weekend we looked around many bikes and discussed the pros and cons of many upgrades – as well as our own. Manuel was keen to show me some of the items that Motrag make and sell, he then asked if I would try a set of his fog/spot light brackets* and compare them to the Touratech ones currently fitted on the RR. ‘Why not’ I said, ‘It would be jolly rude not to!’. And so a parcel arrived last week. :-D

Off with the Touratech brackets ……

Touratech_Fog_LampLet’s start with the outgoing Touratech brackets – each has 4 parts, 8 fasteners and weighing approx. 300g. They are actually made for the Mk1 Caponord and not the Mk2, although the modification to fit them is simply a matter of bending the front mounting tab and drilling a fitting point in the fairing. However having to drill out the rear mounting point was something I hadn’t anticipated. The hole was probably a perfect fit for the screw – before they added the powder coating, certainly not after! Overall the fit/finish is average, (presumably) laser cut 4mm aluminium plate bent to shape and slapped with a coat of satin black – sharp edges, cutting marks and even a ding in one plate left for all to see. The lamps sit very close to the fairing making cleaning a real headache unless you remove the brackets each time, on a plus side however; they are well protected in the case of a fall. 4 years on, the finish is peeling away and they have started to look shabby, so I’m glad to have the opportunity to remove them.

Bottom line – Expensive and build quality/finish is average at best.

….. And so on with the Motrag brackets.

_KRB1591The Motrag brackets each have 3 parts, 6 fasteners (plus a plastic pin) and weigh in at approx. 360g**.
Opening the box was a pleasure, each bracket wrapped securely, fasteners (all stainless steel and just like the OEM Aprila fasteners in appearance) were bagged and labelled for their intended location and last but not least a set of clear instructions and a parts list.

Fitting the brackets involved no drilling or cutting at all and they were on and aligned in less than 30 minutes – ok, the lamps were already wired in of course! In comparison to the Touratech brackets, the lamps sit slightly wider apart (approx. 25%) and slightly higher with adequate clearance for me to get behind them when cleaning the bike. The flat top of the lamp bracket lends itself very nicely to being used as a mount for my GoPro camera, something Manuel is keen for me to try out – so keen if fact, he sent three lamp brackets – a spare for me to drill for the camera mount!

OK so far … a bracket’s a bracket, heck as long as it fits and doesn’t look naff what else can I say? Well let’s save the best for last, the finish, THIS is Motrag’s ace-in-the-hole! Each bracket is exquisite, no sharp edges, no machine or cutting marks in sight. This kind of attention to detail is something we’re just not used to seeing nowadays and it pays dividends …..As the old saying goes:

Don’t spoil the ship for a ha’p’orth of tar

Proverb: Don’t risk the failure of a large project by trying to economize on trivial things.

Says it all really! And so to the bottom line – Excellent fit and finish, well documented instructions and nice attention to detail with the fasteners adding that OEM look. But you know I’ve been thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to either tweak the design, or offer a seperate bracket so that a pair of discreet DRL – Daytime Running Lights could be fitted in the space below the lamp … over to you Manuel! ;-) 

Anyway, that’s about if for the initial impressions, I’ll add a new post in 2015 when I’ve had chance to bounce the brackets up and down our road and put them through winter weather to see how the finish holds up – my guess is they’ll do fine. That just leaves me to thank Manuel for kindly sending the brackets for review, we agreed it was to be fair and without bias, if I didn’t like something – say it! All good so far …….

I almost forgot – Manuel also dropped another little present in the box for me, a sexy new cap for the coolant bottle in blackest black, not sun-bleached grey. That little baby has got to be worth an extra 5mph! ;-) AP8104124 if you want to do this speed enhancing upgrade.

New coolant cap!


Notes

*Both the Touratech and Motrag brackets are designed to take the Hella DE spot(Xenon) or fog(Halogen) lamps. Motrag supply the lamps/brackets as individual sets for the left or right, so you can mix fog/spot combinations as you want.

**These are a prototype set in 2.5mm steel and not the production 3mm aluminium, so they are slightly heavier.

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TuneECU App – Review

TuneECU Android AppA week ago I downloaded the TuneECU Android App, spent a few minutes scrolling through the screens, then sat back and waited for Mr Postman to deliver a USB3 OTG cable for the Samsung Note 3 and a Bluetooth module from Ebay.

Here we are a whole week later and I’ve used the App successfully with both connection methods. Indeed the App is stable and remarkably quick and easy to set up connections and seems to take no longer than its PC sibling to communicate with the ECU. I didn’t experience any drop-out when starting the engine with either method and map Read/Dowload via cable seemed on a par with my netbook. So far, so good…….

……. Now for the downside.

Those of you that have used TuneECU(PC) will be familiar with the three modules it contains – Map Edit, Diagnostics and Tests and I ask you which of these modules are likely most useful in a day-to-day situation? In my books that’s the Diagnostics/Tests ….. why would I want to remap a bike from a smartphone for a start, let alone mess with mapping while out and about commuting to work or heading off for a summer jolly. Mapping is best done at Dyno time, in a workshop and let’s face it, once done probably won’t need revisiting for a long time, only engine/exhaust mods or ECU replacement come to mind.

So my wish list is for an App with full Diagnostics/Tests, the stuff that may well help me at the roadside, that will show me an intermittent coil when the ECU hasn’t triggered the EFI light or generated a code and other information that the simple dashboard diagnostics just doesn’t display.

 

Unfortunately it’s here that the App falls flat. As much as I swiped and tapped I couldn’t find a screen to show me the sensor data – Injectors, Coils, Air Temp, O2 sensor, Barometric etc . In fact the display doesn’t even show me Neutral, Fan or Side-stand …. All familiar sights on the PC version. So I dropped the author Alaine an email. And this was his response.

There is no sensors page shown in the App, maybe this will be added in the future. The Fan and Side-stand lamps are not written into the software and yes there is a bug with the O2 graphic display. He hasn’t come back to me yet about the missing Neutral lamp.

So that’s it …. An interesting novelty App, unfortunately nothing really useful to offer as a diagnostics tool while out on the road ……. For now the cable and Bluetooth module can find a place on a shelf somewhere, while the trusted Asus notebook keeps me company with TuneECU 1.97 doing what it’s always done – and doing it very well!

I’ll end by saying that since the Capo was ported to TuneECU back in October 2010, I’ve used it extensively even though I still have TuneBoy on the netbook. Alaine is to be applauded for his work in bringing a great piece if software to the bike world – for free. So I feel uneasy writing a negative review of the App, but in the end I’ve tried to be as honest as I can about its abilities with regards to the Caponord. Maybe it’s having far more success among the Triumph fraternity, I don’t know.

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Way too close for comfort …..

Brembo 07BB05-SA brake padsYes, I put my hand up; I screwed up on this one! I’m normally pretty good at keeping on top of the Capo maintenance, but this time I let the brake pad checks slip by while doing a full service a few weeks ago. So the other day I decided to drop the front calipers (Brembo P4/34 triple-bridge), took one look at the pads, swallowed … and squeaked a silent ‘bugger!’  Thankfully I could engage smug-mode as I already had a new set of pads (front & rear) hidden away in the parts-pantry after stocking up on all sorts of Capo-consumables at the back end of last year. The new pads are 7.5mm thick; with approx. 4.5mm of material ……. the best of the old ones was about 1mm on its tippy-toes. 8-O Way too close for comfort, so I took myself around the back of the barn and gave myself a jolly good talking too! :oops:

Anyway that’s another job out of the way. Total mileage on the old pads worked out at 18,150, not too shabby really. And the rear? Doing fine, thanks for asking …. although by the time it’s pads are ready for a change, my guess is the disk will be as well. It measures a hairs width over the 4.5mm limit, so time to look for a replacement I think.

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TuneECU for Android is now out

TuneECU for Andriod on Google Play StoreOn the 15th September 2014 the eagerly awaited TuneECU for Android app was rolled out on Google Play Store priced at €9.99. It doesn’t currently support reading or reprogramming of maps through Bluetooth only via cable, but it is version 1 so this may be added at a later date. Either way, it’ll make a handy pocket diagnostics tool and save luggage space leaving the notebook at home!  Here’s a link to the TuneECU webpage where you can read more about what’s needed to get it working on your Caponord.

It might be nice to look at putting together a fully waterproof Bluetooth module/cable that can be left permanently attached to the ECU, maybe with a remote switch in the luggage tray to power it on/off ….. another winter project! :-D

 

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Front fork service …… better late than never!

RR fork cap ....... and yes, I've used this picture before!The dodgy wrist and Dog awful weather here in Italy at the moment have both contrived to keep the Capo tucked up in the barn, a hairs breadth from the magic 100,000Km. So while the rain poured its heart out, I decided to have a look through the Excel spreadsheet of service/repairs/upgrades for the Capo ……… and realised that the front Motul fork oilforks hadn’t had an oil change for over two years!

Well I must admit to being pleasantly surprised. The oil that came out was pretty clear and a flush with a dash of 5w oil soon removed the small amount of sludgy dregs from the bottom of the legs. A refill with blended Motul 8.5w oil and a reduced air-gap of 115mm (Std 130mm) works well, so I see no reason to fiddle with settings that suit my riding style. Overall the job took about an hour a leg taking it slowly, sipping tea and watching the clouds drift down the valley!

At this point, a gentle reminder for RR owners. Please remember that the Rally-Raid supplement is WRONG regarding oil volume! The forks take approx. 580cc each for the standard 130mm±2mm air-gap – NOT 680cc as specified ….. Unless you want a mess on the garage floor when it pours over the top of the tube!

Rally-Raid Marzocchi front fork spacersAnd another point that it may well be worth mentioning ….. the fork recall that Aprilia issued in 2004 – has yours been done and what exactly IS done? As far as I can gather, it was simply a new spacer below the spring as the original was the wrong size and could, under harsh riding conditions, collapse and lock the forks solid. Not my idea of a bucket load of giggles that’s for sure. Aprilia say that mine was done in 2006 (thanks Tom at Moto Forza Italia – Silverstone, UK for helping) and Marzocchi say that the current Aprilia part number AP8163475 IS the upgraded part.

The spacer in mine looks fine although definitely showing signs of compression where it sits on top of the cartridge. This time I’ve flipped them over to even out the wear, maybe next time I’ll look into adding aluminium caps to the spacers to spread the load more evenly.

Anyway, that’s all done and dusted for now …… next stop, some new brake pads I think. The fronts look like the remaining material has about the same thickness of a well sucked After Eight mint! :oops:

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Where the hell did July go!

Basking in the Bologna sunshine!Crikey time flies. It seems an age since ACIM and all the stuff that happened before and after that great weekend, so I’ll start off the week before ACIM – the great cruise control saga. On the 3rd July TNT delivered the package to customs in Ciampino (Rome) Airport – a full week before ACIM, unfortunately it was from here on I became embroiled in a constant round of emails and phone calls in an effort to get the kit cleared to complete its journey. On the Thursday 10th (day before) ACIM it looked like I might be able to collect it from the local TNT depot on the way up …. ‘call us after 9am’ I did ….. Customs still had issues, call again on Monday. So that was that, no kit fitted or available to show. Frankly I was fed up to the back teeth with the whole thing and looked forward to a stress free weekend to unwind!

ACIM 2014 San Marino 11th-13th July

San Marino - Saturday ride outWhat a great weekend, new faces, names to faces and names who’s threads/posts I’ve read for years – a bit of hero worship going on here! A 560 mile round trip that shook the Capo down nicely for the big trip a few days later – with a very enjoyable spirited ride back to the hotel on Saturday evening with two Capo riders across some stunning scenery……we had a blast, thanks guys!

Other than that, I’ll let Jan fill you in with more details and pics from her website – Janet’s Edublog and end by saying a big thanks to the organisers for a fantastic weekend and we look forward to meeting up with you all again soon.

MCCruise control

Goodies!!!After ACIM, with the Capo tucked up in the barn on Sunday night, I could focus back on the cruise control and my impending trip. Time was short … too short. Either the cruise control had to be cleared by customs on Monday/Tuesday or sent back to Australia – it was that simple. If the window of opportunity was missed, then frankly the cruise control was a waste of time, effort and money as I’d have to travel and hope my wrist held out. Not only that but I’d be away for the next 14 days!

MCCruise - ready for actionIn the end, at 10am on Tuesday, I stood at the TNT depot (Chieti Scallo) and marvelled as the sun glinted off the packing tape of a big brown box full of goodies! We whizzed home in double-time and the spannering started in earnest ……

….. by Wednesday afternoon the kit was fitted, calibrated and given its first brief test – and worked like a charm! Now I was out of time, bags were packed, Capo loaded and refuelled and at midnight I dropped onto the A14 North and the cruise was engaged for the first mile of many – and it performed faultlessly throughout.

Transcontinental run

60,000 miles and countingThe next 25hrs took me door-to-door and the Capo gained another 1,350 miles under its belt. The cruise had been engaged for well over a 1,000 of those miles (night-time motorways) and the odometer slid over to 60,000 miles on the M25/M40 slip road, a half hour short of Oxford. The next 13 days were a blur of activity with the Capo grabbing an MOT somewhere along the way ….. And before I knew it, the Capo and I were heading back to Dover again with panniers groaning with tea-bags, cheddar cheese and bacon!

The return run was a real mix of (summer?) weather, dense fog in France, rain and sleet in 2013-14 quite a busy year!Switzerland and 36C sunshine in Italy! Once again the Capo did what it does best, kept on running faultlessly mile after mile and so finally, at 1am on Monday 4th August we rolled into the barn with the odometer now at 61,860 – just 277 miles short of the magic 62,137 ………. Or 100,000Km to be precise!

As the sidestand took the weight from my aching knees and I eventually convinced my right leg to ease its way over the saddle for the last time, I saw Jan in the red glow of the tail-light all warm smile and a cold beer! Now that’s a way to be welcomed home …….. :-D

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Oil pressure switch

AP0956169 Oil Pressure SwitchOver the past few months I’ve noticed the oil pressure LED getting dimmer after the initial dashboard power-on-self-test has finished. Then a couple of weeks ago, no oil light at all. If I pulled the electrical connector off the switch and shorted it to the crankcase, the lamp worked fine, so the oil pressure switch was u/s, fubar, stuffed ……….

I bought a new one from Ultimate Parts in the UK that came in a plain zip bag, not an Aprilia one and isn’t the same as the original – requiring a 24mm socket instead of the 0.3-0.6bar M10x1 threadoriginal 21mm. As such I have a sneaking feeling this is an aftermarket part and not genuine – but sold at a genuine price! Either way, both new and old are marked as 0.3-0.6bar (4.35-8.7psi).

Swapping it out on the Rally-Raid was a simple 5 minute job – remove the aluminium sump plate, disconnect the electrical connector and use a deep 21mm socket on a short extension to clear the sump guard frame and unscrew the old unit. You’ll lose a couple of tea-spoons of oil but that’s all. Simply swap to the 24mm socket to fit the new one, reattach the connector and refit the sump plate – job done. The job’s made all the easier if you do it on the side-stand rather that the main stand as the switch is mounted on the right hand side of the engine!

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Ruba-dub-dub …… one Capo to scrub!

Twinkle twinkle little Capo ......As we fast approach the fun and games of ACIM, I figured it was time to reintroduce the Capo to two things frequently lacking in its life ……. washing and polishing. Yes, the hose pipe, chamois leather and Salvol autosol have been dragged out, dusted off and liberally applied to said Capo. My how she twinkles now, well as much as matt paint can ever twinkle that is!

High mileage DID ZVM2 drive chainUnfortunately for the Capo, there has been one cleaning job on the list that I’ve been putting off, and I have to admit that the list was written several years ago – the rear wheel refurb! After a couple of cold ones, I finally mustered up the courage to tackle the gunked on grease, the lashings of welded road crud and the inevitable rusty nipples. It nearly had the better of me once or twice, but tenacity and sheer bloody-mindedness (plus a couple more cold ones!) saw the job through to the bitter end. And here’s the finished article, not too shabby if I do say so myself ….. and that chain/sprocket have now got a whopping 38,730 miles on them!!!

Before it all went back together, the Scottoiler dual-feed was checked over as were all the bearings, seals and cush-drive rubbers – and of course it would have been remiss of me to have not taken the front sprocket cover off and give it a Mk1 eyeball check – looks OK for now, but I’ll get one on order!  ;-)

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