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Dominator SS owner's journey

Discussion in 'Norton Motorcycles (Modern)' started by iwilson, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    The bike was returned late yesterday in pouring rain. But the weather was better this morning and I took the bike into work today. I gave the bike a really good thrashing on a long ride home tonight. Parked her up and not a drop of oil in sight! I note however that unlike some, my kit did not include new rocker covers, which I would have preferred to get rid of the rocker cover pipe in what is an area congested with piping already.

    [​IMG]

    The other significant improvement was the installation of a newly released engine map which I assume affects all bikes. I had the Dominator megaphone version installed. The bike now starts and idles normally whether cold or hot. It's snorts and farts a bit when cold at low rpm but is a massive improvement on the previous map. It hasn't stalled once since returning yesterday!

    Very happy with the result so far. I'll be putting the bike back on the dyno next week to see what change the megaphone map has made and as usual posting the results here.
     
  2. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    The new map should also help fill in that top end of the rev range. Say the 5500 to 7800 range hopefully ...
     
  3. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    My 961 shows the crank position sensor error even after I reset it, after about 150 miles with the bike running perfect.
    I fixed it by not checking it every day! Lol
    Others have reported this with their bikes also running perfectly.

    Iwilson what map number did you install???
     
  4. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    The other significant improvement was the installation of a newly released engine map which I assume affects all bikes. I had the Dominator megaphone version installed. The bike now starts and idles normally whether cold or hot. It's snorts and farts a bit when cold at low rpm but is a massive improvement on the previous map. It hasn't stalled once since returning yesterday!

    Did the dealer say what map number you installed #092 possibly ?
     
  5. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    I don't know the map number. I did ask but just got a mumbled answer about an email from Norton with updated maps. I think the dealer's realising I'm one of those customers whose not content to just ride the bike. Thanks for the info on the error code. I asked the dealer a number of weeks ago and the answer is still pending. :roll:

    If I ran my company the same way I'd deserve to go broke! I'd triple their sales if in charge :idea: Anyway great weather today, so went out for a nice run. A New Zealand based bike forum runs a game of bike tag where you find and retrieve photo tags around Auckland city. So I took the opportunity to find the old tag and post another.

    [​IMG]

    Bike ran faultlessly, no oil, no need to touch the throttle when pulled up, didn't stall once. If Norton had released the bike as it is now all those years ago they'd have got universal praise.
     
  6. BritTwit

    BritTwit VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2009
    So true.
    Unfortunately, small startups like Norton UK have minimal engineering and QC resources, so like it or not, owners become the gamma testers.
    I have gone through a few issues with my 961 CR in order to get it to the point it's at now:
    Easy starting, strong idle, great throttle response. The same as any modern EFI bike.

    By the way, that is a beautiful Dominator you have.

    Cheers.
     
  7. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    I don't know the map number. I did ask but just got a mumbled answer about an email from Norton with updated maps.

    I wonder if these updated maps are coming to USA ? These may be even better than what we have now..
     
  8. BPHORSEGUY

    BPHORSEGUY

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2013
    I would be doubtful that these are NEW maps but please press your dealer so we can be sure!
     
  9. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    Great info on the seat removal thanks for sharing. The early commandos had a fuse box issue that was fixed with thicker sponge/foam. The fuses would vibrate out. If anyone checks and the grey foam doesnt have impressions on all of the fuses then add some of your own to be sure. Good tip on zip tie fix too. Keep the good info comming. I am currently finishing two manuals. Transmission and crank case splitting in the frame. Also applies to domi or anything else with a 961. Hope to release soon. Been swamped but making time now to complete these manuals.
     
  10. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    I'm not so sure, it seems more a cultural issue than a money issue. Fine tuning an engine map is not big money. Listening to customers and communicating that you are listening is virtually free. The oil in the airbox had to be addressed, yet dragged on for years with little or no communication from the factory. Is the lack of a transmission vent the next elephant in the room? All they need to do is acknowledge the problem and say they're working on it with the odd update and everyone would be happy. As easy as that is to say, if the company culture is not there, it just won't happen. Norton has got away with a lot of issues because it's 'brand Norton', but there's only so much mileage you can squeeze from the nostalgia many of its customers have. Looking forward to Norton's new generation of bikes most of its potential market weren't even born when Norton was around and these bikes will have to stand on their own merits. Back to the elephant... Now the oil has gone as a result of the airbox fix the more subtle leak coming from the transmission case is showing....

    [​IMG]

    Now I made a point of carefully wiping away every trace of oil with a paper towel the morning I went for a 60 mile ride - so this is new oil. Not much just a little bit of weeping. I so very nearly purchased Richards transmission vent immediately but then I thought no, I'll give Norton an opportunity to show me they are able to get on top this issue in a timely manner. So an email has been despatched to the dealer (primarily regarding the lights issue - see below). So we shall see how long it takes to wind its way up the chain of command, first to Australia (New Zealand doesn't exist according to Norton) - then onto the UK. Now one would think with a small volume manufacturer of high end motorbikes and the instantaneous nature of modern methods of communication that an acknowledgement at least would be forthcoming within no more than a day or two, especially given by posting it here I know someone in the factory will be reading it...

    Anyway enough of that, I don't want to come across to critical - although I should perhaps have a right to be, considering my ride home last night... With winter fast approaching down here I was a little late getting away from work and it was dark by the time I started home. All good until I left town and was on the last twisty section a couple of minutes from home. For the first time I hit the high beam switch and was immediately plunged into darkness! No lights at all other than indicators - fortunately I didn't disappear of the road and was able to creep the rest of the way home. Obviously a fuse had blown and obviously it was related to switching the high beam on. Maybe something got pinched when the oil in airbox fix was being performed. Will have to wait and see.

    I did manage to get the bike onto the dyno again. The results are below.

    [​IMG]

    This shows the stock pipes and megaphones with the short exhaust map vs. the megaphones with the megaphone map. HP and AFR

    [​IMG]

    As above with the torque curve as well.

    [​IMG]

    Lastly just the megaphones compared with the megaphone map and the short exhaust map.

    As you can see nothing much happening at the top end power wise, but the megaphone map is running richer (to rich). More power in the low to mid range. I'm just happy the idle is now pretty much as it should be. Clearly there is more power to come, but without the ability to remap the ECU it's not going to happen.

    Do I still love the bike YES
     
  11. Britfan60

    Britfan60 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    [q Back to the elephant... Now the oil has gone as a result of the airbox fix the more subtle leak coming from the transmission case is showing....

    [​IMG]

    Now I made a point of carefully wiping away every trace of oil with a paper towel the morning I went for a 60 mile ride - so this is new oil. Not much just a little bit of weeping. I so very nearly purchased Richards transmission vent immediately but then I thought no, I'll give Norton an opportunity to show me they are able to get on top this issue in a timely manner. So an email has been despatched to the dealer (primarily regarding the lights issue - see below). So we shall see how long it takes to wind its way up the chain of command, first to Australia (New Zealand doesn't exist according to Norton) - then onto the UK. Now one would think with a small volume manufacturer of high end motorbikes and the instantaneous nature of modern methods of communication that an acknowledgement at least would be forthcoming within no more than a day or two, especially given by posting it here I know someone in the factory will be reading it...

    So after my starter gasket, crank case halves, new valve covers and tranny vent.....still leaks. Less, but leaks. At least this time, being much less oil, I traced it to the starter. The under side of it was pretty wet. I think it might be one of the units from the "bad batch from the vendor" being a 2013 and all. I think the tranny vent helped quite a bit, but wasn't a cure. Oh well.....time to just resort to the old "its British" and it leaks like every other Brit vehicle I've owned. I've pretty much exhausted my options.
     
  12. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Hello Britfan , Call your dealer service department and have them contact Norton asap . The factory will address this for you , but keep the bike and ride it while you wait for the parts/starter to come in this time.
     
  13. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015

    Hello Iwilson , I want to thank you for taking the time to get this information and post it for us. This will save us lots of time in the future figuring this out. If you could help me read the AFR graph , I don't understand the rich vs lean reading. As the AFR lines dip down toward the R/H side closer to the bottom this means rich ? So closer to the bottom 1 to 1 , going up the right side 15 to 1 and so on ? What does the dashed red line signify ?
     
  14. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Good grief.

    A few oil leaks and minor niggles is one thing. But total loss of lights could very easily have killed you.

    You're a lucky man.

    My suggestion would be to enjoy your Norton... in the day light...
     
  15. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    The red dotted line is the target AFR. The AFR scale on the right hand side shows the ratio of air to fuel. The perfect combustion ratio is 14.7 parts of air to 1 part fuel. But maximum power is around 13:1. So below that line is rich and above is lean. You'll generally find that most factory maps err on the side of rich since going to lean can damage the engine.

    [​IMG]

    Now it's not just fueling there are other factors as well such as ignition timing. But looking at the above you can see the engine is making more mid-range power with the megaphone map as the fueling is closer to the red line. Higher up no difference since both maps are running to rich, but the with the stock pipes (green line) the engine is running closer to the idea AFR at the top end and makes more power.
     
  16. TonyA

    TonyA VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Hello Iwilson , Thanks , That clears it up for me.
     
  17. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Many have tried, none have succeeded :)

    To be honest in this particular case it's unlikely to be a factory problem. The high beam was working when I took ownership, but we'll wait and see. The dealer's picking it up tomorrow.

    Regarding the rocker covers the fix, as I have it, is the final fix and the covers will remain as they are (with the banjo fittings and pipe).

    Just noticed I haven't posted a picture in this post. Better fix that.

    Imagine if Norton didn't bother listing the US as a dealer. Instead you were lumped in with Canada. Through trial and error you finally discover the US dealers, you then discovered to your horror that while you were sleeping Canada had performed a coup d'etat and the US of A simply no longer existed...

    [​IMG]

    Auckland is actually a city of around 1.4 million in New Zealand not Australia! So not only do we not get our own country listed :cry: We were also wiped of the face of the earth :lol:

    I did point this out to Norton many months ago...
     
  18. iwilson

    iwilson VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Quick update the bike arrived back on Friday after being with the dealer for the better part of three weeks. Given we've had weeks on rain I wasn't to bothered with the vague we're not happy with this or that replies to my phone calls. Apparently they weren't happy will the oil in air box fix and made a change to a fitting to prevent oil pooling somewhere.

    The weather has been absolutely perfect the last few days so I've made the most of it with a few good rides. The first one cost me quite a few hundred dollars.... I discovered that somewhere north of 100mph is to much for my Go-Pro camera as all that was left was some shattered plastic on the mounting foot when I got home! Oh well - if at first you don't succeed try, try again!

    The Norton was looking a little lonely so a great Aunty twice removed has come to stay. Actually my 82 year old Dad's 6 month old bike. He's asked me to look after it over winter. So it'll be my daily driver for the next few months.

    [​IMG]
     
    BLIGHTYBRIT/SF likes this.
  19. Britfan60

    Britfan60 VIP MEMBER

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2014
    Kind of looks like a WWII machine vs. the Terminator. :twisted:
     
  20. richard-7

    richard-7

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2014
    cool pic
     

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