My New Café Racer MKII

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Hello,

I wanted to introduce myself to the forum, I thought I would share my experiences with my new 961 MKII Café Racer.... It's a 2017 model in brand new condition with only 5 miles on the clock.

Finally, the weather was good, no salt on the road, registration complete, time to set off... Press that button

She rumbled to life with the first press. A Honda she's definitely not as all sorts of noises coming from the motor...Just stand back and let her warm up a bit, she settled... Slightly erratic idle..

Pull the lever in, a soft click and off we go, initially paying far too much attention to the tacho, didn't want to exceed 3k and definitely didn't want to labour, trying to be as careful as I can.. Gearbox is great, clicks in and out very sweetly ..


At my 4th junction it stalled, pressed the button and away we go again, I'd better get some fuel... Whilst fuelling van man pulled up beside me 'Great looking bike' , Thanks I replied..

Bike felt good, noisey but very solid and planted. Motoring along clicking up and down the gears.. Reaching the dizzy heights of 50 mph..

I did notice a flat spot, stumble, miss about 2.5 - 3k felt like fuelling... This however did seem get better as the miles ticked away..


All in all I covered 70 miles on our first outing.. In addition to what I've mentioned this is what I noticed....

RH pipe definitely much hotter than the left, especially on start up.

Idle was a very steady 1200 after the motor warmed up.

Brakes are awesome

Suspension is very nice but a tad too hard for me. Oodles of adjustment to play with later.

The idiot lights are far too dim in bright sunlight.

Footrest need a spring as they fold up too easily.

Side stand is fiddly.

Seat is more comfortable than it looks.

Steering is precise, excellent.

Dunlop tyres give confidence, I love these Qualifiers , had them on MV and got them on the MT.

I have a feeling she going to handle like a dream.

Café Racer poise for an oldie isn't the best in traffic.

Stalled for the second time as I stopped at a roundabout.

Needs good revs to pull away cleanly.

A few days have passed, time to add some miles.. Pulled her out of the garage, Checked and cleaned the plugs, they were black and sooty. Started her up, goodness , sounded worse than the last time, very uneven running, causing the engine to make more clatter than I remembered first time out.. I checked the temperature of the pipes.. left cylinder was barely warm 35° RH 110° and rising.. Then I noticed the EML light.. geez
Stopped the engine...

Went onto the forums, read a number posts... one owner said that after a while their EML would go out... I ventured back , took out the plugs, RH sooty, LH wet.. cleaned again decided I'd ride her, maybe it would clear, newness!!!! It didn't, brought her home and put her back in the garage... Took the Jota out and had a decent afternoons ride... Dellortos ..

A few days passed again, plenty of forum reading.. Ok, let's check for electrical connections, particularly the injector and coils, but I knew she was producing a really strong spark on LH side. ... Next problem, how do you get the seat off? I couldn't see any fixings at all, scratching my head for a few minutes ...I lifted it carefully to feel for fixings, I came straight off the frame... no fixings at all. Just two broken 'tabs' on the seat base...Removed the tank, checked connections, all seemed good.. 70 miles and the seat and tank are off!. Cleaned plugs again, reassembled.

Let's try again..... fired her up EML still on but LH pipe had some heat this time... Go now before she fouls..

My observation for the next 70 miles..

Between 2k and 3k is bad... If I am in 3rd or 4th at 3K and open up the throttle the engines just dies, dead.. ... I also need 3k to pull away without labouring. (Big twin).

After 20 miles the EML went out (fully charged battery when I took off) and the feel was improving, less stuttering and more responsive but by no means perfect, or good even for that matter. I could feel her wanting to pull at 3.5K, shifting up at this point... I could also feel the potential, but getting to the 3.5k wasn't so good. On a positive note steering, suspension, brakes and handling are awesome. Also she looks amazing...

After a short stop, started her again, never had problem with starting just idle when cool... EML came on again..
I rode home the light remained on..

I have a couple of questions...

Has anybody come with a fix for a broken seat base?

I've read a couple of post which said they'd managed to use an OBDII? Which make did you buy? I bought one (WiFi) it couldn't talk to the ECU, I gather there are a couple of ECU types, I am wondering if that is the issue, what protocol does the Norton use?

Plans for the future are, decat mid pipe, I'm guessing all models and years are the same.. I really like the long standard look, same as my Mk1 850.. What's the opinion on de-core and the ease of doing so?

BMW Power commander seems to be the way forward, has any used the auto tune and not gone on the dyno?

Interested to see if my experience is the same as most...

Regards

Gazz
 

BritTwit

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Welcome aboard Gazz.

The stumble between 2500 and 3000 rpm when cold is an issue that I have as well.
Once warmed up it disappears.

You're correct that there are 2 different ECUs that Norton used, SCS Delta, and OMEX.
Check to see which your bike has.
On the SCS ECU, a standard OBD11 diagnostic reader will plug in and work.
I think the OMEX has a different connector, other members who are familiar with it will chime in I'm sure.

You'll have to provide some additional info in order to get helpful advice here.
Your 961 is a 2017, does your 961 have the stock exhaust or aftermarket exhaust?
Is your bike a MK1 or MK11?
ABS, or no?
 
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I honestly don't know where to begin. OK welcome . You have a 2017 Euro 4 MK2 with ABS , that means you have the newer OMEX.
Is this correct ? ( Euro 4 MK2 with ABS ) . This machine is a dual seat so is sprung for 2 up. Will you ride 2 up ? If so , keep the springs and reduce the compression and rebound settings for lowest setting to start with for 1 up riding. Look at the O2 sensor threads and idle problem solved threads for more information. You may benefit from the O2 sensor eliminator resistor plugs . This will help with low speed running by taking OUT the O2 sensor effect on the fueling at low speed and idle . Some advocate the removal of the IAM and blocking the idle passage between the throttle body throats . I do not have a Euro 4 machine , but many here do.
 
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Hi Gaz, you sound much more mechanically minded than I so i won't try and offer too much advice on the poor running. Only to say that many of us with MK 2's had to get de-catted and have a remap to make them work better. My seat fixings broke also but the factory at the time were very good and acknowledged that there was an issue and sent me a new one the next day.

My 2018 model won't currently start, the battery drains very quickly despite being on trickle charge. Several of us newer owners have had warranty issues which we managed to get sorted before the company went into admin. Lamba sensors and other sensors needed changing.

When they run well, they are fabulous and they are a pure joy to ride, excellent handling and braking. I am hoping that the new factory have a list of known issues with the modern commando and will put them right (for a fee no doubt) at service time. If you have bought yours from a dealer, hopefully you have some sort of warranty.
 
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Thank you for the welcome and the replies, BritTwit, it's a Nov '17 MkII Euro4 with ABS , it's completely stock, as it came from the factory. So I think it has the the OMEX ECU, it has a standard OBD2 connection. So i would interested to hear from anyone who has a talking connection with this type of ECU.... I took her out again and the EML remained on this time, I want to know what is throwing up this fault.

Cliffa, thanks for the link, I have read through that thread and no doubt I will follow some of its advice. I will change the plugs , probably go to iridium, I was thinking maybe go a couple of grades hotter maybe a 7, whilst running in as the engine isn't getting hot quickly enough to clean the plugs, what do you think, or anybody think for that matter?

TonyA, yes Euro4 ABS, MKII. Yes all my riding will be 1 up so I'll, reduce the compression and rebound, maybe a little at a time as I don't want it wallowing, I will read those threads again and pick up on some of the advice, maybe I have a faulty o2 on the LH side, not sure how to test it.. From what you've said doesn't your bike suffer as much at low revs as the Euro4 models?

Welshrugby, great that you got a replacement seat, I intend to get the bike's first service at the factory so i will try a bit of gentle persuasion)) Seems my bike falls into the year when the sensors were faulty.... I am sure these bike's are awesome when they are sorted, I can feel how good this bike is going to be, so planted around the bends ))) My dealer is no longer in business, I will deal with the factory...


Thanks for the welcome, I'm looking forward to participating in the forum ..

Gazz
 

Voodooo

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Thank you for the welcome and the replies, BritTwit, it's a Nov '17 MkII Euro4 with ABS , it's completely stock, as it came from the factory. So I think it has the the OMEX ECU, it has a standard OBD2 connection. So i would interested to hear from anyone who has a talking connection with this type of ECU.... I took her out again and the EML remained on this time, I want to know what is throwing up this fault.

Cliffa, thanks for the link, I have read through that thread and no doubt I will follow some of its advice. I will change the plugs , probably go to iridium, I was thinking maybe go a couple of grades hotter maybe a 7, whilst running in as the engine isn't getting hot quickly enough to clean the plugs, what do you think, or anybody think for that matter?

TonyA, yes Euro4 ABS, MKII. Yes all my riding will be 1 up so I'll, reduce the compression and rebound, maybe a little at a time as I don't want it wallowing, I will read those threads again and pick up on some of the advice, maybe I have a faulty o2 on the LH side, not sure how to test it.. From what you've said doesn't your bike suffer as much at low revs as the Euro4 models?

Welshrugby, great that you got a replacement seat, I intend to get the bike's first service at the factory so i will try a bit of gentle persuasion)) Seems my bike falls into the year when the sensors were faulty.... I am sure these bike's are awesome when they are sorted, I can feel how good this bike is going to be, so planted around the bends ))) My dealer is no longer in business, I will deal with the factory...


Thanks for the welcome, I'm looking forward to participating in the forum ..

Gazz
If you don’t have a spare O2 sensor or a scanner / code reader, swap the o2 from one side to the next. But it’s known that one side burns leaner at idle. Here’s my commando days after I bought it when it was bone stock.

I install the decat pipes, short / loud Motad mufflers, iridium plugs, Bosch coils, revised tune and never ran better.
 

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Voodoo! .... There's a very graphic illustration of uneven running, that is hot It was your RH cylinder which was dominant too. Looks like photos I've seen of turbo chargers.. After your mods is this still happening or just less so?

I will swap the o2 sensors over to see what happens, I would really like to see what the ECU is saying, hope someone here has managed to connect an OBD2 to an OMEX.

You say revised tune, a different Norton map flashed to your ECU?

Gazz
 

Voodooo

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Voodoo! .... There's a very graphic illustration of uneven running, that is hot It was your RH cylinder which was dominant too. Looks like photos I've seen of turbo chargers.. After your mods is this still happening or just less so?

I will swap the o2 sensors over to see what happens, I would really like to see what the ECU is saying, hope someone here has managed to connect an OBD2 to an OMEX.

You say revised tune, a different Norton map flashed to your ECU?

Gazz
I’m saying those pictures are days after I bought my bike brand new. I live in the USA. So my bike came stock with cats long mufflers and a stock tune.
once I removed the cats, had the decat tune loaded and swapped coils and plugs it’s been great.
I felt a huge improvement in performance with the decat tune loaded in the ECU.

I’m a auto tech, I wish I had a way to scan my Norton but unfortunately I don’t have any way to do so. I had to send my ecu to the dealer in California to load the correct tune. Never had a glowing header since lol. I also run higher octane fuel without ethanol at each fill up.
 

cliffa

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Thank you for the welcome and the replies, BritTwit, it's a Nov '17 MkII Euro4 with ABS , it's completely stock, as it came from the factory. So I think it has the the OMEX ECU, it has a standard OBD2 connection. So i would interested to hear from anyone who has a talking connection with this type of ECU.... I took her out again and the EML remained on this time, I want to know what is throwing up this fault.

Cliffa, thanks for the link, I have read through that thread and no doubt I will follow some of its advice. I will change the plugs , probably go to iridium, I was thinking maybe go a couple of grades hotter maybe a 7, whilst running in as the engine isn't getting hot quickly enough to clean the plugs, what do you think, or anybody think for that matter?

TonyA, yes Euro4 ABS, MKII. Yes all my riding will be 1 up so I'll, reduce the compression and rebound, maybe a little at a time as I don't want it wallowing, I will read those threads again and pick up on some of the advice, maybe I have a faulty o2 on the LH side, not sure how to test it.. From what you've said doesn't your bike suffer as much at low revs as the Euro4 models?

Welshrugby, great that you got a replacement seat, I intend to get the bike's first service at the factory so i will try a bit of gentle persuasion)) Seems my bike falls into the year when the sensors were faulty.... I am sure these bike's are awesome when they are sorted, I can feel how good this bike is going to be, so planted around the bends ))) My dealer is no longer in business, I will deal with the factory...


Thanks for the welcome, I'm looking forward to participating in the forum ..

Gazz
Gazz, I would err on the side of caution and maybe go one grade hotter and see what it looks like after a run out. The only reason I can think for the richness is that the brain (ECU) thinks the engine is still cold, so maybe check the Head Temperature Sensor. Or do a search for "Head Temperature Sensor " on this forum and will will get plenty of results.
 
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Clive

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Hi Gazz - it may not seem appropriate at the moment but congratulations on acquiring a very special and unique bike. Mine is a 2017 ABS OMEX now with 12000miles and I absolutely love it - I just rode into work and it's the best way to start a day! If the bike has the original pipes, cat and original mapping then it will be performing at a fraction of its potential. I once saw the effect with one hot pipe and have an idea that if the bike starts with a low cranking voltage the ECU gets duff info from the sensors and it completely messes up fueling and tickover. That said if the bike has been standing then there may be an issue with a sensor. There have been some fixes which you may want to consider that this bike would not have had. There is some talk about non-Bosch parts but I have found mine to be ok so yours probably would be so as mine is the same age...

Check no bolts are loose. Brake rotor etc but be careful with fork clamp bolts; clamps can fracture so don't tweak them up.
Uprated head sensor
New MAP (manifold pressure) sensor - early ones leaked inside
heat insulator on inlet manifold to 'help' hot starting issues.
REPLACE ALL THE CR#P RELAYS - THIS GAVE ME MOST PROBLEMS
From my experience check the drive sprocket tab washer - a 10 minute job. Mine fell apart and locked the gearbox.

Once mine had been decatted, remapped and exhausted the bike had a couple of glitches but has been so much better and reliable. I don't get the tickover issues many have and have had a couple of brilliant track days with it. You may choose to use Esso Supreme+ petrol whenever poss as it doesn't have ethanol in it which can contribute to a floppy tank (like the Ducatis).

Keep us posted and there will always be loads of help on this forum.
Clive
 

Stephen_Spencer

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Welcome Gazz. I have far less technical competence than the guys you are receiving guidance from above (all of whom have helped me in the past), but I do know a few things.

- when she’s running sweetly it is an awesome, genuine, visceral motorcycle riding experience! 40 years of riding, many (many) bikes but none more enjoyable. A keeper, no doubt.

- all tech niggles/problems can be fixed however, it really helps to have a second bike. There are very few of our number running just the Norton.

- think of some ready excuses to extract yourself from conversations with old Brit bike fans! I’ve spent almost as much time talking about my Norton as I have riding it.

- be patient - everything with this Norton takes time.

- this forum is awesome; read it and contribute where you can. I’ve taken a lot of guidance and contributed far less. Looks like you have the tech savvy to add to the ‘brains trust’.

- above all enjoy; it’s well worth the effort :D!
 

Clive

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- all tech niggles/problems can be fixed however, it really helps to have a second bike. There are very few of our number running just the Norton.
My Norton is my one and only :D and I have one of the highest 2017 mileages so yes it can be done!
 
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Thanks for the encouragement, I can feel it's going to be good and with all your help hopefully sooner than later....

I rode her down to Lyme Regis yesterday afternoon (130 mile round trip), it was a lovely day to clock up some more miles. I must say it was frustrating at times, keeping below 3.5k is a real chore, pottering along with the traffic. These are my observatons friom the trip..

When I pull away from stationary it feels so much like all the effort was coming from one cylinder, I pulled the plug on each side, to see if it would pull off, RH struggled but it managed the LH wouldnt cut it, so much so I didn't try too hard..

Takes an age before it warms up at least 15-20miles before the bike almost revs properly.

In traffic or busy junctions I kept the revs up by hand, didn't want it to stall in a dangerous place, just didn't have the confidence.

EML went off

On the way home 300 miles ticked past so i was able to go to 4.5k

I had a lot of vibration coming through the footrest around 4k.

Worst thing was if I opened the throttle the engine would just die, at any revs, I had to change down to bring it back to life, making it impossible to overtake with any confidence, scary when I tried it.

Clive, it's very encouraging that you have the same as me and you're getting on well with it, thanks for the tips, I did pdi mine before taking her out, I used an accurate torque wrench, let's hope those problem fasteners remain untouched! Have you been able to communicate with your ecu? I will go down the same line as you regarding mods, plugs and exhaust first.

Stephen, I will be patient and follow the advice of the guys in her, I know it will be sorted.. Time, effort and some expense..
 

Clive

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Thanks for the encouragement, I can feel it's going to be good and with all your help hopefully sooner than later....

Clive, it's very encouraging that you have the same as me and you're getting on well with it, thanks for the tips, I did pdi mine before taking her out, I used an accurate torque wrench, let's hope those problem fasteners remain untouched! Have you been able to communicate with your ecu? I will go down the same line as you regarding mods, plugs and exhaust first.

Stephen, I will be patient and follow the advice of the guys in her, I know it will be sorted.. Time, effort and some expense..
Very early on tried a few OBD readers but sorry no luck. Now mine is out of warranty I would really like to be able to read faults. At the time there was some confusion with the SCS/Omex ecus so some owners who reckoned you could read OBD data actually had the SCS ecu.

I am concerned about it dying when you open the throttle - it shouldn't do that even on the original map - and I think you should concentrate on that symptom. There are quite a few stories about loose screws on the inlet manifolds leaking air in or the MAP sensor? Coil?? I have a local dyno shop who set up race bikes - it might be worth getting someone with some like that with experience to try to diagnose.
 

Claudio

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Sono preoccupato che muoia quando apri l'acceleratore - non dovrebbe farlo nemmeno sulla mappa originale - e penso che dovresti concentrarti su quel sintomo. Ci sono alcune storie su viti allentate sui collettori di ingresso che perdono aria o sul sensore MAP? Bobina?? Ho un banco di prova locale che installa biciclette da corsa: potrebbe valere la pena chiamare qualcuno con qualcosa del genere con esperienza per provare a diagnosticare.

have you tried to exclude the idle control valve?
 
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Hi guys,

Thought I’d give you an update, I’ve change the plugs to iridium as a first step to trying to get my bike running reasonably. I ordered a pair from my local bike shop here in Clevedon. I picked them up and fitted them today. Straight away I noticed a difference, much better throttle response especially when it was cold, revved more cleanly. However when it warmed up the engine still died when I opened the throttle quickly anywhere between 2-4k. If I was very very gentle it did pick up.

I also took a look at the head temperature sensor as my bike appears to be running very rich indeed. I noticed that the black plastic connection was a bit wobbly , it isn’t a Bosch or a Honeywell, I’m going to replace it. It has a 17.5mm probe length and a diameter of 7.5mm am I correct in saying you guys replace it with a Bosh 0280130026?

Claudio, I have yet tried to exclude the idle control valve, simple job?

Here are some photos, temp sensor, plugs and exhausts after 15 miles.

I also took my bike back to my local bike shop because they said that they woukd try and communicate with the ECU, Omex 2017 MK2. They had it for 55 mins trying to establish a link with one of a number of devices they have. Unfortunately they were unable to do this, they said it was the first bike that they had in which they couldn't talk to, that includes new Triumphs, BMWs and Ducatis.

500 miles soon so hopefully there will be a trip to the factory for its first service but they aren't answering the phone or reply to my contact request....

UweKfd.jpg


lKGBnS.jpg




9NCYtL.jpg
 

Fast Eddie

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That plug looks terrible ! As you say, that bike is running very, very rich.

Fingers crossed the factory decide that covid is no longer an excuse to be closed... soon !
 
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