Triumph RS955i Basket Case

Published on 25 January 2023 at 13:29
Triumph RS955i project motorcycle

Here we have conclusive proof that alcohol and on line buying sites with motorcycles on them are not a good mix. It was one quiet Monday evening when I happened across a rather sad Triumph Sprint RS 955i came up for sale at a bargain price. It was obviously going to need a fair bit of work but it was local, the Stella had been flowing so the decision was made to purchase it. It turned out somebody had already committed to buy it so it looked like I was just too late, I left my details in case the bloke was a not show. Sure enough, as is sadly all too common on Marketplace, the guy didn't turn up. The seller contacted me so I climbed in the van and set off.

it was dark when I got there but not too dark to see the bike was in a sorry old state although most of it was probably cosmetic - it's amazing what a session with Muc Off and some polish can do. We tried to start it but it wasn't having any of it. It turned over ok but there was no music from it's normally vocal engine. I didn't have a diag box with me so eventually we gave up trying. i'm no stranger to fixing dead bikes so a deal was done and we attempted to push the bike in to the van. Well that was a non starter - the back brake was seized solid and no amount of persuasion would free it. In the end the caliper had to be removed, which is not fun on one of these as the exhaust is in the way of one of the bolts. It turned out that getting the bolts out was only half the battle, the second half was won with a club hammer.


Eventually we got it on the van and brought it home for proper assessment, which would have to wait until  planet earth had revolved enough for me to see what I was doing.

my initial attempts were severely hindered by the alarm going off at regular intervals - even with the alarm switched off it would still make a loud bleep about once every 20 seconds. Repeated power off resets seemed too calm the alarm down but I was unable to communicate with the ecu - it looks like there is no power getting to the diagnostic port - which is inconvenient.

After disconnecting and reconnecting every connector that could be disconnected and reconnected I gave her another go and she fired straight up only to die 2 seconds later. I decided to get a bit more battery power and hooked up my charger to give everything a better chance - she now fired up, kept running and sounded ok - no nasty knocks or anything of concern, the oil light went out, the engine management light didn't.

Just like it's TT600 little brother it was smoking furiously, I strongly suspect some more rotten rubber connectors on the idle valve control system. Why the diag box can't communicate with the ECU I don't know but I think it's not getting a permanent live. That's the next thing to look at, I don't have any room in the workshops at the moment, hence it still being on the van. As soon as I can create some room I will have a better look. 

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