08 Drive By Wire Problems

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by glider, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I have been seeing posts on the net about the new drive by wire on the 08 bikes. Some owners have reported problems here on HDT with erratic idle and other problems associated with this system. The dealers don't seem to be able to find anything wrong (as usual) with the system when it is brought in for diagnostics.

    As with anything, people will make what they want out of a problem and then spread gossip as if it were truths. The purpose of this post is to alert the owners of the possibility of a problem with the drive by wire and to advise them to learn to deal with any potential problems with the system and a possible malfunction by either grabbing the clutch or hitting the kill switch should any problem arise. Park the bike and call the dealer for a pick up if you should encounter any problems at all associated with the throttle.

    It's a situation that leaves a lot to be desired and I'm sure that if and when these complaints about the new system on harleys is reviewed by the MOCO that a recall will be issued by them to correct any problems found in the system. The NTSB will take an active position in this issue if and when an issue is encountered where the drive by wire can be pinpointed as the source of the issue if it is indeed a problem.

    Here's one of the posts that I found out of a few that was aimed at the drive by wire system.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica,Sans Serif]I just got news and the first report I've heard of someone who had TBW failure.
    The story I got from eye witness accounts is that one of the local MC chapter pres was killed last week end on his new 08 street glide. It was second time the TBW had failed. First time he was in town and was able to hit kill switch and get off the road.
    Dealer was supposed to have fixed it. Second time was on a long backroad sweeper riding 2 up from 60-65mph. Wife is in serious condition and he kia at the scene.
    It was bound to happen sooner or later but I sort of thought these things might have some sort of failsafe built in to close the throttle instead if there was ever a glitch in the ECM.

    There was another fatality in Newburgh NY with an 08 bike where the owner lost control in the parking lot picking the bike up and crashed the bike into a car. It could very well have been driver error here but let's just keep tuned in and enjoy a long safe ride.

    [/FONT]
     
  2. blackmouth

    blackmouth Member

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    Glider,

    In your story regarding the MC chapter pres...what details have been provided that have lead others to believe it was a DBW failure that caused the accident? I realize he had issues with his TBW before, but an accident on a sweeper 2-up at 65mph can be the result of A LOT of different problems/issues.

    And on the story regarding the NY rider picking up his new bike and getting into a fatal accident: the rider hadn't ridden in 30yrs so rider error has a high probability there. There have been little details that I have found about this accident. Unless you have further details regarding that accident (please post them if you do) what made you post that story on this thread regarding DBW?

    I am not calling you out...I just want to help rumors from spreading too.
    Reading your post...I could already see folks walking away from this forum having comprehended that the NY rider and the MC chapter pres were killed because of a TBW failure and nothing has been posted to verify that. Most of us know how quickly a rumor spreads based on stories with few details and much speculation.

    Peace.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  3. Flashback

    Flashback Active Member

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    I only got to put a couple thousand miles on my 08 before shipping out but during that time it worked flawlessly. I have planned two LD rides one of 2k in May and one of 4k miles in August and not worried a bit and should something go wrong that is what the kill switch is for. Untill such time as something can be proven to lead back to the electronic throttle I'm just gonna enjoy my ride. As with any vehicle a part can fail in isolated incidents doesn't necessarily reflect the whole product line.
     
  4. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I'm not trying to spread any rumors here at all, I am just trying to alert owners to the possibility of a problem that may be overlooked without regards to the possible cause or to have a dealer dismiss a problem that could be associated with the DBW as something else as they are known to do to escort the customer out the door.
    If you read this paragraph in my post, I think you will see this.People can comprehend things in a different manner than they were posted and nobody can change that.
    This is why I worded this post the way I did. I would rather know about something that could cause harm to me or even worse before it happens so I can be on the look out for it as I'm sure most would agree here.

    Snip:
    As with anything, people will make what they want out of a problem and then spread gossip as if it were truths
    . The purpose of this post is to alert the owners of the possibility of a problem with the drive by wire and to advise them to learn to deal with any potential problems with the system and a possible malfunction by either grabbing the clutch or hitting the kill switch should any problem arise. Park the bike and call the dealer for a pick up if you should encounter any problems at all associated with the throttle.
     
  5. blackmouth

    blackmouth Member

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    That's cool.
    I understand.

    But, just to satisfy my curiosity...
    That you know of, are there ANY facts that justify someone believing the DBW was at fault for either incident you posted in your original post?
     
  6. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    That I know of concerning this post ...NO, just what I have posted here as stated above...
    I have been seeing posts on the net about the new drive by wire on the 08 bikes. Some owners have reported problems here on HDT with erratic idle and other problems associated with this system. The dealers don't seem to be able to find anything wrong (as usual) with the system when it is brought in for diagnostics.

    But there are reported and documented problems with the system such as a erratic or very high idle in the area of 2000 RPM's. What do you think would cause the erratic idle on the DBW systems and the out of ordinary high idle? Would you be uneasy to be riding on a bike with DBW system going into a turn or even on a straight away and have the engine sitting on a 2000 RPM idle at lets say in 2nd 3rd or 4th gear? Would it concern you at all that the throttle system on your bike was experiencing problems? It would me! That was the purpose of this post, just to alert owners as stated above to the possibility of a problem with the system, not to make them run out and sell the bike.

    I have seen many people post and ask questions about another persons or even my post and it turns into a debate and "can you show me proof" post. I can reply to that as I have before here to another member by saying that I can post a topic and give what I feel is reasonable substantiation for it but the proof can be sought by the person asking for it if they are interested in the topic.
    Perhaps you could show me any substantiation that the DBW was NOT the cause of these problems? I'm always willing to listen and learn myself.:s

    Here's some food for thought. The DBW system is very basically a rheostat that runs off a ground circuit which in turn regulates the throttle body. Any additions like replacement chrome switch housings or bared wires in the throttle system (harness) circuit can over ride the DBW settings of the throttle itself. Can you explain to me how a grounded wire from whatever cause would NOT give you any unusual throttling up of the engine?
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  7. blackmouth

    blackmouth Member

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    I have no proof to substantiate any side of the issue.
    I just find it interesting that someone hoping to avoid the spread of rumors about DBW would post details in the same post about:

    1. An accident that took place at 65mph in a sweeping curve while riding 2-up seemingly just because the rider had experience DBW issues in THE PAST?
    2. An accident about a rider who was killed while driving away a newly purchased Harley after nearly 30yrs of NOT riding?

    Riders go down doing 65mph curves and riding away from dealer all the time and it's USUALLY not mechanical failure MUCH LESS can we usually attribute it to a new compenent for the current model year.

    If we don't want to start rumors about the DBW we can start by not posting accidents in a DBW "possible issues" thread when we cannot substantiate the accidents had anything to do with DBW.

    Why did the accidents have to be listed at all?
    Associating the accidents to this thread with no FACTS to tie them into the DBW WILL lead to rumors as readers miscomprehend your post. I mean, is it too far of stretch for a reader to take the following away from this thread:
    "OK, the thread was about possible DBW issues and there have been a couple of accidental deaths because of it"
    I don't think it's much of a stretch at all, and my only point is that putting the accidents in this thread may have helped fuel the fire you and I would have rather avoided.

    Man, this has turned into something I didn't want.
    I don't mean to come across as pissy, I just wanted clarification of your post and I got it, so thanks, bro. I'm moving on.
     
  8. glider

    glider Veteran Member

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    I really think you read too much into this post.:hii
     
  9. Spike King

    Spike King Member

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    :bigsmiley17:
     
  10. Vibratinharley

    Vibratinharley Junior Member

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    I have a 2008 Ultra Classic with "drive by wire" and I had some weird stuff happen the other day that I can't explain but might have to do with drive by wire.

    I was driving the bike for over an hour, I was sitting in traffic for a while and I went to pull out when light changed and bike stalled. It took a few cranks to start but when it started up, the engine raced at around 3000 rpm. I pulled over to the side of road and it raced like this for about 30 seconds before it came back down and was then idling at 1500 which is higher than it usually idles. ( I have 2500 miles on it) after driving for a few minutes, everything is back to normal and idle is fine and it hasn't happened again. I keep wondering if it will do it again. I also am wondering if maybe Fuelpak has something to do with this?




    2008 Ultra Classic in Dark Blue Pearl
    Arlen Ness Big Sucker
    Vance and Hines Fuelpak
    Python Mufflers
    What a blast to ride!!!