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Difficult / jerky slow speed throttle control normal?

704 Views 19 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  DoubleThumper
Hi all,

as mentioned in my introduction I've had the crf1100 now for about 700kmers so i'm still adjusting to it, and one thing in particular i'm wondering if it is normal.

When driving slower in 1st and 2nd gear say 30kph / 15mph the bike (or me?) has difficulty maintaining a constant engine power (i feel the revs are barely changing). I can feel the engine holding in and then coming back to life.. then holding back in, which makes it very stuttering / unpredictable to drive at lower speeds. The RPMS are not super low, say around 2500-4000rpms. The throttle position is minimally open. At first i thought it was just my hand not holding the throttle stable (which i suppose still can be the case but i don't think it is).

When going through roundabouts it makes it quite a concentrated job, going in first gear it gets a bit nervous because the high revs and low gear, in second gear it gets nervous because of the engine power gone, engine power on experience.

I've ridden the cb500x and did not have this issue, nor on my old ZZR600 (4 cylinder so maybe not comparable since the powerband comes in at higher rpms).

The bike has run 11.000km (6800 miles) and other then this issue the engine seems to be running very well.

I'm just curious if this sounds like a familiar thing for a new rider which i just need to get used too and i just need to adjust having more power in lower rpms with less throttle, or that something maybe wrong?
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Hi all,

as mentioned in my introduction I've had the crf1100 now for about 700kmers so i'm still adjusting to it, and one thing in particular i'm wondering if it is normal.

When driving slower in 1st and 2nd gear say 30kph / 15mph the bike (or me?) has difficulty maintaining a constant engine power (i feel the revs are barely changing). I can feel the engine holding in and then coming back to life.. then holding back in, which makes it very stuttering / unpredictable to drive at lower speeds. The RPMS are not super low, say around 2500-4000rpms. The throttle position is minimally open. At first i thought it was just my hand not holding the throttle stable (which i suppose still can be the case but i don't think it is).

When going through roundabouts it makes it quite a concentrated job, going in first gear it gets a bit nervous because the high revs and low gear, in second gear it gets nervous because of the engine power gone, engine power on experience.

I've ridden the cb500x and did not have this issue, nor on my old ZZR600 (4 cylinder so maybe not comparable since the powerband comes in at higher rpms).

The bike has run 11.000km (6800 miles) and other then this issue the engine seems to be running very well.

I'm just curious if this sounds like a familiar thing for a new rider which i just need to get used too and i just need to adjust having more power in lower rpms with less throttle, or that something maybe wrong?
Don't worry, it's probably not you! The throttle is known to be a bit snatchy, and yes, it can be difficult to ride smoothly in low gears at low speed. I've done 3 things to make it a bit better:- (1)Ensure the chain isn't overly slack. (2)Select power level 2. (3)Select minimum engine braking. Actually, there is a 4th course of action - mutter and swear. Hope this helps 馃檪
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Try with a mode with minimum power (4 bars) and see if you notice a difference. Hopefully you will but you might not. My 2021 was like that and changing power made no difference, I couldn't detect any difference with any of the settings, Engine Braking etc, all were very harsh. I traded in for a 2022 ATAS (for other reasons) and it is a totally different animal altogether. I can feel the difference between modes and power settings and it is a lot smoother even when in high power mode which incidentally isn't really power that is being changed but rather amount of throttle rotation required for a given power.

One thing that did help me a lot was I made some spacers to take the rotational slack out of the throttle. It was like night and day but still it wasn't anywhere near as good as my 2022 is.

A few people said the recall ECU update made a difference to their bikes so see if the recall has been done on yours.
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I haven't noticed this on my 2021, but I find that if I run lower RPMs than you might otherwise think at low speed, it is smoother.

There is a lot of torque available at 2000 rpm for low speed maneuvers, so higher revs are not needed. I think this tends to reduce snatchiness, if that is a term.
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My 2020 has been like you describe since I got it. To me it's just a characteristic of the bike. A little clutch slip solves it for me.
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My '22 ATAS is the same "inconsistent engine-to-rear wheel-engagement" at slow speed in "Manual DCT mode 1st and 2nd gears no difference".

Today I rode my Vstrom 650 Twin and it's super smooth at slow speed in 1st,2nd or 3rd gear, no lurching or jerking.
So it can be done on twins, Honda and Suzuki designers should go out for beer sometimes.
Thanks for all the replies guys! I was not expecting to see people who do have it and who don't (really) have it. Seems like it might actually be a installation / configuration problem.

  • I googled the ECU recall, but it looks like that is for the DCT version so that it doesn't disengage both clutches and stalls, nevertheless i will keep this in mind as an option
  • Good tips for the engine power and engine braking, so far I've only been in tour mode. Next time i'm riding i will play a bit with the settings and see if that changes anything. I would expect the offroad mode to be less jerky since standing up and having a jerky motor makes for a dangerous journey.

@paulbaker428 I thought about the chain as well,, maybe it has stiff links and its the stiff link that jerks the motorcycle around. Will try to check this. Chain seems on the tight side to me rather then on the slack side. I was heading towards the fifth options and go straight to the last process of grief, acceptance ;)

@Hood Do you mean remove the amount of rotation needed in the gas handle before a signal is actually being transmitted to add gas? - i Just checked and the slack is next to nothing for me, i feel the spring of the sensor engaging almost imediately.
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Thanks for all the replies guys! I was not expecting to see people who do have it and who don't (really) have it. Seems like it might actually be a installation / configuration problem.

  • I googled the ECU recall, but it looks like that is for the DCT version so that it doesn't disengage both clutches and stalls, nevertheless i will keep this in mind as an option
  • Good tips for the engine power and engine braking, so far I've only been in tour mode. Next time i'm riding i will play a bit with the settings and see if that changes anything. I would expect the offroad mode to be less jerky since standing up and having a jerky motor makes for a dangerous journey.

@paulbaker428 I thought about the chain as well,, maybe it has stiff links and its the stiff link that jerks the motorcycle around. Will try to check this. Chain seems on the tight side to me rather then on the slack side. I was heading towards the fifth options and go straight to the last process of grief, acceptance ;)

@Hood Do you mean remove the amount of rotation needed in the gas handle before a signal is actually being transmitted to add gas? - i Just checked and the slack is next to nothing for me, i feel the spring of the sensor engaging almost imediately.
In Europe the ECU update was for manual and DCT and also quite a few other models such as CBR1000, NC750 etc. Go to the recall site for your country and type in your VIN and it will either say no recalls or it will say recall needed.

Yes rotational. On mine there was a 1.5mm or so slackness before the spring pressure was felt, this meant there was a dead space where there was no spring pressure and the tendency was to turn a bit too far due to the change in pressure required. However if your AT was one that didn't have the severe throttle issues then it was ok and made little difference.

A long post HERE about it.


Gravel mode will probably be the best to see if you feel a difference between the power (throttle rotation response) as it is lowest (4 bars) and Tour is highest (1 bar)
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I hate to be the bearer of bad news BossEd, but I think you are likely to be stuck with 'grobbelly' low speed surging and hesitation. It's just that Honda either don't think it's important or have tried and failed where other manufacturers (eg Triumph) have more or less got it sorted despite ever increasing euro regulations for emissions at low revs.
I do believe though that your bike MAY be one of the ones like @Hood's first one where they obviously made some serious mistake, and if so you ought to be able to get some improvement. But if it's not, then it's very unlikely you can 'fix' it, because it's the same on almost every bike off the production line. People like me have tried just about everything (cheap things like booster plugs, expensive things like Powercommanders and RapidBike, a ECU retune at a fraudulent place, etc etc), but if (like me) you are sensitive to this poor fuelling then IMHO you might as well just get used to it. Many people don't notice it but when I ride their Africa Twins (and I have ridden 7 now altogether), they have all felt the same to me. Interestingly though the NT1100 felt much smoother, so maybe Honda can fix it if they want.
Mike
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Thanks for all the replies guys! I was not expecting to see people who do have it and who don't (really) have it. Seems like it might actually be a installation / configuration problem.

  • I googled the ECU recall, but it looks like that is for the DCT version so that it doesn't disengage both clutches and stalls, nevertheless i will keep this in mind as an option
  • Good tips for the engine power and engine braking, so far I've only been in tour mode. Next time i'm riding i will play a bit with the settings and see if that changes anything. I would expect the offroad mode to be less jerky since standing up and having a jerky motor makes for a dangerous journey.

@paulbaker428 I thought about the chain as well,, maybe it has stiff links and its the stiff link that jerks the motorcycle around. Will try to check this. Chain seems on the tight side to me rather then on the slack side. I was heading towards the fifth options and go straight to the last process of grief, acceptance ;)

@Hood Do you mean remove the amount of rotation needed in the gas handle before a signal is actually being transmitted to add gas? - i Just checked and the slack is next to nothing for me, i feel the spring of the sensor engaging almost imediately.
As Hood said, experiment with the 4 preset modes available, and you can also enter the dark world of User1 & 2 to save the configuration you're happiest with. I'd swear that my throttle response issue is better on some days - but that could just be brain/hand connection rather than further down the line.
Hey guys. I鈥檓 new to the forum but I鈥檝e had the 2018 ATAS and now have the 2021 ATAS and lived with the tetchy throttle. As others have said, TOUR mode is the worst mode to be in if you鈥檙e after a smooth ride - lower power modes are better at slower speed. I have USER 1 & 2 set up so I can switch modes on the fly and it鈥檚 very useful. USER 1 is set to full power, EB 2, TC 2 and on-road ABS).
USER 2 (for around town etc.) Half power, EB 2, TC 2 and off-road ABS so I can switch it off quickly. I only like the gold screens but am normally using CarPlay anyway.

The power and engine braking setting I select definitely has an effect on the 1100, but didn鈥檛 as much on the 1000.
No jerkiness on the 2019 model, but in profuse stop-n-go traffic, URBAN mode (with less power) is more compliant than TOUR mode.
Hey guys. I鈥檓 new to the forum but I鈥檝e had the 2018 ATAS and now have the 2021 ATAS and lived with the tetchy throttle. As others have said, TOUR mode is the worst mode to be in if you鈥檙e after a smooth ride - lower power modes are better at slower speed. I have USER 1 & 2 set up so I can switch modes on the fly and it鈥檚 very useful. USER 1 is set to full power, EB 2, TC 2 and on-road ABS).
USER 2 (for around town etc.) Half power, EB 2, TC 2 and off-road ABS so I can switch it off quickly. I only like the gold screens but am normally using CarPlay anyway.

The power and engine braking setting I select definitely has an effect on the 1100, but didn鈥檛 as much on the 1000.
Talking of the gold screen, it was a long time before I figured out what the owner's handbook meant by gold, silver and bronze displays. I was focused on 3 colours and was genuinely flummoxed. Doh.
I went on a 2 day trip with the bike and a tent and i can confirm that putting the motorcycle in off-road mode makes a noticeable difference. Standing up (this is new for me) on the motorcycle with the bike in Tour mode is quite a dangerous exercise, since getting thrown to front and back with the engine being what it is. In offroad this was way better. I think i will have to play with the engine power and engine breaking settings a bit to see what i prefer. Also i think i will investigate how i can check my chain for stuck rings as the whole jerkiness can be (partially) explained by a bad chain as well.

Thanks for all the advice!
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I went on a 2 day trip with the bike and a tent and i can confirm that putting the motorcycle in off-road mode makes a noticeable difference. Standing up (this is new for me) on the motorcycle with the bike in Tour mode is quite a dangerous exercise, since getting thrown to front and back with the engine being what it is. In offroad this was way better. I think i will have to play with the engine power and engine breaking settings a bit to see what i prefer. Also i think i will investigate how i can check my chain for stuck rings as the whole jerkiness can be (partially) explained by a bad chain as well.

Thanks for all the advice!
I have set user mode to high engine power and minimum engine braking. On the 2019 bike that means if I leave the selector in the Mode slot on the screen, I can quickly switch between this user mode and Gravel mode just with the up/down switch. So when I approach an urban area I just press the down switch and it is noticeably more comfortable. I had a 2017 bike pre-ride by wire and my scheme wasn鈥檛 possible
Mike
I hate to be the bearer of bad news BossEd, but I think you are likely to be stuck with 'grobbelly' low speed surging and hesitation. It's just that Honda either don't think it's important or have tried and failed where other manufacturers (eg Triumph) have more or less got it sorted despite ever increasing euro regulations for emissions at low revs.
I do believe though that your bike MAY be one of the ones like @Hood's first one where they obviously made some serious mistake, and if so you ought to be able to get some improvement. But if it's not, then it's very unlikely you can 'fix' it, because it's the same on almost every bike off the production line. People like me have tried just about everything (cheap things like booster plugs, expensive things like Powercommanders and RapidBike, a ECU retune at a fraudulent place, etc etc), but if (like me) you are sensitive to this poor fuelling then IMHO you might as well just get used to it. Many people don't notice it but when I ride their Africa Twins (and I have ridden 7 now altogether), they have all felt the same to me. Interestingly though the NT1100 felt much smoother, so maybe Honda can fix it if they want.
Mike
Mike,
I hate to say it, but my 6 month old NT1100 has been a biatch since day 1! Very similar issues to those described above, but with mine it's all to go with very small throttle openings, with minimal engine load. So impossible to ride on the ghost at 30mph jn any gear without the bike lurching continually. Dealer says "computer says it's fine", ergo it must be me...! Lowest Power setting, and lowest engine resetting makes it just about rideable. Engaging cruise control at slow speed it's perfect; picking up the throttle to match this speed, then disengaging cruise (whilst keeping a dead steady throttle) it's back to kangaroo mode. Honda don't want to know. I reckon there's a sensor fault somewhere (which I believe Honda's computer can't check for?), as it doesn't seem to affect most NT1100s
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I seem to remember back in 2005 or 06 there were similar issues with my 2005 ST1300. The aftermarket fix had to do with allowing a higher fuel pressure. Honda's stock was 42psi and the aftermarket part was 50psi. It smoothed mine out quite dramatically. When I got my new GoldWing it was never a problem. My 22 ATAS acts the same as the ST. I honestly do not know if it is the same issue but it sure feels the same.
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Mike,
I hate to say it, but my 6 month old NT1100 has been a biatch since day 1! Very similar issues to those described above, but with mine it's all to go with very small throttle openings, with minimal engine load. So impossible to ride on the ghost at 30mph jn any gear without the bike lurching continually. Dealer says "computer says it's fine", ergo it must be me...! Lowest Power setting, and lowest engine resetting makes it just about rideable. Engaging cruise control at slow speed it's perfect; picking up the throttle to match this speed, then disengaging cruise (whilst keeping a dead steady throttle) it's back to kangaroo mode. Honda don't want to know. I reckon there's a sensor fault somewhere (which I believe Honda's computer can't check for?), as it doesn't seem to affect most NT1100s
wow that is interesting Graham. I will experiment with my cruise control at those low speeds and low rpm but it's not the OEM cruise (It's a McCruise). I will have used it at 30mph and under in urban settings because it helps avoid speeding tickets, but I cannot say I have noticed any difference .... ie it feels just as grobelly (new word 馃槃). However .... The guys at McCruise have provided a host of adjustments to smooth out their own control of fuel delivery, and I used those adjustments when I first fitted it, but only for 60-70mph speeds. Perhaps I should try tweaking the McCruise for 30mph and see if I get similar results to you.
It really is bad news that Honda cannot seem to get consistency off the production line, as I was seriously considering changing to an NT1100.
Mike
I seem to remember back in 2005 or 06 there were similar issues with my 2005 ST1300. The aftermarket fix had to do with allowing a higher fuel pressure. Honda's stock was 42psi and the aftermarket part was 50psi. It smoothed mine out quite dramatically. When I got my new GoldWing it was never a problem. My 22 ATAS acts the same as the ST. I honestly do not know if it is the same issue but it sure feels the same.
... so how would we achieve higher fuel pressure? and would there be any downsides?
Mike
Heh, heh, "grobelly". (y)
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